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The SEO Audit – An Essential but Undervalued Tool

There’s is nothing more undervalued and commoditised in SEO at the moment, than the concept of an audit.

With the various free tools out there offering to check “all 78 key ranking factors” for free, people have started to believe that a real audit has no value, or is at least valued a lot lower than it actually should be, based on the value you can gain from it.

A good SEO audit should contain all of the information a site owner needs to conduct a thorough optimisation of both their website and offsite strategies, to enhance their position in search. It will have the building blocks that allows a webmaster to either complete the audit themselves, or pass it on to their team for completion, without the need to pay retainers to expensive agencies.

It’s also a very cost effective way of upgrading your existing strategy, without having to keep on top of every algorithm update, and without worrying about potential penalties from doing something wrong.

The Essentials in a Good SEO Audit

A quality audit will have two sections:

  1. On site recommendations, split into front end, analytics analysis and technical changes.
  2. Off site recommendations, split into link data, social data and referral data (which all include details of competitors).

How to Prepare for an SEO Audit

The key to this is to give the SEO professional access to as much data as possible, so that they can make an informed decision on the whole picture, not just a small sub-section.

Key access to provide:

  1. Google Analytics Access (shared via gmail) – this helps check historical traffic data.
  2. Google Search Console Access (shared via gmail) – this helps monitor current optimisation, rankings data, and other penalty assessments.

Key information to provide:

  1. Previous SEO work – this is vital to build a picture of the optimisation that has gone through the site already, and can help save time.
  2. Goals of the audit – you may be focused on calls, sales, sign-ups, etc, and this end goal effects how the SEO will focus their efforts.
  3. Time frame – what is the long-term deadline for achieving the goals you have set.
  4. Budget – if you have a fixed budget for this project, then this will help the SEO focus their efforts in the areas that will make the biggest impact for the money.

With an audit alone, you can do a lot with your own websites organic search position, and maybe you will only need to turn to an SEO company when you need to go from 5th to 1st. If you’re interested in our paid SEO audit services, feel free to contact Local SEO Sheffield, at [email protected]

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