How to Help Clients Understand SEO Audits

  • July 17th 2015
  • by Jessica Kandler
How to Help Clients Understand SEO Audits

For many marketers, search engine optimization is a key strategy to helping clients meet their online goals, but it can be a huge challenge to present SEO data and recommendations to clients in a way that is understandable and actionable.

This post will walk you through how to develop, explain, and leverage SEO audits for your clients.

seo-audits

First, start by creating a really good-looking audit. Make sure it’s visual, clean, and easy to understand. There are hundreds of SEO factors your audit could include, but here are 16 elements your client SEO audits should start with:

  • Keyword rankings - audit your client’s website for keywords they might already be ranking for, or want to be ranking for.
  • Meta data – meta data includes elements like a webpage’s title tag and meta description. Does your client’s site have these? Are they unique and well crafted?
  • Content analysis – are your client’s keywords being used throughout the page copy? how much copy is on the page?
  • Social analysis – SEO and social media are tied to one another. Does your client’s site content get shared on social? Dot hey have social share buttons incorporated into the site?
  • Url structure - it’s important that URL’s contain relevant keywords, are shorter rather than longer, and are attractive to users as well.
  • Code errors - extensive site errors like 404’s (page not found) make your site appear sloppy to search engines, and are at risk of penalty.
  • Site health – this can audit factors your client will want to avoid such as slow load speed or broken images.
  • Mobile friendliness – since Google’s most recent algorithm update, mobile friendliness is an important factor. Is the site responsive? Are buttons easily clickable and text easy to read on mobile devices?
  • Link audit – many sites still suffer from blackhat SEO tactics implemented in the past, resulting in spammy links pointing to their site. A link audit helps you uncover who’s linking to your client’s site, and if it’s a quality link.

In addition to the data itself, the visual layout of your audit is very important to client comprehension. The last thing a client wants to see is a 12 page spreadsheet chock full of extensive URL’s and endless numbers.

Here are a few important tricks for making your audits more visual and readable:

  • Add some color. Using color to highlight specific points or break up sections goes a long way in improving the overall look and feel of your report. Use green for positive, red for errors, and consider adding a neutral color like blue to balance the color scheme.
  • Use ample white space. Forgo a busy-looking audit for a longer audit if necessary to ensure you’re using enough white space.
  • Include images. Where appropriate, add an image to help break up text and give the reader’s eyes a quick rest. But, make sure the images are extremely relevant to the audit content, and don’t overdo it.

seo-reports-example

  • Add icons. Icons are quick graphics that help to reinforce points, separate content, and add visual intrigue.
  • Utilize headings. Clearly label each section in a consistent way, and instill hierachy in your text by bolding headings and increasing font sizes.
  • Speak in plain language. Some technical and SEO terms are unavoidable, but where possible, use plain language in your audit. Overcomplicating your explanation in order to impress your client with your professionalism and vocabulary may in fact just confuse them or make your data unclear.

Related Post: 8 Ways to Make Your Content More Visual

Don’t forget to brand your audits – proving your value to a client is important. Reinforcing your brand with a consistent branded header and thank you or summary page keeps you front and center in the client’s mind and presents you as the solution.

Explaining SEO audits to your clients

Here are a few examples of ways to more clearly explain your SEO audits to your client in a way that it understandable, which instills confidence, and which provides actionable recommendations and next steps.

Connect to the bigger picture

You may understand and believe in your recommendations, but your client may need some convincing. It is, after all, their budget you’re using – so explain why each element matters and how it will impact them.

For example:
Client: Why does a meta description matter, anyway? Seems like a minor detail.

You: Actually, meta descriptions matters quite a lot to both search engines and potential visitors because 1) it helps crawlers understand what your webpage is about and whether or not it’s relevant to the search query, and 2) the way your meta description appears in search engine results plays a huge role in whether or not a user is convinced to click through to your page.

meta description example

Here’s another example:
Client: We don’t really get a lot of mobile traffic anyway – I’m not concerned with mobile friendliness.

