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SEO 22 min read February 6, 2020

Effective Site Audit With Serpstat:
Tool Overview

how to do a site audit
Stacy Mine
Stacy Mine
Editor at Serpstat
This article is an overview of the Serpstat SEO Site Audit tool. You will find out what site vulnerabilities our service checks, what its assessment is based on, and how to use its functions. We will also remember the basic things about a technical audit. Let's go!
Hello Spring: Serpstat Sale Up To 35%

What is an SEO audit and when you need it

A technical SEO audit is a detailed check of a site for internal issues and compliance with the requirements of search engines.

An audit is often carried out when the site is under the sanctions of search engines: positions decrease, and traffic drops sharply. In this case, an audit allows you to find errors, fix them, and return to the previous position.

You also need an SEO audit when everything is fine with the site: traffic is growing, and positions are gradually increasing. You can further speed up the growth of the website by identifying and correcting technical issues.

You should perform a detailed site check before starting the work on site's SEO. It will help to find minor issues and severe problems so that the optimizer can safely work on other ranking factors and promote the site.

So what can you find out on our site?
We've created the Serpstat Website SEO Checker which allows you to find out the key metrics of any site in just a few clicks.
To examine a domain, you don't need to open Serpstat in a new tab - all necessary data is available with one click directly on the site!
Click on the icon and you'll get multiple SEO metrics about a domain or page: visibility, traffic, keywords, top competitors in the region, etc.
Read the post to learn about the benefits of the updated Serpstat checker.

step #1

Create a project for a site audit

Go to List of projects and add the site for analysis. Press the button Add project:
In the pop-up window we enter the project name and the domain (I chose the domain theordinary.com), select the group for the project and click the Create button:
Добавляем новый сайт в проекты для SEO-аудита в Serpstat
In the received dashboard, click the Start Audit button:
To check the domain for problems that may hinder the promotion, you must create a project for it.

*click on the arrows to see the steps for setting up a project.
How To Find Bugs That Impede Your Site Promotion
Serpstat Site Audit VS Competitors
When the audit is over, the dashboard will update, and you will see an SDO score - our internal indicator showing the level of optimization of your domain. It is calculated based on the ratio of the number of issues and their criticality to the total number of possible issues on the site. The higher this rating, the better the optimization.

Serpstat shows 34% SDO for our domain. This means that another 66% can improve the site.
The project is created! And now, let's see the summary report on site issues - click on the line Site Audit.
Want to learn how to use Serpstat to find and fix site weaknesses?
Leave a request, and our specialists will advise you on promoting your project, share educational materials and market insights!
Better, Faster, Stronger: Updated Site Audit In Serpstat
step#2

Study the audit overview report

The first thing you will see is a graph of the dynamics of the SDO domain assessment from the moment of the first check to this day.

Below in the Summary Report, you will find a table with the results of previous checks. Here you can compare any two periods.
Issues are prioritized:

High priority is a parameter for severe errors. They must be fixed first.

Medium priority is a parameter for errors that are not critical but still affect domain optimization. Therefore, they also require correction.

Low priority is a parameter for the least significant issues. However, you also need to fix them. The report below summarizes the errors of the site that the service detected.

The report also has Information and Viruses categories:

Information is a section that has recommendations for optimizing the page.

Viruses - results of checking the page for malware.
Below we see an issues overview in the form of a graph where you can compare the weaknesses found with the recommended range.
Next, we see a table with a short list of vulnerabilities found on the site. To view each in more detail, just click on it:
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Step #3

Analyze the main site weaknesses

To see them, click on any of the indicators in the summary report (described above) or go to the reports from the menu on the left.
Serpstat not only indicates specific problems on the site but also gives recommendations on how to fix them. The tool also notes the corrected issues since the last audit on the site.
Let's see the main issues for which Serpstat checks the site
#1

