A search engine optimization (SEO) audit is a comprehensive review of your website. It explores a number of areas as they relate to the experience of users on your site and the degree to which it facilitates search engines as they crawl and index your content.
The feedback and insights provided in an audit typically fall into three areas:
These factors are explored with a number of different software tools that are designed to probe things such as who links to your site, how users are engaging with your site, and how your site is structured. Alongside this technical analysis of your site and its content, competitive research is also a significant portion of a comprehensive site audit. The nature of your industry and its competitive landscape has a direct impact on your site's ability to rank for specific keywords or topics.
Firstly, you should determine what the current value of your site is to you. You may find it difficult to justify an SEO audit if your business is a start-up, if your site's traffic is low, and if you do not sell or acquire leads through your site. SEO audits tend to be more valuable for sites which have already established some traction.
That said there are several common scenarios which generally warrant an SEO Audit. These events include the launch of a new site, migration or absorption of a new domain, a migration to a new CMS, and a site redesign or other structural changes. At each of these milestones in a site's development and growth it is highly valuable to revisit your digital strategy to ensure your focus and resources are properly placed.
Given the substantial investment required to not only commission an audit, but more importantly to carry out the recommendations proposed in an audit, you should have resources earmarked for at least 6 months before starting an audit. This continued investment over the course of several months greatly increases the value you'll derive from partnering with an SEO expert.
The cost and duration of an audit varies depending on the size of your site, the structure of your site, and your industry. Other factors such as backend integrations with CMS or CRM systems may also affect the scope of an audit. When working with Apollo, we'll take some preliminary measurements of your site before quoting you for an audit.
Simply put, we invest in understanding your business and collecting all the relevant data before we come back with an Audit.
Before we even consider crawling your site or looking at keywords, we schedule time with you to talk through your business and understand what you'd like to accomplish with organic search. We also use this time to get a feel for your previous experience with SEO, web design, and other facets of digital marketing.
Our onboarding meeting informs what we focus on during the audit and how we structure the report for your site. Each site is unique and we structure our reports to reflect the things that matter most to your business. Just because one of the tools we use tags something as a red flag doesn't mean it actually warrants a DEFCON 1 response. We add a human touch to ensure the priorities presented in the Audit align with your priorities and we take the time to walk you through our recommendations.
You won't find a do-it-yourself SEO tool on our site because we don't believe in providing information without context and education.
Many SEO agencies and freelancers build reports with as few tools as possible. Now, that might seem like a good idea, it certainly is if the goal is to turn around reports as quickly as possible―but if the objective is to build a truly comprehensive Audit of the many factors driving your site's performance, then such an approach is simply inadequate.
A few of the tools behind ApolloAudit:
The tools we use are each best-in-class and can provide enough information when used in isolation for an impactful SEO report, but each has its own strengths and weaknesses. By combining the insights generated by the tools above and dozens of others not listed here, we're able to construct a truly comprehensive Audit of your site's performance in organic search and identify areas of opportunity.
The best information is worthless if it isn't communicated in a way that makes it actionable. It's easy to present an overwhelming amount of data when it comes to SEO. The ApolloAudit is structured to emphasize the most important items for your site in a single page summary. In the remainder of the Audit, we elaborate on those high-priority recommendations and unveil the many other factors which are having a moderate or minor impact on your site.
The ApolloAudit is our core offering and provides the foundation for our other services, however it's important to know that auditing your site is only the first step toward best-in-class SEO. We'll give you a complete view of your site's SEO performance and we'll customize the Audit to your business, but the next step is up to you.
If you'd appreciate our guidance and assistance in managing the implementation of the recommendations presented in the Audit and the ongoing optimization of your site, we provide several Managed SEO offerings.