A small technical control of your car is necessary, every 6 months approximately, you take your car to the garage to control and prevent technical and mechanical malfunctions, and thus avoiding an accident. For your site, it is exactly the same! You will have to do a regular check to make sure that everything is in order, and thus avoid the loss of traffic for example. In this article, we will teach you everything you need to perform a quality SEO audit.
What is an SEO audit
The SEO audit is a diagnosis of the organic referencing of your website (also called natural referencing or SEO): SEO is a set of free techniques allowing a website to be positioned in the best results of a SERP (search engine result page).
The SEO audit allows to?identify problems This is a very important step that should not be neglected and can make the success of any business on the web. You will be able to make an SEO audit as soon as your website is created. N'don't wait for things to get worse before taking actiona SEO audit can be done at any time and should be reviewed every 6 months.
The different types of SEO audit
There are different types of SEO audits to be realized according to your needs and the advantages for your site:
This audit will help you to analyze the technical problems of your site. The objective of this technical optimization is to optimize the infrastructure of your site (performance, architecture, responsive design, URL, site security, metadata). While analyzing the functioning of search engines according to two aspects: referencing and indexing.
The content of the site as a whole must be audited to ensure that no malfunction could impact your positioning on search engines. Thus it is necessary to analyze the structure of your site (title tag and hn), the internal linkage (hypertext link pointing to another content of your site), the keywords, the semantic field.
In order to develop your online presence, it is necessary to analyze the competition: who are they and what do they do?
Check your backlinks (external links pointing to another site) to make sure they are working well and that they are appropriate to the subject.
What is an SEO audit for?
Loss of traffic? A site poorly positioned on search engines? Pages not indexed? Non-existent pages for Google? Does my site meet Google quality criteria? Before making any changes, it is necessary to set up your SEO strategy by conducting an SEO audit. You will analyze the strengths and weaknesses, identify the problems to improve the performance of your site.
The purpose of the SEO audit is to find all the errors that could impact the referencingThis is an overview of the health of your site.
The points that an SEO audit can verify
- Check your positioning in search engines
- Check your SEO to ensure that good SEO practices are being applied and avoid Google penalties due to over-optimization
- Make sure you are attracting qualified buyer traffic
- Develop new opportunities, indeed an audit is not only used to identify errors but also to exploit resources (e.g. to position oneself on a new query, for that nothing is more effective than to study the competitors).
- Analyze the constantly evolving search engines
- Check that your site does not contain any errors, broken links, pages that cannot be found
How to do a full SEO audit
The realization of an SEO audit should not be rushedThe analysis must be complete in order to identify the problems, which usually takes between 2 and 6 weeks.
There are a number of things to check: off page and on pageThe first step in your SEO audit (technical and content audit, backlinks creation) is to start the analysis of your SEO audit with the elements that you absolutely must check.
Rankings and competitors :
Compare the classification of your result pages compared to the competition to help you, you can use the tool Semrush.
Check indexed URLs and duplicate content
You can check indexing of your pages by Google by typing the address of your site on the search engine. This will give you an overview of all the pages that are indexed by the search engines. You can also check the indexed URLs and possible duplicate errors with the Google search console.
The duplicate content is a form of copy / paste from one page to another, or a paragraph taken from several web pages. Be careful, duplicate content poses indexing problems. Often it is human or technical errors, but sometimes the duplication can be voluntary for a natural SEO strategy that goes against the rules of Google. A penalty may be applied if you have a significant number of duplicates.
When the search engine finds 2 identical contents, it doesn't know which one to present to the users, and this costs it more resources, which can easily make you waste your budget crawl ( number of URLs that Google's robot can crawl on your site). On top of that, duplicate content can worsen the user experience.
Analyze indexing problems
Remember to check that all your pages are well indexed. An indexing error prevents search engines from crawling and indexing your site correctly.
The indexing errors you can find :
- Page 404 : the requested page is not found. You can go to the Google Search Console where you have a detailed list of the pages on your site that return a 404 error.
- Robot.txt file: you have the possibility to ask the search engine not to index pages of your site. If you notice that your pages are not indexed, check your robot.txt file
- HTACCESS file: with this file you can block and secure certain elements of your site.
These errors are not penalizing but can slow down your referencing.
The Google Search Console will allow you to check and solve any indexing problems.
Check the loading speed of your site
The loading speed of your pages is a key factor in the major element in the success of your SEO. Google has indicated that website loading speed is one of the criteria used by its algorithm to rank pages on the SERP. Page speed also means that the search engine can crawl more pages which is beneficial for your indexing. This optimization also plays a role in the key role on the user experience which will increase traffic and improve your performance.
To check the loading speed of your site, you can use the tool pagespeed insight from Google.
