Whats involved in an SEO audit?

Any agency that you will be talking to will offer you the opportunity of having an “SEO audit” carried out. You might be wondering what exactly this SEO audit is and does it vary from agency to agency?

As with anything, to know where  we are going, we need to know where we are now, and this is the purpose of an SEO audit. For any SEO agency, an audit is an opportunity to find out what the current performance of your SEO is and how this compares to your goals and aspirations for your marketing.

Step 1; fact finding

During an initial fact find, its imperative to understand what you have been doing so far with regards to your SEO marketing and what your goals have been and are going forward. We have found that sometimes a business goals are not clearly represented by the SEO activity being carried out, and therefore this is a great place to start when understanding achievements to date. At this point of the audit process, we, as an agency, should have a clear understanding of where you want to be in 12 months, typically from a rankings, traffic or leads/sales perspective.

Step 2; access

To conduct an audit, we will want to look at your google analytics and google search console account. We want to review the data within Google Analytics for a number of reasons, but mainly to see what your current traffic looks like and to gauge some average benchmarks to measure our results against as we work together going forward.  Google search console, a tool that you may or may not have heard of, is used to determine your websites health in the eyes of Google specifically. With access to this tool, we can see how your website is performing technically, and if some of the basic principles such as an XML Sitemap are setup and registered with the search engines, as they should be.

Step 3; rankings audit

Using our proprietary SEO project management tool Bright Metrics, we will carry out a rankings audit for your destination website, pulling a list together of all known keyword searches that your website ranks for in the target search engine. In most cases, the target search engine is Google for the UK (google.co.uk) or google.com for the US, but for other countries we also pull rankings from other dominant engines such as Yandex for Russia and Baidu for China.

Step 4; technical audit

Now, we will analyse your destination website and look at the technical health of your website, particularly from an SEO viewpoint. We will analyse key elements such as the structure of your website, the code used to create your pages, and how SEO principles may or may not currently exist within the technical markup of your website. There are two key areas that are considered here, the first is what you have done so far that has worked well, and the second is what further opportunities there are that we can assist you with to further improve your SEO from a technical perspective.

Step 5; backlink / authority audit

After analysing the destination website, we then move onto analysing the health of your backlink profile online. When analysing a backlink profile, we look at the types of websites that are linking to your website and the way that they are linking. We use a specific grading system from 0 -10 to grade your backlinks and understand their toxicity, health and value. Once we understand this, we can then start understanding what gaps your profile may have or most commonly any unusual activity/ business classifications that we can see need correction. All of this comes together to start formulating an seo strategy with clearly actionable insights.

Step 6; competitor analysis

Now that we know how your destination website and brand online is performing, we want to compare this to the wider sector online and analyse your competitors.  Sometimes, the competitors we analyse will differ to the competitors you will be used to reviewing. This is because the competitors we analyse will be search competitors that rank well for the target keywords relevant to your business and strategy. Therefore, we sometimes analyse two sets of competitors, covering both search landscape competitors and sector based business competitors.

Step 7; account strategy

Bringing all of this data and findings together, we are then in a position to be able to build a very clear route to SEO success. We start with your current performance, create a plan to solve any technical issues, introduce any missing SEO opportunities, and bring this all together with a content marketing campaign to PR your brand online and develop your SEO strategy for the benefit of rankings and traffic.

This strategy is then delivered to you along with an indication of effort and varying KPIs targets, that we work against to ensure you understand exactly what you are getting from our partnership. Usually an audit is carried out for a business that’s unhappy with their SEO either because of the results or relationship. If you want to get an audit carried out just drop our team an email at info@polarisagency.co.uk and we can initiate this process for you.

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