If you conduct a fast Google search for the definition of “What is an SEO audit?”or simply “Whats an SEO Audit?”, you’ll find the following definitions from industry experts:
According to New York Times author Neil Patel, this is an “assessment of a website” that evaluates it based on how it appears in search results. He compares it to a report card that shows the website’s “Googleability.”
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, SEO audits are the process of examining the health of a website in order to prevent spam and make recommendations for better site optimization.
It all comes down to diagnosing the website to identify areas that need improvement and implementing the necessary repairs.
What distinguishes an SEO audit from an SEO analysis?
These terms are sometimes used interchangeably by SEO professionals. Some, however, refer to them as distinct phases of an SEO strategy.
An SEO audit discovers pre-existing faults and possibilities on-site to develop website optimization solutions; an SEO analysis may just entail one or two aspects of website evaluation.
You can start with an SEO assessment and then provide analysis later. Some SEO specialists view an audit as a compilation of several assessments performed on a website.
Crawlers or technologies that check the website provide the power of SEO audits. These tools analyze websites for faults in the same way that Google’s bots do. Each of these programs has its own crawl parameters and evaluates different aspects of the website’s performance. We’ll give you a list of SEO audit tools to utilize while checking websites later in this article.
What is the Goal of an SEO Audit?
Knowing how to do an SEO audit is one of the most crucial abilities that any SEO expert should have.
The apparent purpose is to understand how the website is doing, what aspects need to be adjusted, and what chances exist. However, the goal of performing an SEO website audit extends beyond simply “checking it and leaving it for later.”
This gives you the following benefits:
- Action items to incorporate into your SEO implementation plan
- Data for comparing past and current website performance
- Insights on whether your present SEO efforts are effective.
- An examination of what competitors are doing
- Important information for setting expectations and making educated decisions.
While an audit might give you with data to help you enhance your site, it is not the end of your SEO plan. Instead of using it as a step-by-step guide, use it to lay the groundwork for your SEO plan.
Who Benefits from an SEO Audit?
Why are SEO Audits important? An SEO audit can be a valuable tool in a marketer’s toolbox, but who will profit the most from it?
If you’re an SEO consultant wanting to educate clients about their website, an SEO website audit will be a useful document to show them.
SEO specialists and digital marketers
When launching an SEO campaign, you may utilize the audit as a reference to make informed marketing decisions. When preparing a short SEO report for clients, use the audit as a supplementary document.
If you want to know how well your website is working, you may use the audit as a diagnostic tool.
Almost everybody may benefit from an SEO audit. One thing is certain: an SEO website audit is an essential component of your marketing.
SEO audits are crucial to help your site and business avoid:
- Losing out on organic traffic due to site health issues
- Losing out on sales opportunities or losing the competitive edge to other brands
- Having your site improperly indexed (meaning searchers won’t be able to find it)
- Facing penalties from Google for toxic backlinks
To sum it up auditing your site can reveal problems that may be costing you traffic and sales.
How Frequently Do You Conduct SEO Audits?
Some people believe that an audit is a one-time event. That shouldn’t be the case.
If you want to have data to work with, we recommend performing an SEO audit in the following situations:
When bringing in new leads: Some agencies frequently utilize the SEO audit as a sales tool and a way to get a foot in the door with potential clients. Even before starting a campaign, digital marketers or professional SEO consultants can use the audit as a lead magnet to examine a lead’s website. When pitching complete SEO services to clients, including this as one of your supplementary marketing documents in your sales kit.
When establishing a new SEO campaign
Conducting an SEO audit when onboarding a new customer should be normal procedure. When working with a customer for the first time, this report is critical. The audit assists you in setting appropriate client expectations and making appropriate decisions based on the client’s goals. This is your first step in ensuring that you are entering a conflict that you can win and, eventually, create outcomes for your clients.
On the fifth or sixth month of the campaign
This enables you to determine whether there have been substantial improvements in the website’s organic performance since you began optimizing. Just because you’ve ranked the customer for their target keywords doesn’t imply you should stop optimizing. A website audit allows you to look for more ways to rank a website.
There is no limit to the number of SEO audits that can be performed on a website. It is critical, however, that you track the progress and adapt your SEO approach based on your discoveries and available data.
