Why Conduct SEO Audit
This guide on how to Conduct SEO Audit on your website will show you all the important statistics and potential problem areas of your website. You will find descriptions, tips and advice regarding the information presented in this report so you’ll have a clear understanding of where the problems are and what can be done to fix them. The whole idea of analysing the website is to get insight of the website from every point of view and achieve better performance for SEO results as well as for Google exposure.
Below goes into detail of the different areas a full SEO Audit will take. We have a free SEO Audit available to give you a quick taster.
Please get in touch if you would like us to perform a full SEO audit on your website.
Indexing and Crawling – How to Conduct SEO Audit
Indexing is the process of adding web pages into the search results. Google will crawl and index your pages. A good idea for ranking higher in search engines is to ensure vital parts of your blog/website be indexed.
If you type your website URL into google search bar with site: in front of it, you can see in the results how many pages Google has indexed for your website.
We would recommend that you perform the same searches against your competitors. This will show how many pages your website has indexed in comparison to your competitors.
Enter your brand name into Google Search bar and see if you rank number one for the results. You should also check that your Google My Business page is also showing on the right hand side.
Broken links are dead-links, or links that no longer exist, which are not good for search engines or for your readers. Broken links are what cause those 404 error pages you sometimes see.
You may not think a broken link is a big deal, but people bookmark, favorite, and save links — and when they reference them in the future and the link now doesn’t work, you’re not exactly creating a positive experience for them.
The same is true for search engines. Search engines aim to provide users with the best, most relevant, most useful, on-topic content possible. Providing links in search results to broken pages that don’t exist makes search engines mad and creates a negative experience for the end user. Too many broken links on your website or from your website can damage your reputation with the search engines, making your site less desirable — and that can eventually hurt your search engine rankings and decrease the chances your site will show up in the search results.
Effect: Broken links negatively affect SEO. It’s important to understand that one of the ways search engines rank websites is by crawling their links. If there are dead links on your website, it can stop search engine spiders from crawling your site and, thus, indexing it.
Recommendation: Sometimes, broken links are caused by typos and other simple errors. However, in most cases, broken links on your site lead to pages that no longer exist. If you’ve recently deleted or changed the URL of a page, all of the links that used to send users to that page will lead to a 404. There are two options when it comes to fixing broken links. Restore or recreate that page/content or redirect that old link to a related or relevant page.
Redirecting is simply the process of making sure that anyone who arrives at a link on your site that no longer exists lands on another page of your site instead of landing on an error page.
Tips for Redirecting Content
- Don’t redirect everything to the homepage. Try to find something relevant or related.
- Sometimes a link is broken simply because you changed your slug or permalink, which means you only need to create a redirect that goes to the updated page.
Website Loading Speed
Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. And research has shown that Google might be specifically measuring time to first byte as when it considers page speed. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation. Site loading speed depends on “website load time, webpage size and http requests”. Ideally,
- Page size should be between 1-5MB.
- Page load time should be less than 3 seconds.
- The number of Http Requests should be as low as possible.
Fast and optimized pages lead to higher visitor engagement, retention, and conversions. The Page Speed family of tools is designed to help you optimize the performance of your website. Page Speed Insights products will help you identify performance best practices that can be applied to your site and Page Speed optimization tools can help you automate the process.
“The faster the mobile and desktop speed, the greater will be the user experience”.
Google nowadays pays attention to speed and consider it to be one of the ranking factors.
Mobile Friendly Test
Over the recent years, it has become obvious that the multi-screen Web will be the future (that is, the average Internet surfer will use several devices to complete a goal). Google said they were ready to downgrade sites misconfigured for smart phones!
Google’s Mobile friendly test is a special tool which allows you to see what score your website has due to Google search calculation parameters. One of the major benefits of responsive design is that it helps increase your website’s search engine rankings.
Structured Data Markup
Structured data Markup (also known as schema markup) is a standardized format to mark up the information about the web page. It serves to search engines like Google, Bing and others to better understand what the web page is about.
When search engine understands the content of the web page, then it may serve it for appropriate search queries. Structured data may be used by search engines in the so-called rich snippets, to visually improve the user experience. Google has tools that can help check your website.
SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Google is now also using SSL as a ranking signal.
OnPage SEO – How to Conduct SEO Audit
Meta Title Tags
Title tags – technically called title elements – define the title of a document. Title tags are often used on search engine results pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page, and are important both for SEO and social sharing.
The title element of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content. This element is critical to both user experience and search engine optimization. It creates value in three specific areas: relevancy, browsing, and in the search engine results pages.
Optimal Length for Search Engines
Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag, or as many characters as will fit into a 512-pixel display. If you keep your titles under 55 characters, you can expect at least 95% of your titles to display properly. Keep in mind that search engines may choose to display a different title than what you provide in your HTML. Titles in search results may be rewritten to match your brand, the user query, or other considerations.
