Is your website SEO performance lagging on SERPs? Isn’t your SEO strategy updated or functioning well to gain organic traffic? Well, it’s always disheartening spending time, effort, & money to make your website shine. But, everything goes in vain when it is not up to expectations. Are you able to identify the root cause? If not, you must run an SEO audit for your website to acquire search engine ranking & deliver a good user experience.
In the era of the digital age, when businesses are going online, it is a must to embrace search engine optimization (SEO) to stay ahead of the competitors. But are you implementing the right SEO?
According to research, 93% of online experience starts with a search engine, meaning web browsing sessions were recorded more than entering URLs or using social media. Thus, to make your website sales-driven or user-friendly, you need to optimize SEO.
You need to stay updated and avail of many SEO tools/techniques to create a result-driven SEO strategy. To make sure your website is SEO-optimised, you must run a successful SEO audit to gain visibility. But, before that, you first need to understand the basics to make it functioning for all-sized businesses. Let’s begin…
What is an SEO Audit? The Overview
SEO Audit monitors your website’s health by checking the SEO metrics and insights that play a significant role in site visibility on search engines. Here’s what the purpose of SEO Audit is defined in three ways:
1. Single Page SEO Audit: It evaluates every insight of the website- the quality of the content, web design, low or high performing pages, security, thorough research & testing for a user-friendly website. Also, it optimizes your CTAs to be crisp & attractive that drives your target audience.
2. Technical SEO Audit: It identifies the errors in the back-end and front-end of the website, like broken links, Page loading speed, or plagiarised content. With this, it’s easy for bots or crawlers to crawl your website and deliver a great user experience
3. Off-Page SEO Audit: It analyses your website’s and competitor’s backlinks in comparison to make an in-depth keyword strategy. Also, once the analysis part is done, you can run a link-building campaign by building links through guest posting, directory submissions, link exchange, etc.
Why is an SEO Audit Important for your Website?
By gaining insight from SEO analysis, you understand how to improve your website’s technical aspects and content. It further helps to build relationships with search queries that visitors perform. If done right, SEO analysis contributes, in the long run, to help your website rank higher, reach the target audience, and drive organic traffic.
Below are some of the points stating the importance and why you need an SEO Audit to make your website a win-win:
Being in a digitalized world, it’s crucial to have a mobile-optimized website to get crawled and indexed in the search engine. Google has altered its Algorithm to index the website’s mobile version. Thus, SEO Audit helps you optimize your content, UI/UX design, canonical URL, and various other SEO factors to increase page speed and make them responsive for mobile.
Maintains Website’s Technical Health
When it comes to making your website strong from a technical perspective, SEO Audits are the best way to identify website errors and fix them to maintain the ranking on SERPs. It analyses your broken, dead, or bad links and helps you fix them via redirection to 301 or 302. Also, you can check your website’s overall content like duplicacy, low-optimized, or missing inter-linking and fix accordingly to level up the technical SEO and strategies.
Get Better Insights on Competitors
You can compare your and competitors’ ranking based on keyword analysis, ranking status, & organic traffic. Tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Google Analytics can help you track- keywords with high volume, top-ranking content with focused keywords, other top-performing pages, including any service page, landing page, or eBook. Based on this, businesses can recreate or develop an SEO marketing strategy mentioning the points that they are missing or not doing to stay ahead in the SEO game.
Faster Loading Speed
Poor navigation, bad UI/UX design, less readability of the content, unattractive CTAs- all these factors slow down the page’s loading speed. It then increases the bounce rate. With SEO audit, businesses can test by checking the HTML coding, size of the images, and content font. Remember, the smoother your website or its pages load, the better experience users will acquire. It ultimately leads to a lower bounce rate, more customer engagement, and higher search engine ranking.
