An SEO audit is important for a mid-sized business because it can help identify areas of improvement for the business’s website in terms of search engine optimization. An SEO audit will look at all aspects of the site’s optimization — quality content, technical SEO (the on-page optimization and metadata, plus other factors), and backlinks from relevant authoritative sources.
An audit of the on-page optimization can reveal errors on the website that are hindering its performance in search results. Google Search Console is a free tool that provides insight into how the site is performing. For example, it can show if there are any crawl errors or if pages are missing critical metadata tags such as titles and descriptions. Examples of crawl errors include broken links, 404 errors, and duplicate content.
SEO Audits Continued…
“Improved optimization” does not always mean “more.” Over-optimization of a website can be even more harmful. For example, using multiple H1 tags on the page or stuffing content with keywords creates content that is unnatural and manipulative, which can lead to penalties from search engines.
Adjust the content length and keyword density to ensure the content reads naturally while still being optimized for search engines. Adjust the headline tags to be in line with the topical flow and hierarchy of the article, with one H1 headline at the top, H2 headlines to break up the content, and H3 tags (if needed) as sub-topics. Repeating the same keyword in H2 headlines is another form of over-optimization.
For a deeper technical analysis and insight into these types of issues, some believe Google Search Console may be lacking. Professional tools and expert consultation are recommended.
Internal linking on the site is another important factor. How often does your content refer to other parts of your website? This deepens the conversation and allows the visitor to explore all facets of a topic, not just the one where they arrived at the page. Ultimately, this is serving your visitor in the best way — answering the question or problem they were searching for, then in the course of that response, providing additional points of exploration. If a business is not interlinking to its own content, they are missing an opportunity.
A complete audit also considers mobile responsiveness, page load times, and the site’s security.
Mobile responsiveness became a key metric years before Google declared itself “mobile first” in 2021. Visitors to your website demand an experience that works well on their mobile devices.
The page should load quickly; less than one second has become the common standard. Page load time can be affected by several factors including the web host, the platform the site is built on, how well it is coded, and how well the images are optimized.
The page should be secure; if your visitor arrives at your website and is greeted by a Google warning that the site is “not safe,” they will more than likely click away than take the risk of continuing.
Auditing the quality of content on the website is important to ensure it meets search engine ranking requirements. This involves checking that every page has sufficient word count, relevant keywords, and interesting information that appeals to both users and search engines.
If a business makes improvements in all areas where an SEO audit identifies problems, it can ultimately lead to better visibility and higher rankings in search engine results. This in turn can drive more traffic to the website and potentially increase revenue for the business.
Overall, an SEO audit is important for mid-sized businesses to ensure that a website is performing at its best and can effectively reach its target audience.