SEO Audit

Typically, the journey of a thousand optimizations begins with a single step – the SEO Audit. After signing a new client or going in-house at a new company, most SEO professionals prioritize an in-depth SEO audit. Knowing where you are will help you get where you wish to go. This is where the SEO audit comes in.

Where you want to be is wherever people are looking for you – your products, your services, or your expertise. That means optimizing your visibility in Google and other search engine results is critical.

SEO Audit Report serves as a road map for how you’ll get there.

What Exactly is a SEO Audit?

SEO audit is a process of evaluating various aspects of a website that affect its organic search performance. SEO Audits are essential because they identify issues with any site’s SEO so that you can address them and begin ranking where you belong.

An SEO Audit Consists of Several Components, including:

Archenhaud-SEO AUDIT
COMPONENTS
  1. Ensure that Google crawls, indexes, and renders your site correctly.
  2. Analyzing your website for on-page SEO issues
  3. Examining your off-page SEO for potential issues on other people’s websites that relate to/link to yours
  4. Ensuring that your website provides a positive user experience (for both mobile and desktop users)
  5. Optimizing your content with keywords
  6. Searching for duplicate or thin content on your website
  7. Setting up and maintaining comprehensive reporting to track the performance of your website

Recommended Read: Canonical Vs 301 Redirects in SEO

Why are SEO Audits Necessary?

Archenhaud-Why are SEO Audits Necessary?

SEO Audits are critical for assisting your site and business in avoiding:

  1. Organic traffic is being lost due to site health issues.
  2. Loss of sales opportunities or competitive advantage over other brands
  3. Incorrectly indexing your site (which means search engines won’t be able to find it)
  4. Google is imposing penalties for toxic backlinks.
  5. In short, auditing your site can reveal issues causing you to lose traffic and sales.

Why do We Require a Technical SEO Audit?

Technical SEO Audit will assist you in optimizing your site and identifying issues on websites that Non-Technical SEOs will miss. In fact, in some cases, performing a technical SEO Audit before engaging in link building can be critical.

Usually, SEO audits can take from 40 to 60 hours depending on the website’s size. The audits are bucketed into three separate parts.

  • Technical: Crawl errors, Indexing, Hosting, etc.
  • Content: Keyword Research, Competitor Analysis, Content Maps, Metadata, etc.
  • Links: Backlink Profile Analysis, Growth Tactics, etc.

How a SEO Audit is done?

Before you begin the auditing process, perform a site crawl using a site auditing tool. We have a free version of our Site Audit tool that will get you started, but any site audit tool that you are familiar with should work.

We will be referring to insights from this report as we work through each step, which may take some time depending on the size of your site.

  1. Navigate to the Site Audit tool.
  2. At the top right of your screen, click ‘Set Up next to an existing project or ‘Add new project.’
  3. Fill out the site audit settings, which include the ‘Limit of checked pages’ and ‘Crawl source’.
  4. Except for the limit of checked pages, which will depend on the size of your site, you should not need to change any settings. In some cases, you may need to remove URL parameters, circumvent restrictions, or allow or disallow certain actions.
  1. Begin your site audit and allow the crawler to run; we will return to this shortly.
  2. If you haven’t already, verify your website in Google Search Console.

2022 SEO Audit Checklist

Step 1: Determine if your website is Mobile-Friendly.

Mobile SEO is now more important than ever. Why?

To begin with, most of all Google Searches come from Mobile Searches. This means that Google now uses your site’s mobile version for both mobile and desktop searches.
Now the query is:

How do you tell if your website is compatible with mobile devices? For that, Take advantage of Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool.

Simply enter your website into the tool and you’ll learn whether Google considers your site to be mobile-friendly or not.

Step 2: Ensure that Google only indexes ONE version of your website.

Did you know that different versions of your website can be indexed by Google?

That is correct.

Here are four different versions of the same website:

  • http://siteurl.com
  • https://siteurl.com
  • http://www.siteurl.com
  • https://www.siteurl.com

Those URLs are nearly identical to you and mine. However, not to Google.

Google will consider these versions to be completely separate websites unless you properly redirect them.

Fortunately, this is easy to check and fix. Just type each of the 4 different versions into your browser. They should all end up on the same URL, which is https://www.siteurl.com

No need to worry if a version of your site isn’t redirecting properly. Simply 301 redirects it to the desired version.

Recommended Read: Why does Google Choose a different Canonical URL?

Step 3: Make Your Site Faster.

