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SEO Analysis – SEO Audit What is an SEO Analysis? What is a Website SEO Audit? There are a variety of steps involved within a thorough SEO site analysis. This article will discuss the various elements of a complete SEO audit and website analysis, including how to perform a competitive analysis of competitor websites. Questions this article addresses: “What is an SEO analysis?” “What is an SEO audit?” “How is an SEO analysis performed?” “What are the steps involved with a website audit?” “How do you do a competitor analysis?

Table of Contents: Learn How to Perform an SEO Analysis 1. SEO Goals: Why are we optimizing? What are the client’s goals? The first step in a search optimization analysis is to understand our goals and objectives for performing SEO. Not all types of SEO are needed for each client. Some clients may benefit more, for example, from local SEO than organic SEO. The first step in an effective SEO strategy is understanding the client’s reason for search engine optimization.

2. Keyword Research & SEO Landscape: How much potentials traffic? How competitive? Once we understand the client’s SEO goals & objectives, our next step is to identify the potential size of our optimization opportunities and the level of competition. Some websites are so niche oriented that there exists little online search and/or limited competition. The level of online search volume, variety of available search terms and number of competitors are all factors in building a proper search optimization strategy.

3. Competitor Analysis: Who’s trying to rank well for the same terms we are? With an understanding of our optimization goals and the keywords we may wish to rank well for, we next must understand the level of competition. Some basic steps help guide our overall level of competitiveness. By understanding our competitor’s websites and comparing these to our own site, we establish a clear understanding of what terms we can include in our strategy and succeed.

4. Website Audit: Where does our website stand in terms of search optimization? Now that we have key elements such as our SEO objectives, an understanding of the best keywords to target and the level of competition for these keywords, we need to determine where one’s website stands in terms of search optimization. Has the website had previous search engine


optimization using best practices? Has there been no SEO performed? Are there technical issues with the website? Answers to these questions help determine our optimization strategy.

5. SEO Recommendations: The Final Step in Our Analysis: Recommended SEO Strategy Simply taking on top competitors for highly searched terms is not a sound strategy. This is where our SEO analysis is combined with the experience of your SEO expert to develop a successful SEO strategy. An effective SEO strategy includes an optimization plan that provides the most value for the client in terms of overall investment and level of strategy success in terms of results and, ultimately, return-on-investment (ROI).

Jump to these sections below that provide more detailed explanations.

Table of Contents: Learn How to Perform an SEO Analysis 1. SEO Goals: Why are we optimizing? What are the client’s goals? The first step in a search optimization analysis is to understand our goals and objectives for performing SEO. Not all types of SEO are needed for each client. Some clients may benefit more, for example, from local SEO than organic SEO. The first step in an effective SEO strategy is understanding the client’s reason for search engine optimization.

Understanding Client’s SEO Objectives The most important step in an SEO analysis is to understand why we’re optimizing. It is insufficient to simply think the sole purpose of SEO is to increase rankings. We focus on website optimization to improve rankings so that a website acquires more traffic from organic search. But, what if a client only needs customers, say, within a 20-mile radius around their location? Organic SEO may not be the most beneficial type of search optimization for this type of client. Rather, a local SEO campaign would make more sense because it is typically shorter in duration and, therefore, cheaper. It saves the client money. Additionally, when done properly, the client may realize more local traffic faster because they are only competing against other businesses in their geographic area. Beyond SEO for better rankings and more traffic, an SEO professional should be focusing on user experience optimization to improve important metrics like time on site, click-through-rate (CTR), website conversions, website speed, efficiency of code, image optimization and many other factors that have an influence on gaining new business for the client. Perhaps the client feels they have sufficient traffic to their website, however, the problem is with the exit or bounce rate of particular pages on their website. An important part of an SEO experts work is to conduct A-B testing to determine what on-page changes improve time spent on a page and, ultimately, lead to a conversion for the business. Types of common conversion are responding to Calls to Action (CTAs) like completing a contact form, placing a call or signing-up for a newsletter.


Each client’s needs are different depending on their type of business (service vs product), industry and target audience. It is the responsibility of an SEO consultant to guide the client through the necessary optimization strategy process. Often, this require the website optimization consultant to challenge the thought processes of the client, who may have preconceived notions about the best way to approach improving online business.

