How to Do an SEO Audit (for Beginners!) | What You Need to Know Before Diving Into Your Site’s SEO

By | February 17, 2020


You shouldn’t wait for your car to break
down before visiting a mechanic. Regular inspections help you identify and
fix problems before they get out of hand, and they ensure your vehicle operates at peak
performance. Just like your car requires regular inspections,
your search engine optimization strategy needs ongoing maintenance to continue driving the
best results. This maintenance is called an SEO audit. Want to learn more about what an SEO audit
is and how it keeps your site ranking at the top of search results? Just keep watching! What is an SEO audit? SEO audits take a deep dive into your site
to evaluate numerous factors that impact your ability to rank in search engine results pages
or SERPs. These elements include your website’s on-
and off-page SEO, as well as technical SEO performance. In this video, I’m going to explain the
different parts of an SEO audit, tell you how to do an SEO audit, and identify some
helpful tools to help you get started. Before I dive in, don’t forget to like this
video and subscribe to our YouTube channel to get result-driving digital marketing content
from our experts. So, you want an answer to the question: What
is an SEO audit? SEO audits contain several layers you’ll
want to pay attention to when auditing your site’s SEO. A really useful tool you can use before you
dive into your website is our SEO checker. Once you type in your information, our SEO
checker can do a quick audit of your site, give you an SEO score, and tell you what’s
working and not working. I’d suggest pausing this video and running
that report so you can come back, follow along with your report, and really understand how
an SEO audit can help you. It only takes a few minutes! Ok! Let’s get down to business. There are three parts of an SEO audit I mentioned
earlier that I’m going to cover: On-page SEO
Off-page SEO Technical SEO
First, let’s discuss the on-page SEO portion of your SEO audit. SEO audit part one: On-page SEO
Your on-page SEO audit consists of site elements you can control and optimize, and a large
portion of that is the content. In other words, an on-page SEO audit focuses
on optimizing elements within your website that impact your site’s SERP rankings. What better to get your content ranking than
keywords? Before you create content with keywords, you
need to understand what content is currently ranking and what people really mean when they’re
searching for a keyword. Go through your competitors’ websites that
are ranking well on Google and see what they’re focusing on with their content. Is there anything that they rank for that
you don’t? Make sure your content is meeting the users’
search intent, as well. Search for your keyword in Google and see
what comes up. What are other top ranking sites doing that
is making people click? Sometimes, a keyword can start with “what
is,” but the searcher is actually looking for a “how to.” You’ll discover these subtle but important
nuances with some research that will help you rank! So, you understand why users are typing a
certain keyword. Now you have to use it in your content if
you aren’t already. You should be using keywords in your: headers,
body content, title tag, and meta description. I’ll break it down. You should start by using keywords in your
headers where they fit naturally. So say you want to tell people why they should
use your affordable home improvement services. You might want to start that section of your
website with a bold header that tells them “why you should use our affordable home
improvement services.” Then, you’ll want to use “affordable home
improvement services” and other similar variations of this keyword where it makes
sense throughout the body of your content. Don’t stuff your keyword everywhere.. That can actually hurt your SEO. Be sure it makes sense if you read it out
loud. You can use related keywords in your content
to help give search engines the context of your page. Tools like Ubersuggest, LSI graph, or even
related searches and Google autosuggest are great for helping you come up with related
keywords. You should be looking for keywords in the
title tag and meta description during your SEO audit, as well. These show up in the search results and can
give users and search engine crawlers context to what your page contains. Optimizing these with keywords can help boost
your pages in the SERPs. Making it easier for search engines to find
the pages on your site is very important to your SEO. A large part of that is internal linking,
meaning when you’re creating new content, you should be linking to other pages on your
site within that new piece of content. Internal links make it so much easier for
a search engine crawler (and people!) to find pages on your site, giving you an SEO boost. If you’re writing a blog post about financial
services, and you have a page on your website listing your services, you should definitely
be linking to that page. You’re helping your SEO and driving traffic
to another page on your site. Another important element of on-page SEO is
having sitemaps that give search engine crawlers ways to find the pages on your site. Two sitemaps you should have are HTML and
XML sitemaps. HTML sitemaps have links to every page on
your site, and can help both people and crawlers find pages that might not have internal links
