As you consider your business plans and set goals and targets for the new year, you may realize that to grow your business, marketing must be close to 50% of your business plans. Of the marketing tools available to help improve your business’ awareness and to increase revenues, your website is the hub where your customer traffic is driven. One of the most important elements for your website is the search engine settings. They were likely done when your website was designed. However, in the ever-changing web world, advances and search engine rules change on a regular basis. Things as simple as your keywords and how people search are not the same as last year or even a few months ago. Therefore, expert services such as SEO audits are a valuable and necessary asset to review your existing settings, stay current and improve your business website search returns.
What is an SEO audit
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Audits address many key areas of your website affecting your customer's or client’s searches and your ranking with Google. It includes software analytics, expert keyword research and appropriate setting changes. You will have a final results report so that you can see the immediate impact.
Why do I need one?
This exercise needs to be done at least annually if not more often as your customers' keywords search is always changing on a regular basis. Google algorithm and search criteria are consistently evolving. The initial settings made on your website are most likely outdated and not as effective as they once were. The return on your investment is to effectively reach your target audience. With an SEO audit you’ve just hit that goal or target you set.
What's the cost?
It's better to ask, “What is the required investment?” SEO audits should be viewed as a return on your investment. Consider: What's the cost of not doing anything as the business loss is far greater. Essentially the cost of an SEO audit that includes required edits and changes, is a small price to pay for even just one new client acquisition. Pricing varies depending on the scope of work required and the size of your business.
What has to be done?
Overall, it's a relatively minor project over a few days. Without getting too deep into SEO jargon, here are some key areas and improvements that are recommended.
Run reports for website analysis
Review insights for traffic, behavior, locations
Benchmark against your industry
Website and mobile page speed simulation test
Provide uptime and security reports
Keyword review, competitiveness and edits
Revise and update on-page settings
Revise any required URL redirects
Edit internal linking, site structure and image settings
Update Google sites maps and business profile
What should your expectations be?
Once an SEO audit has been completed, you should be aware the results are not going to be immediate. Keep in mind that an SEO audit is certainly an important marketing tool as it provides your business or service by meeting your marketing goals and targets with a long term solution. For example, some things like keywords, Google business profiles and redirects show a more immediate effect. Google spiders that crawl your website for changes, can take a week or so before your changes are seen. Like any marketing, organic SEO and social posting, should be complemented with direct email campaigns to your customers, clients or patients along with Facebook display ads for awareness or Google search ads for leads.
All marketing should start with a strategic plan and even individual plans for each marketing channel or tool. Consider an SEO audit this year.