Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an activity undertaken for enhancing the quantity and quality of the traffic by inflating the presence of the webpage or website on the search engine.
To improve the ranking and presence on search engines a number of factors like content, linking, visibility on the search engines, etc are considered. SEO audit is conducted to review and analyze all these factors so as to identify the problems that hinder the ranking on the search engine. Once these are identified it also recommends solutions to the same which are clear and prioritized to improve the functioning of the website.
The SEO audits are too technical in nature. Also, it takes weeks to complete the audit. However, there are some processes that complete the audit efficiently and effectively within hours provided the data is not too extravagant.
SEO audit is to analyze the ranking of the website and identify how to improve the same.
What is an SEO audit?
The main purpose of any website is to have content that is relevant to the user. The ranking factors have now shifted from keyword stuffing to being mobile-friendly. Now the search engines have ranking factors that intend the most on the relevance, legitimacy, and usefulness of the content to the user of the website.
Each page of the website is analyzed and monitored by the search engine for features like security, easy to use, and fast. Accordingly, the SERP ranks webpages and websites on this basis.
Old contents on the website should be continuously updated for newer amendments. Also, the web pages should be monitored for disruptions and barriers that abrupt the traffic.
For all these reasons it is important to have an SEO audit periodically.
Key elements of an SEO audit
Every SEO audit runs around the following factors for a successful and efficient audit:
- Back end aspects like indexing, hosting, etc.
- Front end characteristics such as metadata, content, keywords, etc.
- Backlinks, quality of links, references from outside.
Tools for SEO audit
Following tools can be used for the processes of SEO audit:
- Google Search Console
- Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
- SERP Simulator
- Google Analytics
- Web Page Word Counter
- Google PageSpeed Insights
Step by step process for an audit
- Crawl through the website
Crawl through the website to find out the hitch in the website such as unlinked pages, lower count of words, duplicate content, excessive redirects, etc. If any of such issues are found, then we know that now we have to work to solve the issue.
2. Ensure that only one version is available for browsing
If there exist multiple versions of any website then the search engine gets mixed messages to show the results to the expected traffic. And then there is a very likely that the user may browse through the wrong website. This may prove hazardous. Also, this needs to be checked for the mobile and desktop versions.
3. Indexation issues are checked
If there is no indexation on Google there would never be ranking to a webpage. Hence it is important to check if proper indexation is done and also the count of the number of pages.
Also, shreds of evidences should also be checked if there more pages indexed than the actual pages.
This can happen when there are broken pages and they should be deleted from the index.
4. On-page SEO check
This SEO check is prominent for ensuring that the website is optimized to the full like title tags, headers, duplicate pages, etc. Once the inherent problems are assessed, resolution for the same can also be deciphered
Meta descriptions, the hierarchy on the page, placement of the keywords, all need to be checked and assessed.
5. Ranking to the name
Link and brand building can be done through tactics like running a PR campaign, Google business listing, business directories, presence on social media, etc.
6. Managing internal and external links
Many tools are available to test the links on the website. They show the broken links on the website. Once such links are found they can be remended and reconstructed.
7. Duplicate and thin content
Duplicate content can be on your own website or can be compared with other websites. Both are hazardous.
Also thin content implies very less written content, so it does not have any relevance or value addition to the user.
Such pages should be deleted or beefed up.
8. Site speed
Loading and downloading time should be very fast for any site otherwise it frustrates the user. The contentful paint, speed index, interaction time, meaningful paint, idle CPU and Input latency, all these should be checked thoroughly.
If any of these factors are below average then they need to be rebuild.
9. Off-site SEO and backlink audit
Evaluating the quality of backlinks is essential for the success of an SEO audit. Analyzing the backlink of other relevant websites is equally essential. The volume and position of keywords are also considered in an SEO audit.
10. Structured Data Errors
Structured data like reviews, events, product information needs to have a continuous check for improving the efficiency of the web page
11. Organic Search traffic
The sole purpose of an SEO audit is to enhance the quality traffic of the website. Hence its again essential to monitor the current traffic and perform and resort to ways and means for increasing the organic traffic
12. Direction of ranking
There are many tools through which it is possible to check the trend of the rankings. This way one can monitor the fluctuations in the ranking and then the same can be used to perform the other checks to find out the reason for such fluctuations. Accordingly, the rankings can again be improved.
13. Broken links
One can find the broken links with the help of an SEO audit on the website. Once found these links can be rebuild which will obviously turn into favorable results of the website
14. Content gaps
The content gap is something very interesting. It is through this that you monitor the competitor’s keywords which rank high and your site does not have these keywords at all. Once this is found out such keywords can be targeted for your own website
15. Content audit
In this process, low graded pages are identified. It is obviously the first choice to rebuild, update, and amend the same. But if that seems to be irrelevant then the same is deleted.
This is essential to make the website relevant and legitimate or else bouncing rate increases.
What is SEO auditing?
An SEO audit is evaluating the web presence of the site and checking the best practices for the same. This is actually to find out the foundational problems that affect the SEO performance of any site
Why SEO audit is important?
It is essential to have an SEO audit to find the strengths, threats, and potentials of a site and increasing its performance. SEO technical audit identifies the technical issues of a website and resolutions for the same
How do I check my SEO score?
There are many free as well as paid tools to check the SEO score. Page title, Meta description, keywords, review, Keywords density test, etc are to be checked
How long does an SEO audit take?
The time taken for an SEO audit depends upon the size of the website. For accurate results and recommendations, it takes around two to six weeks for SEO audit
What should be included in an SEO audit?
Review of keyword performance
Evaluating the performance of factoring keyword
Review of all on-page SEO elements
Which one is the best tool to do an SEO audit for your website?
The most recommended SEO tools include Keyword planner, SEMrush, Longtail PRO, Screaming Frog, Deep Crawl, Woorank, site explorer, etc
How do I audit my website?
Following are some of the steps to be followed for auditing the website:
- Choose an audit tool
- Run the website URL through the tool
- Find errors and SEO problems
- Evaluate design
- Assess website content
What are the tools of SEO?
There are free SEO tools like google analytics, search console, Ubersuggest, Mozbar, Woorank, etc. are the tools for SEO. Also, there are many paid SEO tools available
The tools to perform an SEO audit may differ, but one thing that is assured is to keep the website going it is prominent and essential to perform an SEO audit. The more meticulous steps taken in an SEO audit will definitely have an impact on the rankings of your website. Also organized, valuable and relevant content will have its own role to play.
Also Read: SEO Basics for Beginners