The Essential Enterprise SEO Audit (An Ultimate Guide)
With an enterprise SEO audit, you can uncover hidden issues and prioritize fixes to maximize your website's visibility.
March 16, 2023
Have you ever wondered why your content isn’t getting the organic traffic it deserves? Could it be that manual penalties or algorithm updates are keeping your website from reaching its full potential?
Conducting an enterprise SEO audit helps answer these questions and more. By evaluating your content strategy, website performance, and organic traffic growth, you can pinpoint any areas of weakness and correct issues that may prevent your site from achieving higher rankings.
Many brand executives and marketing teams are tempted to trust their own judgment with SEO. But they often cannot capture everything an enterprise audit will find, including the minor details like canonicalization errors and duplicate content.
Performing an enterprise-level SEO audit requires a comprehensive understanding of how websites rank, as well as best practices for optimizing on-page content and technical infrastructure.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about performing an SEO audit for enterprise sites. We will examine the audit process, including elements such as keyword research, backlinks analysis, content gap analysis, performance tracking, and technical issues.
By the end of this article, you will have all the knowledge necessary to make sure your company's SEO performance is on track for success.
How Is an Enterprise SEO Audit Different from Other Audits?
An enterprise SEO audit is a detailed review of a company’s website’s search engine optimization performance. It evaluates several features to determine the site’s capacity to gain visibility and rankings in searches.
The audit process focuses on several aspects of website performance. Keyword stuffing, URL structure, content optimization, and backlink management are examples.
The audit should include a review of competitor websites to identify potential areas for improvement. By analyzing the brand’s website features and performance in comparison with rivals, companies can identify tactics they can use to improve their digital marketing strategy and conversion rate.
Enterprise-level SEO audits are often more complex than those for small businesses. Enterprise level websites usually cover multiple SEO campaigns, which makes them more in-depth. Most small businesses focus primarily on local SEO rankings, while enterprise-level businesses may compete on a national or global scale. This means enterprise SEO audit services will go beyond the common issues found in small business audits.
What Is a Brand Audit?
A brand audit helps organizations uncover strengths and weaknesses, improve target audience quality, become more competitive, and reduce marketing expenses.
What Does an Enterprise SEO Audit Include?
In this section, we will review the four primary areas included in an enterprise audit.
Content producers should always prioritize the target audience to develop content that will make an impact for the brand. However, content creation serves another purpose: to attract website traffic via on-page SEO.
SEO-friendly content consists of text, audio, and visual assets designed to engage users and optimize a website for search engine rankings. Brands should create content on topics that are informative and contain keywords and phrases used by consumers in their searches. To optimize content for SEO, we can perform content quality checks.
A content quality check involves evaluating the overall SEO factors found in your site's content. The aim here is to identify anything that may be missing, such as metadata (title and descriptions), keywords, and sub-topics. An analysis of competitor content is an effective way to close any gaps.
As the term implies, this step of the audit should include checking for technical SEO issues. These improvements make it easier for search engines to locate and index content. This stage of optimization has a profound impact on how well your website will rank in search results.
To reach optimal performance, developers must follow SEO best practices for coding, page speed, redirects, and HTML structure. Broken links should be fixed as soon as possible. Images must also be compressed and contain descriptive “alt text.”
Technical SEO should be an ongoing process because changes occur all the time that affect the way search engines crawl the site and therefore, will affect its performance.
User Experience Review
Page experience is a major ranking factor. In 2020, Google implemented Core Web Vitals standards to measure elements such as page load speed, responsiveness, and user interface. This was an attempt to give well-designed websites an advantage.
Many times, meeting these development standards alone can improve rankings. Further, if content on the website is structured properly, readable, and with attention to aesthetics, a site can generate an even better user experience and gain more traction in search rankings.
Enterprise-Level SEO Audit Steps
Now, let’s explore the details of each component of an enterprise SEO audit.
The goal of a keyword audit is to identify profitable long-term keyword opportunities that can bring qualified traffic to your website.
Target keywords chosen should have sufficient search volume and are used by searchers when looking for information about your products and services online. These include “short tail” keywords—broad or general terms containing few words with high search volumes. But the “long tail” keywords are even more important because they usually have a higher conversion rate.
The audit begins by examining how keywords are used throughout a website’s content. The keywords should be used several times, without “overstuffing” or creating cannibalization. Keyword stuffing and cannibalization can negatively affect SERP rankings.
Successful keyword optimization requires that auditors understand the target audience’s searching habits. This helps them decide what terms to use more often and how. Companies have the most success with enterprise SEO when they target specific niche keywords that relate directly to their offers, rather than relying on generic terms that increase overall awareness.
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Indexed Pages Audit
Indexed pages are webpages that have been picked up by search engines like Google and listed in SERPs (search engine results pages). 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, that is why it is important to make sure all of your site’s content is being indexed properly by search engines.
You can use SEO tools like 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 yet, this could be related to issue with code or links between other sites. However, sometimes Google may not have discovered the page. In that case, you can update the sitemap to help facilitate the indexing process.
URLs should be descriptive, relevant, meaningful, and concise so search engines can understand what the web page contains. URLs should contain one target keyword with a length of around 60 characters or fewer.
