SEO audit – what is it?
An SEO audit is a process of crawling a website’s content to find non-functioning links, invalid redirects, duplicate links, and insufficient content, as well as checking the title tags, meta descriptions, and alt tags of each page. When an audit is performed by SEO professionals, it typically involves crawling a site’s SERPs using a special algorithm to assess its authority for the domain and all the pages indexed.
Once the auditor identifies any weak points in the site’s technical optimization, they fix the problem and implement changes that are proven to give a more accurate representation of the site. A successful audit results in increased traffic from organic search results because it improves the overall health of the site.
An SEO audit is a routine activity that should be performed on a regular basis; it is essentially a “health check” for your website. Here are some important aspects:
- An SEO audit should not be performed carelessly. Audit services require time to find the deeper causes of difficulties hurting your website’s online performance. A good audit might take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks to perform, depending on the size of your site. When making significant modifications to a website, proper research is necessary.
- An audit should be thorough. It should encompass structural and content elements that influence a website’s SEO visibility. A successful SEO audit should provide a big picture to website owners about the situation of their website. Any gaps might lead to excessive or incorrect recommendations. SEO crawler can have a positive effect on your ranking factors. The most important thing to keep in mind is that content should be informative and mobile-friendly.
- SEO site audit should be simple to comprehend. Business owners must see how SEO difficulties affect their online priorities, goals, and earnings. Any recommendations should be clearly linked to your main business goals. The advice from your audit should be actionable. There should be a clear route to completion that is prioritized and includes the estimated effect and effort associated with each proposal. Any SEO audit’s result should correctly reflect an easy-to-follow path.
- An audit should not be a one-size-fits-all proposition. While some technical parts are essential for all websites, a situational analysis should be undertaken at the beginning of an SEO site audit to focus on areas of attention for that site.
Google Analytics (GA) is an analytics tool that helps you understand how visitors engage with your website — from where they come, how long they stay, and what actions they take once on your site. Your first thing to do is go to Google Analytics and see how much organic search traffic is coming to your site. If it’s not high, and the site has been around for a while, this may indicate that something is wrong with SEO. When traffic increases, a website’s or a database’s code may be inadequately optimized, resulting in a heavy load.
A crawl is the best way to start an audit, as it will help you find broken pages. Check for ranking factors and other indicators after testing domain authority, finding pages indexed in search engines, and monitoring the community.
How many links do you have?
A link audit is an examination of all the links leading to your site. It can help you determine if your site has been penalized by Google and what type of links you need to build to move forward with your SEO efforts.
Domain authority is a measure of how authoritative a site is compared to other sites in the same niche. It is important for SEO because Google uses it as one of its ranking factors. The higher a site’s DA, the more likely Google will rank it higher in search engine results for relevant keywords.
An SEO community score measures how many people are linking to your site from their own blogs or websites and sharing content on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. This gives you a good idea of how much trust people have in your brand, which can affect your position in organic search results.
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How to do an SEO audit?
SEO site audit holds a lot of importance in today’s time for websites looking to expand and reach the top of SERP in their domain. The following steps must be taken to perform an audit for a website:
- Benchmarking of rankings – the first step of SEO audit for beginners is benchmarking rankings. Before diving into a technical or on-page SEO audit, you must first understand the competition. The more you understand what other players in the same space are doing, the more likely you will succeed. You should compare your site’s rankings to the competition and benchmark your performance.
- Check for duplicate versions of the website – checking duplicate versions for your site is the basic check to be performed on your site for SEO audit, but it is critical to ensure that Google indexes only one version of your site. These are different versions of the site to a search engine. You should only have one version of your site indexed, and you should check for duplicates. This is extremely simple to fix. Go to any search engine such as Google or Yahoo and type in site:domain.com. If you notice a mix of site versions, you may have a problem that needs to be resolved.
- Analysis of Website Speed – for a long time, website speed has been an essential factor in SEO and SEO auditing. Google has published data that shows that the slower a page loads, the higher the chance of a user hopping from the website when it comes to user behavior. Your website’s speed is more important than ever, both in terms of SEO and User Experience. Google released a dedicated Page Speed Update in 2018 that included speed as a mobile ranking factor. Google recently announced that they will roll out a Page Experience Update, which means that UX is now more important than ever in SEO success.
