In my previous article, I illustrated how to improve SEO. In continuation, today I will demonstrate SEO website audit.
If you miss that informative bomb, I guarantee you surely missed many tricky SEO tips which cannot be discovered elsewhere.
Before starting the SEO or marketing of your own website or a client website, it is necessary to website study.
Was there any SEO work done before or have any technical problem, or is the overall website alright- are very important to observe.
In this piece of instructive content, you will get almost everything from first to end, regarding audit a website.
SEO website audit, what actually do?
An SEO website audit is a health check up on your website. It talks about the sites technical framework, the on-page components, and off-page basics to optimize INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE appearance, usability and adoption.
It’s a complex process, starts with a varied analysis, trailed by a thorough assessment, and a final prioritization of SEO efforts.
SEO website audit consists of both an internal and external analysis.
Internal analysis helps you to understand your website position in SEO market, while external analysis determining how well your website is optimized to acquire additional market presence.
Let’s rock SEO website audit
Countless, both free and paid website audit tools are available on the internet. Honestly speaking, I don’t have enough faith in it.
Now you can ask me, don’t you use the tools?
Of course, I do, but not weak on it.
Because tools have limitation to do all the task. They will only assist you with some information. You have to do the right website audit with that info.
Let’s show you, how?
We will do a practical website audit for SmartBDCraft. It will clear your concept completely.
We’re going to dive into SEO website audit, and it’s better to go step by step.
The entire process is broken down into five large sections.
- On-site component
- Off-page basic
- Technical framework
- Appearance and Adaptability
- Mobile Usability
1. On-Site component
SEO website audit can be started at any single point. It depends on SEO strategy. Here I start with the on-site section.
A title is the combination of the meaningful word which represents the entire topic.
In considering SEO value it is the very first part that hit the crawler as well as visitor mind. It’s what appears first in the search engine results.
A search engine friendly title is a very vital ranking signal.
Some point should be considered to justify a good title.
Are the page meta tags or title tag in place?
Generally, It places in title tag section as HTML code.
If your website created with WordPress it should be as <h1>This is your title</h1>. By default, “Add Title” section automatically adopt this code.
Audit Report: As this site is made of WordPress, the title tag is in the proper place.
Check the title length. Most commonly used guideline title length must be maximum 70 characters including space. But, I recommend maximum 55. It brings a more positive response.
Audit Report: 67 characters found in the title. That’s good!
Maintain title pixel. Longer titles will get cut off in the search engine results. Pixel helps you to understand the actual search engine title view. Standard is maximum 480pixel.
Check title pixel using Page Title Pixel Meter.
Audit Report: Title is over pixeled. Found 513px instead of 480px.
Does the title keyword rich? Your focus keyword must be in the title and try to keep in the beginning. It’s added extra value.
Audit Report: Title starting with focus keyword. Great!
Should be meaningful and attractive. Each website page title should be meaningful and attractive that accurately represent the content topic.
Audit Report: Title is obviously meaningful
Must be content focused. Title effectively communicates the topic of the page’s content. No need to add an extra word.
Audit Report: From the content title, one can easily understand entire content will be kusudama flower origami related.
Should be special character free. Try to avoid any sing, symbol or number, But, in some case, number add extra value. “|” sign can be used.
Audit Report: The pipe sign has been used. It’s okay.
A meta description is the short form of entire content. It should be attractive and most important topic related.
• A good description includes an exact keyword. Best practice is to start with the target keyword.
• They should be unique to each page or post.
• The meta description characters should be 155 although google limit is 160.
If you think meta description haven’t google value why we optimize it? Your answer is it affect the page’s click-through rate in the search engine results.
Audit Report: Meta description start with focus keyword(visible bold in the red box) and has 152 characters. Great!
URL or Permalink
Here are a few important factors which should be considered during analyzing the URL.
Keep in mind, URL is the entryway of a specific webpage in a website for the crawler. It hasn’t value to the users.
• Its constitutional structure must be search engine friendly. Use a hyphen between two individual words. Never use underscores. Example: https://www.smartbdcraft.com/kusudama-flower-instructions/
• Avoid ugly URL structure. Example: https://www.smartbdcraft.com/ 123@%^/jh653!
