In 2023, just as we prioritize regular health check-ups with doctors, it’s equally crucial to ensure that your website remains in optimal condition, free from issues like an abundance of spammy links and error-ridden pages.
Like our bodies require periodic treatments to stay healthy, websites benefit from thorough audits and fine-tuning to enhance their performance and efficiency.
Scrutinizing your website’s performance in search engines is called an SEO audit.
SEO audits are a powerful means to outshine your competitors, unearth untapped potential within your website, pinpoint and rectify trouble areas, and enhance the overall user experience.
Regularly conducting technical SEO audits, on-page SEO audits, and off-page SEO audits is essential.
As you progress through your audit, you’ll uncover areas where improvements can be made, optimizing your website’s performance and ensuring visitor satisfaction.
While you may not be able to address every issue all at once, an SEO audit equips you with the knowledge needed to identify problems and formulate a strategy for resolution.
In 2023, Martin Splitt from Google offers valuable insights on enhancing the value of SEO audits for website owners.
A wealth of advice is shared in the second episode of Google’s SEO & Devs web series on YouTube, which focuses on SEO audits.
Martin Splitt is joined by Bartosz Goralewicz, the CEO of Onely, who provides recommendations based on his team’s extensive experience working with clients.
This episode is a must-listen, as it will provide valuable insights that can improve your collaboration with developers and stakeholders, ultimately leading to a more effective and successful website.
PDF reports are no good
In 2023, Martin Splitt advises moving away from delivering SEO audit results through PDF reports in favor of more impactful methods of communication.
The drawback of conveying SEO audit findings through PDF reports is their tendency to highlight issues within a website without providing clear guidance on addressing them.
Furthermore, these reports often need to align with the specific goals of the website in question, which can hinder the effectiveness of any suggested improvements.
To illustrate this point, Splitt draws from his experience as a developer:
“I remember being a developer. I had so many different things on my plate already and then, out of the blue, in the middle of a sprint, someone from the SEO department descended upon me and said: ‘Martin, here is a PDF with all the things that are wrong. Bye!’
A lot of these things are so unhelpful and so not reflective of the circumstances that I, as a developer, work in.”
Later they also suggested and shed light on how you can improve your SEO audits.
Boost SEO ROI with Better Communication
Bartosz says the key to delivering better SEO audits is to communicate more thoroughly with stakeholders and developers.
“Usually we start with stakeholders… we talk to the stakeholders, we hop on a call before creating any offers or anything. We hop on a call and talk about what’s the KPI, what’s the problem, what are the challenges, why are we even doing that.
Why is this so important? Why do you want to fix that? Because if traffic is the only metric we still will work with them, but we know how this might go. So we’re going to start with that.“
He further added:
My team looks at a client’s website only after understanding what their goals are.
“Then, after the call, we look into their website and we create a statement of work. So we tell them — OK this is what we’re going to do. This is the list of problems we’re seeing with your website, this is how we want to fix it.
Prioritize, so the first month we solve all of the most terrible aspects like internal 404s or, I don’t know, 10 seconds to load the page, whatever.
And with that it’s extremely transparent because we tell them this project is going to take four months, we’re going to hop into a PM (project manager) like Jira or Trello with your dev team, and we’re going to make it happen.”
Here’s a link to the complete video
Regardless of your industry, strategic SEO and consistent SEO audits are crucial. However, before delving into auditing, you must define your goals and communicate clearly with your team to maximize your SEO return on investment (ROI).