Search Engine Optimization Audit or SEO audit is the process of evaluating the friendliness of the search engines towards a website based on several factors. The main idea behind an SEO audit is to ensure that the site is optimized to achieve a high ranking in the search engine results page (SERP).
An SEO site audit is essential due to many reasons. Firstly, it helps in identifying the problem areas on your website that need your attention. This will help you in creating an action plan for correcting them. Secondly, an SEO audit will help keep your website up-to-date with the latest trends in search marketing while helping you remain ahead of your competitors.
A Detailed Guide to SEO Audit Process
In this guide, we have included a step-by-step process on how to do an SEO audit. Keep on reading to find out more about the SEO audit process!
Step 1: Find out Opportunities for Building Internal and External Links
Link building is an integral part of accumulating the website’s authority. An SEO audit cannot be complete without having recommendations for internal and external link building.
- Internal Link Building: The internal links generally pass the link equity within the website’s web pages and are thus essential to form authoritative hierarchies within the site. There is a straightforward way to build internal links, which also helps in saving time. This can be done by creating new content, doing websites searching for the older ones, and building up equity. You can search for anchor text within the site to link the old content with the new one. Read this anchor text optimization guide to maximize your link building efforts.
- External Link Building: Domain authority can also be increased by earning links from different authoritative domains. This can be done by searching for a list of resources that can be featured in the content and then linking them.
Step 2: Find out Information about Architecture Improvements
Architecture information is how information is structured or ordered. When it comes to a website SEO audit, it refers to redistributing the internal linking structures on the website and passing equity to the web pages that require it. This can also mean that you have to work with designers and developers for creating user-friendly solutions that can enhance page authority without reducing the user experience.
Step 3: Identify if there is any Thin Content
If you have thin content, your web pages would not be ranked higher in SERPs. A ‘thin content’ is the one that cannot meet the needs of the user. Panda, a Google algorithm tool founded in the year 2011, can update and track down websites with thin content. Content thinning can be avoided and corrected by the following ways:
- Copy deck: One method of finding thin content is by checking each web page individually and giving recommendations based on the elements in the page and how they fit in the website overall.
- Top pages: You can export the top 10 or top 10 web pages depending on the traffic level. Make sure they are properly strengthened.
Step 4: Search for Duplicate Content
You would be looking at the same subsets of your website while searching for duplicate content as you did it in the case of thin content. Since Google would easily know if you have duplicate content on your website, it would be a good idea to check for any duplicate content on your website and correct it.
Step 5: Optimize the Website with Target Keywords
There would be certain areas of your website where you cannot fully optimize the ancillary and target keywords. Depending on whether you have a business website or a blog, the target keywords can also vary. Target keywords also help in increasing the traffic on your website. Finding out the correct keywords and optimizing the site with the target keywords forms an essential step in the SEO website audit process.
Ensure that all the web pages are fully optimized for target keywords so that the web pages can appear in organic search results.
Step 6: Optimize Meta Tags
Meta tags are composed of a meta title as well as a meta description. They also help Google in determining whether the content of the website is crawling or not. This can be a big factor for ranking higher in SERPs. Meta tags also help the user look at the search results without having to open the website
Step 7: Identify Opportunities for Updating Pages
Even when you make minute changes to the site, it gives a signal to Google to crawl the site. Regularly updating the website would keep the content fresh and make it relevant when it comes to search engines. While it is essential to update the top page, it is also important to keep updating the ‘opportunity pages.’ These are the pages that will gain importance once the website moves up in the SERP.
Step 8: Analyze Page Speed
The loading speed of a page also plays a vital role in ranking a website higher on the SERP. Hence, it needs to be considered in an SEO audit. The faster a website is, the higher the chances of it being ranked higher in search engines, especially in organic searches.
You can use a useful tool in this regard- PageSpeed Insights. It gives an insight into the webpages’ speed and gives you suggestions on how to improve them.
Step 9: Check for any errors on the Website
One of the common mistakes that can appear due to broken images and links is the “page not found” error or Error 404. While broken links would not cause site penalties, they can result in fracturing the website’s internal linking structure. It can also make it difficult for the users to navigate from one webpage to the other.
Several site audit tools can help in identifying Error 404 on the website. After identification, you can fix these errors to improve the link structure as well as user experience.
SEO audit is an essential process for optimizing your website and improving its ranking in organic search results. The above steps would help you in conducting an SEO audit effectively.
Swathi S, an indispensable member of the Stan Ventures SEO team, is the current outreach specialist at the organization. Known for her way with words, Swathi is a frequent blogger who keeps a tab on the latest SEO updates and guest posting services at the firm. You can reach her at Facebook | Linkedin