Google confirmed years ago that your site’s loading speed is a ranking factor. And, not long ago, they released a new update that emphasizes the importance of speed even more.

Here’s how to make your site load incredibly quickly:

  1. First, clean up the HTML code on your website. PageSpeed Insights makes it simple to identify issues with your code.
  2. Second, perform a speed test. This type of test loads your page and alerts you to bottlenecks that slow things down. Both  WebPageTest.org and GTMetrix are good for that.
  3. Finally, crunch your images. Huge images can bring your site’s speed to a halt.

Upgrading your hosting plan to a premium version can also improve the speed of the website.

Step 4: Find and Remove “Ghost Pages”

In Google, enter site:yourwebsite.com. This will display the number of pages that Google has indexed.

If this figure is higher than you expected, you are not alone. Many websites have 50-75 percent more indexed pages than they anticipated.

As it turns out, deleting these Ghost Pages can result in a significant increase in organic traffic.

What makes this so effective?

According to Google, more content does not make your site better and by deleting Ghost Pages, you are giving Google what it wants.

Following that, the following are the most common types of Ghost Pages:

  • Archive Pages
  • Categories and tags (WordPress) Pages
  • Search Results Page
  • Past Press Releases
  • Thin content (50 words) Boilerplate content

Recommended Read: Top 8 SEO Content Writing Tips to Boost Organic Traffic

Step 5: Identify and correct indexing issues.

Next, look for web pages that Google isn’t indexing. To do so, launch the trusty Google Search Console. The “Index Coverage” report displays a list of pages that they are unable to index for various reasons. To double-check that everything is in order, I recommend Screaming Frog, a free SEO tool. Screaming Frog crawls your website in the same way that Google does. It also informs you of any pages that it is unable to access.

And I didn’t want Google to index every comment page. As a result, we added a noindex tag to those pages.

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow”/>
The pages that are blocked in this case are blocked on purpose.

And now that you’ve confirmed that Google can access all of the pages you want them to, it’s time to.

Step 6: Examine Your Organic Traffic.

It’s now time to look at how much organic traffic you’re getting.

  • Go to Google Analytics to get started.
  • After that navigate to Acquisition >> All Traffic >> Channels.
  • Select “Organic Search.”
  • In Google Analytics, go to “Organic Search” to see how many people visited your site from search engines last month.

Step 7: Boost Your On-Page SEO

It’s no secret that on-page SEO is critical. Having said that: You most likely do not have the time to optimize every page on your website. Here’s what you should do instead:

First, determine your top five pages.

These could be pages like:

  • Choose an important keyword.
  • They receive less traffic than they did previously.
  • Already have a high ranking… but have the potential to break into the top five

If you don’t have time to implement everything, concentrate on the following five strategies:

  1. Put your Keyword in the Title tag.
  2. In the first 100 words, include your keyword.
  3. Include at least 5 external links.
  4. Include at least 5 internal links.
  5. Make use of LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords

Step 8: Configure Keyword Rank Tracking

It’s now time to start tracking your SERP rankings. There are a million different rank tracking tools available. But, in my opinion, SEMrush is the best out there. Why? SEMrush is fantastic because it does more than just track the keywords you provide. The cool thing about SEMrush is that it automatically finds keywords for which you rank.

Recommended Read: Canonical Tags: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

Step 9: Examine Your Backlinks

There’s no denying it. Backlinks are still extremely valuable. In fact, according to an analysis, backlinks correlate with rankings more than any other factor.

First, enter your website’s URL into an SEO analysis tool. You can do this with Semrush, Ahrefs, or any other SEO tool. You’ll also receive a report on your links.

After that, look into Referring domains and Domain Authority.

The number of different websites that link to you is referred to as your Referring domains. You should also check your Domain Authority. Each tool has a unique name for “Domain Authority.” (For example, Semrush refers to it as “Authority Score.”) But the concept is the same: Domain Authority tells you how much authority your site has based on the quantity and quality of your backlinks.

Finally, look for toxic links.

Check out the most common anchor text in your link profile to do so. You’re in good condition if you see a lot of branded anchor text. If you notice a lot of keyword-rich anchor text, this is an indication of a toxic link profile. However, if you notice that the majority of your links are from questionable websites, you should disavow those links. Spammy links are a natural part of any link profile. So don’t be concerned if you come across a few black hat links.