REMEMBER: A title tag is the most important single tag in your page. It tells the search engines what your page is about. It is still vitally important to your SEO strategy.
Note: From an SEO point of view, the title tag should contain the keywords you wish to rank for however one thing you must remember: write title tags for humans. Although they should be formatted to some degree for search engines, it’s vital that the tag makes perfect sense to humans and reads like a legible sentence.
As a best practice, create a meta title tag for every landing page and blog post you publish. Every webpage should include a targeted keyword that the page is intended to rank for. Search engines highlight terms in results when they match the user’s search phrasing by bolding the words. When you incorporate words in your title and description that searchers are using, users will notice them more easily.
Recommendation: Keep Meta Title under 55 characters, using keywords where possible.
Meta Description Tag
Meta description tags, are extremely important in gaining user click-through from SERPs. These short paragraphs are a webmaster’s opportunity to advertise content to searchers and to let them know exactly whether the given page contains the information they’re looking for.
The meta description should employ the keywords intelligently, but also create a compelling description that a searcher will want to click. Direct relevance to the page and uniqueness between each page’s meta description is key. The description should optimally be between 150-160 characters.
Recommendation: Make sure you write unique description for every single page on your website. Google may penalize you for mass duplicating your meta descriptions. You have control of your meta descriptions in Yoast in WordPress.
Note: All meta descriptions should be unique. Well written meta descriptions typically achieve a better click-through rate. If the meta description is missing or duplicate, this represents a missed optimization opportunity. It may make it difficult for users to differentiate similar pages in search engine.
By including a good unique meta description, you increase the chances of getting a higher Click-Through-Rate in the search results.
Heading tags, as their name suggests, are used to differentiate the headings and sub-headings of a page from the rest of the content. These tags are also known to webmasters as HTML header tags, head tags and SEO header tags. The most important heading tag is the h1 tag and least important is the h6 tag. In HTML coding the heading tags from h1 to h6 form a top-down hierarchy. This means that if you skip any of the tag numbers the heading structure will be broken, which is not ideal for on-page SEO.
For example, if your site is introduced with an h1 tag followed by an h3 tag, the hierarchy will be broken, meaning the heading structure is not as SEO-friendly. This doesn’t apply, however, to the bottom-up structure, which could jump from an h4 to an h2 without issue. The h1 tag is the most important tag. Every page should have a single h1 tag which would typically be the page title.
Note: Using targeted keywords in H1 tags on your page does not directly correlate to high rankings, however, it does provide some value. It’s also considered a best practice for accessibility and helps potential visitors determine your page’s content. To adhere to best practices in Google News and Bing News, headlines should contain the relevant keyword target and be treated with the same importance as title tags.
Key points about H1, H2 and H3 optimization:
- Include your main keyword in the H1 tag to tell Google what your page is about i.e., Page Title
- Use the H2 and H3 tags to target your secondary and long tail keywords
- For smaller volume keywords, you can also use H4, H5 and H6 tags
Keyword consistency can be defined as having keywords or sets of keywords that you want to rank spread out over the elements of a web page.
There are different software tools available free on the web to check your keyword density on your website.
Recommendation: Your page content should be focused around particular keywords you would like to rank for. Search engines and potential visitors are both seeking the targeted keywords in the text of your page.
Using keywords in the document element is not only a best practice, but an essential part of SEO and good user experience. Use your targeted keywords at least once in the document text of the page. These keywords should also be distributed across important HTML Tags such as Title, Meta Tags and Header Tags.
A friendly URL is a Web address that is easy to read and includes words that describe the content of the webpage.
A well-structured SEO friendly URL looks concise and clean, provides a better user experience, is easier to share, and is optimized for search engines.
URL structure can help a page show higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) and impact the decision-making of searchers.
This type of URL can be “friendly” in two ways.
1) It can help visitors remember the Web address, and
2) It can help describe the page to search engines.
Result: Link URLs appear friendly to humans and/or search engines.
Alt Text / Tags
Alt text (alternative text), also known as “alt attributes” and technically incorrectly as “alt tags,” are used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page.
This is used both for accessibility and also read by Google to describe the image. It is good practice to use the keyword that page is to rank for as part of the images Alt text.
XML sitemaps serve as a way to communicate directly with the search engines, alerting them to new or changed content very quickly and helping to ensure that the content is indexed faster.
A well-structured sitemap will make a website searchable by all search engines, and will provide users with more accurate search results when they are looking for keywords or key terms that are associated with a website. Sitemaps are an important SEO factor that should not be underestimated, when you are trying to establish your SEO strategy.
You can check your sitemap at https://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml
Search engine crawlers (aka spiders or bots), scan your site and index whatever they can. This happens whether you like it or not, and you might not like sensitive or autogenerated files, such as internal search results, showing up on Google.