- Fix Broken Links – internal links that are broken create a terrible User Experience. When users click on a link on your site, they expect to be directed to that page, not a 404 error page. But, aside from that, it sends out negative quality signals to search engines. It is crucial to fix all the website’s broken links for creating an SEO audit. Internal and external links are the two most important factors that a search engine like Google uses to determine your ranking in the search results. The number of outbound links on your site acts as a credibility symbol for Google rankings.
- Duplicate Content – can cause problems, preventing you from ranking as high as you could. In fact, it can send mixed signals. An audit company reports and tells its clients about the duplicate content on their website to improve SEO rankings.
A full SEO site audit of your own site should be conducted once a month. It’s crucial to remember that this isn’t just a check-and-fix kind of process; it’s also an opportunity to monitor your progress over a period of months. Since doing this regularly, you will be able to see how much your site has improved over time. To begin a site audit, you’ll need to do some research and collect data. Create a spreadsheet with the following columns: pages on your site, title tag, SEO audit checklist, site architecture, internal links, external links, blog post(s), duplicate content, site search, and site audit.
What is a technical SEO audit?
A technical SEO audit is an audit process of examining the technical aspects of your website’s search engine optimization. It looks at the health of a website and determines what improvements may be required to better attract visitors to the website.
Search engine bots scour the internet for multiple pages and websites to rank them. Before ranking your website in the search results, the bots check your pages for various ranking factors. The websites that correct the most boxes of most of the technical SEO audit checklist are ranked higher than others.
Your website’s main influencing SEO factors can be divided into three different categories:
- Technical aspects, including hosting, indexing, and page loading speed, are examples of technical factors for SEO audit.
- On-page SEO factors include site content and keyword research.
- Backlinks and external references to your website from other websites are examples of off-page factors.
At regular intervals, you should conduct audits of each of these factors. This will ensure that you are always up-to-date on the industry’s changing conditions. Keeping up to date is very important to stay competitive.
The number one thing you can do for organic traffic is to ensure that your site is optimized for search engines. This means that your site includes content that presents the keywords you want to rank for and that it is presented in a way that maximizes its visibility to search engines. Here we will look at a few tools: Google Search Console’s platform, Keyword Research Tools, and of course, the actual optimization of your site. Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to monitor how your website performs in Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Finally, you want to improve your website’s ranking, increase organic search traffic, and increase conversions. To accomplish this, technical SEO involves correcting errors.
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How to do a technical SEO audit?
The rules for SEO are constantly changing. SEO must adjust every time a major search engine changes its algorithm substantially. Ways through which website owners can perform technical SEO audits are:
- Crawling The Website – the first step for technical audit for a website, website owners should crawl their website. The crawling of the website should be the priority in technical search engine optimization audits. To crawl a website, website owners can use programs like Semrush, Spyfu, or DeepCrawl. Broken links on the website, poor pictures, page title difficulties, and improper keywords are all detected by crawlers. These programs can also assist you in finding duplicate material, redirects, and pages that are not connected. The crawl budget can be looked up on Google Search Console.
- Reviewing SiteMap – your website’s sitemap is incredibly significant, even for SEO purposes. The sitemap of a website can tell search engines about the structure of your website and assist them in discovering new pages. A sitemap is important for executing an effective SEO strategy. As a result, you should examine it throughout the technical search engine optimization audit of your website. There should be no mistakes in your sitemap at all. Redirects and URLs that might obstruct indexing should be deleted. If these redirects and URLs are not deleted, search engines may decide to disregard your sitemap.
- Backlink Audit – one of the most important things for technical audit is the backlink auditing process. Backlinks are critical to any website’s success; it’s no surprise that they’re included in the technical search engine optimization audit. Backlinks demonstrate to search engines how useful your website’s content is to users. It would be best to look into which social media channels your target audience uses. It’s possible that those who enjoy your work may wish to connect to it. This might assist you in obtaining additional backlinks. Social media may also help you in increasing brand recognition, which will aid in search results for your company’s name.