pointing to them. XML sitemaps are purely for search engines. These are really great for helping search
engines find new pages to crawl. If your site uses WordPress, you can use a
plugin to generate your sitemap. If you can’t use a plugin, you can create
an XML sitemap online. Once you have an XML sitemap, you can submit
it to Google Search Console so it can be crawled. It can get a little technical, so it might
be best to partner with an SEO expert if you don’t have a lot of experience with XML
sitemaps. Now that we’ve covered the on-page SEO portion
of the SEO audit, let’s take a look at what you need for an off-page SEO audit. SEO audit part two: Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO consists of SEO elements that you don’t directly control, but you can
influence. For example, backlinks — or links to your
site from other sites — are a key component of off-page SEO. When a site with a good reputation online
includes a link to your site on one of their pages, they pass on some of the value of their
site to yours. Your pages gain more value, and you have the
potential for people to click the link on the other page and land on your website. Backlinks can help you rank better for keywords
that matter the most to your business. The higher you are in the SERPs for relevant
keywords, the more valuable traffic you can get to your site. Bringing traffic to your site for targeted
keywords can result in qualified leads, and then actual sales,for your business. You should also be familiar with your backlink
profile, and your competitors’ backlink profiles as part of the SEO audit. Anyone linking to your competitors can potentially
be linking to you. Ahrefs offers a free backlink checker and
Moz also offers their Link Explorer tool to help you see where you and your competitors
are getting links from—if at all. We’re almost at the end! Time to discuss the third part of your SEO
audit: technical SEO. SEO audit part three: Technical SEO
There is a lot to consider when auditing your technical SEO, and it can get pretty complicated. It’s best to start simply. A technical SEO audit takes a deeper dive
into the mechanics behind your site. You can audit many, MANY other technical SEO
elements other than the ones I’ll talk about, but focusing on these things can help you
get started. Does your website load quickly? Are the pages of your website loading quickly
to create a good user experience? Most websites today load within a few seconds,
and searchers are used to that. Around half of searchers won’t even wait
for your site to load if it takes longer than three seconds. If your site is slow, people are going to
go to one of those faster sites, increasing your bounce rate and hurting your rankings
in search results. You can check your page speed during your
SEO audit with Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool, which will tell you how well your page
loads on mobile and desktop devices, and give you suggestions for fixing any issues. Is your website, and all of its pages, mobile-friendly? How well does your website go from a desktop
to a mobile device? In the last five years, mobile device usage
has exploded, and it currently makes up for over half of all web traffic. People are spending a lot more time on their
mobile devices, too. As of 2018, mobile users spend on average
over three hours a day on their phones, compared to just over two hours on a desktop. Google now focuses on mobile-first when it’s
crawling and indexing new sites because this is where a majority of users are viewing sites
and their content. If someone on a phone sees the desktop version
of your website, parts are going to be cut off, the text might be unreadable…it’s
really not a good situation. You’re going to lose that valuable web traffic
to other sites that either have a mobile version, or change with a user’s screen size. Is your page secure? Believe it or not, site security is an SEO
ranking factor. And it’s been confirmed by Google too. You might notice that at the top of a browser,
next to the URL, there’s a message that says either secure or not secure. If your website isn’t secure, anyone who
inputs their information into the site is at risk of having it stolen. A secure website encrypts and protects this
site data. It contributes to your site’s ranking and
sends a signal to the user that they can trust your site. Just think, if two companies sold similar
items online, and one site was secure while the other wasn’t, wouldn’t you feel better
entering your credit card information into the secure site? If you don’t have a lot of experience diving
into the backend of your website, you might consider consulting a web expert to secure
your site. Well, that’s it for my answer to your question:
What is an SEO audit? Don’t forget to run your site through our
SEO checker so you can get started improving your SEO. It only takes a couple of minutes, and you’ll
get so many valuable insights to help you with your SEO. There are a lot of steps to take when diving
into an SEO audit, and it can seem overwhelming, but that’s what we’re here for. If you want expert help with your business’s
SEO audit, contact our experts at WebFX online or by phone at 888-601-5359. We want to make sure your SEO is up to speed. For more videos about SEO and the wide world
of internet marketing, subscribe to our YouTube channel! See you soon!

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