Setting up a website without an SEO audit is like building a ship without a rudder.
An SEO audit is a somewhat standardized process which should be undertaken not only at the beginning of your startup, but at regular intervals to ensure your website has the pulling power you desire.
Startups need the edge and if you want to be ahead of your game, you should be doing an SEO audit of your website to make sure your site is in top shape when you’re spreading the world of your startup and trying to drum up business or investors.
An SEO audit should provide you insights into how your website performs against a range of key measures including:
- On page SEO analysis
- Off page SEO analysis
- Keyword search and rankings
- Top priority keywords
As well as these insights you should also get a better understanding of the following areas:
• Keyword rankings
• Meta data
• Content analysis – including keyword use throughout each page
• Social analysis – are SEO and social media speaking with one another
• URL structure – do the URLs contain relevant keywords
• Code errors
• Mobile friendliness
• Link audit
While all of these elements may be a walk in the park to understand if you’re a website developer or tech-savvy, however for the rest of us the world of SEO audits is one big, fat question mark.
In this article, we outline how to decipher an SEO audit focusing on the info you need to know to grow a successful startup.
Do I Even Need to Get an SEO Audit?
The simple answer is, yes.
An SEO audit will show you how well your website performs against a range of criteria. A fully functioning website compliments SEO, Google Adwords and allows web activity of your site to be more effective and efficient – bringing in more dollars to your business.
If you’re a startup business, it’s the information you NEED to know so you can tweak and update your site to make it a shiny success.
If your search engine rankings are dropping or traffic is stalling, or you’re keen to improve the overall ranking of your website on search results, you’ll want to arrange an SEO web audit stat.
Who Does These Website Audits?
Freelance web developers and SEO audit specialists can undertake SEO audits for you on your behalf, while you can do these yourself it’s best for your business to bring in the big guns and get an expert.
These online SEO experts provide cost effective reviews that provide you with an all-inclusive program to ensure you are on the right path, and let’s be honest when you’re a startup you need all the help you can get in the early stages.
You may have the best IT department in the world, but if they created the page and its content, will they always be objective?
Third party freelance SEO auditors provide a simple solution that is objective and critical for your business success.
Tapping into a bank of freelance SEO auditors and web developers is an important way to gain access to insights that are balanced and from an outsider’s perspective.
How do I Decipher The Info?
You’ve got your report but it may as well be in another language, how the heck do you figure out what it all means?
When you receive your website audit, there should be several key areas that you should be keeping a close eye on.
A standard SEO audit might include the following headings:
ON PAGE SEO ANALYSIS
This section of the audit analyzes the on-page SEO aspects of your website while providing recommendations on how to improve these aspects to better help your rankings.
The audit should be able to provide you with a quantifiable ranking of your page, and the number of issues identified that potentially are hampering your growth.
In simple terms this part of the analysis looks at the bare bones of your website and drills down to explore your HTML (including titles, descriptions, headings and meta descriptions and title tags), the system in general (such as the page load time, URLs and indexing) and CSS (including the layout and tags).
These could include:
o Visibility issues
o Meta issues
o Content issues
o Internal link issues
o Mobile friendliness
o External links
o Text formatting
o Image issues
o Semantic issues
OFF PAGE SEO ANALYSIS
This section of the audit reviews the links that your website has as well as how many pages are indexed in the various search engines, it’s the outer realms of your website and where else in cyberspace your site and ranking may or may not be kicking goals.
Off page SEO in a nutshell, is all of the activities that you undertake away from your site to raise the ranking of the page in search engines. Simple.
Off-page SEO activities could include content, blogs, videos, articles, bookmarking and social networking activities.
In a good SEO audit, you should receive a quantifiable ranking so you can benchmark your performance against past or future SEO audits to ensure that your business is continuously improving.
KEYWORD SEARCH & RANKINGS
These sections often show the keyword searches that people use for your business.
For example, if you are a landscaper based in Boston, keyword searches will provide an insight into what potential customers are punching into Google to try and find suitable landscapers in the local area. Whether it might be keywords like ‘Boston’, ‘landscaping’, ‘planting’ - you get the picture.
This part of the report will outline the amount of competition there is in the segment, the number of searches and Google ranking for each grouping of keywords. When you know what people are searching it will give you a better idea of what to use throughout your website and also for Adwords if you’re looking at spending on this down the track.
TOP PRIORITY KEYWORDS
This section of the report will outline the key terms and search words that relate to the content on your website.
Content really is king and this is where you’ll figure out if your content needs a tune up.
Based on this, you can review the potential for a professional freelance content writer to increase these SEO terms into your website and/or review the opportunity for paid SEO activities around the higher ranked items.
FINAL REMARKS AND TECHNICAL ADVICE
Most good freelance SEO auditors worth their weight in gold will provide a summary and action plan to increase the SEO for your site. This may include the inclusion of rich content – such as embedded videos – or blogs, that regularly update the server.
NEXT STEPS FOR GETTING AN SEO AUDIT FOR A STARTUP
While there is a lot to think about when you are creating a startup, it’s vital that you set your key customer contact points including your website quickly and efficiently with good SEO to make sure you maximize your presence online and stand out from the rest.
While it might be annoying to shell out for the cost of a website and an audit, in the long run, your investment will be paid back ten times over.
You don’t want any reason for your potential customers to miss you, so the key points to maximize SEO are:
Hire a professional web developer to create your site
Get an expert content writer to take your content and make it SEO compliant and sales orientated
Have a graphic designer enhance images and help develop rich content
Employ an external SEO audit completed
Take it all in and re-hire the relevant people to assist in reducing the errors and maximizing the outcome for your business.
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