How To Perform An Effective SEO Audit

by Jeremy Tang

SEO audits are crucial for identifying and addressing issues that may be affecting your website’s performance in search engine rankings. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of performing an effective SEO audit, highlighting the unique aspects, tools, and latest developments in this area.

Table Of Contents:

Why is an SEO Audit important?

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, staying ahead of the curve is not just an advantage—it’s a necessity. One of the most effective ways to ensure your website is performing at its best is by conducting regular SEO audits. But how does an SEO audit benefit you?

An SEO audit is a pivotal cornerstone of a holistic SEO strategy. Just as a car owner schedules routine maintenance to ensure their vehicle remains in top condition, a website requires regular SEO practices, like keyword optimization and quality content creation, to maintain its position in the search engines. But sometimes, more in-depth evaluations are necessary.

Every once in a while, or when there’s a hiccup, we’d have our car undergo a comprehensive inspection to diagnose any underlying problems—a deep dive that examines the vehicle’s overall health. Similarly, an SEO audit is a thorough examination of a website intended to pinpoint both its strengths and weaknesses in its search engine performance. 

Such audits encompass a review of on-site elements, off-site factors, technical facets of SEO, and content quality. In essence, while regular SEO tasks are akin to routine car check-ups, an SEO audit is the equivalent of a full car inspection.

A Comprehensive Look at SEO Audits

The significance of SEO audits is paramount. By providing a thorough evaluation of your website’s performance in search engine results, they enable you to discern which facets of your SEO strategy are paying off and which ones demand further refinement. Armed with this knowledge, you’re in a prime position to sharpen your SEO initiatives and bolster your website’s visibility in search results.

Moreover, these audits can be equated to the diagnostic tools in a mechanic’s garage. They can illuminate technical snags that might be suppressing your site’s ranking prowess. If technical glitches have crept into your site after any recent upgrades, a technical SEO audit can help you fix them.

Furthermore, consistent SEO audits present invaluable insights concerning your website’s overall health, the targeted keywords, and their current ranking stature. Such periodic checks ensure your site remains in prime health, just like the benefits of frequent car servicing.

Delving into the Inner Workings: A Breakdown of SEO Audits

An SEO audit is a meticulous process that scrutinizes various aspects of your website, including technical factors, on-page elements, off-page factors, and overall SEO strategies. Just as an auto mechanic examines different components of a car, the SEO audit inspects diverse aspects of your website:

  1. Technical SEO Audit: This involves analyzing the website’s technical infrastructure, including site speed, mobile-friendliness, crawlability, and indexability.
  2. Content Audit: This involves analyzing the website’s content quality, relevance, and engagement metrics.
  3. On-Page SEO Audit: This involves scrutinizing the website’s on-page elements, including meta tags, page titles, internal links, content quality, and keyword usage.
  4. Off-Page SEO Audit: This involves analyzing the website’s backlink profile, including the quality and relevance of the links pointing to the website. 
  5. Competitive Analysis: This involves analyzing the website’s competitors and identifying areas where the website can improve to outrank them. 
  6. Keyword Research: This involves identifying relevant keywords and phrases that the website should target to improve its search engine rankings.


Key Discoveries from SEO Audits

The findings of an SEO audit can vary depending on the website and its industry. However, some common findings include:

  1. Technical SEO issues that reduce traffic, such as slow page speed, mobile-unfriendliness, and crawlability issues.
  2. On-page SEO issues, such as missing or poorly optimized meta tags, page titles, and internal links.
  3. Off-page SEO issues, such as low-quality or irrelevant backlinks.
  4. Content gaps, such as missing or low-quality content that does not target relevant keywords.


How often should you do an SEO audit?

The frequency of performing an SEO audit depends on various factors, such as the size and complexity of the website, the frequency and scope of updates, and the level of competition in the industry. 

In general, it is recommended to conduct a comprehensive SEO audit every six months and run smaller mini-audits each month.

Unearthing Technical SEO Issues

The first step in the SEO audit process is to check for technical SEO issues. 

