Want to succeed online? Put effort into your SEO.
The Hardest Part? It isn’t how to perform SEO auditing, it’s where to start. In this guide, I will lead you through the basics of how to perform an SEO audit step by step. We will go over everything you need to audit your site and gain more organic traffic without using ads.
What is an SEO audit?
Simply, it is assessing your site. It is about finding what prevents your site from appearing on Google’s first page. You can think of it as if your instructor is evaluating your writing.
It is pretty much as basic as that.
You may have the friendliest UX/UI, yet your site is not appearing on the search engine. That implies that web search tools are not perusing your site. Here comes the importance of SEO.
Why is SEO important?
Missing traffic means missing more sales, visitors, or even seekers.
Let’s imagine this case scenario. I, as a visitor to your site, found a helpful link. This link should lead me to another page on your website. But for some reason, this link shows a 404-page error. It’s broken and no longer available. Or, I was able to register for an event that ended a while ago.
In these cases, SEO auditing helps your site to stay up-to-date, check for broken links, and improve SEO techniques since changes always happen with the algorithms. A strong SEO strategy will allow your brand to rank high in Google’s searches.
How about we get into it? Let’s begin!
How to perform an SEO audit?
To reach here, I know how interested you must be in conducting an SEO audit.
But first, let’s check the SEO score on your website.
There are three factors that you should look into:
1- On-page Ranking, also called on-site ranking. It includes website content, performance, and accessibility.
2- Off-page Ranking, also called off-site ranking. It involves external links and brand mentions.
3- Technical Ranking: This is the coding element. It contains website security and speed.
Let’s deep dive now.
We can start with the essential factor: on-page ranking.
Step 1: Does your brand appear on Google’s SERP?
If you’re not sure then it’s easy to check. By checking you quickly determine if your website has been indexed or not. If it has been, then your website should rank first.
So go ahead and search for your brand name, do you appear? If you do, then great, but the appearance of the result is also important. If you want to have a high click-through rate then you need to consider your headings, URL, and meta description to appear interesting to your potential visitors.
Don’t stop at simply searching for your brand, take a step further and check your website’s index rate. To do so, simply write “site:yourdomain.com” into the search bar, and you can see how many indexed pages you already have. The number of pages that appear is actually an estimate, if you want to see a proper indexing analysis then go ahead and use Google Search Console.
Step 2: Are you penalized by Google?
Did your organic traffic suddenly drop? If so, you might be penalized by Google. Let’s go ahead and make sure first. To do so, visit GSC (Google Search Console). Yes, GSC is your SEO friend, you should get in the habit of fully understanding how it works. If something is wrong, if Google is not happy with your website, then you should be able to find it mentioned under Search Console messages.
Step 4: Running a speed test
Speed determines how you rank and it has been a ranking factor since 2018. After all, who likes waiting forever on a loading page?
When testing my website’s speed, I prefer to stick to PageSpeed Insights by Google. Go ahead, give it a try.
Step 5: On-page factors
On-page factors that affect your rankings and you DEFINITELY need to check, include:
- Meta descriptions
- Images: size, name, descriptions, and alt text
- Internal links
Go ahead and use SEO Optima again, or you can download Screaming Frog SEO Spider, which will show all the above.
Using Screaming Frog SEO Spider, you’ll be able to crawl your website, and the tool will provide you with the data stating all the above-mentioned points for all of your web pages. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?
On-page and technical SEO analysis is not as hard as you may think. With tools that are available nowadays, it can be done very fast and accurately.
However, be careful what checklist and SEO checkers you find on the internet and verify that they are not out of date.
If you want to do a quick on-page SEO analysis for a website you are currently on, make sure to check the Mangools SEO extension.
The on-page SEO audit can be done online for smaller websites, but I wouldn’t recommend using it for a website with thousands of pages. Large sites are very complex, and that’s why it is better to hire a professional for that scale of an SEO audit.