In the previous article, we discussed how to do a SEO audit and the best SEO tools that are used to audit websites. Now we present the second part of the complete SEO audit guide. After reading, you will be able to draw the correct conclusions from the report received and you will successfully implement all the recommendations resulting from it into the life of your website.
You just received an SEO audit with a list of errors on your website and with ready-made guidelines on how to fix these errors. However, you do not know where to start and how to implement them? We will tell you how to correctly interpret the results in the report after the SEO audit. You do not need to have technical knowledge of how websites work.
To understand exactly what is in the SEO report, let's recall what an SEO audit is. The audit is a service that will help you determine what to do to make the further promotion of your website much simpler and more effective. What's more, an SEO audit is extremely useful in determining the strategy for further promotion of the website. What exactly will the SEO audit give you and what exactly should be done after its execution? Well, you can take care of the further development of your website and move on to paid advertising, further work on positioning, or building a content marketing strategy. Do you need an audit to perform these activities? It's best to take care of these aspects after implementing the SEO audit guidelines. You will then be sure that the user will get exactly where you want from the search results.
Unfortunately, spending a large budget on paid ads for a website that is not properly optimized for SEO will not bring the expected results. At BOWWE ,we know that in order to successfully develop your online business, it is worth investing in having a website that is a search engine and user-friendly in terms of SEO
. This year we want to present to you the benefits of a well-performed SEO audit. Conducting an audit will allow you to take appropriate steps to optimize the website. Thanks to this, you will find out whether it is better to improve the current website in terms of SEO or to rewrite it from scratch. You will also learn about real opportunities and threats for your website.
Drawing the right conclusions after an SEO audit may seem like a challenge at first. However, you shouldn't get discouraged. Thanks to our tips, you will effectively interpret the received report and you will easily determine the direction of further actions to optimize your website. At BOWWE, we regularly provide tips on how to keep your website profitable. This time we will discuss what a correct SEO audit report should contain and what elements on your website are analyzed during the audit itself. With this knowledge, you will be better prepared to work with your own website. Let's get to work!
Let's recall what an SEO audit is and what its main assumptions are.An audit is nothing more than an analysis of a website in terms of its visibility in search engines, and its result is a list of guidelines. In other words, you will receive a recipe for optimizing the code structure and content on the page to be friendly to search engine crawlers. All of this will be written point by point. During the SEO audit, your website was analyzed for certain problem areas.
We can distinguish four basic steps that each basic SEO audit covers:
- Technical analysis - reliable website analysis showing its technical condition
- On-site SEO - on-site content analysis and keyword analysis
- Off-site SEO - elements outside the page, e.g. inbound links
- Competition analysis
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The audit of your website has been performed and you have just received a ready report with a thorough website analysis. What can you expect in the report? You will receive the results of the audit in the form of a comprehensive electronic file, so that appropriate employees from various departments of your company have access to it. The SEO report is an organized list of guidelines that describes step by step each problem found on the website. However, remember that it should be legible, and guidelines must be formulated in a way that even non-technical people can understand. Your goal is to take the right steps to optimize your website. So it is crucial that you understand every aspect and problem described, even if you are unfamiliar with coding.
What are the characteristics of a professional SEO audit report?
- has a concise form
- is precise
- is divided into categories and major topics
- provides a list of errors with tips on how to fix them
There is no single template that describes what an SEO audit should look like. Each audit specialist has slightly different habits when compiling a report, and the documents may differ in terms of structure or the way in which the guidelines are included. So we will not get two the same audits made according to one template. So how do you know a professionally performed audit? Real experts will list all the data meticulously and then detail it in detail. This means that a well-performed audit will be much more extensive than one that is not performed professionally.
Also, remember that the SEO audit report should be understandable to everyone. Different departments - both programmers and marketers - should be able to draw the right conclusions from it that will help optimize your website. If, after reading the report, you know exactly what needs to be improved on your website and to which department to refer a specific problem, you do not have to worry - your audit has been carried out professionally.