Deliver a Better UX
It is said that the more the visitors spend time on your website (known as watch time), the better it delivers the user experience. And better user experience means a solid customer base with an increase in conversion rate. SEO analysis lets website owners develop an interactive website by navigating pop-up banners, testing XML sitemaps, reviewing canonical tags, content quality, & UI design. Also, an SEO audit allows a security check by ensuring that you must be SSL certified to make your website data encrypted.
Local SEO Optimization
46% of the searches made on Google are for local solutions. Every day Google gets a total of 3.5 billion searches, out of which 1.6 billion searches are with local intent.
For every online business, it’s crucial to enhance visibility in local online searches & then hit globally. For this, you need to create a powerful SEO strategy to get in local searches via organic search results or local snack packs. Therefore, an SEO audit keeps a regular check on GMB listings, citations, & other local off-site activities to gain local searches ranking and maintain visibility in Google maps.
How to Conduct an SEO Audit for Your Website
Being in the aggressive digital marketing industry, it’s essential to maintain an online presence and generate revenue out of your business. The Google algorithms and the technology/trends keep on changing or updating at regular intervals. Thus, you need to stay up-to-date with everything to create a remarkable SEO strategy & boost relevant search engine traffic.
Also, developing a good strategy isn’t enough; you need to maintain a regular check on it. You need to conduct an SEO audit process to stay current and relevant.
Your SEO audit isn’t possible without using the audit tools. So, let’s know the tools first.
The tools to Use
Several tools are available to perform an SEO audit that allows your all-sized websites to analyze, identify, and fix SEO issues. But, as a business, you need to decide which one goes well with your business goals and allows you to perform on-site actions in real-time. Here are some of the practical tools to avail of:
❖ Google Analytics
Now that you know about SEO audit tools, here is the step-by-step guide on activities you can perform:
You can rectify the original page’s URL existing at a different spot by crawling the canonical link element “rel=canonical” in the HTTP and HTML headers. Inexact words, it helps search engines know that your original URL link is available at other places and fix or remove it asap to avoid duplicacy. The audit even allows you to report on the setup and common errors creating obstacles in your ranking.
The audit tools allow you to crawl and store the canonicals. You can crawl, extract and report the website’s URL to understand & identify the canonical implementation and errors. The SEO audit even helps you view the new, missing, or removed link using filters on the main window.
Check Broken Links & Audit Redirects
Businesses can perform deep analysis to collect insight on the broken or dead link (404 errors), providing a bad user experience. You can export the URL or server errors, and their sources are sent to the developers to get them fixed. The tools check all your internal and external links, even in a free version, and provide you with an audit report of all 404 errors.
It allows you to find temporary or permanent redirects and upload the list of URLs in a site migration for an audit. You can find a list of suggestions for redirection to make it a valid URL OR 301 Redirect.
Examine Website Architecture
You can examine the common issues of site architecture by running a website audit report. You get in-hand XML & HTML sitemaps reports to understand the architecture of a website in terms of content. Then, with the help of the Robots.txt file, you can block the URLs that you don’t want search engines to crawl or get indexed.
In this way, if your website includes duplicate content or something that you don’t want to show, you can protect it with a disallow command or apply a password. It results in making your website organized in every way- URL, content, pages with breadcrumbs, improved navigational menus- delivering an enhanced user experience.
Identify Thin or Duplicate Content
After the Panda algorithm update in 2011, Google got very serious about content quality and continues hating duplicate content. With the help of tools like a Screaming frog or CopyScape, you can get insights into thin content, which means shallow, short, and low-quality content degrading the website and its pages. These types of content are of no value to the readers and leave them confused or puzzled. It allows you to see which section or content is plagiarised along with the source URL, and you can fix it.
You can get real-time data analysis on the content by entering URLs, like when the recent update was done or the historical trend. With “Duplicate pages without canonical” errors helps in tracking where all the duplicate content lies on your website.