Fortunately, crawlers check for a robots.txt file at the root of the site. If it’s there, they’ll follow the crawl instructions inside, but otherwise they’ll assume the entire site can be indexed.
The general rule of thumb is to make sure a robots.txt file exists at the root of your domain (e.g., domain.com/robots.txt).
Google Analytics is one of the web’s most popular analytics tools. Google Analytics (GA) lets you see where on the web people found your site, or the source of your traffic. For example, an organic search engine query, or a link from another page. It also shows you the medium, organic, paid or referral traffic. Looking at the where on the web people found your site can be informative. You can get an overview of which avenues for traffic are performing well over time.
Website Logo – Branding
A logo is a visual representation that appears on company signs, paper and advertisements that customers use to identify your company.
Favicon is an icon associated with a particular website, typically displayed in the address bar of a browser accessing the site or next to the site name in a user’s list of bookmarks.
Link Analysis – Off-Page SEO – How to Conduct SEO Audit
What is Link Analysis
Backlinks affect search engine rankings more than anything else. The number and quality of them pointing towards your site will largely determine in what position your site ranks in the search results.
You need to actively go out and seek backlinks. Your site will acquire some naturally, but if you need to catch up with more established competitors, and you want to rank highly, you need to be pro-active.
The best indication of how many backlinks you’ll need to rank well for a keyword is how many backlinks each of your competitors for that keyword have. However, focusing on the numbers of backlinks, rather than the quality of them, is a common mistake. If a well-established website links to your site the value of that link far outweighs a link from a spammy competition website.
One quality link will be better for your rankings than hundreds of poor quality links! You need to get the balance right between the number of backlinks you have and the quality of the backlinks you have.
DR: Domain Rating shows how strong is the backlink profile of your website on a scale from 0 to 100 (with latter being the strongest). Backlinks from sites with high DR carry more “weight”.
Backlinks: Why this is important? Generally external backlinks are those links that link to your site or any of its pages/content and these links are counted as if those sites are vouching for your site’s high quality. This gets noticed by search engines and as a result your site’s ranking can improve significantly.
Referring Domains: Why this is important: Unique linking domain refers to the number of other websites that link to your site or web page. Too many links from the same domain reduces the overall value of the links. Though there will always be more total links than domain links, you should try to get as even a ratio as possible.
Anchor Text Variation
Essentially, anchor text refers to the word or phrase that appears in underlined, clickable text whenever a link appears on a website. Search engines flag links as spam when the majority of the links are stuffed with keywords. Think about it this way – how do people normally link to a website? Do they all use anchor text rich links, and do they all spell your brand name the same way?
Note: Websites that are following a safer and a natural linking pattern including proper anchor text variations are improving their visibility in Google. If your website has a backlink profile without lots of branded links, it can signal to Google that you’ve been using manipulative link building tactics.
Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by MOZ that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. Use Domain Authority when comparing one site to another or tracking the “strength” of your website over time.
Page Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by MOZ that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engines.
Social Presence – How to Conduct SEO Audit
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
With the ever-increasing popularity of social media nowadays, it’s even more important to tap into these channels as viable sources of traffic.
Social media has the potential to increase your websites exposure and generate more leads to your business. It’s also a great way to establish relationships with your customers.
We use SEMRush to conduct Traffic analysis of your website compared with the competitors. This can identify what market share of the industry your website is getting.
Conclusion – How to Conduct SEO Audit
SEO ranking factors go far beyond the content and design, and you should treat them very seriously because these factors may kill any website’s top rankings or hold any webpage from top Google results for years.
Remember that every single time you add or remove pages, edit your templates, get new links, tweak the design or texts, install new plugins or widgets, the changes you make may cause a risk to your rankings.
Off-page tactics like link building, content marketing, social media, and email campaigns take time, knowledge and patience. But it’s these dynamic off-site activities that will really get you noticed by Google. Taking the time to produce content and engage on social media is vital to the success of your search marketing initiatives.
Agile Digital Strategy can Grow Your Business with SEO?
Our SEO Ireland packages start from €300 per month and are designed to be suitable for all Ireland businesses including Clare, Limerick, Galway and Mayo. Currently we are helping clients throughout Ireland, UK and USA with their SEO. We price each company separately depending on their current ranking, the competition and the goals of the company.
Check out our reviews to see how we are currently helping clients with their rankings and how happy they are with the service. Also, offer a number of different SEO Packages.
Find out what investment is required to begin your business’ SEO campaign? Get in touch to see if your website can benefit from SEO .
SEO Cost will only be discussed once we know your website current ranking and what your goals are. We don’t proceed with clients unless we can expect that they will get a return to their business. SEO should provide a return in increased sales and leads to your business. The SEO cost or should I say SEO Investment will be returned to you with increased sales over time.
Example – we worked on the eCommerce SEO of one client in 2020 and the had €140K of sales at the end of that year up 300% on previous year, and the following year they had over €450K of sales in 2021, another year on year 300% increase!