  1. Check Website’s Structure: Examine how your website is organized and structured. It should be easy for both users and search engines to navigate.
  2. Evaluate Mobile Optimization: Ensure that your website is optimized for mobile use.
  3. Analyze Website Speed: Your website’s speed can significantly affect user experience and SEO. Make sure your website loads quickly.
  4. Submit a Sitemap: This helps search engines understand the structure of your site.
  5. Confirm ‘Mobile-friendliness’: Your site should be accessible and user-friendly on all devices.
  6. Check for Crawl Errors: Search engines need to be able to crawl your site easily to index it properly.
  7. Inspect for Broken Links: Broken links can lead to a poor user experience and negatively impact SEO.

While these aspects are crucial to the overall performance of your website, it’s important to note that their impact on SEO performance has diminished over time. In fact, technical SEO changes typically contribute less than 20% to overall SEO performance, and often even less. 

This is largely due to the remarkable advancements made by search engines like Google in their ability to quickly and accurately discover and comprehend website content, which leads us to our next step.


How do you do an on-page SEO audit?

The next step is to evaluate your on-page SEO. 

  1. Optimize Title Tags: Ensure your title tags are concise and include target keywords.
  2. Improve URL Slugs: Your URL slugs should be descriptive and incorporate your target keywords.
  3. Add Header Tags: Use header tags to structure your content and make it easier to read.
  4. Incorporate Target Keywords: Make sure your content includes the keywords you want to rank for.
  5. Ensure Content Quality: Your content should be high-quality, informative, and engaging for users.

This is like ensuring that your car’s exterior is polished, the interior is clean, and the features are up-to-date. It enhances the overall user experience and makes your website more appealing to both users and search engines.

How do you do an off-page SEO audit?

Off-page SEO refers to activities done outside of your website to improve its ranking on search engine results pages. Here are some common items on a typical SEO audit checklist.

  1. Strengthening Backlink Profile: It’s a popular piece of advice to earn high-quality backlinks from reputable websites. However, it’s important to keep in mind that while link-building is a conventional way of building authority, AI-based alternatives can deliver results at a much larger scale and in less time. These innovative approaches represent the evolution of off-site optimization, focusing on external activities to enhance a site’s authority and trust.
  2. Check for Low-Quality or Spammy Links: Identify and remove any harmful backlinks that could negatively impact your SEO.
  3. Monitor Your Website’s Reputation: Ensure your site has a positive reputation online. Look out for any negative reviews or complaints that could harm your website’s standing.

Debunking Myths: Common Misconceptions

Myth 1: All SEO Audit Tools Deliver Identical Results

Just as different cars offer varying performances, not all SEO audit tools provide the same results. This is a common misconception that can lead to misguided decisions. Each tool has its unique strengths and weaknesses, and some may be better suited for certain types of websites or industries than others. 


Myth 2: A Good SEO Audit Guarantees Immediate Results

There’s a grain of truth in this myth, as a well-executed SEO audit can indeed expedite improvements in your website’s performance. However, it’s essential to understand that an SEO audit is just the beginning of the journey, not the destination itself.

An SEO audit provides a roadmap for optimizing your website, identifying areas for improvement and strategies to enhance performance. However, the real value of the audit lies in the actions you take based on its findings. It’s the implementation of recommended changes and continuous optimization that will lead to improved rankings and increased traffic over time.

In essence, while a good SEO audit sets the stage for success, it’s the subsequent actions and commitment to continuous improvement that truly make a difference in your SEO performance.

Harnessing the Power of Tools for SEO Audits

In the world of SEO audits, having the right tools at your disposal can make a significant difference. These tools can provide you with valuable insights into your website’s performance, helping you identify areas for improvement and track your progress over time. Here, we’ll delve into three key tools that are essential for conducting an effective SEO audit.

Google Analytics: Your Guide to User Behavior and Traffic Patterns

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that allows you to track website traffic and user behavior, providing you with detailed data about where your users are coming from, what pages they’re visiting, and how long they’re staying. This information is crucial for identifying which parts of your website are performing well and which ones might need some attention.

