Everything you need to know about an SEO audit

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An audit can be an invaluable tool in helping your business get the most out of its online presence. This guide will help you understand how to perform one, why it’s important to do so, and what steps you should take in order to ensure you get the best possible results from it. You’ll learn about the various components that make up an audit, including on-page factors, backlinks, and more, so you can be sure your site is following all of the proper optimization best practices and can rank at the top of Google with little effort on your part.

What is an audit?  

An SEO audit is a process for evaluating the health and performance of a website from a search engine optimization perspective. The goal is to identify areas where the site can be improved to help it earn more organic traffic from Google and other search engines. When you undertake an audit on your own website, you will easily recognize these mistakes before they become a problem. 

To find out more about the benefits of the audit itself, how long it takes and what is its cost, please visit: https://www.icea-group.nz/website-seo-audit/.

What tools can be helpful? 

It is best to commission the audit to experts  who will perform an objective analysis of the website, using specialized tools and programs unavailable to ordinary users. However, this does not mean that you cannot check the most basic information yourself. No two SEO audits are alike, but there are certain tools that can make the process easier and more accurate.

Ahrefs finds any backlinks to your site from other websites or blogs, which is important information when assessing the overall health of your website. MOZ Open Site Explorer is great for finding out what’s happening on your site in terms of traffic and engagement with social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Semrush lets you find the most effective keywords for your site based on competition and search volume. With this data at hand, it’s easy to pinpoint those pages that need work. 

How to approach an SEO audit?

If you want to do an SEO audit the right way, there are a few key steps you need to take. First, identify your website’s goals and target audience. Thanks to this, you will have a chance to optimize on-page and off-page elements.

Step 1: Site structure and accessibility

Every website is built with a certain structure in mind. This includes the hierarchy of the pages, how they’re linked together, and more. Search engines use this structure to understand what your website is about and how it can be useful for users. As part of an audit, you’ll want to take a close look at your site’s structure and make sure it’s easy for both users and search engines to navigate. You’ll also want to consider accessibility features such as: text size, color contrast, font type/size options, etc.

Step 2: Competitor analysis 

This will help you see what’s working for them and where there may be opportunities for you to improve upon their strategy. There are many tools that allow you to conduct competitive analysis (for example SEMrush, SpyFu). It’s important to take a look at the search engine rankings of your competitors and evaluate how well they’re doing in terms of organic search traffic as well as PPC advertising. What types of content they have in the top spots? What is the quality of those pages? How long have they been ranking in those positions? Try to answer this questions. 

Step 3: On-page factos

On-page factors are elements on your website that you can control and optimize, and that directly impact your ranking in search engine results pages. The most important factors include your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, images, and body content. Other factors worth optimizing for are how often your site is updated with new content, how many external links point to it from other websites, and whether it has been penalized by Google for any reason. These variables should be researched before proceeding with the audit.

Step 4: Technical factors 

This part of the audit looks at the infrastructure of your website and how it affects your ranking. There are many different technical factors that can affect your ranking, but some of the most important ones include:

  • Page speed. A fast website is a key ranking factor. Google wants to provide its users with the best possible experience, so it favors websites that load quickly. If you’re curious about your page speed, try loading your site on a service like Pingdom or GTmetrix to see how long it takes for your site to load from various locations around the world.
  • Mobile friendliness. In April 2017, Google updated its mobile search algorithm which gives preference to sites that are responsive on mobile devices. It’s also important to make sure that all images used on your site are optimized for mobile screens.

Step 5: Backlink analysis

A backlink analysis is a crucial part. By understanding which websites are linking to your site, you can get a good sense of the health of your site’s link profile. When performing a backlink analysis, it’s important to check both inbound and outbound links. The former tells you where external sites are linking to your content while the latter tells you where people may be trying to steal traffic from your site. You should also take note of anchor text – it should be short and informative, like here: https://www.icea-group.nz/seo-galway/.

Wrapping up

After completing your audit, you should have a better understanding of where your website stands in terms of optimization. You also likely have a list of action items to improve your website’s ranking. Be sure to prioritized these items and tackle them one at a time. As you complete each task, you should see your website’s ranking improve. And finally, don’t forget to track your progress so that you can gauge the effectiveness of your efforts.

Main photo: Firos nv/unsplash.com

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