How Often Should You Do Technical Audit Iterations?

In this article we will answer a question asked by one of our subscribers: "How often do you do audit iterations and what does it involve?"

What Do We Mean by Audit Iterations?

So, when we get a promotion project or launch a new, internal one, we first do an SEO audit. We usually do this in the first month, usually at the very beginning, in parallel with the gathering of the semantic core. However, if we see that the project as a whole is not too difficult and there aren't any serious mistakes, sometimes we postpone it a little. In such cases we might do it at the end of the first or second month. This part should be clear.

But after we do this audit, the site continues to "live its own life", so to speak, with various changes occurring on it such as new pages of services, goods, ranking, deleting old pages, there is also a replacement of designs, engines, changes in domains and hosting services — basically, different situations that can have quite a negative impact on ranking and generate more problems. Therefore, it's worth doing another audit. 

How Often Should You Do Audit Iterations? 

If there were any serious changes on the site - for example, engine or design changes, or a change in its domain, then the audit is done on the test version. The site with a new design is deployed on some test domain, and my team first does an audit of the test version there, then reports to the client on this testing and says that it was not done optimally and needs to be fixed before the transition. 

If there are smooth changes (for example, products were simply deleted and added), that is, if they happened over time and there were no obvious periods of change, then we try to do an audit every six months or every year. For example, when sites don't undergo significant changes, then after 6-12 months (approximately during this period) we do a repeat SEO audit, because according to our experience, problems tend to accumulate around this time interval, and it's usually the kind of problems that would be nice to at least diagnose and decide whether we want to fix them at that moment. 

There are, however, SEO specialists who do this less often, I have seen situations when in "peacetime" (when there were no transitions) an audit was done a couple of years after the last one.

Or there are situations when a client comes to us and says that they change their contractor every three months. This, of course, begs the question — why? It's better to choose a reliable contractor and work with them at least over the course of one year.

Nevertheless, such cases do exist, and each new contractor declares to them that they will reassemble the semantic core and do an audit. Therefore, when they come to us, they say: "It seems like the previous contractor did an adequate SEO audit, let's not do a new one." One of our recent projects involved such a conversation at the beginning. I say: "Well, OK, this is at your discretion, we won't do it, but let's at least take a quick look. If nothing serious comes up during an express audit done in 15 minutes, then we're not gonna do the full one. Immediately I launch Screaming Frog and after a few minutes I see a bunch of technical errors. I tell the client that even a standard software has detected problems that affect (and will continue to affect) its promotion. And if you dig a bit deeper, there are probably more of them. And after that, we agreed to do an audit. 

It's the same with semantic cores. Every few months customers come with an old semantic core and say something like: "I have the ideal one, a super specialist did it for me, he is the best in this field."

We check their semantic core and see that there is a noticeable part of it that is not promoted, it will not go into the top. And even just by primary analysis, just checking for similarity we can see that it will be very difficult to get into the top there. Or it's a commercial project, and there is a noticeable part of the semantic core that is informational. And it is clear that this should be postponed, and it will not go as the main list of requests. It's the same with audits. 

As to our primary question, I recommend doing a new iteration of the technical SEO audit every six months to a year. Some other types of audits (for example, audits for commercial factors and usability) we do less often. If there were no noticeable changes on the site, then once a year or once every six months.