Top ten SEO audit reports are great as they give a technical check list as to how a target page compares to the top ten pages for any given phrase.
The methodology has solid merit as it states that no one outside of ‘Google’ (Or other search engine you are targeting) can know the ranking algorithm, but we do know that Google likes the Top ten pages its showing for a reason.
If we make our target page similar to the top ten taking into account on page and off page factors, then Google should like our web page in the same way. In short putting our target webpage within the top ten search results.
While the theory is great and the top ten should give a good average, on a bad day can leave us with data which suggest edits that don’t have the desired effect.
With Google (and with other search engines to a lesser extent) in bound links can have a much larger ranking effect than it should and when this is taken into account we are left with a load of on page recommendations that won’t square the circle.
If your site is established and you are looking to target organically you can run the audit report against a more competitive location (like a capital city). The reason this works is simple. With larger cities, competition for the top spots on Google are likely to be fiercer and these companies are likely to have spent time and effort to rank well. By following their weights and densities of title and body tags we are likely to find these will be golden rules for our local area.
Or in other words if the top result for ‘florist London’ has florist and London twice in the title tag there is a very good chance this will work for us in our local area (i.e. florist twice and our location twice)
We don’t need to copy weights and densities verbatim, but it can be a good indicator where local performing pages are skewed and allow us to break away from the local pack.
The other technique you can look at is running the Top ten as a Top ten, Top three and Top one SEO audit. With this variation on the standard top ten, we can see how as we get closer to number one the weights and densities of key phrases are affected.
From this we are likely to be able to see the rough Key phrase quantities and densities which are likely to work well for our target page.
By combining both techniques we have a good starting place for any web page we construct if we want it to be optimised for any given search engine.