The SEO audit is often the first step in the process of a thousand optimizations.
After taking on a new client or joining an organisation internally, the first step for the majority of SEO experts is to conduct a thorough Website SEO audit.
To go where you want to be, you must first understand where you are.
The SEO audit is useful in this situation.
Wherever people are looking for you—your goods, your services, or the subjects you are an expert in—that is where you want to be.
What is an Website SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is the practise of assessing several aspects of a website that affect how well it performs in organic search. To do this, you must learn:
- Using and building on triumphs and strengths.
- There are errors to correct and low-hanging fruit to seize.
- What isn’t working, and you ought to do less of it.
- What has to be improved that isn’t working.
The problem is that SEO has so many parts that the procedure can easily become overwhelming.
In this article, we’ve condensed the Website SEO audit process into 10 key steps, but if your website is vast, you might also think about categorising your SEO audits.
Top 10 SEO Audit Checklist✔️
We’ve created a checklist for an SEO audit that includes technical, off-page, and on-page SEO and is pretty detailed.
No SEO audit would be complete without suggestions for constructing site-specific internal and external connections because link building is a crucial component of gaining website authority.
The key to raising Domain Authority is acquiring links from a broad range of reliable domains.
Searching for resource lists that could potentially highlight your work and connect to you is a simple technique to build external links.
Internal links are essential for creating authoritative hierarchies on your website since they convey link equity within your own pages.
A simple and established method of creating internal links is to conduct a site search for related, older content that has preferably accrued some authority before finding anchor text to link to the new content within the older content.
2. Improve the website design.
In the context of an SEO audit, this entails managing internal linking structures on your website in order to convey equity to the sites that require it. Here are some advice if the structure of your website is a mess.
- Develop user-friendly solutions in close collaboration with developers and designers to increase page authority without sacrificing UX (User Experience).
- More blog articles per page is preferred. Older posts will be 20–30 clicks away from your homepage if your blog index only displays ten pages at a time (where the most equity lies). To move those older entries closer to the homepage, increase the number of posts per page.
- Check for duplicate links. For instance, in your blog’s “related posts” and “popular posts” sections or the header and footer. To effectively utilise that prized link space, swap out those duplicate links with links to other pages to which you wish to convey equity.
3. Find the weak content and fix it.
Regarding content… If your pages are thin, they won’t be given any consideration in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
That was guaranteed by Panda, a 2011 Google algorithm upgrade that penalised websites with scant content.
Content that doesn’t satiate user wants is considered “thin.” It would be deemed thin to convey a difficult idea in a 300 word blog article.
However, putting 1000–2000 words on each page of your website is not reasonable. Pages that are closer to your homepage will be dominated by design elements (hero photos, icons, call-to-action buttons) and language that is focused on your products.
4. Find and remove duplicate content.
When scanning for duplicate content, you’ll be looking at the same sections of your site as you did when scanning for thin content.
Some SEOs become enraged when they hear about duplicate content and the possible site penalties that may ensue. Here’s how I see it:
Google is intelligent enough to detect whether or not you are purposefully and deliberately copying content from your site in order to jam the SERP with links to your site.
Most likely, you are not. If you have duplicate content, it’s more probable that it happened accidentally.
It’s possible that your CMS (Content Management System) is creating dynamically similar-looking new pages that haven’t been manually canonicalized in Search Console.
5. Inspect for keyword optimization
There are some pages on your site where it won’t be possible to properly optimise for target and ancillary keywords, similar to when you beef up weak content.
Let’s say your business sells software for scheduling employees. Employee scheduling software is crammed into several places on your webpage.
The keyword “best employee scheduling software” has the largest search volume and the least amount of competition.
Saying “we’re the best” on your homepage is generally not a wise decision, despite the fact that you’d like to rank for that keyword.
If possible, target keywords should be in the:
- H1 (if applicable)
- H2 (subheadings in your post—at least one)
- Meta title (see Step 6)
- Meta description (ditto)
- Body copy (littered (in moderation) throughout)
Meta tags are made up of a meta title and a meta description. They are two of the main factors Google considers when deciding how to rank pages and help it understand the content of the page it is indexing.
They also serve as advertisements for your content by assisting users who are browsing search results in understanding the content of your page.
The first 50–60 characters of your title are shown by Google. The title is then abbreviated with an ellipsis.
Not only might this result in the crawling of important keywords being skipped, but it also plainly looks poor in the SERP.
7. Identify potential page updates.
Making even minor changes to a page instructs Google to crawl that page. As a result, consistent updates will assist the search engine see your content as current and relevant.
There are two kinds of content that require regular updating:
Top pages, as mentioned in Step 3. These are the pages that bring in the most customers to your company. By updating them, you can be sure that they’ll keep bringing customers to your site. Possibilities pages.
A chance page is one that would get a significant spike in traffic if it were to climb a few spots in the SERP.
To improve their chances of reaching page one, pages that are just outside the top 10 should be updated frequently.
Pages that are slightly outside the top 3 should adopt a similar strategy.
Beyond the first three positions, traffic drops off dramatically, and after the first page, it almost completely stops.
8. Analyze the speed of the page.
Page speed is critical, especially now that Google has discontinued its Speed Update and Page Experience Update. Increases in mobile searches are somewhat to blame for this.
Anyone searching the internet on their phone won’t hang around for a slow-loading page. This implies that the quicker your website loads, the more probable it is that Google will reward you with high organic ranks.
Here, PageSpeed Insights will be your go-to resource. It delivers detailed analyses of page speeds and recommendations for improvement.
9. Check for website issues
A 404 error, also known as “page not found,” is typically brought on by broken links and images on your website.
For instance, anyone who clicks a link on a page of your website to material that has since been removed will receive a 404 error.
Broken links, despite popular belief, do not result in site penalties. 404 errors are inevitable when your site’s structure evolves over time and content comes and goes.
However, if there are broken links in awkward places, your internal linking system may become unstable. Additionally, they can make it difficult for consumers to move between pages.
All of the 404 errors on your site can be found using site auditing tools. Finding out how crucial each link is to your linking structure and user experience is the first step towards correcting them. Have a page that is either no longer available or has moved to a different URL?
Make sure all popular pages that used to link to the old page now 301 redirect to the new page, or at the very least, redirect back to your home page.
This Chrome extension is helpful for finding broken links on a page-by-page basis.
10. Replace HTTP with HTTPS
Running on HTTP is definitely not a good idea in the current digital marketing environment. Faster and safer HTTPS is one of the ranking factors used by Google.
It is as easy as manually inputting the different non-HTTPS iterations of your site domain—www.site.com, site.com, and http://www.site.com—and verifying that they have all been 301 redirected to the HTTPS iteration to determine whether your site is operating on HTTPS.
The next step is to search the search index for instances of non-HTTPS URLs. To find out which of your site’s URLs are canonicalized, utilise the Index Status report in Search Console. Manually canonicalize the HTTPS versions if necessary.
End of SEO Audit Checklist✔️
Regularly going through your SEO audit checklist will help you keep on top of your SEO efforts and identify mistakes as they arise.
Consistency and demonstrating are the core keys to great SEO. You’ll be way ahead of someone who is stuck worrying about every “new” ranking element if you can do an SEO audit on a regular basis, implement excellent practises, track the outcomes, learn from them, and steadily improve.
Do you have any questions about using the SEO Audit Checklist? Please ask in the comments!