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SEO Audit Checklist 2023: 15 Steps to a Successful SEO Site Audit

Alekh Verma | February 6, 2023
SEO Audit Checklist 2023

Finding chances to enhance a site's search performance is the goal of an SEO audit. It entails identifying technical, on-page, content, and link-related problems for correction or enhancement. There is no standard method for SEO audits, thus they vary from person to person. But there are a few fundamental problems that all website owners need to watch out for.

In this article, we’re going to cover what is SEO site audit and the 15 steps to complete it successfully.

What is an SEO Audit?

In order to create an implementation plan with quantifiable results, an SEO audit is the process of evaluating how effectively your web presence connects to best practices. The audit's goal is to find as many underlying problems that affect organic search performance as is practical. An SEO audit will demonstrate:

  • SEO technical problems
  • Site structure concerns
  • SEO on-page concerns
  • Potential issues off-site
  • Difficulties with user experience
  • Opportunities and holes in the content
  • Market competition insights

A regular routine that should be followed is an audit; think of it as a "health check" for your website. An SEO audit's objective is to find areas of your campaign that need improvement. An audit enables you to pinpoint the weak points in your campaign and how they impact the effectiveness of your website. You get a list of things you can do to improve your site after conducting an SEO audit. It's a terrific approach to enhance the functionality of your website and boost marketing outcomes.

Consequently, when should you perform an SEO audit? To make sure your campaigns are ready for success, you should audit them before you launch them. Additionally, you might think about performing a quarterly SEO audit. Your SEO strategy can already include regular reporting and optimization if you work with a digital marketing company like eSearch Logix.

It's crucial to keep in mind that SEO takes time to produce results. You can track problems or changes in your campaign and make the appropriate adjustments if you audit it every three months.

What an SEO Audit Should Contain

An audit should, first and foremost, be thorough. Both the structural and content elements affecting your SEO visibility should be covered. It ought to provide you with a "large picture" perspective of what is taking place in your present situation. Any gaps could lead to unneeded or incorrect advice.

Your audit ought to be simple to comprehend. You should be able to see how SEO problems are influencing your online priorities, objectives, or earnings as a business owner. Any and all recommendations should be made in a manner that clearly links them to your main company goals.

Your SEO audit recommendations should, at the very least, be implementable. There should be a clear path to completion, with each recommendation prioritized in regard to its predicted impact and level of effort. Any SEO audit's output should clearly communicate a simple roadmap.

dos and donts
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What an SEO Audit Should Not Be

A hasty audit should not be performed. Finding the true roots of the problems affecting your online health simply takes time. The length of a proper audit can range from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the size of your business. When making significant modifications to a website, care must be taken, and an SEO expert must undertake a full analysis in order to provide precise, useful advice.

The scope of an SEO audit shouldn't be predetermined. Although all websites must have certain technical components, a situational analysis should be done before beginning an SEO audit to identify the key areas where the site has to be optimized.

What to Expect During and After an SEO Audit

An SEO audit can take two to six weeks, as was already indicated. An SEO expert is now investigating and locating SEO opportunities on your website. However, weekly or biweekly check-ins ensure that you and your team are informed of the status of the project.

There are a few low-hanging fruit chances found in every website assessment. When information of this nature is discovered, our team will immediately share it. While the audit is still being conducted, this offers a chance to regain awareness.

Your team will be invited to a presentation where your SEO expert will go over the results and suggestions after the audit is over. The SEO team will go over the roadmap with you and your team so you'll know what to anticipate and when. You will also get a thorough evaluation of the health of your website. Each of these is unique to you and your particular circumstance.

Your 2023 SEO Audit Check List

When you start conducting your SEO audit for 2023, you may wonder what you should focus on auditing. Here are 15 aspects to evaluate when doing your audit.

1.    Code for Google Analytics Tracking

Monitoring the effectiveness of your website is crucial. All you have to do to get started using Google Analytics is add a little piece of code to each page you wish to track. Without that tracking code, you won't be able to access any information about a page, including information about visitors, time spent on the page, and other performance indicators.

Google Analytics serves as a comprehensive inventory of all the pages on your website when you do this for all of your pages. As a result, you can quickly and simply see where everything is, how many pages you have, what they are, and more.

You can advance to the next stage of a site audit once Google Analytics is installed on each of your pages.

2.    Robots.txt

A robots.txt file that contains particular instructions may prevent Google and other search engines from crawling a page. Pages containing this file and those instructions won't appear on Google as a result, but if you're tracking them, they will appear in your Google Analytics account.

Check your pages for robots.txt files that may be preventing Google's crawlers from seeing certain pages if there is a disparity between the number of pages you see in Google search results and Google Analytics.

