Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are all the rage due to the current pandemic. For more people, these projects focus on organizing, cleaning, or building something to improve efficiency and maximize unused resources. The same approach can apply to your marketing. Instead of constructing a planter or organizing a closet this weekend, conduct an SEO audit and assess what’s working, what’s not, and what to do next.
How to Perform an SEO Audit in One Hour (ish)
An in-depth SEO audit can quickly eat up many hours of valuable time, depending on how granular you get. Most business owners don’t have that kind of time to spend on an audit, so where should you focus your efforts?
We’re going to proceed with the assumption that you have full access to your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts, and that they are correctly set up and tracking. If you don’t have this setup, you’ll need to have it set up and active for at least six months.
Key Google Analytics Metrics
What metrics should we look at to judge your website’s SEO performance?
- Organic traffic – This is particularly important if you are running other marketing campaigns, including email, social media, or paid ads.
By changing the date range in the upper right-hand corner, you can see how traffic ebbs and flows. Do you see a decrease or increase over the past 6 months? The past 12 months? Compare date ranges using 3, 6, and 12 months to see how your traffic changes.
- Site speed – Speed is essential for many reasons. Users will abandon a slow site.
Unbounce reports that pages that take five seconds to load have a bounce rate four times higher than those taking two seconds to load. Not only that, a single second longer load time can cost 70% of your site’s conversions.
- New vs. Returning Sessions – How many new website visitors are you getting each month? New traffic means new potential clients/customers. Are your marketing initiatives working? Find out by looking at your new traffic.
Returning traffic is just as important as new traffic. How many visitors are returning to your site because they see value? Is your site recognized as an authority within your industry? Returning traffic is just as important as new traffic.
- Time on Site – This metric provides you with an idea of your site’s value to your customers, particularly if you have a blog on your site. Do your users spend a lot of time browsing through your pages for valuable, informative content? If not, try to figure out why.
Is your site confusing, hard to navigate, or does it have a poor user experience? Google places a premium on user experience, so much so that Google announced in May 2020 that this would be included in the ranking algorithm, beginning in May 2021. User experience is unquestionably an aspect of your site that deserves a considerable amount of your attention.
- Landing pages – Take a look at the Google Analytics All Pages report and check out your most visited pages. Are they the right pages for people to spending time on? Take a look at the top landing pages on your site. Are people spending time on them? Are they completing goals such as form fills, phone calls, or downloads? And look at your exit pages to see where you might be losing users and conversions.
A Word About Bounce Rate
Many website owners worry excessively and unnecessarily about a site’s bounce rate. Bounce rate is determined by the number of visitors to your site who land on a single page and then leave. A bounce rate in the range of 50% to 70% is average, especially when a site has an extensive blog.
Visitors to the site who find the blog while searching for a particular topic may not have any further interest in the site. As a result, this metric can be artificially inflated. If a bounce rate is excessively high or excessively low, this is certainly a cause for a closer investigation, but bounce rate should generally be taken with a grain of salt.
How to Use Google Console to Audit Your Site
Google Search Console offers a wealth of valuable information about your website. The information here is less about how users interact with your site, but it does offer insights into essential SEO information.
The screenshot below is the full performance report. For each of the dimensions – Queries, Pages, Countries, Devices – a metrics report can be provided – Total clicks, Total Impressions, Average CTR, and Average Position. The graph shows the trend over the date range selected.
How is this useful? For example, you can see what keyword terms were used to find your website and see the number of times the keyword was clicked. Or you can select the Pages dimension and see the number of times that page appeared in the SERPs by selecting the Impressions metric. Even better, you can add a comparative date range to see the difference during other months, seasons, or when other marketing campaigns have been active.
Professional SEO Audits
Much more can be examined during an SEO site audit. These are just a few metrics that can provide insight into your SEO status. If you don’t have the time to conduct an SEO audit yourself or you want a second opinion from experienced professionals, Efferent Media can help. Our team of trained, certified pros will analyze your website and your digital marketing and provide a blueprint for success. Feel free to contact the Efferent Media team by calling us at (631) 867-0900 or contact us here.