How Often You Should SEO Audit Your Website and Why

SEO is a massive component of any website and is often directly linked to the success of your site. Like any other piece of your website, it requires regular maintenance. SEO audits can uncover hidden problems and greatly improve the success of your site, but they can also be time consuming and costly. So, how often should you be SEO auditing your website? 

What is an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit is the process of carefully analyzing all the components that contribute to SEO on your website. It looks at the overall health of your site, comes up with recommendations on what could be fixed, and illuminates error that could have otherwise gone unnoticed. 

Because SEO is so vast, a checklist is often used to ensure every detail is examined with a fine-tooth comb. This checklist can sometimes be more than 100 items long, which is why SEO pros utilize specialized tools and programs to make the auditing process faster and easier. 

If you’re new to SEO, you probably don’t have the tools or resources available to you to complete an audit on this scale. However, you can still audit your site on your own and get a good idea of how your site is doing. 

Because of the time-consuming nature of SEO auditing, many companies choose to outsource and pay to have the audit done for them. This not only saves you a lot of time, but it also allows you to go through your site more thoroughly using tools and programs that may not have otherwise been available to you. 

Why are SEO Audits so Important? 

As new technology and new updates are constantly becoming available, the ways people search for and interact with things is also constantly changing. On the internet, things change very quickly. Especially on search engines, what worked yesterday may not work 6 months from now or even tomorrow. 

An audit can also help uncover other errors on your site that you may have missed. Things like mobile optimization, duplicate pages, broken links, and even site security can play a huge role in SEO and are often overlooked in day-to-day business. 

The internet is a competitive place, especially on search engines like Google. You want to rank, and you want to rank well. 

It’s estimated that less than 1% of users will click on results on the second page of Google. The second page of Google is where your website goes to die, and having good SEO is a crucial factor in making sure your website comes out on top. 

How Often Should You SEO Audit Your Website?

Like most things, there isn’t a one size fits all for how often you should be auditing your website. There are a multitude of factors that go into determining how often your site needs audited. 

Things like the size or scale of your site, how often you’re adding new content, and the possibility of new security issues all go into how often you should be performing SEO audits. Additionally, the advice we give you today on how often your site should be audited may be terrible advice a year from now as best practices shift and evolve. 

Generally, it’s best to run small audits once a month and full-scale audits one to two times a year. Keeping an eye on the general overview of your site and doing monthly “check ins” on your SEO can save you a lot of time in the future when you sit down to do a large-scale audit on your site. 

If you have a smaller site that doesn’t change or add new content very frequently, you probably don’t need to do a full-scale SEO audit more than once a year. However, for larger sites and sites that are constantly uploading new content, your site will likely need an audit every 6 months. 

What Does an SEO Audit Include?

As I mentioned before, SEO audits go over a lot of different things. So, to help make this article a little more digestible I’ve broken it down into four categories: On-Site SEO, Off-Site SEO, Technical SEO, and Competitor Analysis. 

These aren’t the only four categories of SEO or the only four categories that will be examined during an audit, but they’re some of the largest and most important. Some of the categories overlap on especially important SEO factors but differ enough that they can stand apart from each other. This is what falls under each of the categories when performing an SEO audit:

On-Site SEO

  • Meta titles and descriptions
    • Is every meta title and meta description unique?
    • Do they all fall within the optimal character count?
    • Are the title and description relevant to the content of the page?
  • URL structuring
    • Are all URLs unique?
    • Are they formatted correctly?
    • Do they include important keywords?
  • Text formatting
    • Are all headlines in H1?
    • Is your text broken up into sections for easier reading?
  • Site content
    • Is your content unique?
    • Is it formatted correctly?
    • Is your content being promoted?
    • Is it well written and lacking grammatical errors?
    • How long is the content?
    • How new is the content?
  • Internal linking
    • Are you using full page titles and non-keyword anchor text?
    • Do the pages you want to rank better have more internal links?
    • Are the pages you want to rank better in search linked to your home page?
    • Do you have 2-10 links per page?
  • Images
    • Is your image file name descriptive of what is happening in the image?
    • Do all your images have an ALT tag defined?
    • Are all your images compressed?
  • Broken links
    • Are they any broken links on your site?
    • Are you internally linking to any of these broken links?
  • Banner ads
    • Do you have too many ads above the fold of your website?
    • Google penalizes placing too many ads above the fold, so be careful about how many you ads you place there
  • User friendliness
    • Is the 404 landing page friendly? Does it allow you to go back to other pages?
    • Can your user easily find what they are looking for?
    • Do you have a clearly defined menu?
    • Is it easy to tell the difference between site content and ads?
    • Is your interface consistent across all pages?
    • Is there a sitemap?
  • ADA compliance
    • Is your website ADA compliant?
    • Does your website follow all best practices for accessibility?
  • Page speed
    • Does your site load in less than 2 seconds?
  • Site structure
    • Is the structure of your site easy to understand?
    • Do you have contact information available on each page?
    • Is your privacy policy easy to find?

