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An SEO audit is a norm action for any website to find out existing technical problems and stay ahead of other websites in the same industry.
Actually, if you want to win the SEO race then you have to audit your site frequently. It’s because your website will raise errors time to time and those errors need to be fixed as soon as these are raised.
A rightly done SEO audit has a great impact on improving performance and can serve your website in the ranking position on Google, Bing and other search engines.
An SEO audit can tell you how your website will perform, what the problem that is restricting your site right now to be ranked, what lacks your contents, codes, and links and as a whole what the basics you need to fix today.
So friends let explore the complete guide to SEO Audit for a Website and start implementing these on your own websites or clients. 🙂
Check indexed pages
- Search your web page using Site Search Parameters [site:yoursiteurl] in google. Check the image above for reference.
- Check your homepage, It should be on the first page.
- If your homepage is not showing, there might be some issues, like a penalty or google still, thinks your site a poor website to rank for your branded term.
Check The type of Pages indexed on Google
- What did you see on the site search result? Are all the pages from your website? It’s a good sign.
- If a site search result only shows one or two links from your website and picks other SEO Auditor or Whois.com junk pages as your site search; you may have been penalized by Google. All of the links on the results should come from your site.
- Your website not found after a site search on Google? You surely got a penalty. Go to your webmaster tool and see what’s that worst message google sent you.
Search for the brand and branded terms
- If your homepages are showing up at the top or with correct pages for the branded term (especially the home page), then this is a good sign.
- But, if Google is not showing the right pages like from home pages on the top; then it could be a penalty or lack of backlinks and trust score for the branded terms.
Look for the important pages of your website
- You need to check the indexed pages on the first couple of pages and the last pages of search engines. Do you see any junk pages indexed? Or your important pages are being blocked by robots.txt and missing on the site search result? Take note of those.
- Also, take note of the pages that you don’t want to see on the Google but already been indexed.
Perform a mobile search
- Is your website mobile friendly?
- And what about your landing pages? Are they mobile friendly or not?
- Check the responsiveness of your site or look for a mobile version of the main website.
- There is Google’s Mobile Friendly website test tool to move forward with your SEO Audit.
Check Title Tags & Meta
- Your title tag has to be optimized and unique.
- You need to include your brand name in your title tag.
- A title will be about 55-60 characters (512 pixels).
- Check your important pages with optimized titles and Meta descriptions.
- You need to check missing page titles and meta descriptions.
- Check the amount of optimized and unique content on your important or key pages.
Audit Heading Tags, Images & URLs
- Are your pages important keywords on the H1 and H2 tags?
- Check out the images. They must have an alt text (Image Alternative Tag) and have to be optimized with a primary keyword on the image file & alt tag.
- Your URLs need to be descriptive and optimized. It’s better to put your keywords on your URL rather than some numbers and jargon codes and IDs.
- Your Page URL should be as shorter as possible. Just focus your keywords on the URL and remove the stop words like on, the, to etc. You can add more characters but shorter URLs are better.
- Use ScreamingFrog to analyze your site-wide Heading Tags, Title Tags, Images, and URLs.
Site-wide Content Audit
Homepage content –
- Does your homepage have enough content to provide search engines an understanding of what that page is all about?
- If have then it should be at least 1500 words+ (including posts, titles, URL anchors and other stuff that goes well on the homepage of any website).
Contents of Landing pages –
- How long your contents are? There should be a few paragraphs of in-depth content about the niche or the product or services.
- Provide enough information like statistics, quotes, references and your own unique opinions on it, so that search engines can understand what the page is all about.
- And the landing pages have to be unique. If it’s an e-commerce site; make sure you add enough content before and after of the product specifications that you copied from the vendor website.
Keyword Distribution on Contents
- Do your pages have enough keywords with proper distribution? You have to distribute keywords in all over the body of the landing page.
- Does the page target head terms, mid-tail, and long-tail keywords? If not, do a simple search on Google with your keywords and then scroll down to the end of the search result. You will find some suggested keywords by Google that people have been searching. So, use these long tail keywords on your content. Besides that, you can use LSIGraph to find LSI keywords for the content.
