Search engine optimization helps your website to rank better on Google. It is free to use, and the most significant benefit is that it secures organic traffic for your website. On another note, SEO requires time, energy, and effort. Furthermore, it does not give overnight results. On top of everything, SEO constantly changes, which means you will have to perform a complete SEO audit of your website from time to time. This article aims to help you understand when to perform a full audit and how to do it efficiently. Let us begin.
When should you perform a complete SEO audit of your website?
A complete SEO audit is not something you will often do. The best practice is to do it once every six months. However, it would be best if you also did smaller SEO audits in between. A complete audit will require a lot of different SEO segments you will need to review and change. This is especially important after a Google algorithm update. These changes in SEO will hurt your website’s rating if you don’t address them.
Understand your current status and your goals
Before making any changes, you need to set a clear benchmark. An audit should improve your ranking. To measure the audit’s success, you need clear, reachable goals. For example, you might want to increase your organic traffic by 10% during the first month after the audit. Or, you want to improve the conversion rate by 15% during the first two months after the audit.
To make improvements, you must also consider what your competitors are doing. You are both communicating with the same group of customers. Whoever does SEO more thoroughly will have an edge. You should keep track of the main keywords that lead to competitor websites and analyze their marketing campaigns to understand what they are trying to achieve.
Make sure there are no duplicate indexed versions of your website
Let us look at these two fake URLs as an example:
Even though this looks like the same website, it represents two different versions of the same website. You only need a single version of your website to achieve the best results. Type “site:website-name.com” and check the results. You are good if all of the links redirect to the version you use. However, if they take you to different indexed versions, you must do a 301 redirect. This way, you will lead all the users to the same version of your website.
Switch to HTTPS protocol
If you didn’t do this already, upgrading your website from HTTP to HTTPS is imperative. This protocol protects the flow of information between your website and the server by encrypting everything. HTTPS is a sign for customers that your website is safe for use. However, Google will also be more likely to promote websites with an HTTPS protocol.
Check for penalties from Google
There are two types of penalties your website can receive:
- algorithm penalty;
- manual penalty;
If you receive a manual penalty, that can lead to a complete deindexing of your website. Someone who works for Google inspected your website, and they found an issue. You can check for manual penalties in the “Security and Manual Actions” tab within the Search Console. Whatever the problem is, try to resolve it immediately.
Analyze site loading speed
Site speed is a touchy subject. Even a few more seconds of delay will substantially affect your customers’ patience. For example, a page that loads 10 seconds longer than the average loading speed(2 to 3 seconds) increases the bounce rate by over 100%. That is why Google values fast loading speed, and they made several changes in the past to promote websites that don’t have loading issues. If you notice loading issues, you need to fix them immediately. Check your backend code to see if any scripts slow the website. Also, optimize images and reduce the number of widgets, banners, and other dynamic elements of your website.
Revisit mobile optimization
All websites today need to be optimized for mobile. Because the number of users that use mobile phones to browse the internet went up, Google first checks if your website has a mobile version. If not, it will rank it poorly and promote other websites. Make sure your website functions without any issues on a mobile device and follows all the latest trends for mobile websites. If you are a beginner at SEO, this is a good tip you should follow.
Do on-page SEO
On-page SEO includes auditing all of the SEO elements on your website. This includes keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, image attributes, internal links, etc. This is a more technical side of the audit, but it is necessary.
To continue the previous step, you also need to do off-page SEO. This includes fixing broken links, updating company information on public directories, monitoring customer reviews, social media comments, and citations. This is a lot of work, so consider using free SEO tools to make the process easier. They are built in a way to help you achieve the best results.
Audit site content
When we talk about how to perform a complete SEO audit of your website, that also includes auditing the content on the site. The first step is to look for duplicate content. Second, locate pages with thin content, meaning pages that don’t affect the ranking. You need to improve them and give them more substance, which is also a ranking factor. Furthermore, ensure you align the content with your website’s niche and that you cover the hottest topics.
Take your time when doing a full SEO audit
As you can see, there are many different things to check if you wish to perform a complete SEO audit of your website. The most important thing is not to rush through the process. Take your time and make sure all of the steps are complete. After you are done, monitor your website’s performance to verify whether the audit was successful or not. Furthermore, do not forget to do smaller audit updates more frequently. Best of luck!
Author bio: Jonah Page is an SEO expert and a professional content creator for moversdev.com. Through his articles, Jonah is addressing the most important SEO topics and educates business owners on search engine optimization.