Audit Your SEO Agency

Uncover the Truth: How to Audit Your SEO Agency and Ensure You’re Getting Your Money’s Worth

From Questioning to Confidence: Crush Uncertainty with a Simplified, Unbiased SEO Audit Guide to Assess Your SEO Agency's Competence πŸ’ͺ

Table of Contents

Why Auditing Your SEO Agency Can Save You Thousands

When you’re in the home services industry, your website is typically the first contact with your customers.

Similar to how a well-tended garden attracts beautiful butterflies πŸ¦‹, a well-maintained website attracts ideal customers.

An SEO audit helps you discover why your website isn’t attracting desired traffic.

The audit assesses your website’s structure, technical aspects, and content to provide insight into areas for improvement and growth.

This guide simplifies the process by breaking down the essential steps into a clear and user-friendly format.

Having a successful website doesn’t require expertise in gardening; instead, it requires patience, regular maintenance, and a thorough SEO audit (or hiring a competent marketing agency).

Let’s go attract those butterflies! πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹ πŸ¦‹

Benefits of Auditing Your SEO Marketing Agency

Just as your clients hire your business to maintain their lawn, pool, or rid their homes of bugs, you need the right agency to optimize your site, drive traffic, and grow your business.

Imagine hiring a pest control service that only addresses visible pests.

A reliable agency, similar to a thorough pest control service, goes beyond surface-level SEO, delving into your site to uncover hidden issues and identify opportunities for improvement.

They go beyond surface-level SEO, delving into your site to uncover problems and opportunities for improvement.

Key Considerations when Choosing an Agency:

Comprehensive Approach: They should cover all SEO aspects, including keyword research, technical optimization, and link building.

Regular Reporting: They should provide clear reports on your site’s performance and the actions taken to improve it.

Proactive Communication: They should keep you updated on SEO best practices and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Tailored Strategies: They should customize their approach to align with your unique business requirements.

Conducting an SEO audit ensures your agency fully optimizes your website. This guide empowers you to understand the audit process, ask relevant questions, and ensure your agency maximizes your site’s potential.

Analytics Setup and Search Engine Properties

Before we begin the SEO audit, it’s essential to set the stage for our work, similar to how a pest control expert checks their necessary tools and equipment before conducting an inspection.

For an SEO audit, the ‘tools’ we need are analytics and search engine properties.

Setting up Analytics

Setting up analytics for your website is comparable to installing a security camera system for your home.

Just as cameras help you monitor who enters and exits your house, analytics tools help you track website visitors, their sources, and their actions.

Google Analytics is the most popular analytics tool that provides valuable insights into your website’s performance.

It’s important to ensure it’s set up correctly to accurately track visitor interactions.

This includes setting up goals to track significant actions such as form submissions or calls made from your website.

🎬 DYI – Analytics Check
Simply enter your website address and click the Quick Crawl button below.

This tool will review your website and return a significant amount of information. In the Web Trackers section, you should see an “Analytics” entry under the Primary Category column.

Look for a “Tracker” of Google Analytics or Googletagmanager.

🚨 Recommended Follow Up #1
If no analytics tracker was found in the search above, we recommend asking your marketing agency the following:

Do we have Google Analytics or any other website analytics software installed on the site?

If they don’t, BIG RED FLAG!!!! 🚩

Not having website analytics is like a telling jokes without an audience — you might be funny, but you’ll never know!

βœ… Recommendation
If you do have Google Analytics, request they add you as an Administrator. It is your account and you should have access to it.

If you decide to change marketing agencies, you and any future agency you work with will want to access this account for its history.

Setting up Search Engine Properties

Once you verify your analytics, the next step is setting up your search engine properties.

This is similar to registering your home with local authorities, informing search engines about your site’s existence and providing crucial information about it.

For Google, this entails setting up Google Search Console (GSC), which acts as your direct communication channel with Google.

It allows you to understand how Google perceives your site, receive alerts about any issues Google detects, and even submit your sitemap (more details on that later) directly to Google, aiding in better understanding and indexing of your site.

For Bing, this involves setting up Bing Webmaster Tools.

By taking these steps, you equip yourself with valuable data and tools to assess your website’s current SEO status and track its progress.

It forms the foundation for the subsequent stages of your SEO audit.

🚨 Recommended Follow Up
Ask your marketing agency if they have setup Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools for your website.

