We all know that a website is critical to the success of your business. More often than not, it’s the first place that your target customers will interact with you and learn about your Brand Story. And for most B2B companies, the website is the cornerstone of the marketing playbook. Unfortunately, having a beautiful website built with the right content management systems and all the creative bells and whistles does little to guarantee your success.

If you’ve invested heavily in the website and no one is showing up, you’ve fallen for the Field of Dreams marketing myth – “if you build it they will come”…but they’re not coming!

If you find yourself in this predicament, it could be that an SEO technical audit is in order. This can be a rather scary term for some people, especially those who aren’t heavily invested in digital marketing. So, let’s take a look at what an SEO technical audit is, and how you can tell if it’s time to conduct one.

Basic Website Hygiene

A technical SEO audit is meant to analyze a website in its entirety to determine where there may be issues and faults with search engine interactions. A search engine looks at content and recognizes issues such as site speed, redirects, duplicate content, geo-targeting, and more. When it finds flaws or defects in your site, it degrades your site rankings. This means you need to be sure your site doesn’t contain faults if you want it to rank high in the search engines. Finding these types of faults can be labor-intensive and will require technical skill and familiarity with search engine algorithms. You almost have to think like Google (which is a scary thought!) The ultimate goal is to make sure your website is highly scored when it comes to its page ranking for specific search terms – ideally on page 1 – and scoring well for overall SEO-friendliness.

“The best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google.”

— Brian Clark, Copyblogger

At the completion of an SEO audit, you should receive a detailed report that highlights any problematic areas, whether it be with your overall SEO strategy or specific technical issues with how your site has been designed and built. If you select a full-service digital marketing firm to conduct the audit, they will not only give you a detailed report, but they will describe the specific the actions required to fix the various issues on your site, and ideally, they will do it for you. If you want to start to improve your rankings and SEO friendliness very quickly, you need an “SEO marketer” rather than an “SEO monitor”.

Like the popular LifeLock commercial states: “Why monitor a problem if you don’t fix it?”

Now that you’re aware of what an SEO audit is, you also need to recognize that it’s not a “one and done fix”. Google and other search engines are constantly changing their algorithms, which means you need to stay abreast of these changes to keep your website rankings high. Just like your Dentist will tell you, if you don’t keep up with the hygiene, you’ll get another cavity! SEO rules are very dynamic, and if you’re not up-to-date with the most recent changes, your website rankings will rapidly decay. An SEO audit helps bring some discipline to your website hygiene – revealing things that you may have overlooked such as old data, duplicate data, broken links, etc.

Now, we’re not recommending that you “brush and floss twice a day”, but performing an SEO audit on an annual basis is best practice. You can certainly try to tackle it on your own, but unless you have an SEO guru on your team, it’s really best to leave it to the professionals.

Don’t let bad SEO hygiene stand between you and your next customer. Remember, you only have six seconds to give them a reason to care, a reason to engage and a reason to buy. But, if they can’t find you, or you’re buried on “page 2”, you won’t even get your six-seconds.

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