3.    Keywords

The use of keywords is essential for SEO. They choose when your website will show up in the search results. In order to do a successful SEO audit for 2023, you must examine the phrases you intend to rank for. Examine the keywords you're utilizing on your website first. Long-tail keywords are the most effective types of keywords for your campaign. These keywords have three or more words in them. "SEO Company near Harrisburg, PA" is an illustration of a long-tail keyword. This particular keyword will draw leads looking for SEO companies close to Harrisburg. Similar to this, various long-tail keywords assist you in generating more quality leads for your company.

Reexamine your keywords when you audit your SEO campaign. If the majority of your keywords are short-tail, meaning they only comprise one or two words, you should reconsider your approach. Using long-tail keywords in your campaign will help you generate more worthwhile leads.

Additionally, you should confirm that your long-tail keywords are producing worthwhile results. Consider replacing low-value keywords with higher-value ones if they are bringing visitors to your page. You should also incorporate keywords into your meta descriptions and title tags. Your pages will rank higher for certain keywords as a result of this.

4.    Brandable Terms

After making sure that each of your pages can be indexed, you should start looking for branded keywords. Therefore, you should hunt up expressions that begin with your brand name and end with your goods or services. Branded search terms can include "ESL SEO services." Once you have the results for your business, check out the pages that are listed there.

If any pages are missing, you might have received a Google penalty for one reason or another. Any page that is visibly missing should be noted because you'll need to work on it later. The use of the command "site:[yoursite]" to display all of the pages that Google has indexed explains why this method of checking for Google penalties is effective.

Even if you only utilize branded keywords, Google will still compare you to your rivals. Therefore, you've undoubtedly been hit with a Google penalty if you have a page that appears when using the "site:" query but doesn't appear for a branded term.

5.    Page Speed

A key ranking element for search engines like Google is site speed. People detest having to wait for pages to load. You run the risk of losing leads to your competitors if your page loads slowly. Google also prioritizes websites with quick loads. You need a site that loads quickly if you want users to have a good experience. If your pages take too long to load, visitors will leave, so you should speed up your website to ensure that they have a positive user experience.

So how can you measure the speed of your website? You can evaluate your page performance and identify where your site needs to be optimized to make it load faster with Google PageSpeed Insights. If you decide to utilize this tool, you are responsible for making the adjustments to your website's backend.

A digital marketing firm like eSearch Logix offers page speed services that you may purchase as well. With this choice, you can focus on operating your business while a digital marketing agency helps to increase the speed of your website.

6.    Pages with Index

Google "reads" your content when it crawls through your website, indexing the pages. For your page to show in the search results, indexing is essential. Your SEO will suffer if your pages are not indexed because they won't show up in the search results. Make sure Google isn't unintentionally blocking your pages when conducting your SEO audit in 2023.

You should look at the Google Search Console's index status report. You may view the number of pages that Google has indexed on your domain using this function. There's a significant likelihood that some of your pages aren't getting indexed if you observe that the number of pages isn't growing.

You can search your website to get a list of the indexed pages when you check your pages. Additionally, adding "robots.txt" to the end of your URL will allow you to view any pages that are blocked or not indexed. This is how it will appear: https://www.yourwebsite.com/robots.txt.

You can use this approach to determine which pages are skipped and which ones are indexed. It's a productive approach to assisting with indexing your pages, which will boost your SEO.

Go to Google and enter the following command as an alternative:

Site: [your domain]

For instance, typing "site:esearchlogix.com" into a search engine will show you every page from WebFX that Google has indexed. Compare the overall number of pages on Google to the total number of pages on your website once you receive your findings. Unless you use robots.txt, they ought to be the same.

7.    Mobile-friendliness

Your SEO approach must include a strong component of mobile-friendliness. It's critical that you optimize your site for mobile, as 61% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a mobile-friendly website. Google has a mobile-first strategy for indexing. Thus, mobile-friendly websites appear higher in search results.

Using a responsive design is one of the simplest ways to make your site mobile-friendly. Your website will adjust to whatever device a person is using if it has a responsive design. On tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers, your website will display correctly.

This gives your visitors a good experience and makes it simple for them to navigate your website. Verify that your site is mobile-friendly when conducting your SEO assessment for 2023.

8.    Security

Make sure your site is secure when conducting your SEO audit in 2023. People are reluctant to visit websites where their personal data is at risk. Similarly, Google doesn't rank websites until consumers can feel safe doing so.

When assessing your website, ensure sure HTTPS encryption is in place. This is a sign that a website is secure. Your site will be secure for your viewers and Google will permit it to rank as long as you have that accreditation.

