You probably are interested in learning what makes an SEO audit important.
Not only will I answer that question for you, but I’ll also list down the variables involved in an SEO audit and share with you the steps to conduct one for your website.
At the end of this guide, you should have a better idea on how to audit your website to improve its SEO performance.
Why is website auditing important?
Website auditing is the process of crawling website elements and identifying the issues found in each.
You may do this yourself following advice and guides readily available on the internet, or if the website you manage is considerably large ( hundreds of thousands of pages), you’d be better off hiring an SEO professional. We often recommend David Carralon to clients as his audits are top-notch.
There are lots of factors involved in auditing a website for SEO purposes, which I will get into soon.
For now, however, you need to know why an SEO audit is vital to your website’s success. Below are some of the most important reasons:
1. Identifies specific areas on your site that need improvement
You may have used tools that provide you with general suggestions on how to make your pages SEO-friendly. Examples are naturally using your keywords on your content, structuring them using sub-headers, including images in your posts, and others.
To some extent, this is a great way to keep your site pages optimized for Google. However, with an SEO audit, you can identify problems on your website on a more granular level.
This means you can take a URL on your site and check the issues regarding factors such as speed, quality, and others that most SEO tools don’t pick up, such as those impacting the E-A-T of a website upon recent Core algorithm updates.
2. Helps refine your strategy
Once you have an idea on how to improve your site’s SEO performance, you can make the necessary changes to eliminate the issues. The audit should present you with ways on how to fix the problem so you can do it yourself even with no coding experience.
At the same time, you can come up with an updated SEO strategy that takes into account data from your audit.
For example, you find out you have lots of orphaned pages or those without inbound links from your site that share the same topic. What you can do is structure the pages to interlink with each other so you can create content clusters in your site.
Doing so could help make it easier for search spiders to crawl and index them on organic search.
This is just an example of things you can find out in an SEO audit and implement on your upcoming SEO strategy to maximize your website’s performance.
3. Help your website rank higher on SERPs
The goal of an SEO audit is to help your website rank on Google for its target keywords and generate more traffic from it.
From your audit, you should see issues that explain why search spiders don’t rank your pages. And once you get around these problems, you should see a slow but sure uptick in rankings and traffic.
What should be in an SEO audit?
There are many ways to conduct an SEO audit. It ultimately depends on what people are looking at in particular. For instance, if I were auditing the website just for its speed, then I would have a better idea of factors to look for in an audit.
However, from a general point of view, below are things that you should see from a broad and comprehensive SEO audit:
- Technical – This details the different on-page factors on your website such as titles, metadata, response codes of pages, internal links, site speed, and a lot more. This is arguably the most vital among different audit types because it lays the groundwork for your site’s ability to rank on Google. Even if you have great content with lots of backlinks, you won’t see your site on top of SERPs if you haven’t identified and fixed the internal problems it has.
- Content – Once you’ve figured out the technical issues of your site, it’s time to create high-quality content. Most audit tools can’t measure the quality of a page based on the information in it. However, they can identify if you have thin content, pages with a low word count or duplicate content. Also, they can show you a list of words used by pages that appear on the top of SERPs for your target keywords. This way, you remain competitive against the top pages and rank alongside them soon.
- Link – Backlinks are one of the most crucial ranking factors that every site should pay attention to. Therefore, you should develop and maintain a link building strategy such as media outreach to sustain your organic search rankings. Through a backlink audit, figure out and monitor your best links you’ve gained over time so you can monitor and avoid losing them. Also, identify spammy links that are potentially keeping your site from ranking high. Even if you haven’t launched a link building campaign before, it’s still best to audit your site for it. It’s possible that you’ve naturally attracted backlinks with your content and to also weed out the bad ones.
- Competitive – Auditing the SEO performance of your competitors gives you a benchmark on how to do yours. It’s best to always measure up with the best sites in your industry. Look under their hood and see what their best performing pages are on SERPs, the keywords they’re ranking for, their link building approach, and others.
How do I do an SEO audit?
To do an SEO audit, you need to use tools to help make the job easier for you.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is one of the staple SEO audit tools that can help you analyze websites from a technical SEO standpoint. The free version can help you audit a maximum of 500 URLs (pages, files, images, etc), which is perfect for small sites. The paid version, very inexpensive, offers unlimited pages to audit.
Just enter the domain URL on the search and let the tool do the work for you. Once done, you will see the summary of the issues on the Overview section for the tool. Identify the issues from here and make the changes as you see fit.
For auditing content, Surfer SEO is one of the best out there. Using its Content Editor, enter the keyword you want to rank for. The tool will then show you words you need to mention on your content so you can compare favorably with pages ranking on top of SERPs.
If you already have content published for a keyword, you can audit by cross-referencing it to other pages to identify the issues you need to fix.
Finally, Ahrefs is arguably the best SEO tool in the market that helps you audit your backlinks and research your competitors.
Enter your domain first to see the SEO overview of your site and your backlink data. Do not forget to use their new crawl tool for insights about your website’s overall health.
Next, go to competing domains to see websites that share the most keywords as you. The higher the percentage, the more likely that you are competing in the same space.
Then, you can check out your competitors and take a peek at their keywords and backlinks.
From here, you can piece together their SEO strategy and replicate it on your website as needed.
For large sites, professionals use sophisticated cloud-based tools such as onCrawl, and typically
The truth about SEO audit
In a nutshell, an SEO audit is important for many reasons. But the main one is to make you aware of deficiencies that may hold you back from greater rankings, more search engine visibility and relevant traffic.
However, the sobering truth about conducting an SEO audit is how difficult it is. Sure, you can follow the steps above and you should get a really great idea on how to improve your website. But doing all these things is a time-consuming process.
If you’re a business owner and you are busy growing your business, the last thing you want to worry about is analyzing your site’s SEO, then it’s best if you can just hand out the task to the professionals.