The Essential Enterprise SEO Audit [An Ultimate Guide]

Uncover hidden issues and optimize your website's visibility with an enterprise SEO audit. Prioritize fixes to maximize online presence.

POST UPDATED:

May 20, 2024

enterprise seo audit

If you're a large company's marketing director, sales manager, or CEO, you know how competitive the marketplace is, mainly if your brand competes online.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing technique that enables your enterprise brand to gain an online competitive advantage. Unfortunately, many companies struggle with SEO efforts. Let’s look at a few reasons. As you read, see if any of these resonate.

First, the vast amount of content and data involved can make SEO overwhelming. An enterprise website could have hundreds, even thousands, of pages. In contrast, many small business websites only have two dozen or so web pages to manage.

SEO can also get technical. Even if you have heard terms like backlinking and keyword cannibalization, you may not know how they affect your website’s SEO health.

Of course, I can’t ignore one of the biggest issues in the SEO industry—the SEO industry itself. Marketing agencies and SEO consultants have perpetrated much of the confusion around search engine optimization.

When many of our digital marketing audit clients come to us, they are exhausted by SEO. Most have had mixed experiences, mainly bad. Some companies have gone through more SEO agencies than they can count.

Perhaps agencies aren’t to blame. Sure, some “black hat” SEO consultants will keep clients in the dark so they can continue charging fees. But most SEO experts are trying their best to do a good job.

You hear so much conflicting information about SEO because the search engines themselves are good at keeping secrets. Google and other search engines like Bing don’t reveal their formula for ranking websites. So, in many ways, SEO is an experimental process.

But there is a big problem with that. Companies—perhaps like yours—don’t want to invest thousands of dollars in an “experimental” SEO strategy. Instead, they want results.

In this blog post, you'll learn what it takes to get those results. We'll examine the ins and outs of enterprise SEO audits so you can make better decisions about your strategy. You may even save a little money in the process.

Table of Contents

    How is an enterprise SEO audit different from other audits?

    An enterprise SEO audit often requires different strategies and tools than an audit for smaller companies. For example, a small business SEO audit may consist of content optimization and a revision of metadata. But enterprise SEO audits involve comprehensive, top-down assessments of multiple websites, markets, and products.

    Enterprise websites usually have a complex site architecture, diverse content strategy, and hundreds or thousands of pages, which creates a larger scope of work that is more challenging to manage.

    Another unique characteristic of an enterprise SEO audit is the level of competition. Large organizations typically compete against other brands with comparable resources and use sophisticated SEO tactics. Therefore, enterprise clients usually need to implement advanced SEO strategies, including:

    • Process for internal and external links
    • Optimize for Google Rankbrain
    • Mobile optimization
    • Complex keyword targeting
    • Featured snippets (i.e., schema markup)
    Pillars of an SEO Audit
    Pillars of an SEO Audit

    What does an enterprise SEO audit include?

    I have listed the primary areas of an enterprise SEO audit below, in no particular order.

    Keyword strategy

    The first step is a keyword strategy. Keywords are the words or phrases people use to find content related to their search query. SEO keyword strategy should optimize a website’s content with targeted, relevant, and high-ranking keywords.

    During an audit, explore the keywords and phrases your target audience uses to search for your products and content. The goal is to find high-traffic, low-competition keywords relevant to your business and audience. SEO tools like AhrefsSEMrush, or Google Keyword Planner can help you with keyword research.

    The auditor will prioritize selected keywords based on their search volume and competitiveness. The higher the search volume and lower the competition, the more ideal the keyword is for optimization.

    Once you have reviewed the keywords selected during the audit, compare them to the ones you have been using. Incorporate any that are missing into your content creation plan. These terms should be placed in key areas without "keyword stuffing." Examples include titles, headings, alt text, and main page content. Even making small additions can improve your website's position in search results.

    Companies should balance incorporating keywords and creating high-quality content that is valuable to their audience. Focusing only on keywords can result in content with poor readability. The secret here is to use keywords wisely while considering context, search intent, and other search engine signals.

    SEMRush Keyword Overview
    SEMRush Keyword Overview

    Competitor analysis

    SEO competitor analysis is an integral part of an enterprise audit. It involves researching and analyzing the SEO strategies used by competitors. As a result, you'll be able to identify where you fall short or where you can improve your current efforts.

