19 Jan How to conduct an SEO audit
With search engines continually updating algorithms, such as the changes Google made throughout 2021, it’s vital that you ensure your business continues to remain visible on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP), while optimising your site to improve the position of where you rank on search engines.
To be able to make changes that will make a real difference to performance, it’s important to take stock of where your website is currently, what is needed to improve performance and rankings, and the direction you want to take it.
Therefore the first step for optimising your site should be to conduct a thorough SEO Audit, giving you the knowledge of how your website is currently performing in terms of online visibility and ranking on the SERPs.
What is an SEO Audit and why is it important?
Put simply an SEO Audit, or Search Engine Optimisation Audit, is the process of performing a website health check and examining the performance of your website with the aim of understanding where your website is in terms of ranking and identifying the hurdles that affect the visibility of your site on search engines.
When done effectively, an SEO Audit will uncover the issues with your website so that you can make the improvements needed for a better performance. Improving your site’s rankings should be a top priority of search marketers as this will continue to increase the levels of organic traffic to your site. However working towards the prized top ranking, or at least the first page of the SERPs, isn’t a short term goal.
How to conduct an SEO Audit for your website?
Check Crawlability & Indexing
Start your site audit by checking the crawlability. Crawlability defines how well the search engines can crawl the content on your site. Issues with crawlability often occur due to a broken link.
Indexing refers to the ability of a search engine to add a particular page to the index. It has to be ensured that Google indexes only one version of the website. Search engines might get confused as to which version of the website to be presented for the prospective visitor and having more than one version of the website will negatively affect the ranking of your website. A classic example of this is the HTTP and HTTPS versions of the website. If a proper redirection command isn’t given, the search engines will end up presenting the wrong version of the website to the potential visitor.
Identify Site Speed
Check your site’s speed using the Google Pagespeed Insight tool. PageSpeed is an important SEO factor as improving the page speed would help website ranking, user experience as well as the conversion rates. According to data published by Google, it was revealed that the probability of bounce rate increases as the page load time increases, from 1 second to 10 seconds or beyond.
The On-Page SEO factors, such as the title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, alt tags, keywords, and website content provide the search engine information about the website and the content so that the search engine could identify if it’s relevant to the user’s query.
Is your content following the E.A.T framework?
Website content is assessed based on the E.A.T framework, which stands for Expertise, Authoritative, and Trustworthiness. Google gives a lot of importance to the websites with high-quality content and the visibility of such websites is often improved in terms of the ranks they attain in the SERP. Optimising the on-page content regularly can help improve the rankings, website traffic, and conversions.
Link-building is another core element of SEO, that involves two major forms of links, internal and external. Internal links direct the user from one page to another on the site, whereas external links are directed to a page on a different website. Managing the internal links within a website is important as it helps the search engine understand the structure of the site and index the pages. This will help improve user experience since internal links make it easier for navigation within the website. Broken links will harm the ranking and a site audit would help us gain clarity on the broken internal link, if any, in the form of a 404 error. Broken links can be fixed by removing or replacing the link with the right live link.
Be Mobile Focused
Ensure that your website is mobile optimised so that users can access the website on mobile devices and have a user-friendly interface. A mobile SEO audit can be done to check whether the website design is responsive and has been well adapted to the mobile devices. A page speed test can be done to check the load speed on mobile devices as well. Mobile usability can be checked on Google Search Console to reflect on the mobile-friendliness of the website.
Off-Page SEO and Backlink analysis let you examine all the links pointing to your website, and analyse the quality of the links. While performing a backlink audit, the focus should be on determining the quality of the links, rather than the number of backlinks your website has. Authority scores are the domain scores that define the quality of the website.
Competitor & Back Link Analysis
We’d also recommend conducting some competitor analysis, to gain an understanding of the relevant keywords that your competitors are using and how they are ranked against each keyword.
This is also applicable in the backlink analysis as it would provide us with information concerning the backlinks that our competitors have. Using the SEMRush platform an in-depth examination of competitor keywords and backlink analysis can be carried out to understand your weaknesses and areas where your competitors are outdoing you. This would in turn enable you to formulate and execute a marketing plan to improve your SEO strategy.
Performing an SEO Audit following this structure can help you understand where you stand in terms of your website performance and ranking and provide you with a roadmap to attain a better ranking in the SERP. Conducting an SEO Audit as a one off isn’t going to give you the long term results you’re after, but done regularly you’ll be keep a track of your website performance and be able to improve your rankings, increase website traffic and have a better performing site. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]