The 13-Step SEO Audit: How to Find Your SEO Mistakes & Opportunities

Written by: Leonard Parker | Local Search Marketing | 11th May

SEO audit

What is an SEO Site Audit?

 

An SEO audit is a complete analysis of all the factors that affect the positioning and visibility of a website in search engines.

 

Audit of a website allows the website owner to detect hidden content, duplicate entries, and navigational issues. Site audit also allows analyzing performance issues, site architecture, and bad links.

 

Sometimes, an SEO audit and technical SEO audit are used interchangeably; however, there is a difference between these terms.

 

What is a Technical SEO Audit?

 

It differs from the general audit because it mainly focuses on resolving technical issues related to the structure and coding of a web page.

 

For instance, checking sitemaps, index, web crawlers, and link content are part of the technical foundation that needs to be fixed for better rankings.

 

While a typical SEO website audit looks for broken links, slow page speed, image tags, and anchor text, the technical audit also includes deep analysis of a web page technical foundation.

 

Why SEO Audit is Important?

 

An audit is a type of diagnosis, which tells us what is good and what is wrong with the website. It is logical to think that Google and other search engines do not prefer websites that are not useful to search engine visitors.

 

SEO audit is important to enhance user experience and improve ranking because search engines will prefer a well-maintained website. From the webmaster's perspective, if the website is well organized, it has a better chance of success, online.

 

How much does an SEO audit cost?

 

There are no specific guidelines on how much experts should charge for an SEO audit. The cost can run anywhere from a hundred dollars to thousands depending on the size of an audit.

 

The overall cost will depend on the number of pages, the structure of the content, the languages, and whether the website has an e-commerce platform.

 

The 13-Step SEO Audit Checklist

 

To gain a better understanding of website audit, here is a 13-step guide on how you can audit and fix your website:

 

Website Accessibility

 

As a first step, make sure that all of your pages are accessible to website crawlers.

 

For instance, you should check the robot.txt file and ”˜Robots' Meta tag to guarantee that the search engine crawler is able to crawl web pages without any issues.

 

You can also modify your ”˜Robots' Meta tag to tell crawlers what page they should and should not crawl.

 

Indexed Pages

 

Once you're sure that there is nothing wrong with the crawlers, the second step is to see if all the pages are indexed correctly. If your initial assessment about the crawl is accurate, all of your pages, that you want to be indexed, should be on the search engine.

 

A simple site request, “site:www.mydomain.com” will reveal all the pages on the website that are indexed by the search engine.

 

Page Structure

 

If the search crawler is able to crawl the pages and those pages are indexed correctly, there shouldn't be any problem. If certain pages are still not indexed, you should check website navigation.

 

A good site navigational structure not only enhances the user experience, but it also allows the search engine crawlers to crawl and index the page easily.

 

Internal Links

 

After analyzing pages, it's time to look at internal and external links.

 

If you have too many faulty links on your page, you may need to review your link structure. Internal links that lead to nowhere or links that are prone to errors will reduce the ranking of a website.

 

Don't clutter your webpage with too many links because it will be difficult for the search crawlers to understand the structure.

 

External Links

 

Keep an eye on the external links to your webpage. If there are lots of spammy and low-quality pages linking to your website, you can be penalized by the search engine.

 

There are a lot of free SEO audit tools that allow you to review your external links, and delete suspicious or spam links.

 

OnPage Factors

 

Once links are taken care of, you should look to audit on-page factors such as Meta title, Meta description, and H tags for headings.

 

Make sure that your Meta titles are in order without any discrepancies. Similarly, pay close attention to how your H Headline tags are configured. You should review if H1 to H6 tags are structured according to a meaningful structure.

 

Content

 

Content is a part of on-page factors; therefore, you should check if all of the images on your page have alt tags and they are compressed accordingly.

 

It is also important to review JavaScript, CSS, and interactive files ensuring that these technical components are not taking excess time to load or interfering with the user experience.

 

Keywords

 

These days, everyone is infatuated with their keywords. Website owners often put the excess time in ranking their keywords forgetting that they also need to audit keywords.

 

A keyword audit will help in evaluating keyword positions across the Internet. You can search for potential winners and losers ensuring that losers get less focus compared to your winning keywords.

 

SEO KPI

 

Google and other search engines have started to consider certain key performance indicators to rank websites.

 

These KPI include metrics such as click-through rate, bounce rate, and time on a web page. Make sure that you write quality content and good headings that are attractive to consumers.

 

As a result, your metrics will automatically provide a positive outlook and increased rankings on search engines.

 

Responsive Websites

 

Mobile friendly and responsive websites are the mainstay of most successful websites. Just make sure that your website looks as good on a mobile as on a laptop.

 

There are tons of free tools on the Internet where you can check your website's mobile friendliness and how they look on different devices.

 

International Orientation

 

If you sell products and services to a global community, it helps to create a multilingual website.

 

The “hreflang” attribute tells Google which language and country the website is focusing on. The attribute can be added to the sitemap or the "head" section of a page.

 

Rich Snippets

 

You can enhance the user experience by adding rich snippets to the website structure. Google and other search engines use Rich Snippets to highlight the content and services of a page.

 

These rich snippets can be edited for potential search engine visibility using free Google tools or using Google search console under the structured data. You can decide which content is important for viewers and how you can create great snippets using the correct source code.

 

Local SEO

 

For local businesses, it is imperative that their business shows up in the local search listings on search engines. For instance, if you own a local Houston business, Local SEO audit involves checking if the business is listed in “Google My Business”.

 

You should also study the city and geographical location of your business and use the geo-targeted and geo-modified keyword to increase local visibility in Houston.

 

Still need more direction with your SEO audit? Give us a call today and we can assist you.