15 Step SEO Audit Checklist and Its Importance
What is SEO Audit?
SEO Audit Checklist is like an evaluation of your website that grades your site’s important content, for its ability to appear in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages)
In this technique, you will check each step on your audit list and find if there are any issues that you need to repair or improve.
As a result, the site audit process boost’s your page’s search engine performance.
You can think of an SEO audit as a report card for your website.YOur site might be well-designed, clear, and follows On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO, however, if the search engines cannot read your website, they might not see the light of the day.
An SEO strategy allows you to plan, outline and implement digital marketing strategies, to effectively compete in social media. It gives you a clear insight into your SERPs and structured data you can optimize to help you manage digital marketing.
There are two ways to perform an SEO audit.
- Do it manually using an extensive checklist
Use a Website review tool
A complete SEO Audit gives you an actionable plan and a complete insight into your website that helps you to:
- compare yourself to competing websites and use these findings to your advantage
- Identify what changes you might need to make
- A general overview of the SEO efficiency of your site
- identify the weaknesses and improvement areas of your site
- Set goals and expectations for your website.
It is important to note that you might be able to improve everything on your website at one, however, you can work on them over a period of time.
Why is SEO Audit Important?
Performing an SEO Audit is important as gives it an insight into your website’s ranking and why it might not be showing on the SERPs.
The goal is to identify weaknesses and errors to fix them so that you can improve your sight’s visibility.
Moreover, it helps identify your site’s On-Page issues and covers each element step by step which makes it easy to rectify gradually.
It also helps you understand what strategies and techniques your competitors are using that eventually help you to come up with a plan to improve your site.
An SEO audits looks at your website and check for potential errors and weaknesses, that will help you to improve the SERPs for your website.
To put it simply, it takes into account the totality of your website.
Here are the top 5 reasons your website needs an SEO audit and why it is important.
Identification of Technical Issues
An SEO Audit Checklist helps you to identify the technical SEO Issues and their relates to the search engine’s crawlibility.
Building a technical SEO is all about building the foundation of your website. The elements that are included in Technical issues are as follows:
- Website Speed: The time your website takes to load.
- Redirects and Errors: Redirects and errors should be minimal as they slow the user experience.
- URL Structure: Your website should use subfolders to maintain a good site architect and the URL should be short and descriptive
- Crawlibility: It refers to how easily a search engine crawls to your website.
It refers to the website’s optimization to make your content easily. In this section, you will look at different elements like Meta Descriptions and site titles, Headers, Content, and Internal Linking.
Identification of Competitors
SEO Audit helps you to identify your competitor’s strategies and techniques. Moreover, it helps you identify your weaknesses and shortcomings you need to fix to increase the traffic and visibility on search engines.
A good SEO will not only help you identify competition but also their strategy, and come up will a plan.
Backlinks are an important part of Google’s Algorithm. A good Seo Audit allows you to access the number of backlinks you are using as compared to your competitors, are you using spammy backlinks, and what backlinks your competitors are using.
It is important to note that backlinks come with good and resourceful content.
You can learn more here about Toxic Backlinks.
After you have checked various aspects of your website like Technical SEO, On-Page SEO, Off-Page Seo, Competition, and Backlinks, you need to work on good and resourceful content.
take a look at your competitors and use the keyword in your content, optimize the meta description and titles and figure out where you can make gains in backlinks.
Moreover, this will help you stay focused on content strategy.
15 Step SEO Audit Checklist
The main goal of this checklist is to increase the organic traffic on your website then before and improve the website rankings.
This is a manual action plan that allows you to review your SEO strategies for the pages on your site to effectively implement.
Moreover, as you go and review each step you will be able to make optimizations to your site that includes different elements of your website.
So if you want to get higher Google rankings, let’s dive into this actionable plan right away.
So, here is the top 15 step Audit Checklist for your website and how to improve it.
1. Mobile Friendly
With time, Mobile SEO is more important than ever. Why?
Because 60% of Google Searches come from mobile devices. and also because google is using their Mobile-First Algorithm.
This means that today Google is using mobile versions of your site as a ranking factor, for both mobile devices and desktop searches, according to Google Analytics.
To understand if your website is mobile-friendly or not you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool and you will see whether Google considers your site optimized for mobiles or not.
2. Google Indexes
Let us look at an example of URLs for the same site:
It is important to note that for you and me these URLs are the same but not for Google.
Look for XML Sitemap, which lists the URLs for your site. This allows search engines to crawl your site more efficiently and to finds URLs that may be isolated from the rest of the content.
Moreover, if you do not redirect these versions properly, Google will consider them completely different from one another.
If the version of your site does not redirect properly, you can use 301 to redirect it to the version you want to use.
3. Increase the Speed of your Site
Google has confirmed that your site’s loading speed is one of the ranking factors. To make your website load quickly you can take the following steps.
Clean up your site’s HTML codes and run a speed test. You can use different tools like WebPageTest.org or GTMetrix at your convenience.
