It is highly important to do an SEO audit for your website regularly for various reasons. No matter, how frequently do you optimize your site for backlinks and keywords, site audit has its own benefits. SEO audit not only helps you know the areas of opportunities and errors of your current website but also allows you to plan new strategies that really work to boost the traffic and conversions.
Moreover, getting a good amount of traffic even without giving your site an audit doesn’t mean that you can continue the same. With the growing competition, a website that is not given a health checkup is definitely going to be sick in the near future. If you have a website, then it has to undergo an audit especially if you are expecting some energy out of it.
SEO audit is just detecting and fixing issues such as broken links, loading speed, duplicate content according to most of the people with basic SEO skills. But in reality, SEO audits go far beyond that. Below are the benefits of performing an SEO audit for your website. But before that, if you wonder what exactly is website SEO audit, then this is for you. An SEO audit is a process of examining the performance of each detail of your website prior to the search engine bots to improve the search engine rankings and hence traffic and conversions.
Benefits of doing SEO audit:
There are many reasons why your website needs an SEO audit. Check them below:
- To improve overall website performance.
- To maximize the visibility of your website.
- Helps to make your website search engine and user friendly.
- To boost search engine rankings.
- As a result, your organic traffic grows.
- To promote brand awareness.
- SEO audit is a great alternative to competitive PPC ads.
- For an increased conversion rate.
As a website owner or a digital marketer who is working for his client, everyone’s goal is to improve the conversion rate and achieve high ROI. If you fall into the same category, then you must learn how to do an SEO audit for your website immediately. But performing a complete website audit isn’t a simple task, it requires SEO practice, an ample amount of time and effort. However, you can still achieve your goals by relying on trusted SEO agencies such as Lojix which is an affordable SEO agency based out in London. They will help you in auditing your site and fixing the challenges to boost your website growth.
But as a digital marketer or a website owner, you need to have complete (or at least basic) knowledge about what goes in the process of SEO audit to understand and work on your website anytime in the future. Keep reading this article till the end to learn about how to do an SEO audit for a website.
Steps to do an SEO audit for a website
Start from crawling
It is important to get your website crawled by external crawling tools such as Screaming Frog. This helps you know how your website is performing and is being judged by search engines. Crawling your website lets you know if there are any broken links, duplicate content, blocked URLs. So that you can create a checklist of what to fix and work on them before the actual search engine spiders crawl your website.
Check for website performance
Loading speed, user experience, accessibility are important factors when talking about website performance. Check if the page speed and overall site speed are maximum with tools such as GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools, PageSpeed Insights etc. Over 70% of users will bounce back if websites take more than 2 seconds of loading time. So, make sure your website loads faster to eliminate the bounce rate.
Also, optimize your website or blog for all devices such as mobiles, desktops, and tablets. As a major part of the people use mobiles for browsing, your website must be mobile responsive, else you will fail in delivering positive user experience.
The other most important thing is you need to look back at your website accessibility which means proper alt texts, file names, understandable headings and titles for users, proper usage of links avoiding spammy words such as ‘click here’. Also, the relevant internal and external links to make the user’s journey easy on the web also matters a lot.
Conduct Technical SEO audit
- Analyze your domain
Set up Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Webmaster tools to submit your domain and get it analyzed by them. So that you can monitor, and troubleshoot any issue you face with Google search results such as crawling and indexing.
- Optimize URLs
It is important to optimize the URLs with relevant keywords, hyphens and remove the numbers or any other characters. Check if the URLs of all the web pages follow the above rule and are less than 255 characters.
Also, maintain a proper canonical URL set for your website, otherwise, search engines may consider content as duplicate which is a bad ranking factor.
- Fix errors
Make sure the pages are optimized well for error codes such as 404 errors. Also, fix the errors such as 4xx or 5xx codes. It is better to monitor the pages with links frequently to avoid these errors.
- XML Sitemap optimization
Make it easy for crawlers to find the road map with an optimized XML Sitemap. The XML Sitemaps consist of all the important webpages of your website that should be crawled and ranked more often. They are submitted to the Search console tool.
- Secured with HTTPS?
As you know website security is one of the important Google ranking factors, you should also secure your website with HTTPS. So that you gain trust from both visitors and search engines.
- Make navigation easy
Make sure you also create easy navigation for users and crawlers with breadcrumbs. Also, check if the site architecture is properly optimized with primary web pages listed on the top navigation bar with hierarchy maintained.
- Optimize robots.txt file
Robots.txt file helps you to allow crawlers to crawl only the desired pages. Check if all the webpages are given proper commands else the indexing issues may seriously affect your ranking.
On-Page search engine optimization
On-Page SEO is a crucial part of an SEO audit. All the factors in on-page SEO play a critical role in search engine rankings. Let’s see how to optimize them for experiencing a lift in website ranking.
First things first, as the content is the king, it needs to be smart, powerful and original. Duplicate content and low-quality content can badly affect your rankings. The other important thing is relevancy. Make sure the content under the title and the URL is decently related and relevant. Irrelevant content is considered simply as spam.
Keywords play a key role in ranking web pages. But make sure you don’t overuse them. Place the related and relevant keywords naturally in the content and in the titles.
Meta titles & descriptions
Too short or too long and duplicate meta details will do no good for your website. So, use the right length of meta titles and meta descriptions and also include strong keywords in them.
Ensure you use robust keywords in H1, H2, H3 tags along with titles. This will actually boost SEO.
Analyze if the internal links are working properly. Check the anchor texts and the number of links on a page. And fix the links that are broken.
As said already, make sure you use alt texts and proper file names along with using relevant and attractive images on your website. Also, compress the images to lower the loading speed.
Off-Page search engine optimization
When it comes to off-page SEO audit backlinks are the most important factor (in fact the only important factor).
Improve your backlink profile by detecting and removing the backlinks from spammy and irrelevant sites. As here, the quality is preferred over quantity; you can only improve your backlink score by maintaining the links that are of high-quality. Meaning, make sure all the links pointed to your site are coming from high authority domains and related niches.
Identify links from toxic and spam sites and remove them. Also, earn links from different domains rather than multiple links from a single domain. This will help you in achieving the benefit of link juice.
You can easily perform backlink audits with SEO tools such as AHrefs, SEMrush etc.
Performing a proper and structured SEO audit for your website will help you grow your website and hence your business. Search engine optimization is always a crucial part of your website to boost your traffic and earn quality leads over paid advertising. So, run SEO audits once or twice in 6 months not just to stay away from penalties due to the latest Google algorithm updates but also to keep your site updated with the fresh keyword trends. Also, regular SEO audits will help you identify all the weak points on your website which you can fix to improve your rankings and traffic furthermore.