You: Well, search engines are! Google’s most recent algorithm update focused exclusively on mobile-friendliness, and now websites that aren’t optimized for mobile could be penalized and rank substantially lower in search results.

Related post: Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update: Everything You Need to Know

 

Use a technical glossary

Words like canonicalize and robots.txt are familiar to SEO’s and marketers, but most likely won’t be to your clients. The last thing you want to do is make your clients feel dumb, or intimidate them with jargon. Similarly, industry-specific language such a mozscore or domain rank will likely need clarification. Moz’s Complete Glossary of Essential SEO Jargon is a super helpful resource for easily defining key technical terms to your clients.

Turn negatives into next steps

An audit with a low SEO score or a lot of glaring red errors is likely to be very discouraging to a client, but it places you as a marketer in a great position to step in and show your value. The key is clearly laying out a plan of attack that makes the task appear surmountable to your client. They may be feeling overwhelmed, so reassure them by providing a numbered list of the next steps which show 1) what issues to tackle first, second, third, and so on, and 2) what your solutions are. Allow your client time to ask questions or raise concerns, and be prepared to stand strong on your recommendations.

Use supplementary visuals

This awesome infographic from Backlinko helps visualize onpage SEO elements like H1 tags, url structure, and content. Don’t include resources such as this within your SEO audit, but use them (or create your own) in tandem with the data. When you’re meeting with your client to present the audit data, a supplementary visual may be the item that helps a concept or recommendation click for them.

onpage seo visual

 

Know where to start

Clients often feel overwhelmed with too much data, especially if their website needs a lot of work to be properly optimized for SEO. It’s your job to help them prioritize, understand clear next steps, and take action. Use your audits to talk through a starting point with your client, and be strategic about what to tackle first. Think about you client’s bandwidth to help – if you provide them a sample meta description and title tag, do they have an internal team member who can draft them to expedite the process? Balance tasks that are easy to complete in a timely way with those that will have the most impact.

Using SEO audits as a sales tool

Using SEO audits as a way to pitch a new client can be extremely successful. This proactive approach is extremely impressive to clients because it showcases your expertise upfront and provides them real value

Here’s how to pitch a prospective client using an SEO audit:

1. Analyze your prospect’s website and find their home page, service page, or a product page they are trying to rank for.

2. Determine a keyword or phrase they might want to rank for, and search the term to find one of their competitors who ranks higher on the same targeted keyword or phrase.

3. Conduct an SEO audit of a specific landing page on your prospect’s site, and an audit of a competitor’s landing page that is ranking much higher for the same targeted keyword or phrase.

4. Set up a meeting or call with your prospect to run through both audits item by item, line by line. Show them what their competitor is doing differently, and how these differences are allowing their competitor to rank higher.

5. Pitch your expertise and services based on the areas of improvement identified in the audit.

Try our SEO Audit Tool
seo audit tool free trial

 

  • Good tips providing this blog. Here is some SEO Toronto services for prompting your web site.

  • Great tips right there Jessica. Because we’re very experienced with SEO, sometimes clients don’t understand terms we feel are simple but actually are very complicated to a layperson, so it’s important to lay it out simply. http://www.sharkweb.com.sg/

  • John Smith

    Great information shared! make everything clear about your SEO strategy to your clients by giving them whole details about your website optimization work. hire web development and digital marketing company who can do great work for you.

