An SEO site audit is an analysis of everything related to the search visibility of your website. It is meant to give you a deeper understanding of why your site is not generating traffic number goals or why your sales and conversions are not improving.
Adding keywords, content and header tags, and creating backlinks used to get ranks, but it doesn’t anymore. Search engines are looking for more intelligent data like site speed and responsiveness, content, authority, and technical code, among other things you may not know.
Why Website Audits Are Important?
Search engines are constantly changing how they compute search results when someone performs a query.
If you don’t regularly perform site audits, you may not be optimized for the results. You can stuff keywords until you’re blue in the face and it won’t improve your chances of ranking.
Performing a site audit yourself helps you hone in on the metrics that you find critical to your business, but many SEO audit tools are more comprehensive than the items listed above and may include areas you don’t know to look.
What An SEO Audit Includes?
In-depth SEO site audits are not quick. Set aside a few days to do it properly. If you have a large website, it could take longer. You want to ensure you find all of the issues and create actionable direction on how to improve.
A manual review of your site in conjunction with several different reports helps you retrieve a variety of data from various sources to give you the best chance of improvement. Every audit should include the following minimum requirements:
- A technical audit to make sure your site is responsive.
- An on-site audit including a full review of all pages for proper keyword use.
- An off-site audit analyzing backlinks, anchor text, authority, and trust.
- A social audit reviewing mentions and visibility.
What To Expect From An SEO Audit?
An SEO site audit should provide a detailed analysis of how your website performs in search, social media, and other internal or external links related to its existing state.
Included in the results is a list of action items with explanations and a marketing strategy, enabling you to take advantage of opportunities for improvement.
Do It Yourself
The cost for an in-depth audit prepared by a professional is cost prohibitive for some businesses. There are SEO audit tools available online to run your audit and start impacting changes, but it’s not difficult to perform your own as long as you have a guide. So let’s dive in.
The most important part of the SEO site audit is checking your website to measure its optimization for search. Take into account titles and descriptions, URL structure, text formatting, and content.
Titles and descriptions should be unique for each page. If the user can’t tell from the title what the page is about, then rework it. The report should provide direction and let the user know what problem that page solves.
URLs should be unique and correctly formatted. A URL is a string of text with no spaces, but that doesn’t mean it is hard to read. In fact, it should help the user to identify precisely where they are on your site.
For example, www.format.com/this-is-correct tells the visitor what website they are on, and which subpage they are viewing. URLs contain keywords, include hyphens to separate words, are unique for each page, and are less than 255 characters.
Text Formatting Includes tags, bold, and italics for emphasis. Lists break up big blocks of text, helping with readability.
Unique Content Helps with indexing and prevents the assignment of penalties from search engines. High-quality content is free of spelling and grammar errors. Maintaining a frequent posting schedule helps keep content fresh and relevant.
Links Show search engines that you value other industry experts’ opinions, and you foster an environment of learning among internet users.
Use keyword anchor text for links and check periodically to make sure the links still work. There are free tools on the internet that review your site and return a report of all broken links.
A good rule of thumb is to use between two and ten internal links to other pages on your site, along with linking to valuable external sources. Linking to pages from your home page ranks them higher on search engines.
Images Make a web page easier to read and more attractive for sharing on social media. Be sure your images don’t affect page load times, or it can work against you.
File names should describe what the image is about and should have an ALT tag. Consider compressing images to minimize their size if you use a lot of them.
User Friendliness Is subjective, but there are things you can do to make your site more helpful. Make your 404 page descriptive if a user types an incorrect URL. Minimize clicking to internal pages to ensure a user finds what they need in three clicks or less.
Define Your Main Menu And keep your interface and navigation consistent across all pages. Group content into relevant categories and pages, make your contact page easily accessible and implement breadcrumbs or another identifier on all internal pages, so users know where they are and how to get back.
Page Speed Affects ranking and conversion rates and contributes to user-friendliness, so use audit tools available to you to check page speed and give recommendations on how you can improve it.
Social media affects SEO in the form of links and exposure. You can optimize your site for sharing by adding images, making it easy to read, and keeping content blocks short.
Ensure you have a presence on social media so followers can tag you, tweet you, and spread the word about your brand.
Linking to relevant external sources in your blog helps to build credibility with other experts in your industry.
By sharing blogs on social media sites, you begin to develop inbound links, amplifying your marketing power.
Linking to other blogs on your site sometimes generates a ‘return the favor’ sort of attitude within the community, and simply linking to other people’s work can build a good foundation for awareness. You can also create organic inbound links by guest blogging on someone else’s site.
Performing and off-site SEO audit provides a list of inbound links. It’s hard to do this yourself because you may not know who is linking to you.
There are tools available online to return a list. Determine how many unique domains link to you and whether they are trusted.
Learn how many links point to your home page versus other internal pages, which pages have the most inbound links, and what percentage of the links are keyword based.
If you need to increase the number of inbound links, you can use the social media strategy mentioned above. Once you have a list of who is linking to you, you can reduce harmful links by requesting that the site administrator remove them.
Keyword-based links are useful, but if you have too many, Google may penalize you, so have a good handle on this number and keep it under control.
Web Site Promotion
Promoting your website online goes beyond SEO. Performing a site audit involves looking outside of your SEO strategy to things like mobile, customer education, and the big picture.
Optimize the mobile version of your site to accommodate the fifty percent or more of searches made on mobile phones.
Develop an Android app for the millions of new Android users per day. Establish a YouTube presence to firmly plant your foot as an industry expert and reach the millions of people who search for expertise on YouTube every minute.
What An SEO Audit Accomplishes
An SEO audit identifies missing opportunities, finds potential customers, and suggests ways to reach them. An SEO site audit gives business owners ideas for improving their online presence.
It’s a complete assessment of errors or issues, and many online tools will suggest improvements based on the results. The goal of a proper SEO site audit is to increase organic traffic, improve conversions, and grow revenue.
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