If they haven’t done this, BIG RED FLAG!!!! 🚩

βœ… Recommendation
Just like your Google Analytics account, you should be added as an Administrator for your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools account.

Performing a Site Crawl

Now that you have your tools set up, it’s time to familiarize yourself with your website.

Think of your website as a vast garden. Before addressing any issues, you need to thoroughly explore it, just like walking through a garden to identify areas needing attention. In SEO, this process is known as a ‘site crawl’.

A site crawl is similar to deploying a team of landscapers to meticulously examine every corner of your garden, but in this case, it involves a team of tiny robots exploring your website.

During a site crawl, they will analyze your site’s structure, evaluate URLs, identify broken links, analyze metadata, and perform various other assessments.

There are various tools available, both free (with limited functionality) and paid, to assist you in conducting a site crawl.

🎬 DYI – Website Crawl
Simply enter your website address and click the Quick Crawl button below.

This tool will crawl the first 100 pages of your website and give you a summary to highlight critical errors, warnings and notices.

You will want to address all of the critical errors as soon as possible and have your marketing agency review the warnings to determine if they too need to be addressed.


βœ… Recommended Action
Click the Issues link in the right side menu, then click the Export button to save the crawl results. πŸ’Ύ

Send this file to your marketing agency and ask them to provide you with an action plan and timeline to resolve the critical issues and warnings.

There might be a reason why they don’t want to “fix” the warnings, but they should be able to explain why. ❓

If you website is more than 100 pages, ask them to perform a crawl πŸ•· of the entire site and report back to you the other issues found and an action plan for resolution.

Checking Site Indexation

After crawling your site and identifying technical issues, the next step is to verify proper indexation of your pages by search engines.

Think of this step as checking if all the rooms in a house are accessible.

A closed-off room is useless, just as a webpage that isn’t indexed cannot be found by potential customers.

Is Your URL Indexed?

The initial step is to determine whether your website URL is indexed. If your site is not indexed, it will not appear in search results.

It’s similar to having a well-maintained garden, but all the gates are locked, preventing anyone from enjoying it.

To check if your site is indexed, enter ‘site:yourwebsite.com’ in the Google search bar, replacing ‘yourwebsite.com’ with your actual site URL.

If your site appears in the search results, it indicates that it is indexed, which is a positive sign.

If it does not appear, you will need to investigate the reason and take necessary steps to address the issue.

🎬 DYI – Index Check
Simply enter your website address and click Check Google button.

This will open a new window and show you a rough idea of the pages indexed in Google.

If you don’t see any pages or don’t see your most important pages this is a BIG Red Flag 🚩


βœ… Recommended Action
Utilize Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools as the primary resources for checking page indexation.

Every 3 months, request a summary from your marketing agency indicating the number of indexed pages reported by these tools. This ensures they consistently monitor this crucial SEO factor and prevent page indexing from being overlooked.

Remember, if Google or Bing cannot see your pages, your potential customers won’t be able to either!

Checking the XML Sitemap File

After ensuring your website is indexable, it is crucial to verify the integrity of your XML sitemap file.

An XML sitemap is comparable to a blueprint of a house 🏑, providing a layout of all the roomsβ€” or in this case, pagesβ€” in your website.

It acts as a guide for search engines, facilitating their understanding of your website’s structure and enabling them to discover all its pages.

Many popular website content management systems, such as WordPress, include built-in functionality for generating XML sitemaps.

The sitemap should include all the pages on your site that you want search engines to index, just like ensuring that the blueprint includes all the rooms in your house.

🎬 DIY – Sitemap Check
Simply enter your website address and click Submit.

If this search returns a 404 status (not found) for your sitemap XML file, ask your marketing agency if one is being automatically generated.

If not, this is a BIG Red Flag 🚩


βœ… Recommended Action
Ask your marketing agency if your sitemaps have been submitted to your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools account.

If no sitemap files are returned from this search, ask your marketing agency if an automatic sitemap xml file is getting generated.

If not, this is a BIG Red Flag 🚩

Sitemap File Location in Robots.txt

Next, ensure that the location of your sitemap file is specified in your robots.txt file.

The robots.txt file can be likened to the welcome mat placed at the front door of your website. It provides instructions to search engine bots regarding which pages to crawl and where to locate the sitemap.

