Martin Splitt of Google offers advice on how to improve your SEO audits in a way that makes them more useful to web developers.
A number of tips were shared in the second episode of the Google show Search and development engine optimization YouTube web series, which is dedicated to the topic of SEO audits.
Bartosz Goralewicz, CEO of Onely, joins Splitt to make recommendations on the best, based on first-hand experience between his team and his clients.
This episode is worth listening to in full, as you are sure to learn something that will improve your working relationship with developers and stakeholders.
This is just a sample of what’s included in a video over 30 minutes long.
Get rid of PDF reports
Splitt recommends replacing PDF reports with more efficient forms of communication.
The problem with providing SEO audits via a PDF report is that they often mention what is wrong with the site without saying what needs to be done to fix it.
Another problem with these reports is that they do not always align with the goals of the website.
Split illustrates this with an example from his days as a developer:
“I remember being a developer. I had a lot of different things on my plate already, and then, all of a sudden, in the middle of a sprint, someone from the SEO department came down to me and said, “Martin, here’s a PDF with all the wrong stuff. Goodbye!’
A lot of this stuff is very unhelpful and doesn’t reflect the conditions I, as a developer, work in. “
Now that we know what’s wrong with traditional SEO audits, let’s find out what can be done to fix them.
See the next section for some practical advice from Bartosz.
Improve your SEO audits with better communication
The key to delivering better SEO audits, Bartosz says, is to communicate more thoroughly with stakeholders and developers.
“Usually we start with the stakeholders… we talk to the stakeholders, we wait for a call before creating any offers or anything. We wait for a call and we talk about what the KPI is, what the problem is, what the challenges are, why we’re doing it.
Why is this so important? Why do you want to fix that? Because if traffic was the only metric, we would still work with it, but we know how that can go. So we’ll start with that.”
Starting the audit process with stakeholder goals in mind can help prevent you from submitting unfeasible SEO audits, such as those discussed in the section above.
Bartosz says his team only looks at a client’s website after understanding their goals.
Then after the call, we look at their website and create a statement of action. So we say to them — okay, this is what we’re going to do. Here’s a list of problems we see with your website, and this is how we want to fix it.
Set priorities, so in the first month we solve all the egregious aspects like internal 404 errors or, I don’t know, 10 seconds to load a page, whatever.
And with that it’s very transparent because we tell them this project is going to take four months, we’re going to go to a Chief PM (Project Manager) like Jira or Trello with your development team, and we’re going to make that happen. “
Not only will this process lead to better audits – if you achieve the goals set out in the initial meeting, it will become easier to prove your SEO ROI.
For more ideas on improving your SEO audits, watch the full video from Google below:
Featured image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, December 2021.