Getting a website for your business is a great way to increase your online visibility and generate new leads. For many businesses, having a new website built is a significant undertaking; once it has been launched it is tempting to consider your online presence as complete. However, in reality it is only the beginning. In order to increase your online visibility through new website traffic and then generate valuable business leads, it is necessary to invest in search engine optimisation (SEO). Before you invest in SEO, it is important that you are informed about the current state of your website. In this article, we explain why we think you should get a website SEO audit before you embark on an SEO journey.
Why An SEO Audit Is Useful
1) Confirms The Health Of Your Website
You may think that you have a good idea what the SEO health of your website is, after all it is your website. In many cases this belief is often unfounded, with websites becoming ever more complex it is rarely easy to gain an objective view of your SEO health. Checking each and every page of your website is a time consuming and wasteful exercise when you have a business to run. Relying on a past audit or a gut feeling is just as dangerous, the SEO landscape is constantly evolving, what worked previously may not be effective now.
A good quality SEO audit will be able to grade your website based upon its compliance with established and widely accepted search engine best practice. This grade/score is a strong indicator of your website’s current state, you can use this information to inform the activities and priorities of your optimisation efforts.
2) Uncovers SEO Issues That Are Impacting Your Rankings
In many cases, business owners do not even realise that their websites are being affected by an SEO issue. Some SEO issues are far from obvious, they exist in the background of a website from several years; during this time they can have a sustained negative impact on your search engine rankings.
Issues such as broken links are often missed. They will take your website visitors and potential customers to a page that no longer exists, this will trigger an error page in their browser, while also disrupting their user experience. Unfortunately, this often culminates in them leaving your website – resulting in you losing a potential customer right at the moment when they may be willing to buy your product or service.
Your website may also have a more significant SEO issue such as not using canonical URLs. In this case, from a search engine perspective they may deem your content to exist at multiple URLs. For example – http://vipit.com and http://www.vipit.com. Not integrating canonical URLs is a common cause of duplicate content issues, which can have a significant impact on your search engine rankings. Alongside this, it can confuse search engines when they evaluate your link authority and non canonical URLs present a great challenge in terms of URL tracking.
By uncovering these SEO issues, you can resolve them and improve the overall health of your website. Websites with a stronger health are much more likely to attain higher search engine rankings.
3) Suggests Steps For Website Optimisation
As well as uncovering SEO issues, a good SEO audit will suggest steps that you can take to optimise your website for search engine success. It is highly likely that there will be changes that you can make to your website to increase its search visibility. Typical optimisation steps may include adding appropriate headings (H1, H2, H3 and H4 tags), adding Alt tags (to indicate the content of your websites images) and improving the website meta data (principally the meta description and the title tag).
If the suggested steps are supported by evidence from the audit they are likely to have a significant impact on your search engine rankings. You may even find that the audit findings are supported by other data sources such as your Google Analytics data. In this case, you can be even more confident of its likely impact.
4) Provide A Benchmark To Measure Future Progress
Understanding the SEO health of your website is incredibly useful from a measurement perspective. The health of your website at the time of the audit is an effective benchmark that can be used to measure the impact and progress of any SEO work. It is particularly useful in terms of technical SEO, which is closely linked to the findings of an audit.
Good SEO agencies will relish the challenge of improving the health of a website, while also welcoming the transparency and progress measurement that the audit benchmark provides to a client. At VIP IT, we very much welcome and encourage the use of an SEO audit to measure the progress of our campaigns. We are incredibly passionate about our open and honest approach to SEO and the accountability that this brings to the optimisation process.
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Uncover the SEO issues on your website by requesting a free SEO audit from our digital marketing experts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Liam Saunders MSc (Dist) BA (Hons) PRINCE2 AgilePM AdWords Cert. ([email protected]) is the Managing Director of VIP IT, a company that specialises in helping businesses grow online through great website design and digital marketing. He has extensive digital marketing expertise, his main areas of expertise include: Website Design, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising, Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing. As a Google AdWords certified PPC professional with a Project Management and Business Background he is qualified to help you grow your businesses online.