5 Tips for Conducting an SEO Website Audit

For most SEO specialists, a new job doesn’t start with a blank slate. It is only rarely that you’ll get a client who wants to start from scratch with a website. Most of the people who come to you will already have established websites, and this means you have some legwork to do before you can even really get started with optimizing the site. The first step is to conduct an audit, and this means going through everything that has already been done by the website owner, the web designer, or often, by other SEO specialists before you. If you’re good at your job, this could entail an exhaustive sifting process as you address titles, meta tags, keywords, graphics and more looking for missing or broken links, duplicates, and outdated terms. Beyond that, you’ll also have to audit site navigation, labeling, directories, URLs, indexing, and a whole slew of other SEO-related issues. In short, a lot of work goes into a site audit. But considering that the data you uncover can help you to make changes that will significantly increase online recognition for your clients, it’s in your best interest to do your audit right. Here are just a few tips to ensure a successful SEO audit.

  1. Create a checklist. There are a lot of details to attend to in any kind of audit, and this is especially true of the SEO variety, where you may have to go through dozens of pages, hundreds of links, and all kinds of other associated elements. For this reason it’s a good idea to put together a variety of checklists that will help to ensure that you don’t miss a thing.
  2. Set up templates. As you go through your checklist you’ll no doubt want to make note of your findings, whether you simply create an accounting for your client or you fix problems as you go. This is not only a great way to show your client that the many hours or days you spent on the project are justified, but if other problems arise you’ll know what you’ve already done so you don’t have to go back and recheck everything.
  3. Take your time. With a job this large and intensive the worst thing you can do is rush. So no matter how much your client pushes, make sure you take the time you need to do it right. Of course, you need to work efficiently, but quality over quantity should be your cardinal rule.
  4. Consider your client. Not every client site is going to need the same kind of audit performed. For example, you might handle a small business-to-business site one day and a giant e-commerce site the next. One may have had SEO done already while the other is optimizing for the first time. So offering scalable options is a must if you want to cater to a wide range of clients.
  5. Create a plan for the future. Whether you work for anĀ SEO company or you’re running a solo operation, chances are good that you want to retain a client’s business after you finish your audit. So it’s in your best interest to present each website owner not only with the findings of your audit, along with a plan to fix any problems, but also a proposal on how to move forward with optimizing the site for maximum results where traffic and ranking are concerned. This will show your commitment to your job while demonstrating your ability to deliver the services your clients need.

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