If you’re like most people, the very mention of the word, ‘audit’ is enough to send chills down your spine, but fear not – an SEO audit is far from terrifying. In fact, performing a simple SEO audit is one of the best ways to refine your SEO strategy.
Yes, I said simple.
You can do a SEO audit in five minutes, and I’m going to show you how.
I’ve been around the block more than a few times, and I can assure you that addressing anything beyond this handful of queries for your SEO audit is redundant. Using my own experiences and the wisdom of other experts, I’ve boiled the most pressing, over-arching concerns down to their essence.
After all, any measure of success is not necessarily borne of having all the right answers, but asking the right questions. With that in mind, let’s get to it.
5 Questions for a 5 Minute SEO Audit
1) What do we create that assists people in solving their issues or questions? Think about your organization, specifically, and about the service or product or content you offer – that specialization that’s like no other – and identify the questions you answer for searchers.
2) What do we do that no one else can? Another way to think about this is: what is your differentiator? It’s about identifying and being able to put into words what you do that makes you not only different, but better. And not just better than the other leaders in your industry, but better than every single other enterprise in your industry.
3) Who can help us spread our message and increase our ranking signals? SEO isn’t just about link building or your message or creating solid content anymore, it’s also about earning your ranking signal. You need people and systems that will help you really get your message, content, value, product and service heard. I’m talking about the people who believe in what you do enough to share your vision with others.
The Internet is absolutely saturated; you’re not going to get a return on the investment of buying ad space, reaching out to people, sharing via social media (and so on) if you don’t know who you can count on to amplify your brand. This is how you’ll earn those ranking signals and stand out.
SO who is your ‘who’?
This is going to vary depending on your target audience and who can influence that audience. This isn’t always someone from the same group as them, but it has to be someone who will want to share your message. I’m talking about press, and authoritative and respected bloggers and social media sharers – someone who has sway over the people you’re trying to reach.
For instance, let’s say you sell women’s shoes and you run a program where your company donates shoes to women’s shelters. Getting bloggers who write about women’s issues or solid online publications to promote your cause and your brand is a great way to amp up your SEO ranking.
4) How do we plan to turn search visitors into customers? Answering this question depends on following channels. Who came from where? Was it from social media, direct visit, e-mail, a specific search engine, from another website, through a networking event? What does this funneling process look like? How do we take these people from these various channels and turn them into customers? This is an important consideration in any SEO audit, and one of the most important when it comes to defining your SEO strategy.
If you don’t yet have a clarion process for this conversion rate optimization, you need to build one, pronto.
5) What can we do to make our value more apparent to search engines? This final consideration of a SEO audit is one of the more old-school tactics. You know you’ve got gold, but if you want to be searchable, you’ve got to let the search engines know that as well.
This means it’s not just about incredible content creation and curation: it’s about making sure it is understood by the virtual powers that be. Content that can be crawled and indexed isn’t enough; you’ve got to make sure it is clear to the search engines that the content is relevant and answers the searcher’s query. Keywords are still vital, but algorithm upgrades like Hummingbird have made it clear they’re not the be all and end all.
It’s classic peacocking, but instead of showing off for your audience, you want to show off for the search engine. But first you have to show you know what the search engine is looking for, and this is going to mean you have to know how it works. (You can read more about the method behind algorithm madness here.)
You may find these SEO audit considerations complex, and you may not have the answers – but that’s OK. Someone on your team might, or you can even ask your clients for their perspectives. Once you’ve answered these questions you can refine your SEO strategy to diamond clarity and strength, and you’ll see the pay off. I guarantee it.
If the idea of performing a SEO audit on your own, or for the first time, is making you feel queasy, just think back to my third strategy: ask yourself who you can ask for help. (Hint: it’s us. Drop us a line and save the Gravol for some other time.)