Conducting an audit on your search engine optimization(SEO) is crucial for many reasons. The reason being it helps you to identify problem areas that could use some improvement. Establishing this also allows you to develop an action plan to counter these problems.
What is an SEO audit?
It is impossible to carry out an audit if you don’t know what it means and what you should expect from the results. An SEO Audit refers to the process of evaluation of search engine optimization in several areas. You may be tempted to use various SEO auditing tools but the best option to get the desired results is by having SEO Services perform this audit or following a step by step guide like this one here. SEO audit will assess your site manually, giving out recommendations on how to further improve your efforts or scrap the whole implementation and come up with a new one. Sometimes it may be a quick fix or several changes to make your SEO efforts effective.
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Importance of auditing your site’s SEO regularly
The SEO world is a fragile one and keeps changing so often. What works now may not work tomorrow, and that is why you need to check your SEO to see its relevance regularly. The search giant Google keeps updating its ranking factors, and this also needs to drive you to conduct regular audits on your SEO. It is, therefore essential to perform SEO audits at least twice a year. This is to ensure that your site stays up-to-date with the latest developments.
How to conduct your SEO Audit
I believe that you are now convinced about the importance of SEO audits. So let’s see how you can perform your SEO audit. To come up with this guide, I did a few tests to see which the best method to conduct an SEO audit was. Which led me to settle for this one here. Read through to see how it’s going to help you with your SEO strategy. This guide has 5 sections to make it easier for anyone.
1. Check whether Google has penalized you
This step is the most crucial before diving into auditing, and it involves checking whether your site is suffering from Google penalties. If by any chance, your website is either manually or algorithmic penalty, it’s going to affect your website negatively. Try to understand why it is penalized and find proper ways to get the penalty removed. This is done in two ways. The first one is to select ‘Manual Actions’ from the left menu of the Google search console.
Secondly, you can compare dates Google released an algorithmic change and your Google organic traffic. You will know that your website was affected by a sudden increase or decrease in traffic on your website.
In your Google Analytics, go to ACQUISITION / ALL TRAFFIC >> SOURCE / MEDIUM from the left menu.
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2. How the search appears
The next section involves conducting a search of your company name in Google and observes how the results look like. Is the listing from Google showing site links? Does the homepage have a proper description below it? Check for the knowledge graph entry that Google is showing on your brand’s right panel. Another crucial area is your GMB’s information on the page; you should check whether Google correctly displays it. Other pages listed on page one should have the relevance of your brand. Check whether ‘related searches’ are related to your business. Are there searches you can refer to, in creating dedicated pages? If you’ve gone through all these and can’t achieve desired results, it means that your website has some issues that need to be handled. You need to take care of problems before moving to the next step. And you can do this by:
- Checking your site structure and optimizing it.
- Revising homepage SEO.
- Claiming a Google My Business page, correcting the information if some are not accurate.
3. Audit your Technical SEO
Next, do an extensive review on your website, beginning with the technical SEO. The reason for this is to ensure that your web page is indexed with search engines without any obstacles. To truly get a breakdown of your technical SEO, here is a checklist to help you.
Have you registered your website with Bing webmaster tools and Google search console? If it’s not, this should be the topmost priority. Google has provided the Google search console provides web owners with information about their websites. Google knows everything about your website and the information is available in various tool options in the Google search console. You can get information such as:
- The number you pages submitted and if they are indexed.
- Your targeted keywords.
- Effective targeted keywords.
- Mobile responsiveness.
Your URLs should also be SEO friendly as much as many webmasters have this properly configured, it’s always good for you to keep reviewing your URL structure to ensure that they are SEO friendly. The URLs for each page should also be unique and properly formatted. Although useful URLs have keywords, they shouldn’t be stuffed. Hyphens should be included to separate keywords for each page to make them unique.
4. On-Page SEO Audit
Numerous things need to be handled in the technical aspect of your SEO, but these are just a few of them. After dealing with that part, the next section is to go straight to your website’s content. This is what is called on-page SEO, which is also an essential part of your SEO audit. You will find that many webmasters only conduct this part of the audit but to effectively make your SEO strategy work it is best that you also focus on other aspects of your website when auditing. The primary function of on-page SEO is to ensure that the search engines understand your site content.
To make on-page SEO effective, you need to provide the web crawlers with the proper signals using keywords and other on-page elements. Another way is to check and optimize your titles and descriptions. The titles and descriptions should be unique for each page, according to the specified size. Does the title vividly explain the page, and does the narrative tell the user what the page offers? Google Analytics helps to find the most popular pages and ensure that these have high-quality content. The length of your content should also be right with fresh content. For pages with identical content, you can merge them with 301 redirects.
5. Off-Page SEO Audit
Off-Page SEO is the technique used to promote your website on the Internet. This refers to link building. Google regards backlinks as votes of confidence. This helps sites to build their authority using high-quality backlinks to rank better in search engines. As much as off-page SEO is important, you need to be cautious not to include uncouth ways like black and grey hat SEO to build your links as this may lead to your site being penalized which is not worth it. If you are not sure of what to implement, leave it, and stick to on-page SEO, which is not so risky.
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I am glad that you took your sweet time to read till the end. I am sure you are now informed about the importance of auditing your site’s SEO, and you are in a better place to conduct an audit yourself. It is clear that the audit involves more than your on-page SEO and you have to go to various checklists to ensure that you are in the best position to improve your implementation to improve your site’s ranking. Followed to the latter, and using the right SEO tools the audit will genuinely benefit your business.
This article is written by Naman Modi. Naman is a professional blogger, SEO expert & guest blogger at NamanModi.com, He is an award-winning freelancer & web entrepreneur helping new entrepreneurs launch their first successful online business. Follow him: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest.