Website Audit Checklist: How to Uncover Critical SEO Mistakes on Your Website
Last update: 20 December 2021 at 10:53 am
It’s so important that website owners understand that successful SEO is not about tricking Google.
It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users. If your website is SEO-friendly, the content offers value to your readers, and the overall user experience is appealing, you can easily boost your search engine rankings, attract quality visitors, and convert qualified leads.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple to rank in search, and many websites lack the search presence they need to help grow the related business.
Do you find improving your website performance in search engines to be a difficult undertaking? If so, there may be underlying errors on your site causing it to be left out of search results.
If you are unable to find and fix the SEO errors hidden within your website, it can directly affect your website ranking and traffic. If this sounds like your site, then you need to realize the power of an SEO Audit.
What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO Audit is a process that will help you in analyzing your website’s relevance in search results. It will show how closely your site adheres to the best practices as outlined by search engines like Google.
It will help in creating an implementation plan to generate measurable results and enhance your site’s position in SERPS. The primary objective of the search engine optimization audit is to analyze foundational issues that directly affect your site’s organic search performance.
Whenever you perform an SEO audit for your website, you will gain clear insights about website structure issues, on-page SEO issues, technical SEO issues, content issues, potential off-site issues, UX/UI issues, competitive marketing, and other problem areas that could impacting your site’s performance.
By having a clear understanding of each problem; you can easily make the changes and ensure that your website is error-free.
It would not be wrong to say that an SEO Audit is the health check of your website. Sort of similar to how you would see a doctor for a checkup to make sure things are working properly. As such, it is vital for companies to implement this procedure on a regular basis.
Indeed, performing an SEO audit for your website is not a cakewalk. Many times, the issues listed by the tools available to you never get implemented at all. And if they do get fixed, it takes a huge amount of time and effort to resolve the problems.
That’s why companies prefer hiring an experienced web design agency to create an effective SEO website audit report and resolve all the problems.
Looking at your SEO audit in a tool like SEMrush can be confusing for a website owner with limited SEO knowledge. Thus, bringing in an expert can save time and allow you to focus on bigger-picture issues.
That said, no matter whether you create your own SEO audit report for your website or hire an agency to do the same, make sure your audit covers the below-mentioned points. To help you focus your SEO audit on the right places, here’s a great 6-point website audit checklist for you to follow.
SEO Website Audit Checklist: 6 Best Practices
Following these six SEO audit best practices can help you uncover the most pressing issues and allow you to make fixes that give your site a serious boost. Let’s begin.
Find Your Indexing Errors
Technical problems are the most common problem that directly affects your website ranking. The problem is, these issues aren’t always visible to the naked eye, especially indexing. Therefore, it becomes important to find these issues and get them resolved through SEO audits.
If you are putting a lot of effort into improving your website page traffic without considering whether you have pages indexed or not, then all your efforts go into vain. Thus, make sure you find all your web pages that Google does not index.
For this, you can use different tools like Google Search Console. By going through the index coverage report, you will get complete information about why some pages can’t be indexed.
By completing this step, you will likely find a list of pages having a no-index tag. Once you identify the problem for the specific URL, you can make the updates and see those respective pages hopefully begin to move up in Google search results.
Check Meta Tags
When it comes to website SEO, including a meta title and meta description with each post or page plays a significant role in your success. If your meta tags are optimized properly, people can easily find a page that includes relevant content. And they are more likely to click if you’ve created a quality description when your content shows up in search results.
As per the latest updates by Google, meta descriptions and titles are easy wins. So, if you are not paying attention to meta tags, then you are missing out on something huge. You should be adding these with each new blog post or page you create, but you may have missed some pages in the past, and an SEO website audit will help you uncover those areas.
Sometimes people add duplicate meta tags for different pages, which makes life difficult for Google (and Google doesn’t like that). If you want to check your site for this particular issue, then:
- Click on the menu option named “Search Appearance” in Google Search Console.
- Then click on the button named HTML Improvements > Duplicate Meta Descriptions.
- You will get a list of meta tags that you have to work on.
