Advanced SEO Audit Checklist For All Stages Of The Analysis [Infographic]
You should always carry out a detailed audit before starting on-site optimization. It will help you find minor bugs and serious problems.
Let's get to our technical SEO audit checklist.
1.1 What is an SEO audit
1.2 Why is SEO audit important
2. Stages of an SEO audit
2.1 Gathering information about the project
2.2 Analysis of audience, search demand and competitors
2.3 Traffic analysis
2.4 Analysis of the site structure
2.5 General technical audit
2.6 On-page SEO guide
2.7 Display in SERP (issues related to markup)
3. Analysis of the link mass
3.1 Growth dynamics
3.3 Quality of the link mass
3.4 Anchor list spamming
3.5 Analysis of density and commerciality of the anchor list
3.6 Conclusions on the link mass
4. Checking for sanctions of search engines, risk assessment
5. Additional checks related to the specifics of the project
6. Search for effective ways of project development
7. Making a report and optimization plan
What is an SEO audit
Why is SEO audit important
Stages of an SEO audit
Gathering information about the project
Analysis of audience, search demand and competitors
Although, you can automate a major part of content audit processes with specialized tools. Find out how in the following article:
Analysis of the site structure
For example, in an online store, you can determine the category of goods that, e.g., microphones can be related to. Accordingly, you should think over the entire path of the user and the section. For example, you can start with the category "Microphones and accessories", after which they can be divided into "Microphones" and "Accessories", and so on.
Therefore, an adequate audit must necessarily contain a comparative analysis of the sections. Moreover, without careful study of the site in parts, one cannot be sure that there are no technical problems. Different dynamics across sections can easily distort the indicators that we tested to catch problems.
The analysis itself is simple enough. You need to collect data on the number of pages, indexing, traffic, conversions, link mass, and so on in a pivot table. Then problems and inconsistencies appear at a glance.
General technical audit
Check if the correct pages are closed in robots.txt. You will find this recommendation in the Serpstat Site Audit.
The hreflang attribute is recommended for search engines and is relevant primarily for Google.
The most frequently encountered error in using this attribute is the lack of links from one page to another. After all, if there are several versions of a page in different languages, then each of them must contain a link to all variants.
You can easily find errors related to incorrect use of the hreflang meta tag in SEO Site Audit checklist tool, as well as other website analysis and optimization checklists.
On-page SEO guide
To do this, right-click on the checked page in Google Chrome and then select "View page source" in the drop-down menu.
I consider titles up to 45 characters unoptimized; you can always put one more key in them. Plus, I know many companies and SEOs who deliberately write titles longer than 65 characters, giving robots one or two more keys that humans cannot see, but robots perceive and skip into the ranking.
Recommendations for beginner SEOs on how to make a Title tag:
As with Title, different search engines have different optimal lengths. There are sometimes 425 character snippets on Google. Also, the description attribute is increasingly being replaced by search engines with their own. And its importance in optimization is no longer so significant.
Recommendations for beginner SEOs on making Description attribute:
To speed up, complex work is required, with testing all kinds of pages using various tools. Sometimes SEOs limit themselves to checking the home page in Page Speed Insights. Of course, this is not enough.
Google Analytics reports contain a lot of useful information about different loading stages (server response, redirection, HTML loading) for users.
The search engine will define 404 and 500 in the same way - the page does not exist. If there is a 503, it will come back later to see the changes, but if it stays for more than 2 days, it will also be evaluated as 404. Try to avoid 4xx and 5xx errors on the site, unless, of course, you create them specifically for others goals.
You can also use Serpstat Audit to find images that are too large.
Spamming anchor list
Density and commercial analysis of anchor list
Conclusions on the link juice
Checking for sanctions by search engines, risk assessment
Additional checks related to the specifics of the project
For the field of activity, you can see the possibility of rebuilding the site for the specifics of the business, for example, some sites that are engaged in design or construction work have a counting calculator that allows the client to see the approximate price of the service in advance. Additionally, this will improve the behavioral indicators of the site, allowing you to keep the user longer.
Search for effective ways of project development
Reporting and optimization plan
You also need to remember that the report may be different for different sites, not only in size but also in the content of some blocks, for example, the performance of work to eliminate existing errors.
It is necessary to indicate additional blocks in the report:
To speed up the SEO reporting process, you can use custom reports in Serpstat.
It should also be understood that there is no perfect solution that can be applied to all sites since it cannot take into account the capacity of the project, its budget, and other features.
It is best to use a systematic approach and, after initially checking all the site factors, proceed to their solution to achieve the maximum result with minimum labor costs and then move on to more and more complex tasks.
How long does an SEO audit take?
There’s no standard time frame, it can take from 10 minutes up to a day, a week, or several months depending on the size of your website, the depth of the analysis, the tool being used, or the specialist(s) involved, etc.
How to perform the local SEO audit?
An SEO Audit is absolutely essential for any website, it should be conducted regularly (about once every 6 months) even if there are no apparent issues visually and the website seems to be performing well. Here are the steps you should take:
1. Research Local Competitors
2. Examine your Local Keywords
3. Check traffic in Google Analytics
4. Analyze your Google My Business page
5. Work with your online reviews
6. Check your website’s display on SERP
7. Perform Link Analysis
What is an SEO audit tool?
It’s a helpful instrument that allows you to effectively analyze your website and detect any technical issues that damage its performance in search results.
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