Keyword Cannibalization –
- Are your multiple pages targeting the same keywords? If so, try to merge some unimportant pages into one quality page and target one keyword for one URL. If you can’t handle keyword cannibalization; then Google might be confused on which one to rank.
Content Readability & Titles Audit
- Is your content readable and easily understandable? Your content needs to be well formatted and easy to read.
- Are the Titles unique and eye-catchy? Good and unique headlines worth a lot. Good and unique headlines can easily draw attention to users and can give you the better result in the long run.
Duplicate Content Issues
One URL for each content –
- Does your URL include tracking code?
- Does one content have different URLS? This is often due to the content being replicated. It’s a duplicity and needs to be fixed.
Check for duplicate content –
- Copy some content and put it in quotes and search for it on Google.
- Have you found your content somewhere else? If so, claim that content to Google and report them to remove these copied content from search engines. Or make your content unique.
- Use Copyscape to find the duplicate content on your website.
Accessibility & Indexation Audit
Check the robots.txt –
- Check the robots.txt file and make sure there are no important contents blocked.
- Check your Robots user agent to Googlebot. Use Google’s Robots TXT tester to test your file and make sure its open for Google Bot (You have to sign in to your Google Webmaster Tool for this).
- Is your Sitemap linked from your robots file? Make sure that XML sitemaps are listed in the robots.txt file.
- Check whether XML sitemaps are submitted to Google/Bing Webmaster Tools or not.
- Check pages for meta robots no index tag by using the browsers default developer Tool or page source option.
Number of links on a page –
- How many backlinks your important pages have?100-200 is a good target, but it’s not a rule. While managing links; focus on Quality, not the quantity.
- Check for site-wide broken links. You can use ScreamingFrog for this.
Vertical linking structures –
- Are you giving links to your inner category pages or sub-posts from your homepage? Make sure your homepage links to category pages.
- Category pages link to the sub-category and product pages.
- And your Product pages link to relevant category pages.
Horizontal linking structures –
- Have you linked one page to another relevant page of your site internally? Check out your category pages link to other relevant category pages.
- And your product pages link to other relevant product pages.
SEO Technical Audit
- Are your website links using proper 301 redirection system? You have to check 301s redirects and you can use Live HTTP Headers Firefox plugin to check.
- Do your website has a Canonical Tag? Your website must need a Canonical Tag pointing to the right version of your website (WWW or Non-WWW).
- Have you linked your site with Google Webmaster Tools? There you can make a list of technical problems like 4xx and 5xx errors, inaccessible pages in the XML sitemap, and soft 404s
- Have you set any preferred domain on Webmaster Tool? Verify both of your websites and prefer the right version.
- Does your website use Schema Tags or Microformats Data?
- Does the website has Accelerated Mobile Page version?
- If your site has several language version; then are you using the right Language Tag on the Meta? For example: <meta name=”language” content=”fr-CA”> – indicates that this site is for French users. Or use href lang Language tag suggested by google.
XML Sitemaps –
- Are your XML sitemaps ok?
- Is it following poor site architecture?
- Is there any indexation problems?
- Does it follow proper XML protocols?
- Use Sitemap Inspector to get some idea or solutions.
Page speed Issues –
- What is the Desktop and Mobile Page speed score for your website?
- Check out page load time & score for important pages using Google Page Speed tester.
- You have to check and make sure compression is enabled
- Enable caching
- Your images have to be optimized
- Minify your CSS/JS/HTML
- Your website has to be mobile friendly.
Analytics Audit –
- Is your Analytics tracking code installed on every page of your website? You need to check this using the filter in a Screaming Frog Crawl or by looking for self-referrals or page source.
- Set up Google Analytics for properly tracking and capturing internal searches
- Set up or check Demographics tracking
- If you use Adwords and Adsense then check they are properly linked to your site.
This Complete Guide to SEO Audit for a Website will be helpful for uncovering any problems that are holding a site back. You just need to outline the problems and fix them step by step following this SEO Audit full guidelines.
Hey, Its Shamim – the man behind this blog. Thanks for reading the article above and glad to see that you just have come so far below this page. 😛 I work late at night for LateNightBirds as my IM team works at day. 🙂 Subscribe to get SEO & Marketing resources & hacks once a week to your inbox (Find the box somewhere :D). Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and on YouTube.