To find out how well your website is performing, it is important to conduct frequent search engine optimization (SEO) audits. For many of us with basic knowledge of SEO, this may sound technical and daunting. However, is important to understand this process and how to implement it. Moreover, there are tools and best practices to help.
All aspects of website functionality and user experience matters. Focusing on improving your website and user experience can seriously boost much-needed traffic to your site.
What is an SEO audit?
An SEO audit is an inspection of the visibility and potential of your website’s search engine performance. SEO auditing is a great way to see how your website presence stacks up to your competition. An SEO audit, if completed correctly, provides you with:
- An overview of your current search engine performance, strengths, weaknesses and competitor analysis
- High-level SEO checklist, backlink comparisons, domain distribution and keyword rankings
- Recommendations on how to move forward to capitalize on your strengths, work towards updating your weaknesses and closing the gap on your competitors
- A to-do list of next steps for that will help you improve your overall SEO strategy
What are the best tools to use?
- MozPro: MozPro is the best educational tool for SEO. Moz offers blogs and educational material to help you learn. Moz is also well known for having great tools for keyword research, rank tracking and link analytics.
- SEMrush: This is the most useful software tool for keyword research. It has a large collection of SEO tools and is great for analyzing a site’s current state.
- SEO Site Checkup: This tool is incredibly useful for many reasons. The main dashboard offers access to reports, SEO monitoring, and analysis tools. You can create side-by-side SEO comparisons of your competitors to help you analyze your competition. SEO site checkup also allows you to monitor 30+ SEO variables from your website.
When should you conduct an SEO audit?
If you have the resources and time, it is recommended to complete an SEO audit at least twice a year, or once a quarter. If your website is going through a redesign, or you have introduced a new product or service offering, it is recommended to audit during that time as well.
How do you create an SEO audit?
To start a basic SEO audit, you should perform an automated scan to monitor basic metrics like page views, conversions, and bounce rate. This audit should give you an overview of your current search engine performance, your strengths, weaknesses and competitive gaps. When conducting an SEO Audit, start by analyzing your landing pages, content, URLs, links, meta descriptions, images, image tags and overall structure. To break it down, begin by conducting a technical, on-page and off-page analysis.
What technical elements should I check?
Technical analysis: A technical analysis checks the code and developer side of your website and accessibility. While performing a technical analysis, make sure to check the following:
- Check Robots.txt file
- Check meta-tags and XML Sitemap
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly/site speed
- Check for any webpage redirects
On-Page analysis: The On-Page analysis checks overall user experience on your site. Using a content manager can assist you in this analysis. Check for the following when conducting an on-page analysis:
- Address general content and individual page issues
- Check for duplicate pages or content with similar topics, as this can lead to indexation issues
- Make sure your page URL contains your main keyword, keep it short
- Content needs to be 500 words or more for SEO visibility
- Make sure images are high quality and contain alt-tags and titles containing your keyword
- Make sure meta-descriptions are informative and contain your keyword
Off-Page analysis: This checks how well your site is indexed and how it ranks in search engines. When conducting an off-page analysis, keep these key indicators in mind:
- Check that you are abiding by Google’s Webmasters Guidelines
- Stay relevant and on-trend with the content you are creating
- Analyze your keywords and compare to your competitors
- Create keywords with medium difficulty and medium volume
- Find keywords with medium difficulty and high traffic or low difficulty and medium traffic
- To start, use Google Keyword Planner or Ahref
Ahrefs: This tool is great for competitor content and backlink research. Also offers deep link analysis and link management features.
Screaming Frog: This is a flexible and fast tool that is designated specifically for crawling and finding on-page issues. This tool is incredibly useful when conducting both technical and SEO audits.
Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console): This is a free service that helps you learn important information about your website and who visits it. It can help you fix website errors, submit a sitemap, and create or check a robots.txt file. Search Console also shows how many people are visiting your site, what device they are using, what pages are most popular and more.
Completing a full SEO audit can be a quite complicated and technical process. However, completing regular SEO audits, can boost your revenue, increase brand awareness and help your business in ways you didn’t know you needed.