Your website looks great, but your visitors aren't engaging with it.
This is not a problem. Ahrefs says 90% of content doesn't get any organic traffic from Google.
What can you do to solve this problem? A website audit might help you find the solution.
An audit of your website can improve your ranking, visitor numbers, and conversions.
This guide will walk you through the process step-by-step if you aren't sure where to begin.
Before we dive into the details, let's first explain what an SEO audit looks like and why it is important.
What is an SEO Audit?
A SEO audit is a detailed analysis of a website's search engine ranking (SERPs) and where improvements could be made.
An SEO audit is a way to assess your website's optimization and identify areas for improvement. It also gives you recommendations for improving your site's position in search engines.
A SEO audit can help you identify areas for improvement.
- Site speed
- content gaps
- Technical SEO issues that can reduce traffic
- Where your competitors outrank you
- There are many ways to improve UX
A website is visited by an average user for 54 seconds. They also make assumptions about your company faster. One study found that it takes less than two-tenths seconds to make a good first impression . This study was done in 2011. You may have less time today.
SEO audits are important for making a good first impression. Let's take a look at some more.
Why are SEO Audits Important?
SEO audits give you a clear picture of your SEO strategy and can dramatically improve your rankings. Do you need proof? Smash VC saw a simple SEO audit that focused on content and increased its organic traffic by 76 per cent.
An SEO audit can be tedious, but they are invaluable in improving your online visibility and identifying issues that need to be addressed. For instance, audits help you:
- Find mistakes in the code, structure, and content of your website.
- Provide actionable insights to stay competitive
- Find out if you rank for the keywords you choose and what you are showing up on the SERPs
- Update your content to conform with the algorithm and webmaster guideline modifications
- Make decisions about what content you want to refresh
- Optimize your titles, headlines and meta descriptions
- do competitor analysis
- Measure the quality of backlinks and the text length. These are some of the most important factors in SEO rankings.
- For the best customer experience, make sure to check load times and mobile accessibility
An SEO audit can have a wide-ranging impact on your website.
When is it time for an SEO audit
According to 45 per cent of Search Engine Journal's State Of SEO respondents, personal and company websites are the top three sources of business. To ensure that they can, regular SEO audits will be necessary.
How often should you do an SEO audit? An SEO audit is a great idea every time. There are a few indicators that your site should be undergoing an SEO audit. These are:
- Your website's conversions and organic traffic are declining
- Your site has a high bounce-rate
- Your keyword rankings are dropping and you don’t know why
- Customer satisfaction is falling. According to research, SEO can improve ranking quality and thus increase visitor satisfaction.
An SEO audit is also recommended after you have built a website or moved a website. This will allow you to spot potential SEO problems early and take appropriate actions.
It's a good idea to conduct an SEO audit every quarter to make sure your site is performing at its best.
What You Need to Do Before Your SEO Audit
In a survey by professional SEOs, regular SEO site audits were listed as the second most effective tactic to increase website traffic.
An average SEO audit takes just a few hours, but can last up to six months. Preparing before the audit starts will ensure that you address the correct issues. It also saves time, reduces stress, keeps you organized, and helps you stay on track.
Before you launch an SEO audit, be sure to:
- Describe your goals: What do you want? If you have specific issues, focus on them. Perhaps your website is not showing up for the keywords you choose, or your bounce rates are increasing. A bounce rate of between 26 to 40 percent is great, on average is 45 percent.
- Identify stakeholders: Who will be responsible for the project? What resources are they looking for? Do you have the resources, tools and data to conduct the audit? Is it necessary for anyone to sign off?
Choose the metrics to measure
- Choose a date range. Would you like to see your site's performance over the past year, quarter or month?
- Select your tools: There's a lot of multi-purpose tools like Ubersuggest or Screaming Frog. Copyscape is for duplicate content, DeepCrawl to website crawling, Google Structured Data Tool and Small SEO Tools' keyword density tool are all available.
- Create a plan for data analysis: To report your findings, will you use a data visualization software like Google Data Studio? You can quickly complete reports while the data is fresh in your mind by creating permissions and accounts now.
