A website audit is the foremost step to start a successful SEO campaign. A proper website audit will tell us on which areas the website is falling short with respect to SEO. And many of us skip this step thinking this analysis may take time and proceed with the conventional steps for the SEO which should not be the case because it is the website audit which will tell us on which areas the website is missing out. Hence a website audit is a must to start off with any website makeover. Here are the steps which one should follow for a quick website audit.
Check the tags
The title tag should be present for every page and it should be unique so that it can let the search engines know what the respective page is about. It should be within 70 characters including spaces. The meta tag or meta description describes the page briefly for the target audience and it should be within 150-165 characters including spaces as the search engines probably display the first 140-150 characters. Then check for <h1>tag or h1 heading as each page should have one <h1>tag. H1 heading should be an important phrase or line on webpage telling the search engines more about the webpage. And the last tag to look in is the image description also known as the alt text. All the images should have alt text or image description as that would help the search engine read the images. Finally the most important point here is all the tags i.e., title tag, meta tag, <h1> tag and image description should have the targeted keyword.
We have to make sure that websites with or without www should direct to one URL otherwise the search engine will see it as a duplicate website having duplicate content which is not good for SEO. Similarly the website IP should direct to the website’s domain name to avoid duplicity.
Check for robots.txt
Robots.txt should be present for every website. Robots.txt files allows us to restrict the desired section from the search engine robots. Preferably we should not restrict any specific area and let the robots crawl the entire website which is good for SEO.
Check for Site Map
A sitemap is very essential for the search engine robots to index the pages of the website. A sitemap consists of URLs which are available in the website and it helps robots to crawl the website in a proper manner. So a XML sitemap should be present.
Check for flash and frames
Flash is not SEO friendly because search engine robots can’t crawl the sites with flash. Same goes for the frames as search engine robots can’t crawl or index the content with in them. It is always recommended that the flash sites should be reconfigured to HTML.
Check for domain registration
Age of domain is very important factor for the Google search engine. The older the website is or if the website’s domain is registered in advance for 5-6 years , the more value the website gets from Google, though there are many other parameters but it’s a signal too. It is recommended that we register a domain for longer period.
Check for 404 error page
A custom 404 error page should be present for every website.
Check for page load time
Check for Dublin Core
Dublin Core is a set of standard metadata elements used to describe resources for the purpose of the discovery. Website should take advantage of Dublin Core for describing its own website’s content. We should provide the details of the website in http://geo-tag.de/generator/en.html and then put the generated code before closing the header part of HTML.
Check for microformats
A microformat is a technical semantic markup that can be used to structure the data submitted to search engines in a better way. So Microformats should be present for every website.
Check for url format
For SEO, a website should have a clean URL so that it can be easily understood. It should be descriptive without any jargons as descriptive URL is better recognized by search engines. A user should be able to look at the address bar and make an accurate guess about the content of the page before reaching it.
Keyword and its consistency
Before we start with the SEO we should do a research on the keywords of the respective page because based on the targeted keywords we have to make the changes. The targeted keyword should be consistent in title, meta description, H1 heading, image description, content, internal links anchor text and backlinks anchor text.
Content length and blog
Search Engines love content. We need to see whether the website is having quality content or not. It is recommended that each webpage should have atleast 350-500 words consisting the targeted keywords. A Regular update of content is appreciated by the search engine robots and hence starting up blog is a great idea to boost SEO as the content is updated on regular basis in blog.
Text/HTML ratio should be more than 15%. Hence if there is fair enough content in the website the search engines will rate the website good.
Check for the link structure
There should be no broken links in the website as that has negative impact on SEO. We should also check whether there is fair number of backlinks or not. Even the internal linking structure should be good.
Check for social signals
Social signals are important to check how your site is popular on top social media sites. The more engagement and share your site has, the better the SEO. Also your site must have schema.org structure and Facebook opengraph protocol.
Check for Responsive design
Check your site is mobile responsive or not. If your site has a meta view port tag, it’s better for SEO
Check for W3C validation
Though it is not directly related to SEO, but the less error you have, it’s the better. A clean code is always good.
Check for overall Site structure
Check for overall site structure, page level structure, page hierarchy, keyword cannibalism, content structure.
Check for strategic business representation, Competitors & Feature analysis
Check with competitors what features and business strategy they are using for digital marketing. Plan accordingly. Check for website’s call of action & design issues.
Check Google Analytics & Google webmaster central data
Get insights from Google analytics & Google webmaster central and take decisive action items.
Check website heatmap
Check website heatmap to know which sections are getting more attention and try to place the most important elements there.
You can use Woorank, Alexa, Backlinkwatch, Mozbar, SEOMoz Site explorer, Spyfu, SEMRush, Traffic Travis, Linkdex, Scribecontent.com, aboutus.org, Google analytics, Google webmaster central, SEOCentro & many other good Free SEO tools. After checking the above points, we will get an idea of the part or component the website is lacking and hence we can work accordingly to improve the performance of the website. For in depth website analysis contact us.