For instance, if you notice that a particular page has a high bounce rate, it might indicate that the content isn’t resonating with your audience or that the page is difficult to navigate. With this information, you can make targeted improvements to enhance the user experience and increase engagement.


Google Search Console: Your Window into Search Performance

Google Search Console is another indispensable tool for SEO audits, allowing you to monitor its performance in search results, identify crawl errors, and submit sitemaps for indexing.

For example, if Google Search Console shows that certain pages aren’t being indexed, it could mean that Google’s bots are having trouble crawling those pages. This could be due to technical issues like broken links or poor site structure. By identifying and fixing these issues, you can ensure that all your pages are properly indexed and have the opportunity to rank in search results.

Going Beyond the Basics: Advanced Considerations in SEO Audits

Mobile Optimization: A Necessity in the Era of Mobile-First Indexing

In the era of mobile-first indexing, mobile optimization is something to always consider. It’s like ensuring that your car is not only designed for smooth highways but also for rugged off-road terrain. With the rise of mobile searches, it’s crucial to optimize your site for mobile users. 

Google primarily uses the mobile version of a site’s content for indexing and ranking, making mobile optimization a key factor in your SEO strategy. Best practices include using a responsive design, optimizing images, and minimizing code for faster load times.


Page Load Speed: The Silent Player in SEO and User Experience

Page load speed may seem like a silent player, but it plays a significant role in both SEO and user experience. 

If your mobile site takes more than 19 seconds to load, you risk losing conversions. Google mentioned that mobile sites that load in five seconds earn more mobile ad revenue than slower ones. To optimize page speed, consider minifying code, leveraging browser caching, and reducing redirects.

High-Quality, Relevant Content: The Heart of SEO

High-quality, relevant content is king. Google’s algorithms prioritize content that is relevant and useful to users. To create high-quality content, conduct thorough keyword research, create unique and valuable content, and update your content regularly. Remember, content is king in SEO, and it’s the onsite variable that has the biggest impact on SEO performance.

Structured Data (Schema Markup): Enhancing SEO with Rich Snippets

Implementing structured data, also known as Schema markup, is like adding a GPS system to your car. It helps search engines understand the content on your site, leading to rich snippets in search results and improved click-through rates. 


HTTPS Implementation: Securing Your Site and Boosting Rankings

HTTPS implementation is like installing a top-notch security system in your car. It’s crucial for both security and ranking. Google has stated that HTTPS is a ranking signal, and it encrypts data sent between a user’s browser and a website, protecting against data breaches and other security threats. To implement HTTPS, you’ll need to obtain an SSL certificate and configure your site to use HTTPS.

Embracing the Latest Developments

AI and Machine Learning: The New Frontiers in SEO

AI and machine learning are the new frontiers in SEO, much like how self-driving technology is revolutionizing the automotive industry. Google’s AI algorithm, RankBrain, is a prime example of this trend. 

As AI and machine learning continue to evolve, they’re playing a more significant role in SEO audits. It’s important to stay ahead of this trend and consider how these technologies can enhance your SEO strategy.


E-E-A-T: The New Standard in SEO

Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust) guidelines are becoming the new standard in SEO. Sites that demonstrate high levels of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are likely to rank higher in search results.

Case Study Examples of Effective SEO Audits

Driving SEO Success for a Global Retail Powerhouse

One of our clients, a global retail giant in Australia, renowned for its diverse portfolio of household goods and personal care products, started to witness a significant drop in their website’s organic traffic over time. Despite their strong online presence, the downward trend prompted them to partner with us at Area Ten for a comprehensive SEO audit.

In the audit, we unearthed multiple issues. Nearly 40% of their product pages were not adequately optimized, consequently losing out on valuable organic search visibility. This substantially diminished their SEO value. 

Moreover, the technical aspects of their site needed enhancements, including below-average website speed, leading to a less-than-ideal user experience. Further, we noticed that their website lacked a significant amount of structured data markup.

