Conducting an SEO audit from time to time helps improve ranking on Google search results.
Optimizing your website starts with a single audit. It’s an essential step that every digital marketer, SEO specialist, or website owner should take to improve their rankings on search engine results pages and attract more organic traffic.
If you want to increase your visibility and exposure in the digital marketplace, we are here to help. We’ve outlined the steps you need to take when conducting a complete SEO audit for your website.
What is SEO Audit?
Before discussing the ultimate SEO audit checklist, let’s get to the basics first and define an audit.
An SEO audit is a process that analyzes how your website observes the best SEO practices. It is the first step in creating an implementation plan with measurable results. The audit aims to find as many foundational issues that affect organic search performance as possible. Some of the issues that an SEO audit tool can reveal include the following:
- Technical SEO Issues
- User-experience Issues
- On-page SEO issues
- Website Structure Issues
- Potential Off-site Problems
An audit is a routine procedure that should be done regularly. It’s a health check for your website.
Why It’s Important to Conduct an Audit
Routinely checking your website is vital to ensure that it is current and in good condition. With a periodic SEO audit report, you can avoid any potential website problems before they occur.
Aside from making sure that your website remains updated, there are also other reasons why you should perform a technical SEO audit from time to time. Here are some of them:
- Search Engines Updates – Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are constantly changing their algorithms to deliver better results to their users. Similarly, it would be best to make changes to your website content to keep up.
- Webmaster’s Guidelines – Google and Bing’s popular webmaster tools constantly change. Since these tools provide you with the data you need to rank higher, you must comply with them.
- Meta Data – When you appear on search engine results pages, your title tags and meta descriptions are the first things visitors see about you. They should be relevant to your site’s content.
- Outdated Content – Your site may contain outdated content. You need to provide search engines with relevant and current content. Reevaluate your content and get rid of it if people stop visiting or returning to your site every six months. Give them reasons to return.
Complete SEO Audit Template
Now that you already know what a technical SEO audit is and why it’s crucial for your website, it’s time to know how to do it. We’ve prepared a list of the complete steps to serve as your SEO audit template.
Here’s our ultimate SEO audit checklist:
1. Check if your website is mobile-friendly.
Mobile SEO has never been more important. First, 60% of searches are made from mobile devices. Second, Google also started to use its Mobile-First Algorithm. It means that Google now uses your mobile site for both desktop and mobile searches.
So, how do you determine if your website is mobile-friendly? Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Enter your website into the tool to see if Google has considered it mobile-friendly.
2. Ensure that Google indexes a version of your website.
It’s possible to have different versions indexed by Google. Yes, you read that right. For example, here are four different versions of the same site:
These URLs might look pretty similar to you and me. But to Google, they are not the same. Google will treat these URLs as separate websites if you don’t correctly redirect them.
It is easy to fix. Type the four versions you want into your browser. All of them should end up at the same URL. Don’t worry if a site version isn’t properly redirecting. Use 301 redirect to redirect it to the version you prefer to use.
3. Improve page-loading speed.
Google has confirmed for years that the loading speed of your site is a ranking element. They released a new update a while back, that makes speed even more important. Here are some tips to make your website load fast:
- Clean up your website’s HTML code. PageSpeed Insights will help you identify any issues in your code. Your homepage isn’t the only page you should analyze. You should also check popular pages, such as blog posts, service pages, or category pages.
- Conduct a speed test. This type of test loads your entire website and identifies any bottlenecks that slow your web pages down. You can use great tools like WebPageTest or GTMetrix.
- Crunch the images on your website. Large images can slow down your website’s speed. This is why it’s recommended that you compress them using a tool such as Kraken.
4. Find and delete extra pages.
Type site: plus the link to your website on Google (for example, site:abc.com). The results will display how many pages Google has indexed. If the number that shows up is higher than you expected, you’re not alone.
Some website owners have between 50% to 75% more indexed pages than expected. It turns out that deleting these extra pages can result in more organic traffic.
5. Determine and fix indexing problems.
This next item on our SEO audit checklist needs you to to locate web pages that Google doesn’t index. Open the Google Search Console. You will see a list of pages it’s unable to index.
6. Check your organic traffic.
Find out how much organic traffic your site is getting. Go to Google Analytics to find out. This tool will allow you to track how many people visited your website via search engines in the last month.
Don’t get worked up if your organic traffic is declining or flat. This step on our SEO audit checklist is merely to establish benchmarks. Once you’re done with the audit, things should improve.
7. Enhance your On-Page SEO.
It cannot be denied that on-page SEO is critical. You probably don’t have the time to optimize every page of your website. Fortunately, you don’t need to. Here’s what you can do instead:
- Identify your five most important pages. These can be pages targeting an important keyword or getting less traffic than they did back in the day.
- These pages should be optimized using the best SEO practices on-page, such as including keywords in your title tag or including them in the first 100 words.
8. Track your ranking for specific keywords.
It’s now time to track your ranking on search results. Numerous rank-tracking tools are available, such as SEMRush, Ahrefs, Advanced Web Ranking, and SEO Profiler. Doing so lets you know if improvements are needed.
9. Analyze your backlinks.
The next step on our SEO audit checklist is analyzing backlinks. Here’s how you can do it:
- To begin, enter your homepage into a backlink analyzer tool. You’ll receive a report about your links.
- Next, examine the referring domains and the Domain Authority—a measure of how authoritative your site is based on both the quality and quantity of backlinks.
- Look out for harmful links. Remove links from suspicious sites if you notice a lot of them.
10. Fix Broken Links
Google stated a few years ago that they don’t lose sleep over broken links. These links can affect user experience and hurt your SEO strategy. Here’s how to fix them:
- First, search for broken pages on your website that Google cannot index.
- Next, you can use a tool to help you find broken external and internal links.
How Advanced Digital Media Services Can Help
Conducting an SEO audit is essential to improve and maintain rankings on search results. At Advanced Digital Media Services, we utilize the best and latest SEO audit tool. We can provide you with an in-depth SEO audit report from time to time. Our team will be your guide in navigating the digital world.
If you have inquiries regarding our SEO services in Denver, CO, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will be more than happy to discuss how we can help you achieve your business goals through digital marketing. Give us a call today so we can start helping you dominate the online world!