An SEO audit allows you to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your website, to bring you concrete solutions to increase your traffic, and to improve your natural referencing on Google.
What is an SEO audit?
An SEO audit is an evaluation of your website that takes into account 3 main areas: technical, content, and popularity. By establishing this audit, you can identify the criteria that will favor your positioning, the weaknesses, and possible blocking factors.
The Technical SEO Audit
The technical audit begins with various checks to determine how easy it is for search engines to crawl a site and if there are any problems with indexing, ranking or its proper functioning.
The SEO content audit
A content audit is the process of analyzing and evaluating your site’s content entirely. The goal is to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your content strategy, and to adapt your content plan to your current marketing goals.
The SEO popularity audit
This audit analyzes the popularity acquired by your site on the Internet to see which sites are linking to yours, the number of incoming domains, etc. It also allows you to identify areas where your site could be improved and possible parasite links coming from bad quality sites or Spam.
Why do an SEO audit?
An SEO audit is an important and necessary part of keeping your SEO strategy up-to-date. If your website is not properly optimized, you are missing out on a significant amount of search engine traffic.
Performing an SEO audit allows you to:
- Track algorithm changes: Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing are constantly updating their algorithms to provide better search results. You need to be aware of these changes to adapt the content of your website accordingly.
- Determine best practices for webmasters: Google and Bing’s webmaster tools are constantly evolving, so you need to make sure you are in compliance.
- Identify website errors: It’s important to make sure your site is free of error messages and broken links. An audit picks up errors, allowing you to redirect them and recover lost traffic.
- Optimize titles and meta descriptions: Title tags and meta descriptions are the first things visitors notice when you appear in search results. It is important that they are in line with the content of the site.
- Improve website content : It is important to provide users with relevant and updated content. If users are not visiting or returning to your website within six months, re-evaluate your content and make the appropriate changes.
The steps of an SEO audit
Step 1: Check the traffic and the positioning of the pages
This first step is essential because it allows us to analyze the performance of the site’s pages, which will serve as a basis for the content audit. SEO experts start by looking at the pages that generate the most natural traffic and those that do not manage to position themselves on your target keywords. Google Analytics and Search Console will allow you to check the traffic that your site generates.
To understand 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 traffic generated.
With Google Search Console, you can see what people typed to get to your site. The number of clicks and page impressions in Google results are indicators that will allow you to know the best performing pages on your site.
Step 2: Analyze the content
The content is the raw material of your pages so that they can be correctly positioned in search engines. Start by distinguishing between performing and non-performing pages. A performing page manages to position itself on 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, it is poorly written or poorly structured in terms of tags. In this case, you must identify the problem to optimize this page.
- It is duplicated with another page: If there is a second page that talks about the same subject, Google will only put one forward. The less performing page of the two must be redirected in 301 to the page that has the most potential.
- It is not relevant: 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 volumes.
Content analysis criteria:
Quality and length of content:
Choosing a long format for your content, especially for your blog posts, is an effective way to engage your visitors thanks to the depth that your content’s subject is covered. This type of content aims to inform and educate those who are looking for an explanation to their issue. To do so, it must be well detailed and argued.
A study by Semrush shows that long articles of more than 3,000 words get 3 times more traffic, 4 times more shares and 3.5 times more backlinks than medium length articles.
Title and meta description tags:
The title and meta-description tags present the page of a website that responds to a user’s query. The title tag is the title of your page. It must be simple, clear and describe the subject of your page. As for the meta-description tag, it plays an important role in the referencing of your website. It is the first thing that visitors see of your page. It should be carefully written and include the main keywords of the page to encourage the user to click on your link and not on your competitors’.
Hn tags and content structuring
All text must be properly formatted using H1 for the main title, H2 for the paragraph titles and eventually H3 for the sub-parts. You must include your main keyword and its variants in your H1 and in some H2, making sure to write a text that makes sense. Note that it is useless and counterproductive to repeat your keyword several times and to put it in bold several times in the body of the text. As for the images, they must be optimized with the alt tag and not be too heavy to minimize the loading time.
