As an enterprise company, one thing is certain: you have to constantly keep a finger on the pulse of your online presence. This is where an enterprise SEO audit can make all the difference.
An enterprise SEO audit goes beyond the scope of standard SEO consultations, diving deep into the intricate web of large-scale websites like yours. It scrutinizes every facet of your site — from the underlying technical framework to the user experience and content strategy. It's about understanding not just where you stand in search engine rankings, but also why, and what steps you can take to dominate in your industry.
However, getting all that done and dusted is often easier said than done. In this article, we’ll help you understand how to do an enterprise SEO audit by breaking the process down into 25 actionable steps — so you can set your company up for sustainable online success.
1. Use SEO Tools to Run a Site Crawl
In an enterprise SEO audit, the first step is to perform a comprehensive site crawl. This process is integral for enterprises since your site is likely large and complex.
A site crawl helps you uncover hidden issues on your site, such as broken links, redundant content, and structural inefficiencies that can impede your website's search engine performance. For enterprise-level websites, a site crawl is indispensable for ensuring every page aligns with SEO best practices and contributes positively to the overall health of your site.
Helpful Enterprise SEO Tools
To effectively conduct a site crawl at an enterprise scale, you’ll likely need a little help. The tools listed below are capable of handling extensive data and providing actionable insights. We’ll mention them throughout this article, so go ahead and get familiar with them!
- Google Analytics: Hopefully, you’ve already set up your Google Analytics account and have a basic understanding of how to navigate it. If not, no worries, the setup is quick and intuitive. With Google Analytics, the data you compile can be streamlined, interpreted, and used in countless ways. The insights you glean from GA can help shape your SEO strategy and drive better results.
- Google Search Console: If you haven’t already set up your Google Search Console with your website, do it now. Your Search Console will provide a ton of data as you work through your site’s enterprise SEO audit.
- Screaming Frog: Ideal for large websites, Screaming Frog’s SEO spider crawls through pages and identifies technical issues.
- Semrush or Ahrefs: Semrush and Ahrefs are two top-class tools when it comes to tracking your SEO data, managing keywords and backlinks, and generally setting up your SEO strategy.
- Lumar: Lumar, formerly DeepCrawl, specializes in crawling large-scale websites, offering comprehensive insights into technical issues, site structure, and SEO performance. With its ability to handle complex, multi-domain enterprises, DeepCrawl is a powerful tool for identifying hidden issues and optimizing for large-scale SEO success.
- BrightEdge: BrightEdge stands out with its AI-driven insights and data-driven recommendations tailored for enterprise-level SEO. Its ability to provide real-time measurements and track a wide array of metrics makes it invaluable for large organizations looking to stay ahead in the competitive search landscape.
Once your tools are installed, you’re ready to tackle the rest of your enterprise audit!
2. Install and Utilize Analytics for In-Depth Insights
Now that you’ve installed your tools, it’s time to set up your analytics. Hopefully, you took a few of those steps above to start implementing Google Analytics, or maybe you’ve already added tracking to your website.
Tracking and understanding your analytics gives you the power to make data-driven decisions, so you don’t ever have to make shot-in-the-dark guesses about how your site is performing.
3. Conduct a Comprehensive User Experience Analysis
User experience (UX) is king in the enterprise world. With a website that likely caters to a diverse audience, understanding and optimizing the user journey is key.
Start by utilizing Google Analytics’ Behavior Flow to find out how your site visitors act at various points in their experience. This will tell you what visitors do directly before or after they take a particular action, the sequence in which they take certain steps, or where they’re dropping off the page.
Make sure you’re also checking bounce rate, time spent on page, conversions, and exit pages to get a feel for how your visitors navigate your site and when and where they decide they’ve got better things to do.
4. Ensure Your Content is Visible
This step is a little easier. Start off easy by simply searching your site in Google and viewing it in Chrome (as Google uses a Chrome-based engine to render pages).
Now, take it a step further to ensure that Google’s bots are regularly crawling and rendering your site. To begin, type in “site:yourURL.com” in the search bar, then click the three dots next to your result. It should bring up a box that displays when your site was first crawled by Google. At the bottom right, click on “Cached.”
This will pop up a cached version of your site, displaying exactly how it was rendered during the most recent crawl. Just remember — if you’ve made changes or updates to your site since then, those changes won’t appear here.
Make sure everything looks good here. If so, you can rest assured your site is rendering just fine and your content is visible.
5. Analyze Your Content Strategy
Content is the heart and soul of your website, especially when you're playing in the big leagues. It's not just about quantity; it's about quality, relevance, and alignment with your brand’s voice.
