Technical SEO Audits

SEO Audits

An SEO audit with Spike Digital is usually the first step in the search engine optimisation (SEO) journey we take with our clients to improve their organic rankings, and the overall health of their website. 

Why do I need to have my website SEO Audited? 

Winning in the organic search results is imperative for the long term success and sustainability of most businesses. Today, you’ll see businesses of all sizes focusing on their website SEO aiming to bring more customers to their business. Our clients range from smaller local businesses looking to get ahead in local listings, to large businesses in categories that are highly competitive. From the audits we have conducted for our clients, we always discover issues that are holding their websites back from achieving their ranking potential. These issues found in our SEO Audits can relate to content, authority or the technical setup of our clients websites. Once issues are identified and rectified / removed, this allows the website to rank for desired keywords.  

Conducting an SEO audit may be the best money you can spend on your website. There may be one critical issue or a lot of minor issues that are causing your website not to achieve the rankings it deserves. We generally find there are a mix of issues holding websites back and if rectified it starts to introduce you to a significant number of new customers. 

What does an SEO Audit look like? 

The outcomes of the audit are extensive (think a 70 – 90 slide presentation with accompanying spreadsheet outlining each individual issue by webpage), along with our step by step guide of required changes that will optimise your website.

Our audits consist of several areas of focus. These include 

Organic Traffic Overview

Once we have been granted access to your analytics account, we gain an understanding of the trends of your organic traffic over time, and marry these trends up either with external factors contributing to the demand for your products or services in your category and your historical ranking data. We also use Google Search Console to review what keywords are driving clicks into your website, to understand the specific keyword categories and your keyword coverage to ensure it is broad and diversified. This provides us a good indication of the performance of organic search as a channel, vs other channels of customer acquisition that are important to the business, and sets a benchmark for performance to strive and exceed.

Competitor Performance 

Using third party tools and in consultation with each client, we determine the best competitor set to benchmark against. We then look into each competitor’s traffic, rankings, domain authority and many other metrics to unpick competitor SEO strategy and have benchmarks to work towards. 

Domain Authority

We look into the domain authority of our clients websites which when used in tandem with keyword rankings, allows for an initial clear view as to what may be holding the website back from achieving the rankings it deserves. For example, a website with a high domain authority and low rankings may have technical or content related issues – once we discover a potential nugget of information, we will drill down further to uncover the core issues.

Backlink Analysis 

Understanding the link profile is an imperative step in our SEO Audit and much like domain authority, the results of this analysis can give an early indication of what may be causing challenges with website rankings. We don’t just assess your backlinks though, we also need to assess what your competitors backlink profile is like. In some instances backlinks might not be needed and in some cases you may find your website is lagging in terms of high quality backlinks.

Technical SEO Audit 

The Technical SEO Audit is the foundation of any audit. We invest a lot of time on the technical onsite aspects of your website. In the audit we look at each element of a website and determine the individual health of each item. The following list includes the items we review as part of our technical audit. 

  • Page Speed – Pagespeed Insights measure the performance of a page for mobile devices and desktop devices
  • Core Web Vitals – Core web Vitals are three major Google ranking factors that essentially give a user focused metric score to determine a website or web pages health. Those 3 factors are; Largest Contentful Paint (average loading time), First Input Delay, (user input time to page execution) & Cumulative Layout Shift, (your website page stability)
  • Response Codes – A response code is a three digit code that is returned to a search engine or website visitor to indicate what is about to happen to their request
  • Schema / Structured Data – Schema markup is code housed on your website that allows search engines to return richer data into their search results
  • Site Security – A check to ensure all pages being served are secure 
  • Content – Google LOVES quality content that engages and answers the needs of a searcher. Does your site have low content and low value content pages? Having content lacking in word count makes it less likely for search engines to rank them highly. We also check for duplicate content, this is content that is either identical to or very similar to pages already on your site. They should be avoided where possible.
  • Title Tags – Title Tags show up as blue links on search engine results. In SEO they are like the title of your book for the demographics of your two most important types of readers; people & robots.
  • H1 and H2 Tags – Header 1, otherwise known as H1’s are a good indicator of what the most important text on a page is. As they are usually the most visually notable content on the page, a good H1 can ensure clarity for the reader & robots. Header 2’s are like your chapter headings, which give readers (& the bot) a clearer picture of what your content covers, & allows them to quickly find the specific information they want.
  • Meta Tags – Meta tags can help show up relevant content just below your title tag on search engine results. A compelling meta description has the power to raise the click-through rate on your organic search results. N.B. If your descriptions aren’t up to scratch Google can often overwrite them with what they believe is relevant 
  • Internal Linking – Which pages are you signalling to google are your most important page? Navigation links in content links directing people to other relevant sections or pages within your website can play a vital part in getting you content to rank higher 
  • Navigation – Navigation helps users (and the Google crawler) to find the content on your site. Having no or little navigation can hinder you ranking but so can having a massive navigation bar that links to every page on your site. Finding the right balance to highlight the important content and making it easy for users and google to find content on your website

