SEO Due Diligence – what it is and why you need it

SEO due diligence is becoming increasingly important as businesses move to and expand online. It should be an important element of any merger, acquisition, or investment decision. SEO due diligence is going to determine where your money goes, but what is it?

In this article, we’re going to explore the process and importance of SEO due diligence, answering the questions:

  • What is due diligence when buying or investing in a business?
  • What is SEO due diligence and why is it important?
  • What questions should you be asking when conducting SEO due diligence?

Arming you with the information you need to make a wise choice for your money.

SEO Due Diliogence - What it is and why you need it

What does due diligence mean?

You may have heard the term due diligence in relation to the buying and selling of businesses. Put simply, due diligence is the process of checking out all the information related to a business before making the final choice to buy in.

As an investor, you want to check out the credentials, claims, and potential return on investment of a business. For example, a company may have a strong turnover but due diligence may uncover high costs and therefore low profits.

Why do I need SEO due diligence?

In 2019, the digital economy in the US alone was $1,351.3 billion. The continued growth in online business makes the performance of a company’s website an ever more important business asset.

By performing search engine optimisation (SEO) due diligence, you’re going to understand if your investment is worth it. When looking at a business during general due diligence, you’ll understand how important the website is. SEO due diligence is going to tell you how effective the website is.

SEO due diligence is more than just completing an SEO audit, although this does form a major part of your due diligence. Using a tool such as SISTRIX will allow you to understand data about:

  • Traffic – where is it coming from, is it organic, and does it convert to sales?
  • Links – where do your backlinks come from and are they high quality?
  • Local SEO – how does the company perform in local search?
  • Penalties – have there been any “black hat” SEO tactics used which harm the site?

What questions should SEO due diligence answer?

Your due diligence shouldn’t just be producing reams of data about your potential investment’s website. That data needs a purpose – to show you whether the company is worth the investment.

An SEO due diligence report should be looking at:

  • What has previous online growth looked like for the website?
  • Is the current digital marketing strategy sustainable and scalable?
  • How does the website perform against competitors?
  • What external factors are affecting the success of the website?

These will allow you to understand the potential of the website as an area of growth and whether you will get a strong ROI.

The take home

When buying a business that’s fully or partly reliant on a website for operations, SEO due diligence is important. As a potential buyer of or investor in a business, you need to ensure that you’re getting what you pay for.

Completing SEO due diligence will ensure that your money goes into a business that has a record of growth and potential to continue within its sector.

Steve Paine