Auditing vs. Analysis

The main differences between making sure things are running correctly and legally, and trying to understand things from a strategic point of view.

Elias Dabbas


June 14, 2024

Auditing is about inspection, and making sure things are done right, legally, and correctly.

Analysis is about understanding and getting insights on the thing you’re analyzing (website, content, etc.).

An “SEO audit”, a “website audit”, a “content audit”….

Auditing is more important than analysis. It comes first. Your page has to function properly before it can be analyzed/evaluated. It tells you where potential problems are or might be. Basically, you are making sure bad things don’t happen.

Auditing does’t inform the process of understanding or ideas for improvement as much. This is where analysis comes in.

Using a car analogy, auditing is making sure you don’t have flat tires, engine is working fine, etc.

Analysis is looking at the historical data of someone’s trips, understanding them, and based on that person’s objectives, you recommend other/better places to visit, better ways to make use of their time.

Using an XML sitemap analogy, auditing is making sure the sitemap is there, that it is valid, has no duplicates, etc. Analyzing the XML sitemap is getting an understanding of the website/URL structure, publishing trends (if you have lastmod), checking which keywords/topics are being used, and having a good grasp of the website’s content distribution.


Auditing Analysis
Reactive Proactive
Preventative Exploratory
Fixing issues Finding opportunities
“Don’t” “Do”
Past Future

As an example, here is a notebook that provides a template for analyzing GSC data