A SEO Audit is one component of a successful online marketing strategy. Search Engine Optimization Audits are great ways to evaluate how your site is performing based on certain criteria. A checklist allows you to “chunk” crucial aspects of your audits together.
Performing a SEO audit every 6 months is highly recommended, but if you’re website is fairly new, consider doing an audit on a quarterly basis.
Four essential steps to building an amazing SEO Audit checklist:
1: Check on-page optimization.
1. Check your tags.
- Are your title tags interesting yet informative? Do they contain targeted keywords?
- Do your photos have alt tags? If they do, are they relevant?
- Do you have meta tags have descriptions for each page provide interesting content?
- Do you have second level headings, <h2> tags that are have keywords or are relevant to your site?
- Do you have a sufficient amount of inbound linking? This makes it possible for your visitors to travel within the site.
2. Check for broken links on your site.
If you’re running a wordpress site, or other CMS, you might be able to check for broken links using a tools. One available for wordpress users is Broken Link Checker. You can also use this free broken link service.
3. Check your image quality.
Your images should be high-quality and relevant to what your content requires. Consider optimizing your images –reducing file sizes are one component of creating great site speed, which leads to better search engine results. Smashing Magazine has a great image optimization article full of resources outlining basics and tools to get you there.
Step 2: Check your Site’s Speed.
One of my favorite tools for checking website speed in my SEO Audit is Google’s PageSpeed Insights. You can also use WebPage test. Google PageSpeed provides a percentage rating on your site’s overall performance, where WebPage test shows diagrams and gives specific site speed. Once you do it, you’ll have a marker point for every time afterwards. Here are some suggestions to speeding up your site, especially if you are running a WordPress CMS.
- Consider changing your hosting plan. Changing your hosting provider could have a direct impact on your site’s speed. If you have a large site that serves many visitors a day, consider moving out of shared hosting packages.
- Reduce image size (see above)
- If using a CMS, update your site regularly
- If using a CMS, reduce the amount of plugins being used
Step 3: Backlink Analysis
1. Who is linking to your site? You should keep tabs of sites that are referencing your work. One way is through Google Webmaster Tools. If you are not plugged into google, I’d recommend using Majestic SEO.
Improving the number of quality backlinks to your site is crucial, and a major component of your SEO audit. Wanna know where to start building more backlinks? Read this article.
Step 4: Make Sure you’re Generating and Uploading XML Sitemaps
If you already have this step in place, double check that it is working–log into your tools and note if they a recent sitemap on file. If you have never generated or submitted a Sitemap, consider downloading a plugin (if you have a CMS), or generating one through Sitemap Writer Pro. If you plan to submit your sitemap manually, or sans plugin, you will have to manually upload the sitemap (file designated as sitemap.xml) to the root of your site. In addition, you must also submit your XML it to the various webmaster tools manually as well.
This step is one of the most important in your SEO Audit toolkit — ensuring your content is indexed appropriately will allow search engines to crawl with more efficiency.
Having a SEO Audit checklist is incredibly helpful for anyone who owns or runs a website. If you intend to have you message heard, consider how you can craft your own checklist. For most my projects, I use Google Docs for creating my checklist. There are many possibilities out there.
If you have questions, or would like to know more about SEO for your website, contact DesignLoud today!