- Re-Crawling of The Website – the last step for a technical SEO audit of a website is the re-crawling of the entire website. This final step of the technical search engine optimization audit ensures that the modifications you have made are implemented right away to your website. To do so, go to Google Search Console, choose crawl, and then select Fetch as Google.
How much does an SEO audit cost?
Businesses should expect to pay between $600 and $14,000 for an SEO audit, depending on whether they are small-to-midsize firms or multinational enterprises. Granted, if you are a more prominent firm with a more extensive website, your SEO site audit expenses will be higher than those businesses that are a start-up. The cost of SEO audit services charged by an SEO audit agency comes down to many factors such as:
- The website’s size, whether there are few pages or hundreds of content pages
- The SEO audit marketing deadline has passed
- If it’s a technical SEO optimization audit
- You want the SEO audit company to look at your competition
- Total number of pages on your site
SEO conducted by an SEO audit company is of three types mainly:
- Content Audit – a content audit assesses the strengths and shortcomings of your current content. Your aim with content SEO site audit is to learn more about the performance of the content on your website. This sheds some light on your content marketing approach as a whole. The cost of a content audit will vary based on the size of your site and the amount of information you have. The content audit might cost anything from $5,000 to $25,000.
- Link Audit – a link audit is an audit that checks all backlinks that point to your website. This site audit form allows you to count the number of links, assess their quality, and spot concerns such as spam and harmful links. A link audit can cost as low as $500 as a one-time assignment with a freelancer doing SEO audits or as much as $4,000 charged by large SEO audit agencies.
- Technical Audit – a technical audit is an assessment of your website’s technical SEO components that impact the website’s usability. Page speed, indexation levels, mobile-friendliness, and global optimizations are all covered under technical audit. Depending on the site, a technical search engine optimization audit might cost anywhere from $1,000 to $25,000.
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Why is SEO audit important?
SEO audits are a crucial aspect of a website when it comes to digital marketing. An SEO site audit is a thorough examination of a website’s performance in on-page and off-page activities, the identification of site architecture-related issues, the analysis of backlinks and social media engagement, the scanning of keyword density, and the examination of duplicate content-related issues. This is an ongoing process, especially if the site is relatively new and has few backlinks. Backlinks play a major role in SEO and ensure that search engines understand the relevance of a site. The steps involved in a successful SEO audit process include:
Google Searches: Search for keywords related to your company and see how your pages rank on the results page. If you notice that other sites are ranking higher than yours, you can look for ways to boost your rankings.
Link equity: Building links to other sites is one of the most important factors of good SEO. A link from another site tells Google that your site is reliable and helps build trust between you and the search engines.
Slow Loading Site: What’s the point of having great content if the user can’t find it? A slow-loading page can be caused by a number of things, such as links not working or outdated SEO software. It’s essential that you take the time to fix these issues before they cost you, customers, or potential customers.
Search Engines: They are constantly changing their algorithms, and this means that sometimes they are better at finding some things than others. For example, Google may be better at searching for pages with more text than those with less text.
How long does an SEO audit take?
An SEO audit might take anything from 2 to 6 weeks on average. An audit should take a few days for smaller websites with less than ten pages that want to get started immediately with an audit. For larger businesses conducting an audit, an SEO professional of an audit company examines and identifies SEO possibilities on their website throughout this period. On the other hand, bi-weekly or weekly check-ins keep you and your team informed about the progress.
There are multiple things that an SEO audit entails for both small and large business websites. It covers things such as:
- On-page SEO refers to the components of your website that you can manipulate and improve. SEO is heavily influenced by your content and how easy it is for search engines to locate it. It’s not just a matter of putting keywords into your content and hoping that something sticks; your content should naturally respond to consumers’ search queries, with few to no unnatural keywords. In addition, an audit examines how the internal linking structure aids users and search engine crawlers in locating sites.
- Off-page SEO looks at things that aren’t on your website but can try to impact. The amount and quality of backlinks are perhaps the essential off-page SEO factors. An audit examines the number of authoritative domains connecting to your own compared to rival sites. A technical audit looks behind the hood of your website with a microscope.
The SEO results themselves take a long time to appear. Within six to twelve months, businesses can get the desired SEO results. This does not necessarily imply that you will have reached your objective by this time, but any company engaging in SEO should expect to see results within this timeframe. A demonstrable increase in traffic and accompanying leads or conversions is what counts as an SEO result for businesses.
