How to Perform an SEO Audit-Complete Guide

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@harsimran-kaurHarsimran Kaur

Digital Marketing Expert | PPC|SMO

Nowadays one field that is getting attention of everyone is digital marketing. Every company and individual is opting digital marketing for their business.
SEO also known as search engine optimization is one of the most important parts of the digital marketing that is responsible for branding and website traffic. 
So it is clear that SEO is very important for companies and individuals. 
But it is not easy to build a strong SEO strategy. If you are someone who is working on the SEO strategy then you should start it with the SEO audit of the website.
As a company or individual, it is important to regularly audit your website to stay on the good side of google.

What is an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit is a complete analysis of website factors that are responsible for the website ranking on the SERP or we can say that website audit will give you a better understanding why your site is not performing on SERP.

Reasons to Get the SEO Audit Done

There are many reasons to get the SEO audit done . Some of the benefits are as follows
SEO Audit will help you to improve the technical health of your website that is one of the important factors to improve the online visibility of the website.
  • SEO Audit helps you in creating a better user experience  that will help you directly or indirectly in improving your website ranking.
  • It identifies the area of improvement that will help you in improving search visibility.
  • See what your competitors are doing where you are lacking and make a plan according to that.
  • On page issues can resolve which will help search engine to better understand your website.
Below are the points that one should include in SEO Audit:

Penalty Check

Google update its algorithm on a regular basis so it is important to check if the site is suffering from any penalty or not. There are 2 famous methods to check the penalty.
Login to your search console and check the manual actions section. If your site is hit by any algorithm or penalty then you will get a message there.
Google analytics is another way by which you can check the penalty. If you see any sudden drop in the traffic then you can assume that site is hit by google algorithm.

Technical Audit Analysis

There are many points that comes in technical audit. Some of the important points are as follows:
Redirection Check
Sometimes websites open with WWW and without WWW, HTTP and https too. Google considers all these as different URLs. 
This will cause duplicity issue.
So it is important to set up a proper 301 redirection to give signal to google that all the URLs refer to the same site.
Mobile Friendly Test
Nowadays everyone is using mobile due to the high speed internet that's why primary source of most of the sites are mobile. 
Due to this google have adopted mobile first indexing policy so it is important to check whether the site is mobile friendly or not. 
You can use google tool to check the mobile friendliness of the website: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
Broken Links/Not Found Links Check
Broken links are always frustrating. They increase the bounce rate of the website so it is important to consider this point.
 It is always a good idea to create a 404 page with the website links or redirect the 404 pages to some other relevant page to improve the user experience.
Page Speed Test
We all know that Google considers page speed as one of the ranking factors so you should test your site loads fast enough. If the site doesn’t load fast then you will lose your potential customers.
Here is the link to the google page speed  tool: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Use HTTPS Version of the Website
In one of the articles google confirmed that they will rank secure HTTPS site over non secure sites. 
It is recommended to use HTTPs version of the website to make it more secure and to achieve the top rankings.

Check XML sitemap 

Xml sitemap acts as a roadmap to your site which tells google about your website pages.
You should  check if the xml sitemap is properly formatted, updated, include important pages and submitted to search console.
Check Robots.txt file
Robots.txt is a text file which prevents crawler to crawl pages on the website.
As a technical auditor, you should check if there are any important pages that are in robot.txt file or if we can add any irrelevant pages.

On-Page SEO Analysis

Below are the points which one should consider in on page SEO analysis.
Page Titles Check
Page title tells google about what content is page covering.
Page title should be unique, meaningful and covers important keywords. Try to keep the page title length up to 60-70 characters.
Meta Descriptions Check
Meta description summarize the content of the page.
Meta description should include the focused keyword, be actionably unique,  and include a call to action.
Heading Tags Check
Heading tags are nothing but heading and subheading on your page and website.
For search engine it's easy to read the organized content and crawl.
It is advisable to use one h1 tag and Use H2-H6 tags where appropriate

Image Optimization
Google doesn't read the image so it is important to add ALT tags,  description of what's in the image. In SEO Audit you should check if there are any images that are missing alt text.
Internal Linking Strategy
Internal links are links from one page on the same domain to another. One should consider this factor in SEO audit.
Internal links helps google to find out what content on your website is related.
It is important to setup a proper internal linking strategy so that google will understand the relevance and relationship of the page.
Optimized URL
Google loves clean URLs. It is recommended that your URL should be descriptive and include keywords.

Content & Page Duplicity
Google hates duplicate content so it is important to check the site for duplicate content. You can use any tool to check the duplicate content.
It is recommended to deindex or change the duplicate content.

Off-Page SEO Analysis

It is one of the difficult parts of seo audit where you have to audit the links that are pointing to your website and identify the issue.
In Off Page SEO Analysis you need to check the following points:
  • Number of backlinks that point to your website.
  • Check if links are dofollow or nofollow
  • Check the DA,DR and  TF of the backlinks.
  • Identify the bad links and disavow them
  • Check if links are PBN or not.
  • Anchor text analysis: check whether the backlinks are from targeted keywords or not.
You can check all these with the help of tools like SEMRush, ahrefs. Also you can check the search console to check the links that point to your site.

Content Check

We all know that content is king. By this we can imagine how important it is to consider content analysis in the SEO audit.
  • One of the most important points that one should consider is content should be for users not search engine.
  • Content shouldn’t be thin
  • Avoid keyword stuffing in the content
  • Cover the topic that users are looking for

Competitor Analysis

Last but not the least factor that one should consider is competitor analysis. If you are not checking what your competitors are doing then you are missing a major part of your SEO audit. 
  • Traffic source of competitor
  • What type of keywords they are targeting
  • Content of competitor
  • Type of competitor’s backlink
  • Anchor text they are targeting

    Conclusion

    Successful SEO audit will lead to a successful SEO strategy. As a marketer or company you should know the issues in the website that you should fix to rank higher on the SERP.
    To stay on the google top ranking, it is advisable to do SEO audit in a 5-6 months.
    I hope this article will help you in your next SEO Audit.

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