With our audits we leave no stone unturned and we're very diplomatic where possible, but certainly do not shy away from challenging you on your SEO preconceptions or any of the team members involved.
A complete SEO audit looks at all aspects of your site in the context of SEO, your business goals and wider web presence, but also, the who does what and when of your business. Further below you can find technical SEO, on-site SEO and off-site SEO audit sections, but before we get there.
Business audit SEO context
Most SEO audits focus on your website and a large proportion on technical issues, they might give you a list of technical tasks to resolve and keyword tracking reports as well as a list of links pointing to your site. If you are really unlucky you might even get less than that. In our experience even clients at various top business management roles including CEOs and C Level with great copyright and marketing skills may be befuddled by the complexity of SEO, the number of different things involved and how they all relate to each other.
It is unfortunately not uncommon in this industry to pay for SEO audits and monthly retainers that provide less than the basics of an audit. Then even less ongoing. We take great pride in being completely transparent in our approach as well as to tailor advice and breaking it down to the level of SEO understanding of any team member. Expect lots of questions about the site and your business from day one. We make it our business to understand yours.
SEO is already very difficult and ever more so, since Google is now everyone’s first and most direct competitor. Count on an energetic and highly motivated plug and play partner, probably at a fraction of the cost of an employee or business partner.
Human and other resources audit
Any SEO audit will only be as good as the recommendations to optimise any website and the resources available, and treating people as people first not as resource like a computer or software programme. Our SEO audit process includes auditing your websites as well as your business and the resources you have at any given time against your marketing and business goals. These are usually your in-house team and any combination of third party agencies and freelancers, from design and development to content creation and social media.
The best technical SEO audit, content audit and link profile analysis should help formulate a great SEO strategy, however, these can and sometimes fall at the implementation level, this is often due to not having audited the resources available in more plain terms “who does what and when by”.
Flexi-SEO-Audit: We always offer all our clients the option to have an audit and formulate a strategy that they can try to implement themselves to cover the basics, or then convert it into ongoing support.
I’m happy to say some of our most interesting clients are usually impressed by the level of detail and insight of the audits, this usually translates into an ongoing engagement where implementing the audit recommendations goes on to produce results sometimes in a few months, in some cases doubling organic SEO traffic and conversions in the first year.
You can count on me to slice through communication with any team member and always have a very proactive approach to our work. This means we will encourage you and motivate you and your team to create content and resolve any technical issues as a matter of routine. We thrive on that, as we know SEO results depend on everyone doing their bit. We have a decade as an SEO maestro guiding all sorts of web symphonies. Oh and that is on top of many other similar roles in different fields previously.
Full website SEO audit
What SEO tools do we use?
We do use all the common industry tools from Google (Google Analytics, Search Console, etc.) and some of the so called top industry tools, from experience not following the crowd on most SEO assumptions is almost always the right approach. For example following common proprietary link metrics that bare no relation or even correlation to REAL Google rankings and results and may mislead you.
Data sources & algorithm matching
Choose them wisely and be critical of any tool including Google’s own. Your site most likely has Google Analytics And Search Console, this data and a few others such as SEMrush, Majestic and Screaming Frog can help you and me to gather data on technical issues, keyword and link data.
Then matching this data with known Google algorithm changes, both site wide and page and keyword level in the context of everything happening on the site and the site's full history, can help to determine what to optimise and what content to focus on, as well as whether to build or unbuild links.
Below you are links to some of the known algorithm updates with more details. You can begin by trying to do this yourself or hire me and rely on a decade of expertise and experience.
Can you have too much data?
IMHO yes you most definitely can, this is partly due to the story of two search engines on the same page, the old ten blue links, still based on heavy keywords usage and links from other sites pointing at those pages and the other more nuanced new things with AI, Hummingbird, Rankbrain, what is rankbrain for mere mortals, actually not even that new anymore, BERT just fresh out of the crib.