Step 3: Improve the site structure
Your site structure is another essential criterion for SEO. It is simply the way your website pages are organized.
Understand the site’s architecture:
Web design isn’t just about how it looks. It’s also about facilitating the user’s journey through your site. To do this, it is essential to optimize the tree structure of your website.
You have the choice between a flat architecture, which allows in less than 2 clicks to access all the pages of your site and a silo architecture that allows Google robots to easily identify keywords when they browse the different pages.
Identify orphaned pages:
When analyzing the structure of your site, it’s important to check the depth of each of your pages.
Orphan pages are web pages that do not have an internal or external link to them, which makes crawlers unable to access them for crawling. This problem usually occurs after a redesign of a site’s architecture in which links or navigation menus have been changed. These orphaned pages cause search engines to consider your website as being of lower quality. It is therefore essential to identify them to maintain a homogeneous link structure and offer a quality navigation experience.
The state of the internal linking:
Make sure you have linked your related pages together by checking the following things:
- Use the right link anchors with a varied profile.
- Prioritize the pages you want to push on Google.
- Include between 2 and 10 internal links per page.
Step 4: Identify technical problems
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 contains a list of commands for search engine crawlers. Search engine bots like GoogleBot crawl the web to discover content and index it so that it can be proposed in their results according to its relevance.
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 guarantees secure browsing and protected payments.
Fix broken links
Broken links on your site impact not only your SEO but also your user experience. With Google Search Console, you can manually search for broken links in the coverage report. Broken Link Checker, is a tool that can help you inspect the links on your website.
Having correct response codes and working redirects contributes to a better user experience. When a user sends a request to a server, the server should, in theory, respond with the status code “200 OK” which shows that the web page is functional. If a page is no longer available, an error of type “4xx” is displayed. The “5xx” codes are related to errors on your server.
To identify these errors, use Screaming Frog or Google Search Console.
The speed of the site
The faster your site is, especially on mobile, the more likely Google is to reward you by favoring you in its results. Conversely, a relatively long loading time may penalize you.
PageSpeed Insights is one of the tools that allows you to analyze the responsive versions of your site on a tablet, mobile, or desktop. It gives you an overview of the speed of your pages and offers suggestions for improvement.
Step 5: Examine backlinks
Backlinks or inbound links always play a crucial role in the positioning of your pages. Here are the points to check to optimize your backlinks:
The link profiles
Check your backlinks profile to evaluate it and know your domain authority on the internet. This will help you to estimate if you need to create more links.
In general, the majority of backlinks are related to branded or generic anchors. Anchors can also contain the keywords you are targeting but make sure they are not over-optimized either. Indeed, in case of abuse, your SEO could be impacted.
The last step of the backlinks audit consists in looking at which pages benefit the most from these backlinks to improve the distribution of PageRank via internal linking. The goal is to set up internal links between pages that benefit from them and those that do not, to improve your positioning in search results.
How to do a technical SEO audit for your e-commerce?
For an e-commerce company, performing an audit is one of the most important practices to get an overview of the company’s performance. For an effective audit of your e-commerce site, we recommend that you monitor the following elements:
One of the main goals of the e-commerce audit is to evaluate your products and make sure they are easily and quickly accessible by your visitors.
When it comes to the customer experience, product categories and menus play a key role. Customers make quick decisions when they are on your website. Offering complex navigation can make them leave your website without finalizing a purchase. To make optimizations, make sure your product descriptions are attractive. Evaluate user navigation by checking the backend and frontend of the website. Optimize the search function on your website and try to simplify your menu as much as possible if you have a wide range of products.
Ease of use and speed:
Can your website function properly with high traffic during important occasions like the Holidays or Black Friday? It’s important to know this so that the user experience is optimal and generates high conversion rates.
