Last week, I wrote about On-Page Best Practices for 2017 and one of the most important practices there is the Site Audit. We usually think that SEO is normally evolved for Google and other Search Engines only. The fact that Google has an extraordinary intelligence to make their algorithm classified, they usually continue to make changes and evolve from time to time. If you are an SEO Specialist, SEO Team Leader or working in Digital Marketing industry, one of the most important skill set you learn is How to Conduct a Site Audit.
What is a Site Audit?
Site Audit simply means a full intelligence report or analysis of everything related to your website. It is usually a detailed report on what is the status of your website normally includes (health, page speed, technical issues and the content of your site). It may sound intimidating sometimes, but it is the foundation of your full SEO campaign. Of course, it normally takes time, but it is worth to spend your full effort here to ensure the success of your SEO campaign.
Why do you need to Audit your Site?
The goal of conducting a Site Audit is to determine any issues to your site. Speaking of issues, there are tons of factor to look for. We will discuss it further as we go on with this discussion. When planning on what to do in your SEO campaign the first thing that you need to do is to determine if your website is in good shape. This is the most important thing to evaluate:
- Is your content relevant?
- Is your content shareable and well-optimized?
- Do you have a good number of backlinks and traffic?
- Did your site load fast?
- Do you have a good hosting provider?
Those are only the usual things to evaluate to your site. If you determine early the factors that you need to work on to your site then it makes your process work smoothly. To generalize it, you need to conduct a site audit in order for you to make a decision or a systematize game plan for your campaign.
How to Conduct an Effective Site Audit?
Now that we already know what Site Audit is and why do we need to do this, I will share with you now the proven and tested way on how to conduct a site audit. Take note, this is the important factor to look for when conducting a site audit that I mentioned earlier.
1. Check your site’s health
If you are running an operation, the first thing that will come up to your mind is to check the status of that specific person. Same with Site Audit, you will first check the health of your website. You can use SEMRUSH to check your site health.
Here are the things to look for:
- Check if Meta Tags are being optimized
Meta Tags is normally snippets of text that describe a page’s content.
Meta Tags are one of your assets to acquire or attracts users to visit your site. It is important to optimize it as it set the tone for a high CTR (Click-through rate). If your site doesn’t have meta tags you can use Yoast to optimize it.
- Check your images and make sure it is well optimized.
Images are also a key factor to your site. Make sure it has alt attribute as it can help Google bot to determine that specific image.
- Detect Error Pages and Crawl Errors
Determine if your site contains error pages or does have crawl errors. If you tolerate this kind of issue, it will surely affect the whole optimization process. You need to go to your Google Search Console to evaluate it.
If you found some errors, much better resolve it earlier. It is an urgent thing to resolve before you continue your optimization process.
2. Check Indexed Pages
Make sure all pages of your site especially those important pages are being indexed by Google. Indexing is the process of adding webpages into Google Search. So if your page was not indexed by search engine, it means that it will never appear in SERP’s. To determine how many pages of your site was being indexed by Google, you need to check it to your Google Search Console.
To validate it, do a site search to determine if it is match with the Google Search Console.
Check if the number of pages that shows in your site search match the number of indexed pages shown by Google Search Console.
If you have a huge website, you need to determine your most important pages to prioritize it in your optimization process. The problem here is if you have a huge amount of web pages, you end up being confuse at the same time spiders or crawlers take a huge time to recrawl and reindex some adjustment being done in your site. The best way to do it is go to your Google Analytics Account.
Go to Google Analytics. Navigate to the “All Pages” section.
Behavior>Site Content>All Pages
In this process, you need to make a list of the most-visited pages on your website. It will help you determine the most important pages that you need to prioritize.
Copy these following pages to your spreadsheet and make sure to save it.
3. Review your Site Architecture
Search engine’s spiders crawl your website from one page to another quickly. After the crawling process, they stored it in their massive database which we called “indexing”. Spiders have their own crawling time on your website and if your site architecture is not well organized or optimized then they might not crawl your site the way they crawl it. I’m telling you, the more appealing your site to users, the more appealing it is too to search engines. Therefore, the better your site architecture, the better chance to rank higher in search engines. Here are some factors to look for in your site architecture.
- Number of links on a page
You should take note this: “The more links the page has, the less internal Page Rank each of those links passes”. It simply means that, more links equals less PR for each link. The logic there is, if you have tons of links on your page, you are dividing the Page Rank of that page between tons of your links. According to Moz, 100-200 is a good target but not specifically a rule.