An ideal URL is easy to read and is 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. Instead, good SEO practice is to craft structured URLs according to a consistent format, including search constructs like hyphens between words instead of spaces or underscores.
You can use the URL inspection tool provided by Google to check each website URL.
Meta Titles and Descriptions
Title tags are one of the most essential elements of any page on your website and should be part of your SEO audit. They are the first thing that search engines and users see when they look at a SERP. So, it is important to make sure they accurately describe the content of the page while containing related keywords. Title tags should be no longer than 60 characters.
A meta description tag is an HTML element that provides search engines and users with a brief yet descriptive summary of the content on a webpage. 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.
Keep descriptions to 160-character snippets. Prioritize clarity and conciseness when crafting meta descriptions. Good 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. This also improves the page’s chances of being picked up by Google’s algorithms and increasing organic traffic.
Headings are another essential part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They create a structure for content which makes it easier for readers and search engine crawlers to understand the page’s topic and sub-topics.
The most important heading is the H1 tag, somewhat similar to a title of an article. The H1 should accurately describe the principal theme of that page. Other heading tags, such as H2s, H3s, and H4s, can be used to further organize content, making it easier to navigate the page. Heading tags should also include specific keywords related to the topic.
Backlinks have become an essential factor in SEO for enterprise businesses. Quality backlinks from higher ranking, authoritative websites can increase the credibility and relevancy of a website. 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.
As more searches are performed on mobile devices, search engines like Google prioritize the mobile versions of websites over their desktop counterparts when indexing. So, websites must be optimized for mobile use.
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 find out whether a page meets the criteria for mobile-friendliness.
Optimizing for both desktops and mobiles opens up even more opportunities for getting noticed online. So be sure your web development team understands design best practices to stay ahead of the curve.
Slow website speeds can hurt your search engine rankings. Users have expectations of pages loading quickly and are likely to give 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 recommends that pages 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. Image compression, minimizing code, and reducing the number of redirects are examples.
Large image files are the primary cause of a slow loading website. So, compressing images can significantly reduce the image sizes and speed up a website.
Images should have filenames that are descriptive and include a target keyword. The words in the filename should be separated with hyphens. Also, include keywords 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.
A robots.txt file is a text file on a web server directory which provides instructions to web crawlers or “robots” about where to find content.
When setting up a robots.txt file, it is important to make sure that it includes only the pages or files that 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, there may be better methods available—such as password-protected webpages or “no index” directives—so use discretion.
Security is a major consideration for enterprise websites. As part of an SEO audit, it is important to make sure that all security protocols are safeguarded. This includes things like brute-force attack prevention, bot protection, secure authentication, encrypted data storage and transmission, and access restriction protocols.
By ensuring that your website has been set up to prevent malicious attacks and theft, you can be confident that any data collected through E-Commerce transactions or forms will remain secure.
It is also important to monitor user activity on the site itself. By keeping track of browsing histories and activities associated with accounts created on the website, businesses can better protect themselves from security issues such as potential fraud or cyber-criminal activity. You should make sure that any users with administrative privileges are using strong passwords and two-factor authentication as added security measures.
Sitemap Indexation Issues
A sitemap is a way of organizing all of your site’s pages, posts, images, and other content so it can be easily found by both visitors and search engines. Indexation issues on the sitemap could prevent certain pages from being indexed, which hinders visibility in organic search results.
An SEO audit will reveal indexation problems with your sitemap. This process will allow you to identify any potential errors or issues in the structure of your website’s URLs or its XML sitemap setup.
Content Quality Audit
Quality content is the foundation of every successful website. For that reason, it is essential to review your content to determine if it is up-to-date and provides helpful information for potential customers. A content audit also considers how well webpages have been optimized with relevant keywords and phrases, and detects duplicate content, which can hurt search engine rankings.
Each piece of content should be assessed for quality, relevance, accuracy, and readability. The goal is to provide information that adds value and clearly explains what your business offers without sounding spammy or promotional. Each page should also have at least one keyword or phrase included naturally in the text, internal links, external links, and adequate content depth.
How Often Should You Perform an Enterprise SEO Audit?
Experts recommend that brands conduct regular SEO audits every six months.
Maintaining a routine audit schedule allows you to optimize your website's user experience and 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 on a recurring basis 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 may have to budget as much as $5,000 to $10,000. Custom plans for large websites may cost more.
Typically, SEO audits take between 4-8 weeks to complete and require involvement from multiple professionals such as developers, strategists, UX consultants, and editorial staff to ensure all audit goals are achieved during the process.
A final audit report should include a thorough review of individual pages onsite, including a link profile and other SEO recommendations.
At The Brand Auditors, we offer comprehensive SEO audit services that go beyond free audits and superficial analysis. We use a multi-layered approach to uncover hidden issues in your SEO strategy. Our experienced team of auditors will analyze your on and off-site SEO tactics while uncovering undervalued opportunities that could dramatically accelerate growth.
So, if you want a comprehensive review of your content strategy, website performance, rankings, organic traffic growth and algorithm penalties, email me personally at [email protected].
Until next time,
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