June 26, 2022

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Google On How To Improve SEO Audits

Google’s Martin Splitt offers advice on how to improve SEO audits in a way that makes them more useful to web developers.

A number of tips are shared in the second episode of Google’s SEO & Devs web series on YouTube, which is dedicated to the topic of SEO audits.

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

This episode is worth listening to in full, as you’re certain to learn something that will improve your working relationship with developers and stakeholders.

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

Ditch The PDF Reports

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

The issue with delivering SEO audits via PDF report is they often state what’s wrong with a site without saying what needs to be done to fix it.

Another problem with these reports is they’re not always aligned with the goals of the website.

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Splitt elaborates on this with an example from his days of working as a developer:

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

And then they flew off and I’m like — uh okay it says we are using JavaScript, which is very accurate because what we are actually building right now is a VR application that runs on your phone in the browser. You will have to use JavaScript to do that.

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

A lot of these things are so unhelpful and so not reflective of the circumstances that I, as a developer, work in.”

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

See the next section for some actionable advice from Bartosz.

Improve SEO Audits With Better Communication

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

“Usually we start with stakeholders… we talk to the stakeholders, we hop on a call before creating any offers or anything. We hop on a call and talk about what’s the KPI, what’s the problem, what are the challenges, why are we even doing that.

Why is this so important? Why do you want to fix that? Because if traffic is the only metric we still will work withthem, but we know how this might go. So we’re going to start with that.”

Starting the audit process with establishing stakeholder goals can help prevent you from delivering useless SEO audits, like the ones Splitt discussed in the section above.

Bartosz says his team looks at a client’s website only after understanding what their goals are.

“Then, after the call, we look into their website and we create a statement of work. So we tell them — OK this is what we’re going to do. This is the list of problems we’re seeing with your website, this is how we want to fix it.

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

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

Not only will this process lead to better audits — if you accomplish the goals laid out in the initial meeting it will become easier to prove the ROI of SEO.

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


Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, December 2021.