SEO audit is part of SEO process. Without SEO audit you can’t make a list of things to be improved. In this step by step audit tutorials, I will explain some simple tips and tricks you can use to perform SEO audit of website.
What is SEO Audit?
You have created a website. But your website is not ranking on first page of Google or any other search engine. Why?
There can be many reason why your website is not ranking in Google. SEO audit will help you understand main reasons why your website is not found in Google and what can be corrected.
After keyword identification, SEO Audit is next important process of SEO.
Let’s define SEO audit
SEO audit is systematic approach to identify errors on website and making a report and roadmap for improvement.
Before you start, you must remember few important things
- SEO Audit is time consuming and requires full knowledge of SEO
- You can’t use standard SEO audit report for all types of website
- You can’t use same SEO audit checklist for all websites
- SEO audit for static website, dynamic website, e-commerce website or SEO audit of blog is different
- SEO audit requires technical knowledge of website and hosting also.
- You must know ROBOTS.TXT, .htaccess, website structure, URL and HTML to prepare SEO Audit report.
- You will have to use SEO audit tools or SEO software to preform SEO audit of large websites.
Here is Step by Step process
We will divide our SEO audit process in 3 parts.
- Technical SEO Audit
- On-Page SEO Audit
- Off-Page SEO Audit
Part 1: Technical SEO Audit check list
Here is list of things you will have to cover in technical SEO audit.
- Website accessibility by Googlebot and people
- Checking ROBOTS.TXT file
- Checking URL structure
- SEO friendly URL
- Checking website structure
- Page loading speed
- Check if site is submitted in Google search console
- Check if sitemap is submitted
- Check broken links and 404 errors
- Perform Domain Authority check
- Page Authority
- Alexa Rank
- Domain Age
- Responsive design (Mobile optimization)
How to perform Technical SEO Audit?
Technical SEO audit is first step of SEO audit. Your website must pass all major technical SEO tests to rank high on Google. There are many technical SEO audit tools available online which can help you perform technical audit of your website.
Here is how I do technical SEO audit of a website. (In less than 5 Minutes)
First thing I do is I open that website in Google chrome of safari to check if website is accessible and how much time webpage is taking to load. Then I click few links to see if pages are working or not.
Then I check some random pages and home page title.
I open home page and I check source code of page to know if SEO title, description is proper, if they have installed Google analytics code on website, if html is clean and proper.
Then I use Screaming Frog SEO Audit tool to crawl all pages of website and get overview if all pages are accessible, if there are any 404 errors, how many pages does that website have etc.
This quick check helps me decide on next steps for audit. If I find website is not SEO friendly, pages are not linked properly and other SEO mistakes then I do complete SEO audit and prepare a report.
You can find sample SEO report with my Advanced SEO Guide which you can order from my website.
Once I am done with quick audit, I move to in-depth audit of a website.
Now here is step by step procedure for doing Technical SEO Audit of any website.
Website Accessibility by Googlebot
Check your ROBOTS.TXT file and make sure this file allows indexing of all important pages of your website.
ROBOTS.TXT file is used to control crawling of website. If Google is not able to crawl and index your pages, your website pages will not be shown in Google search result page.
Check all pages of your website are accessible
As I always tell people that website is like a book where all pages are connected to each other. Website is made using pages and pages are connected to each other using links. Links are created using top menu, sidebar menu, footer menu or even from internal links from content or images.
You must check if all your pages are accessible or not.
You can use Screaming Frog SEO Audit tool to check if all pages are accessible of not.
Tools I recommend to check indexing of website
- Screaming Frog SEO Audit tool (Free and Paid)
- Seoprofiler – SEO profiler is paid SEO software with multiple features
- SEMRush – Paid SEO software with many useful features
Check if your URL’s are SEO friendly or not
SEO friendly URL’s help Google reach right pages and rank website high in SERP. If your website URL’s are not SEO friendly, you may lose ranking.
Here is example of SEO friendly URL and non-SEO friendly URL
Check website Structure
Website structure is also important for SEO. There is always a question about how does website structure affect SEO and does website structure affect SEO?
I have audited more than 1000’s of the website in my career and I have found that many people or many website developers don’t plan website structure, they don’t give importance to website structure and navigation from SEO point-of-view.
A good website structure can improve the ranking of a website in SEO.
You can refer to an article on Authority Hacker about site structure
Check Page loading speed
If your website is not loading fast, your ranking will suffer. You can check page load time using website speed testing tools. There are couple of website speed testing software available to check the speed of the website.
Check if website is submitted in Google Search Console
Google search console was previously known as Google Webmaster Tools. Google search console is set of tools provided by Google to check indexing status, submit sitemap, find crawling errors etc.
You can ask client if site is added in search console or not. If site was not added to search console then add website to search console.
Check if sitemap is submitted to Google Search Console
Submit sitemap in Google Search Console if sitemap is not already submitted.
Check website for 404 and broken links
You can use screaming frog tool to check 404 pages. You must resolve all 404 errors on your website.
Check Page Authority, Domain Authority, and Alexa Rank
You can use bulk domain authority checker to check domain authority and page authority. You can also use moz tools to check domain authority and page authority.