An SEO audit can be one of the most tedious tasks that an SEO has to perform. Unless you’re a fundamentally technical SEO (which I’m not by any means), it’s often viewed as boring, or even as a necessary evil.
Nevertheless, it’s absolutely critical that an audit be performed when starting a new campaign. A well performed audit is a crucial step in understanding the current state of the website, and ascertaining it’s structural integrity.
So for those of you who are like me, and don’t want to spend days digging into a site, then our first Trello Tuesday is for you:
The theme here is mostly observing the way the website is indexed in the search engines and what (if any) red flags need to be addressed. Are there an abundance of 4XX or 5XX errors? Is the robots.txt file formatted correctly? The sitemap? All these questions should be answered by the time this step is completed.
Even though the search engines are totally focused on user experience and how your users engage with you, it doesn’t do any good to have a website that the engines cant read. This step focuses on taking the proper precautions to ensure the engines can read and understand you website. These steps and tools will allow you to do just that.
I won’t go into everything here since it’s all are on the list, but the high points are the overall optimization, publishing frequency, and checking for any possible penalties that are currently holding the site back.
Site architecture is crucial to maintaining an easy flow for the spiders to navigate through. We don’t think like a machine, so during this step you might want to draw out a basic chart of the site. This will help you get more of a visual of the site and ensure that key pages are fewer clicks away from the homepage.
To help keep this audit under an hour, I recommend glancing over this post. It covers how to get a quick glance at your competitors backlink profiles. This step is key if you want to keep time investment down to a minimum, but still get a full understanding of the backlinks coming to the site you’re auditing and the competition.
Keep in mind that this is a high level view. Many cases will warrant a full on, hands dirty, nitty-gritty audit. For example, if you come across a site that has intense duplicate content issues, or if you find that a backlink profile is riddled with poor links, you’re going to need to dive deeper and take a look.
If this is the case, then I recommend checking out some the resources below. They go very in depth into the process of putting together an SEO audit.