The 15 Step SEO Audit Guide
Google offers more than 200 ranking factors, so it can be difficult to pinpoint where you are going wrong. A comprehensive SEO audit will reveal the root cause of your problems and help you create an action plan.
The 15-step SEO checklist does not address the major issues I see affecting sites and reducing their rankings.
1. Meta Descriptions (and Meta Titles): Review and Optimize
Google will rewrite meta descriptions if they aren't written well. Google actually rewrites meta description 62.78% of the time. This means that you might be missing out sharing your keyword or main selling points if your metas are not up to par.
Meta descriptions are searchers' invitations to your site. The meta description is intended to draw a reader to your site and encourage them to click through. Search engine pages will be more likely to find your website if you have a concise, clear, and detailed meta description.
In just three steps, you can audit and optimize page titles and meta descriptions with Semrush.
- Start a project and conduct a site audit.
- To see a complete content audit, you will need to create a list of pages, titles, descriptions, and other information. Next, you will need to review the spreadsheet and remove any unnecessary columns. Finally, optimize your SEO.
- To get ideas on optimizing your website's pages, use the on-page SEO Checker.
2. Enhance User Experience (UX).
Search engines are becoming smarter and more intelligent. 73% of customers believe that UX influences purchasing decisions.
Your SEO and rankings will suffer if you have a poor UX. There are many ways to improve UX.
There are many factors that influence how users perceive your site. These include the design, usability and load times. But there is no need to complicate things.
First, look for the low-hanging fruits. Are there any obvious ways to make your site more user-friendly?
Focus on the following:
- Is it in line with your brand?
- Headings Make sure they stand out and make clickable hyperlinks obvious.
- Video and images: Videos and images can be used to create a mood, show a product, or direct visitors to specific areas on your site. You should include enough video and images where necessary. However, you must maintain a good balance between text content and photos.
- The path to key pages: Users can easily locate pages that are most important, such as service pages or product pages. ?
- Forms Are forms easy to use and do they work?
To evaluate UX and get ideas for UX optimization, you might consider using a heatmap. You may need to spend more time if you have serious UX problems.
3. Look for Keyword Cannibalization
Cannibalization is when multiple pages on your website are identical or contain the same keywords. They are all competing for the same search traffic.
Cannibalization can cause visibility problems by lowering rankings on competing pages and confusion among visitors. Fixing this can increase your traffic three-fold.
Ahrefs is a tool that can help you find keywords for cannibalization.
- perform a site audit
- View your historical rankings
- Do a site search for your topic to find identical URLs
Consider redirecting pages that are weaker than others or combining them into one large page with valuable information.
4. Fix Indexing Problems
Are you wondering why your website's traffic isn't growing? Common indexing errors include:
- Server errors and 404
- Pages missing
- Crawl issues and duplicate content
Indexing problems can also be caused by other things like permanent redirects. According to a Semrush study, 74.9 percent of websites have them. It is important to determine if your website has too many re-directs.
Google may ignore your website for a number of reasons, including slow loading times, poor quality content or poor mobile-friendliness. Google does not index every page.
Google's Search Console is the best place to find solutions for your indexing problems.
The tool can be used to provide valuable information on site-specific issues, such as security and duplicate content.
This is how you do it:
- Click the Start button to go to the URL inspection tool.
- Enter your URL and wait to see the results.
- Learn how to interpret the results and troubleshoot problems.
You can also use the Google Index Checker to allow you to enter multiple URLs at once.
Google provides a complete list of indexing problems and solutions if you are still having trouble. For further guidance, you can also consult an SEO agency.
5. Optimize Content with Keywords
Did you know is the most popular Google search result? What are the best ways to ensure your site is at the top of the list? Keywords are the key. If you don't have the right keywords, you will not see sales or traffic. Higher rankings mean more conversions, leads and clicks.
It doesn't take much to optimize content. These are the steps to follow:
- Ubersuggest is a tool that allows you to conduct competitor research.
- Analyze keyword possibilities and look for gaps – these are topics that your competitors are covering but you aren’t.
- Write content that targets these keywords or update existing content to reflect the new keywords.
- Keywords can be used to enhance your content (including meta descriptions).
- Optimize your content to maximize readability and snippets.
- A better internal linking strategy is essential. Optimize your anchor text for your links.