What happens when the audit is finished?

Once our audit is complete, we provide each client with a spreadsheet broken down into individual sheets for each of the above items highlighting the pages of trouble and  areas of focus, along with the changes that need to be implemented to address our concerns. 

A usual post audit engagement sees Spike Digital continue to work with each client on an ongoing basis in order to work through the implementation of recommendations, along with the management of the ongoing website and off-site optimisation to deliver required rankings. 

We would love the opportunity to work with your business on your SEO. If you would like to know more or have an introductory conversation, please contact us here 

FAQ’s 

How long does an SEO Audit Take?  

Typically our full SEO audit takes between four to six weeks to complete. The main reason for this timeframe is there is a significant amount of work on our side unpicking the structure of the website prior to putting pen to paper on our recommendations. Additionally, we find taking the time up front to completely understand each of our clients businesses assists with providing robust recommendations on how to best change their website to deliver a greater optimised website 

How much is an SEO Audit? 

We offer three tiers of SEO audits, all of which are priced differently. We also price on a case by case basis depending on the size of your website and number of pages required to scan and advise on. Please get in touch with us to discuss which options may be best suited to your business 

Benefits of an SEO Audit with SPIKE DIGITAL?

Working with the team at Spike Digital, you’ll be dealing with senior digital marketers who have each between 15 – 20 years experience in the industry. Having managed SEO programs for some of Australia’s largest brands, driving tangible results in terms of new customer acquisition (not just ranking improvements on easily ranked keywords that do nothing for your business). 

There are no junior staff at Spike Digital, so you can rest assured that all work completed on your audit will be done so by a senior team member 

Is there any reason why my website couldn’t be audited?

There is no restriction on websites we can audit. We have completed audits and provided recommendations for clients with websites that have over 300,000 pages, and some websites that are only months old and require a lower level audit, but a significant amount of input to put them on the right path to success. In order to conduct our full seo audit, we will need access to your Google Search Console and Google Analytics (Universal or GA4) account. 

What industries can have an SEO audit? 

We have clients that span a number of industries including education, financial services, home care services, mapping and telco. Our team has broad experience working with many clients ranging in size from ASX listed larger companies to local businesses looking to win in local organic search results. We’re happy to assist you no matter the size of your business, or the industry you’re in. 

What if I have lost rankings and traffic from organic search, will your audit help me recover? 

The answer to this question is simple, ‘Yes’. We have worked with many clients who have lost rankings due to technical changes on their website, or conducting black hat style SEO activities to recover their rankings. By completing this SEO audit, we can unpick exactly the cause of the problem and provide robust recommendations to resolve. We can even work with you on an ongoing basis to rectify the discovered issue and define processes to ensure issues of this nature do not occur again in the future. 

What recommendations will I receive in the deliverables of the SEO Audit? 

A core deliverable of our SEO audit is our spreadsheet highlighting changes required for each audit website item. For example, we will provide you with a list of every title tag on your website against every page, indicate which title tags are over length, which are under utilised, and then provide recommendations on how these can be improved

Why are our audits different to other audits online 

Our core objective working with our clients to improve their SEO is to deliver rankings for keywords that will drive new customers to our clients businesses. Many businesses offering SEO services can promise an increase in rankings for agreed terms, but Spike Digital works with clients to identify not only terms that are realistic for our clients to rank for, but also use other data to ensure those terms have volume and have a high intent to convert for our clients products. Utilising data from paid search accounts and third party tools can assist in this process. 

The recommendations we make to clients as an outcome of the full SEO Audit are aligned to the keywords that will drive new customers to our clients business 

We would love the opportunity to talk to you about your businesses SEO needs. Please get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.