As we all know, SEO is more of an on-page practice to optimize your website overall. It includes the structure of the website, including the internal architecture of the inner pages. On-page SEO audits analyze the competitors’ page elements, content, and (the most important) keywords on their pages performing on Google. Factors to look out for conducting an On-page SEO audit:
❖ See if title tags and Meta description are within 54 characters and 160 characters, respectively. These are part of HTML code in a web page that appears on search engine results.
❖ Remove any sort of keyword stuffing or over usage of keywords. Make sure to use the main keywords in the H1 tags. And use secondary keywords, their synonyms, and LSI keywords in H2, H3 tags, image alt text, or wherever appropriate.
❖ Check out if you have included all URLs and images in your XML sitemap. And take a look if you have specified web pages that are allowed and restricted from Google crawling in robot.txt files.
❖ Analyze the schema markups, i.e., are they implemented as per Google guidelines.
❖ Inspect URLs for seo friendly URL structure and redirect broken links with 404/301 codes or relevant web pages.
❖ Include proper Social media icons to improve your social media engagements. Check out with your team for regular social media posts to improve your online presence.
Run Page Speed Test
Website Speed is a crucial part of page experience. 53% of the users are likely to leave the website if it takes more than 3 seconds for a web page to load. Imagine how irritating it will be if a website is taking longer to get loaded. Users will abandon the website increasing the bounce rate to a large extent.
On the other hand, improving your website speed by 0.1 sec can enhance your conversion rate by 8%. So, it is a best practice to invest in your website speed. And look out for individual web pages that are making your website slower.
Further, core web vitals are deciding factors for determining website speed. Google keeps on updating its parameters for enhancing user’s convenience. Recently, Google upgraded them in May 2021. It consists of three-page speed and user engagement elements. These are the Largest Contentful paint, First input delay, and cumulative input shift.
LCP is how much time it takes to load a page’s primary content; the ideal time is 2.5 sec or faster. FID is the time between the user’s giving some command or clicking and when the browser responds; 100 ms. CIS is the factor of visual stability when all the website elements become stable on the screen; less than 0.1.
Check out the site page speed test with Google online test. Several factors could hamper your website from achieving optimum speed. These are:
❖ Image optimization is the first step to increase your website speed. Compress their size in a way that doesn’t affect the user’s clarity.
❖ Check your server-side response. If you have a slow server, it is best to have a VPN or dedicated server. Compromising on server price can be detrimental to your website speed.
❖ Redirects take additional time to process requests and respond to them. So, check if they’re relevant or not and remove them wherever not required.
Mobile internet has expanded its roots in almost every nook and corner of the world. More than 90% of the world’s internet users come from the mobile itself. How can Google ignore such a considerable number? So, Google came up with Mobile-first indexing in 2019.
You can audit your website for Mobile-friendliness by checking these factors:
1. Responsive website: Is your website responsive? The website adjusts text, images, and tables according to screen sizes like tablets, smartphones, iPhones, or PC.
2. Bot Crawling: Allow Google Bots to crawl on mobile websites on robot.txt file.
3. Page Speed: Websites must load early on mobile devices to stay on the website. For that, reduce the size of HD images to the extent that it is clear to the readers. Use AMP pages for increasing the speed of web pages on mobile.
Creating an effective SEO strategy isn’t enough to rank higher on SERPs. Google won’t crawl your website if it is not user-friendly, has a poor design, title tags/meta tags, heading tags structure or SEO metrics missing, and much more. You need a regular check to rectify, analyze, eliminate or fix the strategy or techniques used to run your website & its elements. It will further result in a higher conversion rate making your website a revenue-generating tool. Thus, you must routinely follow an SEO audit to make your overall SEO strategy a hit.
In this blog, we have discussed a comprehensive guide on SEO audit for a clear understanding to leverage it in a better way, resulting in remarkable website performance.
If you want to audit your website and fix any SEO issues, feel free to contact our SEO consultants. Webomaze is the best SEO company in India; having SEO experts with years of experience can provide tailor-made solutions to increase web traffic, boost ranking, and improve your website’s conversion ratio.