If we were to ask you, "Does your website have any issues that could be affecting its performance or ranking?" You'd probably reply, "Nope, no issues at all. Mine is squeaky-clean."
If you did, you would be just like most site owners, who assume that their site is free from technical and other issues that might be holding it back in the rankings.
But just as likely is the fact that your site, like most we have seen, has some sort of issues that need fixing. In fact, according to a study done by SEMrush a few years ago, of the data collected on 100,000 websites and 450 million separate pages via their site audit tool:
At Posirank, we have literally managed thousands of sites for clients (and their clients) and our statistics indicate that about 99% of all client sites come to us with serious - but completely fixable -issues that were totally unknown to the site owner.
And sites with "issues" that need fixing are sites that are in pain - from lost rankings and the consequent lost traffic (and ultimately lost revenue that this traffic could have brought in).
That is why, in the normal course of consultation, we regularly recommend our SEO website audit service as the first step, the foundational step, before any other type of SEO campaigns are launched.
A very special type of SEO site audit service must be used with WordPress sites. This is because, when you install WordPress, you are actually uploading and activating a packaged code base that runs in the background, and all the components of that package (themes, plugins, widgets, etc.) are designed to work together.
WordPress sites can suffer from a host of issues, and many WP themes make use of poorly-optimized code that can slow down your site and if updates to plugins and other components are not kept up-to-date they can even present serious security issues, leaving your site vulnerable to hacking, comment-spam dumping and the installation of malware.
If you are operating a WordPress site, don't take chances - and at Posirank, we have website audit specialists who know the WordPress platform inside-out and can identify all the issues that are holding your site back. We will tailor your SEO audit report specifically for issues that are commonly found in WordPress sites.
Another special site audit situation is faced by those operating ecommerce websites. These are websites where, typically, some sort of product (either physical or downloadable) sold and there is a shopping cart/order checkout process involved.
We find that ecommerce websites can have issues with poorly-designed user interfaces, coding that does not work properly, a confusing order checkout process, duplicate content issues (often with product descriptions), and slow site loading.
Compounding the problem is that many ecommerce sites are very large, containing hundreds - and even thousands - of separate pages. Technical site audits for ecommerce websites can be very time-intensive and for best results should be performed by someone who has experience auditing ecommerce sites (and of course, our staff have plenty of experience in this area).
On-site SEO Audit Factors and Analysis
"On-site" refers to issues that are found to be directly related to one or more webpages on your own site. Among the most important things to look for are:
HTTPS protocol: Is the site using HTTP or HTTPS. It is our judgment that this can impact site traffic, especially on sites that are monetized in some way, as web browsers today will alert a site visitor that the site is not secure (i.e., not using HTTPS).
No-index: Identifying web pages that may not even show up in search engines because they are not present in their index. A Google SEO audit is critical.
Canonical issues: Pages that seem to duplicate other pages need to have proper canonical tags set to tell the search engine spiders that a particular page is the origination of other pages that might have the same content.
Title tags: These must be present, relevant to SEO, and proper length.
Meta description tags: Again, these need to be in place, and appropriately worded and of the proper length so that they display properly.
Internal broken links: If you are linking to other pages in your website, those links must not be "broken" (I.e., they must load the other page properly and not give a server response error code).
Internal broken images: Similarly, image links should work properly and not functioning ("broken") links should be fixed or replaced. In today's visually-oriented world, a website SEO audit cannot leave out images, and links to videos and infographics.
Missing ALT-tags on images: Images, when used, should make use of the HTML ALT-tag to provide a description of what that image is about.
H1 Heading issues: H1 heading tags identify the principal (usually the topmost) heading of your content. They should be present and properly phrased and of a good length.
Thin/Duplicate Content: Each page of a website must have an appropriate amount of content - thin (not enough) content must have additional content, and duplicate content must be removed.
Sitemap: To assist with search engine spidering, a website must have a correctly formatted sitemap.
Site speed: Both desktop and mobile site speed must be analyzed, and hose elements that are slow-to-load must be identified and promptly corrected.
Off-page SEO Audit Factors and Analysis
Believe it or not, even if your website itself if free from errors and issues, there could be other problems affecting its performance and ranking. A proper site audit should look at other possible issues that could crop up - these are called "off-page" factors because we look beyond the site itself:
Social shares: Perhaps you put a lot of time and effort into the development of website content that you post on your site. Are people reading and talking about it at all? When people are discussing or otherwise referencing your material, these are known as "social shares," and it's an important measure of how valuable others think your content is.
Reputation Management: What is your businesses' online reputation? Is your site suffering from negative comments or bad customer reviews? Do you have a lack of positive testimonials? Identifying the "bad stuff" out there about you or your business is critical, so that you can work on correcting the situation (and yes, we can help you with our Posirank Reputation Management services if we identify any issues here).