• Try to keep short in length.
• Never forget to place the main keyword in the URL.
• Should be content focused and meaningful.
• Avoid stopword
Audit Report: Web page URL or Permalink is search engine friendly and consists of focus keyword(showed in the red box).
Content, the SEO king
If you ask Google among 200 ranking factor which one is the best signal?
The answer is none other than CONTENT. It serves the viewer requirements and expectations.
In the previous article, good content infrastructures have already portrayed. So, I don’t waste time repeating it again. Directly come to the checkpoint.
First of all, content should be copy free. Duplicate content is totally prohibited under any circumstances. In this regard, we have to check the content plagiarism.
Audit Report: Content is unique.
Poor content puts the entire SEO at risk. How to recognize the poor content is already been discussed.
Audit Report: Content has 325 words. Although it meets the minimum requirement but needs in a high degree improvement.
Do not deceive reader with wrong information. Like there is no similarity to the content of your title. Is the content relating to the mind of the thinking subject and not the nature of the object being considered? Let’s analyze.
Audit Report: Good to see this page’s content give a written account of what is said in the title.
How many times a focus keyword is placed in the content and in which way they have placed? Definitely, you aim a keyword to rank. For this, you have to put that keyword in different place naturally. Don’t do it illogically and forcibly.
Audit Report: Keywords have been placed correctly in all areas of the content.
There was a time when Google does not count the grammatical and spelling error. But, the time has changed. After some google algorithm update, this type of writing mistake strongly counts. Let’s check the webpage content. Either it’s error free or not?
Audit Report: 100% error free.
Text should be easy and flexible. Think yourself, you search some information and SERP present some website. You enter any one of them. When you start reading it’s text is too difficult and too hard to read for you. What will you do then? You may frighten away and find information somewhere else. This causes a high bounce rate and will lead to lower ranking for that website.
Multimedia makes reader delight. Topic related image and video make content resourceful. But, don’t impulse unnecessary. It will bother reader rather satisfy.
Audit Report: Logical image and videos are Embed.
Image, the SEO queen
If the content is the king then the image is the queen of SEO. Whenever any of our work or imagination is enhanced with the picture as described, it makes good feeling and better understand. Sometimes a picture gives a clear vision to the user, but for search engine image is “wordless”.
To make it “word” some unavoidable task have to be done. There are two attributes by which one image can be readable for the search engine. One is alt tag and another is image name. When you put some word in “alt tag” only the image can be a word. Let’s count some observation.
• An image must have a clear name. For example, an image named titanic.jpg is much stronger than the same image named image0018.jpg.
• For long file name use hyphens to separate individual word. For example, Origami-Kusudama-Flower.jpg.
• Don’t make mistake by using underscores instead of hyphens as well as avoid all kind of sign and symbol in the image name.
• Put your main keyword in the file name.
Audit Report: Image has a search engine friendly name and contains the main keyword.
An alt tag is important for the search engine not for the user. A tag should be similar to image name but no need to use hyphens or underscores.
Look after a fact, when the main keyword keeps both photo name and title tag, naturally, the search engine will be able to read the main keyword.
Audit Report: Image has a keyword-based alt tag.
<h1> Headings Status
H1 headings help define the important topics of your page to search engines. In WordPress title tag used as the H1 tag. Never use H1 tag twice in a single content. For other CMS, you have to put your content title in the H1 tag.
Audit Report: As this site is made with WordPress, title tag automatically adopt H1 tag.
<h2>, <h3> Headings Status
Using <h2>, <h3> tag is great practice. It can help the audience as you have your articles structured well and Google can read it easily and can see it is optimized for the audience. You should include several <h2> and/or <h3> tags to split up content into important blocks. These tags benefit in SEO as well. Inject the pages main keyword or LSI keywords within the heading tag.
Audit Report: <h2> & <h3> heading tag missing.
Keywords Test for website audit
Your content should have optimum keyword density (search engine algorithms have emerge keyword density metrics as a powerful ranking factor). It is helpful, nonetheless, to figure which keywords visible most frequently on your page and if they reflect the promised topic of your page. More importantly, the keywords on your page should show up within natural sounding and grammatically right copy.
