How to do an SEO Audit

how to do an SEO audit

Last Updated on 2 November 2020 by Lukasz Zelezny

All about SEO Audit – Website SEO Tools and Softwares

To ensure you succeed online, you must put more effort into SEO optimization. If you don’t, then your site may lag and will appear at the bottom of search engine results. This is the reason why 61% of site owners believe that it’s an essential component for digital marketing. If you are ignoring your SEO then it means ignoring your sales.

Many site owners see SEO audit as a complicated process, and when even completed, then implementing it can be challenging. But a functional SEO audit is less technical and has a list of actions to be taken to improve the website’s search results.

SEO audit doesn’t require computer science knowledge and takes less than an hour. But if you have a larger site, then expect more hours for the audit to be completed. Well, below is all you need to learn about SEO audits.

What is an SEO audit?

SEO audit is a process of identifying any issues that could lead to a poor ranking of the site in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. These issues include improper indexing of the site, poor content, or toxic links. They are the major causes of lower organic traffic to your website.

If your site is receiving less traffic, then conversely, your sales will be lower. When you have a poorly SEO optimized site, your competitors will benefit from it. This should motivate you enough to audit your site. Failing to SEO audit your website will lead to losing of many growth opportunities and losing potential customers.

Tools required for SEO audit:

There are many tools that you can use for your website SEO audit, but our goal is to use minimum and easy tools. But for your information, we are enlisting some of the tools that we still use or can be used.

  • Google Analytics
  • Google PageSpeed Insights
  • Google Search Console
  • Copyscape
  • ScreamingFrog
  • URLProfiler
  • InLinks
  • SEMRush
  • Web Page Word Counter
  • Screaming frog
  • OnCrawl
  • Yoast

How to Do an SEO Audit?

Our detailed guide will show you how to conduct a technical SEO Site audit. Besides, learning how to do an on-page SEO audit, you’ll also learn how to run the process on your entire site.

Don’t worry!

It may sound super scary and too intensive to do but we are going to walk you through the whole process in the easiest way possible.

What are the key factors of an SEO audit?

There are three main key elements of SEO audit

  1. Factors at the back end like indexing and hosting.
  2. Some front-end factors like keywords, meta title, permalinks, content, metadata.
  3. Backlinks building quality and outside reference.

STEP 1: Check if your site is mobile-friendly

The mobile-friendly feature is more important than any other

You know why?

Because according to google search more than 60 percent of traffic comes from mobile devices. Now Google has started following the mobile-first algorithm. This means they will start migrating websites on tops that are following the best practices for mobile-first indexing.

Now the question is how you can check if your website is mobile-friendly?

For this purpose, use google’s mobile-friendly testing tool. Just put your website URL into the tool and then google will tell you either your site is mobile-friendly or not.

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STEP 2: Make sure Google is indexing only one version of your website

Did you know this earlier that there are many versions of your site indexed in google search results?

So make sure that Google is indexing only one version of your site and only one link is browseable

In case! You might be thinking how it is possible

Then let me explain it to you. Imagine all the ways that anyone could write your website link in the search:

For example:

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

all these links look the same to us but not to google. Google will think of them as a completely different website. So check each and every version of your site and all versions should redirect to only one version. If some links are giving any problems then don’t worry. Use 301 redirects and redirect it to the version of your choice.

Step 3: Check the Speed of your Website

Most customers are impatient, and Google understands this better. If they find your website pages to be slow loading, then they’ll opt for a competitor site. This is one of the top reasons you should ensure to prevent your customers from bouncing.

UberSuggest also enables you to analyze the load time of your website. Open the application, then enter your site URL and click “search.” Now, click “Site Audit” found on the left sidebar and scroll up to “Site Speed.” It will then show the loading times of your pages and the entire website. Also, it will show the Speed Index, first CPU idle, First Contentful Paint, and more.

You can also use Google page speed insight and it will tell the problems with your code. If you are having low-speed then don’t panic!

