To help all the new webmasters out there, we have come up with a quick site audit guide so that you can swiftly, but efficiently perform a site audit for your website.
This quick site audit guide involves the use of some of the best tools for SEO Audit with varying functions, and you are free to use the same tools if you can. But if you have your preference for tools, you may also use them instead.
For This Quick Site Audit, We Will Do the Following:
- Crawl your Website
- Check for Issues in Crawlability and Indexing
- Check Redirect Mistakes
- Fix errors on HTML and CSS markup
- Fix links and URLs
- Review Tags
- Observe Content Optimization
Without Further Ado, Here Is Our SEO Site Audit Guide for New Webmasters:
1.Crawl Your Website
The first thing you have to do is to crawl your site. Just input your website’s URL into your desired SEO crawling tool.
The crawling process is hugely dependent on the size of your website, so this might take a few to a couple of minutes.
2. Check for Issues in Crawlability and Indexing
After having crawled your website, the next thing to do is to check for problems that have affected the crawling process or your site’s crawlability. The common issues affecting crawlability are errors on robots.txt and HTTP response code and poor maintenance on sitemaps.
Here are what you can do to address your site’s crawlability:
There are lots of reasons why a page would be blocked from indexing. Some reasons are if a page has a noindex tag, or if the robots.txt file is blocking an individual page.
To address this issue, use your auditing tool to see the instructions on your robots.txt. Check whether important pages are blocked and if there are, enable indexing by adding an allow rule.
- HTTP response code
Errors on HTTP response code can cause a lot of indexing errors but are easy to detect. You can use your auditing tool and check for crawl errors. Alternatively, go to Crawl, and then Crawl Errors in your Google Search Console.
Afterward, you can correct the errors by fixing internal links, or by coming up with 301 redirect links. Also, ensure that you have a 404 page, so that will link users back to relevant pages on your website.
- Have Google or other Search engines to re-crawl your page
After applying the fixes, ask Google and other search engines to crawl your site again. This is to check whether there are still errors that need to be addressed.
To ask Google to re-crawl your page, to the Crawl, and then Fetch as Google, and then enter the URL of a page you have corrected, then press Fetch.
3. Check Redirect Mistakes
Some websites are not able to correctly redirect visitors to another page after transferring pages, or if they changed URL.
Here are some of the most common redirect mistakes that should be avoided:
- Temporary Redirects
Temporary redirects or 302 redirects are for redirecting visitors to a particular page that will return after a short while. Temporary redirects are great when you are testing a new page. But if you decide that the page will permanently be removed, use a 301 redirect.
- Meta Refresh
Meta refresh is caused by codes inserted into a page’s metadata which automatically redirects visitors. When a site redirects users to unrelated content, they will most likely be penalized by search engines.
- Rel=”CANONICAL” Issues
Canonical URLs determine which the initial page is when you duplicate contents on different pages. Check your rel=”canonical” pages under the Redirects tab of your site auditor because there should only be one canonical URL per page.
4. Fix Errors on HTML and CSS Markup.
Errors in coding pose a lot of issues. You will need to perform site audits to determine coding errors so that you can correct them. You need to know the SEO hacks using which you can easily audit any website . Otherwise, your users will experience slowness, interruptions, or both.
5. Fix Links and URLs
Use your site auditing tool to look for broken links, especially backlinks, and then set these. Fixing broken backlinks can be done by the webmaster that has linked to your site. Another way is by creating a 301 redirect that will lead a visitor to a relevant page.
When dealing with links and URLs, it is a good idea to take into consideration the following best practices:
- Outgoing Links Should not Reach 100.
Search engines might think that a page is a spam when 100 or more outbound links are coming from it. That is why it is best to keep outbound links below 100.
- Redirects Should be Limited.
Redirects are helpful but should not be used excessively. Instead of redirecting users, learn to change links instead so that users are sent to an individual page directly.
- Make URLs more User-Friendly.
URLs that are dynamically generated don’t show users what page they’re being linked to. That is why it is important for you to change dynamic URLs.
- Keep URLs Short
It is a good idea to keep URLs at the short-side. 35-40 characters would be great.
5. Review Your Tags
Reviewing your tags can do a lot of benefits for your site. As you review your tags, it is best that you align them with the following best practices:
- Optimize your Title and meta Tags
Your title and meta descriptions are some of the areas that most auditing tools will look into. Make sure that these two comply with the character count requirements.
- Remove Duplicate Title and Meta Descriptions
Having duplicate content will do a lot of harm to your rankings because these confuse search engines. Remove all duplicates and ensure uniqueness.
- Make Good Use of Header Tags
Header tags (H1 tags) should be used to highlight phrases that users would most likely be looking for. Subheader tags should also be used for secondary phrases. The proper use of headers and subheaders can help you target the right audience for specific pages.
6. Practice Content Optimization
Content optimization should ensure that your content is of the highest quality and that such content is unique, and adds value to your site. Now that content has become such an important ranking factor one must follow the content marketing trends, no second thoughts should be given in trying to optimize your site’s content.
In optimizing your content, you should consider the following:
- Addressing thin Content
It is not a good idea to have much thin content on any site. You must consider having at least 250 words per page. But aside from the world count alone, much thought should be given on the readability of the content.
- Removing Duplicate Content
Again, it will not serve you well to have duplicate content. You might end up without any of your pages in the ranking.
- Check for Broken Images
Checking for broken images is worth the time and effort. Additionally, putting alt tags on images should be seen as an opportunity for SEO.
- Perform This Quick Site Audit Regularly
This quick site audit guide can help you keep your site at its best. But to keep it that way, you must perform this quick site audit now and then. And when possible, you should also consider doing a thorough review on your site. This quick guide can be used by almost anyone with little to no experience with search engine optimization.
Keep your site at its peak condition with this quick site audit guide!