- Recommendations should be supported by a detailed analysis in an accessible form, so that they are understandable for departments, e.g. marketing, graphic designers, etc.
- If you are blogging on your site, your report should detail the traffic for this section
- The report should include activities that have already been carried out and plans for the near future. Unfortunately, the implementation of SEO audit recommendations sometimes takes months, so it is important to include specific guidelines for further work on website optimization.
- If you run e-commerce services, your website audit report should refer to information such as the most frequently sold products or the most visited categories of the store.
What will you learn after auditing your website?
The audit of your website will be aimed at finding problems and presenting ready-made solutions to individual errors. During the audit, completely different areas of the website may be examined, as requested by the ordering party. Each page is treated individually, therefore each audit focuses on slightly different aspects. The audit will provide you with information about the current situation of your website.
- Is your website visible in the search results of selected search engines?
- How should your website be optimized for SEO?
- Is the website technically correct? If not, what are the components and how can it be fixed?
- Is internal and external linking correct?
- Is the content on your website qualitatively good and unique?
How to know if there is any need to audit the website? What may indicate that the website has problems and needs to be fixed? The main indicator is the frequency of modifications, both in terms of website operation and appearance. If you run a small business, you probably don't have time to update content on your site.
Imagine you have a solid website. This site has been in your service for at least four years and is still working. Despite its somewhat archaic appearance, it has a large volume of traffic that regularly generates visits. On the website, we can see the most important products from your offer, and there is also no missing information about your company. So you probably do not see the need to make large changes to your website, and thus you have doubts about whether the audit will bring any benefits. Of course, despite the stability and seemingly good condition, your website certainly needs some changes. Even if the website has no algorithmic penalties and the backlink profile does not seem to be compromised at all, an SEO audit will certainly prove helpful. During the audit, errors will be detected that you cannot see with the naked eye. Only examining the website step by step can help you solve problems that you are not aware of.
Remember that even two years is a lot for a website. Especially if there were no regular changes to it. It is also important that you stay up to date with the latest search engine guidelines. For example, Google regularly changes its search algorithm. Within a few years, not only the tastes and trends in the appearance of websites but also the behaviors and habits of users have certainly changed. The interpretation of the website's readability or quality has certainly changed as well. So the navigation on the site and its general structure most likely need a change.
How can an SEO audit help in this case? Thanks to the SEO audit, you will learn what needs to be done to give your website better search results. As a result, you will increase the chances that, in addition to regular customers, many more users will visit your site. This obviously means a significant increase in revenues. To do this, you need to take one of two paths. One of them is to use the old website as a base to develop and improve its operation. Sometimes, however, it happens that the number of errors resulting from the audit is too large, and their resolution is too costly and time-consuming. Then the second option may be a better solution, which is rewriting the website's website from scratch.
Let's look at the structure of an example SEO audit. In terms of methodology, various data collection tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Page Speed Insights, and SEO analysis tools such as Ahrefs, ScreamingFrog, Majestic can be used to perform the audit. Audit experts will also conduct a manual analysis based on the source code of your website.
What should a basic SEO audit report contain?
- analysis of the website server operation in terms of communication with the user's browser;
- website code analysis;
- page loading speed. Watch out for the number of plugins installed! Some of them can slow down your website significantly;
- data that will help you find out how your website is presented in search results;
- information on the indexation of individual subpages
- alerts regarding errors on the site (e.g. 404 error, bad redirects, problems with sitemap or tags )
- guidelines for the quantity and quality of content on the website;
- data on internal linking and backlinks;
- general website traffic analysis.
