SEO Audit With Semalt
As with businesses, audits are critical. Clients often see them as evaluations to show where they are going bad, but this isn't entirely true. Yes, audits have been known to showcase our websites where we aren't doing so well, but they also encourage us by showing areas where we have been phenomenal.
With our experience in performing SEO audits, we can confidently say that one of the hardest parts of performing this task is knowing where to begin. Amazingly, even when an audit is done, it can take a while before corrections and adjustments are implemented. Some websites may decide never to implement corrections from the audit.
Usually, audits do not need to be hundreds of pages long, but this depends on what information you are looking into and how in-depth you are willing to go. Audits are also not required to be so technical that you must have a website expert by your side to interpret its details.
Great SEO audits would effectively communicate a prioritized list of actions and justifications that dictate the actions you will need to take to improve your search engine performance. It's that simple. With this guide, we will guide you on the step by step process of performing an audit for a website. When you are done reading, we hope that you would have learned everything you need to know to perform an audit, find and prioritize issues that could be hindering your website from performing as good as it should be on SERP.
What are SEO audits, and why should they matter?
Before going into details, let's first understand what an SEO audit is and why you should take it as something serious.
In simple terms, an SEO audit is a process of identifying issues that could prevent your site from ranking on Google and other search engines. When these issues are discovered, it indicates that search engine bots encounter some challenges whenever it attempts to crawls and index your site. It also means your content cannot hold as much water when compared to your competition or that you have links that harm your website. in the end, it discovers issues responsible for limiting the amount of organic traffic flowing to your site.
Sales and competition
The significance of performing an SEO audit is that you can make improvements after identifying your lapses. If you're missing out on traffic, you are missing out on sales. In the end, the traffic which you were supposed to enjoy ends up on your competition's website, and they make more sales than you do.
If there is any way to evaluate yourself and test your website to see how well it performs, that would be an audit. If you fail to audit your site regularly, you will end up missing key opportunities to grow your business and website. You will spot mistakes on your website after longer periods, and you will fail to do those simple things that are of significant importance to your website.
Why should you audit?
Auditing is very necessary for the website regardless of the type of business or the industry. To a website, audits are tests to point out areas of strength and weaknesses. With regular audits, web owners see a problem early on and can get ahead of it. Often, websites can suffer blacklisted pages because they weren't aware that their content was plagiarized or the links they used were bad. Performing audits ensures you discover these violations on time and get them fixed before Google can take any action against your site.
- When you want to grow your website's online presence, you audit your website to develop the most suitable SEO growth strategy.
- You think there is something wrong with your website, but you don't quite know what exactly the problem is. Having your website audited fishes out the lapses as well as issues that limit your website.
- You are about to take your business digital, and you need to know if your website is ready for the rigors of the internet and SERP.
- You noticed a sudden decline in the amount of traffic your website funnels in, and you want to discover the issues behind this decrease.
- Finally, SEO audits are an excellent way to evaluate your site against your competition to see areas where they perform better than you and where you do better.
What tools are needed for an SEO audit?
We could give several complex tools, but that isn't our style. We believe that some of the best solutions are usually the simplest, and in SEO audits, you do not need an arsenal of tools to pull off an accurate audit.
All through the audit process, you will be required to use at least the four core tools.
Note: other tools can be added to the list we've provided, depending on the direction you want your audit to go. However, these four tools are enough and form the foundation for your web audit.
- SEmrush Site Audit Tool
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google PageSpeed Insights
Each one of these tools has its peculiar use during the audit process, and you will need to understand the function as well as how to use each one to have an accurate audit reading. Remember, if you and your website without any specific target, you'll end having readings that aren't relevant. This is why audits are mostly done by web and SEO experts. We know what to look out for, which saves time and effort.
Performing your SEO audit
Before you begin, you should run a sue crawl using the SEMrush site audit tool. As we work through each step of this process, you will be using the data from the SEMrush report, and it can take a while before you complete the audit process, depending on the size of your website. Before you begin, ensure that your website has been verified in the google search console.
- Head to the site audit tool
- Click on New site audit. The button should be on the top right corner of your screen.
- You should be asked to create a new project.
- Enter your domain name and select a project name.
- You wouldn't be required to edit any settings except if you want to limit the number of checked pages, which depends on the size of your website. In peculiar situations, you may be required to remove some URL parameters, bypass restrictions, and disallow certain URLs.
- Start the audit and allow the crawler to do the rest.
Once the process is complete, the audit findings will be displayed on a dashboard.
Basic things you should know
There are must-checks for performing a successful audit. We will be indicating those areas of issues that could prevent you from being properly crawled or indexed.
Benchmark your findings and understand your competitors
Whether you are working on your site for the first time or your audits are part of your ongoing strategy, the more you know that other players are up to, the better for you. You need to benchmark your site's ranking and profile your performance against your competitions, and you can do all of this within the SEMrush toolset. It is also important that you run your domain over the Domain overview tool to clearly visualize the competition you are up against.
Check for duplicate versions of your site in Google's index
This is likely to be the most basic check you will run on your site. However, it is important to ensure that Google is indexing only one version of your site. for example, your website could sit on the following types of variations:
and although there doesn't seem to be much difference to a reader, to search engine, these are completely different versions of a website. Your site should only have one of these varieties indexed, and you need to check for duplicates.
Check your indexed URLs
This is a step that works hand-in-hand with the previous step, but it warrants its section. When you run a "site:search" on google, keep your eyes peeled for the number of indexed URLs. Occasionally, you will be taken by surprise by the number of pages Google has indexed. What we are doing here is a quick check of the number of indexed pages to what you'd expect. When you have fewer pages indexed, you will know that you're likely facing an issue with duplicate content or thin contents that needs to be worked on
Check for manual actions.
If your site has been flagged to be in violation of Google webmaster quality guidelines, they can issue manual action. His means that your site's ranking will drop, and you won't be able to rank as high as you previously did until the action is revoked. In extreme cases, your entire site can be deindexed and wouldn't let your site rank for even its brand name. You can check for this in the search console. Down the left-hand menu, you will see the security and manual actions tab, and in this, you will find a manual action link. Go ahead to click it and see the status of your website.
Thanks to SEO audits, you can find and fix issues across your website without having to manually discover these issues. Thanks to several tools provided by Google and other companies, you can run automatic audits and find problems even before they become noticeable. It is important that you get professionals to assist with your web audits, and what better place than Semalt?