You have many tools that can partially automate this task like Topic. This can make a big difference in your website's position.
6. Look for duplicate content
Duplicate content does not affect your ranking. Duplicate content is not a ranking factor.
Although duplicate content doesn't have a negative ranking, it can affect SEO. Google may not index and rank web content. This could negatively impact link equity.
This can happen if you have multiple domains or publish content in different formats. Copyscape and the Duplicate Content Checker Chrome extension can be used to check for duplicates.
Google offers some simple fixes if you discover duplicates.
- Use 301 redirects and top-level domains
- Google will prioritize the best page if you are syndicating content.
- Limiting similar content, such as identical copyright notices
- Not to use placeholder pages
- Add canonicalization to Google's preferred URL
7. Check out Loading Times
The average website takes 1.286 seconds to load for desktop, and 2.594 seconds for mobile. Your site could be slowing down if it takes longer.
Slow loading sites can cause increased bounce rates, lower conversions and decreased visibility.
Your site's loading speed is an important Google ranking factor. Visitors will choose to go to a competitor if your site takes too much time to load.
How can you speed up loading?
To determine your page's speed and highlight any issues, run a performance analysis using Google PageSpeed Insights.
You can also try this if your loading times are slow:
- optimizing images
- Use a Content Delivery Network
- Reduce the number of scripts and plugins
- GZIP compression can be enabled on your server
If you are still having trouble understanding the cause of your problems, please don't hesitate to contact me. My team is always available to assist you.
8. Analyze organic traffic
Organic traffic refers to the number of people who visit a website without paying for search advertising. Organic traffic can be obtained through mentions, links, and other online promotional methods such as social media posts.
This type of traffic can be a useful indicator of the popularity of your site. It also helps to measure the relevancy and quality of your content as well as the effectiveness of your SEO strategy. This traffic is also important for your bottom line. 94% of marketers say organic traffic drives the greatest ROI.
You now understand the benefits of SEO. What's the best way for you to increase organic traffic?
Start by creating an SEO strategy. Ubersuggest is a tool that allows you to search for keywords and competitors. You can then add the selected keywords to your pages in titles, URLs and meta descriptions.
Next, perform a technical SEO review to make sure everything is working as it should.
9. Analyze Mobile Friendliness
Google will rank websites that are mobile-friendly higher in search results. Google launched a mobile-first policy some time back. With more than half of all website traffic coming via mobile devices, it is imperative that you cater to them.
To assess your mobile-friendliness, enter your URL into Google's Mobile Friendly Test to see your score.
To assess what fixes you should make, use Google's mobile usability score. Based on your score, you might consider a mobile makeover or working with an agency to improve UX.
10. Fix Broken Links
Broken links are a common problem with websites. Most sites have at most a few. According to a study, the average website has 5.92 broken hyperlinks per 100 pages. Broken links happen due to website updates, content changes, or deleted pages.
Although it might not seem like a big problem, we all know how frustrating it can be when links stop working. This negatively impacts the customer experience.
Broken links can also affect your rankings as Google depends on them to determine PageRank and anchor texts. Google won't be able to find these links if they aren't broken.
It is simple to fix the problem. To find the problem, use a tool such as Screaming Frog's Broken Link Checker. Then you can fix, delete or redirect any broken links.
11. A secure HTTPS URL can improve your search rankings
Google encourages HTTPS websites and now marks sites that don't have SSL as unsafe in its Chrome browser.
Google's research has shown that SSL is a key measure of trustworthiness. 98% of Chrome users load pages from secure URLs.
It's not a good idea to add SSL solely for SEO purposes, however, as research has shown that HTTPS only has a modest impact on ranking.
Google offers a list with best practices that will help you make the transition to HTTPS.
12. Do a content audit
According to Content Marketing Institute's study, 75% of content marketing professionals plan to increase their content budget by 2022. However, without a content audit, they may not be able to determine which efforts will lead to ROI.
A content audit can help you identify what content is performing well and what content could be improved.
After the audit is complete, you can optimize the content and prioritize the most important tasks.
These are the main steps to a content audit.
- Make a list with content assets. CoSchedule offers a free template. Google Analytics allows you to download all pages.
