This Post was First Published on www.huffingtonpost.com
In today’s digitally-driven world, one of the best ways to ensure that your company receives its fair share of prospective clients and customers is with a strong presence in the search engines for those keywords relevant to your business and industry.
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Why SEO Audits are Critical for Online Business
First Page Search Results Are Most Important
Considering that more than ninety percent of searchers looking for information about your type of business never make it past the first page of results, it’s absolutely critical that your web pages appear on page one in order to drive traffic to your brand and offers.
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing (content/keywords, architecture/links, hosting/tech) and presenting your website pages in such a way that the search engines recognize your content as highly relevant and useful to users.
While results don’t come overnight, you’ll become worthy of a position on that valuable page one of Google’s digital real estate.
Change Is The Only Constant (In Google Search)
Because SEO is constantly changing and evolving (Google alone adjusts its search algorithm between 500 and 600 times each year), creating a beginning SEO audit, and then periodic audits of your SEO program is essential to keeping your website on track for optimal ranking in the search results.
The better your ranking, the more targeted traffic your site will receive – and the more chances you have of converting those prospects into paying customers.
#1 – An Audit Can Help You Build a Page One Search Engine Presence
A comprehensive SEO audit can help you pinpoint what you’re doing correctly (and need to keep on doing) as well as provide details on what needs to be changed or even eliminated completely in order to remain in compliance with accepted practices.
Google considers over 200 ranking factors – along with up to 50 variations of each factor – in determining where your web page will appear in the search results.
A poor performance for any of the more “critical” ranking factors will likely cost you website traffic as well as the sales that traffic might have generated.
#2 – Traffic Alone Won’t Make a Sale – You Need Traffic That Converts
If your website is attracting a decent number of visitors but your cash register still isn’t ringing, you may have a conversion problem.
Conversion is simply the art of persuading your visitors to take a specific action such as signing up for your email list, downloading a valuable report, or making an online purchase from your website.
Maybe you’re targeting the wrong keywords or presenting an offer that just doesn’t resonate with your target audience.
Whatever your conversion goal might be, an audit can help uncover the problems that are preventing you from capitalizing on your visitor traffic.
#3 – An Audit Can Help Reduce Wasted Pay Per Click (PPC) Ad Spending
A paid search engine advertising campaign (such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads) is a great way to complement and strengthen your efforts, driving targeted “buyer mode” traffic to your offers.
However, the high cost per click rate in many competitive niches allows for little margin of error if your PPC campaign is to generate a reasonable ROI for your efforts.
An audit can provide critical information about how your PPC ads are performing and contributing to your bottom line, allowing you to tweak your campaigns to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
#4 – Improve Your Website Bounce Rate with an Audit
If visitors can’t quickly find what they were looking for or are having difficulty navigating your site, they tend to “bounce” off quickly to look elsewhere.
Too high of a bounce rate raises a red flag with the search engines, who may drop your site in the rankings as a penalty for not providing a rewarding enough search user experience. An SEO audit along with creating relevant inbound marketing strategies can help you pinpoint problems that are costing you ranking and visitor traffic.
#5 – Strengthen Your Inbound Link Strategy with Regular Audits
Inbound links are simply links coming to your site and pages from authoritative third-party sites. They help build authority, trust and ultimately better ranking and more traffic for your site.
Acquiring quality links is the cornerstone of most present-day campaigns, making it vital to your efforts that you measure the effectiveness of your link building efforts.
An audit can help ensure that your link building is being done the correct way (keeping you out of the search engine penalty box) and is generating a diverse link profile that will help boost your rankings.
And, you’ll be better equipped to create a content marketing strategy to build authority with your audience, so they will link back to you.
#6 – An Audit Can Help You “Cure” Ailing or Non-performing Campaigns
If your SEO campaign is working correctly, you should see a steady increase in traffic to your site over time.
Stagnant or declining numbers are a sure sign that something is radically wrong, and that it’s time for you to “pop the hood” and diagnose the problem – quickly.
An audit of your website and the search engine marketplace can help you pinpoint the problems with your declining traffic (whether it’s the result of a new Google algorithm update or a new link building effort by one of your competitors) and help get your traffic and profits back on track.