The SEO Audit

By Stephanie Schwenn Sebring

Is an in-house or outsourced approach best?

Of course, there are pros and cons to both types–internal or external–of search engine optimization audits. If you devote someone internally to SEO, you’re committing time and resources. However, this person will know your organization far more intimately than any vendor. The downside is that it’s nearly impossible for an internal person to stay on top of changing industry trends.

“SEO has gone through significant change since its origins in the mid-1990s when the search engines were cataloging the early Web.  It continues to change at a rapid pace,” says CUES member Sharon Cook, SVP/marketing for $3.4 billion/339,114-member Mountain America Credit Union, West Jordan, Utah. With a professional, you can tap into someone experienced in the changing dynamics of the online marketplace, she says. “At least consider an external resource to do the analysis of your site with a list of recommendations. Then determine which items are best suited internally or externally,” Cook adds.

Mountain America CU has incorporated formal SEO strategies into its marketing plan for more than five years, even before SEO was a popular term. Currently, the CU uses a combination of in-house and external resources to manage workflow and strategy. “We now rank in the top three spots for many of the potential terms consumers may be searching, but SEO is always a work in progress,” shares Cook.

SEO takes perseverance and patience. Whether you decide to handle it internally or externally, you should regularly track ROI and implement necessary changes. Create benchmark reports that stem from the SEO audit. Review these reports regularly, preferably weekly.

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