Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of increasing the visibility and searchability of a website in accordance with search engines algorithms.
A great way to initiate improving your sites SEO is to complete an SEO audit which will help determine how well your website is performing and identify any key areas that need working on, so you can fix them.
What is an SEO audit?
An SEO audit is a complete analysis of a website based on important factors related to search visibility. An SEO audit provides insight into how your website is ranking in search engine results and helps you to identify how you can improve aspects of your site in order to rank more highly.
So, how do you perform an SEO audit on your website? Here’s how…
Crawl your site
Start with a site crawl by entering the website URL into the crawler, once the crawl is complete, export the data into a spreadsheet to determine the current state of your site.
There are so many SEO crawlers out there, below is a list of just some (both free and paid):
Check that Google is indexing all of the pages on your site
Even though Google may be able to crawl your site easily, it may not necessarily be able to index all of your pages due to issues.
Indexing refers to the process of search engines collecting data to display in their search results. If a webpage has not been indexed by a search engine, users will not be able to access it.
You can check for indexed pages by entering your URL in Google Indexed Pages Checker. Any pages you identify that aren’t indexed, you can request for these pages to be indexed by submitting the URL to Google.
Check site map
A sitemap is an overview of the content of a website, designed to help users and search engines navigate the site. This provides search engine bots with information about the content of your site, allowing them to correctly crawl your site and improving your rankings.
You can check that all your pages are listed on your site map by adding sitemap.xml to the end of your URL.
Clear up page issues
Meta descriptions – A meta description is the snippet of information which summarises a page’s content. Although it doesn’t strictly act as a ranking factor, it can have an effect on your pages click through rate in search results.
Title tags – This is the first thing that appears in search results these need to be relevant to the content on the page and should be no longer than 60 characters long.
Keyword placement – Your primary keyword should be placed within the first 100 words of any content you post on your site. This will help Google determine what your content is about. The primary keyword should be used more than once within the content, but it shouldn’t be used so many times that it sounds unnatural.
URL’s – Check that your have SEO-friendly URL’s for each page. They should include keywords but not contain too many.
404 Pages – This is the page that appears to users when they navigate to a page that cannot be found on your website. Your 404 page should be optimised direct users to another page on the site so you do not lose them to ensure a smooth user experience.
Duplicate content – Google hates duplicate content across multiple pages on your site. Every page on your site needs to have high-quality and unique content.
Image alt text – Alt tags are used to provide screen readers with a description of the function an appearance of an image. All images should include relevant and descriptive alt tags and titles to help search engine crawlers index an image properly.
Broken links – These aren’t good for the user experience and cause visitors to exit your site which can affect your SEO. You can check for broken links in Google Search Console and can fix them either by redirecting them to new pages or removing them completely.
Perform a site speed test
A fast loading site provides better user experience and is one of Google’s many ranking factors.
Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to examine your sites speed and page load times, this tool will provide suggestions on how to improve it.
Check what keywords your site is ranking for
By using a keyword tracker such as SERPChecker or Moz you can check how well you rank for keywords relevant to your site.
If there are keywords related to your site that you want to rank more highly for, optimise your page content and titles for these keywords to help improve your rankings.
Look at the quality of your backlink profile
When it comes to backlinks, quality is definitely more important than quantity and the quality sites that link to your site can ultimately determine the quality of your own website.
You can use Google Analytics to find out which other websites are linking to your pages on your site and remove any backlinks that aren’t indexed by Google, have a low domain authority, high spam score or high volume of external links.
Check if your website is mobile friendly
Your site should be mobile-friendly, and even more so since Google’s mobile-first index was introduced. You can test how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device by performing a mobile-friendly test on Google Search Console.
When the test has been completed, you will be provided with a list of recommended changes to help you make your site mobile friendly.
Once you have completed your audit and you have identified the weaknesses on your website, you can go ahead and fix them to improve your sites SEO.
After you have completed the initial SEO audit it is good practice to perform an audit every three to six months to ensure you keep on top of any site issues that may affect your SEO.
If you’re looking to start pushing your business more online, whether it be through Search Engine Optimisation or another one of our many services that we offer – simply get in touch and we’d be happy to help!
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