The Complete Checklist for SEO Audit in 2023

An SEO audit is the process of examining your website to identify and address any problems that might be affecting how well it ranks in search results. Your organic traffic, rankings, user experience, and conversions can all be enhanced with the aid of an SEO audit. We'll walk you through a 10-step checklist for conducting a thorough SEO audit in 2023 in this post.

1: Run a crawl of your website

Crawling your website with a programme like Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT) or Google Search Console (GSC) is the first step of an SEO audit. A crawl will examine your website and find over 100 potential problems, including sluggish pages, duplicate content, broken links, and more. The crawl report can be used to rank the most important problems and solve them accordingly.

2: Identify organic traffic drops and work out what caused them

Check your organic traffic trends in the following stage to discover if there have been any notable increases or decreases. To examine your traffic history and contrast it with changes to the Google algorithm, utilise a tool like Google Analytics or Ahrefs Site Explorer. You may need to look into what sections of your website were impacted and how to overcome the penalty if you see any traffic dips that correspond with an update.

3: Check for any duplicates of your website

Having several iterations of your website indexed by Google is another frequent problem that might harm your SEO. For instance, you might use various URLs for the same website, such as:

  • http://yoursite.com
  • https://yoursite.com
  • http://www.yoursite.com
  • https://www.yoursite.com

These are various websites containing duplicate content, according to Google, which can cause confusion and ranking problems. You must pick one preferred version of your website and use 301 redirects to point the rest to it in order to prevent this. Additionally, you may use canonical tags to instruct Google which version of a page to index and designate your preferred domain in GSC.

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4: Find and diagnose indexability issues

The term "indexability" describes whether or not search engines can crawl and index your web pages. Your pages won't appear in the search results and you won't receive organic traffic if they are not indexable. You can use the URL Inspection tool in GSC or the Coverage report in AWT to determine whether your pages are indexable. These tools will let you know whether your pages are blocked by robots.txt, noindexed, or have other problems that prohibit them from being indexed.

The following are some typical causes for your pages not being indexable:

  • They have a header or noindex tag.
  • By using robots.txt or meta robots, they are banned.
  • They reference another page with a canonical tag.
  • They include scant or poor-quality information.
  • There is a tonne of duplicate stuff there.
  • They load slowly or provide a bad user experience.

You must remove any noindex tags or headers, unblock any sites you wish indexed, appropriately use canonical tags, increase the quality and uniqueness of your content, enhance page loading time and user experience, and submit a sitemap to Google in order to resolve these problems.

5: Ensure your site is mobile-friendly

Since mobile devices account for more than half of all web traffic in 2023, mobile friendliness will be a critical component of SEO. Additionally, Google employs a mobile-first indexing strategy, which implies that it ranks websites based on their mobile versions. As a result, you must guarantee that your website loads quickly, is responsive, and is simple to use on mobile devices.

To determine whether your website is mobile-friendly or not, utilise Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool. The tool will demonstrate how your website appears on a mobile device and offer advice on how to make it better. The following are some of the top mobile-friendliness guidelines:

  • Make use of responsive design, which can adjust to various screen sizes.
  • Make use of readable fonts and colours.
  • Employ concise and clear navigation
  • Use tap-friendly buttons and links.
  • Steer clear of interstitials and pop-ups that obscure the content.
  • Make sure your photos and videos are mobile-friendly.
  • Compress your files and minify your code

6: Benchmark your Core Web Vitals scores

Core online Vitals is a collection of metrics that gauges how quickly, interactively, and visually stable your online pages load. They are a component of Google's Page Experience upgrade, which promotes user-friendly websites. These are the three Core Web Vitals metrics:

The length of time it takes for the largest content element to load on the screen is measured by the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). A LCP score of 2.5 seconds or less is the optimum one.

The length of time it takes the browser to react to the initial user interaction, such as clicking a button or scrolling, is measured as the first input delay. 100 milliseconds or less is the optimum FID score.

Cumulative Layout Shift indicates how much the page's layout changes as it loads. For CLS, a score of 0.1 or less is desirable.

You may check your Core Web Vitals scores and find out if there are any problems using the PageSpeed Insights tool or the Core Web Vitals report in GSC. You may raise your Core Web Vitals scores in a number of ways, including:

  • Utilise a quick and trustworthy hosting solution.
  • For quicker file delivery, use a content delivery network (CDN).
  • Delay the loading of off-screen images and videos by using lazy loading.
  • Preloading and browser caching can hasten return visits.
  • Use typefaces on the web that load quickly and don't affect the layout.
  • Utilise graphics that adapt to the resolution and size of the screen.
  • Don't use cumbersome, huge JavaScript files that prevent rendering.
  • Stay away from employing third-party scripts and excessive advertising on your website.

7: Reclaim authority by fixing broken pages

Broken pages are those that produce a 404 error code, indicating that the server could not locate them. Your SEO may suffer as a result of two broken pages: 

They squander the number of pages that Google can crawl from your site in a certain amount of time, or what is known as your crawl budget.

They lose the value that your pages receive from other pages connecting to them, or your link authority.

The Crawl Errors report in GSC or the Broken Pages report in AWT can both be used to locate and fix broken pages. These reports will display all of your website's 404-error-returning pages along with the sites that link to them. Then, you can fix these damaged pages by:

  • if they were accidentally removed, restoring them
  • If they were moved or replaced, redirect them to the appropriate page
  • Whenever they are altered or eliminated, you should update the links that lead to them.

