Ranking on Google’s first page is the ultimate goal in today’s digital marketing space. Every website manager would love to find ways to boost their search engine rankings.
Google continues to dominate the search engine market. As of February 2021, Google held 92% of the market share. Most SEO strategists primarily focus on Google while trying to generate some organic traffic to their websites.
Can SEO audits help boost search engine rankings? Yes, they can!
SEO audits can help you learn how to improve google search rankings.
But what is a website SEO audit in the first place? How is an SEO audit done? If you have such and other related questions, read along as we explore how SEO audits are done and how they can help you attract more traffic to your site.
Let’s first explore what an SEO site audit is.
What is SEO Website Audit?
When you are trying to rank on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), you have to come up with an SEO strategy. What do you base your SEO strategy on? That is where an SEO website audit comes in. It involves the use of SEO site audit tools to establish how well you have optimized your site for visibility by search engines.
An SEO site audit allows you to identify the issues within your website that might be preventing your website from ranking. It also allows you to identify your website’s strong points and see how you can replicate them on other sections of your website.
When you find yourself wondering how you can improve google search ranking for your website, start with an SEO audit. It will help you come up with an SEO plan.
So, how is an SEO website audit done?
How to Do an SEO Audit
Start by choosing SEO software that has an SEO audit tool. You also need to install the Google Search console tool on your website. Google search console is Google’s ranking tool that provides essential metrics that can help you access the search health of your site. SEMRush, Moz, and Ahrefs are also impressive Google ranking tools that you can use to conduct site audits.
You need to first understand what issues you should be looking for during an SEO audit. Here are issues you should be looking out for:
- Information Structure and Content Keyword Optimization
- Technical problems
- User Experience Issues
Now let’s explore the SEO audit process. We are going to go through it step by step.
Step by Step Process of an SEO Website Audit
Different SEO audit tools will have different presentations of audit results, but they all cover all the essential factors.
Step 1: Audit the Content
A. Explore The Information Architecture and Look for Potential Improvements
Information architecture refers to how content is ordered or categorized on your website. It is good practice to put your content in categories and subcategories. It makes it easy for readers to find what they are looking for and Google to crawl your web pages.
Information architecture has an impact on the navigability of your site. Your audit should explore the navigation menu, and how well the pages are categorized. If there are any issues, you need to work closely with your web developers and designers to improve navigability and UX (User Experience).
Information architecture allows you to push certain pages of your website to users whenever you need to do so. If you need particular pages to receive more traffic, you can push them closer to the landing pages that receive the most traffic.
B. Identify Pages with Thin or Fluffy Content
Google’s algorithm is capable of identifying sites with thin or fluffy content. It will lower your site’s authority when it detects such content.
What does thin content mean? Thin content refers to any content that is too short or shallow to provide any meaningful value. How does Google measure the value of content? The algorithm can gauge the complexity of the topic question and estimate the length of content that would offer a meaningful solution.
For instance, you cannot fully exhaust a topic like “How to increase the Google ranking of my website” in 100 words. Google would consider such content thin and would not rank it for related keywords.
Content can also be fluffy. Fluffy content is any content that does not offer any meaningful value. If a topic or question can be conclusively answered in 300 words, you don’t need to write 700 more words that offer irrelevant information.
Once you verify your content is neither thin nor fluffy, you can go ahead and explore whether it has been properly optimized for the target keywords.
C. Keyword Optimization
Your web pages must contain keywords that target your ideal audience. Your landing pages should feature the main keyword 3 to 6 times in every 1000 words. In an SEO audit, you want to check whether the content in your landing pages is perfectly optimized for the target keyword.
Your SEO audit tool should reveal the keyword that your content is optimized for. You should then decide whether that is the keyword you should be targeting. Does it attract your target audience? If not, you need to review your keyword selection.
In some instances, your content is optimized for two or more keywords. That’s bad practice and it will prevent that web page from ranking for any of the keywords. Your audit tool can help you pick out such issues and make the necessary changes.
D. Identify Duplicate Content
Google can penalize your site if they detect that you are intentionally duplicating your content. Content duplication can happen unintentionally. An SEO site audit offers the perfect opportunity to identify and remove duplicate content from your website.
SEO audit tools can crawl all the pages on your website and detect duplicate pages and content. All you need to do is counter check whether detected pages indeed contain duplicate content, and then delete the duplicates.
Step 2: Check for Technical Problems
Creating SEO optimized content is the most challenging part of building a following and an audience. However, your site isn’t going to attract much traction if it has technical issues. They will make your content inaccessible.
Here are some of the technical issues you should keep an eye out for:
- 404 & 500 errors
- Broken internal, external, inbound links
- Lack of SSL security protocols or use of an expired SSL certificate
- Indexation errors due to the existence of .htaccess files
- Poorly optimized robots.txt file
- Poor structured-data markup
There are many other technical issues that an SEO audit can reveal. You can solve all these issues by proper web design and development. You can seek the assistance of a professional web designer if you do not have the technical know-how required to solve such issues.
Step 3: Check for User Experience Issues
If visitors are not enjoying the experience of being on your site, it will be difficult to keep them coming back. Your website will have high bounce rates which cause google to lower the authority of your site. Your SEO audit should look into the following user experience issues:
a. Slow loading speed. Possible causes of slow loading sped include;
- Heavy plugins and extensions
- Slow responses from your hosting server
- Poorly optimized site structure
- Heavy videos and images
b. Mobile unfriendliness and unresponsiveness – Billions of people around the world are nowadays preferring browsing using mobile devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly and responsive, you are going to miss out on a lot of traffic.
SEO Audits to Boost Google Rankings Parting Shot
You should regularly audit your website and find ways to provide better value and UX to your visitors. This will gradually build your domain authority and your website will start to consistently appear on SERPs for the targeted keywords.
SEO audits can be time-intensive and confusing if you are not used to them. If you need a comprehensive SEO audit for your website, you could use our SEO services. Our team of SEO experts will comprehensively audit your website and provide a solution-packed report. We can also help implement the solutions, and help get your website to Google’s first-page results.