What is an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit is the first step to discovering what is wrong with your site from an SEO perspective and then the strategy to accomplish your SEO goals for your website and company.

SEO audits vary by length, time to complete, and price depending on many of the following factors:

  1. The size of your website;
  2. If you have previously had SEO work done;
  3. The amount of traffic you currently receive;
  4. The technology platform upon which your website is built;
  5. Your competitive landscape.

SEO audits range anywhere from $1000 on the low end (for smaller sites and cheaper agencies/consultants) up to over $5000 with some very experienced and specialized consultants charging $10,000-$15,000 per audit:

Minimum SEO project price spread

What Does An SEO Audit Include?

As stated above, SEO audits vary in depth, price, and breadth of what they cover.

On this site, we can give you the approximate price for a technical and onpage SEO audit of your website. Keyword research, competitor analysis, and offpage SEO (link analysis, etc) would be priced separately.

Most SEO audits include some combination of these:

  1. Technical review of the site to identify major issues such as:
    1. large numbers of 404s,
    2. sub-optimal website structures,
    3. problems with the robots.txt,
    4. improperly implemented or missing meta tags,
    5. XML and HTML sitemap issues,
    6. Search Console errors and parameter handling,
    7. Canonicalization,
  2. Review of onpage SEO elements, such as title tags, meta descriptions, page templates, internal linking, and content quality;
  3. Review of offpage SEO elements such as your current backlink profile, any problem areas, and areas of opportunity;
  4. Competitive landscape review to identify major competitors, their strategies for ranking, and opportunities for your website;
  5. Keyword research to identify new areas of opportunity not gleaned from a competitive analysis;
  6. Strategy for solving or taking advantage of everything discovered in the above.

It is important to note that not all of these are always included in an SEO audit, and of course the more comprehensive the audit the more it will cost and the longer it will take.

We must also note that if you have all of the above included, they will most often not be delivered as one in-depth audit but rather delivered over time in smaller deliverables which also include a followup phone call to walk through the audit and answer questions on areas that were not clear. Many consultants will also allow an additional round of questions with the document.

SEO Audit Goals

SEO audits typically have a few goals. In an effort to help you understand both sides of the equation, this section outlines goals from the side of the business looking to have an SEO audit done (likely you reading this article) as well as an agency or consultant’s likely goals.

SEO Audit Goals for Businesses

Businesses hiring an SEO consultant or agency to conduct an audit often have the following problems you are looking to solve:

  • Website traffic has been trending down and you do not know why;
  • Launching a brand new website or redesigning your website and you want to make sure SEO is accounted for from the beginning;
  • Your current agency is ineffective.

Goals following on from the audit often include:

  • Identifying areas of concern that can be fixed to increase traffic;
  • Having a strategy to move forward and execute upon in order to see longterm SEO traffic and revenue growth;
  • Make an internal case for more resources and people dedicated to SEO based off of the opportunity discovered.

SEO Audit Goals for Agencies and Consultants

If an SEO agency or independent consultant wants to build their business longterm, they need to sign retained ongoing monthly work whether that is services (less well paid) or strategy (higher paid). While some consultants specify that they only do audits (and charge a premium), most agencies and consultants will do an initial audit or series of deliverables labeled an “audit” with the goal of converting your project into a longer retained project.