Audit Report: Congratulations! The web page using keywords in meta-tags, which help search engines to properly identify the topic of the page. Keyword(s) included in the Title tag and Meta-Description tag.
Note that, Here only shown one individual content’s on page audit checkpoints among entire website. In the same way, all the contents must be audited separately. That means, if there are 50 posts or content on a site, then the report has to be done for all. Only then it can be possible to find the actual SEO errors. Otherwise, the audit process will remain incomplete.
2. Off-page Basic
Off-Page SEO refers to all the activities that can do directly “OFF”(outside of the website) to raise the website position higher in search engine results. It is started when on-page metrics are completely implemented. The main aim is to spread the website to everyone.
Let me show, which point we should consider for Off-page SEO website audit.
Off-page SEO deals primarily the relationship between two individual websites. Link building is the key and indefectible way of building good relations.
For SEO website audit, we focus on the link analysis.
Is the link naked or anchored? Links, which anchor naturally in a relevant discussion are always appreciable. But, the naked link leads the website towards penalty. Using the main keyword in the anchor text link create extra ranking value.
Are you sure, your internal link delightful? In order to give a reader more clear idea about a particular topic, it is necessary to refer some links. But keep in mind, is that link really related to the topic?
Does the quantity matter than quality? Once, google rank a site counting backlinks. But, recently matter link’s quality, not quantity. One good backlink can boost your website while 1000 links can’t.
Are the links comes from relevant authority site? Suppose, your site is automobile related but link building with a food website. Have any relation between automobile and food? Irrelevant link building is harmful to your mother site.
Are your links spam free? Spammy backlink can cause real harm to your domain. When you link a spammy website, your site loss trustworthiness.
Do follow vs No follow, fact! It’s a conflicting issue. For do follow all are consensus, but, when comes no follow it create paradoxical conception. My view is let do some juice flowless link to your site. It creates site’s integrity.
Broken link, the ultimate threat to your site. Reference to the Wikipedia, a “broken link” also called “dead link” is a link that does not work anymore due to the website is encountering either link URL ugly structure or destination website removed that link. Finally, we see a 404 error.
Check your website by using Link Checker. Do not delay to remove the broken link from your site.
How many links from a unique domain? You can get two or more link from one individual domain. Similarly, you can get two or more link from a different domain. Which way is best? Definitely, the link from various domain makes more authority.
Domain Authority, measure domain admissibility. How do you measure a website’s Google admissibility? Why is it fact for link building? Moz, the world popular SEO tools measure a website domain and page authority which accept google. More the value, more the site authoritative. When you link your website to a high authority site google treat you identical. Similarly, vise versa for low authority domain link.
- Total 4 links on this web page
- No broken links were found on this web page
- 0 links from other sites
- 0 links from unique domains
- This page has 4 outbound links
- This page has 4 outbound follow links
- MozTrust page score: 0
- MozRank page score: 0
- Moz Page Authority: 1
- Moz Domain Authority: 14.31
- No naked link found
Your website’s Google acceptability depends on how much you loyal to the users. Ranking a site is as tough as it is harder to keep. In order to retain site loyalty, keep them safe from different malware and viruses.
Audit Report: Site is virus free
Analysis Spammy Activities
Spammy activity will lead your website to death. Although this technique may be useful for the short time but for the long run you should stay away from such activities.
Hidden text is not actually hidden. Hidden text or invisible text or fake text refer to the text on a Web page which is visible to search engine bots but invisible or unreadable to human visitors. It manipulated the visitors as well as search engines by hiding data. Most search engines consider the hidden text as spam. Find out and resolve this type of text otherwise site get a penalty.
Audit Report: Web page has no hidden text.
Stay back from keyword staffing otherwise die. Unnecessary excessive keyword placement reduces content strength. Moreover, it acts as spam.
Audit Report: Web page maintain good keyword density.
Currently, more than 300 million people are using social media. Almost half of the world’s population is updating their life stories or status at any time of the day, through social media.
Let’s see a statistics.
• In social media, adding 12 new users per second. 10 million a day.
• 93% decision take from social media to buy online products.