Working with the client, we initiated the optimization of their product pages, crafting compelling meta descriptions and title tags, and integrating relevant keywords. We also amplified the technical facets of their website. 

We also managed to slash their site’s load time by a considerable 30.3% by optimizing images and implementing various speed-enhancement techniques. This move significantly improved the user experience and bolstered organic traffic by 25.7% in under two months.

By deploying structured data markup, we amplified the visibility of their product pages in SERPs, leading to an additional 15.4% rise in organic traffic and an overall organic revenue growth of 20.1% within three months.

Throughout this process, we integrated our proprietary technology, CMAX™. This technology employs machine learning and real-world testing to grasp Google’s algorithms, identifying specific levers that enhance their SEO performance. As a result, we managed to expand their SEO on an unprecedented scale, capturing 90% of the search opportunities that their competitors couldn’t reach.

From the Pitfall to the Pinnacle: An Automobile Industry Transformation

One of our clients, a multinational automobile manufacturer in the United Kingdom with a robust market presence, observed a worrying trend. They were witnessing dwindling organic traffic due to the lack of regular SEO audits. 

The strength of their brand once ensured them high organic traffic. However, they were oblivious to the fact that nearly 35% of their website’s pages contained low-quality content, offering little value to visitors. This was not just detrimental to the user experience but also had a negative impact on their overall ranking in search results. Critical technical SEO issues like broken links and improper use of canonical tags led to the incorrect indexing of their website by Google bots.

As their organic traffic began to falter, they noticed a decrease in lead generation by 25.3% and sales by 15.2% in a single quarter. Despite their strong brand and quality product line, the lack of regular SEO audits was severely impacting their online visibility and overall business performance.

Upon partnering with us, we thoroughly addressed their content and technical SEO issues. Leveraging our proprietary technology, CMAX, we started targeting both head and longtail search terms, dynamically generating fully compliant, and quality content that met their customer’s needs, amplified their brand, and rapidly reached more of their target audience. 

As a result, we witnessed a rebound in their mobile SERP ranking by 31.8% and a surge in their organic traffic by a significant 29.7% in under two and a half months. The client who once witnessed a decline, was back in the game, driving unprecedented growth.

Our programmatic content system and dedicated approach helped them scale their SEO, liberating their business to achieve more significant results within six weeks. With our relentless drive, innovative thinking, and application of the right technology, we fueled business growth in the fast lane. 

With Area Ten, there are no excuses, only solutions. Enquire about our SEO Fast Track today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs an SEO audit?

Any organization with a digital presence, particularly large businesses, can significantly benefit from an SEO audit. 

As more and more customers engage with businesses online, search engine visibility has become a paramount factor in driving business success. A comprehensive SEO audit can assist CEOs, CMOs, and other decision-makers in assessing their website’s performance, identifying technical glitches, content gaps, and untapped opportunities. 

From global e-commerce companies to multinational tech firms, the insights provided by an SEO audit can drive data-informed strategies, bolster organic traffic, and, eventually, enhance revenue growth.


How long does an SEO audit take?

The duration of an SEO audit is contingent on several factors. Primarily, the size of the website and the complexity of the prevailing issues directly impact the time taken. 

For instance, a global corporation with numerous pages might require a more exhaustive audit, potentially lasting several weeks. On the other hand, a smaller, less complex site may only require a few hours or days of analysis. 

Additionally, the tools and methodologies employed can also influence the duration. While traditional methods may extend the timeframe, AI-powered SEO tools can accelerate the process. Overall, it’s essential to understand that a well-executed SEO audit, regardless of the time taken, can drive substantial business growth by swiftly addressing crucial SEO elements.

What is a good SEO audit score?

Unlike a typical examination, an SEO audit does not yield a definitive ‘score’. The objective is not to achieve an arbitrary numerical rating but to uncover actionable insights and improvements. A ‘good’ SEO audit should offer an exhaustive analysis of the website’s technical health, on-page, and off-page SEO performance, and backlink profile. 

