The term technical SEO audit alone might be enough to make the average business owner or marketer pause. If you run across the term while looking for ways to improve the performance of your business website, the good news is that it might be exactly what you need.
There are literally thousands of websites in every niche and business segment with more launching each day. With so much global competition, how can you make your website stand out? How can you make it your most effective marketing tool?
What is technical SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s an ever-changing set of practices used to improve the quantity and quality of traffic that comes to your website from the search engines.
Experts who specialize in managing SEO for large companies track the latest algorithm changes from the top search engines like Bing, Google, and Yahoo. They then ensure the websites they optimize are in compliance with these search engines to improve their traffic and convert visits into conversions.
The technical aspect of SEO means you’re not looking directly at the content of the website. You’re looking at components of the site like its structure, navigation, design, and more.
Does your website need a technical SEO audit?
Maybe you realize your site isn’t pulling in a lot of traffic. How do you know when it’s time to conduct an SEO audit?
The following are ten indications that it might time to take a closer look at your SEO strategy.
- Your site isn’t optimized for mobile
Your website must be optimized for mobile. This means your site’s content flows easily between desktop and mobile devices for a fast, easy-to-use website experience for your audience.
In September 2020, mobile optimization became the default ranking criteria for Google on both desktop and mobile. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile? It will hurt your ranking.
Ensuring that your website meets all the guidelines for Google’s AMP to avoid penalties from Google that will reduce your traffic.
- Your organic traffic has dropped
Organic traffic is the traffic you gain from search engines. It’s free and not the result of a paid advertising campaign. Organic traffic should steadily grow over time. But if you’re keeping track using a great tool like Google Analytics and your traffic trends are going down instead of up, there’s a potential problem.
Has the competition moved past you? Study your competition with a tool like SEMrush. Study the keywords they’re using and their landing pages. Adjust your SEO to put you back in the game.
- Your organic traffic nosedived
If your analytics show a sharp drop in your traffic in a 24-hour period, you may have drawn a penalty from Google or another search engine. That’s why it’s a good idea to only use accepted and legitimate SEO practices. If you try to cheat, Google will usually catch up with you.
If you know you’ve used good practices, and have kept up with algorithm changes, take a closer look at your SEO.
- A low conversion rate
If you’re getting good traffic but visitors aren’t taking any action on your site, it might be time for an SEO audit. Maybe you’re targeting the wrong audience or your keywords have the wrong intent.
Study your keywords and analyze the words that are bringing people to your site. If those keywords aren’t what your audience would be entering into a search engine to find your products or services, it’s time to make some changes.
- Dropping keyword rankings
Using SEMRush and Google Search Console you can easily check your keyword rankings. If their rankings are gradually declining, that’s going to hurt your results.
It could be that the competition is publishing better content for the same keywords. It could be that your content is as good as theirs but they are optimizing that content better. Study their strategy and make changes.
- Your keywords aren’t the top keywords
Do you know the top keywords for your niche? Are you using them? It’s important to determine what those keywords are and use them. Aiming for the top of the best keywords will tell your audience that you’re an authority in your segment. It will also boost your traffic and visibility.
- Thin content
When it comes to content, frequent, original content of value is what you need. Google aims to provide its users with an excellent experience.
If you have a lot of short posts loaded with keywords but don’t really offer anything new or useful? They are not going to help you.
Study the content of your competition and then craft content that is ten times better. Longer pieces with video, infographics, and more will not only provide high-quality content for your users but will catch Google’s attention for a better ranking.
- Visitors don’t stay long
Google Analytics will tell you how long users are on your website per session. If they leave after only a few seconds, you have a problem. It could be that you’re targeting the wrong audience or that there’s another problem an SEO audit will reveal.
- A high bounce rate
A high bounce rate is a warning sign. This metric refers to the visitors who leave your site after only checking out one page.
If your bounce rate is high, it’s time to look at ways to keep visitors on your site. An audit will often provide a few solutions to solve this problem.
- Your ranking means more to you than your audience
While ranking for the search engines is important, it shouldn’t be your priority. Your content shouldn’t be written with Google and Bing in mind. It should be written for the people you want as customers.
If you create content visitors love, Google will probably like it too.
SEO is complex and constantly evolving. By learning a few key analytics and where to find the information you need, you can take your website to the next level and take on your competition.
If you’re not sure where to start, a thorough technical audit of your SEO is a great place to start. Not only will it reveal where your trouble spots are, but it will also give you the opportunity to learn how to grow your online audience and sales.