Google Analytics is a tool that will precisely determine the current traffic status on your website. With this popular analytics tool, you can check, among others, whether this movement is stable, i.e. whether the number of sessions remains at a similar level each month. You will see any key moments for your website on the charts. You will know exactly when there was an increase in traffic and at what time little has happened. Thanks to this, you will draw the right conclusions, which could have caused the increase or decrease in the number of visits to your website. This will allow you to control any promotional activities related to your website. A sudden increase in the number of visits can be caused by a good marketing campaign or successful activity on social media. If in a given month you notice a significant decrease in visits to the website, it may mean that the website has stopped developing at that moment or that no modifications have been made for a long time.
Let us analyze this with an example. Imagine you have recently noticed a decreased number of visits to your website. So you decide to conduct an audit. After the audit, you receive a report that summarizes the current situation of your website. You get a graph showing the number of visits. Those from Google Analytics may look like this:
Graph showing the number of sessions, broken down into organic and paid traffic in a selected period.
Here's what the statistics from Google Analytics show. What do the three lines above mean?
- Blue line - the number of all sessions on the page in a specified time
- Orange line - sessions derived entirely from organic results (these are so-called natural results and do not include paid results)
- Green line - sessions with paid results, eg from sponsored links
After analyzing the guidelines in the report, you can discover the reasons for the reduced number of visits to your website. What are the most important conclusions you can draw from these types of charts? First of all, pay attention to what the traffic looks like in the time stated. Check if the traffic on your website has increased or decreased compared to last year. Deterioration of results may be due to the lack of modification or the cessation of development of the site. The decrease in traffic may also result from the lack of new content that would be friendly in terms of search engines or engaging enough to attract new users.
Information about website traffic on Google Analytics.
What other information about website traffic can GA data provide? The number of users is an important piece of information. It is worth taking a closer look at it and determining whether the greater number of users translates into the real success of your business. In Google Analytics you can determine the exact return on investment ( ROI - Return on Investment ) that the website has achieved. However, make sure you have installed goals and conversion codes to keep track of this information.
Google Search Console - a view showing the visibility status of the website.
The above statistics show us an alarming drop in most of the columns, which is no good. If you observe a similar situation on your website, performing an SEO audit may help. In the SEO report, you will receive a list of guidelines that will tell you exactly what needs to be done to improve the website performance. You will also get information on the historical visibility of your website in search results. By examining your site's visibility, you will find out if your site has any penalties from the search engine algorithm or penalties imposed by search engine moderators. Remember that you can regularly check the website visibility data in Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
In the SEO audit report, you will of course see a ready-made solution to errors on your website. You can solve your visibility problems thanks to Google Search Console. There you can check if the site has any penalties. To make sure your site is okay, check that you haven't received any messages from Google. If you do not see any e-mail in your inbox, and the "Messages" section in your panel is empty - it can be assumed that your website has no major problems.
An SEO audit report can show you how your website ranks compared to the competition. Based on keywords related to the website, audit experts will examine competing websites.
Google Search Console - a view showing the indexing status of the site.
The next step to optimizing your website is to check for crawl errors. These are all the problems that the crawlers encountered when examining the page. This information in the audit report will tell you what the current health of your site looks like. You can also check this in Google Search Console in the main navigation dashboard view. If the report shows no major problems, Google's crawlers are having no problems connecting to your domain or server, and the robot.txt files are executed correctly. And what indexing errors can be detected during this stage of the SEO audit? Errors can be related to e.g. URLs or the server.
- The problem of indexing robots with connecting to the domain or service;
- URL errors found by search engine robots;
- Internal server errors, eg when a subpage returned a code of 500 to search engine bots;
- A 404 error, which is an invalid query, occurs. If they did, you will see what subpages returned the 404 code. If the subpage returns a 404 error, it means that the request cannot be detected by the server. This is due to a query syntax error.
What information can data from the Search Analytics report section provide us? With this information, we will learn more about the visibility of the page in search results. The "Search Analytics" report shows us data on clicks, impressions, CTRs, and search engine result positions associated with the page. In the SEO report, we can obtain information on how many clicks our website generated in the search results within the time frame. You will also learn which keywords your website was positioned on generated the most clicks.
