An SEO audit allows you to analyze the strong and weak points of your website. Thanks to it you will be able to make improvements and better position your pages in Google results. This assessment of your SEO practices will guide you towards concrete solutions to increase your traffic and improve your natural referencing.
How to make an SEO audit?
What is an SEO audit?
An SEO audit is an inventory of your site which contains analyses and recommendations established according to 3 main axes: technique, content and popularity.
By establishing this audit, you can identify the criteria that will promote your positioning and identify the weaknesses of the site or possible blocking factors.
The Technical SEO audit
The technical audit begins with various checks to determine how easy it is to explore your site by search engines and if there are any indexing, ranking or operational problems.
The SEO audit of content
The content audit is an analysis of the existing contents of a site to find the possible optimizations to be made. By improving content, structure and navigation you will simplify access and understanding for search engines and web users.
SEO popularity audit
The popularity audit looks at the notoriety as well as the authority of a site on the Internet by proposing solutions to improve the e-reputation of the site.
The steps of an SEO audit:
- Step 1: Verify the traffic and the positioning of the pages
This first step is essential: it allows to analyze the performance of the pages of the site which will be used as a basis for the audit of the contents.
First of all, SEO experts will look at the pages that generate the most natural traffic and those that fail to position themselves on your target keywords.
Google Analytics and Search Console will allow you to check the traffic generated by your site.
To find out how visitors browse your site, you can analyze URLs using Google Analytics. The tool provides you with statistics related to key interactions such as bounce rate, average time spent on the site and of course the traffic generated.
With Google Search Console, you can see what people typed on search engines to get to your site. The number of clicks and the number of page impressions in Google results are indicators that will allow you to know the best performing pages of your site.
- Step 2: Analyze the content
The content is the raw material of your pages so that they can position themselves correctly in search engines.
Start by distinguishing between high-performance and non-performing pages:
A performing page is simply a page that manages to position itself in the first page of Google (position 1 to 10) and generates traffic.
A non-performing page can be non-performing for various reasons:
- It is of poor quality: the page lacks content, is poorly written or poorly structured in terms of tags. In this case, it will be necessary to identify the problem in order to optimize this page.
- It is duplicated with another page: If there is a second page that deals with the same subject, Google will only highlight one. The page with the lower performance of the two should be redirected in 301 to the page with the most potential.
- It is irrelevant: It may be that the page does not target keywords searched by Internet users. We advise you to redirect the page to other keywords with high search volume.
- Criteria to be analysed at the content level
The quality and length of the contents:
If your content is long and does not meet the expectations of users, your page may be disadvantaged by search engines. A 300-word blog article explaining a complex concept would be considered low quality. On the other hand, putting between 1000 and 2000 words on certain pages of the site such as the home page or product pages is counter-productive.
Title and meta description tags
The title tag helps Google understand the content of the page it is browsing. As for the meta description tag, it will determine your click-through rate. The description is intended to make the user want to click on your result if it corresponds to his search.
Hn tags and content structuring
All text must be correctly formatted using H1 for the main title, H2 for paragraph titles and possibly H3 for sub-paragraphs. You must include your main keyword and its variants in your H1 and in some H2s, taking care to remain natural. However, it is completely useless and counterproductive to repeat the same keyword several times and to put it in bold several times in the body of the text.
Images should be optimized with the alt tag and not be too heavy to minimize loading time.
Internal and external duplication
In the case of internal replication, you can use 301 redirections using the .htaccess file to redirect visitors and crawlers. There are legitimate cases where several URLs can have the same content. In this case, it is possible to tell Google which URL seems to be the reference compared to the others thanks to the canonical tag.
For external duplication, if you have been plagiarized, you can first contact the plagiarizer to ask him to remove the copied content. You can also warn the host of the illicit character of the site which copies by engaging its responsibility but also report the theft of the contents to Google. As a last resort, you can proceed to a bailiff’s report and file a complaint.
- Step 3: Improve the structure of the site
Your site structure is another essential SEO criterion. It is simply the way in which the pages of your website are organized.
¬ Understanding site architecture
The architecture of your web pages and internal links facilitate navigation and balance the distribution of authority passed from other pages to your site.
You can choose between a flat architecture that allows you to access all the pages of your site in less than 2 clicks and a silo architecture that improves the understanding of Google’s robots.
¬ Locate deep and orphaned pages
When analyzing the structure of your site, it is important to check the level of depth of each of your pages. Having pages with a level higher than 6 or 7 can start to cause problems.
