Completing an SEO audit is not an easy task, it requires experience and knowledge.
Today, I decided to create my own guide. This guide contains ALL you need for doing an effective and correct SEO audit in 2020.
In case you are launching a new SEO campaign or want to get higher ranking and increase your organic traffic you will find this guide very useful.
- 1 Step #1: Compatible Test
- 2 Step #2 – Page Speed
- 3 Step #3 – Page Level Analysis
- 4 How?
- 5 Step #4 – Redirection
- 6 Step #5 – Remove Orphaned Pages
- 7 Step #6: User Experience Analysis
- 8 Step #7: Keyword Rank Tracking
- 9 Step #8: Fix Broken Links
- 10 Step #9: Improve Your Content
- 11 Step #10: Backlinks
Step #1: Compatible Test
More than 4.4 billion people using their mobile to browse the web. You can’t allow your site to left behind.
*Stats taken from statista
Use Google mobile friendly test to make sure your site is compatible for all devices.
Insert your site URL…
And find out if your site is mobile friendly or not.
Step #2 – Page Speed
A fast site speed will provide a better user experience, a slow site will only increase your bounce rates and lead your site to lower ranking.
Use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool, insert your site URL and click Analyze.
Check and find problems in your code with the Google PageSpeed Insights results.
Reach a score between 90 and 100.
Now, after you reach 90-100 score. Run a speed test using GTmetrix…
Review and use the recommendations in the following table (PageSpeed, Yslow, Waterfall, Timings, Video, History):
Last tool to check is Pingdom insert your site URL and select a ‘test form’ location if relevant:
Check test results and follow Pingdom recommendations.
Step #3 – Page Level Analysis
Content provide information and this information should be used to help search engine to learn more about your site and understand on which keywords.
- Use a unique and informative meta tags title and description.
- Make sure to use H1 – H6 headers in the relevant section.
- Change images with a big size, make sure all images use a unique and informative alt attributes
- Scan all external and internal links, make sure your links are relevant and links to relevant with high domain authority
- Make sure your content is unique and provide real value to your visitors
- SEO Crawler
- Moz On-Page Grader
- SEMRUSH on page seo checker
- Seo site checkup
Step #4 – Redirection
Your site might have 4 different versions for example:
For Google each one of the 4 different version is a different site. You need to make sure Google will index only the correct version.
Use redirect 301 to the relevant URL, for example if you are using the URL: https://www.yoursite.com
You should use the following redirection rules:
- http://yoursite.com -> Redirect to https://www.yoursite.com
- https://yoursite.com -> Redirect to https://www.yoursite.com
- http://www.yoursite.com – Redirect to https://www.yoursite.com
Once done, check Google webmaster tools to verify that Google cached the right version of your site.
Step #5 – Remove Orphaned Pages
Make your site better by giving Google what he needs, this can improve your site ranking.
First you should check how much pages Google indexed so far, if the number of pages is higher than what you think you really have review the list and find orphaned pages.
Use the following techniques:
Google “site:http://www.example.com”If the number of pages is higher than what you expected to see review the results and delete the orphaned pages.
- Check Google webmaster tools indexed section. Go to coverage section and look for the numbers of valid pages, similar to step 1 if the number of indexed pages is higher than you expected review the list and delete the orphaned pages.
- Use website scraper to review and get a list of pages there are two tools that I can recommend:
Step #6: User Experience Analysis
There are some ‘hidden’ metrics that Google use to rank your site, and they are all related to user experience. What parameters Google use to identify user experience? I guess there are many parameters, but the one you should be focused on and improve is Bounce Rate – this is the key to any SEO campaign.
What is bounce rate?
The percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
A high bounce rate is a clear indicator that your site is not relevant. Here is a real example that will help you understand this further:
User searched for ‘Best Mobile Phone for 2020′ he found your page about ‘Best mobile phone for 2015′ – We can all agree that 2015 mobile devices are not relevant after 5 years (in most cases) he clicked on your organic results and saw this page it talking about old none relevant mobile phones, so he left your site and click back to Google search results – That will lead to high bounce rate and signal Google that your page is not relevant to this specific query.
It’s very simple concept, you need to make sure visitors find value in your site which will lead to lower bounce rates and higher ranking.
Improving user experience is a huge subject with different strategies and tools. You should start with the basics using Google Analytics:
- Identify your landing pages, go to Behavior > Sites Content > Landing Pages
- You should see a table with your landing pages and a bounce rate column:Sort the table by ‘Sessions’ and export the file.
Use this list to identify the most visited landing pages and their current bounce rate (if possible for more accurate results select a date range of at least 90 days). Using this list you should understand user behavior and optimize to improve your bounce rate.
Things to consider using when optimize to a better bounce rate:
- Heat maps: Crazy Egg ,Hotjar, Optimizly.
- Use Google analytics events to follow users actions
- Improve your site user interface for better experience
Use Google webmaster tools ‘performance report’ to see what users actually looking for when they hit your page and make sure your page is relevant to their query.
Step #7: Keyword Rank Tracking
Monitor your regional, national and local search engine positions for any keyword. Keep an eye on your ranking and understand if your SEO campaign is in the right track or not.
Step #8: Fix Broken Links
Improve your ranking and traffic by fixing your 404 broken links.
Scan your site to find your 404 pages.
Step #9: Improve Your Content
Better content means better ranking and more traffic to your site.
- Use unique and relevant meta tags
- Use attractive and informative headlines and titles
- Start with short opening paragraph
- Explain your visitors why they should read your content
- Use featured rich snippets where relevant
- Use relevant media such as: images, videos, etc…
Tools & References:
Since the early days of SEO links were a major part of any SEO campaign. It is impossible to rank high on competitive keywords without getting any backlinks to your site.
The best tool to see your backlinks profile is by using ahrefs.
Ahrefs is not cheap but its worth it, in case you want to use a free tool you can use Google webmaster tools links report.
Start by seeing the number of backlinks you have VS. your competitors this way you could understand how many resources you need to invest in your backlinks campaigns.