Why SEO Audits Should Not Be a One-Time Thing

Reading Time: 6 Minutes

As consumers prefer to search for sellers and buy products online, having a website becomes imperative for businesses. Nearly 71% of American businesses have websites to create an online presence and connect with potential buyers. However, for a small business, it also means competing with thousands of websites in the same niche, including established brands and small competitors.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategic technique to make your website appear on top of web searches. Besides giving your site a ranking boost, SEO can enhance the credibility of your business because buyers trust the ones visible on the first page. As of 2022, nearly 63% of small businesses in the US invest in SEO strategies. 

Whether you already have an SEO plan in place or want to start from scratch, you need to understand the significance of SEO audits. Remembering that they should be an ongoing process rather than a singular event is also crucial. This guide will explain the importance of recurring SEO audits for a business.

Understanding the Significance of SEO Audits

An SEO audit analyzes how well your website follows best practices. The key objective of this assessment is to identify the foundational issues affecting organic search performance. The SEO audit reveals the following key pieces of information:

  • Technical issues
  • On-page SEO issues
  • Website structure issues
  • User experience issues 
  • Potential off-site problems
  • Competitive marketplace insights
  • Content gaps and opportunities

A comprehensive audit may also include checks for local citation consistency to ensure every URL displays accurate information. This can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process, but it is worthwhile. 

According to Arrivo Digital Marketing, local audits are essential for small businesses looking to enhance their local presence and reach customers who are most likely to drop in. These include audits of Google My Business page, local on-page SEO, content, backlinks, and social presence. An audit is essentially a “health check” that should occur regularly.

How Often Should SEO Audits Be Performed

Whether you have an in-house SEO team or collaborate with an agency, you cannot take a set-and-forget approach to your strategy. Agencies recommend a yearly website check for each of their clients. While an annual checkup is like spring cleaning, you cannot leave things to chance until the next year. Avoiding regular checks means issues may pile up, and resolving them together can be challenging.

The frequency of SEO audits may be subjective, but it depends on these factors:

Size of the Website

Your website may require more frequent health checks if it is large in size. Larger websites may encounter more issues related to speed, responsiveness, and broken links, making it essential to pay more attention. 

Industry Benchmarks

Your competitors can be your best guides when it comes to deciding the frequency of SEO audits. If they do it often, you must also do it because falling short of industry benchmarks is a mistake any business should avoid.

Current State 

The current state of your website’s health is another deciding factor for its need for SEO audits. A site with a low score (due to multiple issues) will require more frequent checks until it reaches a minimum threshold. 

Dependency on Web Traffic and Conversions

Does your business rely heavily on online revenues? Will less traffic and fewer conversions hit your bottom line? The more you depend on web traffic, clicks, and conversions for survival and growth, the more frequently you should perform SEO audits.

Considering these factors, you can decide whether your website needs monthly, quarterly, or bi-annual SEO audits in addition to the comprehensive yearly check. You can experiment with this approach to decide on the ideal timeline for your business.

Why Perform Regular SEO Audits

Now that you know how to determine the ideal frequency of SEO audits, you must also dig deep into their benefits. In the competitive digital landscape, where user behaviors shift, and search engine algorithms constantly evolve, staying on your toes keeps you safe. Here are a few good reasons to adopt regular SEO audits:

Stay Updated with Algorithm Changes

Algorithmic changes are a challenge marketers need to live with. According to data, Google implemented nine official and confirmed algorithm updates in 2023. The number was ten in 2021 and 2022. Besides these confirmed updates, countless small changes occur throughout the years, affecting website rankings more often than you imagine. Regular SEO audits keep businesses abreast of algorithm changes and help them adjust their strategies accordingly. 

Identify and Fix Technical Issues

Your website’s SEO performance may suffer due to technical issues such as slow page speed, broken links, duplicate content, and improper URL structures. They can hinder crawling and indexing by search engines, leading to a drop in search rankings. With regular audits, you can identify these technical issues promptly and fix them before they escalate. Besides saving your rankings, addressing technical issues ensures a smooth experience for visitors. 

