10 Factors to Consider Before Starting an SEO Audit

Written by Valerie Tkachenko

Updated on Jul 29, 2020
Category: Technical SEO

An SEO audit or search engine optimization audit is devised to extract information regarding the performance of a website on the organic search results page. A thorough audit can add value as well as provide insightful details that can help in the optimization of the site.

An organization can develop an action plan according to priority by analyzing the critical factors of an SEO audit. This will also help in improving the organic search results.

An SEO audit can be easily performed within an hour by following a simple 8-step procedure that has been discussed in a separate post.

Before proceeding with how to do an SEO audit, it is important for you to understand the 10 factors that need to be critically evaluated before conducting an SEO audit. They are as follows:

1. Thorough Research of Competitors

An SEO audit should be done after taking a good look and conducting a detailed research about the competition. You need to evaluate how the competitors are attracting organic traffic for different keywords.

A thorough competitive analysis needs to be done by finding out the competitor keywords, estimating the monthly search traffic, finding out the keywords on the first page, domain authority, inbound links, linking root domains, and estimating the value of search traffic.

The numbers can be compared side-by-side to find out the gaps between your website and that of the competitors. This will also help you in finding out the areas where you need to put in more effort.

This information can be availed easily with the help of Netpeak Spider, which can also conduct a detailed SEO audit report of your website.

2. Proper Crawling and Indexing

The process of crawling is how the website is read by Google, while indexing is the addition of web pages to Google’s search results. Both these components are the foundation for a successful SEO site audit.

To determine whether the website is being effectively crawled and indexed, you can turn to the Google Search Console. Have a look at robots.txt file to check which resources are being blocked by crawlers. The worst thing is when the whole website is being blocked from Google search. You can ensure a proper setup by checking the crawling and indexing of your website.

For example, you can easily check the crawling and indexing with Netpeak Spider. To get started, you should go to Setting → User-agent → and choose the right user agent we’d like to see data from:

 (image source: http://img.netpeaksoftware.com/fortis/1P9MUV3.png )

Then after crawling, open Reports tab → Overview → robots.txt, and you’ll get all URLs which are allowed in robots.txt. In that same place, you can see data regarding Meta Robots and X-Robots-tag:


(image source: http://img.netpeaksoftware.com/fortis/1P9OH0X.png )

3. Website Accessibility

While accessing a website, there are a number of things that can get in the way, such as slow webpage load speed, long server responses, 404 errors, and so on. These issues can be found easily in a technical SEO audit.

Just go to Google’s Page Speed Insights to check if there are accessibility issues on your website. Additionally, you can have a look at the Google Search Console to check for any 404 errors that require updated content. In case your site has accessibility issues, you can fix it using resources from Google or simply utilize the SEO services of an expert.

Another way how to check 4xx errors is to have a look at Netpeak Spider. After having your website crawled, go to the Reports tab, open Issues, and choose Broken Links issue or 4xx issue:

4. Website Link Analysis

Having relevant links is one of the most powerful ranking signals of the Google search algorithm. This means that one needs to analyze how the website is linked internally and externally with reliable third-party websites.

There are a number of tools such as Google’s own Search Console that can be utilized to analyze internal as well as external links. This helps you to find out how the data is linked and which are the most important pages. There is also a number of tools available online that can help in analyzing external links and identifying any link opportunities.

If you want to keep internal and external links in one tool, you can check them inside Netpeak Spider tool. Follow Database → Internal / External links, and see what you have:

5. Analyze Keywords

The keyword analysis is an important prerequisite to a website SEO audit. This includes looking out for keywords that can bring high-value search traffic and then analyzing where your business stands in terms of these keywords.

It is also crucial to check how the traffic is being converted to active customers. There are a number of tools that provide insight into keyword search positions and how they impact performance, such as Google Search Console and Analytics.

6. Evaluation of Content

Content evaluation involves checking how the website content is helping in driving the business through organic visitors. It is a good idea to evaluate the content from the perspective of both a user as well as a search engine and optimize it with the target keywords.

Another point to consider is if there are duplicate content issues in the form of meta descriptions, page titles, and target keywords. The findings can be used to create an effective SEO content strategy.