There may also be orphaned pages that are not linked to the rest of the site by internal links. The crawlers cannot access these URLs to crawl them. This problem usually occurs after a redesign of a site’s architecture in which links or navigation menus have been modified. These pages can still be indexed by Google but lose their power.
¬ The state of the internal mesh
Make sure that you have linked your related pages together by checking several items:
– Using the right link anchors with a varied profile.
– Prioritize linking the pages you want to push on Google.
– Include between 2 and 10 internal links per page.
- Step 4: Identify technical issues
With the tools you have at your disposal, it is possible to detect many technical errors on the site you are analyzing. Here are the main errors to check:
¬ Check the robots.txt file
Robots.txt is a small text file that robots from different search engines crawl through to explore your website. It contains many instructions for the robots, allowing them to directly control the exploration operations and exclude certain pages if necessary.
Having a secure website is one of Google’s priorities.
HTTPS means that your connection is secured by an SSL certificate that encrypts the link between the server and the browser. This enables secure browsing and protected payments.
¬ Repairing broken links
Broken links on your site impact not only your natural SEO but also your user experience.
With Google Search Console, you can manually search for broken links in the coverage report. Broken Link Checker also allows you to inspect the links on your website.
¬ Response codes
Having correct answer codes and redirects that work contributes to a better user experience. When an Internet user sends a request to a server, the server should theoretically respond with the status code “200 OK”. If a page is no longer available, a “4xx” error is displayed. The “5xx” codes are errors related to your server.
To identify these errors, use Screaming Frog or Google Search Console.
¬ Site speed
The faster your site is running, especially on mobile phones, the more Google is likely to reward you by favouring you in its results. Conversely, a relatively long loading time can penalize you.
PageSpeed Insights is one of the tools that allows you to analyze the responsive versions of your site (tablet, mobile, desktop). It gives you an overview of the speed of your pages and offers suggestions for improvement.
- Step 5: Examine the backlinks
Backlinks or inbound links always have a key role in the positioning of your pages. Here are the points to check to optimize your backlinks:
¬ The profile of links
The first step to take is to check your backlinks profile in order to evaluate it and know your domain authority on the internet. This will help you estimate if you need to create more links.
¬ Link anchors
In general, the majority of backlinks are linked to branded or generic anchors. Anchors can also contain the keywords you are targeting but be careful that they are not over-optimized either. Indeed, in case of abuse your SEO could be impacted.
¬ Linked pages
The last step of the backlinks audit consists of looking at which pages benefit most from these backlinks to improve the distribution of PageRank via the internal network.
The goal is to set up internal links between your pages that benefit from links and those that do not to improve your ranking in search results.
List of the best analysis tools for SEO:
SemRush is a professional SEO software very complete. It allows you to evaluate the position of your site or a web page on a given keyword. This analysis can relate to organic searches and Google Ads campaigns.
The tool also offers more advanced features. It allows an analysis of traffic, keywords and links of your site, like those of your competitors. And that’s not all, the tool also allows a more technical analysis of your site.
Referencing answers two challenges: to be useful to Internet users and to please Google’s algorithms. To achieve this, several criteria must be met. SemRush offers features to help you identify the queries on which to position yourself, to write content that performs better than your competitors and to accompany you in the technical optimization of your site.
UberSuggest is a keyword generator for web editors, community managers and SEOs who want to optimize their content strategy to be better positioned on search engines.
Not only does it allow you to find the keywords adapted to your web content, but also to improve the positioning of your site or blog on search engines. This keyword generator then allows you to boost the traffic on your website.
Spyfu is a system based on search marketing and dedicated to SEO optimization. It is a very intuitive and easy to use tool that informs you about the activities of your competitors: whether it is backlinks or SEO Chat. You can also check if your pages are correctly indexed.
One of the most interesting features of Spyfu is shared keywords. The system shows you the number of keywords you use as well as those of your competitors. You can therefore see which keywords you have in common and create new keywords on which you are not yet positioned in relation to your competitors.
Majestic SEO is a backlink analysis tool. It maps the Web to provide you with the Link Intelligence data you need to dominate your market.
¬ Advantage :
Majestic SEO aims to rank the links according to their importance for your website! Thus, thanks to Trust Flow, which is a quality indicator, you will be able to estimate the quality of a URL address or a website. In the same way, the Citation Flow indicator will allow you to know the popularity of the site concerned.
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