Once in a while, every website needs to perform a proper SEO audit. This process can tell us if there is anything out of order and how to address the issues. SEO audits are especially important prior to major Google algorithm updates. By adapting to these new rules of engagement, we are able to avoid potential sanctions. So, unless you wish to lose positioning within a search engine, we recommend that you perform a thorough audit beforehand.
SEO Audit Is Important for Website Owners
In this article, we will give you a step-by-step process that will improve different features of your website and allow you to rank better in Google.
- If Google is unable to find your pages and properly index them in the first place, every other step is in vain. In other words, it is as if you do not exist on the internet. This can happen if you accidently blocked the Google bot through the so-called robots.txt file. By accessing this important for the crawlers file, you are able to correct this issue and allow your site to gain full visibility. In practice, this rarely happens but it can potentially make an enormous problem for you so make sure you always double-check your robots.txt files.
- Most people do not even use sitemaps when browsing through a website. However, this is a very important file for Google. By accessing your sitemap, web spiders are able to crawl your website and index your pages. After that, you can submit it to Google. During this step, it is important to check your sitemap for any inconsistencies.
- Check all your internal and external links. If there are any broken internal links showing 404 errors, you will have to address them with 301 redirects to a predefined 404 page, your home page or another page of your choice.
- Website architecture and design are the first things visitor notices. Everything has to be perfect while providing great user experience. Any coding issues can affect visitor’s satisfaction. As Google improves its algorithms, these things become more important. It is no longer possible to rank well if you are neglecting your UX.
- Visitors should be able to navigate quickly and easily from one page to another. All of them should be interlinked properly. The rule of the thumb says that each page should be in 3-4 clicks away from your homepage. Naturally, the less clicks the better UX and better indexation.
- Loading speed does matter. Actually, it matters a lot. In that regard, slow sites can be a problematic. Google already gives better ranking to domains which pages load quickly.
- Security is another very important aspect of the internet. Because of this, Google finally decided to reward websites with secure encryption (https & ssl). This is yet another thing a good SEO expert has to consider during the on-page audit.
- Is your site mobile friendly? Can you access all the pages from a mobile device? If the answer is yes, you are good to go.
- When creating URLs, they need to be short, to use appropriate keywords and to be placed within proper sub folders (sub directories). Besides this optimization, you have to check if there is any duplicate content within your site.
- Meta descriptions as well as meta keywords need to be optimized too. They have to describe in short what the page is about but try not to stuff them with keywords. A clean and straightforward snippet of 150 symbols can do miracles with your click-through-rate (CTR). Back in the day, SEO experts tended to over optimize their meta tags to get some additional ranking boost but today, this is an obsolete tactic.
- Back in the day, Internet was littered with different duplicate and low-quality content. You can no longer expect to be successful with such articles. Instead, search engine optimization is based on high-quality, unique content that will attract visitors and contribute to distribution of information.
- The actual length of your content is another very important factor. Recent studies prove that content over 1000 words tend to perform several times better both in the SERP and in social media than short and meatless one.
- Titles are another thing that needs to be fixed during the audit. Do not create titles longer than 55 symbols. Also make sure they are clear and to the point and that they describe your page content properly.
- Google is blind when it comes to pictures. If you have any images on your page, you need to give them descriptive alt text and proper image file name. This way, Google is able to recognize and index them and at the same time it will rank them better.
- Links are and will remain the most important aspect of SEO for years to come. Being one of the most important SEO ranking factors your links can increase or destroy your organic traffic. Remember that not every backlink is good for your rankings so choose wisely. Having toxic links is much worse than having zero links.
- Do you have numerous links coming from just one domain? This can be dangerous and you should always strive to spread your inbound links among as many domains as possible in order to avoid Penguin penalties.
- Good distribution of nofollow and dofollow links is also important. In practice, every website will have at least some no follows. Yes, they don’t help your rankings, but you have to have some in order to fit the natural link profile.
- Relevancy is very important when it comes to links. Website pointing to you has to be your niche or at least to have something in common with your interests. Otherwise, you may be facing a big problem due to unnatural links.
- Authority and trustworthiness are essential for your SEO success. It is much better to have one or two links from top quality, highly relevant websites than to have tons of links from irrelevant, brand new domains that lack authority and trust.
Even if you don’t have any previous SEO experience, by following these steps you can easily determine if your website has any issues and fix them before it is too late.
Have any other questions? Ask in the comments below. 🙂