Check internal links
The internal networking is an important element in an SEO strategy, it improves the SEO of your site and makes it easier for users to navigate. However, a broken link can have a negative impact on the user experience as they expect to be redirected to another page on your site rather than a 404 error. Orphaned pages that are not linked to any page on your site can be difficult for search engines to find.
These links are essential elements that contribute to the referencing of your site on search engines, do not forget to analyze them!
To correct this error, remove the link or update the internal link to the correct URL.
Check the redirects
Establish a redirection plan by noting all the URLs. In terms of SEO, redirects allow you to return visibility and popularity, an error in your URLs is the visibility of your site that is impacted.
Several tools are available to make a complete list of your URLS:
- Analytics: to retrieve your URLs that have visits
- Search console: will allow you to retrieve many of your URLs
- Majestic: you will get a large number of URLs because these are the pages that get an external link.
A change of tree structure, a change of cms, spelling corrections, can make your URLs evolve.
Clean up the XML sitemap
The sitemap, a essential element not to be neglected during your SEO audit. It is a file representing all the URLs of the different pages of your site, it defines all the pages of your site and how to find them. Well done, the sitemap allows you to better position yourself on search engines.
During your SEO audit, the problem related to URLs is an error, a solution is needed: remove the incorrect pages from your sitemap.
Analyze your backlinks
If there is one essential element to check in the SEO audit of your site it is the backlinks. Links are a ranking factor on search engines and will help you increase your traffic.
Make sure your site is secure (HTTPS protocol)
HTTPS is one of Google's ranking criteria. The HTTPS protocol is more secure for your site, and a secure site has a better chance of being ranked on the Google results page. Therefore, prefer a domain name in HTTPS rather than HTTP.
You can check that your site is working by going to https://www.domain.com in your browser.
Check the responsive design
Since 2015, the responsive design (adaptation of the site according to the screens) is a major factor in the referencing of a website. Google has announced that it must favor responsive sites adapted to mobile. The fact of adapting your site will increase your traffic by 51% and will be just as beneficial for your SEO. A mobile-friendly website will help improve your technical ranking and your search engine rankings.
You can develop a responsive design site on a CMS like Wordpress, it is the easiest and fastest method. You can optimize your site quickly thanks to Toolkit and boost your performance.
Analyze your on-page SEO
You must ensure that you analyze your on-page SEO so you don't miss out on optimization opportunities.
On-page SEO includes:
- Keyword search
- ALT image tags
- The internal mesh
- Optimization of hn tags, title tag and meta description
Identify light content
A light content is a content poor in information that does not meet the needs of users. This content has no value for both users and search engines and negatively affects your ranking on the SERP. In 2011, Google's algorithm made an update ?the panda update? which aims to penalize on the SEO sites poor in content.
For your content to be of high quality, you must please both the users and the search engine. A content with only 300 words will be a light article, design a unique, SEO optimized article with about 1000 to 2000 words.
Meta tag optimization
The Meta tag consists of a title and a descriptionThe meta tag is visible on the Google results page and helps describe your web page to search engines and gives an overview of the content to Internet users. The meta tags allow Google to know who you are and what is the purpose of your content, they play an essential role for the SEO of your site. You can easily find them with a CMS like Wordpress, you just have to insert them in your HTML so that they are visible by the Google indexing robot.
Tools to do an SEO audit
Many tools are available available to help you perform your SEO audit, here are some that you may find useful during your next audit!
These software provide information on the number of links present on your site, the anchors of links or the quality of these links. This information allows you to closely monitor your netlinking (SEO technique to set up external links pointing to other sites) and measure the popularity of your site.
This tool will allow you to know your position on the result pages and to analyze the competition. It also informs you of your positioning on the keywords, and the traffic of your site.
2 free google tools that will help you to analyze indexing and traffic. Ideal to maintain your position in the SERP!
Seaquantum analyzes the relevance of your content to a query. It is a semantic analysis and optimization tool. It will allow you to improve your SEO content and work on your keywords.
Who to call for an SEO audit
If you are an expert in the field of SEO you can very well perform your SEO audit alone with the help of the various tools seen above. However, the SEO audit is an important step for the future of your site, so it is essential to perform it well and then follow up on the changes to be made. To be sure to perform a thorough analysis of your SEO audit and not forget anything, you can do call a professional. Whether it is a freelance or an agency, its objective is to accompany you in the realization of this study and to make your site progress.
Conducting an SEO audit: in conclusion
Do not neglect the realization of your SEO audit, make a complete analysis, by pointing out the weaknesses of your site you will improve your SEO and your positioning on search engines.
You now have all keys To succeed in your SEO audit, follow the steps listed above to improve your performance!
Are you interested in SEO? Take the time to read SEO Copywriting: How to write a blog post optimized for SEO? and the article Title tag: why and how to use it to optimize your web content.