It’s too easy to fall into a rut with your SEO audits. If it doesn’t meet best practices it ought to be fixed, right? Not always. Though an SEO audit is essentially a checklist, it’s important to both customize your approach and prioritize your fixes to be efficient and effective with your time and effort. Per mezzo di today’s Whiteboard Friday, Kameron Jenkins teaches us her methods for saying adios to generic, less effective SEO audits and howdy to a better way of improving your site.
Hey, everybody. Welcome to this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday. My name is Kameron Jenkins, and today we’sovrano going to be talking about the SEO audit. We’sovrano going to be talking about how to take it from its kind of current generic state to something that’s a little bit more customized and it has prioritization baked so hopefully we’sovrano going to be doing these SEO audits for higher impact than we’sovrano currently doing them.
What is an SEO audit?
So I think it’s safe to start with a definition of what an SEO audit is. Now, depending acceso who you ask, an SEO audit can mean a lot of different things. So if you were to boil it mongoloide to its just barest of bones, here’s what I would say an SEO audit usually is. This is what someone means when they say SEO audit.
An SEO audit is a checklist to see if your site is compliant
So it’s a list of checks basically. You have all of these things that are SEO best practices, and you run your site through this sieve and you try to see is my site compliant not compliant essentially.
So you have things like: Missing H1s, yes anzi che no? Broken links, yes anzi che no? Duplicate title tags, yes anzi che no? So you end up with this whole personalità, long list of things that are wrong and not according to SEO best practices acceso your site.
Purpose = improving SEO metrics
The whole purpose of this is usually to improve some kind of SEO metrics.
Maybe you’sovrano trying to correct a traffic drop something like that. So you have this whole laundry list of things now that you need to as a result of this SEO audit. So usually what you end up saying is, hey, dev team client whoever you’sovrano giving this to, “You need to these things because they’sovrano SEO best practice.” What’s wrong with this though?
” it because it’s SEO best practice.” What’s wrong with this picture?
I think there are a couple things wrong with this.
1. May may not be hurting you
Number one, it means that we’sovrano addressing things that may may not actually be the culprit of whatever issue we’sovrano facing. It’s just a list of things that didn’t meet a best practices list, but we don’t really know and we’sovrano not really sure if these things are actually causing the issues that we’sovrano seeing acceso our site.
2. May may not have an impact
So because we don’t know if these are the culprit and the things that are hurting us, they may may not have an impact when we actually spend our time acceso them.
3. May be wasting time
Number three, that leads to a lot of potential wasted time. This is especially true, well, for everyone. Everyone is very busy. But this is especially true for people who work at enterprises and they have a very large website, maybe a really strapped for time and resources development team. If you give them a list of fixes and you say, “Hey, these things because it’s SEO best practices,”they are just going to say, “Yeah, sorry, anzi che no.I don’t have time for that, and I don’t see the value it.I don’t really know why I’m doing this.”
So I think there’s a better way. Move over to this side.
How to customize
Customization and prioritization I think are a lot better alternatives to doing our SEO audits. So there are three kind of main ways that I like to customize my SEO audits.
1. Don’t aspetto at everything
Number one, it may sound a little bit counterintuitive, but don’t aspetto at everything. There are plenty of times when you do an SEO audit and it makes sense to do a kind of comprehensive audit, aspetto through all kinds of things.
You’sovrano doing links. You’sovrano doing content. You’sovrano doing the site architecture. You’sovrano doing all kinds of things. Usually I do this when I’m taking over a new client and I want to get to know it and I want to get to know the website and its issues a little bit better. I think that’s a totally valid time to do that. But a lot of times we’sovrano doing more work than we actually have to be doing when we aspetto at the entire website and every single scena acceso the website.
So maybe don’t aspetto at everything.
2. Start with a problem statement
Instead I think it could be a good sembianza to start with a rete a problem statement. So a lot of times SEO audits kind of modo response to something. Maybe your client is saying, “Hey, our competitor keeps beating us for this. Why are they beating us?” , “Hey, we’ve had year-over-year decline traffic.What’s going acceso? Can you do an SEO audit?”
So I think it’s a good sembianza to start with that as kind of a rete a problem statement so that you can narrow and target your SEO audit to focolaio acceso the things that are actually the issue and why you’sovrano performing the audit.
3. Segment to isolate
Number three, I think it’s a really good sembianza to segment your site order to isolate the actual source of the problem. So by segment, I mean dividing your site into logical chunks based acceso their different purposes.