Technical website technical analysis focuses on communication on the browser-server line.
Technical analysis involves examining the technical parameters of your website, i.e. loading speed, redirection settings. Thanks to technical analysis, you will also learn valuable information about the surroundings of your website, i.e. what is happening outside it, and yet influences its position in search engine rankings.
Page Speed Insights - an example of the page speed score expressed in points.
How fast is your website? You will find out by using Google Page Speed Insights - a free tool that will allow you to test the speed at which your website loads. While this is a tool from the Google for Developers program, it is available to everyone. How does Google Page Speed Insights work? This tool analyzes the resources sent by the server and their impact on the speed of loading the page from the browser. After analyzing in PageSpeedInsights itself, you will receive a short report with tips on errors regarding the loading speed of your website.
- Optimize images - The Page Speed Insights tool often pays attention to the size of images and how they might load.
- Reduce the length and length of the HTML code - Consider removing CSS styles added directly to the HTML code. Optimizing the HTML code will make the page lighter, and thus will load in the browser much faster.
The correctness of redirects to your website will be checked during the SEO audit. If your website has a correctly made 301 redirect, then there is no duplicate homepage problem. When everything works properly in this regard, the search engine receives a clear message that the URL should be treated as the home page of the site. As a result, your home page will only be available at one address.
For sites that do not have a large number of subpages and are regularly updated, having a sitemap is recommended. Thanks to this, indexing robots will find new places on the page easier, and the site itself will refresh much faster. This will positively affect the visibility of your website in search results.
If the robots.txt file downloads correctly but does not follow any search engine guidelines, it is simply an empty file. It should contain information about the possibility of indexing all subpages on the website. All you need to do is add the appropriate entry in the robots.txt file. You will receive all this information in the report after the audit.
What does information about keyword ranking mean to you? The report will tell you how many percent of all traffic is in the group of the strongest keywords. You'll also get calculated average clicks that a single keyword receives. Which keywords usually get the best results? Most often these are generic keywords and keywords containing the name of the location. What do you gain from keyword analysis? The keyword ranking list has great potential to be exploited. Thanks to this, you can increase the visibility of your website for the best-generating queries. The result will be even a several-fold increase in acquired traffic.
Sample keyword analysis was done with the Keyword Planner tool.
When should you improve the visibility of your business address in search results? Certainly, when only a few pages of your website with details of the location are at the forefront of the search ranking. It is also worth taking care to provide users with a better experience related to your website and in terms of search. Remember that the place on your website where the user is transferred to after entering a query into the search engine should provide satisfactory and comprehensive answers. Otherwise, work on SEO will not work.
What problems can reduce the visibility of your website? The analysis of the current situation of the website may reveal potential errors due to which the website is unable to achieve higher positions in search rankings. Errors may arise from the construction and operation of the website itself. Such analysis is usually conducted in order to find, describe, and solve the detected problems. You will, of course, receive all this information in the form of guidelines in the SEO audit report.
Why is SEO improvement on your website good at all? Of course, the main idea is to improve the visibility of your website on the web. In this part of the SEO audit, it should provide you not only with all the necessary information about SEO, but also tips on how to improve the performance of your website. Thanks to this, the UX - User Experience of your website will improve, in other words - users' feelings about using the website. This, in turn, can significantly improve the number of conversions and increase traffic on the website, which can also be the purpose of such analysis. Thanks to the SEO analysis performed during the audit, you will receive a model of the correct structure of your website. You will learn what arrangement of elements to use to effectively and effectively present the content and the most important elements on your website.
On each subpage of the website, the text is displayed at the top, which is why it is so important to properly concentrate keywords on your website. Make sure you populate your home page with high-quality content first. Then you can move on to improving the details, e.g. the text in the header.
Logotype errors are a common example of problems that may occur at the top of the sidebar of your website. They are often caused by overloading of the keywords in the title = "" and alt = "" attributes. Including keywords in the Title or ALT attributes is extremely important from an SEO perspective. Remember, however, that they should sound natural in the first place. They cannot be clusters of randomly selected keywords. A good Title consists of logical sentences that provide the necessary information.
