You do not win the war without establishing a battle plan. The same applies in SEO: it’s impossible to succeed without a prior SEO audit.
Your website is unique. It has its exclusive content, displays its performance, aims to achieve goals that belong only to you. You also have your SEO passion – your keywords worked, your technical drivers worked, you won backlinks. Even brand new, it is a necessary part of a competitive market which you hope to emerge. The selection of an appropriate SEO strategy must be in a unique image. For this, we must go through a step that SEO consultants consider essential: An SEO audit. But what makes this audit indispensable, exactly?
SEO Audit: A Tactical Case
Your team is coming to the finals of a big competition. Between it and the victory, there are four opponents, all equally strong. If you want to get on the top of the podium, you will have to put together an unstoppable strategy. First, evaluate the individual performance of your players, to determine which ones deserve their place in the final formation. Then, build a dynamic group. Finally, scrutinize previous matches of your rivals to analyze their methods, learn to mitigate their strengths, and successfully exploit their weaknesses. This initial phase allows you to forge the right keys, that will open the doors to consecration.
Now, replace the team with your website, and compete with the search engine results pages, and the opponents with your major competitor sites – and you’ll have a good idea of the importance of an SEO audit. A right SEO agency carries out an audit for the same reason that a coach develops a preparatory phase before a match or a series of matches. He allows to give himself the means to reach the objective by defining the best tactics to adopt for the context.
A detailed battle plan
It is a natural optimization strategy that makes sense only if it sticks to a specific site and a particular problem. Put it this way; an SEO audit consists of an analysis of the parameters of a website in terms of organic SEO. Expression of a work that is both professional, exhaustive and objective, carried out by an SEO expert. This audit draws up an inventory of a site’s positioning according to the market on which it evolves. It should be done, by determining through which possibilities it made the website visible on the SERPs (which places, on which particular keywords …), and identifying the possible obstacles to its progression.
In detail, an SEO audit relies on several points. Especially :
- The SEO architecture of the website (well-defined structure, clear site structure, optimized tags, relevant URLs, quality content, carefully selected keywords, intelligent distribution of these requests in the content, etc.).
- Off-page optimization (everything about the netlinking, the authority enjoyed by the site, the quality of the anchors of links, the performance of the backlinks, links possibly dead or toxic, etc.).
- The technical performance of the site, i.e. (page speed display, mobile compatibility, the weight of images, etc.).
- The quality of the user experience (simplicity of navigation, the ability for the user to find what he wants in a maximum of 4 or 5 clicks, well-organized menus, the efficiency of the internal search engine, etc.).
- The SEO history of the site (especially the relevance of the SEO routes operated until then according to the nature of the site and its objectives. For example, access to the shopping cart for an e-commerce platform, the efficiency of the CTA buttons and landing pages, etc.).
- Competition performance (the methods favored by the big players in the market who rank in the heights of the SERPs, the working keywords, and the types of subjects treated, etc.).
It is only a working base. Because the organic SEO audit of a site then leads to a series of recommendations to better reference it, improve its positioning, boost its digital reputation and offer a better user experience, through a detailed specification. (Note that sometimes a pre-audit SEO, organizational tool to prepare the audit as such.)
This specification is similar to a real battle plan, precise, sharp, leaving nothing to chance. It is often consistent. A serious SEO agency has the ability to lay down a reliable analysis of a good fifty pages. Screening the entire SEO spectrum and creating a pavement that serves as a pillar for your future SEO strategy.
Natural SEO audit: a (really) essential step
The SEO audit is not the first rung of the SEO scale. It is the foundation on which this ladder is placed, the one that will give the work its solidity and determines your ability to climb the ladder to the end. This audit proves to be indispensable in all cases. To Consider
For an existing site whose visibility you want to improve.
Your website remains stuck in the limbo of search engine results. You have been vegetating on the second page of Google for years, behind your main competitors. Or, after having long held the top positions, you noticed a loss of speed, which resulted in a decline in the number of visitors and a decrease in the conversion rate. In this case, working without an SEO audit is tantamount to treating a patient without knowing what pathology he is suffering from. There is only a slight chance that the chosen medical treatment will only cure the pain.
If the case of a penalized site.
Google does not mess with sites that do not respect its rules and guidelines. The problem is that these are not necessarily known to webmasters. One day, you record a sharp drop in your natural traffic and discover that your site has completely disappeared from the radar, without knowing what happened. Here, the SEO audit can determine the exact cause of this collapse, a prerequisite to propose relevant fixes, for example, in the context of Panda or Penguin penalty. Without this preliminary phase, the efforts provided by the SEO auditor can quickly run out.
For an existing site to remake or migrate.
To avoid losing all SEO achievements in the process, a poorly conducted migration that can be expensive to position a website, without certainty to find all the links juice one day or the other).
New or under creation websites
Launching your website does not exempt you from performing an SEO audit. On the contrary; it is probably the best time possible because it is not necessary to clear the optimization and endorsement history of your site to define a strategy. It makes it possible to establish a battle plan on a perfectly healthy ground, in particular by taking as a reference the existing market, the needs of the potential customers and the actions carried out by your competitors. All that remains then is to apply these recommendations calmly, without having to release the brakes, fight a pre-existing penalty, or deal with sneak attacks (Black Hat SEO) type.
The process of launching an SEO strategy without proceeding upstream to an SEO audit would be like bringing your team on the field without having established tactics or analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents. In short, it would be going straight into the wall … relying only on hope or luck to not suffer too much damage. And, in terms of organic SEO, karma has no place. It is the quality of your strategy that makes all the difference between a site that reach the summits and another condemned to stay buried in the limbo of Google.