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Where Do We Start? The Technical Audit

By:

Kim Clark

on 3/15/2010

One of the most important but time consuming tasks these folks undertake is the SEO Technical Audit. This process is the first, most logical place to start when attempting to assess a website’s potential for optimization. The gist of the technical audit: Analyze site code and layout design for search engine optimization and usability resulting in a comprehensive report detailing proposed action items.

Any solid strategy for technical SEO implementation must be based on site analysis. Thats technical talk for what happens when we look at your website with an SEO eye. In this process, we try to:

  • identify what has been done wrong
  • identify what has been done poorly
  • identify what has been left out entirely

Then we make suggestions. Sometimes clients follow those suggestions on their own and the process is finished. More often, the client prefers for us to take matters into our own hands and make the changes ourselves. This is where the fun really begins.

We won’t…

Get your site to the #1 spot on Google for highly competitive keywords for $39.95.

We will…

Identify ways to optimize your site to attract the searchers using keyword phrases that result in on site actions.

One of my biggest frustrations as Benevolent Dictator and Overlord is trying to talk down my frustrated SEO team from the proverbial ledge. All that whining hurts my ears. Why clients would waste their money and our time identifying SEO weaknesses and developing strategies only to allow the process to fall flat with no action is beyond me.

Big Secret: It does no good to identify an SEO strategy if you don’t intend to implement it.

Technical Audits are exactly what they sound like; we take a look at the underlying code and the information architecture. We can make suggestions regarding design tactics and tool implementation. The fact is that changing meta-tags in descriptions and alt tags in images isn’t going to make a poorly designed site function better. Sometimes its easier and cheaper to redesign. The purpose of a technical audit is to analyze your website to determine an effective list of actions that will result in achieving a specific set of SEO related goals. The next phase, where the real work begins, is implementing the strategies in a way that allows enough time to measure specific successes. SEO is a drawn out process that takes many months to reap benefits. You cannot expect to flip a switch and have all your SEO problems fixed immediately. In fact, I intend to discuss the matter of time and SEO in my next discussion. For now, I must nap.

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