Off-Site SEO

  • Backlinks
    • How many unique domains link back to your website?
    • How many of these domains are considered trusted websites?
    • How many pages link to your home page and how many link to internal pages?
    • Which of your pages has the most backlinks?
    • Do the pages with the most links have high ranking keywords?
    • What plan can you create to get even more backlinks to your site?

Technical SEO

  • Mobile optimization
    • How well does your site run on mobile view?
    • Can mobile users use your site just as easily as desktop users?
    • Does your mobile site look good? 
    • How fast is your mobile site?
  • Page load speed
    • How fast do your pages load?
    • Are some pages loading slower than others?
  • Link health
    • Do you have any broken links?
    • How many internal links does your site have?
    • How many external links and backlinks? 
    • How can you increase the number of links you have to your site?
  • Duplicate content
    • Do you have any duplicate content on your site?
    • Any similar content that could be combined into one page?
    • Is any of your content too similar to another site’s content?
  • Schemas
    • Is your site using schemas?
    • Do all your top performing pages use schemas?
    • Have you added schemas to all your pages or just a few?
  • Crawl errors
    • Are search engines able to crawl your site without errors?
    • How many pages do you have that search engines can’t crawl?
    • If there are errors, what are they being caused by?
  • Image SEO
    • Are all your images optimized, including ones in your image library?
    • Are any of your images lacking descriptions or ALT tags?
    • Are any of your images larger than they need to be?
    • Are your images slowing your page down?
  • Site security
    • Is your site secure?
    • Are there any weaknesses that could make your site vulnerable?
    • Has your site experienced any cyber-attacks or security breaches?
  • URL structure
    • Are all your URLs unique?
    • Are they formatted correctly?
    • Do they include relevant and important keywords?
  • 404 pages
    • Is your 404 page user friendly?
    • Is it easy to navigate to other pages from the 404 page?
  • 301 redirects
    • Do you have any old or broken links that need 301 redirects?
    • Is the 301 redirect functioning correctly and sending users to the correct page?
  • XML sitemaps
    • Is your site utilizing an XML sitemap?

Competitive Analysis

  • What kind of competition does your website have?
  • Are your competitors doing anything better than you?
  • What could you improve or adopt to rank higher than the competition?
  • What keywords are your competitors using? Are there any keywords that you aren’t utilizing?
  • On keywords that both you and your competitors are listing for, who is ranking higher?
  • Are your competitors utilizing any markets that you aren’t? 

Are SEO Audits Worth the Money? 

YES. Outsourcing your SEO audits are well worth the money, and here’s why:

1. You’ll save time and money

Time is difficult to come by. As a business professional, time is often your greatest asset, and unlike other business assets it’s impossible to make more of it. 

SEO audits can become very time consuming, especially if it’s something that you’re not already intimately familiar with. 

If you don’t have the time to audit your site yourself, you’ll need someone else to do it. If you don’t already have someone on your team that is an expert in SEO, you’ll have to investigate other options.

Hiring an in-house SEO expert can be a long and resource-intensive process. Purchasing an audit from a third-party company will not only save time and free your team up for other projects, but you’ll also save money on hiring or training someone in-house. 

2. SEO audits have a very high ROI

The exact cost of outsourcing an SEO audit will vary by company, but regardless of the price you pay the investment is well worth it. 

Research done by BrightEdge has shown that over 40% of all online revenue comes from organic search results. Additionally, research has shown that less than 1% of web users will ever click on a site on the second page of Google.

If your site isn’t SEO optimized, it’s unlikely that it will rank very high. The lower down on the first page you are, the more your click rate will suffer. If you’re on the second page or further, you’re going to get almost no organic traffic.

That’s almost half of your total revenue that is heavily impacted by your site’s optimization and overall health. 

3. Your site performance will improve

A healthy and optimized website is more likely to generate organic traffic, rank higher in search results, and garner more organic website visits. 

Keeping your site optimized and up to date will make you more money over time. Additionally, doing regular SEO audits allows you to find any site issues quickly and efficiently, fixing them before they can significantly harm your performance.

SEO audits are truly an investment into the success and longevity of your site, and it’s an investment that is guaranteed to pay off.

4. You’ll gain competitive insight

Professional SEO audits don’t just look at your site from within, they will also investigate your competitors and give you insights on how you can rise above the competition. 

You’ll have information on what your competitors are doing that you’re not, which keywords your competitors are ranking for, which of their blog posts have been the most successful, but most of all you’ll be able to grasp a general overview of your competitors’ marketing strategies. 

With information like this at your disposal, you can make improvements to your own marketing strategy and target the highest performing keywords and blog topics. 

If you don’t have these insights on your competitors, it will be a lot harder to keep up. Especially if your business is advertising within a competitive market, insights like this are invaluable to your success.

Final Thoughts

The impact that regular SEO audits have on your website cannot be overstated. They are well worth the investment and can have countless benefits for the health and success of your website.

Search engine optimization is no longer optional, if you want your website to be successful it is necessary to keep your site optimized and up to date with the most recent best practices. 

For more information on optimizing your website and to learn more about performing SEO audits, reach out to [email protected] today.

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