If you own a business and have a website maintaining your brand’s digital presence, you may want to consider conducting an SEO audit. An SEO audit is a way to determine how friendly a website is for search engines. Search engine friendliness is very important; it is the best way for your site to gain organic traffic and climb up the ladder of search engine rankings, the concerned website Daniel Foley mentions.
SEO audits also need to be conducted on an annual basis at the very least. This is because search engines can be pretty tight-lipped on their algorithms and change these algorithms quite frequently as well. By conducting annual SEO audits, your website will stay updated on the changes in search marketing and stay on top of search results.
There are many different ways to conduct an SEO audit, all of which use different tools to check if the website is optimized for search engines. While some website owners prefer to hire an SEO auditor, you can actually conduct one yourself using this checklist.
Step 1: Check for any penalties
Before making any changes, you may want to check if your website has been penalized by Google. This is because any changes you make may not be as effective if Google has imposed manual or algorithmic penalties to your website.
Use the Google search console to see if there have been penalties. Once you see any penalty, find out why the penalty occurred, create an action plan to solve it, and get the penalty removed.
Step 2: Find out your search appearance
To better understand what you need to audit for search engine optimization, you need to know how your site looks like from an end user’s point of view. Search the name of your business and see how it looks like on Google. Examine not just your search ranking, but also the accuracy of the information that shows up on the search results. Also, take a look at whether the related search terms that show up on the bottom of the page are relevant to your business.
If you see any descriptions that are incorrect, or if you don’t feel like the information that was displayed by Google is helpful enough, or more importantly, your listing doesn’t sit at the top of the search results, you may want to optimize your landing page or edit your sitemap.
Step 3: Review the technical aspects of your site
BestSEOCompanies.com recommends not only optimizing site content but also making sure that all the parts of the website can communicate effectively with search engines. Some of the technical aspects of SEO include optimizing your site’s robot.txt file, creating SEO-friendly URLs, and enabling structured data for your site pages.
Reviewing the technical aspects of your site is crucial because this allows search engines to properly index your site and gain access to it without running into any issues. Even something as simple as creating an optimized 404 page can help increase the readability of your site to search engines.
Step 4: Optimize content
Once all the groundwork has been addressed and optimized, now it’s time to review content. Aside from making content that is relevant to your business, you also want to make sure that the content you churn out can be understood by search engines as well.
For example, creating titles that are SEO friendly will ensure that your site will get better traction on search engines.
These four steps provide a basic framework of how an SEO audit should be done. Depending on your site, you may want to add to or modify this framework to fit your needs. Pretty soon, you’ll have a site that is easier for both end-users and search engines to navigate.