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. Think of it as a website ‘health check’. 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 the pages of the site you want to be found in Search.
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. Not every page has to be indexed mind you, only pages you want people to land on.
Indexing refers to the process of Search Engines collecting data to display in their search results. If a web-page has not been indexed by a search engine, users will not be able to access the page through Search Engines.
You can check for indexed pages by entering your URL in Google Search Console. Any pages you identify that aren’t indexed, you can request for these pages to be indexed by submitting the URL to Google.
Check your 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 improve your rankings.
Clear up page issues
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.
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 influence your page’s click through rate in search results.
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 you 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 to 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.
In a report by Google, if a page takes up to 5 seconds to load, the probability of a bounce increases by 90%.
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 Search Console for a basic overview of the sites linking to your domain. If you want a more in depth look at your backlink profile, you can use a tool like Ahrefs or Moz Pro. These tools allow you to look at exactly which pages are linking to your site.
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. Many of these changes will require a help from a developer or someone who knows how to code. If you need someone with a bit of technical expertise, you can look at hiring one of our programmers.
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. As new issues can crop up at any time.
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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