SEO Audit: Base of The Optimization of a Website
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SEO Audit: Base Of The Optimization Of A Website

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What is SEO audit? :

A SEO audit is the process for evaluating the fitness of a website in all areas. The auditor will check the website in contradiction of a checklist and come up with recommendations of the needs to be fixed and the needs to change so that the website performance in search engines is improved.

Expectation from an audit: 3 main expectations are listed below:
  • Get a detail condition about current status of the website – First major expectation from a site audit to know the current performance of the website in search, social media, number of internal/external links and all other information related to the website’s running state.
  • Make a detail list of actions based on a SEO audit checklist with explanations for each and every item in the list.
  • Making a report describing overall Internet marketing strategy for capture all advantage of all available sources of traffic and opportunities on the Internet and not just SEO.
Why it’s necessary to do on regular intervals?

Things are very dynamic and change very quickly in the SEO industry and the things what are working well today may not work in 6 months from now. So for the existing in this dynamic world, it is essential to do regular SEO audits (at least in every 6 months) to make sure that the website is up-to-date with the latest developments.

How to Perform SEO Audit:

A detail audit provides a roadmap which is essential to identify and point out any existing weaknesses within the website.
Pre-Audit Checklist: Account Access

i) Talk to the client: Before starting a site audit, understanding about the business is a must. Communication with client can helps a lot for getting insight to understand the current SEO strategy to create the goals for the audit.

ii) Define Goals: This is one of the essential steps in the any process. Without goals, no audit can be on the success path. Detail discussion with the client helps to define their goals.

iii) Analytics Administration Access: Check all the administration rights for various analytics tools such as Adwords, Google Analytics, Webmaster tools, etc.

iv) Check the mobile friendly nature of website: Google made a historic announcement in late February 2015 stating that in mid-April they would favour sites that are mobile friendly.

Components of a SEO Audit: Below, are the core components of a SEO audit, which need to obtain, need to be analyse to form a SEO strategy.

i) Site Crawl: Start with checking the indexed pages of the website in Google. For this, use “site command” in the search box, type “Site:http://www.MyDomain.com” to analysis what Google has indexed. Example of TMprod.com is shown below.Screen-Shot-2015-04-14-at-2.28.49-PM-380x413

It is viewable that TMprod.com has around 1,150 pages indexed in Google. Now for the deep crawling use Screaming Frog or Scrutiny5 and enter the URL need to crawl. Once it is 100% done, export into spreadsheet. Now get the data to analyse the current state of the website. It allow us to take gain insight on most of page errors, on-site factors, duplicate meta data, site files, links and more. This should act as the outline to the SEO audit.

Screen-Shot-2015-03-06-at-11.23.19-AM-760x244
ii) Site Speed: Site speed is a major factor for visitor usability. If site speed is slow, viewer will switch to another site. Speed can be check on Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and also on Pingdom. They allows to check the speed of the site for both mobile and desktop and also gives helpful suggestions to improve performance.

iii) Domain Status: Check the domain history, validity on Who.is. or DomainTools.com. Also check the www vs. non-www status of domain in Google Webmaster Tools > configuration > settings.

iv) Architecture and Site Structure: The site structure defines the hierarchy of the site. It is important that these pages are listed to reflect the most important traits of the business. Site need to be user friendly so the user get into the desire location within site with minimum numbers of clicks. The page names and the navigation needs to be clear indicative. Sitemaps need to be logically organized.

v) File and URL Names: Page names and URLs need to be very indicative, readable and contains target keywords.
Example of a good URL: http://www.jabong.com/women/clothing/dresses-jumpsuits/dresses/
But a confusing URL looks like: http://www.amazon.in/b/ref=wclo_cats_western_encoding=UTF8&ie=UTF8&node=5362091031&pf_rd_m=A1VBAL9TL5WCBF&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-4&pf_rd_r=0Q4N3VP06VS82RRQ2Z59&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=692398367&pf_rd_i=1953602031

A good thumb rule is to separate keywords with hyphens not with underscores and continue the pattern throughout the site. Take a look for #’s in a URL. Sometimes a developer or software use that in a URL to change content on a page without changing the page. It’s a neat trick but if desired URL is http://www.example.com/about, and existing URL is http://www.example.com#about. Google tends to ignore everything after a # in a URL. That is something bad for a website. So make sure about # in URL.

vi) Keywords: Sometimes it is not known that current ranking on search engine rely on which keyword. A nice place to start with is Google Webmaster Tools > optimization > content keywords. SEMrush.com, Raven Tools research central and SpyFu.com are some more good tools for keyword insight. Now time to look at the targeted keywords ranking, difficulty and competition level with tools like Moz Rank Checker, Authority Labs, or the SEOBook Free Rank checker.

Keyword research is the most time-consuming in site audits, but it always having the most insight. Get all the data required from the all above sources, create a spreadsheet and do organizing, highlighting and prioritizing.

vii) Content: After getting completion the keyword research and organization, time for concerning at on-page saturation. Keywords need to be in the content of all pages. It can be check by internet Marketing Ninjas Optimization Tool and Moz on-page grader. Keywords should be reflected in the title tags.

Now, develop the content regarding to the keyword phrases. This requires lots of reading and search for terms, but Topsy and Soovle are the tools which can help with content ideas.

snapshot-2
viii) Duplicate Content: It is very bad for SEO as it makes search engine confused to know which version need to include or to exclude from their index. Some common resons of duplicate content may be printable pages, tracking ID’s, post ID’s and rewrites and extraneous URL’s.
ix) Robots.txt files: A look of the robots.txt file will help to get an idea about the pages which are served to search engine spiders.

snapshot-1
x) Images: image metadata need to be submit to search engine. When analysing an image, the two most important qualities are the image’s alt text and the image’s filename are the most important qualities for an image analysing. They need to include relevant descriptions and contain targeted keyword in the image metatag.

xi) Links: Site links improve the ranking of a website in SERPs. So it is very important part of audit to improve the site links improve the site’s quality score. There are two types of links:

(a) Internal Links: Internal links are very important to engage the viewer with the website. If internal links are broken or not clearly mention i.e. in navigation, footer or in-content, then bouncing rate will increase as website is not able to maintain user engagement.

(b) External Links: Backlinks and IBL’s (inbound links) are the links between two different websites. They have been known as popularity votes by Google and other search engines for a website. High number of backlinks helps in getting better ranking in SERPs, but these links need to be relevant with the website’s keywords.

xii) Social Signals: Presence on social media is a must for the success of a business. Popularity on social media brings traffic to the website, also helps in building brand awareness.

• SEO Audit Report: Once complete the all above analysis, time to create an actionable audit report. In the report all the things or action need to be listed on client’s priority bases.

Resources: searchenginejournal.com, moz.com, reliablesoft.net

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