An SEO website audit is one of the most powerful weapons in a marketer’s arsenal. But, for the uninitiated, an SEO Audit can also be an intimidating undertaking. There is a lot to understand, and plenty of pressure with your SERP success on the line. 

This blog eases that intimidation. We simplify and explain the first steps to perform your own audit – and help you start building your SEO Audit checklist. 

Why You Need an SEO Audit

If you’re new to the world of SEO website audits, it’s not always obvious what all the fuss is about. Like most eager companies, you’re tempted to just start diving into creating SEO-targeted content or reworking their content to maximize keywords.

But you have to look before you leap. Before plunging into content creation, you need to step back and conduct an audit. An SEO audit benefits your site and content planning by providing a clearer picture of where your website sits in the bigger search landscape, including how other websites are affecting your own. 

Not only can you discover gaps in your content, but it also allows you to find errors or techniques that can earn penalization from search engines. If these errors go unchecked, your search performance will suffer, no matter how much effort you put into new content generation.

The audit results allow you to understand your search engine ranking and understand what steps you need to take to improve.

For more information on SEO audit benefits read: Why an SEO Audit is Important For an Effective Search Strategy.

The SEO Audit Checklist

So now that we know that an SEO Audit is important – how do we go about setting one up? The process takes a bit of learning to understand the involved terms and their value. But it’s worth taking the time to learn, and the more in-depth the better. Here’s a starter’s guide to start you off. 

This list is your basic starter kit of what to check during an SEO website audit. It includes the core issues you must address first to avoid penalization and promote sustainable SEO growth. 

Technical SEO Errors

The first part of your SEO Audit Checklist should be errors. Before you can optimize, it’s important to take the time to polish up the mistakes that could be leading to negative SEO impacts. There is a wide range of potential technical errors out there, including: 

  • Fixing broken links
  • Addressing page speed issues 
  • Designing for mobile-friendliness 
  • Removing google penalization errors and blackhat SEO techniques

On-Page SEO

The smallest details can have huge implications when it comes to SEO. Headings, title tags, and meta descriptions that don’t adhere to Google standards can lower your site’s SEO rating. Going through your site with a fine-tooth comb and picking these out is a key step to any website audit. 

Backlinks and Authority 

Sometimes your site can seem SEO perfect and still suffer the ire of Google’s judgment. Why is this? It’s important to understand that no website is an island. Your site is just as influenced by what it connects to as what is on it.

Some of these connections, like outbound links, are ones you make yourself and are fairly easy to address. You can solve these issues through your site’s backend. A good outbound link is not only relevant, and linking to a site Google recognizes as having high “authority” rankings. Authority signifies trust, so when you link to a high authority site you increase your own legitimacy to search engines. A low authority link, however, can decrease your legitimacy and thus hamper your SERP performance. As such, you should think carefully about who you link to.

Don’t forget, links are a two-way street. While your outbound links affect your SEO results, inbound links can have an even greater impact. Your website may be suffering on the SEO front due to disreputable sites linking to you, such as link farms, and you aren’t even aware of it. Despite being somewhat of a hidden issue, this can have significant implications for your SEO performance.

Search Market

We mentioned earlier that a good SEO site audit should serve to give you a bigger picture. This means that you should always leave room in your audit to look beyond your one site and capture a bigger picture of your market and competition. 

This involves doing your best to find out where your product sits in terms of keywords and searches, and what slice of that pie is most appropriate to chase.

Pedestal SEO Audits

Does this sound like a lot of work already? And that’s just the start of the SEO Audit checklist. Keeping on the advanced edge of the changing SEO marketplace is a full-time job. And with 15 years of experience in helping businesses reach their full digital marketing potential, it’s a job that Pedestal understands extremely well. 

Contact Pedestal today to learn more about how our professional SEO Auditing services can redefine your SEO strategy and results.