You have your website, your social media accounts, and you have even done some of your own keyword research. You are busy running your business but would also like to know how your website is performing. Are you getting any leads from your website? How often are people visiting your site and engaging with your content? These are questions that you should be able to answer, but how? Well, the short answer is you need to conduct an SEO audit.’
What is an SEO Audit?
First, SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is the practice of working on getting your website to rank as high as possible on the search engine results pages. Google, or any other search engine, compiles a set of criteria – an algorithm – that will rank websites according to how well they meet the criteria. SEO helps you understand how you can improve your website, meet the search engine’s criteria, and get your website to rank higher.
So, now that we know what SEO is, an SEO audit is the process of assessing how well a website is meeting the criteria and ranking on the search engine results page. An SEO audit is essential to your marketing and sales efforts. You need to know what works and what does not, and that is exactly what an SEO audit will tell you.
How Can I Conduct an SEO Audit?
The typical route for an SEO audit might be hiring someone to do it for you – like a marketing agency, perhaps. But, you might want to see if you can do this audit on your own – and the good news is that you can. Now, I’ll give you some really easy steps to follow, so you can have a thorough understanding of how your website is performing and how you can improve it.
Use a Website Crawler
The first step is to use a certain tool, a website crawler. There are many good crawlers out there, one of them being Screaming Frog. The website crawler will provide you with an inventory of information and data that you will need to understand how to optimize your website.
If you do not have it already, you should use Google Analytics and install it on the web pages you are interested in monitoring, or even better, install it on the whole site. Once you have the web pages of interest set up, make sure that all significant actions are set up as conversions – so this way you know what is productive on your website. You will also want to ensure that Google Analytics is properly set up for HTTP / HTTPS.
Google Search Console
Just like the work you just did with Google Analytics, you also need to make sure that everything is properly arranged with Google Search Console, which will ensure that you see the correct diagnostic data. Here are some basic boxes for you to check off:
- There is nothing odd or out of place on the Links tab
- The sitemaps tab has the current sitemap listed
- The number of indexed pages that you anticipate
- The correct URL and protocol are set up
The next step is to open up the website crawler tool that you are using. The tools may have some variability between them, but there should be a “Response Codes” tab. Once you begin looking at the codes, the goal is to see a bunch of successes. However, if your website has some issues, you might also see 404s and redirect codes. You can investigate and troubleshoot the issue by clicking on the particular column.
We are going to continue working with our website crawler tool. Look at an ‘overview tab.’ Once there, you can take a look at all of the elements that you are interested in, like non-ASCll characters and uppercase characters. The goal is to have a set of lowercase URLs that describe what your website is about and its content.
The next step is to review the different page titles on your website. So, step back into your crawling tool and look at the ‘page titles’ tab. By looking at the page titles tab, you can ensure that your page titles are all optimized. Page titles should be somewhere in the sweet spot of 35 to 65 characters and should also include a high-leverage keyword relevant to that particular page and its content.
Meta descriptions are very important to SEO. When ranking and listing your website, the search engine results page will use your meta description. On the search crawling website, look through your meta descriptions and make sure that they are optimized – meaning that relevant keywords and topics are included in a succinct, well-written sentence or two.
Site speed greatly impacts where your site is ranked and how enjoyable the user experience is. You can use two great tools to check site speed: Google Pagespeed Insights and Google Mobile Speed Test. Better yet, these tools are free to use. By using these tools in conjunction with each other, you can thoroughly understand your site speed and how to improve it.
An essential step in the SEO audit process is to ensure that there are no technical issues with your website. To conduct a technical SEO audit, all you need is your crawling tool and let it do the work for you!
Can I Just Use Ella?
Ella has many features – from task management to website analytics tracking and even to SEO audits. So, if all of this seemed way too involved and like way too much work, consider working with Ella Interactive. One of the many different uses of Ella Interactive is that it can conduct an SEO audit and help you improve your website. Whether you are a freelancer, small business, large business, agency, or corporation, Ella Interactive has a plan that can fit your particular needs!