To improve the speed of your website, you need to implement all the best practices like:
- Selecting a quality web hosting: having a quality web hosting allows you to build a powerful site that has a good loading time by responding quickly to a web browser’s request and ensures the security of your data. If your server fails, you risk losing all your files and databases.
- Compressing the CSS and image files: you must make sure that your images and videos are not too heavy, as they may slow down the loading of the page. It is important to optimize the ALT attributes offered when uploading the image to your CMS. These elements help give a contextual alternative to your images when a browser fails to download them.
- Checking that the appropriate redirects are applied: Changing your site’s URLs can leave many internal links broken or leading to the wrong pages. Checking your URLs and doing the necessary redirects will ensure that your link mesh is consistent and pointing to the right page on the site.
It is very important to have quality content on different pages of the site. This helps the brand to reflect an image of quality and trust.
The product pages should be unique and informative to keep the users engaged on the website. You should also make sure to add a terms and conditions page as well as a shipping and return policy for added transparency.
Real, quality product images:
Images are usually the first thing visitors look at as soon as they land on a site. It is therefore crucial to spend time and energy to have images that showcase your products.
Make sure to show the product images from different angles and in real size. Also consider adding a zoom effect on mouse-over so that your customers can clearly see the details of your products. If your customers aren’t able to get a better feel for the product, there’s a greater chance they’ll be unhappy in the future.
Once integrated into the site, make sure that all images have alt tags so that they are optimized with the website.
List of the best analysis tools for SEO:
Semrush is a very comprehensive professional SEO software. It allows you to evaluate the position of your site or a web page on a given keyword. This analysis can be done on organic searches and Google Ads campaigns. The tool also offers more advanced features. It allows an analysis of the traffic, keywords and links of your site, and those of your competitors. And that’s not all, the tool also allows a more technical analysis of your site.
SEO answers two issues: being useful to Internet users and pleasing Google’s algorithms. 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 help you with the technical optimization of your site.
Ubersuggest is a keyword generator for web writers, community managers and SEOs who want to optimize their content strategy, in order to rank better on search engines.
It not only allows you to find the right keywords for your web content, but also to improve the positioning of your website or blog on search engines. This keyword generator then helps to boost the traffic on your website.
SpyFu is a search marketing-based system dedicated to SEO optimization. It is a very intuitive and easy to use tool that tells you about competitors’ activities. You can also check if your pages are properly indexed.
One of the most interesting features of SpyFu is the shared keywords. The system shows you the number of keywords you are using as well as those of your competitors. This way you can see which keywords you have in common and create new ones that you are not yet positioned on compared 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.
Majestic SEO aims to rank links based on their importance to your website. Thus, thanks to the Trust Flow, which is a quality indicator, you will be able to estimate the quality of a URL or a website. In the same way, the ” Citation Flow ” indicator will allow you to know the popularity of the site.
How to do a free SEO audit?
Have you noticed that most SEO audit tools are not free? We suggest you discover these three free yet effective tools that will help you make a detailed analysis.
SEOptimer is a free SEO audit tool that performs a detailed analysis and provides clear and actionable recommendations on how to improve your online presence and search engine rankings.
SEOptimer also offers a range of completely free SEO tools such as Backlink Checker, Meta Tags and Robots.txt Generator that will help you optimize the various features of your site.
Sitechecker is an intuitive platform that allows you to measure, track and improve the SEO of a website. You get an SEO score that gives you your position compared to the competition as well as the number of crawled and indexed pages. Recommendations for personalized improvements are then proposed by the tool to optimize your ranking.
Seomator : https://seomator.com/free-seo-audit-tool
SEO Mator is a smart and easy tool that allows you to crawl your site and get a complete report on its HTML tags, page speed, backlinks, mobile usability, text statistics, internal links, content quality and organic presence. In fact, it not only finds your site’s problems, but also tells you how to fix them.
Performing an SEO audit can not only help you develop an effective strategy for your website, but it is also an essential part of your success that should be taken into account. By identifying obstacles, you can eliminate what is preventing your site from reaching its full potential.
For more information, contact Eminence.