Ask yourself: Is our content reflecting our brand's expertise and authority? Are we addressing our audience's needs and questions? Dive into your content with an analytical eye. Use tools to assess content performance, identify gaps, and plan for content that elevates your brand.
6. Improve On-Page SEO
Speaking of content, optimizing your copy and building it around keywords is a great way to ramp up your on-page SEO. To improve your on-page SEO, take a good look at your content and optimize it by taking the following actions:
- Implement keywords strategically, as previously mentioned, in title tags, H1s, and H2s, meta descriptions, etc.
- Use your keyword naturally in the first 100 words.
- Break up content into consumable chunks using H2s, H3s, and H4s, incorporating lists and bullets to make it more scannable.
- Adjust the language used to be more conversational, at around a ninth-grade reading level.
- Check for grammatical errors.
- Optimize navigation for better user experience with clear, single-action CTAs.
7. Remove Low-Quality Content
More isn’t always better, at least when it comes to content. Google isn’t ranking your site according to who pushes out the most content or does it most frequently. In fact, too much content — especially when it’s too brief, too clunky, or just not good — can have a detrimental effect on your ranking.
If a piece of content isn’t helpful, authoritative, or related to your company in some way, it might be time to unpublish the page. This strategy is used by some of the biggest brands out there. For example, HubSpot routinely prunes its content to cut off the dead weight and let better, more accurate, or more timely content shine.
And it works, as evidenced by the fact that their overall Ahrefs rank moved up more than 40 spots over three months.
8. Tackle Google Indexing and Canonicalization
In the enterprise arena, indexing issues can be a real headache. It's crucial to ensure that Google correctly indexes every page. Use Google Search Console to check that Google is crawling and indexing your pages correctly. Remember, if Google can’t see it, neither can your customers.
This is also a great time to check for proper canonicalization to avoid duplicate content issues, which can be more frequent in large-scale websites. You can check your canonicalization with another tool called Lighthouse by Google.
9. Regularly Refresh and Update Content
In the fast-paced enterprise world, content can quickly become outdated. Regularly updating and refreshing your content not only keeps it relevant but also shows search engines that your site is actively maintained. This is key for maintaining high rankings and user engagement.
10. Check That Each Content Piece Is Built Around a Keyword
While you want to avoid keyword stuffing at all costs, it’s still important that your primary keywords are featured at all the right spots within your content. Some of the places you want to include your keyword are:
- Title tag and meta description
- Headlines and subheads
- Image alt text
- Body copy (only where relevant and natural)
Remember that the copy should fulfill the search intent of your selected keywords. It isn’t enough to just toss it in there — it has to make sense, and it has to deliver what visitors want and expect.
11. Set up Keyword Rank Tracking
Understanding how you rank for your priority and long-tail keywords will help you stay on top of SEO. Setting up tracking is a key part of your enterprise SEO audit, but continuous monitoring will be an ongoing part of maintaining your SEO strategy.
Getting it formatted now will save you some time in the long run. Plus, using one of the SEO tools we’ve mentioned previously will make it a snap.
When you look at your keywords, be sure you aren’t just checking those you’ve selected as your priority. Instead, look at those for which you’re already ranking. Some won’t be a good fit — and some will be downright bizarre — but you might find others that work well for your brand and put you in an optimum position to move up in SERPs.
12. Backlink and Link Analysis for Authority Building
Backlinks are like digital applause for your website — the more you have from reputable sources, the better.
For an enterprise, gold-star SEO comes from maintaining a healthy backlink profile. Scrutinize your backlinks for quality and relevance. Utilize tools like Ahrefs to analyze backlinks and identify opportunities for building more high-quality links.
13. Optimize Page Speed for Maximum Efficiency
Nobody likes a slow website, least of all your busy audience. Plus, page speed is one of Google’s official ranking factors — and while the search engine recommends no more than 5 seconds for load time, in reality, most visitors will bail after about 3 seconds.
Use tools like Google’s Core Web Vitals or Google PageSpeed Insights to check your site’s performance and get suggestions for improvement. Remember, in the enterprise world, even a second delay can mean lost opportunities.
14. Double Check for Mobile-Friendliness
With more people browsing on mobile than ever, a mobile-friendly site is a must. Use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to ensure your site is up to the mark. In the enterprise sphere, your audience expects a seamless experience across all devices.
15. Scrutinize Your Metadata and Structured Data
Metadata might not be glamorous, but it's SEO gold, especially for sprawling enterprise sites. Are your title tags and meta descriptions compelling and keyword-rich? Don't forget about structured data — it helps search engines understand your content better and can lead to those coveted rich snippets. Time to get your metadata in shipshape!
