September 6, 2011

What is a Site Audit?

From an SEO perspective, a site audit should show a client what improvements can be made for their site using search optimization and take into consideration many factors, including but not limited to the following;

  • Effectiveness of any previous SEO work
  • Title improvements on all major category pages
  • Description improvements on all category, subcategory, content pages
  • Examine number and quality of links on major category and content  pages
  • Evaluate quality of incoming links to domain, and content pages
  • Evaluate SEO friendliness of file names
  • Examine images for loading speed, alt text
  • Review layout from user perspective
  • Turn on and off JavaScript and cookies for crawling issues from search engines
  • Diagnose any site problems, or index problems
  • Examine URLs for domain, including all category pages
  • Research competitors in the keyword space  for the industry, or vertical niche
  • Review competitors inbound links
  • Test three or four intuitive search terms to see how client ranks with at least one search engine
  • Access client's analytic's to review for data issues ( not using a filter for example)
  • While reviewing the above examine for best practices in all areas of the site including terms of service page, privacy page, company policy pages etc.
  • Review navigation and global navigation for number of times a user must click through to reach content pages
  • Review relevancy of content pages and major category pages

A complete and thorough audit may take anywhere from four hours to a few weeks, depending on the depth of the site. Once completed though, much of the seo work can be followed using it as a blueprint, whether it is done in-house or an outside consultant.

How much should this audit cost a client?

A minimal audit should expect to cost anywhere from $250 to $750 or more depending on the agency or consultant fee. The more reputable and experienced firms may charge much more, depending on the depth of your site. Some consultant's charge thousands for such an audit, which can be peer reviewed by others to ensure accuracy of the audit, and its coverage. A very thorough site audit can be fifty pages or more, depending on the size of the site, and the scope of the company within its market. Expect to pay more for an audit of an e-commerce site.


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