How to conduct an SEO Audit and why your business needs it

Laura Ferruggia
December 23, 2020
9 min read
How to Conduct an SEO Audit

I spoke with a customer who asked me how we can help with their SEO (search engine optimization).

At first, I wasn’t sure how to answer it because it is such a vague statement.

In reality, all websites are different, and there isn’t just one way to improve traffic.

The truth is that there are so many unknowns, and it’s important to identify what your SEO traffic looks like today and what your end goals are.

Without knowing where you are today and where you want to end up, there is no specific answer to the vague question, “how can you get me more SEO traffic.”

In this article, I want to present how we go about an SEO audit and why it’s one of the most important things you should be doing for your website.

What is an SEO audit

SEO audits are an opportunity to look at your website’s overall health and gauge how well it’s ranking in Google’s eyes.

When we say SEO, we’re primarily referring to Google—the largest player in the arena.

Also, since search engines are always changing, it’s essential to keep your website up to date in Google’s eyes.

You should be conducting an SEO audit at least twice a year.

What to look for in an SEO audit

There are a few major things to look for in an SEO audit, including:

  • Assess current top keywords your website is ranking for
  • Identify how much traffic your website is getting from organic search monthly
  • Identify errors in technical SEO (such as crawl errors, sitemap issues, broken links, etc.)
  • Make a note of which pages need improved Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions
  • Check that all of your marketing tags are in place and working correctly (Google Analytics, Facebook pixel, Bing UET, etc.)
  • Review what efforts have been made in the past

Here’s an example of some of these items from one of our SEO audits


We cover all of these items and more in our SEO audits for our customers. Then, we create a plan to work toward the SEO goals we’ve identified.

Why start with an SEO audit before trying to improve your SEO

There are many reasons why an SEO audit is important.  

An audit is akin to a house’s foundation :It’s hard to build on top of a poor foundation.

Many companies bounce from agency to agency and often say, “I’ve tried SEO in the past, and it didn’t work.”

This isn’t to say the SEO agency did nothing for you, but they might have worked with a poor foundation and didn’t start with an SEO audit first.

Reputable SEO companies will always start with an audit.

Before any work is done, it’s essential to identify what goals the customer is trying to achieve and create a plan to make it happen.

The SEO agency should be held accountable for implementing the structural updates agreed upon based on your SEO audit.

History of your website updates helps improve progress

It’s also worth looking at the history of what has been done to improve SEO.

The issue here is many customers come to us with the broad statement that “SEO didn’t help” but are unsure how to explain what the previous company did.

Our approach at Miles is to keep a log of what has been done in SEO audits and provide them to the customer. This allows the client to see what we worked on and why we’re confident it will help.

Our audits are actionable and deliverable to you.

SEO is a moving target, so what works today might not work tomorrow. Keeping track of everything helps us understand what correlates with improved rankings.

A change one day may improve rankings two months later, so it’s important to know what was worked on.

How to set benchmarks for your website traffic

It’s clear that everyone wants their website to rank on the first page of Google, but you need to start somewhere.

Start by looking at your website and current rankings and make some objective statements.

If you have no traffic from organic sources beyond branded searches (people looking for your business), focus on what content you need to create first.

If you have some traffic on a consistent basis, jot down those numbers so that you understand where you’re starting from.

Taking a good look at your website and current traffic is a great exercise to put things into perspective.

There’s always work to be done with SEO, but you’ll start to understand how much to get you where you want to be.

Running an SEO audit turns blanket statements like “I want to be number 1 on Google” into more actionable statements like “I want to improve traffic from keywords about [topic] by 20% in 6 months.”

Where to start if you already have some organic searches

If you’re ranking on page 1 or 2 for a specific keyword but not getting clicks just yet because you’re not high enough on the page, there are ways to improve these rankings.

For example, you can look at keywords with many impressions but low clicks and optimize these pages’ titles. If you can boost the number of people clicking (higher CTR) then you can improve your positions over time.


Your goal in an SEO audit should be to identify these opportunities and create a plan to achieve them.

If you’re ranking on page 2, you should set your sights on page 1.

If you have 2,000 organic users every month, your goal by the next audit could be 20% growth.

You should always be working towards growth to outshine your competitors.

What tools do you use for technical SEO audits?

We’ve come up with a way to utilize Screaming Frog, Google Sheets, SemRush, Supermetrics, Google Search Console, and Page Speed Insights to create an up-to-date document that keeps a running score of your website.  We call it our automated SEO audit.

This audit allows you to open Google Sheets and see the most up-to-date technical SEO aspects of your website.

I love using this document because I can make a bunch of changes to a website, let the crawl run, and see if I missed anything.

It catches things like meta descriptions being over 160 characters, 301 pages, and missing alt text from images (as well as what page they’re on).

How do you run the audit?

Running an audit doesn’t need to be an overly complicated process.

What you should do is download Screaming Frog and enter your URL into the search bar.

This will give you a ton of technical information about your website (explained further in the next section).

Screaming frog is great because it crawls your website as if it were Google and looks for things that Googlebot would.

This can help identify orphan pages or pages with crawling issues.  If Screaming Frog can’t index it, then Google can’t, which means your users won’t see your content organically.

Any report in Screaming Frog can be exported to Excel or Google Sheets.  

We recommend exporting this information (if you’re not using our automated SEO audit process) and dissecting it further in Google Sheets.

Each website is unique.  You want to point out the more obvious technical issues on a recurring basis (like quarterly for most businesses) and see what you can improve.

The goal is to make sure that Google always has an accurate vision of what your website is about and can easily navigate to every page on your website.


In this article, you’ve learned a lot of the major ways you can improve your website with an SEO audit.

I’ve given away many “secrets,” but there is a ton more that can be done to your website.

Creating more content, optimizing meta information, and improving technical SEO can be time-consuming, and not every business owner has time to do it.

Miles IT takes care of the heavy lifting and reports the health of your website to you.

See how healthy your website is with an SEO audit from our team.

Meet Laura Ferruggia

Laura Ferruggia

Laura joined Miles IT in 2014, and in her current role of Marketing Strategy Director, she leads and supports our amazing and multi-talented team in providing high-quality consulting and services. With experience spanning from content writing to web development and paid advertising over 9+ years, Laura is equipped to take a holistic approach when discussing marketing and website solutions with businesses.

Discover and Do More With Business Technology!

Get monthly business technology tips directly to your inbox.

Related Posts

Let's Build Something Great Together

Contact Us