Another way to check the page speed of all your pages is the EXPERTE.com Bulk PageSpeed Test. Instead of just checking one page, it crawls your whole website and checks each page automatically. This way, you can easily identify slow subpages.

Here are some tips to increase your page speed

  1. First of clean your site HTML code
  2. Second, shrink your website pictures.
  3. Third, while checking page speed, Google will tell you all the obstacles. Try to remove them one by one
  4. Lastly, in my opinion, try to purchase a good quality domain. Because cheap domains would not give you high speed. Many of the reviewers tried this and move to high-quality domains and it did elevate their speed.

Step 4: Start Crawling on your site

The next thing to do before is to perform an SEO crawl on your site.  In this, I will teach you how to conduct a technical SEO site audit?

UberSuggest tool will help during this process. Visit the homepage begin and enter your site URL then click “Search.” It will take some minutes before it gives you a detailed report of your site, especially on the components that form SEO. At the bottom of the page, click the “Top SEO issues” and follow up on the issue to get tips on fixing the problem.

Aside from UberSuggest, you can manually crawl your site with the Google Search Engine. Check whether the site ranks on the first page and if not, then scroll to the second page until you find it. It’s not a must for your site to be on the top page of the search results. Instead, it should be on the top pages.

You can crawl your website through deepcrawl and screamingfrog. Theses crawlers help you identify problems like broken links, duplicate content, poor images, bad keywords, and page title issues. They also assist you in finding excess redirect and unlinked pages. We will discuss them in detail. 

STEP 5: Check duplicate content

Duplicate content can be found by a tool like a screaming frog. Duplicate content includes repetitive meta tags and descriptions. Try to remove them by rewriting them. If you want to keep it then send a file to google bots to de-index them.

Common duplicate content problems:

  • Duplicate meta titles and meta description
  • Duplicate content found on the tag pages. For this, I will recommend using a copy-scape tool.
  • The same content found in a different domain.
  • Pagination pages are implanted improperly.
  • Two domains found
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How can you fix these issues?

  • Add canonical tags to let Google know what URL you want to be found
  • Then disallow incorrect URL in Robot.txt
  • You can check pagination by unlinking then check whether they are connected properly or not. If you have a “load more” or a “view all” page, add rel=” canonical” tag to solve this issue.
  • But if you have all pages on different ones then add classical “prev” and “next” markup
  • Fixed the 301 redirect issue
  • Update your google search console setting to exclude any parameter that is not generating unique content.

STEP 6: Find and fix your indexing problems

Now is the time to find out if your pages are indexing or not. For this go to Google Search Console. it will tell you how many pages can be indexed. For double-check use a free tool screaming frog. It will crawl your website and will tell you how many it can’t access.

So you check those pages if you have blocked incidentally by Robot.txt file. If they are meant to disallow then it is ok. Some pages need deindexing like the policy page, about page as they don’t need to be indexed on the search result. 

Step 7: Fix URL parameters

Your google crawler may end up crawling your same page twice without URL parameters. You should add URL parameters in google search console to avoid this and tell google that it is crawling the same page.

Step 8: Check your redirects

In a survey, it is said that if there are more than 4 redirects of the page then google crawler will stop following it. Hence it will not reach its destination page. Every redirect google bot follows is a waste of crawl budget. So try to restrict your redirects to avoid this issue.

Step 9: Run ON-PAGE SEO of your pages

After analyzing your site, check the individual pages for any thin content, title tags, meta description, permalinks, etc.

It is very difficult to optimize your every page, fortunately, you don’t have to.

Just target your main 5 pages. These pages can be

  • They target an important keyword or other related keywords
  • Already rank but it has the potential to be in top 5 searches
  • They are getting less traffic than before.

After this check the following list:

  • Is your title clickable and well-crafted?
  • Does it have a custom meta description? Is it crafted enough to make your readers think and read the whole article?
  • Does the permalink of your pages are customized according to your title?
  • Have you used the subheading H2, H3,.. wisely and properly?

How can you make your page SEO optimized?

