Now let me make this clear, this is not an audit that you would want to take to a client, but rather an internal report, or a way to get the ball rolling on your SEO strategies and ideas. I use this report whenever we are planning to redesign a site or add tweaks to our content strategy. It really comes in handy since it’s a nice and broad overview that informs our staff that doesn’t really know much about SEO. With data and strategy constantly on our minds, sometimes it’s hard for SEOs to take a step back and help our staff really understand how everything works. And in the end, SEO works best when everyone is on the same page (pun intended).
One more disclaimer: you might need tweak this audit depending on your company. Some data just clicks better with different people.
1. Quick Keyword Research
Keyword research can take up a huge percentage of our time. We could spend hours putting different instances of keywords into a spreadsheet and concatenating the crap out of it. However internal staff and upper management don’t need to know every explicit detail of 500+ words. Help them pick out 20 to 25 words that they want to rank for and track the rankings from month-to-month.
I like to use Moz’s rank tracker tool. It’s quick and easy. I can also sign up for weekly reports that will tell me of any ranking changes on my words. It only takes me 2 minutes to check on the progress every month and make changes to my audit template.
BONUS: Do the research for 2 competitors to get a better view of where you stand!
2. Searched Queries
I love this part of the audit. It’s quick, easy to put together, and great information. You’ll need to be hooked up to Google Webmaster Tools for this one. Once you’re logged in click on the “Search Traffic” tab and go to “Search Queries”. This will give you a chart of the actual top terms that get people to click-through to your site. It even gives the click-through rate and average rank in Google.
For SEOs it’s a useful visual to help people understand organic traffic and why certain pages rank. When people ask me why we rank for that term I take them through the process of searching on Google and clicking on the page. Then I like to point out attributes that assisted in the ranking (good titles, page descriptions, layout, etc).
I’m sure you send these reports out everyday, but I like to add these to the report for good measure (pun intended again). Metrics will help tie everything together and put everything in a nice, neat package, so your staff won’t scramble to find separate documents. I like to grab a quick monthly summary from Google Analytics.
Think of yourself as a consultant with these audits. Put together a quick summary of everything you’ve seen for the month and a few actions to take to help with ranking. Even if they’re small actions or low-hanging fruit, it helps.
Hundreds of other types of data could be added to these audits, but the point is to keep it short, sweet, informative, and under 5 minutes. I’ve seen too many people give metrics, backlink reports, algorithm updates, and nothing else. Even though these reports are extremely valuable, sometimes we forget that it doesn’t show the whole picture or (near) real-time results to our staff that might need it. As SEOs, our job is to interpret the rules of search engines, and not to just report on them.