Everything and everyone that needs to perform functions cannot do so over the long term without some checks on their well-being. Whether it be an aircraft having safety checks, or a sports star having a fitness check, the same principles apply. The same can also be said for an SEO campaign, because if it is not checked and audited to assess what, if any, results it is producing then it potentially is serving no purpose.
An SEO audit is not just about checking internal links and anchor text on your website, albeit we do not say that to diminish their importance. Instead, we are referring to the fact that there can be as many as two hundred or more individual elements that influence the ranking of your website which is why it is often an SEO agency that business owners will turn to when they need an SEO audit.
However, if you wish to carry out your SEO audit there are going to be some checks that are more important than others. You will also find it easier if you take each category of SEO and check them in turn. Here are three of the main categories of SEO that you simply must check during your website’s SEO audit.
Many who are new to SEO make the erroneous assumption that SEO is only about what people can see, read, and click on. Whilst these are all essential for SEO, they are not the only influencers of ranking. Much of that influence happens behind the scenes and is never seen by any visitors, although how the website behaves for them might be affected.
We are referring to the technical elements of your website that are behind the scenes but just because they are not visible does not mean that Google cannot measure or assess them. These elements include canonical URLs, 404 pages, load speeds. security protocols such as HTTPS, XML sitemaps and others. Crucially it also includes your website’s ability to be viewed and used on mobile devices.
Off-site audits will be making checks that look at three different aspects of your SEO campaign. These are backlinks, your competitors, and social media. For backlinks, you want to ensure they are still working and also be looking for opportunities to enhance your backlink portfolio.
As for your competitors, you need to be analysing them. In particular, determine what keywords they are ranking for and assess how well they are optimised for them so that you can take action to outrank them. Finally, your social media should be active with regular posts including those encouraging your followers to share your content.
Whilst strictly speaking your technical audit is on-site, this part of the audit assesses the parts of your website that visitors interact with. In other words, it is your content, your anchor text, your images, and your web design to name but four. Here, the question that you need be asking yourself throughout is whether your website is providing the best possible user experience. If it is, great. If not, then improvements are essential.
Is the content engaging enough? Is your website difficult to navigate? Does your web design give a great first impression? Is your branding strong enough? These are just four of the many questions to ask of your website, whereby the answer will tell you what needs to be changed, improved, and optimised.