E-A-T evaluation: What is your Google E-A-T score? E-A-T stands for expertise, authority and trust. Google is much more willing to rank highly a site that displays a high degree of expertise, is known to be an authority in its niche, and is a trusted source of information.
Backlink analysis: Finally, a comprehensive analysis of all sites linking back to yours must be done, with the goal of identifying spammy, low-value links, duplicate links from the same domain, improper link text (anchor text) and other issues -- and getting those links fixed, taken down or disavowed.
According to SEMrush, a content audit "… is the process of systematically analyzing and assessing all the content of your website. The final objective is to reveal strengths and weaknesses in your content strategy, and adapt your content plan to your current marketing goals."
As you may have noticed from the above definition, content audits are directly related to how you are (or intend to) market your site to the public. This is why a content audit is sometimes called a "content marketing audit." It is an analysis that is a snapshot of all the content you are providing - on your site as well as content you are posting elsewhere on social channels, forums, etc.
While our staff at Posirank can certainly help you with your content planning needs, it is important to note that our regular site audit service is an analysis of technical details relating to your site, and it is not designed to be a full content marketing audit or strategizing a content syndication plan. Please contact us separately if you are interested in this service (note: we provide that service at no additional charge to our fully-managed accounts).
Naturally if you operate your own website our audit service will help you -- but did you know that if you are operating an SEO agency, marketing or website design service, that you can use our service and offer it to your own clients?
Get in the Door: Offering a site audit for a flat fee (or for a fee based on the number of pages being audited) is one of the best ways to get started with a new client. Site audits do not require your client to have a big budget and are seen as low-risk by them as they are usually only needed once.
Establish Authority: By offering a site audit to a client you are communicating to them that you really know SEO and can pinpoint the source of any website problems they may have. Trust is a big factor in securing SEO work, as there are many offering SEO services who do a poor job, making prospective customers very hesitant to take on SEO campaigns in the future from anyone else.
Value Up-Front: A site audit automatically returns value to your client - an in-depth and properly conducted audit will let them know what problems exist with their site and what needs fixing. This puts them in the mindset to believe that you are not "selling" them something but rather that you are "helping" them to solve problems. In essence, you are "giving" before you "take" (secure orders for future SEO work).
Personalized Service: By its very nature, site audits reflect what is going on with specific websites. No site audit is exactly like another, as the sites differ, discovered issues will differ, as well as recommended solutions. Instead of being one of a million companies out there pushing "off the rack" SEO services, you will be offering a service that will be personalized to your client's exact situation and needs.
Test the Waters: Before you jump in and try to secure a long-term relationship with a client, you can use a site audit to determine if the client is easy to work for, if they pay on time, how willing they are to make changes that are needed, and also to determine their present knowledge of SEO. If the audit experience turns out to be less-than-ideal, you have not committed yourself and can walk away from doing further work with them, while at the same time they have received positive help from the audit that has been performed.
When should site audits be performed? If I had one done a few years ago, do we need to get another auditdone?
At the start of any new project you should get an in-depth site audit done. This willensure that a newlydeveloped (or revamped) site is performing as it should.
If you maintain a
If you have experienced a
Related to that, consider having an SEO audit done if your analytics data looks bad - suchas an increasingbounce rate, or social media mentions have declined.
Trying to figure what has gone wrong can be very frustrating as even if you have analytics data on hand theymay tell you what is happening but not necessarily the why, especially if someone is not an SEO expert ordoes not keep up with the latest developments in the SEO industry.
Finally, site audits are the way for you to be professionally proactive. Some sites haveissues that havenot developed into full-blown problems - yet. An audit of your site's technical aspects can help you to spotlittle problems and get them fixed before they begin to have a major negative impact on your site.
What does the audit process look like? What is included in your SEO audit report?
When you order a site audit from us, our auditing team will get to work. They will develop an on-pageanalysis, off-page analysis, competitive analysis, and if needed, keyword research. As stated above, thetechnical analysis will help you to pinpoint if your site is taking too long to load, if it has broken links(internal or external), if it is spider-able by the search engines (some sites "break" the spidering processwhich hurts site indexing).
We will also check your site to make sure that it looks (and functions!) properly on mobile devices (tabletsand phones) and that you have the right - and right amount - of content on your site pages.
At the conclusion of this process you will be issued a comprehensive report that details all our findingsfor your use - or to hand off to your client - along with suggested fixes and improvement recommendations.
How long does a site audit take?
For smaller sites, or sites where there are few issues discovered, you could have your completed site auditreport back to you in just a few days.
For larger sites with more pages to look at, or for sites that have extensive problems, more time will beneeded to compile the data and analyze it, and the final report will take longer to assemble. Few sites takelonger than a week to audit - if more time than that will be needed, we will contact you to explain why.
