Our goal when we carry out an SEO audit is to provide the client with a clear roadmap to optimising your site with our recommendations – recommendations we will back up with data.
Our SEO audit is a one-off service that focuses on how your site interacts with search engines. Recommendations based on this audit are focused on improving your site’s performance in search engines and sustaining that improvement over the long term.
As SEO, CRO, and PPC can reinforce one another, strategies incorporating two or all three are more effective – but depending on your site’s current performance, any individual service may be most needed and can make a real difference.
SEO audits allow you to assess the effectiveness of your current SEO efforts and identify areas for improvement. By performing an SEO audit, you better understand how search engines view your website and identify any technical issues preventing your site from ranking highly in search results.
A recurring SEO audit is crucial because it helps you keep track of the performance of your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. SEO is an ongoing process, and it’s essential to regularly monitor and assess the effectiveness of your strategies to ensure that your website ranks well in search engine results and attracts relevant traffic. By performing a regular SEO audit, you can identify any problems or issues with your website’s SEO and address them promptly. Rectifying issues in an SEO audit can help improve your website’s search engine rankings, increase the organic traffic it receives, and ultimately drive more business and revenue.
Search engines are constantly working to improve the accuracy and relevance of their search results. As a result, they frequently update their algorithms to understand better and rank web pages. These algorithm updates can significantly impact the visibility and ranking of a website in search results. For example, changing how a search engine calculates a webpage’s relevance to a particular keyword could result in that webpage’s ranking dropping or rising.
By performing a monthly SEO audit, you can stay on top of any changes to search algorithms and ensure that your website’s SEO strategies are still effective. The frequency of your SEO reviews is fundamental because search algorithms are constantly evolving, and what worked well for your website’s SEO one month may be less effective the next. Regularly reviewing your SEO allows you to identify any problems or issues arising from algorithm updates and take steps to address them. Frequently comparing your website metrics will help ensure that your website ranks well in search results and attracts relevant traffic.
Benchmarking granular data from Google Search Console against top competitors for a specific keyword can provide valuable insights into the areas where your website may be underperforming. By identifying and prioritising these shortfalls, you can develop an effective SEO strategy that targets the most impactful areas for improvement.
Here’s how you can benchmark and prioritise your SEO efforts based on competitor analysis, using insights from leading SEO websites:
Compare your website’s keyword rankings with your top competitors. Identify significant gaps and prioritise content optimisation and link-building efforts for keywords where your website ranks lower than the competition. Backlinko’s research indicates that the top-ranking page receives 31.7% of organic clicks, highlighting the importance of high rankings.
Analyse competitor content that ranks well for your target keywords. Identify content gaps, areas for improvement, and opportunities to create more comprehensive, engaging, and relevant content. SEMrush’s study reveals that content length and comprehensiveness positively correlate with higher search rankings, making this a priority.
Review the backlink profiles of your top competitors using insights from Moz’s blog and tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush. Identify the types and sources of high-quality, relevant backlinks they have acquired. Prioritise building a diverse and authoritative backlink profile to close the gap with your competitors, as Moz’s research shows a strong correlation between backlinks and search rankings.
Examine your competitors’ website architecture and internal linking structure. Identify best practices and opportunities to improve your website’s navigation, user experience, and flow of link equity, as Nielsen Norman Group (referenced by Yoast SEO Blog) emphasises the importance of a well-structured website—Prioritise adjustments to your site architecture based on the potential impact on search performance.
Compare your website’s Core Web Vitals metrics and overall page speed with your top competitors. Identify areas where your website lags and prioritise optimisations to improve user experience and meet or exceed the performance of your competition. Google’s research, cited by Search Engine Journal, shows page speed as a ranking factor.
Analyse the mobile usability of your competitors’ websites and identify any best practices they employ. Prioritise improvements to your website’s mobile experience to ensure you’re on par with or exceeding the competition, as Statista data (referenced by Search Engine Land) reports that over 50% of global website traffic comes from mobile devices.
Review the implementation of structured data on your competitors’ websites. Identify opportunities to enhance your website with schema markup to improve search result visibility and click-through rates. A case study by Merkle mentioned in Search Engine Journal demonstrates the positive impact of structured data on search performance, making it a priority.
Evaluate your top competitors’ social media presence and engagement using insights from Hootsuite’s blog post cited in Search Engine Journal. Prioritise efforts to increase your website’s social media visibility, engagement, and sharing to improve overall online authority and influence search rankings.
By benchmarking your website against top competitors and prioritising improvements based on the identified shortfalls, you can create a targeted SEO strategy to close the gap and increase your website’s search performance for your target keywords. This focused approach can lead to higher rankings, increased visibility, and better overall user experience.
Creating a comprehensive list of all known SEO factors ranked by importance is challenging due to search engine algorithms’ complex and ever-changing nature. However, several studies and expert opinions from leading SEO websites suggest that the following factors are crucial for achieving higher search rankings. Here’s a list of essential SEO factors with reasons for their ranking and evidence to support their significance:
– Reason: High-quality, relevant, and engaging content meets users’ needs and keeps them on the site longer, reducing bounce rates.
– Evidence: A study by Backlinko found that content with a higher word count tends to rank higher in search results, indicating the importance of comprehensive and valuable content.
– Citation: Backlinko (https://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking)
– Reason: Backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites signal to search engines that your content is trustworthy and valuable.
– Evidence: A study by Moz found a strong correlation between the number of high-quality backlinks and higher search rankings.
