In order to succeed in SEO and offer a positive user experience, you must have a complete understanding of how your site operates and its overall health.
Every strong SEO strategy emphasizes site usability.
Search engine optimization goes beyond basics, and requires technical acumen in order to succeed.
To do this alone would be burdensome to any one person or a small team; to do this successfully at scale, you must rely on additional resources, but the cost will depend on your goals and the complexity of your site.
To begin to solve for this task, consider an SEO audit in tandem with a cutting-edge platform.
How Much Does an SEO Audit Cost?
To determine the true cost of an SEO audit, one must consider several variables.
The cost of a simple audit first depends on the number of pages, the number of domains, the scale of the audit, and more. Then, you have to factor in the specific type of audit you want to perform, as each type of SEO audit requires different scopes of work (we break down the three main types of SEO audits below).
Naturally, larger, enterprise-level sites will have higher audit costs — regardless of whether you work with a digital marketing agency or use an SEO platform in house to complete your audit work.
Remember, cost is not just money, it’s time and resources.
All of these different factors — money, time, and resources — are the inputs of the equation, so to speak. The fact of the matter is different types of audits require different amounts of work.
The output is the result of all these investments: a healthy, optimized site.
What Tools Do You Need to Perform a Site Audit?
For enterprise sites, it’s helpful to have an enterprise SEO platform or a set of SEO analysis tools ready at your disposal.
A platform can serve as an all-in-one SEO audit tool if it is capable of crawling your site — which gives you the flexibility to design custom crawls and returning insights at a blazing-fast speed, as well as pointing out opportunities with content and improving the search experience.
You’ll also want to set up Google Search Console and analytics (i.e. Google Analytics) to monitor the impact that fixing site issues has on performance. These are invaluable free SEO tools to help with your site audit.
Finally, you also need a team ready to demonstrate their expertise and prioritize the recommendations.
Once you execute the audit and find key takeaways, you’ll likely need a developer, content writer, PR team, and other associated team members.
Together you should understand the tech stack of the site, capabilities of the CMS, and available scope of the development teams to implement your findings.
At the end, these team members may know the last-mile ways to fix the issues found in the audit in a way that will make the biggest splash.
If you haven't checked it out already, be sure and review our Technical SEO Site Audit Checklist, and download our easy-to-use guide to completing your own site audit for your organization.
The Types of SEO Audits
A site audit is a “report card” of sorts that dissects various aspects of your website.
It assesses the friendliness of your website (to both search engines and users alike), and points out where optimizations may be needed to improve your SEO.
While there are many quick SEO audits you can perform on your site, most audits fall into one of the three following categories:
A technical audit is an evaluation of the technical SEO components of your website that affect your site’s usability. These areas include things like page speed, indexation levels, mobile friendliness and international optimizations (e.g. Hreflang).
This is crucial for ensuring a positive user experience. After all, it's time to move your thinking from search engine optimization to search experience optimization.
Digital marketing agency Impact says a technical SEO audit can cost between $3,000 to $30,000, depending on the depth and size of the site.
What work is involved in a technical audit?
- Confirm that foundational SEO best practices are followed, such as:
- XML sitemap is correct and submitted to Google.
- Correct error status code across all pages.
- Evaluate that the following aspects are working correctly for optimization:
- Robots.txt files don’t block content that’s meant to be indexed.
- Canonical tags are implemented correctly.
- The site uses HTTPS
- …and more
- Confirm that each individual page on the site is optimized by considering:
- A page speed test ensures that pages load in less than 2 seconds.
- Compression is enabled when appropriate, and caching is enabled where possible.
- Schema is incorporated where it makes sense to do so.
- …and more
A technical audit calls your attention to potential areas of concern — like removed “noindex” tags, for example — and prevents sites from losing visibility on Google and other search engines.
The audit also identifies key opportunities and gaps within your industry.
A content audit evaluates your existing content for its strengths and weaknesses. Your goal here is to uncover insights about the content’s performance. This shines a light on your overall content marketing strategy.
A content audit will vary in cost depending on how large your site is and how much content you have. The cost of the audit can range from $5,000 to $30,000.
What work is involved in a content audit?
- Take a content inventory, evaluating all content across your site’s product pages and blog posts.
- Gather relevant data from each page, such as on-page data (target keyword, page title, H1 tags, etc.) and content performance metrics.
- Crawl the content to uncover site-wide issues with your pages and their content.
- Analyze the content data to determine the appropriate action, which can be to remove, update, or consolidate the content.
These steps reveal opportunities, competitive gaps, and missing semantically-relevant themes and keywords so you can update and optimize your site’s content to create a strong foundation.
A link/backlink audit is a process that evaluates all links pointing to your site, that is, backlinks. This type of audit allows you to discover the number of links, evaluate their quality, and identify threats or potential hurtful links and spam.
A link audit can cost as little as $1,000 as a one-off project with a freelancer, or it can be a part of a larger agency offering that can cost upwards of $5,000.
What work is involved in a link audit?
- Discover existing links to get an understanding of the initial link profile.
- Review backlinks to uncover those that no longer work in your favor.
- Reviewing linking domains to evaluate the authoritativeness of referring domains.
The market value of these audits tend to stay similar whether you choose to use an SEO agency or an SEO platform, and so the decision of how to accomplish these audits must take into consideration the depth of the audits and the support you receive.
seoClarity’s Professional Services
Some companies prefer to move their SEO practices in-house with an SEO platform to reduce costs and save time, while others continue to work with agencies or SEO companies who can provide a comprehensive service.
While it’s great to have all your services centralized, allowing a third-party review of your site’s performance is important to long-term success.
Augment your team's efforts with an external audit of your site to help you uncover areas on your site that aren't functioning as they should.
Using a data technology platform ensures that data and analytics are being used as the core basis for their recommendations.
In addition to access to the platform, all seoClarity clients receive a technical and content audit post-90 days of the start of their subscription, courtesy of our Professional Services team. Link audits are available upon request.
With the data-driven insights coming from the seoClarity platform, Professional Services is able to create enormous success for our clients.
In fact, clients have a greater than 30% additional increase in annual organic traffic, on average, when they receive a Professional Services audit.
You can learn more about client successes on our case studies page.
With the platform, you receive access to all of this value — value in terms of SEO wins, and time and resources, so you can achieve more.
Perhaps the most important value is the relationship with the Professional Services team — we’re an experienced team of SEO professionals that work as an extension of your team to bring you a customized assessment of your entire website, so all of our recommendations are tied to your specific KPIs.
Our team members all have more than ten years of experience in SEO and have a vast amount of knowledge in the industry.
We utilize our technology, workflows, and data to inform our decisions and take big data collection and analysis very seriously.
Recommended Reading: What Support is Offered with an seoClarity Subscription?
We work alongside you and coach you through the audits, identifying key objectives for you to target to optimize your site health.
You can build efficiencies clearly and easily with the support of Professional Services because everything is directly in your environment.
The personalized recommendations come directly from your site data and analytics, so specific-action items can be uncovered, executed, and reported across your organization.
For a comprehensive look at SEO costs, reference our SEO pricing guide.