In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, the success of your online presence hinges on your ability to adapt to changes in the market. While staying ahead of the latest buzzwords is important, it's not enough to maintain or grow your website traffic. To navigate this dynamic terrain effectively, you need a roadmap – and that's where an SEO audit comes into play. Understanding when and why to conduct an SEO audit is crucial to ensure you don't overlook potential problems and keep your online presence optimized for success.
Though the exact best time to order an SEO audit may vary depending on the situation, it’s standard to have one:
- When starting a new SEO campaign
- After a major site update
- When your traffic plateaus
- Every 5 to 6 months of a campaign
While there is no limit on when you can do an SEO audit, you must ensure you track the right data to make the right adjustments. Therefore, by reading further, you will also learn to do a proper SEO audit for your website.
Here is a little more detail.
1. When Starting a New SEO Campaign
Embarking on a new SEO campaign is a pivotal moment to schedule an SEO audit. It lays the foundation for your strategy, ensuring that you begin with a strong SEO framework. An initial audit will help identify your current standing, target keywords, and competitive landscape.
2. After a Major Site Update
Any significant overhaul of your website, whether it's a redesign, structural changes, or a migration, warrants an SEO audit. This post-update audit is crucial to assess the impact of changes on your search engine rankings and overall website health.
3. When Your Traffic Plateaus
Monitoring your website's traffic is an ongoing endeavor. If you notice a sudden plateau or decline in your traffic, it's a red flag that signals the need for an audit. However, exercise caution and ensure that external factors like search engine algorithm updates aren't causing the slowdown.
4. Every 5 to 6 Months of a Campaign
While there's debate about the optimal audit frequency, conducting one every 5 to 6 months strikes a balance between vigilance and practicality. Seasonal market fluctuations can affect your website's performance, and a regular audit will help you adapt accordingly.
At a minimum, commit to an annual SEO audit. This comprehensive check ensures that you remain on top of industry trends and market shifts, keeping your online presence competitive and relevant.
The Right Time for an SEO Audit
An SEO audit serves as a comprehensive evaluation of your web content's performance. It provides valuable insights into how search engines perceive and rank your site. When executed correctly, an audit can lead to improved search engine rankings and increased organic traffic.
The debate over audit frequency continues among experts, with some advocating for monthly audits and others suggesting biannual assessments. The answer likely lies somewhere in between. However, it's worth noting that you're probably already continuously auditing various aspects of your website daily.
Notably, certain opportune moments align with major changes in your business, making them easy to spot and plan for well in advance.
That said, some common moments will give you better results than others. These moments usually coincide with major changes in your business. So, they are easy to spot and plan for well in advance.
Use SEO Audits to Troubleshoot Traffic Problems
Website traffic experiences fluctuations, but your concern should escalate when your top-performing pages cease to rank as they should. Traffic plateaus can signal underlying issues, but avoid making hasty changes. Temporary slowdowns, often attributed to external factors like search engine updates, can self-correct over time.A New Marketing Campaign Calls for a Fresh SEO Audit
You should do a complete SEO audit whenever you meet a potential new client. This audit should happen at least annually, but you can do it as often as necessary to ensure your sales tools and lead management are working as they should.
Refresh Your SEO Audit Every 5 to 6 Months
A lot can happen in 6 months, and seasonal market swings can take their toll on your website’s performance. An audit can detect which changes significantly impacted your content, allowing you to optimize your keywords.
Annual SEO Audits Help You Stay on Top of Potential Issues
If nothing else, you will want to conduct a full SEO audit once a year. With this audit, you can catch market trends before they impact your industry, ensuring that you stay ahead of the game.
Why Conduct an SEO Audit?
Digital marketing is an ever-changing landscape. As such, you must continuously update your website and content. An SEO audit helps you achieve this goal while remaining true to your business goals and mission.
Other potential benefits you can get from an SEO audit include:
- An ongoing comparison of your website’s performance over time.
- Helps you identify action points for your SEO implementation strategy.
- A glance at your competitors’ efforts.
- Evaluate your current SEO effort.
- Valuable insights to improve your decision-making.
How to Conduct an SEO Audit
If you asked 50 professional SEO consultants and specialists how to do an SEO audit, you would get 50 different answers. So, the best we can do is tell you to experiment and find the best strategy that works for your situation.
With that said, there are some common aspects to a good SEO website audit. These steps work regardless of your SEO tool or target search engine.
- Review your search engine position for manual penalties.
- Ensure that only one version of your site is active.
- Ensure that search engines can crawl through your website.
- Identify indexing and metadata problems.
- Check the site map and mobile settings.
- Remove duplicate content.
- Evaluate and improve site speed.
- Remove structured data problems.
- Improve HTNL using best practices.
- Optimize your content and internal links.
An SEO Audit can help you reap the best performance and traffic from your website. However, to get the best results, you should do one every time you change your content or marketing campaigns.
Senior-level SEO consultant that enjoys helping businesses learn how to SEO their website since 2007. I have over 20 years of experience helping business owners realize their goals through process development, data-driven decision-making, and simplifying complex processes.