    Competitive analysis plays a pivotal role in honing your keyword strategy. It unveils the keywords and phrases that your competitors are successfully targeting. Armed with this knowledge, you can fine-tune your own keyword strategy, paving the way for increased website traffic.

    Analyzing competitors can also help you identify the backlinks that boost their search engine rankings. Auditors do this by evaluating competitors’ link profiles. From there, you can determine the quality of their backlinks and which would be suitable for your own website.

    I should add that this process is not simply a matter of copying your competitors’ strategies. Instead, use this step as a starting point to develop a better SEO strategy.

    IMAGE: Ahrefs backlink profile example (Click to expand)

    Content audit

    A content audit is a comprehensive analysis of a digital platform’s content, including text, images, videos, and other media. The purpose is to assess the quality and relevance of the content. It’s also an opportunity to remove outdated or duplicate content (and similar content with too many overlapping topics). This audit will help ensure the content strategy aligns with your business goals.

    The auditor's first task is to create a comprehensive list of all your content assets. While this can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have a large volume of pages, posts, or files, it's a crucial step. It provides you with an accurate picture of what you have and what you don’t, which is essential for effective content management.

    With the inventory complete, you can analyze each content piece individually. Content should be relevant, accurate, readable, and have visual appeal. You can also categorize content by type, such as blog posts, product descriptions, social media posts, and so on. This will help you understand which types of content perform better than others and which ones need improvement.

    The auditor will also examine factors that could impact your organic search traffic levels, such as duplicate content issues, internal linking, URL structure, and anchor text. To assess content performance, most auditors rely on Google Analytics data. However, it's important to note that Google Analytics is best suited for evaluating content's performance in Google search results only.

    An enterprise SEO audit should include a content quality check. A content quality check assesses the overall SEO factors found in your site’s content. The aim is to identify anything that may be missing, such as metadata, keywords, and subtopics. Analyzing competitor content is an effective way to close any gaps.

    Content Quality Score-SEMRush
    IMAGE: Content Quality Score (SOURCE: SEMRush)

    User experience (UX) review

    User experience often determines whether site visitors stay or leave. Good UX means the visitors will find your website easy to navigate, visually appealing, and user-friendly. Likewise, an enterprise site with poor UX will lose organic traffic and credibility.

    There are several factors to consider when auditing the user experience of a website. First, the website’s design must be visually attractive and consistent throughout all pages. An aesthetically pleasing design holds visitors’ attention longer and makes your website more interesting.

    Second, evaluate the website’s accessibility and functionality. All website elements should be easy to use. The site should also be responsive, which means it displays correctly on all devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

    Next, you'll need to check the website speed. Even though Google dismissed site speed as a ranking factor early in 2023, visitors still want websites to load quickly. Research conducted by leading tech companies, including Google and Amazon, has consistently demonstrated that faster-loading websites result in improved user engagement and conversion rates.

    Finally, audit your website’s security and privacy protection. Visitors expect their data to be kept safe while browsing websites. Therefore, websites must have security protocols in place.

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    Consulting services for emerging or established companies that want to increase ROI on their digital marketing plan.

    Technical SEO audit

    As the term implies, this step of the audit checks for technical SEO issues. These improvements make it easier for search engines to index content. This optimization stage has a profound impact on how well your website will rank. Examples of technical issues that inhibit SEO performance include:

    • Missing meta tags
    • Broken links (external and internal links)
    • Sites that are not optimized for mobile devices

    A technical audit—and subsequent fixes—can be complex. Most enterprise SEO audit steps are fairly straightforward, but not this one. However, technical SEO should be an ongoing process. Changes occur constantly that affect the way search engines crawl the site.

    In the following sections, I’ll walk you through some of the most common technical audit steps.

    Indexed pages audit

    Indexed pages are web pages search engines have detected and listed online. When a user types in a search query, these indexed pages will be included in the search result. Pages are displayed in order of relevance and authority. So, it’s important to make sure all of your site’s content is being indexed correctly.

