You may be wondering if your website works well and is optimized for search engines. In order to ensure that your site is getting the most out of its search engine optimization (SEO), it is important to perform a regular SEO website audit. This involves checking how well your website is optimized, in addition to checking for any technical errors or broken links.
There are a number of benefits in using an automated tool to audit websites:
- An unbiased opinion – A tool is able to provide an analysis that is usually more unbiased than a human check.
- No experience required – The service is easy to understand and provides automated reports about your site’s health. For example, you can see if there are any technical errors on your website.
- Cost-effective way – You do not have to hire an expensive consultant or pay for a lengthy audit to see if your site has any critical technical issues and is accessible by search engines.
Take a Deeper Look at the SEO Site Audit
An SEO site audit is a complete analysis of your website that can help you identify all factors, including technical ones, that hinder or increase the SEO ranking of your website in search engines. The process requires checking multiple aspects of your websites, such as on-page and off-page optimization as well as general website health.
During an SEO site audit, common issues that might affect organic visibility are examined. These may be issues like poor site architecture, duplicate meta information, HTML errors, and many others.
Often, an SEO site audit will also include a recommendations report listing specific actions that can be taken to improve overall website performance. While an SEO site audit cannot guarantee improved rankings, it can help identify areas for improvement that may not be otherwise obvious.
Why Is It Necessary to Audit Your Website?
There are many reasons to audit your website, from improving your SEO to keeping your visitors engaged. By auditing your website on a regular basis, you can ensure that it is running smoothly and meeting your needs. Let’s look through some of the benefits of it:
- Detecting Technical Errors on Your Site
The first benefit of auditing your website is the ability to identify any technical errors that may be present, such as broken links, broken images, or anything else that might be causing problems with your site’s functionality.
- Finding Problems that Can Harm SEO Rankings
Website auditing will help you identify any elements on your website that may be harmful to your SEO rankings, such as no-index tags on your pages. You can also identify and fix any redirect issues on your site. These can cause duplicate content problems which may harm your rankings in search engines.
- Making Changes in Response to User Behavior
The third benefit of website auditing is the ability to make changes in response to data collected from your users. For example, you might find that a particular page on your website has an abnormally high bounce rate.
Various Types of SEO Audit
Website audits are a great way to check your website’s health. You can look at them as opportunities for professional development and growth. The following are some of the most common types of website audits:
Technical SEO audit
This is one of the most popular website audits because it analyzes every aspect of your site’s performance without looking at its content or design. It typically involves an in-depth check of your website’s programming and code.
The goal of a technical evaluation is to answer these three questions: Does your website function properly? Is it secure from hackers and malware? Are you doing everything you can to ensure that it loads as fast as possible?
To find the answers, you need to use different tools that will scan all your site’s pages and analyze its code. You can do it yourself with the help of an online platform such as SE Ranking. Here are just some of the issues that might be discovered during a technical review:
- Broken links – When a website’s visitor clicks on a link but it does not lead them to the page they were searching for
- Outdated plugins – If your site uses old or unnecessary plugins that cause problems on some of the browsers that people use, you need to update them. Otherwise, you risk losing customers and ranking positions.
- Security threats – If your site is using outdated versions of scripts like Flash, it is exposing itself to potential security risks. Hackers are always trying to find ways into sites that have these types of vulnerabilities.
- Loading speed – When someone visits your website, they want it to load as quickly as possible. If it does not, you risk them leaving and going to a competitor’s site where they can obtain the information or products that they are looking for more easily, etc.
Technical SEO Audit Checklist
Local SEO audit
A local SEO audit is a comprehensive analysis of the most important aspects that make up your local search strategy. Imagine how difficult it is to know which SEO strategies to use to beat your local competition if you do not know who they are and where your website is in relation to them.
SEO content audit
An SEO content audit tries to evaluate the existing content on your website to determine how you can get more and better organic traffic for each page. The goal of content auditing is to identify which pages to keep, which to optimize, and which to discard.
Link auditing involves checking your backlinks and the disavowal of toxic ones. An audit of your link profile might also be required if you notice that your website ranking is suffering or if Google has sent out a message about unnatural links pointing to your domain. In most cases, a link audit involves disavowing bad links and putting more emphasis on new links.
