When homeowners in the towns you service search for kitchen remodeling or home improvement contractor and both your GMB listing and your website are not found on the first page of Google’s search results, you can lose up to 95% of potential clicks to your site. More importantly, listings that slip down to Page 2 historically only attract 5% of total search traffic. With this in mind, before you start working on your website to determine which key words to target in Google and Bing, and before you set out a strategy for digital marketing and your businesses’ online presence, there is one key task that must be performed to get a baseline understanding of your website, social media profiles, and how search engines view it. This critical task is called an SEO Audit.
An SEO audit report not only determines about how well a website is doing and if it will be found easily on search engines, local directories and social media, but if there are technical issues that are preventing the site from ranking well. This is both an exercise in understanding the on-page technical issues you may face, such as, how secure your website is, as well as the content challenges facing you. It is also a discovery process by which you find out how other websites, directories and even local search engines link to you, as well as link to your most relevant local home renovation competitors that operate in your city or great metro-area.
In order to gain traction in the search results, you first really need to understand where you are starting from and what your baseline number demonstrate. A complete SEO Audit will present comprehensive information about both your website, social profiles, incoming traffic and inbound links and inconsistencies in your NAP citations as well as that of your major competitors’. Just a few of the metrics and technical challenges you face are:
- Tracking your website’s programming for page speed and site security.
- Learning if there are any technical problems that are negatively affecting how Google perceives your website, and if you are subject to any Google penalties
- It gives you competitive intelligence to not only your site, but also your competitors sites and what they are doing well or poorly as opposed to your online marketing efforts.
- It lets you know what specific steps you can take to improve your domain authority.
- An SEO audit lists the top keywords your site currently ranks for as opposed to your top competitors in your local area.
- You will get a better understanding of how you can improve your website’s ranking on the popular search engines.
- Provides the information you need to plan and execute the ideas of getting more people to click on your site from the search engine and increase traffic, thereby increasing sales.
In order to generate a proper SEO audit, you will need to have access to several tools, such as an indexing tool that can let you know which of your pages have titles, headers used, which headers, meta descriptions, among other basic information. You can use a free tool like scramingfrog for this. You will also need to review all your citations. We have discussed this issue prior, but one of the sites you can use to at least get a free citation audit is Yext. As stated before, do not feel obligated to pay their outrageous fee to use their services, you can manually update your listings without cost, just manpower. You will want a tool that can search your top keywords and do a competitor analysis as to how you rank vs them, such as SEMrush. You will want to know how fast your website loads and if it does not load within 3 seconds what technical things can you do to improve that. There are several free sites, but the most popular is GTmetrix.com. Of course the most important part of any SEO Audit is to get a baseline of your current search traffic, what sites link to you, where you traffic is coming from, how long users stay on your site, what pages they leave from and other critical factors. The best way to do this is by using Google’s analytics tool. However, it should be noted that in order to use Google Analytics, and Search console, they have to be running on your site for a month first to get any useful data.