- You should define your goals and make a list of any obstacles.
- You can choose your tools such as Ubersuggest or Google Analytics. Blaze is for creating inventory link and Blaze is for checking broken links like Screaming Frog.
- Perform research and analysis.
- Recognize recommendations.
- Create an action plan.
13. Do a competitive analysis
Competitive analysis allows you to identify your competitors and find opportunities to rank higher on Google.
This allows you to compare your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses, and gives you an idea of how you can position your product to get more traction.
During competitive analysis, consider the following:
- Keywords that your competitor ranks for
- Number of backlinks each site has
- Quality of backlinks
- Social media engagement (e.g., Facebook likes, followers on Twitter, etc.
- Website speed
- Mobile responsiveness
Ubersuggest and SproutSocial are two tools that can help simplify this task. They both measure social media campaigns.
Ubersuggest allows you to:
- Enter the URL of your competitor and choose Search
- Choose the Keywordoption in the left sidebar
- Analyse the keyword list
- Click Backlinks
- Select Top from left sidebar
14. Use a Website Search Tool
Website crawler (also known as web robot) is a program that scans the internet looking for content. Web spiders, also known as web robots, crawl the internet “looking” for content. These bots are used by Google to rank content. However, many SEO tools can also use them to identify SEO problems on your site.
Website crawlers or internet bots find problems like:
- Indexability and crawlability issues
- broken links
- duplicate content
Semrush offers an SEO audit tool, which you can use in minutes to crawl your website.
This is how you can use the crawling tool for SEO issues.
- Launch a new project
- Configure the basic settings
- Decide the crawling settings you prefer and what type of crawler to use
- Allow or disallow URLs depending on what you want the bot look at
- Analyze your data to see your site's health score
Set a schedule to determine the frequency of website crawling.
15. Identify Content Gaps
Content gaps are topics that users are searching for information on but your site does not cover. Content gaps can improve user experience and increase organic traffic.
You can discover content gaps by:
- Checking content rankings: Your keywords may be ranking but not as high. Start with the basics. Make sure you have all the SEO basics in place. Then, enhance content as much as possible.
- Keyword research: The first step in determining what is working is to find out which keywords are performing well. Long-tail keywords are more popular than short-tail keywords. Also, look for similar keywords.
- Competitive analysis What keywords are your competitors ranking on? These keywords can be used as inspiration to create new topic ideas.
Ahrefs is a tool that automates the process to speed up things.
Enter your URL and the tool will show you which keywords aren't ranking. Ahrefs allows you to search for subtopics.
SEO Audit Commonly Asked Questions
What is an SEO audit?
SEO audit tools can help you identify SEO mistakes that could lead to your website being ranked low. SEMrush, Ahrefs and other tools are available. For free SEO Analyzer reports or SEOptimer analysis, you can use our SEO Analyzer.
What are the top SEO audit tools?
It all depends on what you are looking for. Ahrefs' site auditor tool, SEMrush Site Audit and Ubersuggest are great starting points for a thorough technical audit.
What should I do following an SEO audit?
Your SEO audit will reveal what is wrong with your website. Once your audit is completed, you can start prioritizing the recommendations and then implement them. The easiest tasks should be first. Next, move onto the more challenging. Final, set a timetable and follow it.
Why is an SEO audit important
Because they reveal opportunities for improvement, SEO audits are essential. You'll be able to see more traffic and leads, as well as a higher level of visibility once you have fixed any SEO problems. To develop and implement a strategy, you can also contact an SEO specialist.
Conclusion: 15 Step SEO Audit Guide
It doesn't really matter how beautiful your website is. If it's not performing at its best, it won’t attract the leads, visitors, and conversion rates that you need.
An SEO audit will help you identify and correct any issues and provide you with the information you need to improve performance, rank higher, and increase visibility.
SEO can seem complicated, but it can have a significant impact on your traffic. Ubersuggest and Ahrefs are just a few of the tools that can help you get your site back on track.
Are you able to conduct regular SEO audits of your website? What are your top tools and strategies for SEO?
By: Neil Patel
Title: The 15-Step SEO Audit That Is Guaranteed to Improve Rankings
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/seo-website-audit/
Published Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2022 12:00:00 +0000
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