Updated: June 9, 2023.

A list of the right questions to ask before an SEO audit (both for SEO auditors and SEO clients).

If you’re thinking of conducting an SEO audit of your website, you need to ask the right questions beforehand.

Whether you’re an SEO specialist conducting the audit or a website owner preparing to have your site audited, the right questions can help ensure that the audit does move the SEO needle.

In this article, I’m providing you with a comprehensive list of questions to ask before an SEO audit. I’m covering the questions for both auditors and website owners.

Questions to ask before an SEO audit

Questions to ask before an SEO audit (auditors)

As a (beginner) auditor, you need to ask the right questions to get a comprehensive understanding of the website you’re auditing.

Here are 20 questions you can ask the website owner before doing an SEO audit or agreeing to do the audit:

  1. What is the primary objective of your website? Is it to generate leads, sell products, or provide information?
  2. Who is your target audience, and what are their demographics?
  3. What keywords do you want to rank for in search engine results pages (SERPs)?
  4. What are your top competitors in the industry? How do you differentiate yourself from them? What is your USP?
  5. What is your current website traffic level? What tools do you use to track your website’s traffic?
  6. What is the current conversion rate for your website? How is it being measured?
  7. What is your content strategy? How frequently do you publish new content?
  8. Have you previously done any SEO work on your website, what was done, and what were the results?
  9. How frequently do you update and maintain your website? Who is responsible for making changes?
  10. What is your social media presence? How do you integrate it into your website?
  11. Do you have access to any past SEO audits? Can you share them?
  12. What is your current link-building strategy? How successful or unsuccessful has it been?
  13. Are there any technical issues with your website that you’re aware of, such as broken links or slow loading times?
  14. Have you ever received any penalties or warnings from Google?
  15. My audits start from $3000 (name your minimal price here). Do you have a minimum budget of that amount?
  16. What do you expect of me?
  17. Do you have any security measures in place to protect your website from hacking or malware?
  18. Are there any specific goals you want to achieve through SEO, such as increased traffic or sales?
  19. What is your timeline for achieving these goals, and how flexible are you on this timeline?
  20. What are your goals for the SEO audit, and what do you hope to achieve through it?

These questions can help you get a deeper understanding of the website’s goals, target audience, and SEO needs.

Check my other guides for SEO auditors:

Extra tips for beginner SEO auditors

And here are a few extra tips for beginner SEO auditors based on my experience:

  • Remember that not every client will be the right fit for your skills, expertise, or pricing.
  • If you don’t feel confident that you can deliver what the client is looking for or you feel they are not willing to pay what you are worth, it’s okay to say no.
  • Remember, you’re offering a valuable service, and you should never undervalue your time or expertise.
  • Saying no can be difficult, especially if you’re just starting out, but you have to set boundaries and be clear about your expectations. This can help you avoid potential problems down the road and ensure that you only take on projects that you are confident you can complete successfully.
  • Remember that your time and skills are valuable, and you should charge what you’re worth.
  • Be honest with yourself and the client about your pricing and ensure that you’re providing a fair and reasonable rate for the work you’re doing.
  • If a potential client is not willing to pay what you’re worth, it’s okay to walk away and find a better fit elsewhere.

Speaking about pricing and money in SEO, I think you will enjoy this episode of the SEO Cash Flow where Myriam Jessier and I talk about pricing your SEO services:

Questions to ask before an SEO audit (clients)

Before conducting an SEO audit on your website, ask your auditor some key questions to ensure they understand your business and goals.

Here are 20 questions to consider asking before hiring an SEO auditor:

  1. What’s your experience with SEO audits, and how long have you been doing them?
  2. What specific SEO elements will you be evaluating in the audit?
  3. Can you walk me through your SEO audit process?
  4. How much involvement and input will I need to provide during the audit process?
  5. What level of technical SEO knowledge do I need to have to understand the audit findings and recommendations?
  6. How long does the audit process usually take, and what kind of deliverables can I expect?
  7. What are the most common SEO issues you encounter during audits?
  8. What tools do you use to conduct an SEO audit?
  9. How will you communicate the findings of the audit? What format will the report take?
  10. How will you prioritize recommendations for improvement based on the audit findings?
  11. What are the potential risks and consequences of not addressing the SEO issues identified in the audit?
  12. Will you conduct a keyword research analysis to identify new keyword opportunities, and how will you integrate them into the website’s content?
  13. Will you provide guidance on optimizing the website’s meta titles and descriptions, and what factors will you consider?
  14. Will you provide guidance on optimizing the website’s images, including alt tags and image file names?
  15. What is your process for implementing the recommendations from the audit, and how involved will you be in the implementation?
  16. How will you ensure that the implementation of the recommendations does not negatively impact the website’s existing SEO efforts?
  17. What ongoing support will you provide after the audit is complete, and what options are available for continued SEO consulting and support?
  18. How do you measure the success of an SEO audit, and what metrics do you use?
  19. Can you provide me with a timeline for when I can expect to see improvements in my website’s SEO?
  20. Can you provide me with a breakdown of the costs associated with the SEO audit?

Extra tips for clients looking to hire an SEO auditor

Here are the extra tips and things you should take into account (based on my experience as an SEO auditor) if you are looking for an SEO auditor:

  • Keep in mind that while the questions above are all valid and useful to ask, you should be mindful of the auditor’s time and workload.
  • It’s best to ask a few key questions that are most important to your business and the goals you want to achieve.
  • Bombarding the auditor with too many questions or expecting immediate attention can create tension and may even discourage them from working with you (I know that pain 😂).
  • You should also be aware of the scope of the SEO audit you’re purchasing. Many of the questions above refer to a comprehensive and in-depth SEO audit, which can take 40 hours or more to complete.
  • If you’re only looking for a basic or limited SEO audit, it’s important to be clear about the scope of the work you’re expecting. This will ensure that you get what you need and that the auditor’s time is used efficiently.
  • Check my guide on how to find a good SEO consultant.

Contact me if you are looking for an SEO auditor

Olga Zarr is an SEO consultant with 10+ years of experience. She has been doing SEO for both the biggest brands in the world and small businesses. She has done 200+ SEO audits so far. Olga has completed SEO courses and degrees at universities, such as UC Davis, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University. She also completed Moz Academy! And, of course, has Google certifications. She keeps learning SEO and loves it. Olga is also a Google Product Expert specializing in areas, such as Google Search and Google Webmasters.