Step 10: Repair Broken Links

Google stated a few years ago that they do not “lose sleep” over broken links. Having said that: Broken links degrade the user experience, which can harm your SEO. Following that, here’s how to repair broken links on your website:

First, identify any broken pages on your site that Google is unable to index. This information can be found in Google Search Console’s “Index Report.”

You can also employ a free tool like Semrush or Ahref to detect broken internal and external links.

Step 11: Analyze Competitors

It’s time to start spying on your competitors. Here’s how to go about it:

First, identify your competitors’ most effective keywords.

Semrush or Ahref tools can help you find this information quickly.

If your competitors are ranking for these terms, you have a good chance of ranking for them as well.

As a result, they are excellent keywords to target.

Second, examine the pages that rank for those terms.

Determine what those pages have in common. So you’ll know what kind of content works best in your niche.

Finally, look at who is linking to those pages.

To do so, enter a URL into Semrush or Ahrefs tool. Examine the links that lead to that page as well. This identifies the influencers in your niche. You can then begin to form relationships with them.

Step 12: Improve Your Content Quality

Back in step 7, you optimized your most important pages for SEO and now it’s time to improve the content on those pages. Why? It’s easy. Your content must kick butt to rank in 2022.

With that in mind, here’s how to improve those pages tenfold.

  1. VERY Brief Introductions.

Nobody wants to read lengthy introductions. Instead, keep your introductions brief and to the point:

  1. Short Paragraphs

People don’t read on the internet. They only skim. Small paragraphs also help skimmers consume your content more effectively.

  1. There are Numerous Subheaders.

Subheaders aid in the division of your content into digestible chunks. Use them early and frequently.

  1. Make use of Visuals, Images, and Video.

Multimedia greatly enhances the appeal of your content. Plus, visuals aid in learning and comprehension.

Recommended Read: How to Start a Blog in 2022? A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 13: Optimize for User Experience Signals

Google’s AI algorithm is known as RankBrain. RankBrain, unlike the old Google, tracks how visitors interact with your website. That is to say: To rank in Google today, you must optimize for UX Signals. In other words, your content must satisfy users. When you do, Google will give you a massive ranking boost.

Step 14: Flatten the Architecture of Your Website

Your website’s architecture is straightforward. It refers to how your website’s pages are organized. As it turns out, the architecture of your website is extremely important for SEO. Why?

For Two reasons:

  1. For starters, site architecture assists search engines in finding and indexing all of your pages. When your site’s architecture is a jumbled mess, Google will have difficulty finding all of your pages.
  2. However, if your site architecture connects your pages, Google can easily find and index your entire site.

Second, architecture informs Google about the most important pages on your site.

In general, the more important a page is, the closer it is to your homepage. The closer to the homepage = the more significant the query is. In some cases, a developer will be required to completely redesign your site’s navigation. However, you can simply add internal links to different pages and include links in the sidebar.
You’re good as long as users can get to any of your pages in three clicks or less.

Some Other SEO Audit Checklist

#1: Make the Most of Your Internal Links

Internal linking is one of the most underutilized SEO strategies available.

The query is, How do you properly internal link? It’s easy, Make as many links as possible to high-priority pages. Link to high-priority pages frequently. Also, there may be a few unimportant pages in this report. For example, you may have numerous links pointing to your privacy statement or contact page. This is typically due to links to those pages in your site’s navigation or footer. Don’t worry about it.

#2 Use a Site Audit Tool as a Bonus Step

I tried to keep this SEO audit as non-technical as possible. However, if you want to delve deeper into your technical SEO, I strongly advise you to use an SEO audit tool. Which tools do I suggest? I use and recommend two.

  1. Seobility is the first. Unlike most audit tools, Seobility is extremely simple to use. Furthermore, the reports are simple to comprehend and implement.
  2. SEMrush is best known as a keyword research tool, but it also has a surprisingly comprehensive best site audit tool feature.

#3 Optimize for Featured Snippets

Featured Snippets can significantly boost your organic traffic. It has the potential to increase organic traffic. How do you get your content featured in the Featured Snippet section?

To appear in the Featured Snippet, you must…

  1. Make sure your content is mobile-friendly.
  2. Have HTTPS enabled.
  3. Make extensive use of headers (H2 and H3 tags)
  4. Include a brief response to questions (42 words)
  5. Connect to authoritative resources.

Wrap Up!

It’s now your turn. That concludes the SEO audit process. I’d like to hear from you now. Do you have any concerns about this procedure? Maybe you have a great tip that I didn’t include. In any scenario, please let me know straight away by posting a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.