When starting a new SEO campaign one of the most important initial steps is to carry out an SEO audit. If you read SEO blogs or attend digital marketing talks you will have seen examples of website reviews and audits, so let’s take a closer look at what they are and how they help your business grow.
Before you read on, it’s important to understand that this gives you an overview of SEO audits. When we take on a new client, we carry out a comprehensive health check that attempts to highlight every possible problem with a site. This guide should be treated as a good starting point, but it will not highlight all problems and opportunities.
Web Traffic Audit
The first part of a quick SEO audit is to carry out some traffic analysis. One of the fastest ways to get a quick overview of a website is to use SEMRush, which provides information on organic and PPC traffic, top performing keywords, major competitors, and location of traffic, along with a few other stats.
To carry out the traffic audit simply enter your domain into the SEMRush search box and press “Search”. Look first at the organic traffic graph by time. The default view will show All Time traffic. Has the traffic risen sharply, or dipped dramatically, at any time? If there has been a change in traffic, see if there is a corresponding Google update (denoted by the G on the time axis) and familiarise yourself with the details of the update.
Next, look at the Competition Graph in SEMRush and compare how your website is performing against its closest competitors. If they are all outperforming you, this is a clear sign that you need to raise your SEO game.
Check Your Site In Google
Next, review your SERP health in Google search, using your company name, or if you prefer, your brand name, and again using your location too. For example, you will search Google for:
If your domain appears as the first result, you are already doing a good job. If another website is appearing first, there is certainly some work to be done. Sometimes, a social media page or an old directory listing can rank above a poorly indexed company website.
If you have site links (the list of internal pages that Google sometimes lists) then your site is in relatively good health. If you do not, this is another sign that Google is not very interested in your website yet.
Finally, search the first few pages for any indexed pages that may hurt your reputation. Review sites, social media mentions and negative news stories can all be picked up in search, so check what people are saying about you. If there are negative pages indexed, you know you need to work hard to push these further down the SERPs.
Finally, in Google, carry out a site: search command, by searching for site:domain.com in Google. This will show all pages that Google has indexed. Are all your pages indexed? Read all indexed titles and descriptions – are they all correct, do they make sense, are they engaging enough?
Quick Technical Audit
Technical SEO is the most complex part of an audit, and an area where we really like to focus. There is too much to cover here, but as a starter simply click through your website on as many platforms as possible to check that it is working properly – it always amazes us how often a website simply does not display properly on some devices.
Check your site in Windows PCs, Apple Mac, Chromebooks, also check on multiple browsers, and check on as many mobile devices that you have access too. If the site loads slowly or appears broken, this could be hindering your SEO efforts, so get you web developer to improve your site.
Google loves good quality web content, so a comprehensive content audit is needed. Check your site navigation works and includes all important pages. Look over your blog, if you have one, and see how long it’s been since you last posted – you should publish something at least once a month for best results.
Make sure all important company information is easily found, and that there are no broken links.
Finally, check your social health. Although social does not have a direct impact on your website’s organic listings, strong social pages on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google will rank in search, and this helps you look more authoritative and also provides you with a way to direct more traffic to the core business.
This audit should not take you more than 10 minutes to complete. If you find any problems that you cannot resolve, contact one of our freelance SEO consultants who will arrange a more thorough SEO health check along with an SEO strategy to help get your company’s digital growth back on track.