For many online marketing companies that provide search engine optimization (SEO) services, an audit is the first step on the path to reaching a customer’s goals. For the most part, clients agree that a clear accounting of the site and its shortcomings is a smart first step in the process to increasing leads, sales or brand awareness. In other cases, we hear comments like, “we know the site isn’t perfect, let’s just start fixing it”, or “we did an audit in the past, we already know what the results will be”. We understand the desire to get moving quickly and not rehash work that was done in the past, but here is a reminder we give to clients every so often: sites have a lot of moving parts and so does the web.
What do we mean when we say, “sites have a lot of moving parts”? Fixing onsite issues or building organic keyword rankings can require lots of small tasks which end with a larger end result. It makes a world of difference to know which tasks will have the biggest impact before you get started. In the course of an SEO audit, we look at over 100 different factors which can affect the performance of a website the customer experience and even the overall look and feel of the site. Creating a careful accounting of which parts are following best practices and which aren’t goes a long way to informing the roadmap to success.
“The web has a lot of moving parts” sounds like an obvious statement, but that sentiment could also be stated this way: the internet is subject to trends. Just like our choices in clothing or music change over time, our collective taste in websites changes as well. What was acceptable five years ago wouldn’t pass muster today, and when it comes to websites, users follow their instincts. Not all users stop and think why a site is irritating them, but if a site is irritating enough, they’ll find another one.
So what does all of this have to do with SEO audits? There are many factors which affect overall site performance, organic keyword ranking and ultimately sales. If you haven’t had an audit done in a few years, or the last one wasn’t as thorough as it could have been, your SEO isn’t just trying to get extra billable time on the books…they’re trying to look at a complicated problem from as many angles as possible. Once the audit is complete, a seasoned SEO will provide you with: the results of the audit, a roadmap for fixing the issues found therein, and a concise path to reaching your goals, with budgets and timelines attached. When you stop and think about it, for 10 to 20 hours’ worth of work, it’s a pretty great value for the site owner.
If your site, your online strategy or the results you’re seeing aren’t up to snuff reach out to the team at Eastern Star Marketing, and we’d be happy to talk about your goals, and whether or not you need an audit.