🎬 DIY – Robots.txt Check
Simply enter your website address and click Check Robots.txt

This will open your Robots.txt file in a new window. If the page is not found, no robots.txt file has been setup.

If the robots.txt file is found, confirm that the sitemap URL’s from the previous step are included in this file.


βœ… Recommended Action
Ask your marketing agency to add your sitemap XML file(s) to your robots.txt file.

Submit Sitemap to Search Engines

Lastly, you should submit your sitemap file(s) directly to your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts.

This is similar to providing a contractor with a copy of your house blueprint, enabling them to understand the layout more quickly and work efficiently.

By ensuring your XML sitemap is correctly set up and submitted, you make it easier for search engines to discover and index all the important pages on your website. This, in turn, can improve your visibility in search results.

βœ… Recommended Action
Log into your Search Console and Webmaster Tools account to verify your sitemaps have been submitted.

Alternatively, you could ask your marketing agency to send you a screen shot of both showing they have been submitted.

In the next section, we will continue to explore the health of your website and how to optimize it for better SEO.

Performing Site Health Checks

Think of your website as a well-maintained machine. To achieve peak performance, all its components must function correctly.

These checks can be compared to regular maintenance visits from a trusted mechanic, ensuring that everything is running smoothly.

Let’s examine three critical areas: Mobile-Friendliness, Site Speed, and Site Security.

Mobile-Friendliness

When people want to look something up, they are more likely to reach for their smartphones rather than their computers.

That’s why having a mobile-friendly site is crucial, similar to having a riding lawn mower for a 5 acre lawn service call.

Imagine showing up with a push mower β€”it’s simply the wrong tool for the job.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is like a checklist you would use when evaluating which tools are required for that specific job. It helps you ensure that your website looks good and functions well on mobile devices.

To ensure your site is mobile-friendly, consider adopting a responsive web design, similar to having the correct mower type based on the size of the jobβ€”it always fits perfectly.

🎬 DIY – Mobile Check
Simply enter your website address and click the Check Mobile button.

This will open a new window and check to see if your page is easy to use on a mobile device.


βœ… Recommended Action
If the test returns that your page is not mobile friendly, this should be a VERY HIGH priority for you to get resolved.

If your marketing agency cannot resolve this or says this isn’t an issue, this is a HUGE Red Flag 🚩

If your site uses separate URLs for the mobile version, there are additional considerations, comparable to having separate mowers for different jobs.

However, we do not recommend this approach due to the complexities of managing multiple sites and the risk of incurring duplicate content penalties if not implemented correctly.

Site Speed

In the home service business, customer satisfaction increases when you complete the job quickly.

Likewise, on your website, faster loading times increase the likelihood of visitors staying engaged.

Just as you wouldn’t want your van to break down en route to a job due to lack of regular servicing, you must also address common speed issues on your website.

These speed issues can include unoptimized images or excessive use of JavaScript, which can slow down your site.

🎬 DIY – Speed Check
Simply enter your website address and click the Check Speed button.

This will open a new window and analyze your website’s performance.


βœ… Recommended Action
If you score in the RED (0-49), your website team has some work to do.

This is a metric that will probably give your marketing agency nightmares. It is difficult to get to Green (90-100) and you will most likely receive push back when asking them to make improvements.

Keep on them, because Google uses site speed as a ranking factor.

βœ… Recommended Action #2
Compare your website performance to your top local competitors as well as the top 10 search results for your target keywords.

How well do you stack up? This will determine the urgency of this optimization.

Site Security

Site security is akin to the locks on your van.

Just as you wouldn’t leave your expensive equipment unprotected, you should also prioritize protecting your website.

🎬 DIY – Security Check
Simply enter your website address and click the Check HTTPS button.

This will open a new window and analyze your SSL Certificate.


βœ… Recommended Action
The test should return all green check marks. If not, this is a BIG Red Flag 🚩.

All websites should be secured with a valid SSL Certificate. Get with your website manager to get this resolved ASAP! πŸ‘€

Regularly check your website for hacked content, malware, or other security issues, similar to routine checks on your van for signs of tampering.

Ensuring the security of your site not only safeguards your business but also fosters trust among your customers.

After all, no one wants to do business with a company that cannot secure its own assets.

βœ… Recommended Action
Log into your Google Search Console account and check Security Issues under Security & Manual Actions.

Alternatively, have your marketing agency show you a screenshot of this page on a quarterly basis.

