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Agency owners come across a wide range of SEO issues from the clients every day. Some of these issues have easy fixes, whereas a few others may require a fair bit of time to diagnose.
The range of SEO issues that agencies stumble upon has increased manifolds. That’s why an SEO expert has to keep a tab on the latest troubleshooting techniques. An SEO expert can become outdated if he ignores the advancements made in the field, and these upgradations happen every day.
If your agency focuses on providing holistic SEO services to clients, it’s imperative that you have a predefined SEO analysis process. This will help you to identify the issues that are dragging the growth of your clients.
However, doing a sitewide SEO audit is something that SEOs usually consider as a time-consuming task. While doing SEO audit for a small or medium size website may take a few hours, the audit for a large website with thousands of pages may take a day or two depending upon the strategy implemented.
If your SEO agency is spending too much time trying to do the SEO audit for your client’s website, this resource is intended to help you out. It has to be noted that the steps you are about to learn has nothing to do with technical SEO. Thanks to a handful of SEO audit tools that are out there to help you out with this.
What you are going to learn through this resource is an in depth strategy to do a comprehensive SEO audit report of websites that will address the important aspects of SEO including keyword rankings, backlink profile, content gap, anchor text, meta tags, internal links, targeted keywords, loading time etc.
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Result-Oriented SEO Audit That Saves Time
Unlike the laid-back approach that is proposed by a few SEOs, we understand the importance of time and how important it is for you as an agency to deliver results quickly. That is why we want you to identify the core issues first. Here is the list of things that you must check:
2-5 Minutes – Ensure there is ZERO Duplication
One of the most common but serious issues that you come across sites is the content duplication issue. However, there is another important duplication factor you have to check right in the initial stage. Ensure that only one version of the site is indexable for Google. You can check this easily and manually in a matter of two minutes.
Ensure that only one version of the website is accessible through your browser. If you find two or more versions of the domain opening, consider doing a 301 redirect of those to the version you want Google to index.
(Intermediate Task: Put the site on an auto crawler like Screaming Frog to ensure that by the end of the manual audit, you have a detailed report of the technical SEO issues within site.)
6-10 Minutes – Check for Google Indexation Issues
Ensure that the website you are optimizing has been indexed on Google. The best way to do this is to get the Search Console details from the client and check the Index Status. If not, the simplest way to check any site online is to do a simple Google Search.
Check the number of pages indexed in Google, and if you find a site with no pages indexed, this is an indication that the website is yet to get featured on Google. The common issues that cause Google crawlers to skip websites are either because of a predefined noindex attribute or because of the rogue x‑robots-tag HTTP header.
11-13 Minutes – Rank for Brand Search
If you are dealing with a relatively new website, ensure that the site is ranking for the brand search query. There is a chance that some sites may not rank for the brand name. This commonly happens for sites that have generic brand names.
If you come across such websites that don’t rank for brand keywords, ensure that strong signals are passing to help Google rank for brand keywords. As an SEO agency, you must ensure:
- Build strong brand backlinks, by doing activities such as PR campaigns and citations
- You also have to add Google My Business listing with all correct NAP details
- Add the same details to social media accounts
14-20 Minutes – On-page Audit
On-page SEO factors such as Meta Title, Description, H1, H2 tags are critical. Even though Google has confirmed that the meta description is not a ranking factor, all the other elements are critical.
If you are an agency owner, ensure that these factors are present on the client’s website and are properly optimized. If you have a small website, this process can be done within a few minutes manually by using the Moz Bar or SEO Quake.
However, for websites with more than ten pages we recommend using tools such as Screaming Frog or Ahrefs to scan the pages for possible errors.
20-30 Minutes – Check Content Duplication and Thin Content
Google has an aversion towards duplicate content. With the Panda algorithm update now being part of the real-time algorithm, any website that has duplicate content on it will not rank on Google. In addition to this it can call for a manual action top.
As an agency owner, if you are a small website at hand, finding duplicate content is far more easier. All you have to do is to use a tool like CopyScape or Grammarly. But if you are dealing with bigger websites, use the tool SiteLiner.
When it comes to checking thin content, DeepCrawl or Screaming Frog is the best tool you can use.
31-40 Minutes – Check Site Speed
Google has been pushing for a faster web. The speed of a website is one of the important SEO ranking factors for Google as it wants the users to get a seamless browsing experience.
Even if you get all the on-page and off-page factors corrected, if the website that you are dealing with is slow to load, the chances are that the site may not rank on Google despite the highest quality SEO optimization you do.
Several tools will help you to identify if the website is fast enough. The best tool comes from the house of Google itself – Google Pagespeed Insights. This tool takes its data in real-time from the Chrome Lightbox project and gives a good detailing of the nuances that are slowing down the website.
You can also use tools like Pingdom and GTMetrix to check the speed of a specific page.
The new Search Console has a unique feature added that takes the page speed data from the chrome user experience project. This data gets updated based on the real-time experience of the users visiting the site.
One of the advantages of the Speed Enhancement tool is that you can check the overall speed performance of all the pages on a website – both mobile and desktop.
41-50 – Analyze the Backlink Profile
Even though there has been a lot of push for quality content to rank on Google, the concept of backlinks is still valid. What makes Google stand out from the rest of the search engines is the way it identifies the backlink profile of a website before ranking.
As an SEO expert, you have to check the linking profile of the website that you are optimizing. There is a high chance that an earlier agency may have created spammy backlinks that has to be immediately disavowed.
The best tool currently available in the industry to check the backlink profile of a website is Ahrefs. The tool can identify the new and lost backlinks and broken links in addition to the one that passes little to no link juice.
50 – 60 Minutes: Check Structured Data Implementation
Google has been pushing websites to implement structured data or schema markups as this makes it easy for the Googlebot to understand the pages better. The details provided through the structured data helps Google to create featured snippets and knowledge graph based on the search query.
However, the websites that seek your SEO assistance may not have implemented the featured snippets properly. Thankfully, Google has offered webmasters the Structured Data Testing tool to check whether the implementation is right.
Any error within the structured data of a website pulls it back from showing up in the SERP features such as reviews, price, etc. Using this cool tool from Kalicube you can ensure that the structured data is error free.