A lot of efforts…
And a lot of money and time invested to bring out the best version of a website.
But why this is so?
what a silly question is this, right?
Of course, this is to grab the traffic and ultimately the astounding figures of the conversions.
But still not getting the results as predicted
Might be your website is not getting sufficient insights due to being less noticed by the audience.
Or if you think that the creation of well-designed and the sophisticated website is enough to get quality traffic then you are off base.
There is always one thing that can change the whole success ratio and you need to grasp what it is?
In the case of the website, it is SEO.
If your competitors’ websites are appearing above your website, then it may be due to SEO.
In the era of competition, SEO has become the prime necessity of every website.
Consequently, website owners are opting for SEO to improve their ranking.
And if SEO is there, its success cannot be perpetuated without SEO auditing.
In this blog, you will learn A to Z of SEO audit
From what is SEO audit? to the ultimate SEO audit checklist
What is Seo audit?
SEO auditing is the process in which the friendliness of your website with the search engine is evaluated.
There are many SEO ranking factors that work together to bring the website ranking up.
To ensure all these factors are up to date and compatible with the search engine is called an SEO audit.
With the SEO audit checklist, it is easy to find out what is weakening your SEO effectiveness so that it can be fixed timely.
Why SEO audit?
Everything needs a timely check-up to work efficiently and this is applicable in case of SEO too.
People prefer to go for regular health checkups, this is because to ensure everything is working fine.
In the ever-changing scenario, you need to take care of the health of SEO like you do for your health.
Whenever there is any new update, it makes the older one less effective and your website has to suffer.
And this may end up with a declined ranking.
So, to keep your website ranking secure, frequent SEO auditing must be a part of your actionable SEO strategies.
Else, in the hustle-bustle, you will not be able to make out when and how did the ranking declined.
Once you make up your mind to be consistent with the SEO auditing, you need to ensure that it is done in the right way.
Have a look at the basic SEO audit checklist to have a better idea about what all you have to consider.
With the help of top SEO tools assess your website performance.
Once you know what is working in favor or against your website, the race is half won.
So, Step 1: Assess your website’s performance with SEO tools
Step 2: Refer to the SEO audit checklist and refine your strategies.
For this post, we are beginning with step 2.
Ultimate SEO audit checklist
So, what is an Ultimate SEO audit checklist? How it will help me in 2020?
An SEO audit checklist will tell you all the checkpoints that should be included in your auditing process.
These checkpoints will help you to improve certain areas of your site.
Why SEO audit checklist 2020
SEO audit checklist 2020 is important, as the competition is going to be neck and neck in 2020.
The only way by which you can thrive is by staying ahead of your competitors.
How will you?
By identifying the strength, weakness, and potential of your website.
That is essential for a long term success.
There are two broad types of SEO audit checklist
- On-page SEO audit checklist, and
- Off-page SEO audit Checklist.
The on-page SEO audit checklist
When it comes to SEO, there are many off-page and on-page SEO practices that are followed to squeeze the best SEO results.
But in the hustle-bustle, many times the important factors are left behind without much stress laid.
And later on, it comes up in the form of unsatisfactory results.
To ensure everything is perfectly optimized, check out the most essential factors of on-page SEO audit checklist
Title tags play a crucial role in the success of SEO.
While SEO auditing, title tags are also taken into consideration.
Nothing can be better than this platform when it comes to keyword placement.
This is the foremost element in the SERP that grabs the immediate attention of the users.
Mark the presence of the focus keyword in the title tag.
Apart from this, when it is about SEO results the title length also matters.
It must be somewhere between 40 -70 characters to optimize it.
#Keyword in the H1 and H2
A page is incomplete without a heading.
The search engine crawls every page of the website and headings of the page are also taken into consideration.
To make the headline SEO compatible it’s a good practice to add the focused keyword in the H1.
It will help the search engine to understand the context of the page whereas adding different keywords in H1 will make the crawlers confused.
Apart from this, try to add keywords in the H2 as well to build the relevancy of the topic and make it more clear to the search engine.
#Keyword in the meta description
Meta description although do not have a direct impact but yes, it affects indirectly.
An optimized meta description helps to attract more CTR.
The websites with high CTR are always noticed by the search engines.
Add keyword in the meta description as well to give an idea of the context to the users.
Do not go for long meta descriptions.
As they are do not appear completely, instead keep it limited to 160 characters.
