As a plumbing business owner, conducting an SEO audit may be pretty low on your priority list. After all, you have a lot on your plate: managing employees, keeping customers happy, conducting service calls, filling your schedule, and many more tasks.
But SEO auditing isn’t something you should overlook. Your search engine optimization strategy can significantly impact the number of customers you bring in and your overall profitability as a business. An SEO audit can make sure your SEO strategy is working well in the background while you focus on running a successful business.
Read ahead to find out why an SEO audit is important to your plumbing business.
What Is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is an in-depth look at your search engine optimization strategies to ensure that you are hitting as many ranking factors as possible and bringing in the most organic traffic to your website.
Google and other search engines use hundreds of ranking signals to determine which websites to rank in which order when people complete a search. They input these ranking signals into complex algorithms that instantly spit out a curated list of links when visitors click “search” on a query.
Ideally, your plumbing website would always rank in the top slot for related searches. You’d be the first choice when users in your area search for “plumbers near me” or more specific terms like “leaky pipe repair,” “new toilet installation,” or “plumbing inspection.”
But most likely, your website isn’t always in the top rankings — yet. Conducting an SEO audit routinely can key you into any issues negatively impacting your rankings. You’ll be able to see what your competitors are doing well and how you should be adjusting your strategies to capitalize on the latest trends and reach more potential customers.
If you don’t feel confident conducting audits yourself, you may want to enlist an SEO agency for plumbing businesses to perform regular SEO audits on your behalf.
Types of SEO Audits
When you conduct an SEO audit, you can include as much or as little detail as you see fit. Of course, the more detailed analysis you complete, the more insights you’ll be able to glean for your marketing strategy. But as a busy plumbing business owner, you may feel like you don’t have time to sit down and conduct a comprehensive analysis of your website performance each month.
Instead, consider breaking your audit process into three steps: an on-page audit, an off-page audit, and a technical audit.
An on-page SEO audit looks at the elements users can see when visiting your website. Search engines consider many forward-facing factors when determining a website’s rankings, such as:
- Written content
- Meta descriptions
Having written content that meets Google’s E.E.A.T. ranking factors — expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness — can go a long way in boosting your rankings. Meanwhile, having duplicate content could lower your position in the search engine.
You also need to make sure any visuals on your site aren’t bogging down your website speed and are displaying correctly.
Off-page audits mainly examine your backlinks, which are links from other sites to your website. Backlinks can give your plumbing website a significant amount of authority in the search engine. Google will see that other sites consider your website an authoritative source, and it will form the same opinion.
When auditing backlinks, you need to make sure the websites linking to your site include accurate information about your business, including your contact information and business name. You should also look out for any broken links and contact the author of the website to edit them.
Technical audits examine all of the behind-the-scenes data impacting your website’s performance. These elements may include:
- Loading speed
- Website structure
- Internal linking
- External links
- Page responses
In a nutshell, you should ensure that your website is operating as it should and that no technical errors are affecting your search engine rankings.
The Benefits of SEO Audits for Plumbing Businesses
So why is an SEO audit important? At its core, an SEO audit helps keep your search engine strategy properly optimized to bring traffic to your website and grow your business. But this health check offers a lot of smaller benefits as well that shape your digital marketing strategy overall.
SEO audits pose these benefits for your plumbing company.
Find Weaknesses in Your SEO Strategy
The main purpose of conducting an SEO audit is to find weaknesses in your SEO strategy that are impacting your ability to rank in search results. Identifying these flaws quickly can help you mitigate them before they begin impacting your SEO success. But often, you can’t identify issues with your SEO strategy until you take an in-depth look at all of your ranking factors.
Even if there aren’t any critical issues, like broken links or visuals, your SEO audit can alert you to outdated SEO tactics. Google and other search engines are constantly evolving their ranking algorithms to include new ranking factors and weight existing factors differently.
If your SEO strategy once allowed you to rank highly, and you haven’t changed anything, you may need to revamp your strategy to better account for modern ranking factors.
Monitor Your Competition
It’s easy to want to stay focused on your own website (and your own business in general), but you won’t find much success unless you keep a close eye on competitors’ websites as well. Monitoring the competition will:
- Keep you up to date about the latest trends other plumbing businesses are using
- Help you understand where your company ranks amongst the competition
- Give you a tangible goal to aim for when adjusting your SEO strategy
- Show you new ideas to use within your own website and marketing strategy
Any good SEO audit includes a competitor analysis detailing what keywords competitors are using, who has created backlinks to their websites, how their sites are ranking, and other important elements of their SEO campaign.
If you find that several of your competitors have started ranking for the same keywords, you can focus your upcoming content on those terms. Meanwhile, if you see that, overall, your competition is ranking higher than you, you can adapt your strategy to mimic what they’re doing well.
Evaluate Site Loading Speed
An SEO audit gives you a great excuse to check on your website’s loading time and figure out what factors are currently impacting that speed.
It may not seem very important, but your website’s load time significantly impacts your traffic and rankings. People don’t want to wait around for a website to load. If your website takes more than a few seconds to appear when visitors click on your links, they’ll quickly click back to the search results and find another website that loads faster.