The best way there is to estimate or calculate your PR. More links is advisable if you have high PR because there are still good numbers of PR to be accumulated.
- Optimize your internal linking
Internal links are mostly hyperlinks that target the same domain as the domain exists in source. It is very useful in establishing well-optimized site architecture. It also gives a smooth user experience as it helps users to navigate the page that might also relate or helpful in their queries. On the other side, it will also help spread the link juice from every page of your website. Let me give you a solid illustration of a good internal linking.
It is a normal structure of a website where the big dot on the top represents the homepage. This structure has the minimum amount of links possible between pages. Actually, it is good as it allows link juice to flow throughout the entire site at the same time increasing the ranking potential for each page.
When optimizing your internal link, you also need to have a good anchor text. Anchor text that is related to that specific page is the best practice.
On that page it is all about evergreen content. In this case, I’m using a long-tail anchor text at is more attractive to users which lead them also to visit your other page of your site. It might help the user also to make them understand more your content.
- Optimize your URL
A URL is a web address. It is exactly the domain of your website (www.kereetech.com). If we see an easy-to-read URL’s, we prefer to visit it than those complicated urls. It is in our psychological nature that Easy-to-read URL’s is more credible than those are not. Here, I will show you an infographic from Site Auditor on how to optimize well your URL.
- Proper use of 301 Redirect
What is 301 Redirect? Well, it is a command used to tell the search engines that a page has permanently moved and you might want search engine to index the new page and drop the old one from their index. It is a common practice in SEO when we are moving one page permanently. Here, I will show an illustrative explanation coming from Moz about 301 Redirect.
It is a scenario within a specific URL needs to redirect permanently to another URL. If you do 301 Redirect, the search engine will carry any link weighting from the original page to the new URL.
- Check if your site is being penalized by Google
It is the most basic thing to do. Check first if your site has been penalized by Search Engine. If you miss to check it, all the things that you do in your campaign will be all nothing. You can use Google Search Console to do it or refer to your Google Analytics if there are a huge drop down to your usual traffic. If in case, it means you are being penalized by Google.
- Check your Robots.txt
In a nutshell, most webmasters use the robots.txt file for a simple reason which is to instruct web spiders on how to crawl pages on their website. Make sure that the most important pages on your site were not blocked by Search Engine.
- Check your Site Speed
We all know how valuable the Site Speed or the loading speed of your site to both users and search engine. Google has already announced that site speed is already one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. It is very obvious that having a fast site speed is beneficial for your site. You can use Page Speed Insight to evaluate your Site Speed. After that, make sure that you work on some issues that are being shown.
- Homepage content is optimized
- Landing pages are optimized
- Site contains real and substantial content
- Proper keyword targeting
- Keyword cannibalization
- Content to help users convert exists and is easily accessible to users
- Content formatting
- Good headlines on blog posts
- Amount of content versus ads
- Duplicate content
- How to Conduct an Effective Site Audit? (2017 Update) - June 23, 2017
- A Definitive Guide on How To Optimize an Effective On- Page SEO (2017 Update) - June 1, 2017
- How Evergreen Content Can Get You Better Search Ranking Without Spending Too Much Effort on Link Building? - February 8, 2017
- The Reasons Why We Love SEO In The Philippines - January 3, 2017
4.Check the Technical Issues on your Site.
To check technical issues on your site, you can use SEMRUSH or your Google Search Console
Those are only some technical issues that I found in my site. But here’s more to look for when you do site audit.
5.Review your Content
In SEO world or Digital Marketing space in general, we always hear this “Content is king”. Producing high quality content consistently should be a core of every SEO strategy. Whatever purpose of your content, always make sure that it is a force to reckon with. This is probably the last part to do when running a site audit and the most underrated thing. Most SEO people understand that site audit is all about technical side of your site. They often underestimated the value of content that’s why they are not fully successful in there campaign. Listen to me; you should always evaluate your content as it is your main asset to showcase for the users and also for the search engines. Now, I will give you the most important thing to look for in evaluating your content. Here it is:
Hurray! If you follow these steps when you conduct your own site audit, I can guarantee you that it can really help. A good Site Audit will also include recommendations for finding your missing opportunities. I will encourage you all to be more creative in doing Site Audit.
I hope this will give you significant value in your campaign. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Thanks for reading! 🙂