How Do You Know When You Need an SEO Audit

Reasons why you may need an seo audit

Does Your Site Need an SEO Audit?

As a digital marketer, you already know that an SEO Audit is necessary to attract more organic search traffic to your website. But how do you know when it’s time to run an SEO Audit?

The benefits of running an audit are clear. You can discover hidden technical errors and unintentional duplicate content. You can also fix old links and determine if your site is mobile-friendly or not.

Anyone who has spent time in the SEO world can recognize when it’s time to run an SEO audit. But, if you are new to search marketing – or you simply have too much on your plate to worry about SEO on top of running a business – how do you know when it’s time?

Luckily, we have put together a list of the top warning signs that indicate it’s time to run an SEO audit.

1. When Google Announces a New Algorithm

It’s well-known that search engine giant Google is always making tweaks and adjustments to its various search algorithms. Though the day-to-day modifications may not have a huge impact on your SEO, the more substantial updates certainly will.

When Google announces a new algorithm, like Penguin or RankBrain, it usually has a specific goal it is trying to achieve. For instance, Google’s Hummingbird update represented an overhaul of the search engine’s query processing capabilities.

Any major change to ranking formulas, regardless of Google’s goal, is the number one sign you need to audit your website.

If you find any duplicate pages, thin pages, or broken internal links, you should fix those things immediately.

2. When You See Your Traffic is Declining

When you notice a substantial dip in your website traffic, it’s usually a sign that something is going wrong. Losing website visitors is never a good thing, but it can be hard to diagnose what’s causing the drop.

If your traffic dropped suddenly and dramatically, you might have an issue with broken links or pages or server downtime, drawing your site a manual penalty.

However, a slow, gradual decline over weeks or months could indicate several issues. Perhaps you’ve lost links, or your content is no longer relevant. Maybe your keyword research is outdated.

Whatever the issue, you can use your SEO audit to find the most likely culprit.


3. When Your Conversions Are Tanking

Conversions, whether you define them as purchases or email signups (or something else), are the ultimate goal action you want users on your website to complete.

So, if your conversions are tanking, it’s another major signal that something on your website it problematic. Either there’s a technical issue that needs to be fixed or there is a disconnect between what your users are searching for and what they are finding on your site.

A technical SEO audit will help you discover the optimization or accessibility problems that are stopping your users from converting.

A full SEO audit, though, will also work as a CRO audit. This will allow you to repair the exit points in your funnel.

4. When You’ve Hit a Plateau

Digital marketing is an ongoing process. So, it stands to reason that SEO should grant you continued benefits. When implemented correctly, a strong SEO strategy should be showing you a traffic increase of at least a few percentage points each month.

Even if your traffic hasn’t declined, it’s not great if you find your site’s traffic is stagnant.

An SEO audit will help you uncover issues like losing backlinks, declining keyword popularity, and lack of fresh content.

5. When Your Share of Organic Traffic Dips

“But my traffic is going up! I can’t possibly need an SEO audit!”

Maybe your traffic hasn’t gone down or stayed stagnant. But, if all of your traffic is coming from PPC, referral links and Facebook, that’s a signal that you have an SEO problem.

Clearly, no search traffic equals bad SEO. However, many website owners will not dig into their traffic sources if they are pleased with the total number of visitors.

6. When Your Users Aren’t Engaging

Search engines pay attention to how users interact with your website, and they use it as a very strong ranking factor. Google doesn’t want to send users to pages they will get zero value from.

Engagement metrics you should be paying attention to include:

If your user engagement is suffering, your content might not match the user’s search intent.

7. When The Links You’ve Built are NoFollow

While social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are great for audience engagement and promotional material, they are not great for link juice.

These types of websites (as well as most forums and content aggregators) use nofollow links. The same is true for most news websites.

If you have lots of backlinks but you are still struggling to rank, you need to conduct a link audit. This will show you if your links are mostly nofollow, or if they are unnatural-looking links.

When to Take Action

If any of the situations we’ve described above sounds familiar, it’s probably time to run a site audit. If you think more than one of the situations above applies to you, it is 100% time to run a site audit.

A lot of factors go into picking an audit tool. WooRank offers a free trial and you can use the Advanced Review feature to improve your website. If you don’t feel like making a commitment, you can always run a free instant audit.


  1. 1

    You have written about nofollow links suggesting that without so called “link juice” there’s no chance for better ranking in an overall view. I’m afraid that good nofollow links can get you great resource of traffic and in the longer perspective – great ranking. Links generate traffic, and traffic and time spent of a website is a ranking factor currently. There are many examples of pages with a big percentage of nofollow links comparing to all links (follow + nofollow) and their rankings are satisfying. Sometimes nofollow link is a kind of pass giving you the possibility to show yourself in a web enviroment (websites with a lot of traffic and readers) generating traffic and – possibly – another links. It’s doesnt matter if your link is follow or nofollow if your website is getting more popular after all.

    • 2

      Hi Radek,

      Great point. It’s best to have a natural backlink pattern. If all backlinks were dofollow that would be strange. Likewise if they were all nofollow that would not be ideal. So it’s best to understand the profile & if it is exclusively nofollow it may be worth trying to win some dofollows.

      Definitely agree 100% about dwell time – Google seems to reward content that keeps people on the page for a long time.

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