How Does an SEO Audit Work?
When evaluating a website and determining essential components for the report, each professional SEO consultant or SEO specialist may take a different strategy.
We’ll walk you through the typical steps of doing an SEO website audit. Before you begin, you will require the following:
- Access to SEO auditing software
- Domain URL for Google Analytics and Google Search Console
If website access credentials are available, make sure to request them from your client. Google Search console and Google Analytics are giving you important and detailed insights.
How long does an audit take?
The answer may differ. Some SEO specialists base this on the size of the site and the extent of the audit. Some people set aside days or even weeks to undertake a thorough SEO website assessment. Most SEO audits take longer to complete due to the human effort involved in accumulating data into an SEO audit spreadsheet, analyzing the information acquired, and providing actionable items based on their findings.
An SEO website audit, on the other hand, does not have to take that long. An audit of a website can be simple. You can also finish an audit quickly within hours and avoid manual processes if you have access to the correct SEO audit tools.
Usually the SEO Audit Process can take anything between 2 days and up to two weeks.
What Are the Various Types of SEO Audits?
Website audits can examine several areas of an SEO implementation approach. Some experts combine them into a single SEO audit plan, while others categorize their findings into various sorts of audits.
The most common audits performed by SEO specialists are:
1. SEO TECHNICAL AUDIT
This type of audit focuses on the website’s technical components, such as indexability, website architecture, URL structure, and on-page elements. A technical SEO audit, for example, includes
- detecting Metadata with low CTR
- checking for XML sitemaps
- duplicate pages
- errors with canonicals
- checking if every webpage has been indexed and crawled by Google
- if there are duplicate Title Tags,
- if the SSL Configuration is set up properly
- if there are missing Meta descriptions
- duplicate H1 Headers
- AMP related issues
- Mobile friendliness, Core Web Vitals
- if and how many broken links are there
Technical SEO audits are frequently performed first – before content and backlink audits. They focus on resolving issues that impede search engines from correctly crawling or indexing the website.
2. LOCAL SEO AUDIT
When performing local SEO for businesses, this type of audit may be recommended. Local SEO audits may include the same components as technical SEO audits, but they are more focused on a website’s success in local search results. One example is when professionals examine to see if the company’s Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) is consistent throughout key listings like in Google Maps, Yelp, Apple Maps etc. pp.
Why should you do a local SEO audit?
Simply said, 50% of customers who conducted a local search on their phones visited a business within a day. Businesses who do not optimize for local search results are passing up an opportunity to increase conversions. Local SEO audits give firms a benchmark for how they can rank locally before expanding to a larger audience.
3. CONTENT AUDIT FOR SEO
An SEO content audit is a more in-depth examination of a website’s indexable material. This can be used to assess which sites or pieces of content are generating traffic and conversions, which need to be updated, and which better should be removed.
An SEO content audit can also help you spot duplicate content on your website. Nothing is more annoying than spotting duplicate content after submitting the website. This audit also assists your content team in identifying gaps and possibilities to improve website ranking.
Google is concerned about duplicate articles. Content copied from multiple websites is bad. When the copy is found elsewhere the problem is even worse.
Some SEO gurus confuse content audits with content inventories. An audit is a qualitative evaluation of a website’s content, whereas an inventory is a record or repository of existing assets (Examples are blogs, videos, guides for lead magnets, and marketing materials). A content audit goes beyond gathering accessible website assets and focuses on how each piece of content engages the audience and provides SEO value to the organization.
4. SEO LINK AUDIT (Off-page SEO)
An SEO link audit, also known as a backlink audit, examines a website’s link profile to identify the quality of the links leading to the site. A link audit, like an SEO content audit, can help you identify gaps and possibilities in your SEO link building tactics. Most significantly, performing frequent SEO link audits will help you avoid Penguin penalties and remove spammy links to your site.
Link audits also reveal information about competitors’ backlink profiles. Some programs can tell you how many referring domains a certain site has, which can help you plan your link acquisition strategy. For example, you may create connections to high Domain Authority (DA) referring domains that appeared on a competitor’s website. It is self-evident that you do not have any broken links and you make use of sufficient internal linking and external links, no!?
