Google on how to improve SEO audits

Martin Splitt of Google offers tips on how to improve SEO audits in a way that makes them more useful for web developers.

A number of tips were shared in the second episode of Google R&D Optimization YouTube web series, which is dedicated to the topic of SEO audits.

Bartosz Goralewicz, CEO of Onely, joins Splitt to make recommendations for the best, based on first-hand experience between his team and his clients.

This episode is well worth listening to in its entirety, as you are sure to learn something that will improve your working relationship with developers and stakeholders.

This is just a sample of what is in the 30-minute video.

Get rid of PDF reports

Splitt recommends replacing PDF reports with more efficient communication forms.

The problem with submitting SEO audits via PDF report is that they often mention what’s wrong with the site without saying what needs to be done to fix it.

Another problem with these reports is that they don’t always align with the website’s goals.

Split illustrates this with an example from his days as a developer:

“I remember being a developer. I had a lot of different things on my tablet already and then, all of a sudden, in the middle of a sprint, someone from SEO came down to me and said, ‘Martin, this is a PDF with all the wrong stuff in it. Farewell!’

And then they flew and I like – ah well, he says we’re using JavaScript, which is pretty accurate because what we’re currently building is a VR app that runs on your phone in the browser. You will have to use JavaScript to do this.

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

A lot of this stuff is very unhelpful and doesn’t reflect the circumstances I’m working in, as a developer. “

Now that we know what goes wrong with traditional SEO audits, let’s find out what can be done to fix it.

See the next section for some practical advice from Bartosz.

Improve SEO audits with Better Communication

The key to providing better SEO audits, says Bartos, is to communicate more thoroughly with stakeholders and developers.

“Usually we start with stakeholders… we talk to stakeholders, and we wait for a call before creating any offers or anything. We wait for a call and we talk about what the KPI is, what the problem is, what the challenges are, why are we doing it.

Why is this so important? Why do you want to fix it? Because if traffic was the only metric, we’d still work with it, but we know how that could happen. So we’ll start with that. “

Starting the audit process by setting stakeholder objectives can help prevent you from submitting unhelpful SEO audits, like the ones discussed in the section above.

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

“Then after the call, we look at their website and create a statement of action. So we tell them — OK, that’s what we’re going to do. This is the list of problems we see on your website, and that’s how we want to fix it.

Set priorities, so in the first month we solve all the more awful aspects like internal 404 errors or, I don’t know, 10 seconds to load the page, whatever.

And so it’s very transparent because we’ve told them this project is going to take four months, we’re going to go to a PM (project manager) like Jira or Trello with your development team, and we’re going to make that happen. “

Not only will this process lead to better audits – if you achieve the goals set in the initial meeting, it will become easier to prove your return on investment for SEO.

For more ideas on improving SEO audits, watch the full video from Google below:


Featured image: screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, December 2021.

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