What is an SEO Audit? The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide in 2021

In today’s business world, technology is changing the way we interact with customers. Everything your business offers is just a click away. You open the business website, find the product or service you need, and order.

But in this age of competition, how can you influence a buyer to choose your business for their purchase?

It’s up to you to win the trust of your buyer. Businesses can demonstrate credibility and build trust with their target audience with quality content, but people need to find your content in the first place!

Here is where an SEO audit comes in handy.

What is an SEO Audit? 

A search engine optimization audit, or SEO audit, is a deep analysis of your website to evaluate various components’ performance.

These components are important because they affect your website’s ability to rank in the search engine results. Using this analysis, you can fine-tune your website almost to perfection. 

The three parts of an SEO audit include:

Why is an SEO Audit Important?

Do businesses stop promoting their products or services after they have achieved a sales target? (No!)

Or, do they set new goals for even higher sales? Yes, they want to focus on growth so they can expand their offerings and reach even more customers.

In this age of competition, when every new business is offering competitive rates, better features, and facilities, you can’t afford to sit and wait for someone else to take over the market share.

For this, the business conducts regular SWOT analysis that enlists their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

In digital marketing, an SEO audit is just like that of a business SWOT. It helps you identify areas where you are weaker, and the potential can make or break your business in the long run.

An SEO audit will help you:

With SEO auditing using an authentic SEO service provider, you will be able to:

Types of SEO Audit 

There are three main types of SEO audits to executive your search engine optimization strategy in an organized manner, namely: 

Let’s discuss each of these SEO audit practices below in detail.

Technical SEO Audit

As you know, there are several technical aspects of a website that affect your website ranking in search engines.

When you undergo a technical SEO audit, you analyze all the technical elements of an SEO.

To be honest, that’s not a very easy thing to understand. Here’s the breakdown:

Technical SEO involves:

On-Page Audit 

On-site SEO refers to the practice of optimizing your web pages in a manner that you succeed in getting more and more traffic by ensuring the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of your website.

This includes:

Off-Page Audit

Off-page SEO refers to SEO elements that are outside of your website.  Simply put, this is any search engine optimization related to your website that assists search engines in determining the level of trust and value of your website.

The off-page audit will help see if all the external  SEO factors are working up to the mark. This includes things like backlinks and social media shares and engagement.

How to Do an SEO Audit?

Here’s a breakdown of how to conduct an SEO audit:

Step 1: Start by crawling the website.

Crawling is the technical terminology used to access the website through a software program and then retrieving data whenever required.

The objective of web crawling is to learn what each page on the website contains and what the web is all about.  Simply put, it provides you an overview of how crawlers view your site.

Crawling is useful in the sense that it diagnoses less-obvious problems with your website. Unless you know about the problem, you can’t decide where the treatment is needed and what kind of treatment can fix the issues.

These problems can include:

For example:

Your audit tool finds ten pages with a low word count. (Usually, less than 300 words, depending on the type of page.)

As we know, the best-known web crawler is Googlebot, but there are many other examples because each search engine prefers to use their web crawlers, like Bingbot, Slurp Bot, and Alexa Crawler.

Let’s now look at how a web crawler works to retrieve information about your website. 

Step 2: Identify existing issues.

Crawling can help you identify the number of issues and automatically groups issues according to their particular type. Your website issues will appear as printable reports and colored charts.

You need to check for issues that include but not limited to: 

Step 3: Identify Optimization Spots

Suppose you are trying to perform an SEO audit of your website, and you are going to do it through one of the best SEO tools such as Google Search Console.

You’ll need to:

Step 4: Create an action list-plan.

Once you know that you have some spots that urgently need optimization, you need to develop an SEO audit action list-plan.

Although you need to prioritize according to the severity of the issue, you should be following the given pattern to prepare your action list, such as:

When building your action plan list, you need to consider the time and resources required to fix each issue. 

Step 5: Do the fixes and optimization.

Now you need to fix the issues that you have listed down in your action list plan.

Depending on how you previously developed, audited, and improved your website, this list could now be long or short. Without any website development or website optimization experience, you might not be able to do it accurately or entirely.

