An SEO audit should be a comprehensive process that should entail best practices and cover both content and structural components that affect your website’s SEO. This is where you need professional assistance and expert guidance in order to view the bigger picture.
At the same time, attention to minor details should never be forgone, and any discrepancies should be addressed immediately. As a business owner, you need an SEO audit that covers everything related to your website’s performance and the competition.
According to a recent study by WebFX, more than 50% of all website traffic is driven through organic means which is more than both paid and social combined. Furthermore, around 25% of all internet users browse the web with an ad blocker, while 70% consider that ads intrude on their browsing experiences.
However, at the same time, 70% of internet users prefer personalized ads related to their interests. But most importantly, organic traffic has been observed to capture more than 40% of revenues for numerous companies.
In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some of the ways through which you can expediently perform an in-depth technical SEO audit.
1. 404 Pages
Bad user experience is perhaps the single and most powerful feedback that can turn away your customers for good. Plus this means that not only are they not coming back but they will more likely switch to a competitor, ouch! There are various tools that can help you find 404 pages on your website that report a broken or a missing link. These include:
- 404 Redirected Plugin for WordPress (only)
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Screaming Frog
- Xenu’s Link Sleuth
Plus you can also consider making 404 interactive by adding links, customizing them, adding a search bar, putting your sitemap, and promoting your company and brand image.
2. Analytics to Compare Site Metrics
Analytics of your website are the bread and butter for your website. Their study can offer you deep insights as to the problems your website is facing and how you can resolve them. Some of the best tools include:
- Crazy Egg
- Google Analytics
- Moz Pro
3. Check Internal Links
Your internal links help create link juice and also offer your users with easy navigation throughout your website. This is why it is a must that your internal links are working correctly and linking to the correct pages. SEO Review Tools offers an Internal Link Analyzer Tool, and you can find various other services online too.
4. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content can be troublesome for search engines as when they crawl sites it can often pose a difficulty of which version of the content to include or exclude from being indexed.
This can also affect link metrics such as authority, link equity, trust, etc., to a page or whether to keep it separated for each version. Some viable solutions to this include:
- Using 301 redirects from the duplicate content to the original content. This will help crawlers know which page has the originally intended content and thus help rank the correct page.
- Another way is to use the Rel=”canonical” attribute. This will allows search engines to understand which specified URL needs to be provided with the ‘ranking power’.
- You can also use Meta Robots Noindex, commonly called Meta Noindex,Follow and otherwise in technical terminology is known as content=”noindex,follow”.
5. Implementation of Pagination
Pagination should be considered an important element for those websites that do not apply the infinite scroll feature for their pages.
Pagination allows finding individual pages easily and also aids them to be bookmarked. Website owners use pagination to reduce loading times, improve customer experiences, and cashing-in on advertising revenues. According to critics, best practices include:
- Using first and last links where applicable
- Providing previous and next links
- Spacing out page links for better user-visibility
- Providing large clickable areas for ease of use
6. Pages Missing Google Analytics Code
Google’s Analytics Code allows you to track the performance of your website, landing & service pages, and much more. This code can measure the ROI (Return on Investment) for various media and content used on your website.
This can also include Flash applications, social networking sites, and videos that you post. Hence you need to check for pages that do not have the Google Analytics Code running on them. Services like GA Checker by Data Rocks can help you determine these problems to make corrections or manually check your website if it’s not too big for you to handle.
7. Review Sitemap
Your XML sitemap serves as a roadmap to search engines. It also donated the URLs within your websites.
This is why checking and reviewing your sitemap is vital as it can help you in preventing incorrect URLs from being crawled. If that happens, then it can damage your SEO and rankings. Hence it would help if you always took care that search engines never indexed incorrect pages.
Plus reviewing your sitemap can also help you from avoiding important URLs of your website from being missed. At Crowd Writer, website development team makes sure that sitemaps are fully functional and error-free. Some of the best sitemap tools include:
- Sitemap Writer Pro
- Slick Plan
8. Schema & Structured Data
Schema markup is also known as structured data and it represents a particular code that you can use to make search engines crawl your website and display your content on SERPs (search engine result pages).
The benefits of using structure data include being featured by search engines when they resolve a search or query, gain more real estate on SERPs, and improve CTRs (click-through ratios). Here are some tools that you can use to strengthen schema markup for your websites.
- Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper and Data Highlighter
- Schema Markup Generator by Merkle
- Schema Pro
9. Test Site Speed
Site speed matters because it directly affects user experience. Sites that take longer to load are often observed to have higher bounce rates, and that can never be good for your website’s SEO.
There are various means to appropriately improve your website speed, such as performing Image SEO and utilizing CDNs (content delivery networks). Additionally, you can also use various tools to test your website’s loading speed, such as:
- Google Analytics Site Speed
- Google Mobile Website Speed Testing Tool
- Google PageSpeed Insights
SEO audits are mandatory if you want to analyze your website’s performance effectively, and they should be carried out periodically. However, they should not be rushed and provided their due time, which can be anywhere from 2-6 weeks depending on your operations’ size and scope.
Ideally, SEO audits should be carried out every year, but every 3-6 months should be considered for highly competitive markets and industries. While SEO audits can be an exhausting ordeal, they can help you to rejuvenate your business strategies and bring about immense improvements in your performance online.
Amanda Jerelyn currently works as a Content Executive at Dissertation Assistance. This is where higher education students can acquire professional assignment help UK from experts specializing in their field of study. During her free time, she likes to doodle and create wall art.