The search engine optimization (SEO) audit deconstructs how a search engine views your website and your content when calculating the ranking on a search results page.
We frequently receive the question “When I do a search online, why doesn’t my website appear on the first page? I want my website to be on the top!” After all, websites with higher ranking receive more visitor traffic. And for most companies, more traffic translates into more inquiries, more sales, and more revenue.
The Grey Strategic SEO audit provides organizations with the information they need to elevate their position in search rankings and what elements in their website would benefit from immediate attention. Beyond improving their SEO, this audit also serves as a “health check
As part of Grey Strategic’s commitment to transparency and communication, some of the information presented within the SEO Audit is paired with data drawn from the website’s web analytics. This way, report data can be verified and double-checked at any time.
The first section will review the site’s current keyword strategy for SEO. If no keyword strategy is currently in place, Grey Strategic will review the current site content to determine which keywords the site is presently ranking for within search engines.
- Keyword List: Which keywords have been identified and selected for the website’s keyword strategy. This list will then be compared against the keyword list which search engines have identified for your website. While the two should be one and the same, we often find gaps between a proposed keyword strategy and what has actually been done to support it.
- Relative Competition: How much competition currently exists for each of the keywords. Grey Strategic will rank your current list of keywords in terms of low, medium, or high competition alongside estimated search traffic for each within your target city, region, or country.
- Chief Competitors: List of the websites that are currently the leading competitors for the keywords being targeted for SEO.
- Current Ranking for Keywords: Breakdown of the current SERP rankings for the website according to the different phrases defined by the keyword strategy.
Evaluation of the current organic search traffic to the website and its’ relationship to the website’s SEO and keyword strategy. This section will focus on how accurately the site has been optimized based on the SEO goals. Key insights into the visitor activity will help to tailor future SEO initiatives as well as serving as a predictive model for what further optimization can do for the site.
- Organic Visitor Averages: Typical website activity for site visitors arriving through organic searches. Includes details about site engagement, top viewed pages, landing pages, exit rates, and information about the on-site searches that users perform while visiting a site.
- Demographics: A breakdown of where visitors are coming from geographically, their language preferences, the devices being used, as well as all other visitor attributes that contain implications for SEO.
- Visitor Keywords vs. Keyword Strategy: A list of all the most trafficked keywords which users are currently using to discover the website compared against the keywords including in the site’s SEO strategy.
- Trends: Visible trends that characterize activity on the website. Some websites have fluctuating activity based on day of the week, month, season, or the news media. Understanding these trends assists decision-makers to understand their audience better and can be used for all digital marketing, not just search engine optimization.
The audit will assess all of the on-page elements of the website that contribute to SEO. This section represents the largest portion of the SEO audit given the enormous implications that your on-page elements have on achieving your keyword objectives.
- Site Design: Identification of any site elements that are currently creating problems for the bots used by search engines to crawl and index a site. Audit will include recommend alternative solutions to these problems.
- Content: Assessment of all content currently featured within the site and how it currently impacts the website’s SEO strategy. This includes written, image, and video content.
- Architecture: Current sitemap of the website and an outline of how content is being organized. Content should contain clearly ordered themes so that both visitors and search engines can understand what exactly your site focuses on.
- Backend: List of all site-wide and page-specific elements that contribute towards SEO. Each element will include how they are currently contributing towards the site’s SEO strategy, or, if they are being left untouched, how they can be modified to serve the site’s keyword strategy.
- Coding: We will review the underlying code used on each of the site’s pages to look for any errors that may be negatively affecting the website’s performance for SEO. Sites lacking proper code optimization may load more slowly or may accidently neglecting the best practices preferred by search engines.
The section covers the elements of SEO and digital marketing that are not found on your website, but rather, the SEO activity that occurs elsewhere on external, 3rd party websites in which your organization or brand has a presence. Normally in the form of an account profile, an article, review, or simply a link directing towards your website. Off-page SEO helps to improve rankings, extend your brand’s online reputation, and attract additional site traffic.
- Referring Sites and Link Building: List of sites currently linking to the website, separated between those that are contributing inbound traffic vs. those for link building purposes.
- Digital Presence: Role of externally linked 3rd party websites and platforms which are being used by the ‘parent’ website to extend their digital footprint. This may include social media, professional associations, chambers of commerce, directories, and online retailers. As part of the audit, we will review how participation on these sites can be better optimized for improving search rankings.
The last section of the SEO audit reviews the site’s performance. This section helps organizations to identify any problems with their website, loading speed, and hosting which may be inadvertently be negative affecting online user experience and search rankings.
- Loading Speed: How fast the site is loading. Loading speeds not only impact a user’s online experience but are also used by search engines in their calculation of search rankings. Websites that load slowly are less likely to rank high.
- Errors: List of all pages that currently contain problems when attempting to load for users. We will provide you with recommendations on how error pages can be resolved as these negatively impact both user experience and search rankings. Sites should be as error-free as possible.
- Hosting: Related to the loading speed, overview of the current hosting location, server speed, and all factors which may be impacting the site’s performance as a result of the host.
- Top Level Domain: Any special conditions or requirements that may be related to the website’s domain or application for future domains as per the SEO strategy. For example, Canada (.ca), Germany (.de), China (.cn), etc.
Summary Analysis and Actionable Recommendations
The summary analysis is a breakdown of all the KPIs used to measure the effectiveness of SEO as it relates to a business. Each KPI is accompanied by brief explanation on how it is measured as well as the numbers and percentages for what would be considered positive targets for your business and industry.
Together, this subsection serves as reference material. For any individuals that are interested in developing their digital marketing skills and improving their approach to sales (both online and off), these KPIs will help them to better track on-going efforts and to devise better campaigns in the future.
The final subsection of the SEO Audit deconstructs all of the report’s data, trends, strengths and limitations and instruct you on what steps can be taken to begin immediately improving and optimizing your website using our actionable recommendations. These recommendations will relate to the keyword strategy, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and any conditions that that affect site performance. Using this, your organization will have all of the information necessary to begin further optimizing your website for better search ranking, visitor traffic, and an expanded online presence.
To begin immediately improving your website’s search engine optimization, begin a comprehensive SEO Audit. To start, please use our quotation form.