Marketing strategies have seen a major upheaval in the past decade — currently a majority of marketing campaigns revolve around digital media as opposed to print media and interpersonal interactions. Every notable business is curating an online presence through website development, social media engagements, guest blogging etc. because, from a buyer’s perspective, your business does not stand a chance if it cannot be located on the other end of the screen.
Amongst these digitalized marketing techniques, website development and its subsequent running requires the greatest amount of effort and resources. But it also offers greater rewards because it gives your product or service more visibility, provides a more comprehensive insight into your company’s value, better asserts your credibility through personal interactions with the customers and, above all, encompasses all crucial aspects of your organization on a single domain.
Once you have a functioning website, its success depends on its organic reach to the potential consumer base through search engines’ result rankings. SEO has become a Holy Grail for earning a high ranking. Therefore, you need to evaluate the website’s performance in accordance with the ever-changing search engine algorithms. This is where audit comes into play.
Audit, in the digital world, refers to the technique of analyzing all the factors that influence a website’s visibility in search engines. A thorough SEO audit is comprised of both external and internal analysis where external analysis helps you understand your share of the SEO market and internal analysis reveals the effectiveness of your website’s optimization to garner this share. Therefore, SEO audits are crucial tools that provide your business with insightful information about maintaining a healthy performance of the website.
Here is why your business can flourish with regular audits:
Search engines regularly update their algorithms to provide more relevant results to users’ search keywords. Whether the algorithm upgrade is minor or major, it can have drastic impact on the standings of your website. Moreover, the users rarely, if ever, go through all the results and usually click on the first few websites that are most visible. According to statistics, the first result on a Google’s search ranking has a click through rate of 34.36 percent further validating the importance of securing the highest rankings.
Since search engines can upgrade their algorithm without any prior indication, it becomes imperative that your website is audited consistently. Regular audits can help enhance your website’s compatibility with the new algorithm, ensuring a prime spot on the search rankings.
Search engine traffic
Apart from the algorithms, search engines like Google employ a variety of “authority” metrics that determine the relevance of your website. These metrics are often undisclosed and may even vary from query to query. Most common ranking factors include content, links a page receives, regularity of updates and off-site optimization.
These metrics can also undergo transformation hence reducing the relevancy of your website, dropping its position in the rankings and thus affecting the number of visitors of the website. Even if you have paid ads which are displayed at the top of the SERPs, approximately 70-80 percent users overlook the paid ads in favor of organic results.
A SEO audit can conclude the reason behind a significant drop in visitations by figuring out the changes in metrics. Regular audits can also uncover other factors which may have been impacting user traction.
If you are one of the 77 percent of B2C or 86 percent of B2B organizations that swear by content marketing, you may be generating quality content routinely. Content generation is a great strategy to increase the visibility of your website in the SERPs, especially if the content on your page is informative and engaging.
However, having too much content that is not garnering significant user traffic due to being outdated can have negative impact on your brand’s image. Content can become outdated in less than six months, hence regular audits can help you figure out the pages that haven’t been perused in the past few months so you can remove them from your website. Once the site isn’t weighed down by old content, it can provide a fresh outlook to visitors.
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of users who visited your website but navigated away too soon without browsing more pages. For example, an average bounce rate of 60 percent denotes that 60 percent of visitors left after only viewing the first page they encountered. An elevated bounce rate can nod to a number of factors such as a lackluster home page, unattractive user interface or misinforming metadata.
A SEO audit can help you figure out the root cause of a high bounce rate and fix it as soon as possible so that you can retain your visitors long enough to convert them into customers.
According to Mark Jacob, a link profile comprises of:
• The type of links leading back to your website — legitimate, high quality links with relevance to the content of the linking page are preferred.
• The time period it took to acquire those links — whether they were paid links all bought at the same time or were embedded in the linking content organically.
• The anchor text of those links — natural, relevant text that pertains to the linked site.
Google cites link profile as one of most important factors of SERP ranking. It not only measures the number of inbound links your website hosts but also quantifies the quality of those links.
Therefore, an audit can help you evaluate your link profile by ensuring that you are not associated with any substandard websites via backlinks. Constant auditing practice assists you in maintaining your overall link profile because it can undergo changes on a daily basis losing you user traffic.
Ideally, audits should be conducted biannually to help you be on top of the SEO game without investing too much time in auditing. Moreover, a pre-determined and comprehensive SEO audit checklist can guide you on the most essential elements that need to be evaluated every time in order to maintain high website performance and a strong user traffic.