The SEO audit, also known as “SEO analysis” is usually the first step to take when it comes to implementing a strategy to improve your website’s SEO.
Why do an SEO audit/analysis?
In recent months, I have had several cases where customers wanted us to start working on their site without making a prior SEO analysis or they wanted us to start working based off a previous SEO audit was done sometime before. In the latter case, this situation is problematic.
Very often, an SEO audit was conducted more than 6 months ago; the recommendations have already been made and some optimizations have been implemented. In this case, the audit is out of date because of some optimizations that have already been put in place. Indeed, the SEO audit is in a sense a photograph of a specific moment in time of your website. If action is taken on an out-dated SEO audit, the photograph is no longer valid and therefore must be retaken.
That’s why if another expert takes on your website’s SEO, they should re-audit to find out exactly what actions were done and how they were undertaken (unfortunately some SEO experts still do not use practices recommended by Google and this can harm your SEO in the long run). Also, if the audit was carried out several months ago, it is possible that major changes in Google algorithms have taken place that might cause certain criteria to become less relevant for SEO.
In cases where an audit has already been performed by another specialist, it is also possible that the analysis was not completely carried out or that the quality standards of the audit were not as high as they could have been (this is often the case).
For all these reasons, it is almost impossible to start an SEO strategy without running an audit from the start. As Maxence Pezzetta, a web marketing strategist at My Little Big Web, often says: “An SEO audit is like to a trip to the mechanic for annual maintenance. Once the maintenance is done, the mechanic is able to tell you what changes or repairs your car needs. This is exactly the same with an SEO analysis.”
What specifically is an SEO audit?
The SEO audit is a very important operation where the SEO specialist will go through about fifty criteria to analyze the health status of your website, the actions that were carried out previously and their positive or negative consequences. Depending on the website, this analysis can take 20 to 30 hours (yes it really does take that long).
“Yeah, but some audits take 5 minutes using online tools”
You are right, certain robots are able to rapidly analyze your site and finish their job in under a few minutes. These robots analyze measurable site data such as site loading time, the number of characters in the title tags, the number of characters in the description meta tags, links pointing to your site etc. They also measure formats such as if your site is suitable for mobile or not. They are, in a way, a quantitative analysis of your site. However, Google and other search engines rely on quality: quality of content, quality of user experience, the quality of the website outline etc.
These robots are not able to determine if your title tag is optimized and catchy, if your service page is optimized for the right keyword, if it would be better to break up your single service page into 4 different pages to optimize the content of 4 different keywords. These robots are also not able to see if your content is properly organized or if it brings added value to users. I’ll stop here, but I could go on. All of this is to say that yes, SEO audits made by tools in under 5 minutes will give you quantitative information about your site but they cannot give you any personal advice relative to your specific industry and your problems. It’s like doing a brain scan without asking a specialist to examine and explain the results.
Following this analysis, the strategist in charge of your visibility on the Internet should be able to mount a strategy that will achieve the desired objectives. This is rarely the case with automated tools.
What does My Little Big Web analyze during a SEO audit?
We analyze fifty criteria, which include items such as:
- The website domain name
- 404 pages
- Page structure
- The breadcrumb trail
- The internal linkage
- Inbound and outbound links
- The content of your site
- The structure of your site
- The title tags and meta description
- Local optimization
This list is not exhaustive insofar as we also take time to understand your business, your ambitions, your goals and your industry. If there are other elements that we think are important in terms of your problems, we add them in the audit.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you think you need help with your SEO audit. For more information on SEO, you can also read the following articles: Acquisition of links, an essential SEO strategy or improve your SEO.