If there are ever any issues, work to get them resolved immediately!

Keeping your website healthy is crucial for SEO. By ensuring it is mobile-friendly, fast, and secure, you are on the path to optimizing your website and improving its rankings.

Similar to how regular maintenance keeps your work van running smoothly, performing site health checks helps your website perform at its best.

Conducting an On-Page SEO Audit

Once you have addressed technical and indexation issues, it’s time to analyze the content on your site.

This process, referred to as an On-Page SEO audit, is comparable to evaluating the interior design and furnishings of a house.

Just as you wouldn’t want guests to enter an unappealing, messy room, the webpages on your site should be well-structured and contain engaging, relevant content.

Similarly, your webpages need to be well-structured and filled with engaging, relevant content.

Unique Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

Ensure that each page on your site has a unique title and meta description.

These elements can be likened to nameplates and short descriptions you would find at an art gallery. They provide users and search engines with a concise summary of a page’s content.

🎬 DYI – Content Check
Simply enter your website address and click the Check Site button.

This will open a new window and analyze your first 100 pages of your site. Note: This is the same tool used above for the site crawl.


βœ… Recommended Action
Use this report as a quick indicator of the level of problems that need to be addressed.

If you see a significant number of Critical Errors, use the Export function (click Issues on right side) provide this list to your marketing agency.

Schedule a time ⌚ to review and come up with an action plan to getting them resolved.

Remember, this FREE report only looks at 100 pages. If your site is larger, have our agency run a full scan (they should have tools that can do this).

Ensure that your titles and descriptions are not only compelling but also include your target keywords.

Content Quality

High-quality content is essential for SEO. It should be engaging, original, and valuable to your visitors.

Imagine inviting guests to your house – you would want to provide them with engaging conversation and a pleasant experience, right? The same concept applies to your website content.

βœ… Recommended Action

Step #1 : Read through your top 5 pages. (Homepage, Service Pages, Location Pages, etc.)

Step #2 : Put yourself in the shoes of a person looking for your services.

Step #3 : Ask yourself, does this content:

– come across clear & concise?
– have an appropriate tone?
– highlight key features/benefits?
– easy to skim? (who really reads?)
– persuade me to take action?
– instill trust and credibility?
– answer my questions?
– help me understand what to expect if I use them?

If you answered no to any of them, get with your website copywriter and give them feedback on where they missed the boat.

Set an expectation of excellence and keep the bar high. Your website is your most important website and should reflect your standards.

Images Alt Text

Adding alt text to images is crucial for SEO as it aids search engines in understanding the image’s content and indexing it accurately.

Similar to how a blind person relies on descriptive text to comprehend an image, search engines depend on alt text to interpret and rank images correctly in search results.

By providing relevant alt text, website owners can improve their site’s accessibility, enhance user experience, and increase the chances of their images being discovered through organic search.

🎬 DYI – Image Alt Check
Step 1: Simply DRAG the “Check Image Alt” button below to your Bookmarks Bar.

Step 2: Open a new tab and browse to your website.

Step 3: Click the new “Check Image Alt” bookmark you just saved in Step 1.

Step 4: A window will pop up to let you know if you have any images that are missing an alt tag. The images that need to be checked will be highlighted in Red πŸŸ₯.

Note: if you just click the button then it will check this website and not yours. You need to drag the button to your Bookmarks to create a bookmark first, then open your website in a new tab, then click this new bookmark.

Open Graph and Social Metadata

Open Graph and social metadata control how your website content appears when shared on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Similar to how a well-designed flyer can attract more customers, eye-catching social shares have the potential to generate more clicks.

🎬 DYI – Open Graph Check
Simply enter your website address and click the Check Open Graph Tags button.

This will open a new window and analyze your Open Graph Tags and give you a preview (right side) of how they will look.


βœ… Recommended Action
Use the preview to verify the setup of your website’s Open Graph Meta Tags.

Optimization tips for your Open Graph Meta Tags:

Image: Is your image visually appealing, sized appropriately (1200x630px) and represent your content effectively?

Title: Is your title concise, compelling and 60-70 characters?

Description: Is your description clear and engaging (150-160 characters) that summarizes your page and entices users to click?

URL: Are you using the canonical URL? Meaning, the exact, final destination URL without redirects.

Other Tags: Consider adding relevant tags like author, publisher, publication date etc., to provide more context.