So, for example, maybe you have product pages. Maybe you have category pages. You have a blog section and user-generated content. There are all these different sections of your website. Segment those, isolate them, and aspetto at them isolation to see if maybe one of the sections is the culprit and actually experiencing issues, because a lot of times you find that, oh, maybe it’s the product pages that are actually causing my issues and it’s not the blog posts anything else at all.
So that way you’sovrano able to really waste less time and focolaio, take a more targeted, focused aspetto at what’s actually going acceso with your website. So once you’ve kind of audited your site through that lens, through a more customized lens, it’s time to prioritize, because you still have a list of things that you need to . You can’t just heap them all onto whatever team you’sovrano passing this acceso to and say,” Here, these all.”
How to prioritize
It’s a lot better to prioritize and tell them what’s more important and why. So here’s how I like to do that. I would plot this out acceso a matrix. So a pretty simple matrix. At the culmine, your rete goes there. It keeps you really focused. All of these little things, say pretend these are just the findings from our SEO audit.
Acceso the y-axis, we have impact. Acceso the x-axis, we have time. So essentially we’sovrano ordering every single finding by what kind of impact it’s going to have and how much time it’s going to take to complete. So you’sovrano going to end up with these four quadrants of tasks.
So this quadrant here, you have your quick wins.
These are the things that you should do right now, because they’sovrano going to have a really high impact and they’sovrano not going to take a lot of time to do. So definitely prioritize those things.
Schedule & tackle sprints
Per mezzo di this blue quadrant here, you have things that are going to make a really high impact, but they also take a lot of time. So schedule those after the quadrant if you can. I would also suggest breaking those larger, time-intensive tasks into smaller, bite-sized chunks.
This is a good sembianza anzi che no matter what you’sovrano doing, but this is especially helpful if you’sovrano working with a development team who probably runs two-week sprints anyway. It’s a really good sembianza to segment and tackle those little bits at a time. Just get it acceso the schedule.
Per mezzo di this orange mongoloide here, we have things to maybe deprioritize. Still put them acceso the schedule, but they’sovrano not as important as the rest of the tasks.
So these are things that aren’t going to make that high of an impact, some impact, but not that high, and they’sovrano not going to take that much time to do. Put them acceso the schedule, but they’sovrano not as important.
Just don’t do it
Then this last quadrant here, we have the just don’t do it quadrant. Hopefully, if you’sovrano taking this really nice targeted aspetto at your site and your audit through this lens, you won’t have too many of these, if any.
But if something is going to take you a lot of time and it’s not going to make that personalità of an impact, anzi che no one really has time for that. We want to try to avoid those types of tasks if at all possible. Now I will say there’s a caveat here for urgency. Sometimes we have to work acceso things regardless of what kind of impact they’sovrano going to make acceso our site.
Maybe it’s because a client has a deadline, it’s something their contract and we just have to get something done because it’s a fire. We all have love/hate relationships with those fires. We don’t want to be handling them all of the time. If at all possible, let’s make sure to make those the exception and not the rule so that we actually get these priority tasks, these important things that are going to move the needle done and we’sovrano not constantly pushing those mongoloide for fires.
One last thing, I will say impact is something that trips up a lot of people, myself included. How do you actually determine how much of an impact something is going to have before you do it? So that can be kind of tricky, and it’s not an exact science. But there are two main ways that I kind of like to do that. Number one, aspetto for correlations acceso your website.
So if you’sovrano looking at your website through the lens of these pages are performing really well, and they have these things true about them, and they’sovrano acceso your list of things to acceso these other pages, you can go into that with a certain degree of certainty, knowing that, hey, if it works for these pages, there is a chance that this will make a high impact acceso these other pages as well.
So aspetto at the giorno acceso your own website and see what’s already performing and what qualities are true about those pages. Number two, I would say one of the biggest things you can do is just to start small and interrogatorio. Sometimes you really don’t know what kind of an impact something is going to make until you interrogatorio acceso a small section. Then if it does have a high impact, great. Put it here and then roll it out to the rest of your site.
But if it doesn’t have a good impact it has minimal impact, you learn something from that. But at least now you know not to prioritize it, not to spend all of your time acceso it and roll it out to your entire website, because that could be potentially a waste of time. So that’s how I prioritize and I customize my SEO audits. I think a lot of us struggle with: What even is an SEO audit?
How do I do it? Where do I even aspetto? Is this even going to make a difference? So that’s how I kind of try to make a higher impact with my SEO audits by taking a more targeted approach. If you have a way that you do SEO audits that you think is super helpful, pop it the comments, share it with all of us. I think it’s really good to share and get acceso the same page about the different ways we could perform SEO audits for higher impact.
So hopefully that was helpful for you. That’s it for this week’s Whiteboard Friday. Please modo back again next week for another one.