– Citation: Moz (https://moz.com/blog/search-ranking-factors)
– Reason: With the increasing number of mobile users, search engines prioritise websites that offer a seamless mobile experience.
– Evidence: Statista reported that over 50% of global website traffic comes from mobile devices, highlighting the importance of mobile-friendliness.
– Citation: Statista (https://www.statista.com/statistics/241462/global-mobile-phone-website-traffic-share/)
– Reason: Faster-loading websites provide a better user experience, leading search engines to prioritise them in search results.
– Evidence: Google’s research indicates that page speed is a ranking factor, particularly for mobile searches.
– Citation: Google Developers (https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2018/07/search-ads-speed)
– Reason: Secure websites protect user data and provide a safer browsing experience, which search engines reward with higher rankings.
– Evidence: A study by SEMrush found that 65% of domains ranking in the top 3 positions on Google using HTTPS.
– Citation: SEMrush (https://www.semrush.com/ranking-factors/)
– Reason: Good UX keeps users engaged and reduces bounce rates, which search engines consider when ranking websites.
– Evidence: A study by Search Engine Journal found that websites with a higher dwell time tend to rank higher in search results.
– Citation: Search Engine Journal (https://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo-guide/user-engagement-ranking-factor/)
– Reason: Properly optimised title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and URLs make it easier for search engines to understand and index your content.
– Evidence: A study by Ahrefs found that 57% of the top-ranking pages have their target keyword in the title tag.
– Citation: Ahrefs (https://ahrefs.com/blog/title-tag-seo/)
– Reason: Targeting relevant and high-intent keywords helps your content reach the right audience and improve search visibility.
– Evidence: Moz emphasises the importance of keyword research as the foundation of a successful SEO strategy.
– Citation: Moz (https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research)
– Reason: Internal linking helps search engines understand your website’s structure, improves crawlability and distributes link equity.
– Evidence: Yoast SEO highlights the importance of internal linking for improving the overall SEO of a website and user experience.
– Citation: Yoast SEO (https://yoast.com/seo-basics-the-importance-of-site-structure/)
– Reason: Implementing schema markup can improve search result visibility, making your website more attractive to users and potentially increasing click-through rates.
– Evidence: A case study by Merkle demonstrated the positive impact of structured data on search performance.
– Citation: Merkle (https://www.merkleinc.com/blog/schema-markup-impact)
– Reason: Although not a direct ranking factor, social signals can indirectly influence search performance by increasing brand awareness, driving traffic, and attracting backlinks.
– Evidence: Hootsuite found a correlation between social signals and search rankings in their experiment.
– Citation: Hootsuite (https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-seo-experiment/)
– Reason: Older and more authoritative domains are generally more trusted by search engines and users, leading to higher rankings.
– Evidence: A study by Ahrefs showed that 60% of Google’s top 10 search results are from websites at least three years old.
– Citation: Ahrefs (https://ahrefs.com/blog/how-long-does-it-take-to-rank/)
– Reason: Properly optimised images can improve page speed, enhance user experience, and contribute to search rankings, especially in image search results.
– Evidence: Backlinko suggests that image optimisation, including appropriate file formats and compression, can improve search rankings.
– Citation: Backlinko (https://backlinko.com/hub/seo/images)
– Reason: Video content can engage users, increase dwell time, and provide additional ranking opportunities, especially on platforms like YouTube.
– Evidence: Search Engine Journal highlights the importance of video SEO for enhancing user engagement and improving search rankings.
– Citation: Search Engine Journal (https://www.searchenginejournal.com/video-seo-guide/)
These factors are essential for higher search rankings based on expert opinions and data-driven research from leading SEO websites. It is important to note that search engines like Google use complex algorithms that consider many factors, and these factors may evolve. Therefore, staying informed about industry trends and best practices is crucial to maintain a successful SEO strategy.
To benchmark your website against other websites for the ranking factors outlined and determine priority based on correlation, start with your existing keywords or perform keyword research. By focusing on your target keywords, you can systematically compare your website’s performance against top-performing websites in each factor. Benchmarking will help you identify gaps, weaknesses, and areas for improvement in your website’s SEO.
Here’s a step-by-step process for benchmarking your website and prioritise improvements based on correlation:
If you haven’t already, perform keyword research to identify the most relevant and high-intent keywords for your niche or industry. Use tools like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, or Google Keyword Planner to discover the best keywords to target.
For each target keyword, examine the websites that consistently rank high in search results. These top-ranking websites will serve as your benchmark for comparison.
Use SEO tools like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, or Google Analytics to gather data on each ranking factor for the top-ranking websites. Competitor benchmarking includes content quality, backlinks, mobile-friendliness, page speed, on-page SEO, user experience, and internal linking.
Collect similar data for your website using the same SEO tools. Ensure you measure the same ranking factors as you did for the top-ranking websites.
Analyse the data and compare your website’s performance in each ranking factor against top-ranking websites. Identify areas where your website underperforms compared to the competition.
Determine the correlation between each ranking factor and search performance by examining how these factors impact search rankings across the top-ranking websites—Prioritise improvements based on the strength of the correlation and the gaps identified during the comparison. Focus on addressing high-correlation ranking factors where your website has the most significant gaps.
Following this process, we can benchmark your website against the competition using your target keywords and prioritise improvements based on the correlation between each ranking factor and search performance. This targeted approach will help you develop an effective SEO strategy to close the gap and increase your website’s search performance for your target keywords.
At novi.We believe supporting our clients takes more than SEO expertise and experience. We also need to understand your goals and your business, and that’s why our SEO audits are as personalised as our managed service contracts.