Google and other search engines also consider your loading time when displaying your website in search results. A slow loading time could indicate that your website doesn’t meet users’ queries as well as other sites.
Your load speed can vary depending on a wide range of factors, so checking it frequently is important.
Track Down Essential Keywords You Should Be Targeting
Your SEO strategy centers around the keywords you use in content. While many factors impact your site ranking in search engines, keywords are a major one you don’t want to overlook. You should be constantly updating the content on your website to include new keywords that improve your rankings.
During your SEO audit, you can take time to pinpoint new keywords to include in your content strategy. Numerous tools on the web can help you identify keywords and evaluate your existing keyword rankings.
You’ll also have a chance to monitor the performance of keywords you’ve already been trying to rank for. If you put out new content in the last month targeting specific search terms, you can see how well those website pages are performing now.
Provide Website Traffic Insights
Is your monthly website traffic as high as it could be? What factors are impacting the amount of traffic you see on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis? And how does your website traffic compare to the competition?
Your SEO audit will key you into crucial data about your website traffic. One of the biggest business goals of an SEO strategy is to bring more organic traffic to your website — i.e., get more people to visit your site on their own accord rather than through an ad.
An essential step in your SEO analysis will be analyzing the traffic your website receives on average, breaking down the concept into measurable KPIs like search volume, URL clicks, and website impressions. Seeing this data can help you understand what you need to change or improve.
Ensure Your Navigation Is User-Friendly
While SEO audits involve looking at a lot of technical aspects of your website, they also give you time to evaluate your website as a whole. Specifically, is your website user-friendly? Does it look good? Is it easy to navigate on mobile devices? Examining these factors is part of the on-page SEO audit process.
You want your website to have smooth navigation so that visitors can easily find the information they’re looking for. If they have trouble finding information about your plumbing services, processes, or pricing, they won’t hesitate to visit another website that makes finding this information easy.
Through an SEO audit, you’ll have an opportunity to take a step back and evaluate your website from the point of view of the average visitor. Fixing navigation issues for desktop and mobile devices can also increase your search engine rankings, as Google prefers websites that are user-friendly.
Basic Step-by-Step SEO Audit Process
You know why SEO audits are so important, but how do you conduct them? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to SEO audits, but you can follow these basic steps to get started with an initial SEO audit. Based on your findings, you can then add steps depending on your website’s performance and specific needs.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools
You can find numerous free and paid tools online that give you valuable data about your SEO strategy. Google Search Console is one of the most popular, especially if you’re trying to increase your search rankings in Google.
Google Search Console gives you curated reports about your search traffic and performance and details issues that may be hurting your website’s ability to rank well. You can also use Google Analytics for even more in-depth measurement tools.
Whether you decide to use Google Search Console, Google Analytics, or another tool, get it set up in advance and pull your data at the beginning of your SEO audit. Then, you’ll have a better idea of what issues to focus on during your audit.
Step 2: Examine Your Competition
Next, spend time looking at your competitors’ websites and examining their performance using the tools you downloaded in the first step. Jot down a few details about what these businesses are doing well and what factors you’re currently outperforming them on.
Step 3: Identify Technical Problems
Next, spend time evaluating the technical side of your website. You can conduct a site crawl to quickly find these back-end issues that you may not notice at a glance. Google offers a site crawling tool, but you can also use a program like Moz or Semrush.
Step 4: Perform Keyword Research
The next step in your SEO audit is to examine how your keywords are performing and look for new keywords to begin ranking for. You can use a website like Google Keyword Planner to find specific keywords that pertain to your plumbing company and location.
This tool will tell you the estimated number of searches a keyword gets each month, helping you determine whether it is worth your time and effort to rank for it. You can make a list of keywords to use in your next campaign and nix any terms currently in your campaign that aren’t worth your while.
Step 5: Evaluate Your On-Page Elements
Next, visit your website on desktop and mobile and spend time examining each of your pages, looking for any visual or content issues that could be impacting your search engine rankings. Your website should look clean and professional, load quickly, and include accurate information about your company.
You should also double-check that any external and internal links you added since the last audit actually link to the correct website pages.
Step 6: Make a List of SEO Issues
At the end of your audit, you should have a detailed list of any issues with your SEO strategy or your website in general that you need to fix. Separating these issues into categories can help you tackle them more strategically.
So You’ve Finished Your SEO Audit…Now What?
SEO audits are only as valuable as what you do with them. Once you’ve found issues with your SEO strategy, it’s time to develop the necessary steps to fix those issues and send your rankings soaring. That’s why SEO audits are so important — they give you a launching pad to boost your performance.
But trying to figure out how to optimize your SEO strategy can be challenging, especially when you have a dozen other tasks on your to-do list. That’s why many businesses work with SEO experts to optimize their keyword rankings and boost their overall performance.
At Relentless Digital, we have the tools and expertise to help your plumbing company stand out in the search results. Contact us today for a comprehensive SEO audit, local SEO tips, or full-scale digital marketing services.