So you’ve had an offer from someone who has offered to do an SEO audit on your site. That audit, they say, will provide valuable and meaningful insight into your business and customers and promises to be a ‘game changer’. Should you be skeptical? Yes.
First, though, let’s be clear: this probably isn’t a scam. The offer is likely to be legitimate. And if you accept you’ll probably get some ‘data’ about your site. That data could be interesting — may even have some insights. But it’s crucial to realise that the snapshot — and it really is just a snapshot — only represents one view of your site on one occasion, with results in very broad strokes.
To B or not to B
What happens next is probably the most important part of this exchange. Do you:
A) decide that your current IT/web/content provider is a sham and that your site must be a complete failure because the data shows that you could be doing better with your SEO rankings and digital marketing, or
B) take the SEO audit information to your current web partner and discuss what it means and how it fits with the picture they have of your site, its history, and your goals and strategies?
There are definitely scenarios where A may actually be true. In theory, your web advisors/analysts could be taking advantage of your relative lack of knowledge on the subjects and are charging like an wounded rhino to do little or nothing for your site’s SEO. But, truthfully, this isn’t likely the case. It’s more likely that you just don’t know what you don’t know.
No secret formula for SEO success
Because SEO (and a proper SEO audit) is more of an art than a science, it can be hard to get a handle on all of the ins and outs of what’s involved in assessing and influencing rankings and user interactions. There isn’t a checklist of actions which will guarantee success and world-domination in search engine results and user engagement. The only real guarantee is that if you do nothing at all, you definitely can’t win. And for all of these reasons answer B is your best choice to make positive progress.
Whether or not you’ve taken the audit offer, have a conversation with your web partner. Ask them for more detailed data as well as ideas and suggestions for improvement. As partners, they already have your best interests at heart. They know your brand, your strategy, your goals. They know how your site has evolved and the outcomes of that evolution. In addition to having historical and current insight over your whole digital presence, they can monitor what’s happening over time. They can also advise where traditional SEO actions may be appropriate or where they may be inadequate. And since by now you know better than to consider your site ‘finished’ when it’s launched, you’ll know you need to take some time to reevaluate throughout the year.
Is it a journey or a destination?
But your web partner probably won’t tell you that there’s a ‘simple, easy’ list of things that, once done, will enable you to take over the world. Be prepared for them to tell you that this is both a destination AND a journey. If the destination is to gain a top-ten or top-five result status in your niche, the journey is the constant analysis, revision, adaptation and review that’s required along the way. And the course isn’t a straight line since destinations can shift, be challenged, or even completely altered as algorithm priorities change.
The important thing to remember is that your web partner isn’t just flying in with an audit out of nowhere. They’ve been with you for the long haul. Let them give you the whole panorama of data you need to make progress — not just a random snapshot taken with a virtual selfie stick.