8: Ensure your sitemap doesn't have any issues

All the pages on your website are listed in a sitemap, which also instructs Google on how to crawl them. A sitemap can make it easier and faster for Google to find and index your content. You can use a programme like Yoast SEO or Screaming Frog SEO Spider to develop and submit a sitemap. The sitemap can then be checked for problems or warnings in GSC or AWT.

The following are some typical problems that may impact your sitemap:

  • Your sitemap is incorrectly formatted or contains syntax mistakes.
  • Your sitemap includes URLs that are noindexed or robots.txt-blocked.
  • There are redirects or non-canonical URLs in your sitemap.
  • The URLs on your sitemap are incorrect or broken.
  • It's either too big or has too many URLs on your sitemap.

You must modify your sitemap file and delete any invalid, irrelevant, or inaccessible URLs in order to resolve these problems. Additionally, you must ensure that your sitemap adheres to the XML sitemap protocol and is no larger than 50,000 URLs or 50 MB.

9: Optimize your on-page SEO

On-page SEO is the process of optimising your web pages for both user intent and your target keywords. You can improve your site's organic traffic and search engine rankings by using on-page SEO. You should concentrate on the following four key aspects to improve your on-page SEO:

Content: Original, educational, entertaining, and pertinent to your topic and audience should all characterise your work. To make your information simple to read and comprehend, you should also use headings, subheadings, bullet points, photos, videos, and other formatting components.

Keywords: Your keywords should reflect what your users are seeking for and match their search intent. In order to avoid keyword stuffing, you should also employ keyword variations, synonyms, and related terms to address various elements of your issue.

Title tags: Your major keyword should be included in your detailed, enticing title tags. In order to prevent truncation in the search results, you should limit them to 60 characters.

Meta descriptions: Your meta descriptions ought to be compelling, succinct, and action-oriented. In order to prevent truncation in the search results, you should limit them to 160 characters.

You may check your on-page SEO and get recommendations for how to improve it using a programme like Ahrefs' Site Audit or Yoast SEO.

10: Analyze your backlink profile

Backlinks, or links pointing to your website from other websites, are very important for SEO. They send signals to search engines like Google about trust, authority, and relevance. You can make use of a number of tools and techniques to analyse your backlink profile. Determine the origins of your backlinks to start. As quality matters more than quantity, consider the standing of the websites that link to you. Look for authoritative domains and information that is related to the niche of your website.

Consider the anchor text used in backlinks as well, as it needs to be appropriate for your content and contain your desired keywords. Search for any spammy or harmful backlinks that may be harming your SEO efforts. If you discover any, you could choose to disavow them to protect the reputation of your website.

Keep an eye on your backlink profile frequently to make sure it is still supporting your SEO tactics. To improve your site's exposure and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines, it should always be a priority to build high-quality, natural backlinks from trustworthy websites.

Conclusion

The performance, visibility, and user experience of your website can all be enhanced with the aid of an SEO audit. You can find and address any problems that might be keeping your website from reaching its full potential by using this 10-step checklist.

Here are the procedures you must follow in 2023 to carry out a thorough SEO audit:

  • Crawl your website and rank the most important problems in priority order.
  • Recognise organic traffic reductions and determine their causes.
  • Scan your website for any duplicates, and lead visitors to your preferred version.
  • Check that your pages are crawlable and indexable and identify any concerns with indexability.
  • Make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly.
  • Benchmark your Core Web Vitals scores and make sure they are optimised for stability, performance, and engagement.
  • Regain authority by correcting the links and pages that are broken.
  • Check your sitemap for errors and submit it to Google.
  • improve your on-page SEO based on the user's intent and your target keywords.
  • Review your link profile and create more high-quality links.

It's time to move forward now that you have a comprehensive understanding of the condition and performance of your website. Move down the list starting with the most urgent issues. Keep an eye on your outcomes and measure your advancement over time. Keep in mind that SEO is a continuous process that calls for continued attention and progress.

Please get in touch with us if you require assistance with any part of your SEO assessment. We are a group of SEO specialists who can assist you in achieving your online objectives. We are available to you whether you require a full-service SEO assessment, advice, or a unique plan. Make contact with us right away, and we'll help you advance your website.

FAQs 

What is an SEO audit, and why is it important in 2023?

An in-depth analysis of a website's search engine optimisation is known as an SEO audit, which aims to pinpoint areas for development. It's critical in 2023 because user expectations and search engine algorithms are always changing, making routine audits necessary to preserve or enhance user experience and search rankings.

How can I start a comprehensive SEO audit for my website?

Conduct keyword research to comprehend the search habits of your target market before starting an SEO audit. After that, examine the technical elements, on-page SEO, content quality, and backlink profile of your website.

What steps should I take to address issues found during the SEO audit process?

Create an action plan to address problems discovered during the SEO audit. Decide which concerns are most important, update your website as needed, and watch your website's rankings and user interaction. Continually revise your SEO tactics in light of audit findings.

How often should I perform an SEO audit on my website?

The size, sector, and volume of content updates on your website all affect how frequently you conduct SEO audits. In general, doing an audit once every six months is a smart place to start.

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