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What is analyzed in an SEO audit?
The first step in our SEO audit process is to run the client’s site through SEO software tools that can help us get a better understanding of what’s going on as far as SEO. While SEO audits differ differently, they should all look at the same essential technical SEO elements, including sitemaps, server issues, and metadata. An audit should address accessibility, indexation, and optimization at a high level.
A good audit should be an integral part of any website, especially for companies that are doing business in a competitive environment. The main components of an SEO audit include site crawl, site’s SEO, how many pages, internal links, external links, pages Google, blog post, and site search. Some of the things which are analyzed in an SEO audit are:
- URL Names – website URLs should be clean, brief, and indicative of the page’s core idea and indicate where a visitor is on the site. As a result, ensure this is included in the SEO assessment. It is beneficial for website users to ensure that URLs are well-constructed. Website URLs are analyzed in an audit of the website, and if the URLs are not appropriate for SEO, recommendations are made on improvements for them.
- Meta Tag Reviews – meta tags are critically analyzed in an SEO audit report. Every page on the website should have its own title tag and meta description tag—the tags make up the meta-information that helps Google, Yahoo, and others figure out what the page is about. If search engines employ meta information to detect duplicate material, it may also assist in avoiding particular pages of the website being blocked out of the search result. Make sure all the pages on your site have unique page titles and descriptions that accurately describe the duplicate content of each page. Duplicate page titles and descriptions can cause problems with indexing. Archive pages, by their nature, contain duplicate content — the same post listed multiple times under different dates or categories — and Google penalizes duplicate content.
- Mobile Friendliness – one of the most critical things analyzed in an audit is the website’s friendliness to mobiles. Each year, the number of individuals seeking and purchasing their mobile devices increases. Google has said that if a website does not have a mobile version, it will still crawl and rank the desktop version; however, a website without mobile-friendly content may not rank well in the search results. While there are other technical techniques for developing a mobile-friendly website, Google recommends using responsive design. There are lots of instructions on how to do it from Google.
- Website Speed – one of the indicators in Google’s and other search engine ranking algorithms is website speed. Slow page load times can slow down a website’s crawling and indexing and raise bounce rates. Website speed has historically only been a ranking influence when website speeds were extremely sluggish, but Google has stated that it will become essential over time. Google has said that above-the-fold content for mobile users should render in one second or less. Google provides tools like PageSpeed Insights and website speed data in Google Analytics to assist consumers in gaining a better understanding of site performance. Site speeds are taken into consideration for SEO audits. Google Analytics is one of the best tools available for analyzing traffic sources and tracking user behavior on your website/blog/social media page etc.
- URL Redirects – URL redirects are also considered in an SEO audit report. A 301 redirect is a typical best practice for ensuring that a web page that no longer has a purpose on a website is routed to the next relevant active web page. There are other redirect kinds, so be sure you know what they are and how they work before attempting to use one. Google and other search engines suggest using 301 redirects because they indicate that a page has permanently migrated from one site to another, whereas 302 redirects imply that the page relocation of the website is just temporary.
- Content Of The Website – for website owners, it is important to make sure that the number of pages with little or thin material is limited compared to the number of pages with substantial substance. There are several methods for creating thin content on websites. A website with picture galleries with distinct URLs for each image is one example of creating a thin content page. Many websites have the same material that they are unaware of. One of the first things SEO audit looks for is if the www and non-www versions of the site exist at the same time. This can also happen with a site’s HTTP and HTTPS versions. Choose one version and use a 301 redirect to send the other to it.
- Links – an audit report also looks at the links available on the website. It’s crucial to keep an eye out for pages with many links. You want to keep them to a minimum. It’s also crucial to make sure that websites employ anchor text wisely rather than abuse it, as it might seem spam to search engines. If you have a link to the home page in the global navigation, label it Home instead of choosing a different keyboard term. Internal links are what define a website’s overall position in the rankings. It is equally important to maintain the external links for audit. Business owners need to analyze incoming links, also known as backlinks, to ensure there are no issues, such as a history of purchased links, unrelated links, or links that appear as spam.
