Over the years, SEO has evolved and changed in dramatic ways. And every year, the search engines have changed the way in which they determine which websites should show up in search results pages, and in which order. Hundreds of primary factors are considered. And those are then cross-related to each other, resulting in what is now a highly complex process.
Many highly reputable SEO companies and consulting firms understand at least most of the core concepts in that process. Yet more often than not, through no fault of their own, such organisations don’t have the experience necessary to properly evaluate a web site’s SEO health to a high enough of a degree to know which factors, among the hundreds possible, are causing that site to suffer the most significant constraints to reaching the highest level of SEO success possible.
Alternatively, you might have an in-house SEO. They very well could have performed admirably and achieved great success, up to a point. Yet as much as we appreciate and empathise with the challenges in-house SEOs face, just as often as not, either their own skill-set has not been able to evolve to that next level yet, or they’re pretty confident they know what needs to be done, but having an outside professional opinion from other industry experts might be required to get the buy-in to that “it’s time to go further” tipping point within your organisation.
SEO Audit Specialists
At Click2Rank Consulting, we believe in the efficacy of performing a strategic SEO audit that few firms in our industry have the skill and experience to perform. It’s through these strategic, high level audits that we are able to pinpoint the most important factors affecting your unique site within your unique market. And it’s through these audits that we are then able to properly communicate a prioritised action plan critical to taking your SEO efforts to the next level.
Strategic Audits Should Be Concise Higher Level Documents
Some very reputable consultants and agencies in the SEO business are known for providing audit documents that comprise hundreds of pages of information. Typically, the overwhelming majority of those pages consist of specific page by page, section by section change recommendations for implementing actual on-site seeding.
While in theory, this approach might seem both invaluable and amazing, given that it comes across as “all the work has been done for us”, in reality, we’ve found consistently that such exhaustive documentation actually falls way short of delivering the best answers to the most important issues a site faces.
Manually evaluating hundreds or thousands of pages consumes intensive labour. As a result, when this work is performed as part of a first-pass audit, you’re most likely going to get short-changed. Here’s why:
Less Than Best Efforts
Performing page-level review and recommendations is inevitably going to take a lot more time than most consulting firms admit. Instead, they quite often have lower level staff doing the nitty-gritty work. That means you are less likely to get the firm’s truest best efforts when it comes to the detailed work.
Even when a firm has their best SEO doing the work, given how time-intensive it is, they’re just as likely to rush through the process, because they’re expanding fixed-price audit budgets on what, in best practices, should by all rights, be a slow, deliberative process.
It’s a Shiny Object that Distracts from Higher Level Focus
To compensate for the massive volume of labour that’s forced into a one-time fixed rate audit price, companies end up spending more time rushing the detail work when they could instead be spending more time on higher level issues. Issues, that when properly and thoroughly reviewed, evaluated and prioritised, would otherwise result in their ability to key in on tasking recommendations that are more likely going to result in higher value return by site owners who have to pick and choose what things they can afford to change based on a company’s budgetary and internal political constraints.
Concise Action Plan Recommendations Offer Better Value
At Click2Rank Consulting, we save that detailed section by section, page by page recommendation work for our tactical SEO audits. Which should really only come after a strategic audit has been performed, and only after the client then determines which of the highest priority recommendations they will tackle based on budgetary constraints and political implementation factors.
Out of the hundreds of audits we have performed over the years, this approach has proven itself over and over. Too often, a site will gain more value by having its entire information architecture restructured (only one of the many possible strategic factors your site might need having considered) than by the otherwise relatively minor gains that can come from changing page-level keyword factors. While a site owner might not like hearing “you have to completely scrap your entire organisation hierarchy”, that code-intensive work is a one-time task.
With proper SEO best practices techniques, you can just as likely automate a large portion of the page level SEO, thus completely, or at least partly negating all that manual labour another company might have dumped in your lap. Which means all that great work they appeared to have performed is either a lower priority than you were led to believe, or doesn’t really require so many hours to generate (thanks to automation methods) or both.
Ultimately, many sites have someone in-house who can do that page level work anyhow. At a much more cost-efficient rate than what you’re likely paying that SEO consultant for. So why pay that consultant for all that work? In these cases, that would be a very poor business decision.
The Horse Should Always Precede the Cart
The bottom line in our experience is that Strategic SEO Audits should always be performed before any tactical implementation work. And with enough proper high level recommendations being implemented, sometimes tactical audits aren’t even needed. Or in some cases, won’t even be needed until months down the road.
So if you believe your site needs a major boost in the organic SEO arm, and if you want to get the biggest bang for your organic SEO buck, contact Click2Rank Consulting today and ask us about our strategic SEO audits.