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How to Perform an SEO Audit in 2024: Your Complete Guide

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an extremely valuable strategy that enables you to enjoy continuous traffic, leads, and conversions. But to keep enjoying these benefits, you’ll need to optimize and improve your strategy over time.

That’s where an SEO audit comes in. Auditing your SEO strategy helps you gather deep insights into your strategy so you can identify areas to improve so you can drive better results.

Keep reading to learn how to perform an SEO audit with our complete guide!

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What is an SEO audit?

An SEO audit is an analysis of your website’s ability to rank in search engines. It can take many forms, ranging in complexity, depth, and focus.

The SEO audit framework

Now that you know the answer to the question, “what is an SEO audit,” let’s dive into how you can approach your audit.

Just as there are varying types of SEO audits, there are many ways to approach the audit process. In general, you’ll want to:

  • Clarify your goal: What do you want to learn from your audit? Hint: see the next section!
  • Define the scope of your work: Will you be looking at all three areas of SEO (technical, on-page, and off-page) or just focusing on one?
  • Gather supplies to record your data and takeaways: Prepare to dig into the data!

What can you expect to learn from an SEO Audit?

Sometimes SEO audits are done reactively, after noticing a dip in performance. In those cases, you might expect to wrap up your audit with the discovery of what went wrong to cause the unwanted results.

With this SEO audit objective, you’ll mainly look for hints as to what could have caused a specific outcome, so you will want to dig deeply into promising areas while skimming over other elements of SEO that wouldn’t have an impact on your problem or focus.

While you may not wrap up your audit with definitive data about what led to your concerning results, a mark of a satisfactory audit will be that you have greater clarity about potential causes and some actionable ideas about how to move forward.

In other cases, you may simply be auditing your site as a preventative measure to catch any potential issues as your site evolves. When you take a proactive approach, you may decide to search for opportunities as well as potential errors in your SEO foundation.

If tackling an SEO audit from this angle, you should be able to wrap up your audit with a better understanding of your current status in your SEO focus categories as well as some opportunities to improve in general.

A proactive or maintenance SEO audit will likely require you to briefly explore many different areas of SEO but not dig in as deeply as you would if you were searching for a solution to a specific issue.

How to perform an SEO audit

Wondering how to perform an SEO audit? We’ve got you covered.

It’s no secret that audits can take a long time to complete – and may require exploring subsets of SEO that can be confusing. But you don’t have to perform a comprehensive, 100-point audit each time.

Here’s how to do an SEO audit for various aspects of your SEO strategy:

High-level technical & ranking audit: Monthly

Time Commitment: 10-30 minutes

This type of audit is meant as a pulse-check. You likely won’t be digging into the details of every metric unless you notice an abnormal shift or a consistent trend in the wrong direction.

screaming frog seo audit

What this audit entails

  1. Scheduling a crawl of your site through Screaming Frog or another tool such as SEMrush’s site audit to look for major changes in your baseline technical standing.
  2. Setting up keyword tracking for your core terms and reviewing your rankings on a monthly basis to identify any fluctuations outside the normal range.

Expected audit results

A better understanding of your SEO baseline and any trends that ought to be investigated further.

Themed in-depth audit: Quarterly

Time Commitment: 2+ hours

This self-focused analysis will give you the opportunity to check in on your overall optimization standing, and do so in more

What this audit entails

  1. Notating findings about your status in all areas of SEO (on-page, off-page, and technical).
  2. Focusing on quality over quantity when prioritizing fixes or opportunities to improve. For example, fixing indexing errors for 3 important pages will likely have a greater impact than adding keyword-rich alt text to 30 images.

Expected audit results

A prioritized list of opportunities to address issues or improve your site based on your existing SEO standing.

Competitor audit: Quarterly

Time Commitment: 2+ hours

Your SEO audits shouldn’t only be limited to your own site or focused on identifying issues. You should also use your auditing skills to see where competitors are succeeding or struggling — and then use that intelligence to your advantage!

What this audit entails

  1. Honing in on one area of SEO and gathering insights from multiple competitors or choosing to do a full-range SEO deep-dive for one single competitor.
  2. Choosing competitors not only based on real-world business competition, but also based on search engine result page (SERP) competition.
  3. Focusing on ways that your competitors have an advantage over you so you can replicate or react in a way that makes sense for your business. While it can be helpful to notice where your business is beating the competition, if your goal is to improve your strategy, you won’t want to spend all your time just patting yourself on the back.

Expected audit results

A prioritized list of opportunities based on strategies competitors use to gain an advantage in terms of your chosen SEO focus.

I’ve done my SEO audit and gathered my ideas, but how do I decide what to prioritize?

Now that you know how to do an SEO audit, you might be wondering which optimizations you should prioritize.

Ask yourself:

  • Is this element or improvement something that Google has confirmed as having an impact on rankings? If the answer is yes, then it should be a higher priority.
  • Is this element or improvement something that is closely tied to my site’s main objectives? If the answer is yes, then it should be a higher priority.
  • Is this element or improvement something that would have a noticeable impact on experience from the perspective of my target audience? If the answer is yes, then it should be a higher priority.

Other SEO audit considerations

Don’t wait to audit your site until there are problems.

SEO isn’t a channel like paid advertising that can be turned on and off. If there are problems with your site, their impact will compound over time. It’s best to get into a habit of proactive monitoring in the hopes that you can avoid shocking dips in SEO performance as a result.

What makes a good SEO audit?

What makes a good SEO Audit? Every single audit is going to look different. Day to day the Google SERPs change, your competitors react to your actions, and searchers phrase in and out of your target audience. If

But effective SEO audits share some similar characteristics. They are:

Data-driven

No, the data isn’t going to answer every single one of your questions in a clear fashion and unlock all the secrets you need for business domination. Yes, you’ll have to draw conclusions from the data that may or may not end up being accurate.

But as you extrapolate from the data, it’s important to keep your conclusions rooted in the numbers.

Actionable

An audit is by nature descriptive – in other words, it describes the subject of analysis — rather than prescriptive. However, an audit should not end with a simple statement of facts if you hope to get real value out of the time spent on the analysis.

In order to move from the state described in your audit to a future state where performance is better, you’ll need to outline some ideas to spark change.

Informed by priority

With your site existing in the continually-evolving ecosystem of the internet, you will never reach the end of opportunities to fix, improve, or add to your SEO foundation. But not all opportunities are equal, and your audit focus/takeaways should reflect that.

These are real SEO results driven for a WebFX client.

You’re next.

Learn More About SEO Services arrow right
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260%

increase in organic revenue
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198%

increase in organic transactions
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150%

increase in organic traffic
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3872%

increase in sessions from SEO

Get a professional SEO audit from WebFX

Performing an SEO audit is no easy feat. If you’re struggling to find knowledgeable team members that can conduct your audit or simply don’t have enough time to continuously audit your website, WebFX can help.

WebFX is an award-winning SEO agency with a team of over 500 SEO and digital marketing specialists helping businesses like yours expertly audit their websites for optimal SEO performance.

As a Google Premier Partner with over FIVE specializations and a team with more than 3 million of combined SEO experience, we’re confident we can help your business discover areas where you can improve your SEO performance and help you successfully implement those optimizations for higher rankings in the SERPs.

Get your professional SEO audit by calling us 888-601-5359 or by contacting us online! We can’t wait to help your business grow!

Try our free SEO Checker

Boost your site’s search performance with our free SEO Checker. Analyze your website for optimization tips on titles, headers, content, speed, and more. Get a free report now to enhance rankings on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and beyond!

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