9.    Competitors

You should evaluate your competition after doing your SEO audit to see how you compare to them. You might want to reconsider your targeting strategy and concentrate on keywords that will produce results with a greater perceived value if dozens of competitors already rank for a certain keyword. You have the chance to discover keywords that you might not already rank for.

You should include their content while analyzing your rivals in your SEO audit for 2023. Your SEO performance is greatly impacted by content, which also improves your site's lead generation and search engine performance.

You can discover what kinds of material are most successful with your audience. You will be able to determine how your material stacks up against the opposition by doing this. During this period, you should also consider the content of your competitors to generate ideas for original content.

You'll have a better understanding of how to make your site stand out and perform better in search results by researching the competition.

10. Optimization for voice searches

The popularity of voice search among consumers is quickly expanding. It's crucial to examine your website's content to make sure it is voice search-friendly if you want to stay competitive. Making sure that your material is readable is the first step. Make sure your content is understandable if a speaker will be reading it aloud. Check your material to make sure it is clear and simple to understand.

Make sure you're giving your viewers the information they desire as well. If a person is asking, "What is the best way to create a website?" Your writing should explicitly address that query. You have a better chance of being included in the featured snippet when you give your readers pertinent and direct information. The first section of the search results is this block of text.

Because voice search devices get information from these featured snippets, also known as "position zero," you want to obtain it. You may improve the performance of your website in voice search results by optimizing your content.

Voice search

11. Errors

It's crucial to crawl your site to find errors while performing an SEO audit. You can use a tool like Screaming Frog to crawl your website. This aids in identifying issues with your website so you can address them and enhance its functionality.

To begin, find pages that are not currently indexed and correct any issues that are stopping Google from crawling them. Additionally, search for faulty pages that display an "Error 404" message. When URLs change or pages are erased, this occurs. Your viewers won't see any error warnings if you create redirects for these links.

You can help direct visitors to the pertinent information and keep them on your website by resolving errors and forbidden pages. Your diligence will pay off because your website's SEO will increase.

12. Broken Links

Any link to a page that is no longer online is considered broken. When you completely remove a page from your website without employing a redirect, broken links (also known as "dead links") are frequent.

The Internet is full of broken links, and any time you get a "404" error notice, it means that the relevant link is no longer active. You no longer give a positive user experience if your website has a lot of broken links, and as a result, traffic and conversions will gradually decrease.

Due to Google's commitment to ensuring a great user experience for its searchers, it's also likely that you'll drop in the rankings in its search results. In any case, please replace or remove any broken links as soon as you can.

13. Duplicate content

You don't want to duplicate your material when you make it. Duplicate content damages your SEO rankings and lessens the authority of your page.

You ought to employ canonical link tags to stop this from occurring. These tags identify pages that are "master copies." Utilizing canonical links can help you arrange your website and ensure that the most crucial material is indexed first.

14. Low-Value pages

When you develop content, you should make sure that it is informative and relevant and that it is original. It should be pertinent to the subject at hand and contain pertinent keywords. You must remove your low-value pages if you want your site to perform well.

You should add more content to weak sites or reroute them to URLs with more content. De-index the low-value pages and concentrate on your high-value pages to achieve this. Low-value pages that have been deindexed are still accessible to users but have no negative effects on the functionality of your website.

15. Additional local factors

The length of this final item is due to its extensiveness. Title tags, headers, meta descriptions, and other elements are among the on-page SEO ranking considerations.

Your pages should all have distinctive headings, titles, and meta descriptions that contain distinctive keywords that describe the content on each page. Every page you have needs to target a different set of keywords; otherwise, Google won't know which page to display in search results.

That can be bad for a company seeking to expand online, therefore it's crucial to undertake frequent SEO audits to keep your site in good shape. It could be time- and energy-consuming, but it's essential to the online success of your business.

Conclusion

The "center" of your online brand is your website, so it's crucial to regularly examine it to make sure everything is in working condition. It's also crucial to keep in mind that your website is a dynamic digital asset that rarely remains static for extended periods of time. Content is constantly being added to and/or removed from your website. Audits must take place frequently because of this. We advise conducting an audit of websites at least once a year. This enables your teams to address important problems as they arise.

After your audit, you should focus on other aspects of SEO to maintain your competitiveness. After all, SEO success doesn't end with the technical base. If the success of your company depends on people visiting a physical location, it is critical to monitor the SEO activities of your competitors, stay abreast of the most recent search engine best practices, and adhere to local SEO best practices. These are all crucial components of an effective SEO strategy and ought to follow your audit and continuing SEO upkeep.

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