Auditing SEO in an existing website is one of the most important tasks that companies and SEO professionals will come across. Search engine optimization is a relatively new service and requires the collection of a lot of specific information. In addition, many developers still do not get along well with projects that are focused on this service, or even know it, so if you are to provide this type of service on a site that is not yours, be ready for the challenge.
Elements of an SEO Audit
As we will discuss below, your website needs a solid foundation for you to get positive results in an SEO strategy. Being the first phase of this strategy, SEO auditing needs to be performed in a thorough and unhurried manner so that the information obtained is true and accurate.
In the next topics, you will identify what information your SEO audit should possess.
Although it does not have direct links to an SEO strategy, it is a great place to start because usability can directly affect the conversion and rejection rates of your site.
Verification of integrity in search engines
Site integrity check consists of knowing how many and which pages of your site appear in the search engine index, do a site search: yourdomain.com, and then you will find out quickly and accurately. At that same point, we should also know if you are found in search terms related to your products or services.
Duplicate content verification
Checking for duplicate content on your website is a must in an SEO strategy. Start by verifying that the domain uses canonical relationship, that is, using the 301 redirect between yourdomain.com to www.yourdomain.com or vice versa, while you are doing this, check the pages with http and https. Now, for checking the content itself, you can use inurl: yourdomain.com and name: yourdomain.com in the search engine.
Friendly URL verification
Make sure your site’s URLs are user friendly to search engines. Using simple, short, descriptive, and keyword-rich URLs is what you expect at this point.
Review Title Tag, Meta Tag, Alt Tag and Content
Review all of your pages, see if they have Title & Meta Tags and if they also have enough content for your users, check your images too, and make sure they have Alt Tag set up and rich in keywords. If your site has many pages and images, make sure that your most important pages (those with the highest quality traffic) are reviewed.
Sitemap Files & Robots.txt
Sitemap & Robots.txt files are essential to make search engines read your site properly. Use the Webmasters Tools tool to check them and have your canonical pages identified in the Sitemap.
Check all the redirects made on your site and if they were done correctly. Using the Live HTTP Headers plug-in can help you at this point where many errors can happen, both in your CMS and in your hosting.
Internal Link Verification
This is to know how many links your pages have, but that’s fine, Google advises you to use a maximum of 100 links per page. Try to make good use of anchor texts in your internal links, providing in this way information with which your “linked” pages speak.
External link verification
Knowing which sites are linked to yours is essential to a good SEO strategy. They will positively or negatively influence your competitors. Enjoy good quality links and reduce those of bad reputation will be your goal when acquiring this type of information.
If your SEO strategy is geared towards some specific location, then this point is very relevant to you. Search through your site if it includes your address on all pages, thereby making that geolocation relevant and indispensable information when search engines read your site.
Although W3C validation is not a requirement of search engines, it is always good to know and verify your own code, avoiding undesirable impacts on your SEO strategy. Use the SEO Browser tool to learn how search engines see your site.
By following the collection of information for your SEO audit using this article as a basis, you will have an excellent pathway to your future strategies. Remember that this is only the first step of a much larger project and must be done efficiently to get positive results.