Running a successful website requires you to continuously be improving and adding on the content your website offers its visitors, and indeed, this requirement is created by the way Google’s algorithm ranks websites. At the end of the day, the overall purpose of Google’s search engine is to deliver search query results that best meet the user’s needs. This is accomplished by not just delivering the most relevant results but also, the highest quality. Algorithm updates such as the speed update and mobile-first indexing are evidence of the fact that your website’s quality is just as important as its content, and Google will actively take steps to influence website owners to offer the highest quality content possible.
Consequently, regular SEO audits are one way you can immediately address any technical issues with your website and gauge the effectiveness of your SEO efforts, but the first thing most website owners think of when they hear the words “SEO audit” is a long tedious task that can take weeks or months. Don’t worry. The SEO experts at On the Map Marketing are ready to show you how to conduct an effective SEO audit in about 3-4 hours.
How to Run an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit occurs at both the macro and micro level. Meaning, a proper SEO audit checks technical aspects of your website as a whole and of individual web pages. Consequently, there are a few tools you will need to conduct your SEO audit:
- Google Analytics
- Google Pagespeed Insights
- Google Mobile-Friendly Test
- Google Search Console
- Google’s Structured Data Tool
The good thing about each of these tools is that they are all free or Google offers both a free and a premium version as is the case with Google Analytics. Now that we have all of the tools we need let’s get the audit started.
1. Review All of the Data About Your Website from Google Search Console
There are a few key factors you are looking for while you are analyzing the data from Google Search Console. First, check to see how many pages from your website are being indexed by
Google. Remember, pages that aren’t indexed will not rank or receive traffic. So, if multiple pages aren’t being indexed, it can be indicative of a larger problem. Moreover, if a page isn’t indexing, run the page’s URL through the Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool to figure out why it’s not indexing.
2. Look for Performance Anomalies in Google Analytics
Google Analytics allows you to view performance data for each web page including click-through rates, bounce rates, and the number of times a page has been viewed. So, when you are performing your audit, you should review each web page’s performance. The web pages that are performing poorly should be the first page’s you perform an in-depth on-page SEO analysis. Moreover, you should also review the performance metric for each source of traffic for your website. Is the majority of your website’s traffic coming from one or two sources? If so, you might want to consider adjusting or eliminating online sources that are underperforming.
3. Run Speed Tests for Each Web Page
Page load speeds have become a really big ranking factor for Google, which is why Google created Pagespeed Insights tool. As such, testing each page’s load speed is a critical aspect of any SEO audit. Address the pages with the lowest speed score first. Changes such as revising content, compressing images, changing image formats, or even altering webpage features can all be used to decrease a page’s load time, which can ultimately lead to an increase in traffic and conversions as well as a decreased bounce rate.
4. Run Mobile-Friendly Tests on Each Web Page
More than 70% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, which is why your website’s performance and efficiency on mobile devices is a critical aspect of effective SEO. Due to this, you should run a mobile-friendly test on each web page on your website. If your website was built using responsive web design techniques, each web page should return a result indicating its mobile-friendly.
However, even pages that are mobile-friendly can have loading errors. If certain features or page attributes don’t load properly for a mobile user, it can cause the user to bounce or only view the web page for a small amount of time, which is why you should always dedicate a portion of your SEO audit to testing and improving each web page’s ability to load quickly and efficiently for mobile users.
5. Run Each Web Page Through Google’s Structured Data Tool
Have you ever wondered how Google analyzes and views data? Sure, you may be aware of Google’s crawling process, but Google takes things a step further with its analysis by analyzing certain structural elements within the code of each web page. Google’s structured data tool allows you to see how Google view each web page’s data and make alterations to web pages based on Google Structural Guidelines.
The goal of this test is to see if any of your website’s web pages return structural errors that need to be fixed. These errors can be isolated or indicative of a larger site-wide problem, and if you haven’t already done so, you should sign up for Google’s Structured Data as a verified site owner in order to run structural reports on your entire website.
6. Correct Issues and Perform an In-Depth SEO of Analysis on Each Web Page
At this point, you should have a large amount of data to analyze, and you should be able to identify any web page issues from multiple angles. With this data in mind, you should conduct an in-depth on-page SEO analysis for most, if not all, of the web pages on your website. Start with web pages that you have flagged as having the most issues. This determination could be based on the data you have gathered from any of the resources you have used throughout your audit. As a part of your on-page SEO analysis, make sure you:
- Analyze each web page’s keyword distribution and density
- Check each web page for broken links
- Optimize the images on each web page
- Consider whether or not you should revise, expand, or re-write content
- Optimize your content for “topical relevance”
Do You Need Help with Your SEO Audit?
The SEO experts at On the Map Marketing are here to help. Our SEO experts have helped hundreds of website owners analyze and make improvements to their website that maximize its performance and efficiency. So, if you need help with your company’s website, call the SEO experts at On the Map Marketing today.