SEO complexity is constantly evolving as brands dive deeper into digital commerce. Beyond the normal technical and content requirements, now many companies require access to deep analytical abilities in order to understand the issues that arise from dynamically built sites. It is more important than ever to be able to quickly identify upward trends in searches and gaps. Many SEO experts also find themselves in the position to educate across multiple business units in order to receive buy-in and show value. Having a consistent strategy, regular implementation and optimization are key to long-term success with SEO- but sometimes that can be easier said than done.
Over the next month, Echidna will be sharing our 3 part roadmap to SEO series. These articles will share what success looks like and how you can improve your brand's SEO in order to meet KPIs like traffic and revenue. This week's article starts with creating a baseline by completing an SEO audit. From this audit, you will be able to update KPIs, educate key stakeholders, and prioritize technical needs based on your metrics and those of your competitors.
Audit, health check, scorecard- call it what you like, this is a great place to start. Reviewing the current state of your site gives a baseline or using the audit process in tandem with new projects can help mitigate issues before a launch. An audit is one of the best tools to educate key stakeholders by easily communicating where you are at, why it is affecting KPIs, and how you can improve. Depending on the depth of the audit, it can review on-page and off-page factors to determine the health of the website, fix bugs, and uncover critical opportunities.
If you are just getting started a free SEO audit can be helpful to give a basic understanding of what needs to be done, but will cover limited improvement areas with minimal data points. A more comprehensive audit makes sense for those who are ready to take action in turning around their metrics and build a strong foundation for their search strategy.
A full SEO Audit by Echidna experts takes approximately four weeks to complete. It is a comprehensive dive into all factors that surround SEO and your brand, along with competitors.
The kick-off of a full SEO audit starts with understanding business objectives and goals. During this time top products, categories, and competitors that are important to the brand are discussed. It is also important to have a clear view of current SEO efforts and clarify business expectations around future SEO expectations.
Keywords play a key part in success when it comes to search strategy! Keywords are prioritized and chosen based on competitive and business goals during the audit. 10-50 keywords are identified and called “seed” keywords, which will help you to develop a content strategy for your key category/landing pages. These keywords are critical, as they show tangible results once defined.
Understanding your competitor's strengths (and weaknesses) can help you build upon your SEO strategy and decide where to first focus your time. During a full SEO audit, competitors will be analyzed against the identified keywords ad, content strategy, link building, and backlinking strategy.
These are both technical audits. Utilizing different tools the audit will determine site structure, usage of metadata, and other factors that impact SEO both onsite and off. The SEO audit report will include keywords recommended to focus on the short term (6-8 months), as well as a content strategy for link building.
Whether your company is just getting started or an enterprise organization, SEO takes time. Now more than ever, investing in an integrated on-page/off-page solution is the most cost-effective method for increasing brand exposure, maintaining your reputation, and driving prospective customers to your business. An SEO audit is an excellent option to understand and share how well your business is doing in the market, what is happening with the competition, and laying the roadmap for a cohesive SEO strategy moving forward.
Contact Echidna to learn more about how a full SEO audit can help set your brand up for digital success.
Read the whole Roadmap to SEO Success Series.
Part 2: Executing on an eCommerce SEO Strategy
Part 3: SEO Maintenance Checklist