Written by Johnny

Toronto SEO Expert, Google Certified, hack-a-thon winner, and avid reader of books, blogs, and forums, Johnny is the quintessential, self-taught online marketing expert who is on top of industry trends. His experience has led him to work directly with hundreds of organizations ranging from small businesses to North America’s leading medical companies, helping them uncover optimization issues, prevent Google penalties as well as negative user and visitor experiences.

January 5, 2018

Let’s be honest, a website is never finished. No matter how great it might look, how fast it might load, or how engaging the content is, the fact remains: a website is never finished.

The worst part is you’re website might have all of the above but, for whatever reason, it still is not getting the traffic  that you want to see. This is where an SEO audit can be very valuable. If you currently have a site and  have been thinking of giving it a facelift or even a total redesign, you should strongly consider an SEO audit.

If you are unaware of what might be causing your site to not bring in any new customers, have a professional SEO company audit your website before consulting a web designer. Otherwise, you might be leaving valuable information behind. Designers are trained to make things look great, but often have little knowledge of how Google works behind the scenes.

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What is an SEO audit anyways?

An SEO audit is simply an evaluation of your website and how it can be improved through Search Engine Optimization. By improving the SEO behind your website you will attract more visitors and more business.

An SEO audit can be very in-depth, from collecting all the data you may have within Google analytics or some other data collecting method on your site, to more simplistic approach, such as evaluating the actual look of the site. An audit includes parts of the site that are displayed through the browser as well as things that the average web surfer doesn’t really know about.

A proper SEO audit will uncover any bad practices, errors, and missed opportunities. It will also provide a list of actions that should be addressed to improve the performance of your site: optimized images, tags and attributes in appropriate places, meta details, favicons, and these are just some on-site issues that can be found in an audit.

What separates a SEO agency from a freelance student?

With resources like W3 schools and even YouTube, many people feel they can build a website, and truthfully, they can. However, building a website fully optimized to meet many different criteria, in order to ensure peak performance, can be a challenge and separates the casual coder from the pros.

To build a desk may not be all that hard. Some wood, screws, and a few hand tools should do it. You may end up with something that wobbles a bit when you lean on it and you may not trust putting a computer on it, but it’s a desk. Now consider a proper woodworker making proper cuts to connect the wood better, using brackets and other tools to create a great stable desk that you can put a computer from 1985 on. This is usually the difference between the single part-time freelancer who learned how to build a site over a weekend and professionals from an agency, development company or the full-time freelancer.

Many businesses rely on the internet for many different reasons. Do you want that wonky slow site? Or do you want something that loads fast and engages your traffic while encouraging them to convert towards your goal? Many designers do not factor in load times and some don’t even know how to check this. If a site takes more than 3 seconds to load, the person trying to come to your site is most likely going to leave and probably never return.

What’s even worse is when there are things that are working great on your site and the redesign takes out those elements. Without a proper audit, you could inadvertently upset people who have been loyal to your site and are now left with a bitter taste in their mouths because of something that was moved or taken away from the site. It’s easy to get caught up in doing a redesign, it’s fun and exciting to get something new, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Keep what’s working and improve upon that.

Take the auto industry: a make and model of a car might look the same on the outside from one year to the next and only change some small details or add new features to improve it,  with a massive change only happening every 4 or 5 years, at which point the cycle starts again. 

Do I need a website redesign?

There are definitely times when a complete redesign might be in order, but, this doesn’t mean every time you update your website you have to change the colour scheme or have a new font. Just throwing ideas on the wall and seeing what sticks can be a timely and costly thing to do. Having a proper audit will help ensure a successful campaign; most audits are even free, so there is little to lose and much to gain.

Hiring a team with different backgrounds in marketing, sales, development, and design is far more effective than a single person’s approach. Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky are probably some of the top names in sports but still needed a team to help them reach the level of excellence they achieved. Having a team looking at different aspects of your website and general web presences is the key, because having a website that is hard to navigate through but looks amazing will definitely hurt your business. On the flip side, having the fastest loading site with little content also can have a negative effect.

How often should you have an audit?

Simply getting an audit and new design made is a good short-term plan. Sure, it’s better than no audit at all, but remember, search engines are constantly changing and updating their algorithms. Updates to Webmaster Guidelines could also make a current site become uncompliant with these terms. SEO from this year will be different next year, so you must check for outdated content on your site and clean up any backlinks that may be toxic to your site.

If you work with an agency, they should be constantly on the lookout for such things. They will make sure that your site always stays W3C compliant, adhere to any new updates, and make sure there are no 404 errors on your site. Remember your site is only has strong as the weakest link. And trust us, we should know. We have worked with many businesses to ensure their website are always up to speed and their SEO content makes them rank at the top of Google’s organic results. Hire our team to ensure your brand has the best website possible and allow us to show you what a great marketing agency can do for you.

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2 Comments

  1. Assunta Treffert

    Really informative, thanks for sharing this!

  2. Ujwal Pandit

    Nice article!! thanks for sharing awesome information. This article is really helpful for me.

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