Audit SEO - everything you need to start boosting your SEO
Where to start an SEO audit?
Who is the SEO audit for?
SEO audit - definition
To prepare for an audit, you first need to understand what exactly it is. An SEO audit is a website analysis that evaluates the visibility of individual website elements for Google crawlers (or other search engines).
What does the audit look like and what does it consist of ? This is a list of errors along with tips on how to fix them. Thanks to this, you will know what exactly should be improved on the page to achieve the highest position in the search results. The audit allows you to determine the target appearance of the website and also sets out the steps to be taken to achieve this goal. It is an inseparable element of SEO activities based on positioning and optimization. To determine a page's ranking in search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, etc.), the search engine's algorithm must evaluate it. It takes into account a very large number of elements that are on the page and are important in terms of SEO.Sometimes the analysis may even cover more than 200 items. Some of them are directly related to the content of the page (on-site), e.g. meta-tags or headings. There are also factors that also significantly affect positioning, but we cannot fully control them. This is anoff-siteactivity. These are, for example, links coming from other websites, or sharing and mentions of our website, e.g. in social networks.
What does a comprehensive SEO audit include?
A comprehensive website audit covers the technical side (visibility for robots, eg Google), construction (information architecture), and the entire content on the website.
A sample website audit includes:
- examination of elements on the website for SEO,
- analysis for optimization,
- a list of the website's strengths and errors to improve,
- guidelines on how to fix errors and optimize the website,
- identifying potential areas where problems may later arise.
What is SEO?
SEO vs positioning - differences
To position your website, you should first of all take care of:
- appropriate optimization of the HTML code
- optimization and creation of content in accordance with SEO, i.e. taking into account relevant keywords and with the placement of appropriate headers
- creating a well-functioning mobile version of the website
- creating a clear and understandable structure of the website (a division of content into appropriate subpages)
- obtaining links (publication of articles on industry portals, cooperation with portals)
What scope of activities does SEO cover?
There is a technical SEO, which, as the name suggests, mainly involves examining the website from a technical point of view. It is a sphere invisible to the user, but extremely important for Google, Bing, and other search engines. To be visible to robots, the page must be properly indexed. It depends on how the robot "sees" the page whether it will be noticeable to the search engine and users.
What elements are included in on-page / on-site SEO?
The main areas of on-page SEO include:
- Increasing the website accessibility for crawlers. These are Google robots that scan the content of the page and then place the relevant information in the search engine index.
- Appropriate planning of the structure of subpages and arrangement of internal links.
- Posting valuable content, the so-called quality content that will educate and inform recipients. You should not forget to include keywords in the content so that they can be easily found by search queries.
To ensure the correctness of the code, all errors should be eliminated. Clean code means there are no error warnings on the page. It is also important that your website does not contain an unnecessary amount of elements that are not needed in everyday use. Therefore, in order not to interfere with the operation of the website, it is best to limit the number of libraries, plugins, or applications
What is off-page / off-site SEO?
What are the benefits of an SEO audit for your business?
An audit is the first step in website optimization that will help you plan the next stages of work on the website in terms of SEO.
Higher visibility of the website in Google rankings
Increase in sales thanks to internal links
The website is fast and user-friendly
Website builders and CMSs - influence on positioning
Both CMSs and wizards have their advantages and disadvantages. Is there a golden mean - a solution that takes into account the issues of positioning your website?
It is certainly important to pay attention to whether a given company, apart from ready-made templates, also offers comprehensive SEO assistance when choosing a wizard or other tool. At BOWWE, we offer full SEO and optimization support. We not only create beautiful and user-friendly website templates but most of all we care about the functionality of every element of your website, constantly looking for improvements. We ensure the correctness and cleanliness of the code, good quality servers, and support at every stage of optimizing your website.
Step-by-step SEO audit
Let's take a look at what the audit looks like at individual stages and what exactly the website elements are subject to technical analysis.
The website analysis performed as part of the SEO audit covers three main areas: domain parameters, links, and content on the website:
Step 1: Analysis of the domain parameters
- domain name- the internet domain should have a name compliant with the DNS (Domain Name System) rules, i.e. the network name system that responds to domain name queries, e.g. the name pl.wikipedia.org is subordinated to the IP address 18.104.22.168. Internet domains consist of a root name and an extension (i.e. a URL ending, e.g. .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info.) It is the domain name that allows you to locate the network, so it should be easy to remember and unique, to stand out from the competition. Therefore, it is best if it is short and does not contain too complicated phrases, hyphens, or numbers that may affect its legibility.
- domain history - what and where happened before with our website before we bought the domain. If we do not check its parameters and history, it may result in problems with the positioning of our website. Therefore, before registering, you should check whether the domain has been used in the past by illegal, unprofessional, or unethical parties.