  • Nato

    We tend to split SEO audits into two tracks. One for their lead technical person and another for everyone else at the company. The CEO of a lumber company isn’t going to care about the technical specifics they do however care about the “why” and “how much” aspects of the plan. So we use something like MySiteAuditor during sales phase then we break out a much more in depth process during the planning stage. https://plainenglish.io/

  • isabel_phillips

    I make roughly 6 thousand-8 thousand dollars every month from freelancing on internet. Anyone eager to finish easy at home task for some hours /a day from your home and get solid salary for doing it… Then this work is for you… http://korta.nu/NDe

  • lang.lachance

    I am making around 6-8 thousand dollars every month for freelance tasks i do at home. For everybody prepared to work simple computer-based tasks for some hours a day at your home and gain solid checks for doing it… This is an opportunity for you… http://korta.nu/NDe

  • delores.russo

    Work on the web from 2 to 6 hrs on daily basis, and collect payment in the range 1k-3k weekly http://urlin.it/143a58

  • peggy.parra

    After being fired from my previous job half year ago, i’ve been lucky to find out about this great website that was a life-saver… They offer online home-based tasks. My last check after working for them for 3 months was 12000 bucks… Amazing thing about is that only requirement for the job is basic typing skills and access to internet… http://korta.nu/NDe

  • lisa.michael

    6 months back,after being fired from my old job , i’ve been blessed to discover this marvellous website that was a life-saver… They provide jobs for which people can work online from their house. Last check after working for them for three months was $12000… Amazing thing about is that only requirement for the job is basic typing skills and good internet connection… http://korta.nu/MDe

  • pamela.dubois.93

    Start making 90 dollars a day for working an online job from comfort of your own home for few h every day… Get regular payment weekly… All you need is a pc, access to the internet, and also some sparetime… http://korta.nu/NDe

  • stephanie-smith-92

    Earn 90 bucks each day for working an online job from your home office for couple of hrs /day… Get paid each week… All what is required is a pc, connection to the web, as well as some leisure time… http://korta.nu/NDe

  • pamela.paylor

    Acquire 90 bucks each day for working on-line from your home for couple of h on a daily base… Get paid once a week… All you need is a laptop, connection to the web, and some free-time… http://korta.nu/NDe

  • kayla.mitchell

    Start Earning 90 bucks /day for working on the web from comfort of your own home for few h on a daily base… Get regular payment once a week… All you need is a laptop, connection to the web, plus a little leisure time… http://fave.co/2boctrE

  • betty.goetz

    Earn 90 bucks /daily for working an online job from your home for couple of hrs daily… Get paid regularly weekly… All what is required is a personal computer, net connection, plus some spare-time…http://secure52.com

  • yoshiko.travis

    Start making 90 bucks /daily for working over the internet from your home for couple of h /day… Get regularly paid each week… You’ll need a pc, connection to the internet, and a little spare-time… http://ow.ly/n1nP303oO1A

  • anna.mahon

    I benefit about 6.000-8.000 dollars a month for freelancing at home. For those of you who are willing to finish basic freelance jobs for 2h-5h daily from your house and get good paycheck for doing it… This is ideal for you… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

  • kelly-phyllis

    One yr ago I decided to quit my office job and that decision was a life changer for me… I started to work from home, over a website I found over internet, several hrs daily, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my last job… Check i got for last month was for 9 thousand bucks… Superb thing about this job is that i have more free time for my kids… http://korta.nu/MDe

  • sheila.strickland

    After 5 yrs I decided to leave my last job and I never felt better in my life… I started working online, for this company I stumbled upon on-line, for a few hours /a day, and I earn much more than i did on my old work… Paycheck i got for last month was for 9000 bucks… Superb thing about this job is the more free time i got for my loved ones…
    http://secure54.com

  • anne.kelly.91

    After 5 yrs I decided to leave my previous work and I never felt better in my life… I started to work online, for a company I discovered over internet, several hrs every day, and I earn much more than i did on my last job… Paycheck i got for last month was for 9k… Amazing thing about this is that i have more time for my family… http://korta.nu/MDe

  • jones.lorena

    After 5 years I left my last job and I am so happy now… I started freelancing at home, for this company I stumbled upon over internet, several hours each day, and I profit now much more than i did on my old job… Paycheck i got for last month was for 9k… Great thing about it is that i have more free time for my kids… http://korta.nu/MDe

