John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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SEO Audits. Are they any good?

SEO Audits. I wonder, are they any good?

I am sometimes asked to do audits, but I have declined. Something about the idea bothers me. I can certainly see how SEO Audits could be good for the SEO, but are they good for the typical seo audit requesting customer? Who asks for audits, anyway?

When I start a new project I do an “analysis” that might be considered similar to an audit, but it is not. I don’t go over an exhaustive checklist of standards, and I don’t have a template report. I do just what I say I do ( I as in me, John Andrews, the SEO himself. Not an assistant. Not a traineee. Not an overseas SEO service clerk).

One may wonder, is that efficient? Hell yes. I know what the current trends are, where the gotcha’s are, and I really don’t have much time for petty details so I will not waste your dollars checking your keyword density. If it’s spammy, it’s spammy.

I’ll cut right to the meat of the issue, review your site as if it were something I had just purchased and want to SEO. And then I will write it up with lower-cost clerical assistance.

To do analysis I have to check the SERPs where you expect to compete, and no trainee can do that as fast nor as well as an experienced SEO. I doubt very much an SEO firm can produce a meaningful or powerful “standard research form” for a trainee to fill out and an “SEO” to review. Things change too fast. No doubt they can produce volumes of checklists, of course.

I call my report an SEO Opinion. Not an SEO Audit, but an SEO Opinion. Not an “expert opinion” either. That’s another one of those things that rub me the wrong way…loose use of the expert moniker. You’re an expert if someone *else* says you are, not if you say you are or someone you pay says you are.

I conduct SEO analyses and I produce a deliverable called an SEO Opinion. And I get paid for that. So what do you think? Which is better, and SEO Opinion or an SEO Audit? Do you do SEO Audits? Are they good? For what? What about those free ones (free as in still-requires-a-backlink, LOL). Any good?

If you are an SEO and you offer audits, put your link into a comment right here and I’ll add it to the list. And if you look closely, you’ll notice that Ben has posted some good comments to this blog:

*** edited for quality

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