How Does A SEO Audit Work?
An SEO audit adds value to your marketing campaign and helps you get a lot of new information about your website. This information will help you make the best marketing decisions. A complete search engine optimization audit has multiple components which will help you develop a marketing plan and prioritize certain aspects of your strategy. The audit also helps you improve your organic search results and your SERPs.
components of your search engine optimization audit
- Competitor Research
- Indexing and Crawling
- Link Analysis
- Content Evaluation
- On-Page Optimization
- Website Design and Architecture
- Online Branding and Business Strategy
10 Critical Components Of An SEO Audit Explained
So which are the most important components of your search engine optimization audit? Let's take a look at the top 10 factors – the factors that impact the SEO results the most.
1 – Competitor Research
You cannot have a proper SEO audit without first looking at your competition. Take a look at your competition, and watch closely – who do you need to surpass in the SERPs for specific keywords? How is your competition doing it? Are they strong, or will they be easy to surpass?
Make an in-depth analysis of your competition. Pay attention to their keywords, how they rank for the most important keywords, their estimated monthly search traffic, inbound links, linking root domains, estimated search traffic, domain authority and page one keywords. This information can easily be found if you use SEMRush, SpyFu, Ahrefs, or OpenSiteExplorer.
Tip – create a chart and compare the data side-by-side. This will help you visualize the differences between you and your competition, and you will understand what you need to focus on.
2 – Indexing and crawling
Google and other search engines visit your website via crawlers. These software tools then index your web pages to create the search results. Obviously, both indexing and crawling are critical components of a SEO audit.
Use Google Search Console to see how your website is crawled or indexed by Google or other search engines. Take a look at the robots.txt file to see if any part of your website is blocked and not visited by crawlers. Also, check the sitemap and see if it has all the required protocols to make crawling easier. Make sure to analyze both crawling and indexing closely – there’s nothing worse than discovering that your website is not properly indexed by Google, or even worse, blocked by Google.
3 – Accessibility
Your website’s accessibility is also important. There are multiple factors that can limit your website’s accessibility. For instance, common issues include slow page load speeds, long server response times and 404 errors. All of these issues will be visible in your SEO audit, together with tips on how to reduce their negative effects. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check your website’s accessibility issues. Also, use Google Search Console to check any 404 errors and how they redirect users. Try to fix these accessibility issues as soon as possible.
4 – Link analysis
Your links are probably the strongest ranking signals in Google’s search algorithm. Pay attention to how your website is linked, both internally and externally. Is it trusted by third-party websites? Use Google Search Console to learn more about your website’s links. You’ll see how the internal data is linked and which pages are the most important. Also, use OpenSiteExplorer and Ahrefs to analyze external links and identify other linking opportunities for your website.
5 – Keyword Analysis
Check your main keywords – are they bringing high-value traffic to your website? Are you using them to your advantage? How does your website rank for these keywords? Which are bringing you traffic and which don’t? How is this traffic converted into customers?
Use powerful tools, like Google Analytics or Google Search Console, to learn more about the keywords you rank for and how it can affect performance. Similarly, use powerful keyword tracking tools, like Moz or Ahrefs to check your keyword search positions.
6 – Content Evaluation
Does your content bring you customers? Are your blogs, videos, photos and other content bringing you consistent traffic that turn into customers?
Audit your website’s content, both from your users’ and the search engine’s perspective. Is your content optimized for target keywords? Are your visitors reading the content? Do they like it? Are there any issues related to your content, such as duplicates, missing meta descriptions and missing keywords?
Include all your findings in your SEO content strategy. You will have a professional roadmap for your content, and you’ll know where to improve your strategy. Ideally, you should create content both for your visitors and the search engines.
7 – On-Page Optimization
Search engines and website visitors consume content in very different ways. Good on-page optimization can appease both audiences.
There are a variety of powerful tools to help you analyze on-page optimization. These tools look at your header tags, images, page titles, URLs and ALT tags. You’ll get a report including the main issues on your website and what to focus on to fix them.
8 – Website Design and Architecture
Google wants one thing – an enjoyable experience for the user. This is why it’s important to properly evaluate your website’s user experience and behaviors.
Make sure your website is mobile friendly, secure with HTTPS, easy to navigate and every feature is easy to find. If your website has web-design and functionality issues, Google’s search algorithm will penalize you. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly tool to check if your website is updated.
9– Online Branding and Business Strategy
What are your plans? Where is your company going? What are the challenges faced by your company online? You should have a different strategy if you want to expand into new markets, or launch a new product. Similarly, you will need a different strategy if you want to change your product line. A good SEO audit should include your business strategy, and should focus on both your company’s past and future.
10 – Execution
Taking action is usually the most difficult step. You have a good SEO audit, but how will you implement the advice you got? There’s room for improvement, but you have to actually work on these new strategies. The point of a good audit is to focus your efforts on the right priorities. You’ll just have to make sure the execution is precise!