SEO Audits Explained & 3 Reasons Why Your Website Needs a Tune-Up in 2021

Matt Stott

Account Manager - PLMR Genesis

2020 will be remembered for many things: from the WFH revolution and banana bread to a greater awareness of mental health, exercise and mindfulness.

It was also the year that digital went mainstream. This was all wrought by the pandemic and accelerated years or even decades of change into the space of just a few months. All it took was an en masse, enforced national trial. Who knew?

And as part of this seminal shift to all things digital, you have probably come across SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) regardless of your sector or position. Maybe for the first time.

You may have come across adverts for ‘SEO review’ or ‘SEO audit’ while scrolling through Twitter or Googling something else. These might have been accompanied by warnings that failure to act will result in business meltdown or getting ‘left behind’ in the digital zeitgeist.

While such existential claims are clearly embellished there is a genuine need to consider reviewing your website performance, your Google rankings, your 2021 digital goals – and not take a blasé approach. SEO is ever-changing. The switch to digital cannot be turned off.

SEO statistics Genesis Ipswich

What is an SEO audit? 

An SEO audit is a bit like a car MOT. It’s something that must be done periodically to prevent the risk of obsoletion. Otherwise, everything could go wrong all at once and it’s going to cost a fortune. It’s a chance to identify and action issues and improvements on a rolling basis.

An SEO audit has three main sections that will result in a well-oiled, well-optimised website:

On-page SEO – this refers to elements of your site that you can control and optimise for Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings. The parts you can change to get in front of your customers and rank above your competitors.

You’ll need to focus on keywords in the copy of the site as well as within the metadata that Google uses to crawl your site.

In addition, it will consider the internal linking structure and a heap of other things.

Off-Page SEO – this considers elements over which you don’t have direct control but can still influence to benefit your site. Backlinks are highly regarded for successful off-page SEO optimisation. That is considering links on other highly credited and relevant sites that link to pages on your site. There’s a myriad of other influencing factors as well.

Technical SEO – this part of the audit considers some of the processes and ‘mechanics’ behind your site. The bits that make it ‘work’. Does it load quickly? Is it mobile friendly? Is it secure? Just to name a few.

Why do I need an SEO audit in 2021?

Here are three reasons why your business or organisation could reap the benefits of an SEO audit – or better still, an umbrella SEO strategy – in lockdown and beyond:

Increasing online presence

Businesses have seen huge advantages to adapting to new ways of working: using online technologies for conference calls, greater flexibility for staff, and arguably most importantly: realising that their customers are online.

However, in October 2020, forecasts suggested that UK consumers will spend almost 35% more online than they did in 2019. Although largely down to the Covid-19 pandemic, this spike in screen time is something that you should want to be part of – whether you’re ‘business-to-business’ or consumer driven.

By understanding the online visibility of your brand and comparing it to the presence of your competitors, you can be sure to approach the right digital strategy for success.

Completing an SEO audit will help you identify what your competitors are doing and how you can challenge and increase your own online presence and brand visibility too.

Market disruption

Several organisations have unfortunately entered administration since the pandemic struck a devastating hole in the economy, leaving huge supplier shortages for products and services.

Whether you’re operating in the travel and tourism sector or you’re launching an ecommerce platform, there are gaps in the market to exploit – large digital gaps.

An SEO audit, focusing on the three points mentioned above, will help pinpoint these gaps and allow you to understand where you can optimise your site to increase your presence. In particular, off-page SEO will cover the gaps in content and help you understand your positioning, from missing links to your social media presence.

Changing habits

One of the most noticeable changes that we’ve spotted in consumers is how they are searching and what they are searching for. Every year, Google provides insights from Google trends to understand searches carried out by users.

This World Economic Forum piece about what we searched for in 2020 sums up the insights and trends in Google searches. It comes as no surprise that Zoom, DIY and coronavirus were some of the biggest trends in the year we will never forget.

Emerging trends have identified a seismic shift in user intent across the web. Spending less money due to economic uncertainty or searching for how to stay safe and what current restrictions are in local areas. Tapping into the user intent and getting in front of new audiences is crucial for businesses to succeed in these times.

If your business operates and competes in a market that has or could have an opportunity in the digital landscape, now is the time to develop your digital understandings.

At Genesis, we provide a fully integrated PR and digital marketing service for local businesses in Suffolk and Essex as well as national clients across the UK.

To talk more about an SEO audit or to find out how we can help you then please get in touch.

‘Time to Fix the Damage the Conservatives Have Done’: What the answers to this week’s Oral Questions can tell us about the new Government’s plans for Health and Social Care

Myth Busting Working in Communications

Myth-busting a career in Communications

Add PLMR to your contacts

PLMR’s crisis communications experience is second to none, and includes pre-emptive and reactive work across traditional and social media channels. We work with a range of organisations to offer critical communication support when they are faced with difficult and challenging scenarios.