How to help clients understand SEO audits

November 5, 2015 - 4  min reading time - by Emma Labrador
Accueil > SEO Thoughts > How to help clients understand SEO audits

Search Engine Optimization is a key strategy to help online businesses to achieve their marketing goals. If you need to deliver SEO audits to your clients or your marketing team, you might often meet issues to make them clear, easily understandable and actionnable. However, there are processes to explain and present SEO audits and make them immediately valuable for your clients / partners.

Our article aims to give you the keys of an easy-to-understand SEO audit.

1# Integrate key SEO elements

Before going in details about what you audit should include, the first thing is to make your SEO audits VISUAL! Your report must be easy to read, ergonomic and accessible.
Then your SEO audits should at least integrate:

  • Meta data: meta data includes elements like title tag and meta description. Does your client’s site have these? Are they all set up ? Duplicated or unique?
  • Content analysis: are your client’s keywords well optimized over their page copies, how are their n-grams organized?
  • Status code: too much site errors like 404’s will hurt your rankings. Are redirects ok? Status code should be audited.
  • URL optimization: URLs should be customized with relevant keywords, be short, clear and attractive to users.
  • Site health: elements like load time, page depth, or broken images must be reviewed.
  • Link audit: check your backlinks as their quality and relevance matter (measured by the trust flow). Your internal linking also matters as a rich structure offers a better user experience. A good linking structure can definitely boost your rankings.
  • Mobile friendliness: is your client’s site responsive? Have you deleted large interstitials covering screens? Are the elements easily clickable and scrollable?
  • Keywords: audit for which keywords your clients are ranking for or want to be ranked for.
  • Social: social media should not be forgotten when auditing a website as social signal matters for Google. Does the content is easily sharable? Do visitors engaged on social medias?

2# Pay great attention to the design

Designing an appealing report is essential to catch your client’s attention. You don’t want to bother him with a 15 pages spreadsheet full of incomprehensible data and URLs. Make your SEO audits simple, visual and esthetic.

  • Include images, diagrams and icons: those elements will help understand your content and make it more digest.
  • Add color: it will improve the global look of your report and stress out some important points. Use simple colors as red, green or blue to keep it simple and professional.
  • Think space: do not write your copy in 8 with no white space. It must be airy.
  • Use headlines: clearly separate different parts with key headlines to make it easily understandable.
  • Avoid acronyms: speak in plain English if it is possible. Over loading your content with acronyms will lose your audience.
  • Brand your audit with your identity and logo: you can also include a small summary of your expertise at the end.

3# Explain your results

As non SEO experts, your clients may sometimes not evaluate all the SEO criterias. That is why you need to guide your clients when delivering your SEO recommendations. You have to convey confidence, trustworthiness and be convincing.
Some improvements may not seem essential for your clients but you have to explain why it does for Google. I think here of mobile optimization for instance when some clients don’t think it is a setting that worths it. Well, even if they don’t receive a lot of mobile traffic, their websites need to be responsive for example.
Also, popularize your wording. You don’t want to confuse your audience with super technical words. Provide a glossary with easy definitions of words like breadcrumbs, Page Rank or canonicals.
Be positive with what is not working now. If you’re auditing a website that does not respect any Google guidelines, it might be discouraging for your clients. But be reassuring! Build a war map with all the next steps to show that everything can be achieved and clearly explain what you offer. Your audit must serve to prioritize next steps and know what to fight first. Depending on who you are working with, you need to help share the different tasks between the team.
Also, show that quick wins can be rapidly done. Then, leave time for questions as it is essential for your client to feel that he can ask you something you have not prepared in advance.

4# Use SEO audits to convert prospects

Doing an SEO audit can be a great way to close deals. Actually, you can be extremely proactive and foresee your prospect’s need. Here is a roadmap of what you could do to attract new clients:

  • Analyze your prospect website and their strategy.
  • Choose a segment on what they seem to rank for and compare the same one of one of their competitors.
  • Audit a landing page and make a comparison with one of their competitors.
  • Reach your prospect to present your work and show what their competitors are doing right and what they can do to beat them on a specific segment.
  • Defend your expertise by showing which solutions you could provide.

5# Choose an actionable tool to realize your audit

An audit can be runned manually but also with great actionable tools that will save you a lot of time.
For everything related to onpage SEO performances, you should try OnCrawl. We deliver handy SEO audits with data visualization and the ability to export your data.

Emma was the Head of Communication & Marketing at Oncrawl for over seven years. She contributed articles about SEO and search engine updates.
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