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Completing regular SEO audits is critical to the success of your website.

Why?

Well SEO audits take a deep dive into your website and highlight any problems you may be facing and not know about. Once you have discovered which aspects of your SEO is holding your website back, you can create a solid plan of action to execute and maintain.

And once those problems are fixed you should see a steady incline in traffic.

After completing my most recent SEO audit I saw a 45% increase in organic traffic compared to my worst month the previous year.

How SEO Audits Help Increase your Traffic line graph

Now when most people think of SEO audits, they automatically think of an SEO audit tool such as Ahrefs and SEMRush. Now these are an important part of the investigation process but they aren’t the only part.

First you need to conduct the manual part of the audit and there are 3 stages.

  1. Find Out What Your Visitors Think
  2. Manual Observations
  3. Technical Spot Checks

Let’s take a closer look at these:

Find Out What Your Visitors Think

By conducting a reader survey or taking to social media, you can get feedback from the people who actually matter.

Your visitors.

By asking simple things like:

  • Tell me what you dislike about my blog/website
  • Tell me what sort of content you want
  • Tell me how you would like to receive that content?

The feedback you receive will help you not only fix existing issues but help you create a whole new content strategy designed to make your existing visitors happier and attract many new ones.

Make a note of all your findings.

Manual Observations

Once the last exercise is complete you need to observe the issues for yourself.

It is sometimes surprising to take off your SEO hat and put yourself in your reader’s shoes. You will probably even add problems to the list yourself.

From this, you can figure out exactly what needs to happen to fix those problems. But don’t start fixing yet. We still have some more checks to do:

Technical Spot Checks

You’ll need to perform some technical checks.

These checks are usually the most common issues that appear on websites that have trouble in the SERPs.

They are:

  • Mobile and desktop speed
  • Mobile indexing
  • Check your performance metrics
  • Review data

You should pick 5 URLs, including your home page, a category page and then the page that contains the most images, content, and videos.

See how I did this on my full SEO audit article.

Make a note of any issues you find when completing your checks and add them to the list.

So now the manual checks are complete and you probably already have a long list of issues, it’s now time to bring in an SEO audit tool.

Use An SEO Audit Tool

This part is pretty easy as the tool does all the work for you. Just pop your website through the audit and add the issues to your list.

I like to use Ahrefs but would also recommend Website Auditor and SEMRush which give good results. Maybe even use a couple.

These tools have some pretty good trials you can take advantage of to complete your audit at little to no expense.

Create A Common Sense Plan Of Attack

So the last stage of your audit (other than actually fixing the issues) is to consolidate all your findings and create a robust plan which you can execute effectively.

This may sound simple but it is extremely important that you do it right to turn your traffic around quickly.

So once you have a list of all the issues in front of you, you need to rank them in order of what will make your visitors happiest.

If your visitors are having a great experience when visiting your site this means the search engines are also experiencing the same thing.

My Results

This was the strategy I followed which lead to my traffic increasing by 45% after showing a steady decline after my worst year.

Although my list was very long, these were some of the more important factors I needed to focus on:

  • Redesigning my homepage
  • Adding 3 new portal pages
  • Optimise all my content
  • Website speed
  • Simply site navigation
  • General site structure
  • Technical SEO problems

Your issues will differ but the principles still work the same.

So if you start to see a steady decline in traffic, as I did. Do something about it with an SEO audit.

Author Bio:

Matthew Woodward runs an award-winning SEO blog that publishes detailed tutorials, case studies and reviews which focus on helping people build a successful online business. He started his blog in 2012 after leaving the corporate world and since then has helped thousands of people to reach their marketing and SEO targets.

How SEO Audits Help Increase your Traffic author

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