• It is possible to reach 82% potential buyers by the social network
• 76% marketers use social media to market their products.
• 317.5 million active internet users in worldwide (Almost half of the world’s population).
The impact of social media is enormous for certain industries.
Harmonize Social Media in Your Website. Don’t forget to add a social account in your website. Confirm your presence on every social platform. It will help people to locate you.
Maintain the Proper Social Accounts. You have to maintain all the leading social platform to make a strong community. You have to understand and make sure which platform is more relevant to your website.
For SEO, Google+, YouTube, and Quora have no alternative.
For Business to Business(B2B), LinkedIn and Twitter are perfect. Quora is also effective.
For Business to Consumer, follow Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram
Interact with the audience. You should regularly share your website content and encourage others to do so as well. Don’t be lazy in commenting and sharing. It creates a strong relationship between you and audience, consequently, increase your website, organic visitors.
Audit Report: Web page maintain social media.
3. Technical Framework
Technical framework means a website’s technological infrastructure. Prior to producing an Android smartphone, it is designed considering its end use. Similarly, a website is created to serve some specific needs. Site performance is fully depended on its technological structure. Let me show some technical point which has to take care of.
Site Loading Speed Test
Average page loading speed is 5 seconds. If your webpage fails to meet this speed be sure over 25% of visitors will leave your website immediately. Respectively, site bounce rate will increase. Let’s have a speed test with Pingdom and GTmetrix.
I have mentioned here a few important points that are responsible for high loading time.
Adopt low-quality hosting. It is one of the main reasons for higher page loading time. We use undistinguished hosting among inexplicable hosting companies to save costs. It has a serious impact on the website loading speed.
Audit Report: Your site loading time is around 2.07 seconds and this is under the average loading speed which is 5 seconds.
Websites Page Cache is not properly configured. Different types of plugins are used for creating a website. One of the most important plugins is Cache Plugins. When a visitor visits a website, these plug-ins will save that site’s some important data into the visitor’s browser. As a result, when the visitor come back again in the site, it does not take much time to load, due to the existence of so many data already in that browser.
Audit Report: Congratulations, you have a caching mechanism on your website.
Another reason is larger page size. Pages larger than 100KB usually take much time to load.
Audit Report: Congratulations! The size of your web page’s HTML is 7.32 Kb and is under the average web page’s HTML size of 33 Kb
Image files are not optimized. For any website, ideal photo format is .jpeg. But many people use .png format, so that, the entire webpage takes more time to load than standard. It is better to upload an image of 100KB.
Audit Report: All images are optimized.
HTML Compression/GZIP Test. This helps ensure a faster loading web page and improved the user experience.
Audit Report: Your page is successfully compressed using gzip compression on your code.
Page HTTP Objects. More HTTP requests can slow down page loading. You can try reducing HTTP requests through various methods such as using text instead of images, using CSS sprites, using data URIs instead of images, or combining several external files together into one.
Audit Report: Your page has more than 20HTTP requests, which can slow down page loading.
Flash Objects interrupt loading time. Flash objects (an outdated technology that was sometimes used to deliver rich multimedia content) containing webpage needs more load time. Flash content can not work well on cellular devices and is problematic for crawlers to interpret.
Audit Report: Congratulations! Your website does not include flash objects.
Have to remove inline CSS. It is a good practice to move all the inline CSS rules into an external file in order to make your page “lighter” in weight and decrease the code to text ratio. For this task, you can use an online CSS minifier like YUI Compressor or cssmin.js.
Audit Report: Some of your website’s CSS files are not minified!
Use unnecessary plugins. Additional plugin causes slow loading. We install many plugins that are not essential or do not delete them even their work has finished.
At present more than 80% website uses WordPress CMS so that many SEOptimizer do not familiar with HTML code. But, surprisingly it contains some very important on-page ranking factors. So I think no need to explain how much important this code is?
Check the HTML code of your page and identify all style attributes. Make sure your webpage have HTML validation and it’ll improve your website’s overall SEO value. Check your site’s HTML standard in W3C.
W3C also offer a CSS validator to help you check your site’s CSS. It is a decent practice to move all the inline CSS rules into an external file to make your webpage “lighter” in weight and lessening the code to text ratio.
