Yesterday at the State of Search conference in Dallas, Derek gave a fantastic presentation about SEO Audits and how their main purpose should be to increase return on investment. What good is a 20-page report without direction for implementation? SEO has been changing since its inception, but one main difference between SEO today and SEO 15 years ago is awareness. Now, Derek pointed out, even the boss believes in SEO. Transparency is imperative as a result; you can’t manipulate clients into buying your BS (not that you would anyway, right?). Additionally, the margins of error are shrinking; there’s not an excuse to not supply the right data and supplement it with a plan of action. If you don’t do it, another SEO will. At Evolve, we always start with an SEO audit. Audits are fan-freaking-tastic, but utterly pointless if the end goal isn’t ROI. We put together a checklist that walks you through the most important parts of an SEO audit. (We might have mentioned it once or twice before.) The Onsite Analysis, Derek mentioned, is vital for identifying errors that trip up bots that try to crawl your site. Fixing them is always a good idea, as it can boost traffic, but it’s not an inclusive solution. You also have to check out the competition to figure out why they’re kicking ass and your not. Where do their links come from? What kind of content strategy are they rocking? This lets you know how much you’re slacking and what it will take to catch up (and hopefully inch ahead). Keyword research, the final portion of our audit, presents opportunity when performed correctly. A solid SEO will be smart about how keywords are listed and what data is used to find them. Derek says it’s simple: be relevant. Find keywords that present value and aren’t impossible to chase. What’s more awesome than checking things off our list? Solving problems. A strategic audit can accomplish both, but not without a realistic mindset that success in the SERPs requires an investment in substantial content. It’s clear that SEO is about transferring brand authority and trust to the digital realm. That’s why our ultimate goal as an agency is to empower brands through Search; we want our clients to understand that applying our recommendations will in turn boost their ability to provide solutions online.
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