  • Include your keywords in the title
  • Include your focus keyword in the first 100 words of the meta description
  • Properly use ALT tags of images
  • Customize your permalinks according to the meta title
  • Use LSI keywords in your content
  • Your content should be unique and well-crafted
  • Should have internal and external links.

You can use YOAST real content analysis to optimize your content or you can use the SEMrush ON-PAGE SEO checker tool for this.

Also, it’s crucial to ensure that the content on your page offers your audience the answers they’re searching for. Title tags usually have an optimal length of 55 to 60 characters. Also, ensure the meta descriptions are enticing and attractive to your readers. That way, you won’t put in much effort to attract and maintain readers on your website.

Step 10: Analyze your website hierarchy

Organise your site in a clear hierarchical style. This makes it easier for Google to index the pages or analyze your entire website. You should have a clear solid structure to improve your reader’s experiences as well as google crawlers. It should have a complete and accurate sitemap submitted in the google webmaster tool map. Besides this, a strong URL is also vital.

Focus keywords are also important, and they should be in the first 100 words of the website.

Step 11: Identify thin content and orphan pages

Orphan pages are those pages which are not linked to any page and have no value. You can find the orphan pages by going to the site structure in the website audit and then click the rebuilt project option and then go for a search for orphan pages. You can also find them in an XML sitemap.

Let's work together!  Fill SEO Pre-Assessment form now and we will get back to you.

The solution for this is to add an internal link from the relevant content page or add key pages to your site navigation.

Thin content doesn’t have value to the site and google’s crawlers both but it decreases your website authority and credibility. Thin content is those with less than 300-word count. You can see this issue in the site audit error tab in the SEMrush tool.

What can you do to this thin content?

You can either add unique and valuable content to this page. And if you don’t want to add then you should make sure that you disallow these pages in google by Roboto.txt file.

Step 12: Check your Website Links

This process will take approximately ten minutes, and since local hierarchies are important in SEO, it’s vital to check both external and internal links. At times, moving or deleting a web page can result in broken links. Xenu Sleuth and Integrity tools are helpful when identifying broken links, and the good news is they are simple and easy to use.

Download any of the tools and enter your website URL in the search space. You can then view the results per page, link, or generally and analyze them. Now, fix the red-marked broken links to improve your website SEO.

Step 13: Final Leveraging of your site analytics and metrics

Once you complete the SEO audit, check the analytics tool (Google Analytics for our case) is functioning optimally. Once your analytics tool is working well, then compare the results you obtained from our SEO audit with those of the analytics tool. They should be a bit similar or have a few differences.

Step 14:  Analyse your backlinks

With the announcement of Google, algorithm panda is real-time. Then it is one of the main leading factors in telling Google that your site is relevant and another reader would find it useful. they are essential in the technical SEO audit.

You can check your backlink by Ahref tool or MOZ PRO or majestic SEO. You should keep the following things in mins

  • Quality of  backlinks is important than their quantity
  • Backlinks should be coming from relevant sites
  • You should engage social media too
  • Remove any toxic links like irrelevant and low-quality site backlinks

Why is SEO audit important?

If you want to know the importance then our main purpose is to bring our website on the top page and bring high organic traffic. It is only possible by following SEO rules and doing a regular audit to see if your site is missing something.

Google algorithms, your competitors, market trends are always moving. so…

Do you think you are up to date according to changing trends?

We SEO audit our websites to make sure that we are not getting penalized by Google for doing bad practices that are hurting your ranking. So you must check them and improve your weaknesses to rank high. If you want to know how long does an SEO audit take?

Then there is not an exact science to it. It depends upon the tool you are using and the size of your website and quality. But we have taught you the speedy steps to check SEO.

Our guide teaches you how to run an SEO audit free with easy to use tools. Download them and start the process right away. Once you complete the audit, you’ll learn the issues that are making your site rank poorer in search engine results or those that cause it not to rank.

Besides, SEO experts know the value of an SEO audit, and if you’re new to this field, then you may view it as a daunting and unnecessary task. But with the advent of digital marketing, it’s now more important than ever to perform a good SEO on-page audit on your site.