Much more importantly is the fact that even the best rank tracking tools are usually way off and relying on this data alone or primarily can ruin your SEO. We know, we've seen it happening with "Growth Hacking" agencies we worked for as a plug and play SEO partner in the past.
Technical SEO audit
Technical SEO: Focus on uncovering the most critical and noticeable technical issues first, then match any organic traffic changes and pages affected with Google core updates. These are the factors that contribute to crawlability, indexing and rankings. It may make reference to the external link profile.
Common technical issues and opportunities
- Core updates in 2018-2019 EAT-YMYL (Panda - Penguin)
- Indexing and crawling issues
- HTTP to HTTPS 301 redirects
- Low quality indexed - empty pages, CMS generated pages etc.
- Geo Located Low Quality Pages - pages for each town or london borough for example
- Google Analytics tracking code
- Site Speed
- Mobile UX & Site Speed
- Missing canonical tags - tell Google which version of a page is the preferred one
- Various urls for the same page eg. mypage/ and mypage/html
- hreflang tags and country specific targeting
On-Site SEO audit
On-Site SEO: Looks at current content and keywords usage, the relevancy and difficulty of keywords in the business context, competitor landscape as well as the history of the site. It usually develops into a better content and keyword strategy and provides the bare bones of SEO guidelines for writers and content uploaders.
We also explore keyword research from GSC (Search Console) and a sample of new keyword research. Additionally, we look at user experience (UX) content improvements, the relevance of content and use of keywords. Competitors sample data and analysis is also usually harvested and included within initial SEO audit and the ongoing strategy.
Common on-site SEO issues and opportunities
- Core Quality Updates 2018/19 & Traffic Drops
- Internal Link Structure
- Overuse of keywords in Internal Link Structure
- Mobile UX (User Experience)
- Tablet UX (User Experience)
- Image Optimisation SEO - File Size, Names & Alt Tags
- Page Titles & Metadata
- Current Keywords Trends Data
- Top Keywords & Keyword Research
- Staying On Topic, Staying In Your Lane
- Duplicate Content
- Low Quality Geo Located Pages
- Content With Poor, EAT & Blog Authors
Off-Site SEO audit
Off-Site SEO: Looks at the current link profile the relevance and potential toxicity of low quality links and directories in Search Console and other data sources.
Explores the use of common industry link building practices and whether these should be pursued or not. Looks at cleaning of directories and local citations and NAP, no not siesta, (Name, Address, Phone) consistency. Competitors sample data and analysis usually also included.
This Will help to determine a course of action, in particular the value and risk of any previous link building work.
Common off-site SEO issues and opportunities
- Linking out as link aquicison
- Low Quality Link Building
- PBN Link Building By Previous SEOs
- Low Quality Local Citations
- Directories & NAP
- GMB Google My Business
Google Algorithms, AI, Rankbrain, BERT
NEW...ish, SEO, Voice Search the future is now
- Position Zero
- Featured Snippets
- Voice Search
- SERP Real Estate
- Structured Data FAQ, Q&A
Your kids probably talk to their phones and Google all the time and you feel a bit embarrassed to do so if you are; well over 30 or even 25. I still remember 10 years ago when some of my friends looked weird at my first iPhone, little did they know then that their fingers would be practically glued to their phones today.
Voice Search, Google Assistant (but also Amazon echo and others) will come of age in 2020, 2021, this will be in part due to 5G and the unimaginable speed this can offer compared to 4G.
Predicting the future is a mugs game, but since Google has the power to rewrite it, I’m going to venture that in 5 years we all be speaking to Google Assistant and other such Matrix devices as a matter of routine.
SEO Growth Strategy
Our SEO audits always include recommendations per section and subsection, as well as a summary of recommendations by type at the end, when you or your CEO reads these, SEO becomes usually more clear and looks like a manageable discipline with visible tangible results in sight. A common breakdown of recommendations.
- SEO Growth Recommendations
- SEO Recovery Recommendations
- Key Technical Recommendations
- Key On-Site Recommendations
- Key Off-Site Recommendations