"Go to the homepage of naturalcosmsetics.pl. Start your search for the best natural cosmetics here.”
Adding graphics, photos, and other visual elements is essential to make your website pleasant to read. However, it should be remembered that each image should have the ALT attribute, i.e. alternative description. Why is it so important to add alternative descriptions to all multimedia elements on the page? ALT attributes allow search engine robots to read and interpret what is in the photos. Therefore, it is important that picture descriptions contain keywords. Thanks to this, search engine robots will properly define the photo. In this way, the chances that after entering the appropriate phrase in the search engine, the user will be redirected to a specific element on your website. Thanks to the SEO audit, you will find out if all images have alternative descriptions, and if they are correct in terms of SEO.
In your website's HTML code, the optimized graphics will look like this:
<img src = "image-name" alt = "graphic content description" />
The SEO audit will also tell you if "nofollow" tags have not been placed somewhere on your website. Remember that internal links on your site should not have "nofollow" tags as they prevent indexing of these pages in search engines. Of course, there are times when nofollow tags are useful, such as when you want to hide low-value pages. It is also worth including them in ads that effectively distract users from what is on your website. If so far the sidebar ads on your site have not had the "nofollow" tag added, you should quickly change it. Certainly, the SEO audit report will tell you to include these tags and thus remove the ad pages from the search results. What is worth doing? Instead of advertising, it is recommended to place banners on partner sites.
In the SEO audit report, you will receive any suggestions for meta tag changes. You will receive information on whether all subpages have defined titles, whether they are not too long and whether duplicate titles have been detected on individual subpages.
- Duplicate titles - If duplicate titles are detected during the SEO audit, it means that these pages have pagination, and their titles are not "rewritten" by Google algorithms.
- Too long titles - this most often occurs when your company name or city name is too long. The correct title should look like this: Tavern - London - Restaurants.
- Meta descriptions - Problems with handling correct descriptions are related to their length, structure, or complete absence. Examples of errors that can be found during an SEO audit most often concern:
- Subpages responsible for displaying photos in the gallery.
- Subpages that show the details of your company.
Inbound links are an area of off-site activities. Links pointing to your website are most often linked thematically with your website. The specificity of running a service company, and in particular in terms of conducting promotional activities on the Internet, requires placing a large number of backlinks to product page catalogs or other places where you can promote your business. Such activities increase the credibility of your company, so they are necessary.
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- Total lack or too few incoming links - The right number of links coming from reliable sources will contribute to getting a higher position in the search results. So try to get good-quality links to your website, e.g. by getting customer recommendations.
- Links originating from the same IP address IP - Links obtained from one server look suspicious and unnatural to search engine crawlers. This may indicate an attempted fraud. Therefore, it is important that inbound links come from a variety of sources.
- Keywords in links - Here, too, pay attention to the naturalness of keywords. If the phrases contained therein are repeated too often, there is a risk that our site will be penalized for it. The more diverse keywords in links from multiple sources, the better.
- Several links only refer to one page - Again, differentiation plays an important role here. In the process of acquiring links, pay attention to whether they direct you to different pages of your website.
- Inbound links lead to subpages with errors - It may happen that the links will direct to broken subpages on your website, i.e. those with a 404 error. This situation most often occurs when modifying or rebuilding the page.
- Links from unreliable sources - It is important to only get links from reputable sites. Choose sites that are popular, proven, and rank high in search engines themselves.
Unfortunately, creating one universal template for SEO audits is impossible. However, there are some fixed and universal rules for website optimization that should be included in every website audit report. If these elements are included in your report, it will mean that the audit of your website was performed professionally.
At BOWWE, we know how important your website positioning is, so we'll be happy to provide SEO tips and suggest what steps you can take to improve your website performance.
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