While some tools provide a score as a rough gauge of your SEO performance, the real value lies in the detailed insights and strategic recommendations provided by the audit. 

After all, SEO is a performance channel and should be assessed accordingly, focusing on its contribution to incremental revenue growth and overall business performance.

Embracing the Power of SEO Audits

As we’ve thoroughly explored, conducting an SEO audit is an imperative task for any growth-oriented business in today’s increasingly competitive digital landscape. It’s not just a routine maintenance activity but a strategic exercise that can unveil untapped opportunities for enhancing your online presence and visibility.

We’ve underscored how an SEO audit involves meticulous inspection of various dimensions – from technical aspects to on-page and off-page SEO elements. We’ve also delved into how a well-executed audit can spotlight the importance of factors such as mobile optimization, page load speed, and high-quality content, among others. In doing so, we’ve shattered common myths about SEO audits and provided a comprehensive understanding of their importance and benefits.

What You’ve Learned

Through this deep dive, you’ve unraveled what makes an SEO audit indispensable for modern businesses. Here’s a quick recap of what we unpacked:

  1. SEO audits are comprehensive evaluations of a website’s technical, content, and off-site aspects to identify areas of improvement.
  2. SEO audits differ from regular SEO practices as they provide a holistic analysis of your website’s performance and identify specific issues.
  3. Common findings of an SEO audit include technical SEO issues, on-page optimization gaps, off-page SEO opportunities, and backlink profile assessments.
  4. Mobile optimization, page load speed, high-quality content, structured data implementation, and HTTPS security are additional considerations in SEO audits.
  5. It is a myth that all SEO audit tools provide the same results, and a good SEO audit does not guarantee immediate outcomes.
  6. Recommended tools for SEO audits include Google Analytics and Google Search Console, which provide valuable insights and data for optimization.
  7. Effective SEO audits can drive tangible results, such as improved search engine rankings, increased organic traffic, an enhanced user experience, and higher conversions.
  8. SEO audits are an ongoing process, and regular reviews and adjustments are necessary to adapt to evolving search engine trends and maximize results.

Actionable Advice

Now that we’ve discussed the crucial components of an efficient SEO audit, let’s turn these insights into momentum. Gear up to power through your audit with these action-oriented steps:


  • Mobilize: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. A site not optimized for mobile devices can lose significant traffic and potential conversions.
  • Fortify: Strengthen your website’s security. An HTTPS secure site not only protects users’ information but also improves search ranking.
  • Be Proactive: Regularly perform technical SEO audits. 
  • Engage: High-quality and relevant content is key. Regularly review your content to ensure it’s providing value to your audience and is optimized for SEO.
  • Navigate: A well-structured, easy-to-navigate website aids both users and search engine bots. Pay attention to your site architecture and improve it if needed.
  • Analyze: Use tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console to gain insights into your website’s performance and user behavior.
  • Respond: Implement changes based on the insights gained from your audit. Remember, the real value lies in the actions taken post-audit.


Accelerate your Business Growth with Area Ten

When it comes to SEO audits, Area Ten doesn’t just do things differently; we redefine the playing field. As seasoned SEO experts, we fuel business growth with a uniquely comprehensive approach. Our proprietary CMAX technology redefines programmatic SEO by enabling rapid optimization for thousands of keywords.

This isn’t about merely boosting traffic; it’s about driving the right kind of traffic that converts, expands your brand reach, and fast-tracks your business growth. Area Ten provides 100% solutions with zero excuses. We deliver results within six weeks, not months, helping you navigate the fast lane of SEO success.

From insurance to skincare, our proficiency cuts across diverse industries, and our strategies are as unique as the businesses we serve. We’ve proven our mettle by delivering consistent results in the toughest market verticals. We’re not just an agency; we are your strategic partners in growth, committed to a performance-driven approach that aligns with your ROI culture.

It’s time to liberate your business from the shackles of slow, ineffective SEO audits. 

Inquire about our SEO Fast Track today.

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