We talked about. keyword research to find the keywords to use in your website and to SEO copywriting to better position them within your texts. So you rolled up your sleeves and began your journey to the Kingdom of Google.
But at this point I’m sure you’ll need to know how to make the SEO Audit and know its importance.
This term refers to a process based on analysis and verification activities (scanning, reviewing, and evaluating performance) to place in evidence Any mistakes, problems, relationship with competitors, and therefore, all the technical aspects that influence the performance of the website and its positioning on search engines.
I mean, it’s like when you decide to do a thorough check on the workings of your ship and see if the ropes still hold, if the sails are torn or if the rudder still allows you to tack to starboard like you used to.
This is a procedure that can be done not only after the launch of the site but also in preventive phase, that is when release activities are still being planned, to identify the criticalities that prevent or significantly reduce the visibility of your website in search engines.
A hull breach could compromise the stability of your ship, do you understand why an inspection is necessary?
Whatever the state of your work, rely on our professionals and get the right guidance to keep your ship from sinking. We at buzzynerd can follow you through the.SEO analysis and optimization of your ship!
Why rely on SEO Analysis
As I’ve already mentioned (were you listening?) an SEO analysis can be carried out both when you want to launch a new web work and when you have a site with some seniority and want to understand how to proceed with the development.
However as well as highlighting critical issues, there are many reasons why it can be useful to analyse and check the performance of your ship.
If you are still not convinced, here you go what aspects can improve a good SEO analysis:
- the structure of a website;
- information architecture;
- the User Experience;
- the performance in terms of loading speed;
So, through SEO audit you can find out the strengths and weaknesses, with a view to take action for corrections and develop an effective SEO strategy that improves visibility in the SERPs of the website and organic traffic.
Are you ready to discover the flaw present in your ship?
5 Essential Steps to Doing SEO Audit
Typically, it starts with studying the structure of the site, proceeding with an analysis of the pages to evaluate the main ranking factors, going through a competitor analysis, and concluding with an audit of the content and variables that make a website optimized.
After performing a comprehensive analysis of your ship, you’ll be the one who has to get to work fixing it.
So today I’m going to introduce you to some fundamental aspects To evaluate on your journey to SEO analysis.
Web presence analysis
How can adventurers find you if your ship is not present in the Google Kingdom? So as a first trip it is important analyze the presence of your site and its pages on the web.
First, check if your pages have been indexed by the search engine using the Google site: command or Google Search Console. This will help you understand if the site has been compromised, i.e. manipulated with content spam.
Also ask yourself if the keys you choose are performing well for your site’s ranking and if they meet the search intent of adventurers.
The second step concerns theanalysis of the positioning in relation to the competitors.
So take care of identifying your organic competitors, analyzing what their backlinks are to understand the degree of popularity and authority of each site.
This phase is not only about getting backlinks from thematic and authoritative sites but it can also allow you to detect any link spam to your site.
Among the tools that can be used to analyze these aspects I recommend you SemRush, Ahrefs e SEO Tester Online.
Remember that the best way to encourage quality, relevant links to yours on other sites is to create unique content, which can naturally gain popularity.
To sum up, this analysis will help you to understand if other pirates’ flags and ships are better than yours. Take the spyglass in your hand and write down everything that could improve the visibility of your site!
Always analyze the URL structure being audited to make sure they are SEO friendly, meaning they are optimized for both Google’s crawlers and the users themselves.
Imagine having to read a treasure map and being confronted with paths that are difficult to follow or that stop without explanation. To avoid this, dwell on 6 essential points.
The layout of your website
The tree, or the hierarchical structure of the sections of a site is very important because it makes the search engine understand what topics are covered by that particular website and what hierarchical level they have.
Make sure you have a balanced structure so that the user does not find himself disoriented and reaches all the information he might need with just a few clicks.
To analyze it, browse the site manually and use a tool such as Screaming Frog, which scans the site like a Google bot would.
The structure of URLs
If static and without parameters, URLs allow you to render immediately clear the topic of the page. Therefore, try to create short, clear URLs without stop words, i.e. words that have no particular meaning when isolated from the text and are therefore ignored by the programs.
HTTP & HTTPS
Google in 2018 stated that its Chrome browser will report as Unsafe Any page without an SSL certificate, regardless of its content.
The goal was to make HTTPS the new standard for web browsing. Therefore, make sure that your site is either adapted to this standard or that it has migrated correctly.
In the latter case, it is fundamental to intervene with some redirect 301, to avoid the problem of duplication of content.
The XML Sitemap
The XML Sitemap of the site allows search engines to better understand the structure of the site and give relevance to the most important pages.
Among many reasons, it is important to have it because there is a budget (Crawl Budget) that Google’s crawlers have available to scan the pages of our site.
Therefore, make sure that this map is present and contains all the main pages of the site, that it does not present errors or URLs blocked by indexing, that it is constantly updated and that it indicates the priority of the correct pages, in order to favour a faster crawling, indexing and consequent positioning.
To find it look if it’s included inside robot.txt or do this search: https://buzzynerd.com/sitemap_index.xml.
The robots.txt file contains site access or restriction directives intended for search engine bots (and others).
Google generally recommends not blocking any resources except in cases that are strictly necessary. Therefore, check whether the robots.txt file prevents crawlers from accessing specific URLs, perhaps using the Tester tool in the Search Console.
When a user requests a page that does not exist the related server returns a 404 error (not found), at the same time, when a crawler reaches such a page, a unit of the budget we talked about earlier is wasted.
Here’s why it’s important find and fix all the broken links on the site.
To check for scan errors you can use Search Console or our trusty Screaming Frog.
I also recommend that you always create a custom 404 page, to be used instead of the standard one, with a more appealing message for the user.
After you’ve analyzed the structure, you’ll need to drill down into each individual page. Are you up to it, Captain?
Be brave and analyze 5 more essential points.
- content and duplication – evaluate if there are duplicate content intra or extra domain as the site may be penalized.
- Headers – evaluates the structure of a textual content after correctly inserting headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.).
- Meta Title and Description – don’t forget the title tag, the most important on-page element on the SEO side because it influences ranking, and the Meta Description, which contributes to the creation by search engines of the ad displayed in SERPs.
- Images Alt – after checking the texts, also make sure you have optimized the images for the web.
Finally, use a performance auditing tool, such as Page Speed Insight, to analyze:
- loading times;
Both are part of the Core Web Vitals, le most important metrics of your site identified by Google, which you can measure to monitor user experience.
The loading time is an important element for both search engine ranking and site usability.
No pirate with any salt in their noggin would want to board a slow ship, would they?
Slower pages actually have higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates. So check to see if the pages on your site exceed the speed test, perhaps using tools such as PageSpeed Insight e GT Metrix.
The Mobile First Indexing is Google’s test that displays the site as any mobile device would, introducing issues and differences in site analysis when content differs between mobile and desktop versions.
It therefore assesses whether there are any mobile page display issues, such as poorly functioning menus, disproportionate use of white space, text overlapping images, and more.
Now, you’re finally ready to fix your ship! Use the tools I’ve recommended within this page of my diary and optimize your website as well.