As you know, a comprehensive SEO audit can help you identify issues that could be hurting your Google rankings and traffic. We’ve put together this guide on the steps to do an SEO audit to boost your Google rankings and traffic.
1. Improve your rankings and gain an understanding of your competitors
The first step in doing an SEO audit is to benchmark your rankings. This means that you will want to find out where your site ranks for certain keywords and make sure that it’s in the top 3 or 4 results. You can do this by going through the search engine results page (SERP) for those keywords, looking at the top 10 websites on Google, and seeing if yours is one of them.
SEO audits also include checking competitor sites for backlinks and other things like that. For example, if you want to see which sites are linking back to one of your competitors’ websites but aren’t linking back to yours yet, then you can do so by using tools like Ahrefs or Moz Open Site Explorer (OSE). These tools are used specifically for analyzing backlinks so they'll be able to link up with the data from OSE or Ahrefs more than likely!
2. Check to see whether Google has indexed duplicate versions of your site
How many versions of your site are in the index? Google will not index more than one version of your site, but there is always a chance that it has indexed two or more. The easiest way to check this is to search for keyword phrases that should only be on one page and make sure they only appear on one page (and not in the footer).
If you find duplicate pages, it’s likely that some kind of crawl error occurred when Google first crawled those pages and indexed them. You can check each page individually by using Fetch as a Google tool in Search Console.
3. Check the URLs that have been indexed on your site
The first step is to check which pages on your site are indexed by Google. This can be done using the Google Search Console, which will give you a list of all URLs that have been indexed on your site.
The next step is to review these pages and look for any issues that might make them less likely to rank well in search results. For instance, if there are a lot of broken links or duplicate content across several pages, this may cause problems with rankings. By checking each page individually, it’s easier to identify problems and fix them before they worsen.
4. Check for manual actions
Google’s search algorithm is constantly evolving, and there are many types of manual actions that can negatively impact your site’s rankings on the SERPs. For example, if Google detects repeated instances of unnatural links pointing to a website (i.e., links generated by paid services or other practices), it will likely put that website on a blacklist. This means that such websites won't be able to rank as high in organic listings for certain keywords as they used to.
5. Analyze your site's speed
6. Check to make sure that your site uses HTTPS
HTTPS is a protocol for secure communication between a web server and a browser. It encrypts your site's data, preventing hackers from intercepting your data while it is in transit on the internet. It also helps Google to rank your site higher when HTTPS is used. Finally, using HTTPS helps to protect your users' privacy by preventing third parties from seeing what they're doing on your site.
7. Verify that your site looks good on mobile devices
Mobile-friendly sites are more likely to rank higher in Google's search results. If your site isn't mobile-friendly, you could lose traffic from mobile users.
To check for mobile-friendliness issues, you can do a few simple things:
Check your site on a mobile device. If it isn't very user-friendly, that's going to be a huge issue in Google's eyes. Make sure everything is easy to read and navigate without too many clicks or scrolling.
Look at the number of ads on your page. The more ads there are, the less room there is for content, which means your site gets less organic traffic from search engines (and people get frustrated trying to find what they want).
8. Analyze and correct any further indexation issues
Next, take a look at indexation issues. If you have any underperforming content (that is, pages that are not ranking well) in the SERPs, check them to see if they are being indexed by Google. This can be done by going to Search Console and checking your crawl errors report.
If you have any duplicate content on your site—for example, if you’re using multiple versions of the same image or video file—you should remove duplicates and make sure that only one version appears on each page where it’s used.
9. Understand how your site’s pages look and feel to the user
Before you can make changes to your site, it's important to understand how users are experiencing it. Use this checklist to see if there are any problems with your site's user experience:
How does a new visitor (someone who has never been to your site before) find you?
Is the information easily accessible for all users?
When they get to the homepage, what do they see and where do they go from there?
Where should you direct them based on their needs and goals?
Once you've identified these issues, start making changes! You'll want to optimize these elements of your website so that people have an easier time finding what they're looking for.
At the end of the day, SEO audits are a great tool for identifying and addressing issues that could be hurting your Google rankings. However, they’re not a magic wand. In order to make an impact, you need to take action on these issues by working with reputable SaaS SEO companies like NinePeaks Media or doing more research into why they exist in the first place. That said, if you want to see results from this process, then you need to start by conducting an audit today!