Many of you have been using or planning to Implement technique of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for raising the visibility of websites , blogs or webpage over internet. After employing SEO technique the question that remains unanswered is how to check its result or by what means audit of SEO technique can be done to verify that SEO technique is performing as per your expectations or not.
Before getting into how a SEO audit is done let’s try to figure out, what SEO audit actually means or What is SEO audit refers to?
A SEO audit refers to a process where that is used to evaluate how well a website, webpage, blog or so performs or where it stands in a number of areas, the actual performance of website is compared with the standard SEO audit checklist. On the basis of end result obtained the area where website lacks are identified and corrective measures or actions to fix the same are taken.
Benefits of SEO Audit:
- You get a detailed description regarding what is current state of your website in terms of its performance in search, internal and external links, social media, published content and in other information related to websites current state.
- You get to know about the list of actions to be taken which is based on SEO audit checklist. These actions are backed with exploitation for each and every item in the list.
- You also gain a detail report that describes a complete internet marketing strategies for taking advantages of various avenues that can redirect traffic towards your website and helps you to grab other opportunities on the internet.
- You also get a list of top keywords over your website that are seen by SEMRush along with the information related to Page Authority and Domain Authority from Moz, that indicates more accurate value of website.
Related Read: How to Conduct a Link Audit
How To Do An SEO Audit?
There are 3 important set of information needed at most for auditing:
- Brand Name
The Steps or factors to be considered for auditing SEO are as follows:
Using Google Analytics or any other analytics tool, you can get the following information:
- Level of search volume,
- Rise or fall in statistics,
- Top keywords searched and their positions.
Using Google, you can search for your Brand name with or without location and can collect following information:
- Does domains appears? And to what position,
- Are there any site links? If present then what would be suitable selections?,
- Any inappropriate listing that might harm brands value.
- The content published on website should not be absurd instead it should be meaningful and should make sense.
- The content published on website should be arranged in a systematic manner with category wise division to make navigation easier for visitors.
- The keywords used in content should be used in such a manner that they can easily be targeted by the user or visitors.
- The content should be real facts that can be verified, no irrelevant or unreal piece of information should be published.
- The Formatting of content should be carefully done that it seems to be presentable and while going through the content the reader should not feel monotonous.
- There should be appropriate use of images and graphical presentation to make the content more presentable and explain it in a better way.
- There should not be any duplicity or redundancy of data or information.
Technical factor or Accessibility
Using Google webmaster tools, the following technical issues of your website can be identified:
- If there is a file robots.txt then with that is there any canonical problem attached? Or do they conflict?
- Also it’s viewed that there is no vital information reflected that can be used by hackers,
- Check whether the content of entire site or vital content is been blocked or not,
- Is link equity being orphaned due to pages being blocked via the robots.txt?
- The various navigation links inserted should work properly and if there is any broken link then the error should be rectified,
- Check for 4xx or 5xx error using SEOMoz.
One of important factor that affects the viewers or visitors preference is the appearance of your website or webpage. A website should possess headings, sub heading in a systematic format and the color combination chosen for same should be pleasing to viewers or visitors. Also during auditing following points should be checked:
- Is there a single H1 that describes the page, supports the page title and contains the page’s keywords?
- Using the Web Developer Toolbar, look at the image alt tags,
- With the Web Developer Toolbar, turn off CSS. Does this reveal any cloaked text? Select all; does this reveal any hidden text?
- Look through the page content. Rate it 1 to 5 then jot down a few notes about why you ranked it this way,
- There should be proper hierarchy of content followed to maintain appropriate way to flow link equity to key pages.
Using SEOmoz tool, you can get the following details:
- Check for Domain Author Authority of website and see whether it is high, medium or low as page rank is one of important factor that affects visibility of website, hence higher the Page rank, higher the visibility of website.
- Check for number of backlinks and referring domains are there on website? Is there a 10% or better ratio.
Social media plays an important role in promotion and marketing of website. For availing the benefits of social media a website should contain
o Facebook like button
o Google+ button
o Twitter button
- With use of above, the website can have its followers and regular visit from followers can be ensured.
- Also this helps the interested visitors or viewers of website to get the updates on website on their account conveniently.
- Website should also have its page or account on above mentioned social networking sites to accomplish its purpose of promotion. Hence while conducting SEO auditing Social media should be considered as one of item in audit checklist.