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An audit begins by scouring your site using a number of tools to identify any potential issues. There are many things to look for when conducting an SEO audit, and some of the most important factors are:
- duplicate or thin content,
- broken links or pages with errors,
- lack of internal linking structure and external links,
- poor User Experience,
- technical SEO errors (e.g., poor site speed),
- inadequate mobile optimization,
- lack of social media presence.
Trusted SEO audit tools can assist digital marketers in identifying and resolving the most significant website issues that can negatively influence search rankings. Here are some of the best tools and platforms for performing an audit on a website:
- Google Search Console – an SEO audit-free tool that allows marketers, web developers, and website administrators to track their visibility in Google search results. It provides one of the best audit services. The Google Search Console includes tools and information that can assist users in diagnosing some of the most frequent technical SEO concerns, which can bring down the rankings of a website. You can use the interface to check that Google’s web crawlers can access all pages on your site, ensure that new pages are being processed on time, and get notifications if Google finds indexing of spam concerns.
- ScreamingFrog – with customers such as Google, Apple, and Amazon, Screaming Frog is one of the industry leaders in a technical audit. The search engine optimization tool from the firm is a website crawler that quickly examines websites of any size and provides users with technical SEO advice. The SEO tool can detect broken links on your website, find pages with wrong or missing information, build correct XML sitemaps that help your sites be indexed quicker, diagnose and resolve faulty redirect chains, find duplicate pages, and more.
- SEOmator – an SEO auditing tool that is one of the most powerful on the market today. While most digital marketers utilize up to four distinct marketing tools to audit their SEO performance, SEOmator claims to provide technical, on-page, and off-page SEO audits all in one place. SEOmator gives a comprehensive list of all faults that its web-based program can detect on a website.
- SEMrush – an all-in-one SEO audit platform that is one of the most trusted and powerful tools in the SEO world. The platform’s technical SEO auditing features are delivered through a single site audit tool that identifies more than 120 technical and on-site SEO problems. SEMrush differs from these other audit programs, mostly in dashboarding and reporting features. SEMrush provides theme audit reports, which are unique reports focused on one area of technical SEO. Custom reports are available for website speed and foreign SEO, to mention a few.
- Ahrefs – contesting for first place among the best and most reliable all-in-one search engine optimization tools for businesses. Ahrefs, to its credit, offers one of the most comprehensive and user-friendly technical audit tools on the market. The Ahrefs site audit tool instantly finds more than 90 technical and on-site SEO problems that might be harming your SERP ranks. The good thing about the platform is that these problems are categorized and compiled into reports with full-color graphics that you can print and share with your team or display to clients.
- Whatagraph – this program combines Whatagraph with important SEO platforms like Google Search Console, SEMRush, and others to compile useful analytics into a single marketing report. Whatagraph SEO tool provides your clients with in-depth information with only a few clicks. Track and display total organic traffic, clicks, impressions, CTR, link-building statistics, and more for your website. You may use this tool to show data in various ways, including lists, tables, charts, photos, and comments.
- Serpstat – Serpstat SEO audit is a simple tool that can assist you in evaluating and improving your technical optimization of the website. Serpstat SEO audit tool is useful not only for SEO experts and firms but also for audit beginners. The audit displays the many sorts of errors you have on your site, as well as their locations, and provides quick tips on how to solve them. As a result, you can use this SEO auditing tool to operate your domain and acquire all the information you need to develop your site and, as a result, get better rankings.
- NetPeak – a desktop tool for daily SEO audits, finding faults quickly, conducting systematic analysis, and scraping websites. Incoming and outgoing links can be analyzed on this tool, broken links and redirects can be found, indexation instructions may be considered, and duplicate material can be avoided: titles, description tags, H1 headers, whole pages, and so on. NetPeak may be used as a tool to compute internal PageRank to optimize the linking structure of a website, and you can create custom rules to scan the entire website or a specific section of it.
- MySiteAuditor – one of the most preferred audit tools in the market is MySiteAuditor. This SEO auditing tool and the technology used by it is designed for larger SEO firms, and it can be implemented into smaller websites to help produce more leads. MySiteAuditor is one of the few tools that directly work with Google’s ranking algorithm. MySiteAuditor, unlike other audit tools, detects individual website pages for target keywords. The results can then be downloaded as a PDF file or forwarded via email to develop regular plans.