Start with a technical SEO audit
Now let’s focus on a technical SEO audit which includes such issues as slow page speeds, duplicate content, broken links, or anything else that may be preventing your website from being properly crawled and indexed by a search bot.
Carrying out technical audits periodically is important because, even if you think that your site works perfectly, it is always necessary to perform an analysis of your website to know if anything critical pops up.
For example, if you have added new pages, done website redesign and so on, there is a chance that some technical issues may appear which may affect your rankings in the SERP. But if you perform a regular audit, you ensure your website is safe so that you can focus on content and backlinks which directly affect rankings.
How to perform a website audit with SE Ranking?
There are many different ways to check the technical optimization of your site, but one popular method is to use an automated SE Ranking’s site audit to identify issues and find ways to fix them.
Let’s take a deeper look at the performance of a technical SEO audit based on SE Ranking:
In order to get the necessary data about the website’s technical SEO health, you need to crawl it. Crawling your website allows you to see what search engine crawlers see when they visit your pages. In addition, crawling helps you identify any possible errors that may be preventing your pages from being indexed and ranked by search engines.
So, the first step you should take is to launch a website audit with the help of either the vertical navigation bar on the left-hand side, or the table on the main dashboard. SE Ranking gives you the possibility to restart the audit at any time you want.
While the website audit is running, you can track its scanning process, namely how long the procedure has been going for.
The scanning process depends on how many pages your website has, and if there are less than 1000 pages, the audit will not go for more than a couple of minutes. It will be a different situation if the website is rather large, in which case, the process will take more time, but you do not have to wait since SE Ranking will let you know about the completion via email.
Email about completion of a website audit
Upon the completion of the technical SEO audit, you can see the overview as the upper tab. It gives you general information about the website’s technical SEO health.
At the top of the overview page, you will find the number of pages crawled on the site as well as the URLs that were found.
Moreover, you can compare the URL’s dynamics to the previous audit. To the right is the assessment of the site’s general technical health based on the number of issues and their level of severity. Thus, critical issues reduce the health score of websites much more in comparison with non-critical ones. In addition, you get a health score which will allow you to make conclusions about how good or bad the result is.
Then, the information on core web vitals can be found, such as:
- LCP — measures the main content loading speed
- FID — measures the period between the click of a user and the response from the website
- CLS — measures visual stability during page loading
By analyzing the results, you can see which metrics have poor or great performance levels, and which ones need some improvements. All of the data is displayed for both desktop and mobile versions.
Scrolling down, you will notice the top 5 issues according to the level of importance and the number of found errors. The upper issue is to be considered as the most critical one and the first to be solved. After clicking on the view button, you will get more detailed information about each one.
Moving to the right, you will find the issues divided into categories, indicating how many notices, warnings, and errors each of them has. If you click on the category, you will be redirected to the full report. Categories that have no errors will show a green bar.
Domain metrics, which are placed below, include domain expiration, backlinks, referring domains, etc. Domain expiration indicates the date before which the domain needs to be renewed in order for the site to remain operational.
Moreover, you can find the number of backlinks and referring domains your website has. SE Ranking gives your site a domain trust score based on an analysis of their quantity and quality. The Alexa Rank is also here, which is a measure of website popularity, and information about how many pages were indexed by Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
There is also the page indexation, which displays the percentage of crawled pages that have not been indexed and the main issues that have blocked them, including robots.txt, meta tag, etc.
In addition, we have the page distribution by HTTP server response codes to the right.
The most common are :
- 2xx — successful request
- 3xx — redirection
- 4xx — client error
- 5xx — server error
Further from this chart, there is the classification of crawled pages according to the number of clicks it requires in order to get the right page. The next column chart is based on the amount of time it requires for a server to respond to your request on the website. The number of redirects from the crawled page to the target URL is shown to the left.
The stacked bar chart provides us with information about pages that are partially or completely excluded from internal linking. They are dead-end or orphan pages and probably won’t get indexed.
Finally, at the bottom of the overview page, there is the distribution of the given links across attribute values such as external, or internal dofollows and nofollows. Here, you can also find the classification of all pages across robots meta tags.