  • roseanne.leblanc

    1 yr have passed since I decided to leave my office job and I never felt so good in my life… I started freelancing over internet, for this company I discovered online, for several hours /a day, and I make much more than i did on my last work… My payment for last month was for 9000 bucks… The best thing about this gig is the more time i got for my loved ones… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

  • thomas_kristina

    It’s been one year since I left my old work and I never felt this good… I started working from home, over a website I stumbled upon online, several hours a day, and I earn much more than i did on my last job… Check i got for last month was for 9k… Amazing thing about this work is the more free time i got with my kids… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

  • kristi.neff

    1 year ago I decided to resign from my office job and I never felt this good… I started working over internet, for this company I discovered on-line, for several hrs each day, and I profit now much more than i did on my office work… Last payment i got was for Nine thousand dollars… Amazing thing about this work is that now i have more free time for my kids… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

  • roberta_rodriguez

    It’s been 1 year since I decided to abandon my old work and that decision was a life-changer for me… I started doing work from home, over a site I stumbled upon on-line, few hrs each day, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my last job… My last month paycheck was for $9k… Awesome thing about this work is that now i have more time to spend with my family… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

  • holmes.tracey

    1 yr ago I decided to quit my old work and it changed my life… I started doing work from comfort of my home, over a site I found online, for several hours each day, and I earn much more than i did on my old work… My paycheck for last month was for $9k… Awesome thing about this is that now i have more time for my kids… http://secure78.com

  • mary-phillips

    1 year have passed since I finally left my office work and I am so happy now… I started working from my house, for a company I stumbled upon on-line, several hrs daily, and I earn much more than i did on my old job… My check for last month was for 9 thousand dollars… Amazing thing about it is that i have more free time to spend with my family… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

  • cora.barba

    After 5 years I decided to leave my last work and i couldn’t be happier now… I started doing a job over internet, over a site I stumbled upon over internet, few hours daily, and I make much more than i did on my previous job… My paycheck for last month was for 9k dollars… Superb thing about this work is that now i have more free time for my family… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

  • susanfoster2016

    It’s been 1 year since I decided to quit my old job and i couldn’t be happier now… I started working from comfort of my house, for a company I discovered on-line, for several hours /a day, and I make much more than i did on my office work… My last month paycheck was for Nine thousand bucks… Superb thing about this gig is that now i have more time with my family… http://chilp.it/728813e

  • yvonnewallace91

    One yr have passed since I decided to quit my last job and it changed my life… I started freelancing from my house, over a website I found on-line, for a few hrs every day, and I make much more than i did on my last work… Paycheck i got for last month was for 9000 dollars… Awesome thing about this gig is that i have more time with my kids… http://chilp.it/728813e

  • hettie.williams

    After 5 yrs I finally resigned from my previous job and I am so happy now… I started working from home, for a company I discovered over internet, for several hours daily, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my previous job… My last month paycheck was for $9k… Awesome thing about this is the more time i got to spend with my family… http://chilp.it/728813e

  • teresa.chase

    One year have passed since I quit my previous work and I am so happy now… I started doing work online, for this company I discovered over internet, for a few hours daily, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my previous job… Check i got for last month was for 9000 bucks… Superb thing about this job is the more free time i got for my kids…
    http://chilp.it/728813e

  • gladisjaworski

    1 yr have passed since I finally quit my last work and that decision changed everything for me… I started doing work from my house, for this company I found over internet, few hrs every day, and I profit now much more than i did on my office job… Pay-check i got for last month was for $9k… Superb thing about this gig is the more time i got for my loved ones…
    http://chilp.it/728813e

  • Thanks you for the tips. Your auditing tool looks fantastic though. The biggest problem I’m having right now is that even if I send new customers audit reports, I’m just not technical enough to fix errors on-site. Do you think I could use your tool to find errors and outsource someone to fix it based on the errors your tools displays? I’m trying to find a solution.