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Conducting a SEO Website Audit


You could be in a position where your website pumps out productive business leads at an overwhelming rate. But probably, like most, that's where you'd like to be. Your promised results never really materialise and your inbox is swamped with offers from "SEO Specialists" who are all promise you a Google Page One position. But they don't seem to be able to speak English or spell and you hear that all they do is extract a hefty sum from you in exchange for an automated technical on-page report. So what should you do ?

WHO NEEDS A SEO AUDIT ?

No matter the cost to build - if you have little traffic and no leads and walk-in business was the objective, then you have a project failure, An audit will look at your objectives and the performance (or lack thereof) of the website. This results in an analysis of the faults and short comings and points to the areas to fix or add for improvement.

IS A SEO AUDIT MY SOLUTION ?

If you want higher levels of focussed traffic that results in more business enquiries, then "Yes". But remember that a SEO audit itself does not necessarily fix and repair a website, however it should identify the specific areas needing attention.

Many of these will be simple quick fixes which can be resolved immediately for better short term results. Others will require more complex analysis and repair. And there will always be suggestions which will require long term (and even on-going) work such as content creation, link building and social media and blogging activity.

It is important to be aware that that without a good SEO audit you will be going nowhere. It's a bit like a dental checkup - ignore it at your peril. SEO abandonment will always lead to SEO deterioration as the search engine criteria and algorithms are constantly evolving and changing. But at least any sunk cost in this area should return much more in compensating business benefits.

CAN YOU GET ME TO TOP PAGE 1 IN GOOGLE ?

The answer is "Yes and No". And that's because you will have different positions in the Google index for different keywords. So it depends on what keyword or long-tailed-keyword-phrase (LTKP) you are searching for. There is a full discussion on this topic in our resources section.

Here's how it works - and we'll use this site as an example:
At www.google.com search for "website hosting in south africa"
- Don't waste too much time checking the results, you'll get through 10 or more pages before maybe finding us. Not looking too good.

But now search on "boutique website hosting",
- And even without the "south africa" appended you will find us on page 1 in position 5 (after the paid-for ads. An excellent SERP (Search Engine Results Position).
And then search on "high support website hosting" and we will be on page 1 position 1. And that was not difficult to achieve.

The problem, however, is that very few people are searching on those exact phrases. Few websites are optimising for those phrases so it is easy to optimise for them and get page one, However too few people are looking for them so they would not generate a worthwhile stream of business enquiries. The competition for the golden phrase "website hosting" is too fierce, and smaller websites with lesser brand authority will lose out to the industry giants on the very competitive words. That's the reason for the "Yes and No" answer.

So, you may ask, what's the point of an SEO audit if you cannot improve my position for a particular keyword or LTKP.? Well, it's not rocket science but it takes people who understand SEO to take your website through particular steps.
  • Select keywords (often phrases) that have high searches but low competition.
  • Find pages that are relevant to those keywords and work them into the text in a SEO compliant way.
  • Expand the content of your website with relevant text to use those keywords on other pages.
  • Make sure your site has a minimum of technical on-page errors.
  • Follow the Google "best practice" guidelines for structure and content.
  • Optimise the off-page functions, especially regarding link building and promotion.
This is a very simplifed way of looking at things, but once you get this right you will find that visitors will be arriving via a multitude of pages and entry points, and if they like what they find they stay and move around the site. Eventually they make the conversion by contacting you. Cumulatively, you have achieved the traffic goal (or at least made a significant traffic increase) and over time your ranking for the critical golden keywords will also increase as your brand authority improves, time being a factor in that

WHAT ARE THE BASIC STEPS TO GET STARTED ?

  1. Select who is going to conduct the audit.
  2. Provide access to your benchmarking and monitoring services.
      - this may introduce a delay as visitor and SE activity is accumulated.
  3. Release the strategic and marketing data required to align the audit with objectives.
  4. Assist the SEOs with at least 10 major areas of input information.
  5. Receive the initial report for your own analysis and response.
  6. Reach consensus on the keyword strategies
  7. Receive the technical on-page report for response response.
  8. Attend to the quick fix suggestions.
  9. Receive the off-page report and content reports for analysis and action plans.
  10. Develop plans to action the medium term and long term suggestions.
  11. Put a monitoring system in place to measure progress against the SERPs and traffic benchmarks.

WHAT DELIVERABLES WOULD I RECEIVE ?

  • Design Impressions / Useability (similar to a website review)
        Look 'n Feel / Datedness / Navigation / Clarity of purpose
     
  • Historical and Current Traffic Level Graphs
        Range dependant on hosting data availability
          - Preferably 3 - 4 years of monthly data
     
  • Strategy Positions (essential for project guidelines)
        Website Strategy
          - General, web specific, SERP specific
        Target Demographics with USPs and importance ranking
        Keyword Strategies
     
  • Keyword Benchmarking with SERPS
        Google SERPs by keyword (& device & local/international)
        Competitor SERPs by keyword/LTK (the zero sum game)
     
  • General Benchmarking Metrics
        Bounce rates and Entry/Exit points
        Enquiry level generation (as perceived)
        Dwell and penetration statistics
        Traffic sources, by referrer, country and device
        Visitor demographics by age and gender
     
  • On-Page Technical Report
        Errors and Fixes
     
  • Off-Page Analysis
        Backlinks / SocMedia & Blogging
        Competitor analysis
     
  • Content Marketing Assessment
        Identify existing contributors wit backdoor analysis
        Benchmarking / Capacity and Ideas / Set targets  
Recommendations and corrections, where applicable, would be provided with each report.

WHAT COSTS COULD BE INCURRED ?

A basic audit of a medium sized non-ecommerce site could be completed for around R7 000+vat where the input information is comprehensive and complete. Extra costs may be incurred where strategy development and keyword research are required.

The quick fixes can often be implemented by the client or we can assist.

The medium and long-term suggestions would also be addressed by the client separately and when ready.


IF YOU WOULD LIKE FURTHER INFORMATION .....
Please complete our Contact Form, tick the checkbox for " Full Audit of my existing website" and provide the existing website URL..