- HTML is not W3C validated
- The web page is using one inline CSS style! Have to remove inline CSS
- Text to HTML ratio is too low (< 25%)
- Found schemaorg markup. Great!!
- Link to a sitemap.xml found
The robots.txt is one of the principal ways of notifying to search engines where it can and can’t crawl your website. All major search engines support the primitive functionality it provides. There are a few extra guidelines that are being used by a few search engines that can be useful too. Making an error in your robots.txt can critically damage your site.
Allow robots.txt file to index your site. This is the very first step to live your website in the search engines. Without this, search engine bots can’t find out your website existence.
Audit Report: Your webpage does not use the noindex meta tag. This means that your webpage will be read and indexed by search engines.
Disallow unimportant elements. Robots.txt file disallows the search engines access to some parts of the website like website’s theme backend code, wp-admin page etc.
Audit Report: Robots.txt disallow some elements.
XML Sitemap Status
An XML sitemap represents the inner structure of a website’s content to Google and other search engines. It holds information such as framework, internal linking and exactly how regularly the site is updated.
It is essential to have a sitemap for the website. The point that we will audit on the sitemap is as follows-
Sitemap format. Search engine accepts a specific sitemap format. So, we have to check whether the sitemap is Search engine friendly or not? Don’t be panic. There are many free sitemap generators is available. You can easily utilize any one of them.
Develop a sitemap for every single major portion of your website. If your website contains 50000+ content, make them a category and create a separate sitemap for each. It will help search engine crawler to easy navigation.
Sitemap submission in webmaster tool. Submit sitemap to Google webmaster is a very very important task.
Crosscheck sitemap validation. Creation and submission, the job yet not end. You have to check its validation through the webmaster.
Audit Report: Great! Your sitemaps seem to be valid. The sitemaps in your robots.txt file use a valid URL format.
A website run with or without www and https is known as canonical URL. For example, when you type http://example.com it’s open in the browser, in the same way, http://www.example.com also work.
Are both URL same? Of course same, but technically both the URL are different.
Search engine feels like both have the same/copy content, which they don’t like. This issue can easily resolve through Google Search Console. To know more I suggest you read their Consolidate duplicate URLs guideline.
Audit Report: Great, a redirect is in place to redirect traffic from your non-preferred domain.
301, 307, 404 Code Status
301 is one of the HTTPS Status Codes, send the web server to the search engine to inform the viewer request page is no longer here and has moved to a new page permanently. Finally, search engine bots redirect you to the new page. Although, it reduces almost 10% link juice yet it effective for better user experience.
307 shows Temporary Redirect. When your current web page URL needs to modify, do temporary redirection to a new location. Otherwise, search engine bot has not found you.
404 error losing your SEO effort. When a user requested a URL which does not really exist search engine shows this 404 message. It may be your fault or user fault. Either you adopt a link but destination page has no real existence or user misspelling URL.
Audit Report: Great, website has not any 404 issue. And maintain all 301, 307 properly.
Did you allow Google to crawl your site?
Crawling means following. Google look up your website for monitoring purposes. Web crawler activities are controlled by using the Robot.txt file. It is necessary to check your important page crawling status. Otherwise, you miss rank on the search engine result page.
Check your website penalty status. Sometimes website gets google penalties for unusual activities. As a result, website rank falling down rapidly. So we have to inspect site penalty status. To do this Google Sandbox Checker is my choice.
Audit Report: Great, website has not any 404 issue. And maintain all 301, 307 properly.
Indexing is a process where the search engine records a website in its algorithm. You did all the on-page and off page SEO task but didn’t check whether the webpage is indexed or not. Your entire SEO effort wash out if the site does not index in search engine bot.
Check your appearance in the search engine. “site:” command is the best and authentic way to check webpage index status on a specific website. Almost every search engine allow this command. How many pages are indexed and how many are not, you can get the entire scenario of a website.
How to check Indexing and crawling is already shown in my previous article. You can also see the below Matt Cutts video.