Strive for well-written meta-description that is conspicuous-what the content is all about.
#Keyword in URL
Although this sounds a small SEO ranking factor but yes, this factor does have an impact on the ranking of your website.
According to the statistics, two-thirds of the top-ranking websites is found to have keywords in their URL.
If we talk about the users’ perspective, the addition of the keywords in the URL gives them an idea about the niche area of the business.
The audience can easily figure out- what all they will get on the website.
SEO is not only about the results, in fact, it is also about the good results.
Relevant keywords in the URL helps to earn more clicks.
Apart from this, keywords in URL also tell the search engine what a page is all about.
URL is the primary factor that is taken into consideration while deciding, which website should be clicked.
And when it comes to ranking, CTR is a vital component that helps to uplift the ranking.
There are writers who focus on writing content that lies between 300-500 and consider it ideal.
It is not the thing that short length content does not rank well in the search engine.
Just the thing is long-form content ranks better than the short-form content.
And everyone works to infuse the best and possible strategies to improve the effectiveness of SEO.
In an SEO audit, the length of the content also helps to increase the ranking.The concept behind the lengthy content is to provide rich and useful information to the users.Click To Tweet
If your understanding is saying it is just about expanding the content by keep on adding the words then you are totally off base.
It is all about making the content good and that’s achievable by adding rich information, proper explanations, statistics, facts, and figures, etc.
A blog that is well-written with all such qualities will obviously end up with a perfect length.
Length is not the primary focus, how good content is, that matters.
And ultimately this is something that makes it perfect from the SEO point of view to attaining a higher ranking.
SEO works by shaping the website into the best and eliminating the hampering elements.
Hence, the website should be perfect in every manner to secure a good ranking.
While SEO auditing, the existence of the broken links is also checked.
When the website is crawled, every page is checked deeply.
Broken links generally lead to 404 errors on the page and are not valuable to the users.
Any page containing broken links restricts the search engine to crawl the website further.
Consequently, the website will not be indexed.
Without indexing, it is next to impossible to make the website rank.
Because of the existence itself is questionable, then how it is viable to enhance the website visibility.
#Domain Age of the page
Among hundreds of weighing factors, the domain age is also one of the factors included in the SEO Audit Checklist.
To be precise, if you are thinking domain age is about how long the domain is existing then you not getting the things.
Domain age is calculated from the day the domain is indexed by Google.
It has been observed the aged domain tends to rank better in comparison to new domains.
No doubt, if the domain is aged it is more likely to have a good number of backlinks but only if the content is good enough.
This is not the only sole reason to rank higher, as by the time the domain will also become more authoritative and trustworthy due to its existence.
And this is a very common mindset, the older the better is.
Simply the thing is it takes time to win the trust of the audience.
No index tags do play an important role in SEO.
While determining the website ranking all the website pages are taken into consideration.
Hence, Noindex tags must be used cautiously, else it can also turn into a nightmare for SEO.
In case, if any page on the website is containing “NoIndex” tag it will not be indexed by the search engine.
Consequently, it will have an impact on the website ranking.
So, take care of the no-index tags and remove them if any persists.
Everything that is taking your content quality down is a threat to your website ranking.
SEO is effective when all the SEO factors are perfectly fine and content is one the most important factor that needs optimization.
In SEO auditing, every aspect that can hamper the existence of content is checked.
If you are aware of the problematic areas, it is easy to work on them.
Any kind of copied content is easily detected by the search engine.
And this will surely have a bad effect on the website ranking and make the SEO weak.
SEO auditing aid in staying informed about the originality and freshness of the content.
A piece of content that is adding no value to the users is not the demand for SEO.
Ultimately, it all starts with the audience and ends on them only.
How much value the content holds present on your website is a strong factor that helps in determining the ranking.
The ultimate purpose of the content is to serve the users thus if the purpose is justified then obviously it will be rewarded by Google.
Such content tends to earn more clicks and shares.
And considering such parameters, the ranking of the website is determined.
This SEO auditing checklist will help you to figure out what are the loopholes in your SEO techniques in order to remove them and makes you a strong contender to rank higher.
Images are the best means to entice users.
The use of images can bring life to any kind of content.
And image optimization can prove to be a great move when it comes to SEO.
A website enriched with quality and relevant images easily succeeds to impress the users.Click To Tweet
Avoid opting for the common kind of images that are used by a lot of professionals.
Make sure they are of good quality whatever the size is.
