If you are not getting results out of your SEO techniques, SEO audits are the single best way to figure out why. A good SEO audit is all about asking the correct questions. The time invested in a SEO audit depends on the size of your website.
What is an SEO audit?
The goal of an SEO audit is to highlight the weak points in your SEO strategy that is weakening the performance of your website. This process also lists the action you will need to take to fix the loopholes.
When is an SEO audit done?
An audit is typically done when a new client comes on board or the beginning of a new campaign. Existing SEO campaigns can be audited every quarter.
SEO Audit Checklist
Analyze long term objectives
Your long-term objectives for the business should be what the business is trying to achieve through SEO or in other words is are the SEO techniques the means to the end?
Strategic objectives must be clearly laid down and to keep the SEO campaign focused and achieve your target.
If you already have list of objectives, review them and refine them if needed.
Check if Keyword Analysis strategies are working
Before jumping into audit, you must examine the current keyword analysis strategy and check if its effective. Are the keyword strategies targeting the right customers and resulting in wins? A good audit is one that determines the quality of the keywords.
A good quality set of keywords can be determined by the following metrics:
- They need to be specific.
- They must be measurable. Measure the performance of your keywords by tracking the core keywords.
- Realistic goals must be set. If the website is new, it may be difficult to rank for competitive keywords. Only the long-tail keywords should be targeted.
- Last but not the least, your keyword list must be relevant to your business goals.
Competition Analysis, know where you stand
A good SEO audit will analyze the competition to check the following:
- Whether any keyword is too competitive to obtain required rankings. Validate the existing keywords.
- What sort of content is working for the competitors.
- Analyze competitors links profiles and look for possible link opportunities you may have missed.
Address technical issues
The aim of audit here is to address and fix any technical glitches that is hindering user experience and search engine performance of your website. There are several tools for this like SEO Spider for this.
These are the technical aspects you need to check mainly:
- Does your website load fast enough?
- Any site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load needs to be improved. Google’s website speed tool will give you the benchmarks for speed.
- Make sure if your website is compatible with mobile devices.
- Are there any page redirects? You must fix them right away as they will drastically bring down the SEO performance of your website.
- Make sure your web page is indexed in Google. Only then you will start gaining traffic.
- Check and remove any duplicate content on your website.
- Check if any 404 errors (page no longer exists) are hurting your site’s performance.
- Make your site’s architecture is designed with SEO in mind.
Check if landing pages are optimized
You must check if every landing page with keywords is optimized effectively. Keywords must be in the title, META description, in the beginning sentences of the content, in the URL and the last sentence of the content.
The audit will say if the current content strategy is working well for SEO and what needs to be improved. All landing pages and blog content must be explored for keyword optimization. Content analysis is probably the most time-consuming and the most important part of SEO audit. The following are the checks for website content that need to be done and corrected:
- Is the content original?
- Is your content engaging?
- What does your content have that is better than your competitors?
- Are the facts represented accurate?
- Are they any grammatical errors in the content?
- Are any excessive ads in the content?
User Experience Analysis
Although it is impossible to get to know every user’s experience with the website, you can get a general picture based on the data from Google Analytics. These are the points you may want to examine in determining user experience:
- Check the website bounce rate, or how many users are bouncing right off the page.
- What is the average time spent by users on the website?
- What are the exit pages and why are the users leaving these pages quickly?
- What is the percentage of return visitors to your page?
Link profile Analysis
The goal of the audit here is to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your link profile. Backlinks are the key to SEO and a large time of the audit must be spent in analyzing these. These are the factors you must consider:
- Are the backlinks directed to your site relevant?
- Check the authority of the backlinks.
- Check the diversity of the backlinks, if they have a diverse profile.
The above steps will ensure a comprehensive SEO audit for your website that will point out the missed opportunities, recommend how to increase your potential customer base and thereby the search engine rankings.