One thing we consistently see people neglect where search engine optimization is concerned is auditing. It’s also one of the most critical stages in the process, though. A thorough understanding not only of what you’re doing right but where you’re going wrong is absolutely essential if you’re to succeed in creating a well-optimized, well-performing website.
With that in mind, today we’re going to go over, step-by-step, what’s involved in performing an SEO audit on your website. Generally speaking, you should carry out an SEO audit before you start applying SEO to your website (if possible), and between two and four times a year, according to business publication Business 2 Community. In broad strokes, it examines the following:
- Page speed. Ensure all pages load quickly, and identify any bottlenecks which increase load speed.
- Links. Check for broken links, update any links that are outdated.
- Readability. Is all content well-written and relevant? Is there copy that could use a fresh coat of paint?
- Marketing direction. Does your current content fit with your brand’s image and goals? If not, what needs to be done in order to re-align it?
- Content authority. What topics are you ranking well on? What topics seem to be weaker? Is it worth continuing with your weaker topics?
- Sitemap. Are your blog categories properly-organized? Is your site easy to navigate for its users?
- Duplicate pages. If they exist, you need to get rid of them.
- Search traffic. How has your ranking changed since your last audit? What might account for this change in ranking?
- Keywords. Are you taking a focused enough approach to your keywords, or do you need to do another round of brainstorming and re-focus?
- Crawl errors. What sections of your website does Google seem to have trouble crawling, and why?
- Indexing. Are the most important pages on your site properly-indexed in Google? If not, why?
- Crawl budget. SEO expert Backlinko defines a site’s crawl budget as the number of pages Google crawls and indexes on the site within a given timeframe. Generally speaking, this isn’t something you have to worry about. It only becomes an issue on massive websites, with hundreds of pages or multiple redirects.
The good news is that you don’t need to analyze all of the above factors manually. Nor would we recommend attempting to do so. A big part of SEO involves efficiency.
Delivering information to your audience in the most efficient fashion. Laying out your website in the most streamlined manner possible. And using tools that increase your SEO efficiency and leave you free to focus on more pressing matters.
For that reason, we’d recommend using a tool like SEOptimer (if you don’t have the budget to pay for an audit) or WooRank/SEMRush (if you do have a bit of cash to spare). They’ll handle the majority of the auditing process for you. All that you’ll need to do is follow their advice.