What is an SEO audit and why do you need one?

May 4, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Time for some website maintenance?

We’ve had quite a few clients coming to us recently asking how they can improve their website performance. While it’s great to see business owners and managers taking the initiative for their search rankings and user experience, we know there are still plenty of others out there who might not know how important keeping track of their website performance and search engine optimisation (SEO) is, on a regular basis.

So, while New Zealand is staring into the barrel of a tough winter with the “R” word on everyone’s lips, we thought it high time to talk about what an SEO audit is, why they’re important, and why now is the best time to be doing one.

We’re not going to talk about what SEO is – you can read this post if you’re looking for the basics of SEO. This post is for business owners, sales or marketing managers, looking for a great value-for-money way to improve their market share and online visibility.

What is an SEO audit?

The wonderful world of SEO is constantly changing. As digital technology grows and improves, search engines update their algorithms of how they judge a website to be relevant and useful to a searcher. Most recently, Google introduced their Core Web Vitals, which has shaken up how websites should display information on a technical and aesthetic level. It means more focus on mobile users, punishing websites for hiding content behind popups and overlays, and prioritising speed and user experience.

This ever-changing landscape means any website that was made to the best of the developer’s skills and knowledge even just two years ago can need updating again now. Search engines also prefer websites that are kept refreshed and up to date. If you haven’t posted any new content for a few years, you’ve probably found that you’ve slipped down the search page for your key search terms.

So, if you’re looking to climb back up top in Google, here are some improvements an SEO audit can identify:

  1. If website code is up to date with the latest versions, e.g. PHP, Javascript, CSS
  2. If the code complies with latest recommendations, such as Core Web Vitals, for loading speeds and mobile responsiveness
  3. All pages are optimised with proper heading formatting, unique meta data (page titles and descriptions), and contain useful and up to date information
  4. Any broken links (external or internal) that might have appeared since the last audit
  5. All images have an alt attribute and relevant title
  6. Sitemap is current and complete
  7. Any broken or outdated elements, such as iframes, contact forms, maps, or plugins
  8. If the new Google Analytics 4 is installed and pulling traffic data through

That’s great, but why do I need an audit?

While keeping on top of your SEO best practices is good for any time, taking stock of where you are now and making even small improvements while times are tougher can help set up your business for success when the market turns again. Efficient SEO is also one of the most cost-effective ways you can invest in your business to see results. It may only cost you a handful of hours’ worth of work, but your potential returns from the increased visibility will keep on giving.

As part of an SEO audit, you can also ask for a content strategy – whether that’s focusing on new content such as blogs or making sure your ecommerce products and categories are well structured. This can help you reach your business goals by identifying new types of content, keyword research, any changes in your target audience, and help repurpose content for other channels like social media and email marketing.

An SEO audit can help you stay ahead of the competition, as it’s essential for understanding where your website stands and how you can improve it. It’s also a great way to make sure your website is up to date with the latest trends and technologies. By taking the time to audit your website and make improvements, you can ensure that your website is seen by the right people and that you’re getting the most out of your SEO efforts.

Is it time to book an SEO audit for your site? Contact our SEO experts to get started!