You might need to work with a developer.  However, there are some things that you can handle without them, like content length and quality issues.

Similarly,  there are a couple of other quick fixes that you may do yourself without knowing much of the technicalities.

Fixing broken links is easy to do yourself. You can just go to these pages and change the links. This simple thing can help a lot for optimizing your website. Because you are keeping your website up to date, your user will not end up having a 404 page, and your page will now not be ranked lower. 

Another thing is to fix the orphan pages which are not linked to any other page. If there are any such pages shown in your SEO audit, find the appropriate pages on your website to link them.

Step 6: Crawl the website again.

Once you have fixed all the problems, you need to crawl the website again to double-check for any remaining errors.

Best SEO Audit Tools

There are various SEO audits tools available that can make your task super easy. Some of the top ones are discussed as follows:

1. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a powerful and flexible SEO spider. This can crawl both small and large websites effectively while enabling you to analyze the results in real-time. Search Engine Optimization personnel can make informed decisions about the website by gathering and presenting the key onsite data.  There is a free version available, but a paid one can give you even more detailed information to improve your ranking.

2. Ahrefs

Another popular name for an SEO audit is Ahrefs. This crawls all the pages available on your website, assigns an overall score for your SEO health, and helps you find improvements.

You can visualize key data through charts and flag all the possible issues on your website. The best part is that you also get recommendations on how you can fix these issues. 

Ahrefs Site Audit crawls all the pages it finds on your website – then provides an overall SEO health score, visualizes key data in charts, flags all possible SEO issues, and provides recommendations on how to fix them.

3. SEMRush

This is also one of the high-speed crawlers and best site audit tools to determine how well your website is doing in just a few minutes. It will provide you a comprehensive list of problems. For example:

You will get to know over and above 120 on-page and technical SEO checks using SEMRush.

This includes a surface level and in-depth analysis such as duplicate content, broken link, HTTP implementation, indexability, and crawl-ability. This application also provides on-demand crawling and scheduled auto re-crawls on a weekly or even daily basis.

4. Moz

This Crawler is also one of the best SEO audit tools and crawls large sites fastly. Moz keeps track of any recurring issues. The crawlers present issue categories, new issues, and all issues in the form of colorful charts. Using these graphs, you can quickly figure out the trends, issues, and opportunities. 

5. Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that helps you conduct SEO audits. This tool assists SEO managers in monitoring and fixing technical website issues, checking backlinks,  submitting sitemaps, and much more.

Google Analytics is also used to improve SEO performance because Google Analytics has valuable data for monitoring and improving SEO performance.

You can do this by synchronizing it with your google console account and setting SEO-related goals. You can find a lot of SEO related information that includes:

As discussed earlier, one of the SEO issues is backlinks. The Majestic SEO is software with expertise and 100% focus on your website link analysis.

Also, the software provider claims to be the world’s one of the top backlink checkers.

SEO Audit Best Practices

Some points are to be kept in mind while conducting an SEO audit: 

How Often Should You Run an SEO Audit? 

SEO audit is a long-term process and isn’t a one-time thing. You need to keep regular audits. 

This is because you keep updating your website, adding content from time to time, including pages and blogs, etc. Therefore your SEO report will show you a different picture with each change.

SEO is a time-consuming and detailed process. Therefore doing it every day or every month may be challenging to handle.

If you own a small enterprise, you can do it biannually, but for a large company, adding plenty of content every next day, then you should opt for a quarterly SEO audit.

 What’s Next After Running an SEO Audit?

Running an SEO audit isn’t adequate on its own. You need to take some actions as well. You have to take action right after and learn what else you need to improve on, based on the site check.

These steps include: 

Summary & Takeaways

Although search engine optimization is a complex process to understand, we cannot ignore its relevance in digital marketing.

We can judge its importance because you can use SEO audit results to improve your marketing strategy and better understand your target customer’s demographics.

There are many tools available that can help you perform SEO audits; however, if you are a non-technical person, you can outsource this to an SEO company. Yet, you must know the basics of the whole process since you need to monitor the progress at one point or another. I am sure the above report helps you understand the critical aspects of the SEO audit process and how to perform an effective audit.

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