Having damaged or missing webpages on a website can damage a website’s link equity. So, you’d like to solve this problem immediately. Correct any errors if necessary.
How much should I pay for an SEO audit?
How much should I pay for an SEO audit? Is an SEO audit expensive?
If your business consists of smaller or mid-size businesses, it should have between $600 and $5,000 in audit costs. Granted that larger companies with larger websites will incur more audit fees than startups with fewer sites.
As mentioned above a full-fledged SEO audit might take anywhere from 2 to 45 days to conduct, after which you will receive a comprehensive report with every element that is important to you. If the website is tiny, a personal blog for example, it will probably take less time than a larger E-Commerce website with hundreds of product pages.
SEO Technical Consulting hourly rates in 2022 vary from $75 – $100+ per hour, depending on which country, of course.
Which Tools Are Required for an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is not based on assumptions. As we previously stated, every component of your SEO approach is dependent on essential data. The best tools are required to collect data.
We recommend the following SEO audit tools:
Semrush, one of the most prominent SEO tools to date, offers a handy Site Audit feature that assesses the overall health of a website. It also includes an On-page SEO checker that analyzes Google ranking variables and delivers practical recommendations to improve the performance of a website. With the ability to monitor visibility and keyword ranks for numerous domains, as well as discover top-performing pages that send organic traffic to competitor sites, it’s also excellent for competition analysis, you get in depth insights of organic search traffic. Semrush is not even cheap – you should calculate around $120 per month for their entry plan which can go up to $450 per month for agencies or enterprises.
AHREFS SITE AUDIT TOOL
The Ahrefs Site Audit tool looks for all pages and delivers a website SEO health score. Keyword Explorer, Site Explorer, and Content Explorer are the three main functions of this application.
The advantage of the Ahrefs Site Audit Tool that it visualizes its findings so you have at the first sight a good understanding of how the website is performing. Ahrefs Pricing starts at $179 version, the basic lite is somewhat cheaper but does offer very limited functionality.
THE SCREAMING FROG
Because of its capacity to assess both tiny and large websites, Screaming Frog is a popular free SEO tool among SEO practitioners. It is more of a website crawler than an audit tool, but it may still find potential SEO issues including unoptimized Meta titles and descriptions, broken links, duplicate content, and blocked robots.txt. A site crawl usually takes only a couple of minutes. This tool is recommended for inspecting websites with up to 500 pages. If you need to crawl more there is also a Premium Version available.
MySiteAuditor can serve a dual purpose for agencies: auditing websites and generating leads. This can provide you with personalized SEO audit reports that you can send to prospects or clients. By entering the URL and target keyword or phrase of the website or a competitor site, you can get an instant audit report to determine how optimized a page is for the target keyword.
GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
There are many ways to use Google Search Console (formerly called Google Webmaster Tools):
SEO auditing regarding keywords, organic CTR, technical fixes, Core Web Vitals like site speed, and submitting any pages for reindexing that you have reoptimized as a result of your audit.
Further, it has the genuine function of Inspecting a separate URL for its status in the Google Database, if it is indexed or not or if you received a Penalty from Google. In our blog post we give you a detailed view of how powerful Google Search Console is, how you can setup GSC and how you can use Google Search Console Insights.
The Checklist of SEO Audit Components
Different SEO audits will provide you with different types of information. While there is no limit to the amount of data you can collect while conducting a thorough SEO audit, you must concentrate on the critical factors that have the greatest impact on your SEO efforts.
We describe the elements to consider while conducting an SEO website audit:
Usability is concerned with how the performance of a website affects the user experience. Because Google prioritizes user experience, websites with too many faults are likely to receive fewer visits and rank lower than their user-friendly rivals. A bird’s-eye perspective of the usability performance of a site can give you with practical suggestions to keep visitors on the site longer.
Usability can include the following aspects:
The time it takes for a website to load has an impact on how users engage with it. According to statistics, 40% of consumers quit websites that take more than three seconds to load—something Google is aware of. The higher the number of visitors that abandon the site, the less likely it is to rank high in search results. As a result, monitoring Page Speed is critical for improving overall user experience. A good way to start is at Google PageSpeed Insights. If you want to dive deep into how to improve Google Pagespeed we recommend our blog post covering this in detail.
