Having a website is one thing, but creating a website that accomplishes the task of moving your business up the search engine rankings is even more essential. After all, a website that is not moving up the rankings will eventually fall below that critical top fold of the page, resulting in a marked decrease in visibility.
To accomplish the task of enhancing and improving the website both for SEO purposes as well as to create visually appealing websites that reach out to your existing and new customers, a website audit a very effective tool.
The basics for an audit of a website are not a lot different than an audit of any business or organization. However, this audit is really focused on SEO or search engine optimization and how to identify outdated and ineffective SEO strategies and how to implement the most relevant and effective practices.
Through the audit, an SEO expert will complete a full review of the website from an SEO perspective. This analysis will look at all the factors that are influencing how the search engines are viewing your website, and to make recommendations or to complete the work to ensure that your website is SEO friendly.
This, in turn, will boost your search engine rankings in the organic search results. Keep in mind that organic search results are not Pay-Per-Click advertisements or paid ads that are positioned to the top and the sides of the main search engine results, they are constantly changing, and staying in the top 10 on any page is critical for continued website traffic.
There are really two major components of SEO that drive those all-important search engine ranking results. They include increasing website traffic and developing inbound links. By understanding what each of these components are, and the essential elements to enhancing your current website, the website audit actually creates a strategic plan for improvement.
Let’s take a closer look at the two key elements to SEO improvement in detail to see how they impact search engine rankings.
Bringing people to your website is critical to boost search engine rankings. Having a dynamic, relevant and interactive type of website that includes blogs, quality content and the opportunity to connect to your audience and keep them returning to your website.
Website traffic is also dependent upon simple factors on a website such as easy navigation, hyperlinks within the site to target other blogs and content, high visual appeal with images and well-designed pages and even the use of an interesting blog and content titles.
Behind the scenes, it is essential to use Meta descriptions, keywords and a hierarchy of structuring the content to make it very user search engine crawler friendly. Meta descriptions should use keywords that are most frequently used by clients, and the tags should include the primary and secondary keywords.
Inbound links are sites that connect to your site. Developing these inbound links takes time, but having links to other high-quality websites is not only effective, but it is something that the search engine algorithms are seeking.
It makes sense that higher quality content, more active websites, higher traffic sites and well-designed sites are going to attract more quality inbound links. Guest posts to other sites, contributing articles to different directories and simply networking with other quality sites takes time, but it is well worth the effort.
A quality website audit will also take a big picture look at your site. Outdated or poor quality images will be noted, and images without an alt tag, or a text description of the image, will be modified to increase their SEO value.
Other issues that the audit will consider is the speed of page loading, which is often an issue if there are very large, non-scaled images, graphics or infographics on a page. While they may look great if they are slow to load people will click off and go to the next site.
During an audit, there will be several different analytics used to determine the effectiveness of your website. This process is highly effective in learning about how people search for your site, what people looking for similar sites use to search, and now to bring that group of people to your site rather than the competition.