    You can reference the Index Coverage Report on Google Search Console to check if pages are being indexed correctly. This report will list any issues with the indexing process and potential solutions. If a page isn’t being indexed, there could be an issue with code or links. It’s also possible that Google has yet to discover the page. In that case, you can update the sitemap to speed up the indexing process.

    Keep in mind that Google decides whether to index a web page. So, Google may not index every page of your site. If this happens, continue to improve the page’s content quality and relevance. After each update, resubmit the page for indexing in Google Search Console.

    What to do when pages aren't indexed

    When Google doesn't index pages on your site, investigate the root causes. Check for technical issues such as incorrect meta tags, robots.txt blocking, or nofollow attributes on internal links. Ensuring that your sitemap is up-to-date and error-free can also improve indexing.

    Once you have ruled out technical issues, focus on improving the content quality and relevance of the pages that aren't being indexed. Make sure they provide value to users and contain relevant keywords. Regularly updating and promoting this content can attract search engine attention and improve your chances of getting the page indexed and ranked.

    To check if all pages are being indexed, perform a URL audit using the Coverage Report in Google Search Console.

    URL audit

    This report highlights any indexing issues and offers potential solutions, such as updating the sitemap to expedite the process. Remember, Google ultimately decides which pages to index, so focus on enhancing content quality and relevance to increase indexing probability.

    URL structure should be descriptive, relevant, meaningful, and concise so search engines can understand what the web page contains. URLs should contain one target keyword with around 60 characters or fewer. An ideal URL is easy to read and short enough to remember. URLs generated by default are typically long strings of letters or numbers with no relevance to the content on the page. Avoid these. Craft structured URLs with hyphens between words.

    You can use the URL inspection tool provided by Google to check each website URL.

    Google URL Inspection Tool
    Google URL Inspection Tool

    Meta titles and descriptions

    Title tags are critical elements of every web page and should be part of your enterprise SEO audit. They are the first thing search engines and users see when they look at a search engine result page (SERP). So, the audit process should include a review of these to make sure they accurately describe the page’s content and contain related target keywords.

    Metadata structures content so that it's more navigable. Headings are vital for people using screen readers, especially those with visual impairments. They act as signposts, helping users move through text smoothly and quickly find the information they need.

    Headings break down information into bite-sized pieces, making content easier to scan and read. This organization helps readers pinpoint the exact information they are searching for, enhancing their overall experience with the content.

    Major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yandex display meta descriptions in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). We recommend including at least one keyword or phrase in the meta description tags to boost the page’s ranking potential.

    Title tags should be no longer than 60 characters, and descriptions should be limited to 160 characters. Prioritize clarity and conciseness when crafting meta descriptions. Good web copy will often increase click-through rate (CTR). Further, each page within your website should have a unique meta description to avoid confusion with similar pages.

    Using structured data markup or schema language to define features such as titles, images, or descriptions also helps optimize title tags. Schema also improves the page’s chances of being picked up by Google’s algorithms and increasing organic traffic.

    Website schema example (CLICK TO EXPAND)

    Headings

    Headings are another essential part of enterprise SEO. They make it easier for readers and search engine crawlers to understand websites.

    The most important heading is the H1 tag, similar to the title of an article. The H1 should accurately describe the principal theme of that page. Further organization with H2s, H3s, and H4s can improve page navigation. Heading tags should also include specific keywords related to the topic.

    Backlinks

    Backlinks have become an essential factor in SEO for enterprise businesses. Backlinks from higher-ranking, authoritative websites can increase a website's credibility and relevancy. By analyzing competitors’ backlink profiles, brands can develop strategies to gain links.

    The focus then shifts to the quality of backlinks. Companies must flag spammy links (i.e., toxic links) to avoid search engine penalties.

    When companies prioritize quality over quantity, they will have a better chance of strengthening their online presence and bolstering website authority. This makes natural link building preferable to shortcuts such as purchasing or getting links unethically.

    Mobile-friendliness

    Google prioritizes mobile sites over desktop sites when it comes to user experience and search engine rankings. Therefore, websites must be optimized for mobile devices.

    Responsive web design allows a website to adjust its layout to fit different devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to determine whether a page meets the criteria for mobile-friendliness.

