SEO Audit of your Website with these Simple Steps
If you want to undertake a journey, you first need to know where you’re starting from. This nugget of clichéd wisdom applies just as much to your SEO. That’s why amidst the wide range of SEO services that the digital world has to offer, an SEO audit is one of the most fundamental.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, search engine optimisation is a complex skill. But understanding the basics of a simple SEO audit is something that’s possible for anyone with an internet connection, a bit of time, and a simple guide. We’re here to offer that last bit. To make it as accessible as possible, we’re working on the assumption that you don’t currently have analytics built into your website, or if you do, you’re not confident enough to use them.
This is by no means an exhaustive guide to undertaking an SEO audit. If you want to dive deeper you need either a professional eye, or the time to train your eyes to be more professional. What we’re presenting is a simple starting point and essential tools to help you understand a little more about optimisation techniques, and how to assess what your current website has going for it.
Explore your site structure
Site structure is the foundation of your website. In SEO terms it’s like laying out the blueprints for a transport network that provides a seamless journey for traffic. What’s the simplest way to explore that structure? Talk to the frog.
Screaming Frog is a powerful site crawler tool that provides detailed insight into the structure of your website, and it’s free to use up to a certain point. This software can help you identify broken URLs, bad website redirects, and a whole lot more helpful SEO analysis about how your site operates. The depth of insight on Screaming Frog really depends on how confident you are using it and how much you want to get out of it, but on the most basic level it’s a powerful and simple tool to assess your site structure.
Check your links
Inbound links are widely seen as a positive factor for SEO. That means external sites posting links that direct traffic back to your own website. It’s equivalent to a big thumbs up from fellows in the online space that search engines like to see.
It’s important to check and manage those links, not just to see how and why you’re gaining backlinks, but also to make sure the ones you’re earning generally look to be high quality.
Open Site Explorer by Moz is a superb tool for undertaking this research. Not only does it summarise the links that you’re receiving, it also helps assess and ascribe a ‘spam score’ which can help you understand the value of the sites you’re receiving those links from. It’s free to use at a basic level, with a payment to access full functionality.
Majestic backlink checker offers another alternative, providing a detailed analysis of backlinks and linking history that can help provide a great in-depth overview of both current and historical inbound links.
Make sure you’re mobile friendly
If you have a website, it has to work well on mobile. This isn’t even a question in today’s digital environment. If your website is not mobile friendly, your website is not fit for purpose.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is a simple, foolproof way of quickly assessing whether your website is mobile friendly. Simple open up the tool, input your website address, and you’re off.
Assess your site speed
Site speed is increasingly important as a positive SEO ranking factor. This is especially true for mobile sites. Luckily, Google offers a tool to help.
PageSpeed Insights is a superbly user-friendly and immensely helpful tool for checking page speed. It not only offers insight as to how your speed ranks in Google’s eyes, it also presents a handy list of factors which might be holding you back. Not all of those ranking factors are something an amateur could pick up and fix, but it offers an invaluable insight into how things currently look.
Analyse on-page elements
On-page SEO is the frontline of search engine optimisation, including everything from the text on the page to the title that the page is given. There are multiple factors involved in good on-page SEO, and they’re important because in many ways these are the most obvious to the audience at large. That means they can also be a major factor in ensuring your website offers a good impression and a good user experience for your audience.
SEO SiteCheckup is a simple web-based tool which can provide a very general overview of your on-page SEO. It provides insight into how things like your meta-title and meta-description are displayed, as well as summarising some basic elements of search engine optimisation that could be improved.
Screaming Frog once again offers a powerful tool for on-page analysis. It reveals a breakdown of your webpages along with their titles, descriptions and a variety of other elements, making it easy to reference in detail the different parts of your website.
What’s next for your SEO audit?
This simple guide should give you a good starting point in understanding how optimised your website might be. This can be a fantastic catalyst for exploring what the next steps might be to improving your SEO.
Some of those steps you can take on your own, and we’d encourage any business to look at what actions they could undertake to simply and quickly improve their presence on the web. Ultimately a better web presence means better returns for your business.
Of course not everyone is comfortable undertaking those steps on their own. Thankfully in those cases, there are professional SEO experts ready and willing to help. At Content Nation we’re happy to undertake a free and simple SEO audit for potential clients, looking at how we can employ our expertise to help build a more valuable online presence for your brand.
The first step to better SEO is understanding where you’re starting from. When the price of that understanding is free, it’s really quite hard to see the downside.