How to audit a website for SEO – Beginner Friendly
Auditing your website for SEO is one of the best ways to improve your ranking position on major search engine results pages, improve your brand’s visibility and make it easier to land customers online.
The reason for this is simple. If your website is not performing sufficiently well with search engine algorithms, then you will struggle to implement a successful SEO campaign, no matter what other techniques you use.
Don’t worry about needing to overhaul your website after an audit; it may be invisible to search engines for relatively minor reasons - such as allowing crawlers to see broken or empty pages, outdated metadata or due to a lack of alt-tags.
Unfortunately, many businesses fail to properly audit their website, which, when you’re trying to launch an SEO strategy, is like fighting with one arm tied behind your back.
If you are wondering where to start with an SEO website audit, this is what you need to know:
Why are SEO website audits important?
SEO website audits are important because they improve the chances of search engine algorithms noticing you. This is crucial because if you have been following search engine optimization best practices with your digital marketing campaign, they can instantly decide whether to shift you up the rankings or not.
Unfortunately, if your website is concealing issues that are preventing it from ranking as high as it should be, you could be consigned to a lowly rank on search engine results pages and suffer from a lack of organic search traffic as a result.
What do you need to perform an SEO website audit?
Auditing your website can be a daunting prospect, especially if you don’t have a lot of technical IT knowledge or digital marketing expertise.
Thankfully, once you get to grips with the basics, website auditing can be done relatively easily.
A lot of the hard work is done with a site audit tool, which can help highlight issues on your website. The software you use will depend on the type of website audit you perform, but once you have found a tool that suits your requirements, it will be easy to input your site into it and let the tool scan it for problems.
You can also use a Google analytics tool to find out how your visitors are reaching and behaving on your web pages. If a lot of them are coming from a certain page or accessing the site on mobile, then you will know to focus more on that flow of traffic or to ensure your site is mobile friendly.
This is what you need to do:
Help search engines crawl your website
Crawling is the name given to the process search engine algorithms use to ascertain the ranking of a certain web page. This will then index the page, and then use this to determine where you sit on search engine results pages.
Crawlers will determine your worthiness based on several different factors, including how easy it is to navigate through your website. If you want crawlers to index all your important pages, then you need to provide internal links that will help them find the other pages on your site.
You should also include high-quality external links from each blog post, because it will demonstrate that your site is trustworthy and provides value to your audience. This, in turn, will increase your organic traffic.
To improve your page SEO audits, you could also improve your meta descriptions, which help searchers understand what your web pages contain, and image alt text, which helps search engine algorithms understand what your images are (they can only read text).
You can check how much of your website has been indexed during page SEO audits using Google search console.
Make sure your content is optimised
You need to make sure that you are posting engaging website content on a regular basis. This will help your website ranking and ensure you are performing well.
It may also be a good idea to start link building, to drive more traffic to your website and boost your chances of a high ranking.
With technical SEO audits, you should aim to start finding and fixing any performance errors, any 404 error that could lower your search engine ranking or delete spam from cluttering your website.
Ensuring that your website has a short loading time on each page is crucial, as site speed can significantly impact your SEO performance.
It is also a good idea to include an XML sitemap, because it will help search engines find each page on your website, and the use of a 301 redirect if a particular page has moved location.