This summarises the key aspects of conducting an SEO Audit and Competitor Analysis for existing websites. It must be noted that this processes differs from that which would be recommended before a new site is implemented.
SEO Process Overview
The key stages of the SEO process for existing website are summarised as:
Target audience identification
Audience intent definition
Site technical audit
Site content audit
Competitor analysis and comparison
Promotion and link acquisition
On-going evaluation and reporting
Who is the site intended to reach
Where are they located
Search engines used
Time of day
What forms of audience intent is the website required to support (information seeking, transactional, navigational, entertainment etc.)
What forms of content support the types of intent to be targeted by the website?
Information seeking queries…
Search volumes – how much traffic
Competition – how difficult will it be to rank
Types of content – what forms of content / landing pages are optimum for each query
Identification of long-tail, fat-tail, body and head terms.
Site Technical Audit
Use of multiple tools and manual examination to gain a full view of the technical site status
Assessment of Google webmaster tools reports
Comparison with Google’s webmaster guidelines
Definition and prioritisation of fixes required
Backlink audit – essential that backlink profile does not put the site at risk
Site Content Audit
Keyword analysis – for which target terms is the site not indexed?
SEO gap analysis – what is the current market share of searches for target terms?
Content gap analysis – what content is needed to achieve indexation and potentially rankings for desired target terms?
What forms of content are required to meet the identified audience intent?
Competitor Analysis and Comparison
Which websites and pages are currently ranking where this site would like to be?
What forms of competitor content are ranking?
How does the website compare with these high ranking sites and pages – the following are just some of the attributes that need to be examined and compared: