In order for a website to fire on all cylinders, it needs to be cared for and maintained regularly.
A good comparison is how you take care of your body. It is recommended that you head to the doctor for a check-up annually, just to make sure everything is running smoothly and so you can identify problems very early on.
Without these checkups, you could wait too long and turn a minor case into a major issue. Your website is no different!
One of the ways to care for your website properly is to put some effort into your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and performing a regular SEO audit.
SEO is constantly changing, websites are regularly updating, and sometimes we don’t have enough time in the day to remember to eat lunch. We get it, but if you want to make sure your website succeeds, you need to set aside time to put in the work.
In order to identify these potential problems, we recommend completing regular SEO audits on your website.
What will an SEO audit reveal about your website?
An SEO audit is going to reveal any potential problems that you need to fix in order to help your website thrive.
When running an SEO audit, the main things you’ll want to look out for are:
- Errors and warnings
- Areas of improvement and recommendations
- Is your website moving toward your goals
There are a lot of things you can learn when performing an SEO audit, but the main goal of running an SEO audit for your website is to uncover problems that exist on your website so that you can put in a plan to fix them!
The key here is to take these problems and actually fix them. Data that you don’t act on is useless.
How to perform an SEO audit
Maybe you already know a bit about SEO or maybe you’re an SEO noob. Either way, here is how you can perform a basic SEO audit on your website.
Use an SEO audit tool
Sounds too obvious, right? The first thing we recommend doing is to use an SEO audit tool such as Neil Patel’s SEO Audit Tool.
This tool is going to do a lot of the heavy lifting right away for you and it’s going to show you a lot of things for free. You’re going to be able to see your on-page SEO score, organic ranking keywords, total backlinks, and you’re going to get a website health check too.
The biggest part of this tool, is that last point, the health check. With the health check, you’re going to figure out if there are any broken pages and if there are any errors or warnings on your pages too. The free version of this tool will crawl 150 total pages and will only show you the top errors and warnings, but this is still incredibly impactful.
Some of the errors and warnings this tool will show you are:
- Meta tag and description errors
- URL errors
- Page speed errors
- Pages with low word count
- If your website is missing a sitemap
You’ll be able to use this data to make the changes to help the overall health of your website!
Check Website Speed
One of the factors to a high-performing site is the overall site speed. Being able to check the speed of your website and identifying problem areas is a key part of performing an SEO audit.
A perfect tool for testing site speed is GTmetrix. Gtmetrix checks the performance of your website overall, lets you know what the problem areas are and even what you should do to fix those problems all for free!
GTmetrix is a must-use tool for optimizing your site for search engines!
Check Broken Links
SEO really ends up being a diversity game. You need to make sure your website checks all of the boxes and making sure your website has no broken links is one of those boxes that needs to be checked!
Fixing broken links is pretty easy once you know which links are broken. Using a broken link checker tool or if you’re on WordPress a broken link checker plugin can really make your life easy when it comes to finding those problem links.
The plugin will check your website on a regular basis and notify you if there is a broken link, and if you don’t have WordPress, simply run the broken link checker regularly to monitor this!
Once you identify the broken links, find the best solution to fix them! The two most common fixes are to…
- Remove the link
- Modify the link to a new source
Once you fix the link, you should be good to go! Feel free to run the broken link checker to make sure the changes worked!
PS – Sometimes the link checkers find broken links, that aren’t broken links. Feel free to skip over these.
Identify High Performing Content
When you perform your SEO audit, it is a good idea to check out what is performing well on your website. What pieces of content are getting the most traffic, have the lowest bounce rate, have the most conversions, etc.
Take a look at why these pieces of content on your website are performing well and see if you can replicate that across the rest of your web pages.
This piece of advice can be tough because it’s not always a proven science. You might not know why one piece of content is performing much better than the rest, but this is why it’s important to test things and track those changes and results.
That’s our advice on conducting a basic SEO audit on your website. The last question to answer that we get, is how often should you perform an SEO audit on your website?
How often should I perform an SEO audit?
We won’t get into too much detail here, so the simple answer is to make sure you perform an SEO audit on your website regularly. We typically recommend each month, but we understand that it’s not always possible to do it that often. Quarterly or even annually can certainly have a benefit over forgetting to pay attention to SEO at all!
At the end of the day, it’s important to figure out how often you’re able to perform an SEO audit on your website where you’ll be able to actually put in the time and make the corrections that are needed!