- popularity it can be measured with the Alexa ranking or with other tools that show us the estimated traffic and the number of phrases in the top 10 or top 50. The Alexa ranking shows where in the world a given page is - the smaller the number the better.
- page speed- we can measure it using the Google tool - PageSpeed Insights, which is reliable and frequently updated. A scale from 0 to 100 is used here, taking into account the division into desktop and mobile versions.
- adaptation to mobile devicesdue to the huge popularity of mobile devices, nowadays every website should be displayed on smartphone screens without any problems. However, as you know, vertical smartphone screens differ from horizontal computer screens. For the website to be displayed correctly on both mobile and desktop devices, it should be responsive, i.e. adapted to various types of screens. Responsive pages intelligently adapt to the screens on which they are displayed, without the need to create several versions. Whether a site is mobile-friendly can be easily checked at https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. If, on the other hand, you want to be sure that your website is responsive - create an account at BOWWE, create your professional website, or outsource it to our team of specialists. All websites built in BOWWE are adapted to mobile devices.
- XML map indexation/generation- make sure your site is properly indexed. To check it, type the command "site: address of your page". This is also possible in the Google Search Console tool, which will show us suggestions for fixing in case of errors. To avoid indexation problems, it is best to add the previously created sitemap to Google Search Console.
Step 2: External Linking
- the number of links that lead to our site - we must take into account here that Google, DuckDuckGo, and other search engines value links that are natural, so if too many links point to our site in too short a time, it may have negative consequences for your website's position in search engines.
- brand or generic words- it is good if the links pointing to the website include the brand or generic words, i.e. those containing the name of the company or service.
- external links- it's good if they lead from pages related to ours. However, a good link profile should be diverse and include links from a variety of sources. These can be links from (contextual) articles, footers, comments on forums, posts in social media, or other websites.
- URL Rating (UR) - the strength of the external and internal link profile. It is given on a 100-point scale. The higher the UR level, the better the website's position in the search engine.
- Domain Rating (DR) - the strength of the external and internal link profile. It is given on a 100-point scale. The higher the UR level, the better the website's position in the search engine.
- backlinks - sum of all external links. Even those from a single site are taken into amount.
- referring domains - the sum of all external links. Even those from a single site are taken into account. referring domains - this is the sum of the links referring to our site, but this time unique links are taken into account. This means they are counted as one if they come from the same page.
Step 3: Technical content analysis
- title, or tag - information for users, but also search engines about what is on a given page. We can see it in the search engine. When we enter a keyword, we will see it in the top bar of the browser or the code. Its optimal length is 50-60 characters.
- meta description- in the search engine, these are condensed information about what is on the page. It has little effect on positioning, but it affects CTR (Click Through Rate), i.e. the click-through rate. If a user is prompted to visit our site, then the CTR will be higher. To increase CTR, it is worth using special, attention-grabbing words called power words. You can read about them here!
- Headings - they organize the text visually and make it easier to read. Users scan the text first, so it's good if its structure is already encouraging to read the content. To learn how to create the most attractive headlines check our article!
- Graphics ALTs, i.e. alternative texts - all images posted on the website should contain well-matched descriptions of what is shown on them.
- correct URL address- should be structured in such a way as not to scare the user, i.e. it should not be too long and confusing. It should contain the most important keywords and the most relevant content.
- noindex / nofollow tags - check where the tags are located on the page. They should be placed only on subpages that we do not want to show.
- duplication - occurs when we are dealing with a duplicate fragment of the text. We distinguish external duplication when the same fragment of text appears on several websites, and internal duplication - i.e. the copied text is on several subpages or in different places of the same website.
- Content cannibalization - This is when several URLs compete with each other in the search position ranking. Typical symptoms of cannibalization are sudden changes, such as an unjustified decline in the position of one party and the replacement of another. Cannibalization is often the result of duplicate content when the same piece of text appears on several subpages. The effect is that the search engine does not know which subpage should be in a given position.
Audit and optimization - how do they differ?
Audit and optimization of the website are aimed at its positioning and adaptation to the requirements of search engines. Proper optimization is based on a previous audit, which is why these concepts are often confused with each other. Although both optimization and audit are necessary to achieve the dream position, they need to be distinguished. Optimization is the implementation of the list of problems found when conducting a website audit. These are specific actions to fix individual errors detected by the audit.
How often should a site audit be performed?
At BOWWE, we offer comprehensive solutions that support SEO activities, from the stage of website design to its optimization. You do not have to worry about updating the website - we will provide you with full support in terms of positioning and optimization, so that you have time and the opportunity to focus on developing your own business.
We deliver technical SEO of the highest quality because we know that search engine positions can have a very significant impact on your business, its development or problems with acquiring customers.
If you want to deepen your knowledge about SEO, we have prepared a whole series of articles in this area, which will appear periodically on our blog. You will learn what to do step by step, take advantage of SEO opportunities and grow your business.