An SEO audit can give you a thorough picture of your website’s search engine opportunities. A quality website audit will consider your content, the technical elements of your website, and the customer experience. You can then take these results and apply SEO best practices to create a better website that ranks well in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
While many digital marketing companies offer SEO audits to potential customers, you can also conduct one on your own. Follow these steps to accurately evaluate your website.
Identify technical issues:
The first step of any SEO website audit is the site’s performance. If your organic traffic keeps dropping and your bounce rate remains high, there could be problems with your website that make it hard for users to load the content.
The Google Search Console should be able to alert you to any technical problems or site errors on your website. You can also look at key metrics like site speed and mobile device performance to see if a slow page is causing users to bounce. The good news is that you can quickly fix many of these technical SEO issues and improve your rankings within a few months.
Check your links:
Linking is a key part of SEO, and there are many types of links to consider during your website audit. Internal links help Google bots crawl your pages to determine which pieces of content are connected. External links pointing to other pages alert search engines to the types of content that are related to your brand.
Consider investing in a link-checking widget on your website or look into online tools that will crawl your website for you. They will highlight broken links that lead to error pages and problematic backlinks that come from spammy websites.
Updating your broken links and backlinks can help your website rise in the SERPs while also creating a positive user experience. These are important technical and personal improvements.
Evaluate your content:
Link building is just one aspect of SEO. Over the past decade, more search professionals have highlighted the importance of quality content and on-page SEO. You work so hard to bring customers to your own site, why would you create a poor experience for them with low-quality content?
As part of your audit, look for SEO tools that can pull key elements from your content to analyze their optimization levels. For example, these tools should determine whether or not your meta tags, meta descriptions, URLs, and blog posts contain enough keywords and the right ones to rank well. Also, check for duplicate content that could confuse the bots crawling your website.
Map out future opportunities:
Your SEO audit shouldn’t just be used to find issues with site speed and backlinks. It should provide a roadmap forward to improve your organic traffic. Look at a few dozen target keywords that you already rank for or want to. What is holding you back from higher organic search traffic? You may need to run a competitive analysis in your SEO audit see what types of content other brands are creating and how they are engaging customers better.
Consider sorting your target keywords into multiple buckets to increase your visibility. For example, you could have keywords that you rank well for, those that are close to page one, and those that significantly need improvement. You can then allocate your content budget to improve them.
Your SEO audit is valuable when you take the best practices suggested by the report and turn them into daily habits. If you read about your meta descriptions and duplicate content but never fix them, you won’t see the organic search results you want. Consider conducting an SEO audit annually to track how your brand has improved over the past year and to identify new ways for it to grow.