Websites and domains often need to adopt several technical practices to stay relevant on the World Wide Web. To detect the areas in which websites might be lagging or to put some improvements in, search engine optimisation (SEO) audits need to be conducted to identify exactly how their website is performing and what they can improve upon.
What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is a comprehensive process, which analyzes the performance of a website or domain. It assesses how well a website is implementing the best practices for search engines. A website SEO audit helps businesses figure out an implementation plan to enhance their SEO-friendliness, and start generating measurable results to boost their website traffic and revenue.
An SEO audit highlights any and all foundational issues that might be affecting the performance of a website in organic searches. SEO site audits also reveal any website structure issues, off-site problems, on-page SEO problems, technical SEO issues, gaps in content development, competitive marketplace opportunities, and much more. An SEO audit is essentially a regular health checkup for your website. So, if you’re wondering about how to do an SEO audit, here are some of the major steps that can help you understand what exactly goes into one.
15 Factors to Consider While Doing an SEO Audit
Check if only one site is browsable
A common issue that is often overlooked is that Google can index different versions of a website. For instance, here are four versions of a single website address:
For Google and other search engines, these websites are not the same. Hence, a 301 redirect must be implemented on the addresses that are not the website’s main address. A technical SEO checklist in an audit helps ensure that only one of these addresses is accessible on a browser so that the remaining ones lead the user to the actual one through redirection.
Check that your website is mobile-friendly
Over 60% of Google searches in 2020 happened via mobile devices. Mobile SEO is as important an SEO factor to examine as any other. Moreover, Google has developed and started using Mobile-First indexing since 2019. A thorough SEO audit will show you how mobile-friendly your website is, and what can be done to improve its user interface (UI) on mobile devices. SEO audit services like the ones Infidigit provides carry out an audit with an elaborate checklist that has the mobile-friendliness of a website as a key factor. Using SEO audit tools like Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool from Google can determine how optimized a website is for mobile devices.
The loading speed of a website is considered a ranking factor by Google. Hence, a website’s speed must be optimized to the maximum. Through an SEO audit, you can find out all the areas that can be optimized to improve your website’s loading speed. Website speed optimization can be done in several ways, including cleaning the HTML code, crunching the image size on your Web page, upgrading the hosting domain, and much more.
Examine the site structure closely to ensure that the user experience is as seamless as possible. The website architecture should be optimized for search engines so that they can smoothly index all your pages. Linking all your pages makes it easy for search engine bots to crawl through and index them seamlessly. It also helps the bots to determine the most important pages on your website to ensure optimum organic traffic. An SEO audit helps highlight any potential improvements required to fix a website’s architecture and make it easier for search engines to index the pages on the website.
On-page SEO is one of the most important SEO factors for search engines. However, it becomes very hard to keep track of the on-page SEO on every single page. To counter this, you can identify the most important pages on your website, and ensure that their on-page SEO is immaculate. For instance, the homepage is the most important page for any website. Ensure that the meta titles and meta descriptions are optimized with keywords. Also ensure that there is proper internal linking to other relevant pages of your website.
Content duplication is one of the biggest red flags for Google and might get your website blacklisted by the search engine. An SEO site audit with the help of tools like Copyscape can instantly find duplicate content on your website. If your website has content borrowed from a source, make sure to backlink it so that Google doesn’t flag it for plagiarism. However, small snippets of content that are usually built from a stock structure, like disclaimers, are exempt from this requirement.
Finding indexing issues with a website is one of the easier aspects of an SEO audit. Using the Google Search Console, one can generate an Index Coverage report which can highlight all the pages on your website that Google isn’t indexing. Once you’ve found these pages out, you can check if they are actually meant to be blocked. Sometimes, a noindex tag or a robots.txt file can block Google from indexing a page. If the page isn’t meant to be blocked, then you can remove these elements so that Google indexes your Web pages.
Find issues with structured data or schema
There are many types of structured data markups on Google, such as product descriptions, reviews, events, and so on. Ensuring that the structured data is properly formed is a key factor in an SEO audit. Using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, you can find out errors or room for improvement in the structured data presented by your website. SEO services can help find structured data or schema issues quickly and can also help resolve them efficiently.
Analyzing what your competitors are doing right and how they are able to stay ahead in the game is imperative to surpassing them. An elaborate SEO audit always has competitor analysis on the checklist. Searching the best organic keywords used by the competitor, analyzing their content strategy, and finding the influencers in the competitors’ respective niche are some key aspects of a thorough competitor analysis. This helps websites capture the audience in a more refined way than the competitors, and helps businesses build strategies to fill the gap that the marketplace has.
As rightly said by Bill Gates, Content Is King. Underperforming Web pages are often loaded with poor quality content, which is easily replaceable with targeted efforts. There are many ways in which you can make your content 10x better for enhanced user engagement and increased organic traffic. For instance, use small, concise introductions that convey the point….much like this article. Secondly, use small, readable paragraphs that are easy on the eyes of the readers. Thirdly, ensure that you organise the information under relevant subheadings. Meaningful visuals and videos can go a long way in enhancing the quality of the content.
Check if the website is secured
SEO audit services have to ensure that the security of the website is immaculate. Employing best practices and following standard protocols is not enough to keep hackers at bay in 2021. You need an SEO audit to scour your website, through all of its shields and firewalls, for vulnerabilities. Additionally, the audit will assess how hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities and which security measures can effectively counter them.
An SEO audit also conducts a thorough analysis of how well users are interacting with your website. Your content and the interface of the website must be optimized for UX signals, as it is a major ranking factor for Google SERPs. If the users are interacting with your content or are at least staying on the Web page for a while, Google takes it as a sign that the users are happy with their experience on the website. Improving the UI and UX ultimately boils down to quality content (covered in point #10), which is how good and engaging your content is for the users.
Using tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush, SEO audit services can track the ranking of your website and the keywords it is ranking in. It is imperative that regular keyword tracking happens so that your website can ]rank higher on SERPs organically. Tools like SEMrush not only help you track the keywords that you provide to them, but they also find the keywords that your website is ranking for. This can help you in creating a holistic SEO strategy to track and use keywords on your pages.
Backlinks are one of the most important factors that can affect the ranking of webpages on SERPs. Toxic links can negatively affect your website’s rankings, as they seem like spam to Google. Hence, SEO services providers like Infidigit use advanced tools like Ahrefs to check the referring domains and your website’s domain authority to ensure that your website’s backlinking is organic and effective for Google SERPs.
Although Google has previously said that they don’t care much about broken links, they can still hurt your SEO. An SEO audit helps you in finding all the broken links and pages, which are not being indexed by Google, and hence, not ranking. Sometimes, websites might delete their “zombie pages”, which Google doesn’t count as a problem. SEO audits help you in finding the broken pages that you would want to rank, and they can be fixed by updating the broken internal and external links.
What Else Can You do to Ensure a Successful SEO Audit?
SEO audits are a necessity for businesses. They help in finding the elements in a website that are holding it back from ranking and performing better on search engines. To ensure that your SEO Audit generates the results you’re looking for, you can avail SEO audit services from established service providers like Infidigit. SEO experts have a much more comprehensive domain knowledge, and can help your website stay ahead in the marketplace and surpass the competition.
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