Are you looking at your website and wondering why your competitors are ranking better than you?
Are you worried about the impact of your website to your customers?
The challenge is that your website needs audit. Today I am going to explain you a bit more about website audit and how to leverage form website audit.
It is not quite easy to understand the issues and the areas of improvements for a particular website until after you go through with the site and have done a wholesome audit. It’s important for both SEO clients and small time search engine optimizers to understand what SEO audit actually meant for.
What is SEO AUDIT?
Having technical issues will make it difficult for search engines to crawl and index your website. An SEO audit will give you a detailed estimation of what these issues are and how are they making crawlability difficult for your site.
An SEO audit checks the overall health of your website. When an audit is performed, general technical structure and individual site issues are being looked at. Both on-page elements and off-page activities are reviewed. The top three priority of a website are;
- Search engine visibility
A thorough SEO audit examines a site for all three aforesaid priorities.
Benefits of SEO audit
Site owners need to understand the benefits of SEO audit. A comprehensive audit points out the shortcomings of the site, due to which it is ranking poorly. For example, a site is on automotive parts but some of the keywords, targeted by it are on automobile exhibition. Another website may have been getting a good number of visitors but not seeing enough conversion.
All these issues are results of structural issues of the site, where many website have technical issues such as internal linking, html-content ratio, unavailability of sitemaps, un-optimized and duplicate content, quality landing pages etc… An SEO audit puts them into perspective. Next, the SEO expert would eliminate them so the site becomes healthy in the eyes of the search engines.
A proper SEO audit should start with:
Focus on keywords
A website must be optimized by the right keywords. If it is not, search engines will assign a low rank. Proper keyword optimization means the following;
- The site has targeted keywords that are relevant to its theme.
- Keywords are present in the title tags and meta descriptions.
- The meta keyword list includes all keywords.
- Content on the site has an appropriate keyword ratio.
You need to skim through all the pages, headings and subheadings to check whether the site is keyword optimized
Site structure and navigation
Once the keyword optimization checkbox is ticked next thing is the structure of the website. There could be hundreds of problematic issues with the site’s structure. You need to look at only those which can be checked just by glancing through. Check broken links, crawlability of individual pages, duplicate content issue, canonical issue, heading tag usage, xml sitemap, robot.txt files, etc. It won’t take much time to check any of these. Navigation on the site should make sense. Visitors shouldn’t have problems finding what they are looking for.
On-page local optimization
Local sites cater to local customers and are visited by users from a fixed demographic area. You need to check whether the site is optimized by local keywords. Onpage local optimization depends on having sufficient number of local references in titles, meta description, header, footer and the content.
Checking off site local optimization would take time as you’d have to go through the backlinks. Here all we need to identify and remove the low quality links. However, you have to keep in mind that you should set up certain metric to get the true picture regarding the quality of the links. I personally think, each link pointing to your site have to examine manually by a professional SEO.
Category and product page optimization
This could be a bit tricky. Oftentimes, category and product pages don’t have any problem in terms of technical pagination. But think from the point of view of a new visitor to the site. Do you think the category page would have looked better if there was hover effect? Or do you think the product page needs a drop down menu? Suggest the changes in the site audit which you think would be essential to optimize those pages and make them more user-friendly.
A site with decent number of internal links fares better than a site that has less number of them. Internal linking means content of one page is linked to that of another page. It reduces bounce rate as users land on one page from another page and stays longer on the site. To harness the power of internal links a site needs to have quality content. Users click on a particular link only when they find interest in the content.
Presence on social media
A website that wants to rank higher by Google must have social icons on the homepage. By clicking on the icon you’ll visit the site’s social circles. If you find reasonable social engagement on those pages, that means the site is building its social presence pretty well. If you find the site lags in this area, suggest improvement in the audit report.
The SEO site audit should be like a “To-Do” list. There should be recommendations for improvement. You also need to identify the strength areas. Remember, the owner of the site needs a holistic idea of where his site actually stands. Formulate the site audit accordingly