Optimize Content for Quality and Relevance

Relevant, high-quality content is the key to getting high search rankings. However, what is relevant today may lose its value tomorrow, affecting quality as well. Regular SEO audits help you assess content performance and find the lags therein. You can also identify opportunities for optimization by checking content freshness, readability, keyword usage, and engagement metrics. Even a little refinement in your content strategy can enhance the ranking outcomes for your website.

Monitor Competitor Strategies

SEO audits are not only about finding what is working and what is not for your website. They are also about understanding competitor strategies through competitor analysis. You can also use them to benchmark your performance against industry peers. Regular audits should include analyzing competitor keywords, content strategies, backlink profiles, and search engine rankings. You can use these insights to refine your strategies and mitigate threats posed by competitors.

What an SEO Audit Should Be About

Undoubtedly, frequent SEO audits set the foundation for a robust long-term strategy. However, they can be long and cumbersome for small business owners. You can get the best of both worlds by being selective about your audit process. We will explain what a strategic SEO audit should be like:

Easy to Understand

The technical terms of SEO can be complicated for a layman who does not understand the basics. For example, as a business owner, you may hardly know the meanings of terms like metadata, canonical tags, and indexation. Still, your agency should present the results of an SEO audit in a way that you can connect the dots and understand the impact of SEO issues on your priorities, goals, or revenue.

Comprehensive

An SEO audit should be comprehensive, with a big-picture view of content and structural components affecting your search visibility in the current state. Any missing pieces could lead to improper and unnecessary recommendations.

Actionable

Whatever SEO audit recommendations you get should be actionable, showing a clear path to improvement. They should also show the impact and effort linked with each recommendation so that you have a clear roadmap for the future. 

Things to Avoid with SEO Audits

Besides understanding what your SEO audits should include, you must also know that going too far will do more harm than good. Performing too many audits or digging deep in the wrong areas are some mistakes you should avoid. We will now list what you should not do while performing SEO audits.

Focusing Only on Technical Aspects

Technical aspects such as crawlability, speed, and mobile-friendliness are essential components of an SEO audit. However, focusing solely on them can be a mistake. A comprehensive SEO audit should include non-technical aspects such as content analysis, keyword optimization, user experience assessment, and backlink profile evaluation. Viewing these factors means you maximize the critical opportunities for improvement.

Prioritizing Rankings

Although improving rankings is a primary objective of SEO, audits should not be exclusively focused on them. An effective one should also dive deep into key performance indicators (KPIs) such as organic traffic, engagement metrics, click-through rates, and conversion rates. 

Analyzing a broader range of metrics helps you better understand SEO performance and make informed decisions to drive meaningful results.

Limiting to Surface-Level Findings

Another mistake you should avoid is to confine your audits to surface-level findings. You must address immediate issues such as duplicate content and broken links, but a thorough audit should delve deeper into underlying factors. 

You can do it by conducting competitor research, analyzing data trends, and identifying strategic opportunities for improvement beyond quick fixes.

Disconnecting from Business Goals

An SEO audit should be connected to the broader goals of the business at all times. Failing to align them can lead to a waste of effort, time, and money in the long run. For example, startups launching new products should focus on creating awareness and winning the trust of their audience with their content and quality backlinks. 

It requires understanding the target audience, identifying relevant keywords, selecting informative topics, and creating content resonating with the needs and pain points of buyers.

Conclusion

You should not consider an SEO audit a one-time event or a static checklist to complete and forget. Since search engine algorithms constantly evolve and user behaviors change, you need to experiment, align, and fine-tune your strategies. 

Therefore, an SEO audit has to be an ongoing process for a business, regardless of size and scale. You must regularly revisit and rework your strategies to keep pace with these changes and ensure your tactics remain effective and current. Of course, this implies a great deal of effort, but every ounce you invest is worthwhile. 

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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