- Each and every webpage of website should be properly interlinked for effective performance of website.
- Each important webpage should be linked with homepage so it’s convenient for visitor to redirect to important pages.
- There should be a “sitemap” option present at home page of website for making navigation of website easy for various visitors.
- There should not be any broken links over website and if any of such broken link is present then it should be fixed or repaired as soon as possible and regular check should be conducted for same.
There are few common points or elements that are to be covered by each and every website. A few of such elements to be considered are as follows:
- Pages like about us, Contact us, Terms and condition or Private Policy page.
- Breadcrumbs on all internal pages.
- Systematic content structure over website with relevant or appropriate subheadings or categories.
A Website with no relation to the content published should have a systematic and presentable approach towards the website structure for making navigation of website easier and to enhance experience of its visitors.
- Images play an important role for making a website more presentable and attractive for visitors.
- Visitors many times don’t read the complete content published on website as a solution to this images should be appropriately used where ever needed to explain the content in an effective way to visitors.
- The filenames of images should be descriptive to what the image is about. In other words the image filename should be kept in such a manner that filename is reflective of content or message that image is trying to deliver to its viewer.
- Every image should have ALT tag defined.
- The size of each and every image should be optimized for making effective use of website’s space. Also if content on webpage is heavy then it would take more time to load creating inconvenience for visitors.
- Handling the website page speed is one of most difficult task and is one of essential element of SEO management and success of SEO technique to an extent is affected by the page speed.
- The page speed can be optimized if following points are kept at focus:
o Compressing image size uploaded to website,
o Minimize CSS and HTML to make their size small,
o Remove unnecessary Images, links or java script from webpages.
This will result in enhancing website’s performance and will optimize the experience of viewers or viewers with website ensuring their visit to website more frequently.
SEO Audit Checklist (Sample):
On Site SEO checklist:
|Home Page Title||High|
|Home Page Description|
|Titles are unique for different page||High|
|Titles Length is b/w 50-65 characters?||High|
|Description tag length is b/w 150-160 characters||High|
|Presence of unique description tag for each page||High|
|Presence of keyword in Description Tag|
|Permanent Link structure (URL) format|
|H1 headings for titles?|
|Use of H2 and H3 for sub-headings|
|Small paragraphs and use of bold , italics wherever necessary|
|Presence of Unique logo for website|
|Is there a favicon?|
|Content’s length on post pages||Low|
|Internal Linking of pages||High|
|Content of website is updated?|
|Internal linking – Use of Anchor text (is it varied?)|
|Use of ALT tag for images||Low|
|Descriptive image file names?||Low|
|Image file size is optimized?||High|
|“No follow” tags for – |
|Too many ads above the fold?|
|Check for invalid use of 301 & 302 redirects|
|Site implements rel=canonical to identify original contents?|
|Check for broken links on website||High|
|Page Speed with respect to loading “home page”||Low|
|Page speed with respect to load “other pages”|
|Implementation of Google Authorship status||High|
|Important pages are linked to home page and sidebar?|
|User sitemap is present in main menu?||Low|
|Each detail page is supported with “related posts” section?||Low|
|Is there an author for all site pages?||High|
|Website contains pages like – |
|Is there a breadcrumb on all pages?|
|Is there any custom 40 page?||Low|
Website Control checklist:
|Check website’s registration on “Google” webmaster tools||High|
|Check website’s registration on “Bing” webmaster tools||High|
|Check website’s registration with Google Analytics?|
|Is there a valid XML sitemap?||Low|
|Social Media Button is present on all pages?||Low|
|Is there a Facebook business page?||Low|
|Is there a Google+ business page?||High|
|Is there a pinterest business page?||Low|
|Is there a twitter account?||Low|
|Are social media profiles SEO? (SEO campaign)||Low|
|Sidebar of website contains – |
Facebook like button
Newsletter and RSS registration
|Does website have a mobile app?||High|
|Is website app is available on – |
Google play store
Chrome web store
|Does website have a dedicated YouTube channel?||Low|
|Number and type of inbound links?||High|
|Which page have most incoming links?|
|What percentage of links is keyword based?|
|Which domains are considered trusted domains?|
Following these steps, you can do a complete SEO audit of your website successfully. Have you done an SEO audit before? Have your followed these steps? Do share your thoughts with me.