A thorough and comprehensive SEO site audit not only aids in going through the current SEO strategies of a website, but also lets you work towards improving such strategies. Taking several key elements into consideration and accessing various components of SEO is involved in offering an efficient and helpful SEO audit to your clients.
Whether you’re conducting a local SEO site audit or ecommerce site SEO audit, the process is relatively consistent for all applications and sub-sets of SEO. Here is a detailed guide on constructing a comprehensive SEO site audit.
1. Site Architecture and Usability Analysis
Analysing the usability includes studying the site architecture and ease of navigation, ensuring that the users can find what they are looking for. A proper internal linking can minimize bounce rate and keep visitors engaged.
SEO professionals must see to it that the pages have optimized links and aren’t too saturated with links. The URLs for the related pages must be grouped and the semantic markup must have HTML tags designed in a way to inform search engines about specific details. This component is especially important when conducting ecommerce SEO site audit programs. While there are some tools for this component, most often this requires the skill-sets of proficient SEO professional.
2. Site Backlink Profile Analysis
The links directing to a site highly influence its ranking. A comprehensive SEO audit must study the number of backlinks, page authority and domain authority rank for every inbound link. A good backlink profile has a healthy combination of different types of anchor texts and not just the keywords. A thorough analysis of the hyperlinks to a site in terms of relevancy and nofollow ratio should be performed along with comparing the same with the site’s competitors. The best tools for this SEO audit component are Link Assistant’s SEO SpyGlass and Majestic (we prefer the latter.)
3. Content Analysis
Accessing the content for its consistency and value is extremely essential. A well-written and industry specific content is always preferred by visitors as well as search engines for webpage rankings. The content must be original, customer focused, easy to comprehend and free from language errors. Also, duplicate content must be checked and removed as it is challenging for Google to decide which page to display when there are more than one copies of a web page indexed by Google. The best place to pinpoint duplicate content is Google Webmaster Tools (under the “Crawl” tab).
4. Technical Site Performance Assessment
A website will not be listed if search engines are not able to crawl and identify it. The initial step of a comprehensive SEO site audit is to check the underlying code of a website for crawling and indexing. Test the accessibility features and settings including the robots.txt and HTML status codes. The site standards must be up to date and the web pages must work as intended on requesting an access. XML sitemaps must be analysed as they provide the information to search engines regarding page hierarchy, public pages to be crawled, and the date of last updates.
5. On-Page SEO Assessment
All the on-page SEO elements and the digital assets must be scrutinized thoroughly during an SEO audit. Assess the webpages and make sure they are using and relevant and unique meta keywords, meta descriptions, title tags, SEO-friendly URLs and other attributes. A content keywords analysis determines how Google interprets a website and can help in including targeted keywords throughout the website more frequently.
6. Site Speed Analysis
A comprehensive SEO audit must cover assessing the website speed. The time taken for the web pages to load is very critical as a slow-loading site may make the users click away. Also, site speed is an essential element determining the search rankings of a site because it influences the user-experience. In fact, an SEO audit must not only assesses the website’s performance in terms of speed, but also recommend ways to improve it.