Images with copyright are not at all recommendable.
So, use the images that go well with the content and strengthen the message that you wish to convey.
A website that makes the user happy is more likely to achieve a higher ranking.
SEO auditing allows you to find out the improvement areas of the images and optimize them well.
Therefore, by considering every point of this SEO audit checklist you can easily improve your SEO outcome.
An elementary role is played by the alt tags too in the SEO.
How will Google come to know that the website contains well- crafted content enriched with relevant images?
Alt tags will tell…
Google can’t read images, hence it’s requisite to have alt tags.
So that Google can understand, images are there in the content.
Additionally, in case the image does not appear the text added in the alt tag will appear as a replacement.
#Keyword in the alt tag
Google has become smart enough to understand the content and context.
From the SEO perspective, it is advisable to add the keyword in the alt tag.
As we know, Google can’t read images but the alternate text is readable.
Adding relevant keyword in the alt tag helps to optimize it well.
Usage of an optimized alt tag helps to boost the ranking of the pages as it adds value to it.
And no doubt, without alt tag there is no use of images on a page.
So, it’s better to use optimized alt tags in order to increase the ranking.
Heart-winning content has all the rights to reach thousands of audience.
Although it does not impact SEO directly- but yes social sharing has an indirect impact on SEO.
If the content is shared more and more, it will be an add-on to its visibility.
Immense sharing of content ultimately ends up with more links, engagement, and clicks.
And I guess there is no need to explain what is the role of links to improve the ranking.
More backlinks mean a more improved ranking.
So if the content is earning more social shares, it will get credit as well.
A website with high credibility has always been into notice by the search engines.
This is the factor generally overlooked but it should not be.
It is a technical aspect that must be considered while optimizing the website for search engines.
It is not always about opening the page and find out what it is all about.
Even the URL of the page can tell what it is all about if it is well- optimized.
In SEO auditing, it must be ensured that the URL is simple and easy-to-understand.
This will help the audience to understand the context of the page without opening it completely.
Most importantly focus on static URL rather than a dynamic URL.
Because they are easy to understand and SEO compatible too.
To enhance the readability of the URL makes use of the hyphen to separate the words.
#Length of URL
In SEO auditing, somewhere URL length is also considered that’s why included in the SEO audit checklist.
Shorter URLs are considered good from the perspective of SEO.
It must be limited to 3-5 words or we can say try to keep it as short as possible.
As long URL is difficult to remember.
If a URL is easy to remember, it is more likely to be visited often by the targeted audience.
Consequently, it will earn more clicks and a sense of reliability too.
And this is something that makes the website good to rank in the search engines.
To increase the SEO effective SEO auditing is really necessary.
It gives you time to time ideas about the kind of response a website is getting due to SEO.
And if still there is a lot to improve in the ranking then various factors are inspected.
User experience is one of them.
If the website is left more often then it might be due to users’ experience.
Bad experience always makes the users run away from the website and opt for some better option.
It can be due to complex navigation, design, colors, layout, images, etc.
So try to present the powerful and creative structure of the website elements to attract more traffic and conversions.
Sooner or later this will be rewarded by Google with a higher ranking.
A few lines and then a link, after few minutes again the same thing happens.
Do you think this will make the content interesting?
Excess of everything is harmful, this included too many outbound links as well.
Providing useful resources to aid with detailed information is a good thing.
But adding too many links will not only distract the users but reduce the effectiveness and value of the content.
This will surely hamper the SEO effectiveness and create a hindrance to getting the desired results.
Robot. Txt plays a vital role in upgrading and degrading the website the ranking.
That is because it tells the search engine which web page should be crawled and which should be not?
When the search engine crawls the website, it crawls every page.
But there might be some pages which might not be good from the SEO point of view.
It is important to prevent such pages from being indexed.
You just need to “Disallow” them and they will not be indexed.
These pages can be duplicate pages, or the pages taking a lot of time to load, low-quality pages, spam content, hacked pages etc.
You need to take care of such pages, else the SEO results will be hampered.
Mobile-friendliness has become important like anything.
How much a website is compatible with mobile phones is another factor that hampers the website ranking.
The ranking is not only hampered on mobile phones but on the desktop as well.
The numbers of mobile users are much more than desktop users.
In such a scenario, if a website is unable to serve the mobile users then obviously the ranking will go down.
And most importantly, the website will be deprived of serving the large segment of people who would have added to website quality traffic.
