a winding road leading into the distance
Aubrey Berkowitz

What’s an SEO Audit and Why Should You Get One?

Making changes to your website or picking keywords to rank for without understanding your current positioning is a mistake. Here’s what’s in the SEO Audit we provide for our clients, and the benefits you can expect.

We’re Breaking Down the Benefits of Our SEO Audit

Imagine going to the doctor and without any questions, the doctor tells you that you need surgery on multiple different body parts. You’d want to know why, correct? Or if you went to an automobile repair shop and the technician said everything is wrong. 

So why do business owners approach their SEO and website in that manner? 

When I hear of business owners who engage with SEO or Digital Marketing agencies without running an SEO Audit first, it reminds me of the quote by FedEx CEO Frederick W. Smith:

“Information about the package is as important as the package itself.” 

The idea of making changes to your website or picking keywords/phrases to rank for without conducting research should seem asinine in that context to business owners or thought leaders. So what’s actually in the SEO Audit we provide for our clients, and what are the benefits?

What’s in an SEO Audit?

The SEO Audit we conduct evaluates traffic to the site from the main search engines and focuses on the following:

  • Organic traffic to the site 
  • Current keyword rankings 
  • Proper setup of website data collection tools 
  • Level of on-page optimization 
  • Overall opportunity for growth

What Do These Terms Even Mean? 

So sure, these are all the items that are included. But what does each part of the SEO actually tell you, and what are the benefits of this information?

Organic Traffic to the Site 

Organic traffic refers to how many users come to the site monthly without ads. This is the ultimate goal of SEO, so it’s important to establish a baseline of how your site is doing before any additional optimization can be considered.

Keyword Rankings 

This describes where your site ranks for specific search queries. Typically, for clients whose sites we audit that haven’t done any SEO, they’ll only rank for their own brand name. While it’s important to rank for your brand name, it won’t help you actually grow traffic to your site.

On the other hand, if you already rank for a few highly relevant keywords, this can represent a major low-hanging fruit that can help boost your organic traffic much faster.

Proper Setup of Website Data Collection Tools

This is a long way of saying “Does your site have Google Analytics and Google Search Console installed?” Every site should have these tools set up and collecting data about your site, as this is data that tells you the most about your site’s overall performance. 

Having these tools already installed will also establish a baseline of current traffic and visibility that you can use to compare future SEO efforts against.

Level of On-Page SEO Optimization

Has your site ever been optimized for search? If so, how well did you (or the person or agency completing the optimization) actually optimize your site? 

In this stage of the audit, we’ll look for signs of on-page optimization that include things like custom meta descriptions, SEO titles, slugs, proper use of heading tags, and all that fun stuff. 

The benefits of this part of the SEO audit depend on what we find:

  • If we see no signs of optimization, that means any future SEO will be starting fresh.
  • If we do see signs of optimization, it will be important for us to evaluate on a page by page basis whether the right keywords were selected and how the current optimization can be improved upon.

Overall Opportunity for Growth

This probably seems vague, but in a way it’s supposed to be. There are many reasons why a site may be ripe (or not) for substantial growth through SEO. Some of the questions we look to answer in this phase include:

  • Are you in a highly competitive industry for search, or one that’s still in the stone age when it comes to SEO? 
  • Do you provide specific services, and do you operate within a specific service area? 
  • Are you ranking for any terms on page 2–3 of Google, providing an opportunity for faster SEO returns? 
  • Are you in an industry that lends itself to writing plenty of blog posts and high-value content? Do you have a backlog of blog posts, or have someone on your team who can provide new content?

While just about every business and website can benefit from SEO at some level, the ROI for some will simply be higher than for others. We don’t peddle SEO on people who don’t need it—but if we see genuine opportunities for organic traffic growth, we’ll definitely let you know about it.

What Are the Benefits of an SEO Audit? 

First and foremost, understanding your current organic traffic gives a baseline for where the site currently ranks on Google, and sets the expectations for future growth. Oftentimes, business owners and thought leaders will find that some of the pages that perform well aren’t what they expect. Sometimes it’s the opposite. 

I think back to an example with a client previously who was dead set on rebranding a service line and deleting the page. The catch? That page brought in 60% of the site’s traffic. Without the data, our client’s traffic would have tanked by 60% without them even knowing. 

As for why you need to understand your keyword rankings, I have an anecdote that no one will ever forget. We worked with a client who owned an exclusive high-end fishing ranch. They had a career page for “Ranchhand Jobs” that unfortunately was not optimized correctly. You can imagine where this is going. Google was actually blocking traffic to this page because it was deemed “pornographic.” 

Finally, the last few items of the SEO Audit all work to provide a clear picture of what’s been done on your site, what needs to be done, and the overall benefits of fully optimizing the site for search. For businesses in the right situation, SEO is easily the highest ROI marketing avenue—but it all depends on the current state of your site and what opportunity is available.

Why Get an SEO Audit?

An SEO Audit isn’t a trivial starting point. It’s a key element to understanding how a site is interacting with the online world. Our SEO Audits are meant to provide a strategic starting point using real data—not hopes and dreams. 

You wouldn’t walk into a doctor’s office and immediately be swept to the operating room without a single test. So why would you take that approach with your website? Reach out to us to book an SEO Audit with Alter Endeavors today.


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