Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Audit

SEO Audit: An Overview

On signing a new client, the first step for a SEO professional is to do an in-depth SEO audit.

To get where you want to be, you need to know where you are right now.

An SEO audit can give you a roadmap on how to get to where you want to be – where people are looking for you, by increasing your visibility in Google as well as other SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

Any error or issues in any site can be analyzed and optimized to start ranking and eventually be visible.

It can be difficult to know where to begin, to understand the important areas of a website you should be assessing, how to analyze and what tools to use.

We are here to help you with that in this article.

Let’s get started.

What is a SEO Audit?

SEO Audit/SEO Analysis

SEO Audit is a process of analyzing and evaluating a website to understand what is working, how well it is performing, what is not working and what is missing based on best practices and SERP algorithms that enables organic search.

It essentially is a “health check” for your website that needs to be done on a regular basis.

The main goal of an audit is to help achieve higher rankings in the search engine results by optimization.

SEO Audit provides measurable results with an implementation plan to optimize, fix errors and help improve the site.

For a SEO professional, it is important to connect the dots and highlight the issues that are affecting the website’s online business objectives, goals and revenue.

First step is to analyze the content on the page through keyword reporting that helps understand:

  • Which keywords have been optimized for the content
  • How well the content is performing
  • What keywords the site ranks for

Next step is to identify as many foundational issues as possible that affect organic search.

Foundational issues:

  • Technical SEO
  • Website structure
  • On-page SEO
  • Off-site problems
  • User experience
  • Content duplicates and gaps
  • Competitor insights

An SEO audit can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks depending on the size of your site.

The outcome of any SEO audit needs to convey an easy to follow roadmap.

Why Is It Important to Audit Your Website on a Regular Basis?

You will miss out on a significant amount of traffic of potential customers from search engines if your website is not properly search optimized. 

The higher the page ranks on the SERP, the more traffic you will get and thereby more leads and customers.

Brands can find ways to improve when they develop a better understanding of their current level of optimization.

To make sure everything is in order it is important to have regular checkups or audits on a regular basis for long-term success of your website’s performance.

SEO audits are an important aspect to keep your SEO strategy up to date.

They are a great way to:

  • Analyze competition’s SEO activity
  • Create actionable plans to outperform your competitors
  • Identify opportunities within your website
  • Find and fix exit points
  • Create better customer experiences

Why do you need to perform an SEO audit? 

  • To provide better search results, Google and other search engines constantly update their algorithms. You need to make adjustments to the content of your website accordingly and need to be aware about these changes.
  • Doing an audit will expose you to any errors or broken links that can be redirected to recover lost traffic.
  • The content on your website should not be outdated and re-evaluated so that you can provide fresh updated and relevant content.

What Is Analyzed in an SEO Audit?

Based on how the performance impacts the brand, SEO analysis is done to:

  • Analyze the targeted keyword how high the content ranks
  • The impact it has on traffic rates and leads

Accessibility, indexation and optimization is what a high level audit should cover.

3 key factors to analyze during an SEO audit:

  • Back-end technical audit – hosting and indexing
  • Front-end on-page audit – content, keywords, metadata and link quality
  • Log audit

Key Elements of SEO Audit

Technical Audit/Technical SEO

For Google and other search engines to deliver the right content to the users at the right time from your site, it is necessary to perform Technical SEO optimizations that make your site more efficient, crawlable and indexable.

  • Site architecture
  • Indexation analysis
  • Status Codes
  • Redirects
  • Page Speed
  • URL Structure
  • Robots.txt
  • XML Sitemap
  • Canonical Tags
  • Duplication
  • Crawlability
  • Domain Issues
  • Off-page Analysis
  • Mobile SEO analysis

Here’s what you should be looking out for:

Crawl Website

Check for issues that may be holding your site back

Identify problems such as:

  • Duplicate content
  • Low word count
  • Unlinked pagination pages
  • Excess redirects

Check your robots.txt file

It states the parts of your website that should and should not be crawled.

  • Allow
  • Disallow

Tools

  • Screaming Frog
  • Beam Us Up (Free)

Check is Site indexable

Understand whether the pages on our site are being indexed.

Google Search Console Coverage Report

  • Redirect errors, 404s.
  • Pages that are indexed but have warnings
  • Pages that are indexed.
  • Pages that are excluded from being indexed
  • Analyse URLs with URL inspection tool

Google Search

  • Site:yourdomain

Example:

site:digikaria.com

Review Sitemap

 It helps crawlers to find and rank your website and web pages.

Tools

  • Yoast SEO plugin
  • Screaming Frog
  • Rank Math

Manual Google Search

It tells you how well your website is ranking.

  • How many web pages appear in the search results?
  • When you search your website by name, does it appear first?
  • Where does your site appear in the results overall?

Check if website is mobile-friendly

Built your website to be compatible on mobile.

  • Spot any errors
  • Check contact forms
  • Phone numbers
  • Functionality of all pages

Tool

Check Site Speed

The longer your page takes to load, the higher the bounce rate will be.

Tools

  • Ubersuggest
  • Google PageSpeed Insights

Review duplicate content

Google Search – info:www.your-domain-name.com

Leverage Analytics

  • Compare the metric data
  • Check Your Bounce Rate

Tools

  • Google Analytics
  • Kissmetrics
  • MozBar

On-Page Audit

  • Site Content Structure
  • Keyword Research
  • Page Copy Theme Analysis
  • Keyword Use
  • Meta Data Analysis (Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Heading Tags)
  • Schema
  • User Experience
  • Images & Video
  • Internal Linking & HTML Sitemap

Server Log Audit

  • Crawl Budget Analysis
  • User Agent Analysis

What are the Tools required for the SEO Audit?

SEO Audit Tools:

  • Screaming Frog
  • Ahrefs
  • Integrity (Mac) and Xenu Sleuth (PC)
  • SEO Browser
  • Wayback Machine
  • Moz
  • SERP Simulator
  • BuzzSumo
  • DeepCrawl
  • Copyscape
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Google Tag Manager Chrome Extension
  • Annie Cushing’s Campaign Tagging Guide
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Google PageSpeed Insights
  • Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
  • Bing Webmaster Tools
  • You Get Signal
  • Pingdom
  • PageSpeed Tool
  • Sublime Text
  • Web Page Word Counter

Conclusion

It is valuable for a company’s website when SEO audits are done regularly.

What works today, may not work 6 months or a year from now and thereby SEO audit must be analyzed and optimised regularly that can improve the website’s performance and increase conversions.

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