An SEO Audit for Your Website: The Why, When and How

An SEO audit is a set of checks which, when completed, will help evaluate how search engine friendly your website is. As a site owner, you want to maximise your website’s visibility in the organic search results.

So, why do one? When should it be done and how do you complete an SEO audit?

Why do an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit provides insight into your website, identifying areas that need improvement so you can rank better in the organic search results. Search engines change their algorithms on a regular basis so it’s good practice to review your website and figure out how those changes have impacted on you.

When should an SEO Audit be done?

At the beginning of a new project is a good start. If your website has been active for a while, perform every 6 months. Consider the timing of an SEO audit against the size of your website. A large website may need a more regular audit than a small website due to the number of factors involved.

How do you do an SEO Audit?

You’ve got options…search for ‘SEO audit’ and you’ll be presented with lots of online services and software. You could decide to do the audit yourself (using one of the many guides you can download) or hire someone to do the SEO audit for you. If you do decide to do the audit yourself, there’s a video and article over at Moz which would be a good start

Accessibility

Your website pages should be accessible. If a search engine can’t view your website then it might as well not exist. Checks include:

  • Robots.txt - Make sure it's not restricting access to important sections of your site 
  • Robots meta tag - Check it’s setup correctly
  • XML Sitemap - Ensure one is available and submitted to the search engines (Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools)
  • Site Speed - Check page loading speed 

Indexability

Determine how many of you pages are available by the search engines. Checks include:

  • Page Check - Type ‘site:<siteurl>’ into Google/Bing and confirm the number of pages indexed
  • Google Search Console / Bing Webmaster Tools - Check what pages have been submitted via the website XML sitemap

On Page

There are many characteristics of your site’s pages which influence the search engine rankings, ranging from general content to issues on individual pages. Checks include:

  • Page Titles - Your page title should include a targeted keyword and should ideally be below 60 characters in length
  • Duplicate content - Avoid adding content to your website which already appears on the Internet in more than one place 
  • Thin content - Content which has little to no value and is considered low quality

Off Page

What others think about your website is really important to search engines. Trusted and valuable links pointing to your website create a recognised authority. Activities done away from your website can help improve your search engine ranking. Checks include:

  • Backlinks - Measure the quality of links pointing to your website and determine how trustworthy they are
  • Authority - Using third party services, determine a quality score which can be measured

Conclusion

Now you know what’s involved, why not have a go and discover what improvements you can make to your website? An SEO audit will provide useful insight and is a useful process for making your website more visible to search engines.

If you’d like to discuss an SEO audit, then please contact us on (0191) 6030033 or email seo@precept.co.uk.

Written by:

Vince Moran

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