Google on how to improve SEO audits


Google’s Martin Splitt offers tips on how to improve SEO audits to make them more useful to web developers.

A number of tips are shared in the second episode of Google SEO and developers webseries on YouTube, dedicated to the topic of SEO audits.

Bartosz Goralewicz, CEO of Onely, joins Splitt to provide recommendations on what works best, based on the direct experience between his team and clients.

This episode is worth listening to in full, as you are sure to learn something that will improve your working relationships with developers and stakeholders.

Here is just a sample of what’s included in the 30+ minute video.

Ditch PDF reports

Splitt recommends replacing PDF reports with more effective forms of communication.

The problem with providing SEO audits through a PDF report is that they often indicate what is wrong with a site without saying what needs to be done about it.

Another problem with these reports is that they don’t always match the goals of the website.

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Splitt explains this with an example from his working days as a developer:

“I remember being a developer. I already had so many different things on my plate and then, out of the blue, in the middle of a sprint, someone from the SEO department came down to me and said, ‘Martin, here is a PDF with all the things that are wrong. Bye!’

And then they took off and I’m like – uh okay, that says we’re using JavaScript, which is very accurate because what we’re building right now is a VR app that runs on your phone in the browser. You will need to use JavaScript to do this.

So the recommendation is not to use JavaScript, but that’s not really something we can do because then we don’t have VR capabilities. And because it’s our product, we kind of have to build our product to have our product with the technologies that enable the functionality of our product.

A lot of these things are so unnecessary and therefore don’t reflect the circumstances that I am working under, as a developer. “

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Now that we know what’s wrong with traditional SEO audits, let’s see what can be done to fix them.

See the next section for some practical advice from Bartosz.

Improve SEO audits with better communication

Bartosz says the key to delivering better SEO audits is to communicate more in depth with stakeholders and developers.

“Usually we start with the stakeholders… we talk to the stakeholders, we make a call before we create any offers or whatever. We take a call and discuss what the KPI is, what the problem is, what the challenges are, why are we even doing this.

Why is this so important? Why do you want to fix this? Because if traffic is the only metric, we’ll continue to work with them, but we know how it could be. So we’ll start with that. “

Starting the audit process by setting goals for stakeholders can help you avoid providing unnecessary SEO audits, like the ones Splitt discussed in the section above.

Bartosz says his team only visits a client’s website after they understand what their goals are.

“Then after the call, we take a look at their website and create a statement of work. So we tell them – OK, that’s what we’re gonna do. Here is the list of issues we are having with your website, here is how we want to fix it.

Prioritize, so the first month we solve all the worst things like internal 404s or, I don’t know, 10 seconds to load the page, whatever.

And with that, it’s extremely transparent because we’re telling them this project is going to take four months, we’re going to jump into a PM (project manager) like Jira or Trello with your development team, and we’re going to make it happen. “

Not only will this process lead to better audits, but if you meet the goals set in the initial meeting, it will become easier to prove the return on your SEO investment.

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For more information on improving SEO audits, see the full Google video below:


Featured image: screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, December 2021.


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