It’s easy to get lost in the weeds when conducting an SEO audit for a website. It can be hard to identify the most pressing issues affecting a website’s performance, which makes it hard to prioritize which issues to address first.
This is particularly true for web developers, who are often tasked with fixing issues uncovered during an audit.
Martin Splitt, a Google search relation engineer on the Google Search Quality team, offered advice on how to approach SEO audit for a website in a way that makes them more useful to web developers.
Tools Required for the SEO Audit
The following are the tools I’ll be using during the audit.
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
- Ahrefs (7‑day trial)
- SERP Simulator
- Web Page Word Counter
They aren’t all required, but they will make the procedure go more smoothly.
How to Conduct SEO Audit for a Website
1. Verify that just ONE version of your website may be accessed.
It’s important to conduct an audit in a way that prevents you from spending a bunch of time on issues that won’t affect a site’s rankings.
The easiest way to do this is to make a note of the URL of your single worst-performing version of your site.
Then, use that URL as the starting point for your audit. This ensures that you only focus on issues that will affect multiple versions of a site, rather than being distracted by issues that only affect a single version.
Consider the various ways in which someone might enter your website’s address into a browser (or link to it).
Consider the following scenario:
In a browser, just ONE of these should be available.
The canonical version should be 301 routed to the others.
When we type the HTTP version into the address bar, the browser automatically switches to the HTTPS version.
2. Start a website crawl
One of the most important tools any online business can have is an SEO crawler.
An SEO crawler will spider the site in the same way as Google and give us some useful information on the structure and current SEO setup.
An SEO crawler will also help us to understand what content is performing best and should be prioritized for future content marketing campaigns.
SEO crawler will enable us to keep up with the latest Google updates, ensuring our content continues to rank well.
There are quite a few SEO analyzer tools capable of doing this, such as
3. Check Google Search Console for Indexing Issue
Sometimes, despite following all the steps to achieve optimal search engine optimization (SEO) on your website, pages don’t appear in Google’s search results.
This is usually because Google does not “index” your pages properly. As Google’s search algorithm is constantly evolving, achieving optimal SEO can be a challenge.
But the good news is that you can achieve the highest levels of search engine optimization without spending a fortune on complex keyword Research and Content creation.
To check page index or not just go to Google and type site:yourposturl.com and you can see here if your post is indexed or not.
Read our guide on how to use Google Search Console.
4. Check for Manual Action
Manual actions that Google can take against a website. While this process is largely automated, there are some manual steps that must be completed to ensure that a site meets Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
To check manual actions, go to the manual actions report in Google Search Console.
5. Check that you rank for your brand name
On Google, the first organic result is typically the homepage of the website that is currently ranking for your keyword.
This is often the best place to start when improving search rankings for a brand name or a very generic keyword.
In order to improve Search Rankings for a very generic keyword like “dog walking,” you would want to focus on improving the organic ranking for your brand name (wag.com) than the very generic keyword “dog walking” itself.
This is because your competitors are likely to be ranking for the very generic keyword “dog walking,” which would cause your site to appear lower down in the rankings than it would for the brand name “wag.com” for the same keyword.
6. Check On-page SEO Performance
First, let’s check some on-page fundamentals. I recommend starting with the homepage, but you should also do this for other important pages on your site.
For example, if your business offers a variety of services, you might want to optimize the landing page for the primary service you offer.
This will help you to identify where your most profitable conversions are happening.
Read our guide on How to work on on-Page SEO to improve website ranking.
7. Check for duplicate and thin content
When you publish a page, make sure it’s unique from the other content on your site.
You want to make sure a user who lands on your page, on its first interaction, lands on a page that answers their question.
You want to be sure there is a single canonical version of the page and that it includes all the important information.
This reduces the chance of duplicate content penalties and increases your chances of making the high-quality content section that Google loves.
If you’re a beginner check all All Google Algorithm updates because if you are not aware of all updates then maybe your website is affected by these algorithms.
8. Check Site Speed and Performance
Site speed is one of Google’s many ranking factors. Site speed is a function of a number of different things, including the number of requests your site makes to the server, the amount of time it takes those requests to be processed, and the available server capacity.
Google measures these things through the use of web server logs, so if you want to speed up your site, the first thing you should do is make sure there aren’t any problems with your web server’s performance.
Having said that, there are a number of things you can do to make your site faster without involving your web host.
Check and Improve these Google Updated Guides about Performance that impact your rankings:
9. Check for structured data errors
We’ve taken a look at your site and determined that it’s a good candidate for the structured data audit treatment.
As a result, we’ll be performing a comprehensive SEO audit for a website to verify that it’s properly formatted and contains the correct level of metadata.
This will include verifying that your site’s content is properly represented in its appropriate categories, as well as ensuring that your site is properly linked to relevant pages on the web.
We’ll also be looking for any other opportunities to increase the discoverability of your content through the use of structured data.
