A search engine optimization (SEO) audit is the process of analyzing how well a web presence relates to best practices. Performing an SEO audit is typically the first step in creating an implementation plan to increase performance. That plan will include actions that boost search engine rankings to attract more visitors, leads, and revenue. The audit provides better insight into a website’s performance, structure and topics of individual pages, and overall traffic. An SEO audit typically reveals:
- Competition insight
- Content gaps
- User experience issues
- Potential off-site issues
- On-page SEO issues
- Website structure issues
- Technical SEO issues
It’s important to frequently run an SEO audit on a website for its long-term success. This can be thought of as a health check or report card for a website. For example, if a search engine such as Bing or Google changes their algorithm to provide better search results for users, an SEO audit would identify where a website’s content can be adjusted to increase its rankings with the new algorithm.
Performing an SEO audit
There are multiple ways to perform an SEO audit. An automated SEO checker can be used, a professional SEO service can be hired, or it can be done manually by following a guide. SEO software such as Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush provides site audit or site crawl tools that can determine general site health and common inefficiencies.
SEO audit checklist
If performing the audit without external help, ensure the site is added as a property in Google Search Console and Google Analytics. To perform an SEO audit, follow the steps listed below:
- Identify internal and external link building opportunities
- Identify potential information architecture improvements, such as redistributing internal linking structures or improving the user experience.
- Identify content gaps or content that needs improvement.
- Identify duplicate content
- Ensure web pages are optimized for relevant keywords to improve organic search
- Ensure meta tags are optimized for relevant keywords
- Identify pages to update
- Run a page speed analysis
- Scan for site errors, such as broken links.
- Switch from HTTP to HTTPS to ensure security.