Server response code

Each time the user and the search robot access the site, the server gives specific answers. It's essential for SEOs to know them and quickly find pages with these response codes since the website shouldn't have pages that indicate specific server errors: for example, non-existent pages on the site.Developments in printing technology, ink, and paper making, made it possible to print letterforms of high contrast and delicate hairlines.
Serpstat finds pages that gave 5x response code (500-599), as well as 4xx response code (400-499). We show:
URL that gives this issue
Issue code
The number of pages that link to this URL
Amazon, for example, has 2212 issues with server codes. You can also see the number of errors that have already been fixed since the last check by Serpstat:
Technical Audit Of A Page In 2 Clicks: Rate Your SEO Performance
#2

Meta tags

Title is the title of the page, which should clearly reflect its essence. Description is a meta tag that should contain a brief description of the contents of the page. This metadata plays a direct role in site ranking. Their contents should not be duplicated. They should always be filled and be of a particular volume.
We believe that the volume of an ideal Title is in the range of 10 to 70 characters. And the volume of the perfect Description is from 70 to 160 characters. So, the service finds and gives recommendations for correction:
empty or missing Title and Description
duplicate Title and Description
very long Title and Description
very short Title and Description.
Let's get back to our example. Serpstat found 1490 critical errors and 1199 medium priority errors:
Отчет SEO-аудита по метатегам сайта
To learn more about these pages, click on the arrow in the right corner:
Детальная информация по метатегам конкретной страницы
How To Optimize Meta Tags And Images
#3

Headings

H1-H6 headers are used to create html pages, each of which indicates the relative importance of the content located after the headers. The H1 tag (level 1) is used to indicate the most significant headline. The H6 tag indicates a subheading (level 6), which is the least significant.
Each page should have only one H1, and it should be unique - do not repeat on other pages of the site. Also, all headers should be arranged in a strictly hierarchical order. Any deviations are not allowed.

Serpstat notes two major issues:
absence of H1
violation of the headers' order H1 − H6.
Отчет по ошибкам в заголовках страницы
How To Carry Out A Site Usability Audit
#4

Content and Multimedia

This means checking the content of the page for elements that violate the requirements of search engines. Lorem Ipsum is a meaningless text that programmers use to fill in page layout. If it is present on the page of the site, the search engine may perceive it as irrelevant. The body content is the content on the page. It is essential for search engines as an indicator of the usefulness of a page. The lack of text in the tag negatively affects the ranking.
Serpstat checks the content for the following issues:
pages with Lorem ipsum
absence of Body text
too large page size
Checking the multimedia components of the site has two directions:
broken images
too large images
Главные ошибки сайта по контенту
How To Carry Out A Content Analysis And Content Audit
On The Website
#5

Page Indexing

Page Indexing is the process of crawling documents on the network, their classification, and placement in the database of search engines. To index the pages, the search bot must go to them and examine their content. Page indexing is influenced by:

  • adding a site to social bookmarks
  • placement of links leading to the site on external resources
  • adding a site to Google Webmaster Tools and Yandex Webmaster
  • several special internal techniques.
We want to draw your attention to the internal technical features of your site, which may hinder page indexing. These include the following items:
low word count
cross-domain canonical links
Iframe found on page
pages with canonical tag
pages are blocked from crawling by <noindex> tag
canonical has a relative URL
multiple rel="canonical' tags
flash elements on page
pages are blocked from crawling in robots.txt file
Ошибки с индексацией страниц
How To Carry Out The Indexation Analysis Of The Website
#6

Redirects

Redirects are a way to send users and search robots to a different URL, which is different from what they initially requested.
A 301 redirect indicates that the URL has been redirected to a different address. 302 code is a temporary redirect. It shows the robot that this document is temporarily available at a different address.
Your site shouldn't have redirect links.

Serpstat shows:
    redirect page
    redirect code (301 redirect - permanent and 302 - temporary)
    redirected page
    the number of pages found with URLs with customized redirects.
    Советы по избежанию и устранению редиректов
    By the way, by clicking on the Read more button, you can see the article on solving this problem from an expert.
    Detailed Instructions For Redirects: When And
    How To Use Them
    #7

    Links

    It is essential to correctly configure the links on the site, because errors in the URL make it difficult for the website to be indexed by search engines, create duplicate content, which may cause the site to drop in SERPs.
    Serpstat shows:
    absence of favicon on the pages (the icon of the site)
    too long URL
    number of GET-parameters in URL
    number of outgoing links.
    Критичные ошибки по ссылкам сайта
    How Many GET Parameters
    Can Be In The Page URL
    What Is The Maximum And Best
    Page URL Length For SEO
    #8

