What Is SEO Audit?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become the lifeblood of internet world. The tech entrepreneurs, who want to survive and thrive in the digital media, always need to have optimized their websites and blogs well to show off their presence to their targeted audiences and get their desired results.
As a doctor cannot cure an ailment unless he diagnoses it properly, a SEO person cannot apply his tips and tricks unless he performs a through audit of your site.
Thus, SEO Audit is the primary step towards optimization and bypassing it means that you might get some wrong medicine that will complicate your problem more.
So, SEO Audit refers to a set of some simple yet technical steps to analyze a website, find out the fault lines and design a strategy to fix them all.
Why You Need SEO Audit?
SEO Audit is a need more than a choice. With the IT market growing every day and hundreds of thousands of websites registering online, you need to keep your online forums fresh and dynamic all the time. You cannot do this unless you know where the problems lie. SEO Audit is the way to detect the aching slots.
You have designed and developed your website to the maximum extent of technical perfection. You have put all original and keywords-oriented content over it. You are spending a reasonable amount on SEO consultancy. But still you are unable to get what to desire. This is where you need an audit.
Preparation For SEO Audit:
Since SEO Audit is purely a technical and mechanical thing, it involves some definite steps that need to be followed in a sequence to get required results. Some of the basic steps are as follows:
1: Website Postmortem.
In order to apply audit tools, the SEO expert makes a thorough postmortem of a website. This is called crawling. This helps in understanding what the real issue is and how it can be fixed. Crawling is done either through coding or some software—-the first method is complicated enough while the latter is somewhat easy. There are available different crawling software in the market like SEO Spider and Link Sleuth.
After picking crawling software, the SEO person has to configure it on website so that it starts diagnosing.
2: Implementation Of Webmaster Tools.
Once crawling is done, the next step is to apply webmaster tools to get information about website’s performance and its daily visitors. The two best and commonly used tools include Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools. In order to use any one, the SEO guy has to register website on it first.
After checking a website’s performance on internet, it is necessary to consult a analytics software to know the numbers, nature and demographics of visitors.
Actual Process Of SEO Audit:
After crawling and collecting data through webmaster tools, the auditor has to start the actual process of SEO Audit. The things that are tested and verified at this stage are as follows:
1: Accessibility To Website.
The first thing that a SEO person verifies is the accessibility of a website under review. He/she tries to find out how a site is being accessed by search engine crawlers and visitors. It is gauged what sort of meta tags and meta descriptions a website contains and how its URLs are responding to browsers. It is also verified that you have a proper XML sitemap and that is submitted with webmaster tools.
The SEO person will also make sure that the architecture of your website is simple and smooth enough to help visitors access easily what they need.
The speed and image loading capacity of website is also checked with the help of different tools like Google Page Speed, Yslow and Pingdom Full Page Test.
Thus, an auditor judges the accessibility from all aspects and figure out what issues a website is facing.
2: Ineligibility Of Website.
After determining which pages are of a website are easily accessible and which are blocked, the auditor moves to check how the site is being indexed by different search engines.
Here, the auditor will verify how many of a website’s accessible pages are being actually indexed. This is checked by entering the URLs of those pages. To take an overall view, he/she will enter site or brand’s name on search engines and see where does it is ranked. If it is ranked on top, it means that all is well.
At this stage, it is also identified that has a website ever been penalized by any search engine for any scam or fake SEO attempts. If the answer is yes, it is tried to know the actual factors behind the penalty. Remember, search engines do not index penalized sites well.
3: Ranking Factors.
At this step, a SEO auditor analyze a website with reference to both on-page and off-page ranking factors. Some of the on-page ranking factors include URLs, Content, HTML Markup, Titles, Meta Descriptions, Images and Out-links.
In URLs, the things that the auditor will look are how a URL respond to search queries, does it contains proper keywords, is it short and user-friendly and how fast it reacts.
In Content, it is checked how original and unique a site’s posts are, what density of keywords they have and which sort of keywords they contain.
In Titles, the auditor is supposed to look how many words a title contains, does a title contain proper keywords and does a title effectively describes the content of a page well.
If a website contains images, it is made sure that they contain alt text and file names.
The off-page ranking factors include Popularity Of Website, Honesty Of Website, Back-link Profiles, and Social Media Bookmarking etc. It is the responsibility of an auditor to determine these factors too.
4: Competitive Analysis.
Having passed through all of the above steps successfully, the SEO guy will make a competitive analysis of a website. This means comparing a website to the others of its niche. This helps determining what factors are contributing to the success of other sites and what tools and tactics other are using to improve their rankings.
The final step is to write a SEO report to sum up what has been analyzed in the whole process of SEO Audit. In the report, an auditor will make a SWOT analysis of a site. He will point out where does a site is performing well and where it lags. What are the plus points and what are loopholes. In the bottom line, he/she will make certain suggestion of improving a site’s ranking and doing its proper optimization.