- MarketingGrader – a web-based SEO auditing tool created by HubSpot that provides a summary of your website with the opportunity to expound on each topic. It’s a difficult tool compared to other web-based search engine optimization tools since it returns a lot of confusing information and facts to sort through.
- OnCrawl – the OnCrawl audit platform includes a log analyzer, search rankings monitor, backlinks tracker, and a technical SEO auditing tool, among other SEO and website administration tools for websites to use. When it comes to technical audits, there are several things that set OnCrawl apart from the competition in the SEO auditing tool market. The first is the capacity of OnCrawl. OnCrawl was built to audit Europe’s largest eCommerce website with over 65 million pages. Crawl comparison is another feature that allows users to compare different crawls and find technical flaws that still need to be rectified immediately.
- Content King – is one of the best tools for SEO auditing purposes. The SEO auditing tool delivers comprehensive situational awareness as the only real-time SEO auditing and monitoring tool, allowing you to increase and sustain organic search exposure. Organic search is what people use when they want to find something on the internet without using a paid advertising service. It’s the best in the market.
- Moz Crawl Test – an SEO and site auditing tool for business websites. This SEO audit offers its own crawler, which assists webmasters in identifying significant website flaws, HTTP status codes, and other SEO data for website auditing. Moz Crawl Tool also assists you in identifying duplicate material on your website, title tag issues, server redirection, and other significant variables that influence your website’s indexability. This tool is great for both small and large businesses.
- BenchMark Hero Solution – an SEO auditing tool that conducts a thorough audit of your website and gives actionable insights and recommendations in its report, demonstrating why your website is not hitting its traffic or conversion targets. BenchMark Hero’s system will assist you in reviewing and improving your customer value, recurring customer percentage, and site speed and showing you how customers see your site and how Google scans it during the tool’s automatic audit process. Whether you are a business owner or an SEO professional, this tool will help you tackle your website. With audit tools, you can quickly identify and fix problems with your website. Whether it’s broken pages, thin content or ranking factors that need improvement, the audit tool’s comprehensive report will help you gain insight into areas that need attention.
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Mobile SEO Audit – Basics
Mobile optimization should be a key component of any business’s SEO strategy, and it entails more than merely passing the test conducted by Google for mobile-friendliness. It is vital to conduct a mobile audit on your site in order to cover all of the elements involved in developing the ideal mobile-optimized website. Some of the basics of mobile SEO audit are:
- Tracking & Reporting – tracking and reporting are essential components of every digital marketing effort for businesses. To monitor and track your mobile traffic, you can use multiple SEO tools. Use this information to guide your audit, allowing you to make more informed decisions about implementation.
- Site Speed on Mobile – the importance of site speed cannot be stated enough. Due to the combination of lower power and dependency on data through Wi-Fi, this is especially true for mobile devices. Google’s Page Speed Insights provide adequate information on mobile page speeds since it gives a list of tips for improving your site’s mobile performance. It is important to follow Google’s guidelines as precisely as feasible without compromising your site’s overall appearance. If the performance of your mobile site is causing you problems, you might consider installing an AMP plugin.
- Mobile Keywords – users often employ different search terms on mobile than they do on desktop due to the nature of mobile searches; they are different from desktop. Speed and accessibility are important on mobile; search words tend to be shorter and less wordy. It is important to focus on mobile SEO audit on keywords. Another item to consider is voice search. With the recent development of gadgets that offer voice-controlled services, this technique of searching is becoming increasingly popular. As a result, voice search optimization should be a key component of any SEO plan.
- Design Of the Website On Mobile Versions – the design of the mobile version of the website matters a lot. The most effective strategy to ensure the highest User Experience across numerous device types is to adopt responsive web design. You might even want to explore a mobile-first design for your website because mobile searches account for more than half of all internet traffic, so it makes sense to emphasize mobile over desktop. On mobile, it’s critical to make navigation as fluid and straightforward as possible and to avoid using pop-ups, which may be difficult to close and a cause of annoyance for users.