Let’s get started – Website SEO Audit
The start of any new search engine optimisation campaign should begin with a full SEO website audit. That may seem like an obvious thing to say, but a surprisingly large number of businesses don’t recognise the fact that if their website isn’t properly optimised for search engines, no amount of off page SEO work is going to get them to the coveted number one position.
As an SEO consultant it can sometimes be a challenge convincing a client they need to make some changes to their site – the time and cost of doing so is often the barrier – but it needs to be done for a campaign to be successful.
Telling the client the reasoning behind it is a good way of convincing them of its requirement, so try running through the following points is what I may start with;
Website Visual Design
Search engine optimisation is about getting a site to rank highly in the search engines, that’s true, but from a business point of view it is also about conversion, getting that all important sale.
An SEO audit will provide an overall assessment of how the site looks to a visitor. It will assess the navigation, the flow of traffic through the site and whether or not it is all geared towards directing the customer to the eventual sale.
Current Website Standing
A proper SEO audit will determine where a site currently stands with a search engine. Is it being indexed properly and completely? Does the site rank for the company name at least, even if not for some key search terms yet? Does the domain name itself even come up in searches? If the answer to any of those questions is no, then some hard work needs to be carried out before any other SEO techniques can be applied.
Full URL Review
Checking all the URLs on a website is a good idea. This can flag up any dead links, duplicate content issues, barriers to search engines in crawling the full site and canonical issues. All of these will hamper any SEO efforts, so correcting them is a must.
Website Content Review
Actually reading the content on the site and making sure it contains the key search terms it is intended will be targeted is another vital task. Making pages relevant for incoming links and for the search engines is very important and any pages – especially the homepage – that need to be changes should be dealt with before any off page SEO work is carried out.
Images are an often overlooked part of a website, but a lot of traffic can be gained from them by making sure they are fully optimised for the search engines. Putting keywords in the alt tags is a very good idea so images can be indexed properly, again, it is a good idea to do this before any other SEO work is done.
An SEO site audit covering all these areas is a must and the overwhelming argument to make to a potential client is that if it isn’t done then most if not all of the money spent on other search engine optimisation work will be wasted. That, if nothing else, should be the clinching argument!