Having marketing trouble and don’t know where to start? We start our process in the same place every time and this is why…

Whether it gets broken out as a service or not, some kind of website audit is almost ALWAYS the first thing that an agency will do to start a relationship. The most serious agencies will make this a formal process and there are some HUGE benefits that come from this.

Prevent Disastrous SEO Mistakes

marketing disaster in the search enginesIf you rank in the top 3 results for lots of great keywords, one of the worst things that an agency can do is mess that up while trying to go after a new set of keywords. Before we can improve things, we ask how the website is doing now and we understand why.

The Price of SEO Judgement Mistakes is High

We have never regretted waiting one or two months before pulling the trigger on a big website change. This is a good time to be prudent. Your existing search engine rankings can be extremely valuable and ensuring the future rankings of your website is a top priority.

Identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities

It is very tempting to call it a SWOT analysis but the reality is that we are not really concerned with outside threats at this point of the process. Let’s save that “T” for later.

The first question that many of us ask when first looking at a website is “What are we working with?” This can dictate the best recommendations for any particular e-commerce website. This can help determine what needs work, and what direction future content expansion should go in.

Getting To Know Your Website

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is to start rearranging a website’s structure without doing lots of diligence. That is a great way to throw prior successes out the window and lose your search engine rankings. As we look through your category pages and product pages we are looking at them as individual pages and auditing their elements, and we are also considering the website structure as a whole:

  • how the pages are linked together
  • how this all affects SEO

Getting to Know Your Team

marketing teamAs we work together we can also gauge your in-house capabilities and interest in various aspects of SEO for your business. We will learn the strengths of your team, what kind of technical and web development expertise there is, and we will learn about your team’s capacity to take on new work.

This is crucial for the later stages when we start to make recommendations. One of the things that an experienced SEO consultant might do better than a newer one is that they will understand what it takes for teams to implement various types of changes in the real world. This means understanding that sometimes implementing a recommendation will just be too tough for a team, or it might not be worth the hassle after considering potential benefits and implementation challenges.

Getting to Know Your Industry

We have been in business for 15 years now so we have dabbled in countless industries and niches. But if we haven’t worked in your industry, getting to know yours might also be a part of this audit process.

What is there to learn that is unique? Most of the technical SEO knowledge carries over regardless of your industry, so here are a few of the specific things that we might look for if a new client comes to us with an e-commerce site in a new industry:

  • Width and breadth of the keyword spectrum (how many products, how many niches, potential categories  and subcategories etc)
  • Strength and size of the online community.

Much of this means understanding your audience and where they can be found. This allows us to start formulating some ideas on how we think your audience should be targeted for maximum search engine visibility. We might ask ourselves: are there lots of online forums, bloggers, and podcasts?

Even if a business owner comes to us and tells us that they want a service that doesn’t directly require a website audit, we will still do a bit of an audit internally. It is part of the process of doing a great job. An experienced SEO consultant can do a 10 minute website audit that still can have game-changing value. This is why regardless of the scenario, a website audit is always done first.

You can read more about our e-commerce SEO audit process.

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