How To Perform an SEO Audit of Your Website in Under 30 Minutes

How To Perform an SEO Audit of Your Website in Under 30 Minutes

Your exposure in the search engines plays a critical role in any online marketing campaign, and search engine optimization is still one of the number one ways to draw in more potential clients to your website. Google is still by far the most visited website in the world, and other popular search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo, have also become very important. What online marketers need to understand is that the vast majority of people do not regularly go beyond the first page of the search engine results, and even being second place in the results when someone enters a relevant query means that you will lose out on a lot more traffic than you would if you were at the very top. To ensure that your website meets current SEO standards and requirements, you should carry out a thorough audit at least once a year, and the tips in this article will explain how to perform SEO audit in thirty minutes or less.

Expose Crawling Issues

In your Web browser, disable JavaScript, cookies and any plug-ins you might have which might alter the way your website functions. Open up your website and browse it as you normally would to see if any issues arise. Websites should not rely on features such as Flash or JavaScript for navigation and functionality, since the search engine crawlers will end up being unable to reach and index much of your content. You can also expose most crawling issues by using a free Web-based program which allows you to view your website in exactly the same way as the search engine crawlers do.

Scan Your Homepage

First impressions are among the most important, and your homepage will usually be the very first page that people see when visiting your website. Make a list of any potential problems with your homepage and address them as necessary. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors to help determine your website’s performance, usability and the value that it offers to visitors. Make sure that your website does not have any of the common canonical issues, such as separate WWW and non-WWW versions or URLs which automatically redirect visitors to another website. The latter is particularly important, since redirects are often used in black hat SEO.

Test Navigation Features

Find out if your website has a complete and up-to-date XML Sitemap. If it doesn’t then you should build one right away, since Sitemaps can be enormously helpful for the search engine crawlers to properly navigate your content. Creating a Sitemap may be done with a third-party tool – there’s rarely any need to write one manually. Inspect your website’s navigational features as well, and be sure to expose any broken links. Review any external links on your website to make sure that they link to relevant webpages which are still active.

Check Your Content Hierarchy

A website with a proper content hierarchy, particularly if it is a dynamic one such as a blog or news site, is far easier to navigate both for the search engines and for your visitors. Ensure that all of your categories and subcategories have a purpose backed up by the presence of quality content offering value to your audience. At the same time, ensure that your categories are clearly labelled and that any links to them are working correctly. Avoid internal linking to irrelevant pages, and particularly since the Google Penguin 2.0 update, be sure to expose and get rid of any over-optimized anchor text.

Look for Optimized Content

Determine the current status of your content with regards to optimization by making sure that the following features have been optimized with careful keyword usage and information which is useful to your visitors:

– Title and header (H1 and H2) tags.
– Meta descriptions
– Alt text for images
– URLs

Review SEO Metrics

Review the current performance of your website by tracking important metrics to determine where your visitors are coming from, which queries they are entering into the search engines and which areas of your online marketing campaign are offering you the best return for your money and/or time. You can use this invaluable information to get a deeper insight into your target audience, boost conversions and find the areas of your website and marketing campaign need some improvement.

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