16. Conduct Competitor Analysis
In the enterprise world, keeping an eye on the competition is crucial. Use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to see what your competitors are up to. What keywords are they ranking for? How robust is their backlink profile? This insight can help you identify opportunities to outshine them.
17. Ensure Robust Internal Linking
Internal linking is like your website's circulatory system; it keeps the SEO juice flowing. For large enterprises, this is vital for guiding visitors through your extensive site and spreading page authority. Make sure your anchor text is properly optimized and pointing users to valuable, relevant pages on your site. Remember, the goal is to add value to your site — not distract them from your offerings.
Regularly audit your internal links to ensure they're helping, not hindering, your site navigation and SEO.
18. Optimize for Local and Global SEO
For enterprises, especially those with a global presence, local and global SEO are both critical. Ensure your site is optimized for different regions and languages, and don't forget about local listings and regional nuances in your SEO strategy.
19. Ensure Compliance with Web Accessibility Standards
Web accessibility isn't just about inclusivity; it's also good for SEO. Ensure your site complies with web accessibility standards. This not only broadens your audience but also aligns with Google's preference for sites that provide a better user experience.
20. Optimize Videos for SEO
YouTube may be your go-to for hosting video content, but you want to make sure Google can crawl, index, and render it in search results as well. To do this, you’ll need to take a few specific actions:
- Host your video on a public, indexable URL. Remember that Google doesn’t rank videos alone but rather the pages on which they’re embedded.
- Use the right HTML tags to indicate to Google there’s a video on the page (<video>, <embed>, etc.).
- Include videos in your site map, along with relevant information like title, location, description, and thumbnail.
- Use schema markup on your video so it has a better chance of appearing in a rich video snippet.
21. Monitor and Enhance Your Site's Security
Security is paramount, especially for enterprise sites where breaches can mean a PR nightmare. Ensure your site is using HTTPS and regularly monitor for potential security issues. A secure site isn’t just good for user trust; it’s also a ranking factor for search engines.
22. Focus on Voice Search Optimization
With the rise of digital assistants, voice search optimization is no longer optional. For enterprises, this means optimizing for natural language queries and focusing on conversational keywords. It’s time to think about how your audience might ask questions verbally, not just type them.
23. Implement and Optimize for AMP
For enterprises aiming for lightning-fast mobile experiences, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) can be a game-changer. Implementing AMP can significantly improve load times on mobile devices, offering a smoother experience for your users and potentially boosting your mobile search rankings.
24. Leverage AI and Machine Learning for SEO Insights
AI and machine learning are revolutionizing SEO. Leveraging these technologies can provide unparalleled insights into user behavior, search trends, and content optimization.
Moreover, AI can help in identifying subtle patterns in user interactions, enabling you to tailor your website dynamically for different audience segments. For instance, machine learning algorithms can analyze which type of content performs better for certain user demographics and automatically adjust content visibility and layout to maximize engagement and conversions.
But AI in SEO isn’t just about optimization and personalization. It’s also about staying ahead of SEO penalties. Advanced AI tools can monitor search engine algorithm updates in real time, allowing you to adjust your strategy swiftly and avoid potential drops in rankings.
25. Ensure Content and Backlinks Adhere to Google’s Guidelines
In the enterprise SEO world, playing by Google's rules isn't just good practice – it’s essential for maintaining your site's integrity. Google's guidelines have become even more stringent, and non-compliance can lead to severe penalties that could undo all your hard-earned SEO progress.
While Google often overlooks bad links, it's vigilant against unethical practices like link purchasing or manipulative link building. The consequence? A hefty penalty. The key to prevention is simple: stay away from these tactics, and talk to a search engine optimization consultant if something looks fishy on your site.
How Often Should You Conduct Enterprise SEO Audits?
It's generally recommended that you should conduct a comprehensive SEO audit at least once a year. However, for enterprises, given the larger scale and dynamic nature of their websites, a bi-annual audit might be more appropriate.
This frequency ensures that your site remains aligned with the latest SEO best practices, adapts to algorithm updates, and continuously meets the evolving needs of your audience. Additionally, keeping a close eye on your analytics and performance metrics can help identify when an off-cycle audit might be necessary to address specific issues or capitalize on emerging opportunities.
Audit Your Site and Give Rankings a Boost
At First Page Strategy, we understand that an SEO audit is more than just a checklist; it's the foundation for your entire SEO strategy — and ultimately, the success of your company.
When we do audits, we don't just hand over a report, we partner with our clients to execute bespoke strategies that address their unique challenges and goals. This collaborative approach ensures that the insights gained from the audit translate into tangible results — boosting rankings, enhancing online visibility, and driving sustainable growth.
Explore our SEO services today.