This will help you in formulating a solid roadmap for your content team in the long run and ensuring the content is suitable both for the users as well as search engines.

7. Check for On-Page Optimization

It is a well-known fact in SEO that the visitors and search engines do not use and consume content in the same way. This is where on-page optimization comes into the picture and helps in appeasing both types of audiences.

Netpeak Checker is a data aggregator that helps you conduct bulk SEO analysis and also analyses on-page optimization for your website. It would identify any missing elements so that you can fully optimize your website.

8. Consider Architecture and Design of a Website

Since Google aims at providing a safe and enjoyable experience for its users, it is important to evaluate your user experience. There are a number of things that need to be considered in this regard, such as whether the website is mobile-friendly, easy to navigate, and secure with HTTPS.

It is important to have positive answers to these terms so that your website is not subjected to negative results with regard to recent changes in Google’s algorithms. You can make use of the mobile-friendly tool to check if it passes Google’s mobile-friendly test.

9. Online Branding and Business Strategy

Before you run an SEO website audit, you should consider the business strategy of your organization as well as the challenges that are holding it back. For example, if your company is entering a new vertical or market, then the SEO audit should include this in the process of content strategy and evaluation. To maximize the results, an SEO audit should be more focused on the future rather than just the past.

It’s better to keep your SEO audits results to track any changes in the future or to be able to delegate that task for someone from your SEO team. And for better SEO audits visualization, you can prepare it in PDF report, which you can also make branded with the help of the Netpeak Spider tool.

10. Execution of SEO Audit

Before starting with the process of SEO audit, you need to know how to do an SEO audit. You should be able to positively take in the recommendations and any areas of improvement. The whole point of conducting an SEO audit is to focus on the priorities and channelize your efforts in that direction. For an effective SEO audit, you also need to have a person who can differentiate between the low, medium, and high levels of priorities so that the business visibility can be improved online.

Conclusion

Summarizing the above article, we have covered what is an SEO audit and the factors that need to be considered before conducting an SEO audit. An SEO audit becomes all the more important in case you’re not receiving any traffic or search rankings. It will also help in checking for any site errors while helping you to uncover what needs to be fixed on the website to boost search engine visibility.

About Valerie Tkachenko

Middle PR Specialist at Netpeak Software, a new generation of SEO tools. Valerie passionates on news about IT development, AI creation, and cryptocurrency. She has been following SEO since 2017. Valerie is going to create her own SaaS product in the future.

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9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hi, thanks for sharing this checklist.
    I think so page speed should also be one the factor which we should consider in SEO Audit.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Martha!
      Of course, page speed is matters too. By the way, we can also check page speed using Netpeak Spider or Checker.
      Thanks for your comment :)

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    Nice article. I have a client website where many pages with same titles. The Website is ranking many pages for same keyword. What you suggest for it, Which kind of site audit will work??.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi David,
      As I understand, the same titles and keywords mean duplicate content that is bad effects on SEO. My advice is to check your client’s website via Netpeak Spider or another crawler to find all SEO issues such as duplicates and fix them (for example, you can rewrite titles and mix keywords to make them unique, by the way, you can spot insights regarding keywords with Serrstat or Ahrefs). If I were you, I preferred promoting one page with a unique title and keywords to get better ranking.
      Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  3. Avatar

    Well explained, Clear me on this, Do we need to consider extra HTML & CSS codes since it increases the page loading time?

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Cora!
      To speed up the page loading, I advise you to split CSS and JavaScript into external files, processing design elements in sprites, and place them in style sheets.

      Reply
  4. Avatar

    Thank you for the great checklist. It is really useful and gave us a couple of new hints on the optimization process. We’ve been using SEO audit and found it extremely helpful in site’s structure and content analysis, social mentions, duplicate stuff, etc. Still there is so many different SEO information you sometimes cannot understand what to start with. Fortunately you answered this question. Thank you again!

    Reply
  5. Avatar

    Hi,
    I have a client site that was ranking in the first position for more than 50 keywords, now suddenly the rank has gone down. I did an audit for that site, but eventually, I couldn’t find any such changes or flaws. Can you tell me what else could be the reason which I might have missed out? The site niche is law-related.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Melvin,

      I can’t give you proper guidance without the link to the site.

      Reply

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