Lastly, huge images can bring down the loading speed of your website. therefore, you can compress your images before using them on your site.
4. Extra Pages
To check the extra pages on your website, use site:yourwebsite.com into Google.
It will give you the exact number of extra pages on your website Google has indexed.
You will need to remove these pages in order to boost the Organic Traffic to your website.
What will it Do?
Google has announced that more content and pages on your site do not make your site better. However, when you remove these pages you are giving what Google wants, according to Google Analytics.
Common types of Extra pages are:
- Archive Pages
- Search Result Pages
- Old Press releases
Content with less word count (<50 words)
5. Indexing Problems
The next step is to find and fix the indexing problems of your site. You can do it by using Google Search Console.
The ‘Index Coverage’ report identifies a list of pages that Google cannot index for some reason.
You can also use Screaming Frog as it allows you to check the indexes as Google Console does.
6. Organic Traffic
In this step you will check the organic traffic you are getting on your site. You can use Google Analytics for this purpose.
It will show you the number of people who visited your website from search engines last month. You can also check for traffic from the previous months as well.
And if in case your organic traffic is flat or is not much improvement, then let’s move to the next step.
7. On-Page SEO
On-Page SEO is an important part of your website and you can easily optimize it by keeping in mind 5 strategies that include:
- Adding keyword in the title tag
- Adding keyword in first 100 words
- Add at least 5 internal links
8. Keyword Ranking
In this step, you will trank your rankings in the SERPs. It is important to keep in mind that there are tens and hundreds of tracking tools available. One of them is SMErush.
It not only tracks the words you give it, but it automatically finds the keywords that you rank for.
Backlinks are pretty important for your website as they correlate with your rankings more than any other factor.
You can analyze your backlink profile by using backlink analysis tools.
There are a lot of tools available on the internet like Ahrefs, MAjectic SEO, or Moz Pro.
These will not only give you the backlinks but the referring domains and authority as well.
Domain Authority tells you how much authority your site has. It is based on the quantity and quality of the backlinks you are using.
Lastly, look for Toxic Links. If you see a lot of branded anchor text, it is good. However. if you see a lot of keyword-rich anchor text, that is definitely a sign of a toxic link profile.
It is important to note that most of your backlinks should come from real and authentic websites. However, if you see a lot of toxic links then you might want to remove them for good.
10. Broken Links
Broken links are really bad for user experience and can hurt your SEO.
But first, you will need to find the broken links on your website.
You can do this by using Google Search Consol’s Index Report.
It will show you all the errors and extra or deleted pages on your website for some reason. However, Google stops reporting such pages eventually.
But if it does not do so and Google can not access the page you want to rank then you really want to get the page back up.
Next, use a tool to fix broken internal and external links.
You can use Ahrefs or Broken Link Check.
11. Analysis of the Competition
It is important to analyze the competition as it gives you an insight into not only the keywords they are ranking for but also the different techniques and strategies they are using.
First, you need to find the keywords your competitors are using and for it, you can use SEMrush or Ahrefs.
If your competitor is ranking for certain keywords, then there is a possibility that you also have a good chance of ranking for those keywords.
Next, is to check the pages that are ranking for those keywords. And then figure out what is common amongst them. This will allow you to know the type of content that works best in your niche.
On the last site. look for the links to those pages. This will help you easily identify the influences in your niche and you can, therefore, start building relationships with them.
12. Better Content
It is important to note that in 2021 your content needs to be 10 times better than your competitors.
To make sure you are doing well with the content keep in mind to use short intros, small paragraphs, use a lot of subheaders (use them early and often), and use images and visuals.
13. UX Signals
RankBrain is Google’s AI Algorithm that measures how users interact with your website.
To rank in Google, you need to make sure that you optimize for UX Signals. To put it simply, your content needs to be user-friendly.
When you do this, Google gives you a high ranking and a huge boost.
14. Website Architechture
Website Architecture is important for your website for 2 reasons.
One, it helps search engines find and index all of your pages and
Second, it tells Google which pages are important on your site.
To put it in simple words, the closer your page is to the homepage on your site, the most important it is.
To precisely understand it, make sure that your page is not 3 clicks away from the homepage.
15. Skyscraper Post
The last step of the SEO Audit is the Skyscraper Technique.
It helps Google find and index all of the changes you just made to your website.
The first step, however, is to find a ranking keyword and then writing better content than your competitors.
Add details, screenshots to increase website traffic.
Finally, promote your post. This is the key. When Google Notices an immense amount of traffic to your page it will send Googlebot right away.
Before concluding it, here’s a Pro Tip: Internal Links.
SEO Audit Checklist is one of the most underrated strategies however, make it your priority to add mush internal links as you can.
By following the above steps, you can make a lot of visible improvements to your website’s rankings.
A complete SEO Audit is a lengthy process and it can take several hours however, it is a great way of starting a new SEO campaign and making changes to your website.
It will not only increase the traffic to your website, but it will also help you understand the key factors and strategies to make your content worthy of Google and have better crawl ability.