Why an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is conducted to check the health of a website in terms of performance and traffic. The audit looks at the architecture, and several on-page and off-page elements of your website so that you can optimize visibility and conversion.
Making sure you are doing SEO the right way is as important as optimizing your site for better performance. You need to make sure that your website always stays at the top.
As per Gotchseo.com, you should ideally perform an audit at the start of a new project and at the start of every quarter. However, in case your website starts giving you some warning signs you should then conduct an audit immediately.
Some of the warning signs include low traffic than usual, higher Pay per click costs and bounce rates. An audit will show you what factors are influencing these metrics so that you can take appropriate actions. Also, an audit is necessary when there has been considerable change in the algorithms so that you can maximize the compatibility of your website.
Here are some things that you should take care of while conducting an SEO evaluation.
Analysing where you stand in front of your competition is the most important part of an SEO audit. You can conduct competitive analysis by first identifying your competitors and then finding out what keywords competitors are using, what is their monthly traffic and traffic value. You can easily get this information through SEO software such as SEMRush.
RankWatch is yet another useful tool that allows you to analyse every minute detail about your competitors. You can see their rankings, ad copies and more through this tool.
The next thing that you need to do is crawl the website to identify the issues. Crawling basically means seeing how Google is reading your website. There are various tools that can help you with crawling.
DeepCrawl is one such tool that can do that. It doesn’t just point out technical fixes, it also gives you recommendations. The price of this tool will depend on the number of pages you plan to crawl. You should also look at robots.txt files to see if crawlers are blocking any sources and if they are meeting all the protocols.
Also, look for any duplicate content that might be there. Duplicate content usually includes, but is not limited to, meta titles and description, subdomains, and improperly implemented pagination pages.
Once you are done with crawling you need to check if your website is accessible by your target audience or not. Some of the common accessibility issues that your website can face include 404 errors, long server response time and slow page loading. You can easily check your site’s accessibility through Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Accessibility issues can lead to overall technical SEO issues that hurt your search rankings.
4. Link analysis
In the eyes of Google, your site’s quality depends on the number of quality sites linked to it and hence your ranking is dependent on the links. There are tools in the Google search console that determine internal and external links and check which data is important. You can leverage some tools such as OpenSiteExplorer and Ahrefs to conduct a link analysis.
Some of the things that you need to keep in mind while conducting link analyses is the number of unique root domain your site is linked with, whether the backlinks are even relevant to the topic of your website and the trustworthiness of the root domains.
You need to check how many pages of your website are being actually indexed by search engines. One easy way to check that is through “site” command that most of the search engines offer today.
For example, on Google you can write “site:yoursitename” and get a rough estimate of the number of pages that are indexed. If the indexed number is significantly less than the number of actual pages then it means your site is not being indexed properly and in the case the indexed count is way greater than the actual count that means your site has duplicate content.
6. Site architecture
The overall structure of your website is basically your site architecture including horizontal breadth and vertical depth. To check if your site architecture is robust, see if the most important pages are given priority, and how many times do you have to click to get to important pages from the homepage. You should try and make your site as flat as possible.
You also need to check the information architecture of your website, which is basically a blue print of how information is presented on the website. Analysis of information architecture shows the purpose of each page. The important thing that you need to keep in mind is users and what actions do you want them to take. This will help increase your conversions.
7. On-page ranking
Google utilizes page rankings to determine the importance or relevance of a page. Google basically sees the number of links on a page to determine its value. On-page ranking or optimization is done since users and search engines use content differently and page optimization basically tries to please both of them. You can check page ranking from the toolbar of your browser. If you can’t find it then you need to install Google toolbar.
Thousands of websites are competing with each other for the first spot on the first page of search engines and hence today SEO and SEO audits are important more than ever. You can keep on optimizing your website, but if you’re not doing it the right way, then it is probably of no use.
It is not necessary that you conduct an audit only when you see symptoms. In fact, you will be probably late by then. You should conduct an SEO audit every now and then to make sure that your website always stays relevant and on the top.
ABOUT Erica Silva
Erica Silva is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Currently, she is associated with Airg Team for development work. Check out her firm’s performance reviews.
Find her on Twitter:@ericadsilva1