Has your business’s site traffic gone down over time – or even fallen off a cliff? Has your phone, the one that once rang off the hook, suddenly gone silent? Your website very likely has issues, large or small, that could be identified and taken care of so your business can go back to being profitable. This is what a site audit is for; it’s a forensic examination of all of the different parts that make up a website in order to determine what is working and what isn’t.
Even in the age of Panda and Penguin, there’s usually not just one issue behind a Google rankings or traffic drop. Websites are complex. There are technical issues to consider including hosting, server issues, caching, soft 404 errors, 302 redirects, and broken or outdated site maps. When these types of problems are cleaned up, your site will run better and Google will index it much more effectively. If your website does not have significant technical problems, but it still dropping in rankings, a good auditor will know to check the following:
- Onsite SEO – this includes things like site content, meta descriptions, URLs, and titles, with a focus on making them standard and complementary.
- Links – both internal links from one page on your site to another page on your site and external links from another site to yours. Poor quality or penalized sites linking to yours will cause Google to evaluate your status as lower. Google judges websites by the company they keep, fairly or unfairly (which is why negative SEO can be an effective, if unethical, way of taking out a competitor).
- Social Media – your profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest should be established and regularly updated with high quality, relevant content.
A capable site auditor will be able to detect weaknesses and trouble spots using the plethora of internet tools available to users these days. Remember, an audit is not a stack of printouts from Google Analytics, Raven, Screaming Frog, or WooRank – it’s the examination of those results by a capable, experienced auditor who knows how to read the signs and recommend appropriate repair strategies.
As with everything else, with website audits, you get what you pay for. It’s always smart to consult more than one SEO company, read references, and compare rates, but evaluate low bids for SEO work carefully. Your SEO needs to be prudent, considered, and continuously updated, and you need to be able to work with a company that respects Google’s guidelines. Shortcuts don’t work any more, and really cheap estimates almost always include some kind of shortcut. If in five months, or a year, you have to pay another SEO company to undo what the cheaper company does for you now, how much of a bargain is it, really, in the long run?
+Max Friar is a co-founder of Corporate Conversions, LLC. Max enjoys comprehensive website audits and analysis and helping clients with full-scope SEO solutions. Max resides in Grand Rapids with his wife, Cori, and three children, Brenna, Max, and Jack.
Contact Max directly at email@example.com or 616-214-8392.