How are your customers finding you? An important question every business owner must always know the answer to. If you want to get found on the search engine results pages (SERP’s) like Google, then your website has to be SEO friendly. An SEO audit is the first step in building a successful SEO campaign.
Hiring an SEO company can be very expensive especially for most small and medium-sized businesses.
In this article, I will share useful tips to help you perform a complete SEO audit of your website. You will need to know where your website stands if you want to optimize it for rankings in the SERP’s.
So even before you begin your audit here are some important questions you need to ask yourself:
- Do you have a way to measure a return on investments on your SEO tactics?
- Does your company have an SEO philosophy?
- Do you know how to measure your SEO successes and failures?
- Do you know what is and is not working?
- What SEO audit tools are you currently using?
Website audits show what is wrong with your website helping you uncover the areas that will need your immediate attention. Performing an SEO audit will require you to have an in-depth look at numerous technical aspects of your website.
In order to improve your website’s SEO, you are required to optimize numerous elements of your website. So let’s have a look at the general areas that you will need to evaluate:
- Site Loading Speed: The time it takes a webpage to load
- HTML Page Size: The smaller the page of a website the better usually it should be less than 33kb
- Flash test: Remember Google don’t like flash objects on a website because it slows it down.
- Frames: It is not encouraged to use frames by the website SEO audit tools.
- Make sure your website is optimized for mobile: This is very important especially in sub-Saharan Africa where 90% of the internet access is from mobile.
- Social API: Make sure to use APIs provided by all major social media platforms.
- Social Media Activity: The more activity you have on FB, Twitter, and Google+, the better.
Regional SEO factors
- The root of Domain TLD matters
- Language of localization used on the website
- Linking websites from the region
- Server IP of the location
- Geo meta tagging of pages
On-Page SEO Factors
- Publishing High-quality content
- Paying attention to your H1 and H2 heading tags
- URL static query parameter format
- Pointing links from the page
- Use of image alt tags
The checklist highlighted above is just a brief and general look at the major SEO aspects of your website that you are required to know in order to effectively perform an audit.
Important To Note: Google has a very strict policy when it comes to link-building, here’s what you need to know
How To Perform an SEO Audit
Now that we have gone through the SEO checklist, we have an idea of what to look out for when performing our audit.
Generally, most SEO audits are focussed around these four pillars:
- Competitive Analysis: What keywords are your competitors ranking for? (Read More About This)
- Off-Page Ranking factors: Example is popularity, authority, backlinks, reviews etc (Read More About This)
- On-Page Ranking factors: Example is content, URL, titles, tags, images, and links. (Read More About This)
- Indexability: Are people able to access your website and it is indexable.
There are various SEO audit tools (free and paid) that you can use to help you conduct an audit of your website. Here are two free tools that I would recommend you start with:
Keywords are how users find your website and how Google identifies the content topics on your website. Google Keyword Planner Tool allows anyone in the world to find out EXACTLY what and HOW users search on Google.
By using this tool you will get to make lists of all the highly relevant keywords that you would like to rank for and that are HIGHLY RELEVANT.
Once you have a RELEVANT filtered list of keywords you can then begin optimizing your website for these searches. Your on-page content should always include your keywords and be RELEVANT to the theme of your page
By performing an SEO audit you are able to suggest high search volume keywords which your website’s content can incorporate.
One of my favorite SEO tools it’s great for auditing On-Page SEO factors.
If you use WordPress, this SEO plugin keeps you on track by optimizing your site content and web pages with automatic SEO checks and on-page prompts to improve SEO.
What I love the most about this plugin is, as you write your blog posts it calculates your SEO score and color codes it for you to see.
Why Does Your Website Need An SEO Audit?
By performing an SEO audit you can increase the rank of your website on Google. This means that more people will find your business on search results, which will lead to more traffic to your website that you can potentially convert them into paying customers.
Your website is at the center of all your digital marketing efforts. If you are looking at having any kind of online and reach and engagement it’ starts by ensuring that your website is SEO friendly.
SEO & website audit reports identify high-quality content opportunities that will increase the relevancy and popularity of your website providing you an opportunity to target your content specifically to your target market.
Earlier at the beginning of this article, I mentioned the term “SEO Philosophy” what this means is that there are different approaches to developing SEO campaigns. An example of an SEO philosophy is one that is heavily focussed on content as opposed to links. This is the SEO philosophy I would recommend all businesses should adopt because it produces the best results in the long term.
If your website is at the core of your business and how you acquire your customers then one of the fastest ways to enhance it is by doing a full SEO audit.
And finally, I would like to leave you with this infographic that does a pretty good job at summarizing a step by step process of how to perform an SEO website audit.
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