How to SEO Audit Your Own Website in 6 Steps
A website audit is an examination of page performance prior to large-scale search engine optimization (SEO) or a website redesign. Auditing your website can determine whether or not it's optimized to achieve your traffic goals, and if not, how you can improve it to increase performance.
SEO makes up a lot of what we do at Red Pick Media. Our professional audit contains over 250 Website Health Checks using a variety of paid SEO tools and learned techniques.
Here’s a sneak peak into a recent SEO Audit on a clients website.
However, if you don’t have the budget or access to certain tools, we’re here to show you how to conduct your own basic SEO Audit of your business site in 6 steps to determine the health of your site.
1: Crawl Your Site
Before getting into this, let’s define a couple of phrases.
- Indexing: The process of storing every web page in a vast database.
- Web Spider: A piece of software designed to carry out the crawling process at scale.
- Googlebot: Google’s web spider that does the crawling.
- Site Crawls are an attempt to crawl an entire site at one time starting with the home page. A crawl will grab links from the Home page, to continue crawling the site to other pages. This is often called “Spidering”.
If Google doesn’t index your website, then you’re pretty much invisible. You won’t show up for any search queries, and you won’t get any organic traffic whatsoever. So just incase that hasn't hit home....ZERO TRAFFIC!
To first check if you’re indexed we can perform a simple site search on google. Go to google and enter site:YOURDOMAIN.com
There is another, more detailed way to check and that’s in Google Search Console, if you have it set up.
Google Search Console > Index > Coverage
You can also use Search Console to check whether a specific page is indexed. To do that, paste the URL into the URL Inspection tool. If that page is indexed, it’ll say “URL is on Google.”
If you are not indexed, you can request indexing as seen below. If you have trouble from here and your site is still not being indexed you have some blockers in place. If so, reach out to us and we can help you get sorted in a jiffy.
2. Site Speed Checks
When a customer sits down to eat at a restaurant, slow service from the waiter results in a poor experience for the customer, a negative trip advisor review and most likely a loss in return sales. Similarly, slow site speed can result in poor search engine rankings, lower overall site traffic, and negative user experiences.
Website speed, or website performance, refers to how quickly a browser is able to load fully functional webpages from a given site. Poorly performing sites that render slowly in a browser can drive users away.Conversely, sites that load quickly will typically receive more traffic and have better conversion rates.
Google makes money by providing the best service it can to its users. To do this, they have to serve up the very best search results to us all. If your site is slow, Google knows the end user won’t be happy, so it won’t be ranked as highly.
Free Tools to Check your Speed:
Neil Patel: This master marketer has some great free tools on his site including site speed checkers. His tool will show you your site load speed on desktop and mobile.
But, beware, he’s a world class marketer so be ready for Neil to follow you around the internet indefinitely once you accept cookies on his site. (go incognito)
3: Site Hierarchy
Site architecture refers to the structure that organizes and delivers the content on your website. It includes the hierarchy of pages where users find content and the technical considerations that let search engine bots crawl your pages.
Again, think of making the end user happy. Make sure the flow of your site is simple and easy to understand. Keep these end user questions in your head “What am I doing on this page” & “Where do I go from here”?
4: Do you have any pages with Thin Content?
“Thin” content is content that fails to meet user needs. A 300-word blog post explaining a complex concept would be considered thin. That said, it’s not realistic to put 1000-2000 words on every page of your site. So work backwards from your home page. Your “Home” page will be dominated by design features, your “About” page should be heavier on copy and your blog pages should be heavier again.
On average the top ranked blog pages on the internet have 2700 words.
So, when you identify pages with thin content, first check their performance and then decide if it’s time to delete the page, merge it with another similar page, optimise it or leave it as it is.
5: Page Headings
Heading tags serve an important function. They can indirectly influence your rankings by making your content easier and more enjoyable for visitors to read and by providing keyword-rich context about your content for the search engines.
H1, H1, H3 etc are the tags used to differentiate the relevance of the titles on the page, H1 being the page title. Tagging it as such tells the search engine what the page is about so it can rank it in the SERP. (Search Engine Result Page)
- Your H1 introduces the topic your page is all about, just as a title tells a reader what a book is all about.
- The H2s are akin to book chapters, describing the main topics you’ll cover in sections of the article.
- Subsequent headers, H3s to H6s, serve as additional sub-headings within each section, just as a book chapter may be split up by multiple sub-topics.
Change your heading tags in your websites back-end.
There have been plenty of trends in SEO that have come and gone, but h1s have never lost their significance.
6: Meta Titles, Meta Descriptions & Alt Tags
The meta description is HTML used on each page of a website to provide a brief explanation of what subject is covered. The meta description is about two sentences long and is located below the title tag in the search listings
Moz recommends keeping your titles under 60characters.
Meta descriptions can be any length, but Google generally truncates snippets to ~155–160 characters. It's best to keep meta descriptions long enough that they're sufficiently descriptive, so we recommend descriptions between 50–160characters.
Search engines and other robots cannot interpret images, but images can play a crucial part in how people interpret a particular web page. So, an Alt Tag is added to any image on your site in the backend to tell the bot what the image contains. When Googlebot or other search engine crawlers inspect a page, images with properly formatted alt text contribute to how the page is indexed and where it ranks. Google can't rank your images if it doesn't know what they are images of.
There are any number of ways you can go about auditing your website. There are also a litany of SEO tools on the internet for you to use, free & paid. You could come to an agency like ourselves for professional help if you are serious about your website and rankings and site speed are important to you. The most important thing here, no matter how you do it...is to do it.
SEO is too important to forget about in this day and age, especially with everyone now clambering to get online the competition is hotter than ever.
The more you fill your website and social media presence with valuable and well-organized content, the further you’ll push your most relevant search terms.
If you’re consistent, your SEO ranking will take off like never before
If you wan't some professional help in ranking and boosting traffic to your site just reach out to us for a free consultation below.
Monday, January 25, 2021