As penalties become more severe for any site hoping to rank up in sometimes mysterious Google rankings, it’s apparent that everything from high ratios of ads to content and link spam can get you in trouble. Every webmaster needs to perform a site audit at least twice a year. You shouldn’t be surprised if you get a message from Google and have been struck by a penalty.
So What’s a Site Audit?
When a site is examined with specific tools and experts use their knowledge of SEO to analyze your site, they can tell what’s good about your site and what’s not so good. Often this involves user testing as well both for desktop and mobile browsing now. There are a few different types of audits.
- Red Flag Audits: If your site has potential penalty problems, an audit like this will let you know exactly where these exist and ways to get rid of them.
- Competition Audits: What are your competitors doing and how are they ranking compared to your site? An audit like this can provide significant site growth and give you feedback on how to improve and surpass other competitors in your market.
- Site Health: The general health of a site can be measured in the number of links and content that’s available to visitors as well as traffic numbers.
- Conversion Optimization: These audits focus solely on conversion analytics and look for issues that are disturbing the chain between landing pages and making a sale.
- Penalty and Recovery: Analysis will cover what’s happened to a site after penalties and how to pick up a site’s traffic once those penalties have been rectified.
- Other Audit Types: In addition, you may want to hire an expert to audit your site for responsive design, negative SEO and security issues.
Are Site Health Audits That Valuable?
If you have noticed that your site traffic hasn’t been what it used to be or you have suffered penalties from Google, it can be incredibly important and even a great relief to have a site audit. Many clients are absolutely sure that aren’t in violation of Panda or Penguin, but they actually have created a number of issues for their sites which has made it impossible for them to rank up in certain markets. Audits often go on numbers and make it hard to ignore the statistics that will help you make the necessary changes.
Understanding Penalties for Sites
Even though webmasters often freak out about site penalties, not every penalty is going to ruin a website’s reputation or even make your site lose all of your traffic. If a site has bad content, a few poor links and some technical issues, it can still be fixed and do better in Google with an audit. However, knowing these exact issues can make the process much quicker and smoother for any business.
How to Get Started with Site Audits
When you hire a company for a site audit, you’ll typically get a consultation phone call first. This just goes over all of the issues that you have and also looks at your site’s history, SEO and past penalties if any. It may also entail going over design challenges and looking at link analyses. If you think of it like a doctor’s visit for your site, you’ll realize that a physical exam maybe just the thing that can fix your site completely.