What is an Search Engine Optimization Audit?

Laura M. Sands

A search engine optimization audit refers to analyzing a web site to assure that its search engine optimization (SEO) is working to improve the site’s search rank and to increase website traffic, overall. A checklist of items such as a keyword analysis, an analysis of inbound and outbound links, as well as an analysis of how a site compares to competitor sites is often performed during such an audit. A competent webmaster or site owner can perform her or his own search engine optimization audit, or a detailed audit may be completed by an experienced SEO consultant or analyst.

A search engine optimization audit may include looking at a site's coding to increase its visibility within search results.
A search engine optimization audit may include looking at a site's coding to increase its visibility within search results.

Search engine optimization is a unique way of using keyword placement and linking strategies to improve website placement on popular search engines. Primarily, such strategies are used by individuals who specialize in monetizing one or more websites or blogs. The level of attention paid to SEO strategies can make a difference in a site appearing on the first page of a search engine’s results for a particular keyword or keyword phrase, or the same site being obscured by hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of competitor sites that visitors find after using the same keywords in a search function.

By performing a search engine optimization audit, adjustments can be made to improve a site’s search engine rankings. Without an audit, a site’s owner may be unaware of weak areas, which may compromise rankings. After an audit, SEO adjustments often result in higher revenues due to an increase in website traffic and greater customer conversions.

During a search engine optimization audit, a website’s overall structure is analyzed. Included in this analysis, keyword density is scrutinized to determine whether a keyword needs to be used more or whether some keywords are overused and causing a site to be viewed as a spam or junk website filled with useless information. A search engine optimization audit also measures the number and quality of outbound and inbound links to help determine a site’s popularity.

The usefulness of the overall content and information on a site is also analyzed in a search engine optimization audit. Suggestions on various tags and source codes are scrutinized, as well. Following a search engine optimization audit, webmasters generally find it easier to define areas where improvement is needed and, after applying suggestions gained through an audit, search engine rankings often dramatically improve as do sales or shares in advertising revenue.

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