2. Keyword Research & SEO Landscape: How much potentials traffic? How competitive? Once we understand the client’s SEO goals & objectives, our next step is to identify the potential size of our optimization opportunities and the level of competition. Some websites are so niche oriented that there exists little online search and/or limited competition. The level of online search volume, variety of available search terms and number of competitors are all factors in building a proper search optimization strategy. It is common for inexperienced SEO professionals to immediately target keywords and phrases with the highest search volume. Terms with high search volume tend to be more generic terms that may drive traffic, however, do not have intent associated with them. By “intent” we mean terms and phrases that lend themselves more toward a website conversion. A simple example might be keyword research for a landscaping company. While the term “tree” may have 246,000 searches per month, the intent of why people are searching for it vary. Some might be researching trees for any number of reasons without any intent to sign-up or purchase anything. Breaking down this example a bit further, we might target the phrase “tree trimming”. This term has a greater likelihood of resulting in business for the landscape company. It has roughly 15,000 searches per month. Finally, “tree trimming Denver” would likely result in even more targeted traffic ready to learn more about our tree trimming services and schedule an estimate. With the geographical modifier added, the total monthly searches drop to 480. Keyword research is an art and science based on experience and level of SEO expertise. Some SEO agencies simply cannot perform as well as other, therefore, they may not be able to successfully rank for more difficult terms. In a case like this, more generic terms with high levels of competition may be ignored. While a more experienced SEO company may have no problem going after the most competitive keywords. Another very good indicator of how likely a search term is likely to convert into a lead or sale, is to look at the cost per click (CPC). Keywords and phrases that have a high likelihood for leading to new business will typically have a higher CPC. Experienced PPC professionals know not to go after generic terms because they result in a lot of clicks (costing the client money) yet have very little success for converting to a sale. Proper keyword research based upon the client’s goals and level of competition combined with the abilities of the SEO agency is a critical step to establish an SEO strategy that will lead to success and maximize ROI for the client.


3. Competitor Analysis: Who’s trying to rank well for the same terms we are? With an understanding of our optimization goals and the keywords we may wish to rank well for, we next must understand the level of competition. Some basic steps help guide our overall level of competitiveness. By understanding our competitor’s websites and comparing these to our own site, we establish a clear understanding of what terms we can include in our strategy and succeed. To have a successful SEO campaign, an effective SEO expert needs to determine the level of competition. By analyzing top ranking competitors for the keywords we wish to rank, we achieve an understanding of important factors that impact the likelihood of SEO success. Website size, for example, is an important factor when determining our SEO strategy. A competitor who has 1,000 pages indexed in Google will typically out perform a website that has only 100 pages. Another example is backlinks. A competitor that has a low number of poor quality backlinks may not be able to stay ahead of a website that builds superior links. These are only two of the main factors to consider when performing a competitor analysis. Each industry has its own nuances that impact the keywords which will be targeted in an optimization campaign. A complete competitor SEO analysis is essential to a successful search optimization campaign.

4. Website Audit: Where does our website stand in terms of search optimization? Now that we have key elements such as our SEO objectives, an understanding of the best keywords to target and the level of competition for these keywords, we need to determine where one’s website stands in terms of search optimization. Has the website had previous search engine optimization using best practices? Has there been no SEO performed? Are there technical issues with the website? Answers to these questions help determine our optimization strategy. A website SEO analysis (or SEO audit) must be performed in order to prioritize elements of our SEO plan. The best approach may vary depending upon a website’s strengths and weaknesses. If, for example, one’s website has many technical issues like not being optimized for mobile devices and bloated code, then the SEO strategy might start with clean-up and correction of these issues. Perhaps the website is in great shape from a technical standpoint, but the site navigation (main menu) may not be optimal for our goals. We might start our SEO efforts here to optimize the site navigation. Another consideration is the URLs. Are the URLs optimized for each page or are they dynamically generated from a database with unnecessary text? Having simple, well optimized URLs is an important element of ranking well. A complete website audit will help determine the strengths and weaknesses of our site and when combined with a competitive analysis begins to formulate and implement our SEO plan.

5. SEO Recommendations: The Final Step in Our Analysis: Recommended SEO Strategy Simply taking on top competitors for highly searched terms is not a sound strategy. This is where our SEO analysis is combined with the experience of your SEO expert to develop a successful SEO strategy. An effective SEO strategy includes an optimization plan that provides the most value for the


client in terms of overall investment and level of strategy success in terms of results and, ultimately, return-on-investment (ROI). The final step is to consider all data we’ve collected and develop and SEO strategy and implementation plan that will result in the greatest benefit to the client and achieve their goals in the shortest period of time. The key to client retention and positive word of mouth is delivering a successful SEO campaign that delivers new business to the client. When the client succeeds in making more money, they often invest more in additional SEO or other internet marketing strategies. Conclusion An SEO analysis is critical to effectively planning and implementing a successful search optimization campaign. The first step in a search engine optimization analysis is to determine why we’re performing SEO? Each client’s goals for investing in search optimization are different. Not all clients require traditional organic SEO. Businesses that rely on customers within a certain radius of their location might benefit more with local SEO services. With a clear understanding of what we hope to achieve with site optimization, we can determine the likelihood for success by performing keyword research and a competitive analysis. Some keywords may have a lot of searches per month and could drive a lot of traffic to a website, however, more important is to drive the right type of traffic that will generate new business. The final steps for a proper SEO analysis is to perform a website audit to determine the state of one’s website and help prioritize the SEO strategy and implementation to maximize ROI.

Seo analysis - SEO Audit  

There are a variety of steps involved within a thorough SEO site analysis. This article will discuss the various elements of a complete SEO...

Seo analysis - SEO Audit  

There are a variety of steps involved within a thorough SEO site analysis. This article will discuss the various elements of a complete SEO...

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