The #Loading speed of the website
Here comes an essential of SEO that needs to be taken care of.
SEO auditing checklist also includes the loading time of the website.
Any kind of hindrance in the users’ experience will take the website far away from being rewarded with the higher ranking.
And this is obvious, a website that is unable to serve the users well- why will it be rewarded?
You need to take care of image sizes, scripts files etc. that can lead to slow loading of the website.
In an SEO audit, every factor should be looked after to improve the loading speed and get effective SEO results.
How secured a website is an essential component in SEO.
While auditing it must be checked whether a website is secured or not.
A website that is secured has the initials HTTPS in the URL.
Such websites tend to rank higher in comparison to the non-secured website.Secured websites are liable to get more traffic as they are trustworthy and reliable too.Click To Tweet
So, if a website is secured it not only gains the traffic but conversion too.
As a result, there will be a boost in the website ranking.
The off-page SEO audit checklist
Link building is an essential practice in SEO that assists in improving the ranking.
Just get the links and forget about it, this approach will take you nowhere.
Because it is not only about the quantity, in fact, the quality of links matter.
The quality of links is always monitored by Google.
And the websites enriched with qualitative backlinks from the high- domain authoritative websites.
As these are the trusted websites, links from such websites pass on the information to the search engine that the website is valuable and can be trusted.
Ultimately, leading to improved authority and credibility of the websites.
And such kinds of websites are always targeted to rank higher.
If the efforts are revolving around the SEO, the Nofollow links are not something that you are working for.
While auditing the SEO, what kind of backlinks your content is getting that makes a difference in the SEO results.
Strive for Do-follow links as only these links allow Google to follow and reach the website.
These links really hold a true worth in SEO whereas no-follow links do not hold much SEO value.
Because the search engine will crawl the links but will not be followed where they are redirecting.
So, an audit helps to ensure the presence of do-follow links in order to escalate SEO effectiveness.
Recommendation from the reputation website always serves a meaningful purpose.
Thus, if you are getting backlinks from a website make sure that are from the reputed site.
Social presence also plays an important role in the concern of backlinks.
How many people are engaged on the website and their responses apparently state what kind of reputation a website holds?
The number of likes, shares, and comment clearly shows you the real picture of the web site’s popularity and people’s engagement.
Therefore, links from such a website will prove valuable in reinforcing the SEO strategy and effects.
That’s why it is a vital component of the SEO audit checklist.
#Trustworthiness of the website
Although the links are the game-changer of the off-page SEO results, but it is not like just get it from any website.
Quality still exists in the parameters.
The quality and security of the website that gives backlink to you is a factor for rank improvement.
Hence, it’s mandatory to check the sources of the backlinks or we can say the websites from where the links are coming.
The backlines are only worth if the source websites are trustworthy, credible and secured with SSL.
Adding another factor to the SEO audit checklist, the analysis of backlink source website is also taken into the account.
What kind of anchor text is lying on the link can make or break the value of links.
We all know that links make a great difference in the SEO results.
But the optimization of the anchor text also makes a difference to enhance the value of SEO.
Anchor text must be used must be relevant to the page it is redirecting to, else it will have a negative impact on website ranking.
Apart from this, try to get your targeted keyword covered in the anchor text of a link you are getting from the other website.
This will strengthen your targeted keyword and help to rank your blog for the specific keyword.
This is one of the practices used to upgrade the SEO results, hence taken into consideration while creating the SEO audit checklist.
To achieve success in SEO is not a piece of cake.
A lot of strategies, hard work, efforts, time, etc is required to top the list in Search engines.
Once it is achieved, it takes a lot to sustain it.
To do so, you need to imbue the SEO auditing in your regular practices to keep it going well.
Do not let your SEO techniques go outdated with the passing time.
Hence, you need to keep an eye on every element that can ruin the effectiveness of SEO.
Take every factor mentioned above in the ultimate SEO audit checklist and eliminate every possibility of unsatisfactory SEO results.
Like you go for regular health checkups to ensure smooth functioning of the body.
In the same manner, go for SEO auditing to ensure commendable results out of SEO in every situation.
Uproot every root cause at the initial stage by timely working on SEO audit checklist and attain unbelievable results that you were waiting for.
Dinesh has been doing digital marketing since 2007. Now he manages a team of digital marketers, developers, and project managers. As the CEO of Ads Triangle, Dinesh has helped hundreds of businesses to grow their revenue through digital marketing.