Integration with Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a webmaster tool for google search engine. It helps website owners and SEO specialist look over website performance in the Google search index. You can control robots.txt file, submit XML sitemap, resolve the canonical issue, solve HTTP status code, crawling, indexing everything you want and need.
Integration with Google Analytics
Your website’s overall performance can follow up through this Google Analytics tool. Your website bounce rate, how many visitors visit your site every day, a ratio of desktop and mobile visitors everything related to the visitors you can monitor from this essential tool.
4. Appearance and Adaptability
If something looks good at first sight, we want to see it again. It’s a human phycology. Likewise, when the user feels comfort after entering a website for the first time, they will visit the site again and again. Google considers this user’s satisfaction very passionately.
Depending on the site’s overall design and performance, Google adopts a site. Which directly affects the site ranking. Let’s audit some point.
Color, added extra value
In general sense, color does not matter for website ranking. But, it creates brand value. If you think SEO means backlinking and basic optimization I’ve nothing to say.
Keep in mind, you are a website marketer. Your target is to engage as more people as possible. Color represents your choice and personalities as well as your authenticity. All the factors boost up the visitor revisiting tendency.
Website logo color and content color should have consistency. Viewer good impression converts them loyal.
Most people discover it difficult to read body copy when the written text is light and the background is dark.
On the other hand, the most photography viewing indifferent when the background color is 80% gray.
So the selection of background (light or dark) depends on what your primary content is – images or text. Or if you’d prefer, what is your user’s primary activity – reading or looking at photography?
Audit Report: Website color combination is good.
Easy the navigation, higher the user satisfaction
Website navigation is the most important part of user satisfaction. It has the power to convert a visitor into the customer.
Put your navigation in standard places. Most users expect horizontal navigation on the top or vertical on the left side.
Content must be categorized. Your website has several topic related contents but is not perfectly categorized. It’s bad for user experience. Content should be split into the category. So that search engine can easily crawl your content as well as users also.
Avoid long listing. This is applicable to product or e-commerce site. When your navigation drop-down menu contains huge item it’ll bore the user.
Audit Report: Navigation is at a satisfactory level.
A favicon is a small image that visible on a browser tab. It’s branding your website. Favicon helps to users in lists of bookmarks in web browsers. The ideal size of an iconic image is 16 x 16 pixel.
Audit Report: Favicons missing.
Search engine friendly website layout
Near all search engine suggest some basic layout for better UX. Check these things are present on your website.
About Us section. Who you are, what you do, why you hired all the answer is here in about us section. It’s an overview of your website. This section represents user reviews, employee story, previous success, your capability.
Contact page. Give some space to the users to communicate with you. Nothing need to describe in here. It gives users good feeling and the can easily contact you.
Blog section. Blog module added extra favor. Blogging is a marketing tool that has a low cost but high value. It establishes a steady network of visitors who receive significant information for free and consequently, they make natural links to your page.
Audit Report: Blog section is missing.
5. Mobile Usability
According to Statista, mobile internet traffic as a percentage of total web traffic in August 2017 is 52.64%. That means, more than half of people visit the website through mobile. So, have a look at the below details.
Mobile Friendliness. Website desktop and mobile performance are different. Sometimes many elements do not load or partial load in the mobile view. It is bad for website ranking.
Mobile Rendering. It is the process of observing website overview on different devices(Desktop, tablet, and mobile). Now almost 80% internet users have a smartphone. In this context, a website should definitely be optimized to render on the most well known mobile devices.
Mobile compatibility. The content which embeds different types of flash or java, can’t compatible on all devices.
Mobile Page load speed. Page loading time in a mobile device is also critical SEO factor like desktop site loading speed. A website must have delivered and rendered the “above the fold” content in under one second.
Responsive website design for Mobile. Responsive websites designed can be easily accessed from mobile devices. Resultantly, the user can freely interact and share it with others. Similarly, the Google algorithm can index the website without any hassle.
Audit Report: Mobile page loading speed is good.
You are almost done. Now it’s time to finalize the report. We have checked part by part. But, from this report, it is difficult to identify where actually need to work. We have to summarize the report and condense them into one report. So that, you can easily identify the error point. Now, I show you how to make an audit report. If you want this in excel file then contact me or comment below, I will provide in next 48 hours.