SEO Framework – the Audit (EP6)

Key Takeaways

  • Your audit is going to influence your strategy and how you move forward.
  • An audit includes competitor analysis and growth opportunities.

Resources

Full practical SEO frame guide.

Episode 5

Keywords Everywhere

Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

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Raw Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the small business sweet spot. I’m your host Barb Davids, and this show is dedicated to helping small business owners like you get more organic website traffic and also to help create and distribute content and analyzing the numbers so that we can make better informed marketing decisions. It is action oriented, direct and conversational.

And if you’ve been looking for SEO or content marketing help, please stick around to the very end where I share about the group coaching program, small business sweet spot. I’m so glad you’re here. Let’s go.

Welcome to this week’s episode. This week, we’re going to talk about the audit part of the SEO framework that I talked about in the last episode, episode five. Last episode was really, really super high level.

And I wanted to dig into each of the parts and expand on each section of the strategy, or really, I guess it’s a framework of the different parts of SEO. So there’s the audit, there was the strategy and the execution. This week, we’re going to talk about the audit.

While most SEO audits focus on the technical side of the website, such as page speed and errors and things of that nature. I like to go into it a little bit deeper than that. I like to take a look at the growth opportunities that are available for a website.

So if someone were to come to me and they want an SEO strategy, the first part is the audit. We take a look at what the website looks like, what it’s ranking for, keywords, how many searches are on that keyword, and then bringing those two together to see what sort of potential the website has. So for example, if it’s trying to rank for keyword A, but it’s not, how much traffic is it missing out on that it could be if it was showing up for that.

Let’s go through a real life example. I do want to preface this with the idea that the numbers that I’m using in here are off of reports that I found to be viable and is a guideline that I use, but I also make modifications where I feel like I need to. Sometimes it’s a gut call.

Sometimes it is dependent on the industry. But these numbers help me give at least a starting point to have the discussion with the client and talk about where they might be missing some sales, where they could improve, where there might be some growth opportunities. So let’s take an example of 10 keywords.

Of those 10 keywords, when you add up the search volume for all of them, let’s say they equal to 100,000 per month. If you were to show up for those keywords in the top five organic results, you can estimate about a 66,000 website visits to your website. So we’re estimating about 66% of the clicks from the top five search results, illicit website traffic.

Now of those website visits, let’s say we convert about 2% of that website traffic. Again, it’s just another generalized number. It can vary by industry, by product, all that kind of stuff.

But let’s say we have 2% of your website converting, meaning they’ve either filled out a form or they’ve made a purchase. That would be 1,320 new leads. Now of those new leads coming into your workflow, let’s say you convert about 15% of them.

15% say, yep, I want to work with you. That’s 198 new clients. And now let’s say you have an average sale of $1,000.

There’s 198 new clients with an average sale of $1,000. There is potential to have incremental sales of 198,000 per month. One question you may be wondering about is how do you find out how many searches a keyword has? The keyword tool that I use is called Keywords Everywhere.

I really like it. It’s budget friendly, first of all, but it’s also super easy to use. It comes up right inside of my Google Chrome when I’m trying to search and doing some looking around inside the search results pages.

The second part of the audit is going to be against competitors. So where do they show up as opposed to where their competitors show up? Sometimes you think that your competitor is the person down the street or maybe somebody that you hear about a lot, but they might not show up in search in the same way. So the people that show up in search on the keywords that you’re trying to get found for may be somebody else at the top of the results and so you want to take a look at your website against their website.

With a competitor audit, I tend to do this on a manual basis. There are some tools out there that will give you some comparisons based off of back links or keywords that you cross over with, but I like to go to the competitors and take a look at the website themselves. I have a list of less than 20 things that I take a look at.

Not every single one is an exact ranking factor, but it does make a difference in sometimes the engagement of how people are using the website, which can affect your rankings in a sort of roundabout sort of way. So they include meta title, meta description, target keyword in the title, the target keyword in the header, the target keyword being used every 300 words or so. I take a look at the internal links and external links, the schema, number of images on a page, images that have alt text with a target keyword, does it have a privacy policy, what is the crawl depth for the page or pages I’m looking at, how many referring domains as opposed to URLs, what the page speed is, the text length, and the text and the words and how they compare.

Most of these things I can find with a free tool or by eyeballing it. And to clarify, I usually just do this with one page. Google doesn’t look at your website as a whole and rank the whole website, it ranks it by page by keyword.

So it’s much more manageable to compare to your competitor if you are comparing one page, such as the home page or one of your main service pages. Now let’s go into the technical audit. How do we do a technical SEO audit? What if we don’t have the tools for it? A tool I recommend is from the company called Ahrefs.

They have a big SEO tool platform, but they also offer a free site audit tool. The URL I’ll put in the show notes as well is ahrefs.com slash webmaster-tools. Most SEO audits these days will give you a report and it will put it in priority order, or it will put it in like a red yellow green order so that you know what you need to work on.

Most of the time it’s going to be broken pages, slow speeds, uncompressed code, and some of the things you might need to hire a developer to take care of or talk to your hosting provider in order to take care of it and fix it. One of the things that I like to do with the SEO audit also is to check out my site speed specifically at GTmetrix. It’s a free tool that you can use that will run through your website and let you know what is holding it up.

It’s a little scary at first, I admit. However, when you go in there, it actually has some colored bars in there to let you know exactly where it’s hanging. So a lot of the times what I’ll see is someone on a website, they have a homepage image or images and they will be way larger than they need to be for what’s on the page.

So all you have to do is go back into the website, change out the image to a smaller one, and that will fix your page speed size. All right, that wraps up this week’s episode on an audit inside of an SEO strategy or framework. The key takeaway here is that your audit is going to influence your strategy and where you move forward.

It’s going to identify opportunities that you can capitalize on after you look through all of your competitors and look at your website and see what kind of potential there are in the keyword searches. Until next week, cheers. Thank you for sticking around.

I hope you enjoyed the episode. If you’re looking for SEO and content marketing help, consider joining the small business sweet spot. It’s a group coaching program where you can get answers to your questions about your business directly and clarity around the marketing strategies that you would like to implement in your business.

You can find all kinds of information at compassdigitalstrategies.com. And if you liked the episode, please tell a friend. Cheers.

Barb Davids - SEO Consultant

Barb Davids is an SEO consultant and owner of Compass Digital Strategies. Driven by data and analytics, she works hard to get business-changing results for her clients, such as 256% more website traffic and 22% more leads. Connect with her: Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter
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