SEO audit: debunking myths, answering basic questions
There was a prejudice to SEO audits. For some reason, they are represented as serious, sullen specialists with fabulous fees. Many agencies offer their services in SEO-audit, but what to do with the results obtained further is not clear. We will try to understand all the important issues that have long been haunted.
The cost of such a procedure is equivalent to the cost of a monthly search engine promotion campaign. At the end, a large document is issued to the customer, which programmers do not particularly favor.
This material will help to understand what the SEO audit is all the same and why it is carried out everywhere.
When SEO audit helps
“This site will become popular, then we turn to SEO”
We do not agree with this approach. Even if your plans do not include taking the TOP seats in the near future, you should start the audit right now.
The Google search system needs a certain time, in order to recognize the semantic load of the site, to study and determine a good place in the issue. When the time comes to be the first among the competitors for the leading position, it will be made much easier and with the lowest financial costs.
“We use Google AdWords for advertising, and SEO is not necessary”
A small remark. Advertisements in Google AdWords fall under the “page relevance”. The cost of advertising directly depends on this – for non-relevant pages, Google service is more expensive. Experts do not explain the algorithm for determining “relevance”. As practice shows, this is a whole system, which includes the quality of filling the resource, download speed, and so on.
The first part of the audit is the analysis of the relevance of the resource and further guidance on optimizing the basic data. Unfortunately, if the page is not relevant, it will not work in the TOP. According to customers, after verification, pay per click decreased.
“The site is still“ raw ”needs some work” or “On the site, the failure rate is above the norm, therefore, we leave it as it is”.
The audit finds the reasons for which visitors leave the site. These include “broken” links, pages and buttons that do not work, inconsistency of filling with the name. In particular, the site is being tested for the quality of the mobile version – this also applies to search optimization.
“We will focus only on branded requests, because there is no competition, the resource will get there independently”
It is necessary to clarify that branded requests are the name of a company or organization. Some mistakenly believe that the resource itself will be able to stand in the TOP for branded requests. Unfortunately, everything is not easy.
Difficulties arise in terms of etymology. Sometimes a brand can relate to a completely different field and subject matter. For example, the tutorial company “Buki” will not be in the first place in the issuance of Google – there is located the Kiev park “Buki” with similar green trees and its own website.
The well-known Ukrainian online store “Rozetka” has the same problems. Main competitors: an electric high-voltage connector for powering electrical appliances, inflorescences, the sound of a word in a foreign language. To date, they have fallen to the second position of the issue.
In the event that the name still overlaps with the word of general usage, the audit specialist revises the indexation of the site and its subsequent fate on Google regarding branded queries.
“And what about the security of my site? Can a third party hack it or assign it? ”
An important part of SEO auditing is security auditing. There are several items of analysis:
- the owner of the domain name;
- lack of domain in filtering search engines;
- lack of IP-address of the resource in the databases of viruses: phishing, spam, etc.;
- Whether elements of black SEO were implemented when competitors hack into a site and post links to their resources. At the same time, the owner does not even know about hacking;
- reliability and security of access to the admin. Some clients use a password from 1 to 5. No need to do that;
- whether other resources are located on the subdomains of the main site;
- There are cases when dishonest developers sew in the code links to their resources or advertising sites. This is also subject to verification;
- other criteria.
Any violation of the above points is a tasty morsel for competitors and intruders.
“I don’t know what exactly the site is for”
Sometimes audits perform the function of an advisor: they help to figure out which way to develop and grow, with an additional blog, text content.
“An internet marketer is already working in our state. That’s enough for an SEO site. ”
Today, SEO is a fundamental part of marketing. Such a job is not always done by a single marketer. He has many responsibilities on his shoulders: maintaining social networks, filling the main site, advertising on AdWord, sending by e-mail, optimizing and tracking the latest SEO news.
The presence of a regular SEO does not guarantee the quality performance of all volumes. Most likely, somewhere there will be mistakes or insufficient elaboration. In such a situation, an audit can designate sections that need to be paid close attention to a specialist.
In what situations SEO audit is superfluous
If you have not yet decided on the need for an audit, consider a few situations in which this procedure is not needed at all.
Seasonality of the site
This includes targeted resources created on a specific date, event, or event. This may be a site for New Year’s order of Santa Claus and Snow Maiden, promotional sites with a promotion from a major brand. In addition, we are confident that resources for an ICO project do not need revision.
For a couple of months of life, with the resource there will be no serious problems. For the same period, he is not threatened with a high position in extradition, and when he nevertheless reaches the first place, the term of the action will come to an end.
If the resource is not intended to be searched and displayed on Google, there is no point in spending extra money on audits.
There are small companies that operate in the b2b market. Their users become reviews from other customers. The site is created as a portfolio or business card with contact information.
Some create a website as a resume or additional platform to showcase their work. The link is given only to interested people for review.
Not enough funding
Unfortunately, this is a common reason. After a professional audit, it is necessary to correct all the shortcomings: structure, content. These are additional expenses for the programmer.
If your budget does not have the resources to carry out comprehensive measures, give up the idea of an audit.