Learn more about What is Structured Data and How to add it to your website to improve performance.
10. Check Organic Search Traffic
In this SEO audit, we will look at how well the site is currently performing in the search engines, and identify opportunities to increase organic traffic.
We will do this by analyzing the site’s organic traffic, current organic rankings, and current organic click-through rate.
Look at the site’s current organic position and look at the keywords and phrases the site is currently ranking for in the search engines. We will look at the current organic click-through rate and compare it to the site’s current click-through rate.
11. Check that rankings are heading in the RIGHT direction
Google Analytics is a fantastic tool for understanding how customers arrive at your site and how they navigate around it.
But it doesn’t tell you what Google is thinking. Google uses a complex algorithm to determine where your content appears in the search results, and this algorithm is complex enough that it isn’t possible for Google to be completely transparent about how it works.
That said, Google has shared some of the guidelines it uses to determine where your content appears in the search results.
You can use Ahrefs to check organic traffic and rank specific keywords going in the right direction.
12. Find pages ranking in positions 5–10 for high-volume keywords
Your content might have appeared in position 5 for high-volume keywords when you published it, but it could easily move up a couple of positions to position 4 or 3 if you optimized it for a different set of keywords.
The fact is, there are hundreds of different ways your content can be optimized to appear higher in the search results, which is why it’s so important to use a tool like Google Analytics to understand how people are finding your content, but also to use other tools to understand what Google is actually thinking.
Google uses a complex algorithm to determine where your content appears in the search results, and this algorithm is complex enough that it isn’t possible for Google to be completely transparent about how it works.
13. Check your Off-Page and Link Building Profile
If you are new to the game, you will realize that there are so many strategies and techniques used by the experts to get high-quality backlinks.
The first thing that you need to do is to check your off-page and link building profile if it is working fine or you need to improve the link building technique.
In this procedure, you need to find out if there is a need for improvement in your current link-building strategy or not.
This will help you to identify the weak link in your backlink profile, which if improved, can give a boost to your link-building strategy.
You can use tools like Ahrefs or Ubersuggest to check your links are broken and new links opportunities.
Read our guide on Off-Page SEO techniques.
14. Find and Fix Broken Links Issue
When web pages on your site break or lose their links, they lose so-called “link equity.”
Broken links are frustrating for users who come to your site looking for answers and information, and they waste precious opportunities to improve your site’s “relevancy” in the search results.
Search engines crawl the web constantly, so when they come across broken links on your site, they have to “backtrack” to links that are still working.
This hurts your site’s relevance in the SERPs, and it also means that you have to keep maintaining these broken links in the future.
15. Find Content Gap
You can use a keyword research tool to identify what your competitors are ranking for in Google.
This will give you an idea of the content gaps you need to target. Look at the keywords that are ranking for your competitors, and see if you can use similar language and a similar Call-To-Action to your own content to rank for the same keywords.
You should also look at the content that’s ranking for those keywords to determine what content to create.
Use Ahrefs tool to find out the content gap. The analysis will display sites where we discovered a significant overlap in keyword rankings between your domain and ours.
16. Ditch The PDF Reports
Dave Splitt is the CIO of a large manufacturing company. He has been working to update the company’s IT systems to improve their efficiency and reduce costs.
One of the areas Dave has focused on is replacing PDF-based reporting systems with more efficient forms of communication, such as Slack.
Dave has realized that instead of using PDFs to distribute reports, he can use a messaging platform like Slack to quickly and easily share information with his executives.
17. Improve SEO Audits With Better Communication
In my experience, the most effective way to deliver better SEO audits is to communicate more thoroughly with stakeholders and developers.
It’s important to establish clear expectations upfront, and then work closely with team members to identify and address any issues.
This not only generates a better audit result but also builds a stronger relationship between SEO and development teams.
It also helps build a better understanding of the technical aspects of SEO and the impact they have on a website’s performance.
Frequently Ask Questions
- What should be included in an SEO audit?
Structure of the Website's Content
Do some keyword research.
Analyze the Page Copy Theme.
Use of Keywords
Schema for Analyzing Meta Data (Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, and Heading Tags).
The User's Perspective.
Images and video.
- How do I get my website to rank higher on Google?
Step 2: Improve your on-site SEO.
Step 2: Incorporate LSI Keywords Into Your Content.
Step 3: Keep an eye on your technical SEO.
Step 4: Align Your Content with the Intent of the Search.
Step 5: Lower the Bounce Rate.
Step 6: Make a list of keywords to target.
Step 7: Create Exceptionally High-Quality Content.
- Free SEO Audit Tools
1. Google Analytics
2. Search Console
6. Answer the Public
7. Page Speed Insight
I hope you learn about how to conduct an SEO audit for a website using the following points to improve performance. Read our full SEO Guide you don’t have to buy any paid course from outside.
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