Searches for local businesses and services make up a whopping 46% of all searches on Google. For many companies – especially small businesses – location should be the key to their marketing strategy. While affordable local SEO services from professional SEO agencies can be hard to come by, a comprehensive SEO site audit service is a good place to start.
This post will explore how an SEO site audit service can provide a blueprint for maximizing organic search visibility and boosting local search traffic.
What is included in SEO Auditing Services?
Comprehensive SEO audit services aim to identify issues with your site that may be causing you to rank lower on Google and other search engines. An audit is typically separated into five categories, each aiming to improve specific factors contributing to SEO:
- Technical – site performance, crawlability, and user experience
- Content – user usefulness
- Competitive – keyword usage and content relevancy
- Linking – visibility and authority
- Social – brand awareness and engagements.
A healthy website is the foundation of successful SEO, which is why most professional SEO companies recommend starting with SEO auditing services before kicking off any targeted SEO campaigns.
Technical SEO Audit Service
A technical SEO audit assesses the functionality of a website. SEO specialists will check the crawlability and indexability of a site, looking for duplicate content, broken links, and tags that impact a search engine’s ability to access and rank a site. They will also look at how a website is set up on the backend for development and data—from the CMS (content management system) to analytics and security.
Site speed is one of the most significant contributing factors to a positive user experience. A technical SEO audit service will also ensure other features that affect usability, like extensions and media, are properly integrated.
SEO Content Audit
An SEO content audit will look at a site’s page content, product or service descriptions, and blog posts to assess them for keyword optimization and user usefulness. A competitor audit (including a Keyword Gap Analysis) is standard at this stage to set expectations and identify what content and tone users are looking for.
When developing a content strategy, it is critical to lean on the content audit to target keywords dominated by competitors and close those gaps. Note that lower-volume keywords with commercial or transactional intent can be more valuable than higher-volume informational keywords.
An on-site social audit will ensure social sharing buttons are integrated into your site, so users can easily follow and share your brand. An off-site evaluation of TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles will assess how and which platforms can organically raise brand awareness and entice potential customers to visit your site.
Since it bested Google as the most popular domain on the internet in 2021, using TikTok for marketing has become a new staple of the social media toolkit. Instagram has tweaked its platform in response to TikTok’s rise, and LinkedIn maintains a separate audience altogether. A social audit can help you effectively tailor your message for each platform.
Lastly, a linking audit will look at internal linking, how pages point to other pages and posts on a site, and the health of your site’s backlinks to determine how they may be helping or hurting your organic traffic.
In some cases, SEO companies like The Muses Digital will also examine paid media because they understand paid and organic search work best together in an integrated marketing strategy.
An SEO audit typically includes the site analysis and a report of its findings, and a professional SEO company can discuss next steps for strategy implementation.
What are the Benefits of SEO Auditing Services for Local Businesses?
In 2017, the Local Search Association found that as many as 87% of users identified search engines as their primary method for finding information about local businesses, so it is imperative to stand out among all the other options your customers have.
Effective SEO auditing services can improve a business’ search ranking and help brands:
- increase website traffic volume
- ensure that traffic is from relevant users looking for their product or service
- strengthen their reputation as a credible brand
- convert more leads to sales and improve overall ROI.
There are over 200 factors Google considers when ranking websites and businesses, so it’s essential to understand how an SEO site audit service can set your brand up for success.
Improve Visibility and User Experience
Optimizing your website is a two-for-one because both search engines and users will be happier with your site. A website that runs smoothly on desktop and mobile – free of snags, duplicate content, and dead ends – is likely to rank better organically and, in turn, provide a better user experience for paying customers. Improving a site’s speed dramatically affects bounce rate, and optimizing your landing pages will help extend the length of site visits.
Identify and Appeal to Untapped Audiences
No matter where a user is in their buyer’s journey, SEO auditing services can help brands build a better content map – a plan to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time. Even the most affordable SEO audit services should offer analytical insights into local visitor volume, bounce rate, and, in some instances, demographic and interest data. You may already know who your customers are, but this data can help identify untapped audiences.