The most common misconceptions about SEO audits
The specifics of the work implies an individual approach to such works. Each audit has its own tools and practices of conducting audits. They may vary by site and problems. Any organization that does this kind of work does it in its own way. There are basic misconceptions that apply to all professionals without exception.
Consider each of them in detail.
Audit without “kind and tribe”
For each country there are certain rules of the search engines. From here there are other rules for the work of sites and their audit.
Undoubtedly, Google occupies a dominant place in the world, but at the same time there are other search engines that use different algorithms. This is where the main difference in the geopolitical principle of specialists arises. This is especially important to consider when servicing Asia.
For example, for the Korean market, the audit is sharpened for the Naver service, for Japan – Yahoo Japan, Russia – Yandex. As you can see, there is a difference.
It does not always work to take the first line of Google, you can always find yourself on the third in Yandex.
The developers of popular search engines push their rules to resources. Yes, there are standard provisions, but to occupy the top niche you need to adjust to the system as accurately as possible.
An important stage of the audit is to determine the focus on a specific country.
“A couple of days are enough to check”
“And what can you do there for so long with one site? Added a resource to some services, sent the result to a template, ready. Nothing complicated. It’s all fiction. ”
High-quality detailed audit – long and hard.
The term of one inspection can reach two weeks, and if the resource is large – up to a month.
First of all, a specialist analyzes and collects data using tools. This procedure takes up to 72 hours. After that, recommendations are prepared for further work. No two sites are the same, even if they are similar in appearance. These are completely unique resources. Even with many templates, experts make mistakes. From this and follows an individual approach to audits.
Be sure that a one-day audit is a poor-quality procedure and wasted money is wasted.
“One audit is enough for all occasions”
Another common misconception. In the modern world nothing stands still. New programs are systematically developed, algorithms are changing, websites are being equipped with new sections. This is where new errors arise. And competitors are not asleep. It is recommended to work with SEO every six months. The optimal period of time is to analyze the profile once every 12 months, compare the results, find errors. Let it be not a global audit, but a quick superficial audit. If you do not do this regularly, it is very easy to lose ground.
“Even a newbie will cope with an audit, just need to pick the necessary tools”
Oh, if it were possible! No that’s not true. In the arsenal of one audit up to 30 tools. They are paid and free. Some sites generally need to work in a certain way, because not all tools are suitable. Such situations arise with sites written in scripts.
It is impossible to achieve 100% correct results using one tool. Only a set of measures allows you to fully appreciate the whole picture of what is happening, using individual algorithms and your database.
Modern technology is great, but man is a reasonable creature. There are situations when there are no problems with certain tools on the site, and the search bot cannot read it. In such a situation, the toolkit does not always mean a causal relationship.
Another reason for the nervous state of all SEO-Schnick – Google tools. In general, they have one holistic base for an unequivocal result. But if you compare, for example, the word planner from Google and “Google Trends” – the result will be different. Data on clicks on the site from the issue is also different. The most unloved is the function of checking the optimization of download speed. This tool does not take into account the specificity of sites, and self-written very poorly processed. There were situations when, following his advice, the assessment fell even more and took twice as long to load the page.
It is because of this that an individual instrument is selected.
A seoshnik is needed to add a new section to the site, when moving to a new address, in organizing a new subdomain, and so on. Of course, the audit assesses the whole situation in general, but with the release of Google’s new tools, systematic adaptation is necessary.
The latest innovation is the updated Google Mobile First Index algorithm. Released – July 2018. If your site is not imprisoned for a smartphone, the road is closed in the top mobile phone. Pay special attention to this area.
“After testing, all indicators will immediately grow”
The first fruits of the audit are visible after 3-6 months. Fine positive dynamics can be observed immediately. Even the search engine itself needs a peculiar restructuring and definition of a new object. On this, Google spends about 3 months.
“Programmers can 100% implement the verification work on the site”
Moments when this is possible – units. Requirements for the sites are the same, but there are a lot of options for their implementation.
The most difficult in work – sample sites. They have limited specialist capabilities. It’s good if the existing template turned out to be SEO friendly, but if it’s not, then it’s necessary to edit the template codes.
The next place in complexity is occupied by samopinny sites. Sometimes petty work can take more time than serious technical activities. Pay attention to the payment programmer. In case it is hourly, the costs will be equal to a full-fledged SEO audit. In this case, it is necessary to revise the recommendations and adapt them for further implementation.
Landing pages don’t need SEO auditing.
Not true. These are the same sites, only significantly simplified. They also want to get into the first line of the search engine. In this case, the audit will help to understand the chances of getting to the top. Basically, landing pages go under branded requests, but an important role is played by a niche.
“After SEO audit, the site itself will flourish”
The implementation of recommendations is not only the programmer’s time, but also the person who writes the new content. Sometimes it requires generally to create a separate blog and systematically fill it.
The audit is the tip of the iceberg, followed by a colossal job.
“SEO audit useless work for search engine promotion”
This is the final misconception and summary of the entire article. To begin with, an audit helps to deal with all the possibilities of the market. The next feature of the audit is the detection and identification of errors and vulnerabilities. And the final function is fresh ideas based on a competitive environment.
Timely audit avoids a lot of trouble.