- Mobile compatibility
Do you remember Mobilegaddon? It’s still going on. Mobile device traffic is increasing as more people use smartphones and apps to do online searches. As a result, mobile-friendliness is a crucial factor to consider when performing a website audit.
Users enjoy accessing safe websites for a variety of reasons, including: 1) Secure sites provide users with peace of mind while doing online transactions; 2) Secure sites protect personal information; and 3) Secure sites are less vulnerable to hackers.
As a result, security is one of the factors that Google considers when scanning websites, making it critical for SEO success.
When performing a website audit, keep the following in mind:
- HTTPS Implementation
Google can tell if a website is secure if the URL begins with HTTPS. An audit can assist you in determining whether or not the website has a valid SSL certificate installed.
- Malware detection
The existence of malware discourages consumers from clicking on a website, which lowers the site’s performance in Google’s views. SEO audits can quickly determine whether a website has been attacked with malware.
Google removes webpages from their index if they are potentially hazardous or include malicious files or software. When this happens, the site is blacklisted. A site audit can discover if a website has been blacklisted, allowing you to perform another diagnosis and rectify security vulnerabilities. If you want to know how you can detect malware on your website we recommend reading our blog post about how to detect malware and the most common WordPress attacks.
Which components of a website’s SEO could be improved?
SEO enhancements are divided into three categories: technical, on-page, and off-page.
By analyzing the performance of each section, you can create a SEO strategy to address the issues on the website.
Before beginning with a thorough audit of the website, it is critical to ensure that search engines can access and index web pages. Mandatory checking for robots.txt, redirects, SEO-friendly URLs, structured data, canonicals, 404 errors, and XML sitemaps are all part of technical SEO.
This section of the audit focuses on the website’s content, including meta titles and descriptions, body content, headers, keyword use, image alt text, and internal links. Internal Linking is quite important for your SEO. Consider these the essentials of having a website optimized.
- URL Structure: Are all of your URLs unique, clean and simple?
- Content: Is your copy well-written, formatted, informative and fresh?
- Meta descriptions: Are they unique on each page, and the right length?
- Links: Do you have an average of 5 per page? Do they all work?
- Images: Are the descriptions on point?
- Do you use a Table of Contents?
- XML Sitemap in the correct format? Etc. etc.
While an audit helps you to see what’s going on your site, it’s also crucial to look at what’s going on off-site. Off-page SEO is not diametrically opposed to on-page SEO; rather, they complement one another. Off-page SEO audits allow you to assess a website’s strength based on backlinks and domain authority. This indicates whether other reliable sources trust the website enough to link to it.
A Backlink Analysis for example can further show you if Websites are linking to yours which are considered by Google as spammy or even toxic. Your website can have 1000 backlinks – they all can be of no use if 800 of them are coming from a Bangladesh Spam Linking Network.
We live in the social media age. Websites with a strong social media presence are more likely to engage with a larger audience and receive more traffic, whether through natural links on social profiles or direct visits. Visitor authenticity and trust are increased as a result of social media participation.
Existing Social Channels
Determine whether the website is linked to any social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. There are endless websites out there where Buttons for linking to the social Networks exist, but they do send you to a 404 not found Error.
Businesses must have optimized social profiles that include correct information about their brand, services or products, location, and operation hours.
Takeaways: An SEO Audit Should Be Included in Your SEO Hygiene
Consider SEO website audits to be routine website maintenance—a wonderful method to see if the website is in good shape or if it needs a little more push to perform better in search results.
Don’t consider the audit to be a step-by-step procedure. Keep in mind that it simply offers a diagnostic and recommendations. You will devise the plan. There is no limit to the number of audits you may do.
You don’t need to spend days or weeks performing an audit; simply utilize the tools on the website if you require a quick Onpage SEO analysis. Don’t rely on hunches.
Use the SEO audit tools and SEO reporting software at your disposal to get the proper data or even better hire an experienced, certified SEO Consultant.
When inspecting a website, keep the following principles in mind: usability, security, SEO, and social activity.
That’s all there is to it! It’s now your chance to do an SEO audit. Talk to us if you have any questions or need assistance. We’d be delighted to share some of our SEO auditing secrets with you.