This can come in handy when targeting content toward different demographics. The Pollack Group conducted a Yelp study in 2020, which found that Generation Z is much less likely to engage with brands and businesses than millennials. Many prefer to gather information on their own rather than rely on review platforms like Yelp that could have influenced or manipulated content.
While Yelp isn’t going anywhere, curating content that is more fact- than opinion-based may increase your click-through rate among Gen-Z users.
Use Your Local SEO Audit to Boost Local Search Traffic
A Local SEO Audit focuses on a website’s ranking in local search results. Local business SEO services can work in tandem with other SEO strategies to boost local search traffic for businesses that rely on local and online sales.
Optimize Google Business Profile
Google views the ranking of a company’s website separately from its Google Business Profile, so the audit can look at both to effectively improve your online presence locally.
To optimize your Google Business Profile and improve its ranking on Google Map Pack, you’ll want to ensure your profile can be used as a resource. You can leverage the tools offered by Google Business Profile directly through search and maps to add keyword-rich content to your profile and update, engage, and gain insight into your customers.
Your professional SEO audit services team can also use audit data to find the best local directory listings to register and appear on and set you up with tools to manage those listings all in one place.
Localize Page Content
Researching and optimizing for local keywords is another way an audit can boost a company’s local search traffic. For instance, integrating the name of your city as a keyword throughout your website and blog, as well as your ad copy, is an easy way to improve your ranking when someone is looking for your product or service “near” them.
Programmatic content can be useful for companies looking to increase local search traffic in multiple locations. It is always best practice to then include unique content on each localized page – such as local statistics, infographics, and FAQs. This will ensure that your pages provide a good user experience while avoiding flags for duplicate content issues.
Moreover, when content is optimized to answer “People Also Ask” questions for users with local intent (including incorporating FAQ schema), search engines will take notice of those positive experiences and position your web pages in front of more users.
Beat Local Search Competitors
The Competitor Analysis portion of your Local SEO Audit will show you how your business ranks compared to companies with similar products and services in your city or market. Many companies find that their local search competitors aren’t who they think they are – or that they are competing with the wrong companies compared to their size.
Use your content audit to prioritize keywords with the right search intent and provide a better answer to those queries than your competitors. Businesses should target keywords specifically tied to their core brand, instead of more tempting, high-volume keywords that aren’t a great fit.
Companies can also explore what else is working for their competitors, like specific platforms, media, or content types, which will better inform them about how to market their product or service. Do competitors use informative blog posts that contain popular long-tail keywords? Do they feature how-to videos on their Instagram or answer common questions via LinkedIn posts?
These may be channels your business has yet to explore that could be opportunities for untapped returns.
How Much Does an SEO Audit Cost?
SEO audit cost is important to understand upfront, particularly for businesses with a small marketing budget. SEO audit price can vary widely based on the company you use, the size of your website, and how extensive the audit is, but you can expect affordable SEO audit services to start at around $1000 and take between a week to a month to complete.
A Local SEO Audit can be a one-time SEO service or an ongoing one, and you can expect additional services to start at $100-250 per hour, or about $2000 per month. Services can include website maintenance, traffic tracking, content creation, backlinking, and social posts and engagement.
Investing in marketing strategies is no longer a question of if but a question of where, and Google has found organic search to have the most significant ROI, at 5.3x on average, whereas paid search sits at about 2x. A Local SEO Audit is likely the best place to start to get a full view of the organic search landscape and a blueprint to improve your visibility there.
Interested in What a Local SEO Audit Can Do for Your Business?
SEO is a crucial part of a company’s overall success. While you may be hesitant to seek SEO auditing services, especially if you already have an in-house marketing team, SEO specialists save you time and effort, improving your ROI in the long run.
Experienced teams like The Muses Digital provide affordable SEO audit services that are customized based on your goals and will gather, analyze, and organize your audit data according to your location. From there, we can offer industry insight to drive the best results and provide ongoing SEO services to increase your local search traffic even further.
Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how a Local SEO Audit can boost your business today.