    HTTPS Certificate

    Google claims that having an HTTPS certificate is a ranking factor. The presence of this certificate will significantly increase the level of trust of advanced users to your site.
    Serpstat analyzes HTTPS for 11 items:
      HTTPS pages lead to HTTP pages
      using HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) support
      incorrect certificate name
      old version of the protocol TLS
      using SSL protocol
      the certificate is not trusted in all web browsers
      self-signed certificate
      certificates are valid
      present HTTPS URLs in sitemap.xml
      mixed content
      pages with insecure password input.
      Советы по улучшению работы с HTTPS при аудите сайта
      What Is Mixed Content And How To Remove It From HTTPS-Protected Sites
      How To Update The TLS Protocol
      Version On The Website
      #9

      Server Parameters

      Based on server parameters, Serpstat checks the site for the following vulnerabilities:
      redirect from http to https site version
      redirects from site version without www to site version with www are set
      We find duplicates at the domain level. If some other versions of the site are available, then we recommend that you select one of the versions, and make the rest a redirect.
      Параметры сервера, которые стоит исправить
      #10

      Using hreflang attributes

      If your site has language versions of the content, use the hreflang markup to show this to the search engine. Using this attribute helps the search engine understand the content in different languages and display it in the corresponding issue.
      Serpstat checks:
      pages without hreflang attributes
      hreflang attribute conflicts in the page source code;
      site is not multilingual
      incorrect hreflang value
      incorrect hreflang links.
      #11

      AMP Pages

      AMP pages are accelerated pages for mobile devices. Sites with such pages load faster and rank better in mobile SERPs.
      Параметры сервера, которые стоит исправить
      Configuring AMP On A Website: How To Avoid Mistakes
      #12

      Markup checks

      Open Graph, schema.org, and Twitter Card markups are used to create an informative and presentable preview of your site on social networks.
      Markup helps the search engine generate unique snippets and recognize page content. It shows search engines that text or other elements on a page are important and belong to a particular data type.

      Checks:
      Open Graph markup
      Twitter Card markup
      schema.org markup.
      Параметры сервера, которые стоит исправить
      #13

      Monitor site loading speed

      In the report you will find two tables: Pagespeed for Desktop and Pagespeed for Mobile. They list several problems that can prevent the site from improving its speed or slow it down.

      You should pay particular attention to this since fast sites don't annoy users and increase site usability. Search engines also recommend increasing page loading speed - slow websites rank worse.

      With Serpstat, you will learn several ways to help you increase your download speed. We will show you what you need to implement, taking into account the errors that are on the site.
      step #4

      Set up a custom report

      The section Custom Overview displays all the information collected from the site pages on specific parameters. The report is compiled in a table that you can export in two formats: CSV Open Office and CSV Microsoft Excel.

      In Serpstat, you can configure a personal report on the necessary parameters, as well as apply filters to them:
      Настраиваем персональный отчет по SEO-аудиту сайта
      For example, you need to look at the Description of all pages whose Title contains the word "laptop." I configure it as follows:
      1
      Choose Description tab.
      2
      Open the filters and select Title from the drop-down list.
      3
      In the settings, select Contains.
      4
      Enter the word laptop in the box on the right.
      5
      Click Apply.
      You can save the configured filter and apply it again, and export the results:
      Добавляем фильтры для персонального SEO-отчета
      The Most Common SEO Issues That Damage Your Site [Infographic]

      Summing up

      I want to note that the Serpstat robot behaves the same as the search engine robot. It doesn't analyze the contents of pages closed by the noindex tag and in robots.txt. That is, we will not detect errors that may be on these pages.

      We also set up automatic error notifications and audit mails. So you can monitor the emergence of new errors and the correction of old ones. To enable automatic notifications by e-mail, go to the List of Projects and click on the letter icon:
      Полученный отчет по SEO-аудиту сайта можно экспортировать в или отправить на почту
      That's all! If you have any questions, ask them in the comments or contact our technical support :)

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