How to Check Your Website’s Health with an SEO Audit
Every website from time to time, new or old, needs to complete a comprehensive SEO audit. An SEO audit can unveil major flaws in your website’s design or content that could be drawing a penalty from Google and where improvements can be made to capitalize on search engine rankings.
Conducting periodic SEO audits on your website can help you avoid being handed out penalties and also help you avoid them before the next search engine algorithm update comes out. Besides the SEO aspect, this audit can show you what pages are providing a poor user experience and why you aren’t receiving the results you want.
Here are just a few things you should take a look at during your SEO audit:
- Website Crawl: You need to be able to see how search engines view your website, and a good crawl tool can do just that. Crawling your entire website will unveil the total number of pages you have, broken links, url structures and much more.
- Meta Data: Title tags, meta keywords and meta descriptions is just the beginning to proper SEO practices. Ensuring each page is properly optimized around keywords and phrases and there are no duplicates is a step in the right direction.
- Duplicate Content: Unique content is a cornerstone to SEO. Having the same content on multiple pages of your website or “borrowing” content from other websites will quickly earn your website a Google penalty. You must keep content unique and fresh.
- Broken Links: Link structure and broken links play a large role in SEO and if not properly managed can not only provide a poor user experience but also hurt your SEO.
- Backlinks: Seeing and understanding how other websites are linking to your website is one of the most important aspects to SEO. When looking at your “link portfolio” you must watch out for unrelated links, link exchanges, hidden links and paid links. If you have too many of the aforementioned, you could be paying a heavy price in the name of another Google penalty.
- Site Performance: Your website’s visitors have a limited attention span. If it takes too long to load, they will leave. Search engine crawlers also can only spend so much time indexing a website, and if your website takes too long it will skip your website and it won’t be fully indexed. Faster performing websites simply provide a better experience for everyone.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO audits, as a proper audit should extend off of your website and including your social networks, local search presence, paid advertising and mobile optimization.