One thing that I do when I first start working with a client is I run an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) audit. Your SEO score tells you how easy it is for potential customers to find you in search engine results and provides metrics for the usability and accessibility of your website. I provide SEO audits as a free service, so clients can seed the data and understand this foundational aspect of their digital infrastructure.
Recently I did a couple of scans for businesses with absolutely beautiful websites. Visually, the sites were attractive, modern, smooth – they were lovely. One of them was also relatively new.
Looking at these websites as a business owner, one could assume these websites were doing the job they were built to do, bringing in new customers and providing the appropriate information to support conversions. I made a YouTube video about it and, spoiler, the data did not agree.
SEO audits assess website infrastructure
An SEO audit looks at numerous factors, many of which are focused on website infrastructure. These are factors that impact whether devices can load the site pages, whether the site is usable on different devices, and – very importantly – does Google understand the information on the website and see it as a quality resource when customers are searching for your product or service online?
If you take your car to the mechanic, they don’t care how shiny the paint is. They want to look under the hood and assess the engine.
When we looked under the hood in these two websites, the SEO audit data revealed a number of key issues that were barriers to usability and accessibility, particularly on mobile. Additionally, there were several red flags related to content infrastructure that makes Google less likely to list these sites in search results.
Without strong SEO, your website can become a barrier to customer growth.
92% of search engine result clicks happen on the first ten links of a search result. If you’re not showing up on those top links, you are not in front of your potential customers online.
Two things I tell clients regularly:
- You can have a beautiful modern website that’s not serving your business.
- It’s really important to have regular SEO audits, for this reason.
If you find yourself with a low SEO score – Don’t Panic.
There are a number of things that can be done to begin elevating your score. A quality SEO audit will give you actionable steps you can take to address the issues.
To raise your SEO score, you might need to:
- Add meta descriptions to your pages
- Update or add page headings
- Review or create a backlink strategy
- Update title tags
- Fix broken links
- Reduce the size of your images
- Refresh or add new content
All of these things can make a significant impact on your website search ability.
If the SEO audit reveals challenges with your website usability or accessibility, you will probably need to connect with a website developer for support. These issues can include slow page load times or poor formatting when the page loads on a mobile device. These are bigger challenges to address, but an SEO audit can identify these issues so you know where to focus your investment.
A note about budget websites
It can be tempting for businesses, especially those just starting out, to save money by using a low-cost website developer. There is no shortage of people who promise to build a beautiful site for a bargain. As a small business owner, I completely understand the pull of a budget website.
But remember what the data tells us: a shiny, beautiful site won’t matter if it doesn’t load well or if it doesn’t speak to search engine algorithms. Budget websites can cost you more in the long run.
Request a free SEO audit
If you haven’t done an SEO audit on your website for a while, even if it’s a brand new site, it’s time to run the scan! Reach out to our team and request a free SEO audit. We will run a report for you and help you unpack the results and recommendations.