Test other pages on your website not just the homepage. Your website content management system (CMS) should support unique Open Graph Metadata for each page.

If your pages don’t utilize Open Graph Meta Tags this is a Red Flag 🚩 and your website manager should offer this.

Ask your marketing agency to implement this feature on every page and to ensure each is tailored to the content for that page and not the same for the entire site.

Schema Markup

Consider implementing structured markup, also known as schema markup, on your site. This is akin to putting up clear signs and labels in a grocery store, guiding customers to the items they need.

Similarly, structured markup provides search engines with additional information about your page content, enabling them to better understand and rank your site.

Implementing schema markup on your website offers several benefits, improving visibility and providing valuable context to search engines.

By implementing schema markup, you can enhance how your website appears on search engine results pages (SERPs), leading to increased click-through rates and user engagement.

FAQ Schema Example

Reviews Example

An on-page SEO audit helps ensure that your website’s content is not only appealing and valuable to users but also easily understandable and highly visible to search engines.

🎬 DYI – Schema Check
Simply enter your website address and click the Check Schema Markup button.

This will open a new window and analyze your Schema Markup.


βœ… Recommended Action
Test a couple of your main pages (homepage, service page, location page) to ensure you have schema setup correctly.

The key schema markup for a home service business are:

Local Business (spec)
Type, Image, Name, Address, Review, Geo, URL, Telephone, Hours

Breadcrumb (spec)

FAQ (spec)

Article (spec)
Blog posts

Sitelinks Search Box (spec)

If you run into any errors, notify your marketing agency and ask them to do a review of all your schema markup throughout the site.

If you don’t have any Schema Markup configured on your website this is a Big Red Flag 🚩.

Wrapping Up

Regularly auditing your marketing agency is crucial to protect your investment and ensure the achievement of your business objectives.

By periodically assessing their performance, you can identify areas for improvement, address concerns, and make informed decisions to optimize your marketing efforts.

Remember, your marketing agency plays a vital role in shaping your brand’s image and driving growth, so maintaining open communication, reviewing key performance indicators, and evaluating the effectiveness of their strategies are essential.

Proactively monitoring your agency’s performance safeguards your investment, maximizes results, and maintains a strong competitive edge in today’s dynamic business landscape.

🎬 Recommended Next Steps

If you found one or more areas that need to be addressed with your agency, consider the following steps:

Step #1: Take note each of the area sections you found issues.

Step #2 : Send an email to your agency letting them know you want to setup a call to discuss a few areas for improvement. Include the area sections where issues were found so they can review prior to the call. Feel free to send them the link to this article, so they can prepare and have some context going into the discussion.

Note: Just doing this will probably be enough to start seeing some corrective action.

Step #3 : Have your call, but expect some push back. Some of these items could be difficult (or expensive) for them to resolve quickly due to the technical nature of the fix. Let them know you understand, but want to receive an action plan and estimated timeline on any they agree to address.

Note: If you find them to be overly defensive or combative this could be a RED FLAG 🚩. None of these tests are anything out of the ordinary and are generally best practices.

Step #4 : Every contract is different, so there is no one best approach to who should pay for this work. If your agency is well established with many clients, many of these should be part of their core service offering. A general rule of thumb should be to push back on paying if all of their clients would benefit from these improvements.

Note: The follow up to this article will detail items that are more specific to your website and not features of the platform. Because of this you will be more likely responsible for paying for these improvements than the ones outlined in this article.

Step #5 : Give us feedback and let us know how it went. Our goal is to help you grow in your career and your service business. The only way we know if we are providing value is if we hear from you.

Remember, it is best to maintain a partner relationship with your agency and avoid a confrontational approach.

However, since your agency works for you, don’t hesitate to have conversations if you believe more can be done to stay ahead of the competition.

I’m sure you don’t love it when your customers tell you how to do their job.

Use this guide and the recommended checks as a starting point for conversations. Just as your customers can tell when you are πŸ‚πŸ’© them, you will be able to tell when they are πŸ‚πŸ’© you.

In the coming weeks, we will provide a follow-up with advanced methods to audit your marketing agency’s performance, along with actionable recommendations.

This will include a content audit, tips for improving existing content, backlink analysis, competitor analysis, user experience, site architecture, keyword ranking, and auditing your local SEO.

We spent a lot of time and effort putting this guide together for you. If you got just one helpful nugget of information do the following:

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