Technical SEO Audit

A technical SEO audit is always my recommended first step when taking on a new SEO project. It enables both myself and the customer to identify any on-site or off-site issues which are preventing the site rising to the top of Google's search rankings. Armed with this knowledge, a plan will be produced on how to address them.

SEO Audit Purpose

The overriding purpose of an SEO audit is to improve a site's rankings in Google and other search engines. The audit analyses multiple aspects of your website and helps you understand which aspects of your site are working well and which need improving. It covers structural and content components affecting your SEO visibility.

The SEO audit can be general or focused on a particular area of concern. For example, you may be experiencing problems with speed, indexability or low click through rates. The results of the audit will allow you to identify any issues and work to resolve them.

What does the SEO audit include?

For your SEO audit, I'll perform the following:

  • Technical analysis
  • On-Page analysis
  • Off-Page analysis
  • Competitive analysis and keyword research

There are over 200 individual items to look at, all of which in some way or another will affect your search ranking if not addressed correctly. The audit is extremely comprehensive and ensures that no stone is left unturned.

Technical Analysis

The first part of the audit consists of checking your site for accessibility and indexability issues.

Accessibility ensures that the site can be accessed by both humans and the Google crawlers. When I'm looking at the accessibility of your site, I'll check such things as your robots.txt file, your sitemap, meta tags and redirects. I'll also test your site for mobile friendliness and response times amongst other things.

Indexability ensures that the site can be indexed with the major search engines. As part of the process, any Google penalties will be identified and a plan of action proposed.

On-Page analysis

For the next part of the SEO audit I look at on-page elements. Here I identify both general content issues and page specific issues. This includes the likes of HTML improvements, URL structure, title tags and H1/H2 tags. Google favours websites that have a good site architecture and are structured and categorised correctly.

If your site has pages with thin content then they will be flagged up too as Google likes content heavy pages. Duplicate content related issues are examined and your site will be checked for broken links to ensure your search ranking is not negatively affected by them.

Furthermore, as part of the on-page analysis in the SEO audit, I also look at your structured data to see if you're taking advantage of rich snippets in the search engine results.

Off-Page Analysis

Simply put, off-page analysis evaluates your incoming links and identifies toxic links.

In this part of the audit, I analyse your link profile and make sure that it’s not adversely affecting your SEO strategy. I check for link relevancy, diversity and authority, and examine the anchor text that is used to link to your site.

I’ll inspect whether the links back to your website are primarily from trustworthy, reputable websites. A number of industry sources are used for this purpose.

If you’ve bought backlinks from unscrupulous dealers then it may well be that they are on sites that you don’t want your brand to be associated with. Alternatively, they may be low quality, spammy links that are doing damage to your site. Any Freelance SEO Consultant worth their salt will tell you this.

Competitor Analysis

The final part of the SEO audit looks at what your top competitors are doing for SEO and how your SEO activities compare to theirs. It helps you to learn about your competition and how to stay ahead of them.

Here I look at your competitor’s domain rating, which shows how strong their domain is, and how solid their backlink profile is. I also determine the number of referring domains (a high number of referring domains can also indicate a strong site—provided that those links aren’t low‐quality).

The final part of the audit, and potentially the most important, identifies the organic traffic and keywords that your competitor’s site is achieving in organic search. Going forward, the more lucrative keywords are identified and targeted by yourself as part of your ongoing SEO strategy.

Final Steps

The completed SEO audit will provide you with real, actionable insights that you can either implement yourself or work with an SEO consultant to do so for you. After you’ve received the audit, we’ll put together a plan to determine the way forward for your SEO strategy based on the recommendations made.

If you'd like me to conduct a technical SEO audit or you'd like to discuss things further, then please get in touch.