Can I have areas of my site audited that are not normally looked at?
Our auditing procedures are designed to pinpoint the areas of greatest need, areas where, when a fix hasbeen applied, it will have the biggest impact on your sites performance, visibility and usability.
That said, if you want us to look at something out-of-the-ordinary, please do contact us as we can usuallyaccommodate the request, or may have another service offering that will get you the information that yourequire.
Click here to download an SEO audit report sample.
Before I order a site audit, I'd like to check my site's SEO ranking for various keywords. Do you have anysuggestions on a good tool to use?
Yes we do! Please click here to use our free SEO rank checker tool. (And yes, it is free to use at anytime.)
Can a beginner do an SEO audit?
Certainly you can do this if you are willing to take the time to learn how and have access to the propertools.
But your issue will be, not in learning how to generate the analysis, but in knowing how to interpret theresults.
And even if you can analyze the data you still face the task of figuring out which issues need to be fixedfirst. Budgets (yours or your clients) are not unlimited, so the first fixes should be those that will havethe biggest positive impact. An experienced SEO expert will be better able to analyze the data and makesuggestions for improvement that will have the maximum impact on site performance and ranking.
I see plenty of automated SEO audit "generators" out there - can't I just use one of them?
In addition to the experience factor (see above question), auto-generated reports are no substitute forusing the services of an experienced SEO auditing team, because auto-generated reports may contain too muchof the wrong kinds of detail, confusing you (or your client), or the reporting software may not provideenough detail to be helpful.
Some reporting tools have well-known limitations. For example, they may not report broken links completely,or the tool's information database may be refreshed too infrequently, or based on out-of-date SEOprinciples. Using a tool is one thing - but only someone experienced in this field will understand thelimitations of a tool.
In short, excellent tools are available - and we use some of the professional-level tools here at Posirank.But the information that they give must be combined with an eyeballs-inspection of the site and review ofthe data generated by a trained professional.
Lots of companies offer audit services. Why use Posirank?
Fair question. Here is what we would say in reply:
As an SEO management company, we have direct experience with fixing on-site issues for well over2000+sites in our collective experience. This is an area we know intimately.
If the items in the audit report are fixed, then this will dramatically increase your site'squality scoreand therefore directly fight against Google Panda.
For any NEW client, this should be ordered immediately. This is one of the reasons why clientsare chargedmore in the first month to include a site audit (in addition to any other work that needs to be done) -because these issues HAVE to be fixed.
Plus, the site will very likely get a boost within 2-8 weeks of the issues actually beingresolved (whichwe detail in the report)
Time Save: Days of your time doing this - or even weeks. The better way to look at it is howmuchopportunity is currently being lost by your business (or clients) as a result of low exposure across theboard, from a poor Panda "score".
How do you guys decide what to include in your audit reports - and what to leave out?
Excellent question! Firstly, we ONLY report on the most important issues & problems that need fixing. Thisreport won't contain every single issue that could be mentioned, but instead, it'll focus on what will movethe needle when fixed.
How do we decide what goes into the report? It's based on our experience and having worked with thousands ofsites and campaigns.
And so, our reports are "no fluff" deliverables that contain only errors and how to fix them. Your team canthen run with this and get busy fixing them.
Below are some of the areas that we'll look into and may be included in your report (depending on whetherit's a problem for your site or not):
Technical Issues such as Canonical Problems, 4xx Errors, Pagination Issues etc.
Duplicate Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
Internal & External Broken Links
Internal Broken Images
Pages Images Missing ALT Tags
Desktop & Mobile Site Speed Issues
Sitemap errors / conflicts
It is critical that you focus on fixing those issues that are actually holding you back, and that is what wewill focus on.
OK, if I order a site audit and fix all the issues what kind of results can I expect?
If you fix these errors that we report (not some of them, but all of them) you can expect significant boostsin the SERP's.
Time to see results? Obviously, it depends on the size of the site - the current state of indexing, content,duplications etc. The more trouble your site is in, the better results you can expect but it may take awhile for the search engines to notice these improvements and adjust their rankings accordingly - but theywill.
The reality is that 95%+ of sites have serious issues and they go without being addressed. Thus, thisrequires more linking to get to where you want to rank.
Fix these issues and within 2-8 weeks you'll see your rankings begin to increase as Panda and qualityupdates now roll out approximately once per month.
Talk to one of our SEO experts to come up with a strategy that works best for you and your company for free!
No time for a call? No problem! Send us any questions you might have and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
We want you to feel confident in every purchase you make with us, which is why we are offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason you are not satisfied with our product, contact our support within 30 days of receiving your report and we'll work with you to make it right
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