You can click on almost every element on this page to get more detailed information about each one, or just go to the issue report page and find it yourself.
Clicking on the issue report button will give us information on the website’s technical SEO health and the issues it has. It is broken down into 18 categories such as website security, duplicate content, crawling, loading speed, etc.
When the issue has a green mark, it means that there are no errors. A blue exclamation mark indicates that an issue needs your attention, but it does not always indicate that there are errors. A yellow triangle with an exclamation mark is another sign to pay attention to, as it expresses warning. Finally, a red cross icon warns you about a critical problem which must be solved immediately if you want your site to function properly.
What’s more, the tool not only indicates issues, it provides you with information about what exactly must be fixed. By clicking on the name of the issue, you are provided with its description and ways to fix it.
All issues have four columns that give you additional information related to them. For example, there is a Pages column that indicates the number of pages where a certain issue has been found. The Fixed column shows previously detected problems that have already been solved, while issues that have just appeared are shown in a New column.
To get the exact pages from the categories, click on the number of found issues in a row and you will get a complete list of URLs with detailed information on each page. All the data you receive can be exported in an xls or csv file.
Moreover, SE Ranking allows you to categorize issues into tabs such as all, errors, warnings, notices, and passed checks so that it is easier and more convenient for you to navigate.
SE Ranking has another option that can simplify your audit- you can compare your current results with the previous ones if you have already carried out a website audit. Green and red arrows will help you understand if a website’s performance has improved or vice versa.
As has already been mentioned, you can download your audit report in a pdf file by clicking the download report button in the upper right corner. Near the download report button, you can find the email button which you can use to send the audit report to someone.
Under the Issue Report tab, you can find the Crawled Pages tab, which presents a separate report for each page on the site, providing a whole list of issues. After clicking on the number of issues, all of the issues will be revealed to you and you can fix them
What is more, you are provided with additional key parameters of each page, for instance, URL protocol, status code, the presence of sitemap robots, meta tags, titles, headers, loading speed, etc. You can choose the needed issue type or pages by using the filter.
There are almost 50 parameters available for analysis which you can select from the Columns which are disposed over the table. Moreover, to make the process of analyzing even more convenient, you are able to filter pages by your chosen parameters.
In addition, this page as well as the previous one offers you tabs which classify all the pages into ones with errors, warnings, or notices.
You also have the possibility to switch the mode and view the results by directories. It enables you to analyze different language versions of the site.
For every type of source, you can check the status code, namely a server response code, its size, and loading speed. You are able to filter the existing pages according to your needs, as well as use the tabs over the table to opt for the required type of sources.
The tab below Found Resources is called Found Links, which presents the information on the analysis of external and internal links of the site. By looking through the key parameters offered here, you can find out the links’ status code, anchor text and type, and whether they are dofollows.
If some parameters are not necessary, you can remove their marks from the selection and use filters to make the process even easier. This page also enables you to download a report on links in an xls or csv file, or send it to someone if it is required.
Under the Crawl Comparison section, you can compare two audits that you have already done before. You just need to choose two dates, which are needed for the analysis, and the system will do everything for you.
By doing so, you will obtain a complete picture of the situation, for instance, which parameters have improved, and which ones have got worse so that you can fix them. Upon completion, the website audit can be restarted at any time, and you will still be able to compare the result with previous ones to make conclusions about what issues need to be worked on.
How often should you do the website audit?
There are several factors that go into determining how often you should audit your website. The most important one is how large and complex your website is. If you have a lot of pages or a lot of custom coding, then you will need to get audited more often than someone who has a smaller site. In this case, you should run an audit once a week.
You also need to take into account how frequently your content is updated. If you are making changes to pages/posts rather frequently, you will need to have your site audited more often. It could be once a week. On the other hand, if you are not doing much work on your site, then frequent auditing is not really necessary. You could do it once a month.
If you have a website migration or redesign, you need to run an audit before and immediately after.
Keep in mind that your website is one of the keys to being successful on the internet, so it is important that you carry out regular audits to make sure that everything is in order. At the same time, as your website grows, it is necessary to add or remove content, redesign your website, and change its structure. For this reason, website SEO audits should be carried out regularly, at least once a month. This will allow you to troubleshoot critical issues as soon as they arise.