How to Conduct an SEO Audit in 6 Simple Steps
5 mins read
Websites are like cars.
They need regular maintenance to run smoothly. You have to update your CMS settings, security measures, and plugins.
And, the same goes for SEO.
To drive organic traffic to your site and better your search rankings, you need to maximize your SEO efforts.
SEO is very important for the success of any online business. It is a significant contributor to any website’s success and is a top priority for marketers.
In fact, 61% say it’s their main focus when it comes to inbound marketing. (Source)
Ignoring SEO is basically ignoring traffic. To make sure that your SEO is at its best, you must conduct an SEO audit.
But, you are not sure where to begin, right?
Here are a few tips to conduct an SEO audit.
But before we get there, you need to understand what is SEO audit.
An SEO audit is an evaluation of your website’s SEO strategy, including your appearance on a SERP and how well your web presence is leading to greater levels of traffic.
When performed well, your SEO audit should show:
Things change very fast in the SEO industry and what is performing today may not perform in the next 6 months. Google updates their ranking algorithm every year and an SEO audit will help you stay in sync.
Therefore, it is important to conduct regular SEO audits (once per quarter) to make sure that your website is up-to-date with the latest developments.
Now that I have conveyed the importance of SEO audit, let’s see how to do SEO audit.
Here are a few steps you need to take to perform your SEO audit:
Your website needs to work with all alterations of the same URL.
If your website has numerous versions of itself, you are giving search engines a mixed message about how to crawl your site.
The crawlers don’t even know which one is the appropriate one. And, if search engines don’t know how to display your site to the prospective audience, your site’s SEO ranking will be negatively affected.
Therefore, you must check that only one version of your site is browseable.
Consider all the ways visitors could enter your website address into a browser.
For humans, they’re pretty much the same. But it’s not similar for Google.
And unless you redirect these versions perfectly, Google will consider them totally different websites.
Make sure that only one of these links is accessible in the browser. And, the others should be 301 redirected to the version you wish to use.
Mobile SEO is more important than ever.
57% of all U.S. online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets (Source)
Moreover, now Google also started using their Mobile-First Algorithm.
If you are conducting an audit it is recommended to assess your mobile website as well. Keep in mind the maximum users will reach your website through their mobile phones. Hence, make sure your site is up to date.
Up to 70% of web traffic happens on a mobile device (CIODive, 2018) (Source)
You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool, to know if your website is mobile-friendly.
Simply enter the URL of your website into the tool and you will see whether or not Google considers your site optimized for mobile devices.
People are impatient. And, Google knows this.
Your visitors don’t want to wait. The longer your page requires time to load, the greater the possibility your customer will bounce.
That’s why Google is going to take into account site speed when evaluating your rank. This change began in July 2018.
Therefore, it is crucial you test all pages linked with your website to check page speed issues. Google’s PageSpeed Insights can help, it provides:
First, visit PageSpeed Insights to get your report.
After inserting your URL and clicking analyze, Google will present your speed and optimization rating for both mobile and desktop.
And, if your website speed is low, don’t worry. Google gives optimization tips for you to implement and improve your speed.
On-Page SEO is one of the most important elements of the SEO Audit. Its main purpose is to help search engines understand the meaning of your content.
Here is the on-page SEO audit checklist:
Overall, on-page SEO checks are extremely important, but they are only one part of your SEO audit.
Meta descriptions are the pieces of text that show up below page titles in search results. A great meta description can gain more clicks, whereas boring ones can obstruct potential visitors.
They help Google find the content of the page it’s crawling, and are the important factors Google takes into account when deciding the order in which to rank pages. It also helps visitors browsing through search results determine the content of your page, and as such, act as promotions for your content.
Using your specific keyword research, create or rewrite your meta descriptions, making sure to optimize them for the keywords that will help them show up in search. Also, avoid keyword stuffing.
The last step of conducting an SEO audit is creating a thorough checklist of all of the site issues that need to be fixed.
You can share the checklist with team members or with the SEO company you are working with.
Having a checklist of all technical, SEO, design, and content problems make it simple to maintain track of what tasks needs to be done. This way, you’ll have a proper plan for where to concentrate your SEO efforts and make sure you are not missing any important details.
SEO is a complicated area. There are numerous best practices you need to keep in mind if you want your website to rank. And, if you wish to improve your SEO, you’ll need to perform a full audit to find out what are your mistakes. This can help you discover areas your site operates well in, and ones you can improve upon.
A complete SEO audit is a much longer process. However, this method is a great way to start and get a feel for how a site is currently set up.
What SEO factors do you review regularly? Or probably you have a great tip that we didn’t include here.
Either way, let us know by leaving a comment below.