Moreover, this same rule applies to title tags. Thus, make sure your title does not exceed 50-60 characters, and your description length should be in-between 155-160 characters. Paying more attention to tags will increase CTR’s to your website pages.
Prefer reading:Adding Tags to YouTube Videos: Dos, Don’ts and How-Tos.
Improve On-Page SEO
Just like meta titles, on-page SEO is also important to boost your website performance.
As per a recent case study, it was found that improvement in on-page SEO helps businesses to increase their organic traffic by 32%.
Moreover, if the content includes relevant H2, H3 tags, then the chances to see improvement increases by 12%.
Content readability is a major factor that helps Google in ranking a particular page. To ensure that your content is of high quality and readable, you need to create an on-page SEO report.
At this point, you will get a list of the first 100 keywords that you should target to get more organic traffic (you may need to do some extensive keyword research for this). Moreover, you will learn about the pages that are already ranking and have the potential to move up and be in the top 5.
To help you with easily improving your on-page SEO, below are some of the on-page SEO factors that will help you improve your site ranking.
- Creation a custom 404 Page
- Use of Meta Robots tag
- XML Sitemap
- Page Heading tags
- Page source Meta Tags
- 302 Redirects
- Use of Alt Tags for images
Upgrade Your Backlink Strategy
If you get links from irrelevant or poor-quality websites, then Google won’t rank your pages on search engines. Thus, make sure you analyze your backlink profile at the time of your site audit.
For this, you just need to enter the homepage into a backlink analysis tool such as Ahrefs, Moz Pro, or SEMrush. There you will get a list of all your links. You can learn a lot about the domain authority, referring domains, and other importance factors of the sites where you can get backlinks.
Thus, make sure you find domains that are related to your website. For this, it becomes important to stay in touch with the writers and influencers. Build relationships with blog and website owners where you share links and are open to guest posting opportunities This will allow you to more easily gain backlinks and boost your link profile.
Check Your Site Speed
Another point that you should never miss while auditing your website is web page speed analytics. No matter how many resources you are investing in building your site, if your website page speed is low, then your site will suffer in search results.
With attention spans shrinking by the day, no one is willing to wait forever for your website to load, especially if the search is done through mobile.
Most people won’t wait more than 3 seconds before they get frustrated and search elsewhere for an answer to their query.
Remember, if people leave your site after only viewing one page, the bounce rate increases, which is a bad signal to Google. So, if you don’t want your visitors to have a bad experience, you need to check the speed and mobile page issues. The faster your site, the stronger your organic rankings.
To test your website speed, different tools like Pingdom and HubSpot can be used. Moreover, you can also ask a web developer to work on the same.
You just have to simply type the URL, select the location, and get the results. Furthermore, you can recheck the image sizes, fonts, media, and other factors that can help you maximize the page loading speed on your website.
Check Your Broken Links
It’s no secret that broken links are bad for your website user experience. They will not only affect the trust of your audience, but they also impact your website reputation with the search engines.
If your website has any 404 errors, then you need to audit your website as it is mostly caused by broken links and issues with images within your website. Moreover, broken links on your website can also affect your internal linking structure.
Each link in your website plays a huge role in making your website successful. Thus, make sure you identify all the broken links in your website and resolve the errors using tools like Screaming Frog, Broken Link Checker, or Ahrefs.
The best part about these tools is that you can go in and check each page one by one and fix the issues right away. Fixing broken links will surely help you rank your website higher and build a stronger relationship with your audience. Always remember, the more the people believe in your brand and the better experience they have, the higher the conversions and ROI.
Prefer reading:How to Define Your Marketing Plan Cost: 5 Essential Steps.
The Final Say
SEO plays a vital role in making your website effective. No website is perfect, but some are definitely built better than others. Every website will have a few errors that affect website traffic and other stats. Thus, it’s critically important that you understand the value of conducting an SEO audit and do it on a regular basis.
Indeed, there are various other factors that might affect your website SEO, but hopefully, the above checklist helps make you realize which things work best for your site and which pages you need to work on and prioritize.
So, what are you waiting for? Start improving the performance of your website by analyzing and improving its SEO errors. If you have any questions or need some help getting started, be sure to drop a line in the comments below.