Updated: Oct 5, 2020
If you have ever visited our site ( AC Creative ) you have seen buttons, pages and paragraphs about 'Site Auditing'. While it may sound self-explanatory, the full scope of a site audit can be overwhelming to a non technical viewer. In this article, we will break down a site audit and explain exactly why they are so essential to great SEO.
What Is a Site Audit?
Essentially, a site audit is a process that AC Creative Content uses to unveil the technical intricacies of a website in order to critically evaluate what is working and what is not in regards to Search Engine Optimization. The specifics on what we evaluate will be covered later in this article, but all-in-all a site audit will allow is to create a detailed plan of action that is unique to the situation.
The audit report begins with the summary. This section provides an overview of organic versus paid site traffic, keywords, backlinks, and advertisements. This summary is the tip of the iceberg. It allows us to quickly uncover any fundamental errors or low return on investment (ROI) ad spending.
2. Organic Search Traffic
Organic search traffic is the essence of SEO. This is our bread and butter. Results from this section of our research will uncover what keywords you rank for, your position in the results for each, how much of your traffic is brought in by each, as well as your top organic search competitors and the same analysis for each of them.
Moreover, the competitor analysis we run on those top competitors allows us to see the top keywords for your market, which of course plays a huge factor in planning your SEO strategy. Over time, the regular practice of auditing your site against your competitors is what will allow the team to track your digital presence and online market share as we climb the ranks.
3. Paid Search Traffic
The paid search section of our audit is what allows us to evaluate Pay Per Click advertisements. The most important detail about this section, by far, is the Top Paid Keywords. When targeting an audience with paid advertisements, keywords are the 'make or break'. This section of the audit will allow is to see your top paid keywords against your competitors, as well as global search statistics. This three-way data forms a clear view into the most successful ad strategies for your market, and subsequently allows us to compete against even the largest-spending competitors on both the SEO and PPC level.
Backlinks are one of the most important components to great SEO. In case you are unfamiliar, a backlink is simply a link that exists on someone else's website that links back to your site. These links from reputable referring domains demonstrate to the search engine that you are an authority in your field, and they will increase your search results ranking accordingly. The more backlinks you have from reputable referring domains, the more authority you will have. The 'Referring Domain' is simply the website that hosts the backlink for you. Keep in mind, the authority of their site will determine the authority of the backlink.
With the review out of the way, let's talk about what we can analyze in this space. The backlink section of the audit shows us every single backlink that you have, every referring domain, and the authority of each. Essentially, a plain view of every backlink, referring domain and all information regarding them. The process of gaining relevant backlinks is very lengthy and can be very difficult. This section of the audit allows us to see the starting point and accurately track progress as we go.
Overall, the process of improving SEO and the subsequent ranking and traffic is a complicated one. These site audits allow us to accurately plan and track the progress of an SEO campaign in extreme detail. These examples followed a general audit that we run at the beginning of every SEO or PPC campaign, but they get much more specific and narrowed in as we go. If you would like to check out a real example, we have a PDF version for you here. In the same page you can request a real audit of your website.