Website SEO Audit
An SEO audit can come in varying levels of detail and complexity. A simple website audit can be as short as a few pages long and would address glaring on-page issues such as missing titles, and lack of content. On the other end of the spectrum, a comprehensive website SEO audit will be comprised of dozens of pages (for most larger sites it will be over one hundred pages) and address even the tiniest of website elements which may potentially be detrimental to the ranking-ability of a website.
At the most basic level, an SEO audit should address the basics covered in our Basic SEO Tutorial. With a basic audit, a website owner should expect to receive a well thought out guide for not only fixing elements of the website which do not search engine friendly, but also guidance for going beyond addressing issues and making marked improvements in areas of content, link development, and overall organic search strategy.
It is important to realize that even though having a search engine friendly website is the first crucial step towards attaining improved rankings, there is no guarantee that the implementation of recommendations from an SEO audit will catapult a website’s rankings to the top of search engine result pages (SERPs). Search engine optimization results take time and require diligent maintenance in order to produce reliable, and stable rankings.
On-page (sometimes called on-site) search engine optimization is the process of implementing the necessary changes as recommended by an SEO audit. These changes can be implemented by the website owner (if they have the capability) or an SEO company. On-page SEO should be part of all SEO packages, as it is the foundation up on which a successful SEO campaign must be built. On-page SEO addresses a variety of fundamental elements (as they relate to SEO) such as page titles, headings, content and content organization, and internal link structure. As mentioned in the previous section, to find a basic list of the areas that on-page optimization should cover, please refer to the WiSEO SEO Tutorial.
As with a website SEO audit, there are basic, as well as comprehensive services when it comes to on-page search engine optimization. At the most basic level, an on-page optimization campaign can be a one-time project which includes recommendations developed through an audit, and the implementation thereof. This type of on-page optimization would generally target the home page and a few other important pages on the website. More comprehensive on-page search engine optimization campaigns will use the findings of a highly-detailed website SEO audit, and monitor results to guide ongoing changes to the on-page optimization.
Even though on-page work does not need to be updated in many cases (e.g. when the site has evergreen content), it is recommended that the website and the content being published therein be audited on a regular basis to uncover potential problems which may creep up through website updates and changes.
SEO Content Development
SEO content development is the process of creating website content which can come in a variety of forms, including text (e.g. articles, white papers, essays, research documents, tutorials, and glossaries), infographics (information graphics), PDFs, searchable databases, web tools, and the like.
As you will note, the traditional definition of content (i.e. articles) is no longer appropriate, since content comes in many forms. It is also important to realize that depending on your niche, not every type of content would be suitable for your website.
‘SEO content’ is also a misnomer (it was not before); content which can impact search engine friendliness positively should be more accurately described as “high-quality content”, which will, in turn, make earning and acquiring links much easier.
When looking for content that is going to help your SEO efforts, it is crucial to look for high-quality content; or more accurately, find people who are able to develop such content. Seeking out ‘SEO content’ can lead to content that is jammed full of keywords without much consideration for quality.
SEO content writing as a service can be useful if shortcuts are not taken, and the content is not expected to perform magic. Well written, interesting and useful content will inevitably be found, and get attention on its own merits; however, it also helps lay the foundation for a successful link development campaign.
Code optimization is a service you can expect at the highest levels of search engine optimization services, as it involves an overhaul of your website HTML. The optimization of your HTML can impact search engine rankings in two ways. First, it can help alleviate code-clutter and present your content in an easy-to-understand (for machines, that is, search engine algorithms) format. Second, it can help reduce the load-time of your website pages, so that search engine spiders don’t have to wait around while your page loads (because it’s too long, or has too many images, etc).
A comprehensive search engine optimization campaign will have all the above elements, but it will also incorporate other important services such as keyword research, ranking reports, traffic reports, and conversion tracking.