What is due diligence?
Due diligence is the research done before a potential investor makes a decision to invest in a company through the acquisition of a website. The process is meant to uncover the risks, benefits, and potential return on investment of the website being considered. This is a deeper dive into the company’s website and online visibility, which can reveal valuable insights into its current and potential profitability as well as business intelligence on the competitive landscape’s digital marketing. You want to invest in a site that has good healthy levels of traffic with a large number of first-page rankings.
One of the core channels of any digital marketing strategy is search engines, in particular Google. It is paramount to fully understand from a due diligence report what the search visibility of the website is, the past and current organic traffic, as well as any risks and opportunities around the SEO website performance.
You may get internal marketing data from the seller but this should all be fully verified through access to analytics tools and using third-party tools that track keyword rankings and backlink profiles. This type of analysis is called SEO Due Diligence and should be carried out by any SEO professional who has a history of conducting SEO due diligence audit services.
What is SEO due diligence?
SEO Due Diligence, shouldn’t be a simple SEO audit, although this is a core component. The analysis should include a combination of technical SEO, content, and backlink audits as well as keyword research to assess the potential upside opportunity. The data from this large analysis is analysed in a technical way to arrive at business-impacting factors. It is important to communicate and understand any warning signs that may surface when considering an acquisition, merger, or investment. The missing pieces in the puzzle are revealed by the Due Diligence SEO Audit.
The more complex the site, the more time needed to review, but SEO due diligence can be broken down into five stages:
- SEO Discovery
- Technical SEO Audit
- Content Strategy Review
- Link building analysis
- Market Analysis
Why do a due diligence SEO Audit?
- Access to this kind of information can help you make more accurate forecasts and build more confident scenarios for organic search traffic.
- You can make updated risk assessments, sense-check the company’s plans, and see if they align with your ideas as well as verify the validity of any internal data you have been provided.
- You can see the competencies of any existing website team.
- You can use this to help in your purchase price negotiations.
- Make sure you are buying the right website and not an alternative compeitor.
When we perform an SEO due diligence report, we conduct SEO checks to uncover the SEO issues that will impact the current and future traffic levels from search engines. We want to:
- Understand the website history; has it been rebranded, does it have negative reviews online, or other warning signs that can be a strong indicator of issues. that may arise in the future.
- Evaluate the risk of the current backlink profile. The backlink profile created may have been built on PBN’s, redirected domains, or other risky tactics. The last thing you want is for the rug to be pulled out from under your business. SEO due diligence will uncover these.
- Evaluate the existing content strategy. This involves a full content audit so you know what you are buying. Are you buying duplicate content, thin content, or high-quality content? How much resource will you need to bring the existing content up to a certain standard?
- Evaluate the content quality; how much needs to be rewritten, reoptimised, or removed altogether. What can be done on each web page? What are its strengths and weaknesses regarding SEO best practices?
- When it comes to technical SEO how much development resource will the site need in order to optimise the site for SEO?
- Evaluate projections and plans that you have been given from the seller
- Evaluate any existing marketing teams
- Evaluate the potential upside from new strategies, tools, or techniques.
- Review organic conversion rates and discover any quick wins to improve this.
- Review the current SEO competitive landscape.
- Uncover any near-term SEO and long-term SEO wins that will provide you with strong indicators of elements that will yield continued growth.
We want to come to a firm conclusion on:
- To what extent the website revenue is dependant on organic SEO
- The current organic trends in their online presence and whether they are likely to be maintained or reversed and why this may be the case
- How likely new organic strategies and plans are to work
- The size and potential of specific risks and downsides we discover
- How much SEO work is needed in order to beat the competition in search engine rankings?
One website we reviewed had a meterioc rise. After an analysis we were able to inform the client that most of the links that were holding up the rankings had been built on a private blog network. We have heard of horror stories where when a website is sold, the previous owner removes the private blog network links and the rankings for the website that was just purchased drops. A proper due diligence audit would have uncovered this. Luckily in our case the clients promptly ceased discussions and purchased an alternative competitor that we recommended.
We have carried out SEO due diligence for a range of potential investors and companies who are considering acquisitions within a range of categories including eCommerce, online media, travel, lead generation, and others.
A due diligence audit can save money in the long run as you won’t have any nasty surprises. The amount of work uncovered from SEO audits varies, but it’s not uncommon for SEO audits to uncover SEO issues that require hundreds of hours to fix.
If you want your SEO due diligence to be completed professionally and thoroughly for your potential investment, get in touch with us today. We’ll make sure ALL SEO risks and opportunities of a website get uncovered! We’ll give you an SEO action plan with the exact SEO work needed to improve its SEO performance should you go ahead with the purchase of the website.
What is due diligence?
Due diligence is the research done before an investor makes a decision to invest in a company. The process is meant to uncover the risks, benefits, and potential return on investment of the investment being considered. This investigation has overlooked a deeper dive into the company’s website and online visibility, which can reveal valuable insights into its current and potential profitability. This type of analysis is called SEO Due Diligence.
What is SEO due diligence?
SEO Due Diligence, shouldn’t be a simple SEO audit, although this is a core component. The analysis should include a combination of technical SEO, content and backlink audits as well as keyword research to assess the potential upside opportunity. The data from this large analysis is analysed in a technical way to arrive at business-impacting factors. It is important to communicate and understand any warning signs that may surface when considering an acquisition, merger, or investment. The missing pieces in the puzzle are revealed by SEO Due Diligence.
What tools do you use?
We use a range of tools to audit and obtain data using the following:
- Website crawlers
- Website technology stack
- Google Analytics (full access required for this part of the audit but not mandatory)
- Google Search Console (full access required for this part of the audit but not mandatory)
- Google Trends
- Review sites
- Social analysis
- Traffic sources
- Facebook ads
- Google ads
- IP neighbourhood
- WhoIs records
- Content optimisation tools