    Optimizing for both desktops and mobiles opens up even more opportunities to get noticed online. So, be sure your web development team understands design best practices to stay ahead of the curve.

    Web Page Test Sample Report (Click to expand)

    Site speed

    Slow website page speed can hurt your search engine rankings. Users expect pages to load quickly and are likely to give up and leave if it takes too long. So, to provide the best user experience and rank higher on SERPs, websites need to load faster.

    What is fast? Google’s Core Web Vitals guidelines state pages should load in under 2.5 seconds.

    Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights are available for site speed testing. The final SEO report will provide optimization suggestions, such as image compression, minimizing code, and reducing the number of redirects.

    Website Load Speed vs. Bounce Rate
    Website Load Speed vs. Bounce Rate

    Image optimization

    Large image files are the primary cause of a slow-loading website. Compressing images can significantly reduce their sizes and speed up a website. Image filenames should be descriptive and include a target keyword. Also, keywords should be included in “alt tags” to let search engines know what the image is about.

    Images make content aesthetically pleasing and help communicate concepts to website users. Proper image optimization ensures a smoother user experience and adds SEO value.

    Robots.txt file

    A robots.txt file is a text file on a web server directory that provides instructions to web crawlers or “robots” about where to find content.

    When setting up a robots.txt file, ensure it includes only the pages or files you want Google to crawl and index. This acts as a safeguard for any private data. Depending on what kind of information you want to protect, better methods may be available. Password-protected web pages or “no index” directives are examples.

    Website Security

    Security is a significant consideration for enterprise websites. Security includes brute-force attack prevention, bot protection, secure authentication, encrypted data storage and transmission, and access restriction protocols.

    It’s also important to monitor user activity on the site. Businesses can protect themselves from fraud and cybercriminal activity by tracking website account activities. You should make sure that any users with administrative privileges are using strong passwords and two-factor authentication as added security measures.

    XML sitemap indexation issues

    A sitemap makes it easier for users and search engines to find your site’s pages, posts, images, and other content. Indexation issues on the sitemap could also prevent certain pages from being indexed.

    An enterprise SEO audit will reveal indexation problems with your sitemap. This process allows you to identify any potential errors or issues in your website’s sitemap setup structure.

    Sitemap example (Click to expand)

    How often should you conduct an enterprise SEO audit?

    We recommend brands conduct regular SEO audits every six months.

    Maintaining a routine audit schedule allows you to optimize your website’s user experience and online visibility with more accuracy. By staying on top of what works and what doesn’t, you can implement more effective strategies for the future. Conducting audits regularly makes it easier to catch problems that could damage your business.

    How much does an enterprise SEO audit cost?

    The cost of an SEO audit varies depending on the depth and complexity of the project. Businesses that need larger, in-depth audits should budget $5,000 to $10,000. Custom plans for large websites may cost more. Typically, SEO audits take between 4 and 8 weeks to complete. Several developers, strategists, UX consultants, and editorial staff will likely be involved.

    A final audit report should thoroughly review individual pages, including a link profile and other SEO recommendations.

    Get a custom enterprise SEO audit from The Brand Auditors

    At The Brand Auditors, we offer comprehensive enterprise SEO audit services beyond free audits and superficial analysis. We use a multi-layered approach to uncover hidden issues in your enterprise SEO strategy. Our experienced auditors will analyze your on-page and off-page SEO tactics while uncovering undervalued opportunities that could dramatically accelerate growth.

    If you want to know how an enterprise SEO audit can help your company, click the button below.

    Chris Fulmer PCM-Brand Auditors

    Chris Fulmer, PCM®

    Brand Strategist | Managing Director

    Chris has over 15 years of experience in brand development and marketing. He has designed strategies across various industries, such as technology, B2B services, and healthcare. His expertise includes brand positioning, competitive analysis, content marketing, and web development.

    Click to learn more about Chris

    Are you ready to find out how a brand audit can transform your business?

    Our brand audit process is a comprehensive analysis designed to help companies optimize performance.

    • Increase ROI on lead generation and sales conversions.
    • Reduce marketing expenses.
    • Strengthen brand positioning to become more competitive.

    We guarantee satisfaction or get your money back! Schedule a discovery call with a brand auditor to find out more.

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