Audit to benchmark and identify improvements to your SEO
- Author: Dave Chaffey
- Last updated: March 2012
- Format: Excel spreadsheet with a checklist of 130+ SEO activities to consider to improve your SEO
- Use with: Our 7 Steps to Successful SEO Success Guide
How will our SEO audit help me and my business?
It’s easy to get lost within the details of SEO, meaning that while you may be working on improving SEO, the big picture and long-term plan to improve the contribution of SEO is missing.
This lack of an SEO strategy can be a problem, particularly if you are responsible for setting strategy or managing SEO through other people like an in-house specialist or agency. It can also be a missed opportunity; the latest Google Analytics benchmark data shows that, on average, 27% of site traffic is driven through search engines. Yet many companies can attract 50% or more of visitors through search depending on the strength of their brand and how good their SEO capabilities are.
The idea of our audit is to give you a framework to review capabilities and activities to improve SEO and then create a longer-term plan where you need to “up your game”.
Although the “100+” label may seem scary, we’re showing there are a lot of issues to cover and we break them down into 6 clear areas and a further 5-10 within that from which you can drill down further through the outline in the spreadsheet if you need to.
What’s included in the SEO strategy audit
We’ve made the strategy audit easy to scan and complete a quick review. The main sections are:
- 1. Auditing value of current SEO and identifying goals.
- 2. Search indexing for maximum visibility.
- 3. On-page optimisation – checking the pages work for SEO.
- 4. Content strategy – managing the right type of content to attract links and visitors
- 5. Link-building – lots of ideas for link-building.
- 6. Internal linking – often a missed opportunity to improve SEO.
We try to keep the jargon and buzzwords to a minimum, but they’re inevitable with SEO, so we recommend using this spreadsheet checklist alongside our straightforward 7 Steps guide if you need to.
About the author
This health check was developed by Dave Chaffey who first started working with SEO in 1998 and continues to apply SEO today. Dave has helped many companies improve their SEO from small businesses looking to improve their rankings in one country to international businesses looking to maximise their digital footprint in hundreds of markets.
Do let us know any questions or comments you have about how to best use this checklist. Thanks!
What our members say about the SEO Strategy audit
This SEO Audit is really helpful and great for benchmarking and showing improvement to the client, keep up the good work guys!
Nathan Leverington, Australia
We are at the early stages of our digital marketing journey, Smart Insights templates and tutorials help us check and learn as we go.
Stuart Sykes, Digital Marketing Manager
Smart Insights is one of the best digital 'tools' on the internet today. It has been a great asset as a channel of advice and insight, helping me to deliver an all-encompassing digital strategy.
Jennifer Law, E-Communications Manager, National Pharmacy Association
You can access this advice if you are a Smart Insights Expert-level member.
Smart Insights Expert Members get "at your desk access" to in-depth advice to improve their online marketing skills and capabilities:
- In-depth Ebooks
- Online training
- How to
- Marketing templates