To strengthen your site’s SEO values and increase search traffic, you should follow these 16 steps of SEO audit process.
The small details are important for SEO. Big things are even more important.
Sometimes we spend a lot of time trying to fix things and we miss the opportunity to see big problems. While this big problem affects our day-to-day search traffic, we end up losing it because we wait before doing anything.
By performing an SEO audit on your site, you can determine what these big problems are. After the necessary detections, you can meet brand new and different ideas that will work to upgrade your site’s search traffic.
Are you curious how you will do this? You should continue to follow the writing.
Tools you will need in the #SEO Audit Tool
Below are the tools that you will need to realize the SEO control over the tools mentioned here:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Screaming Frog
- Barracuda Panguin Tool
Tittle Tag Pixel Width Checker
The use of these tools is not compulsory. You can use different tools that work the same way. With these tools, you can make the audit process much easier.
Step 1: Start a Site Scan
When it comes to monitoring your site, you will need to perform different controls. But first you have to perform a site scan on the backplane.
An SEO browser will scan the site like Google and will inform you about the site’s current SEO structure. You can use the Beam Us Up tool for free or use Screaming Frog’s SEO Site Auditor if you have a subscription.
Once you have entered the car, you should type the address of the site on the URL line and press the “Start” button. After this process, the site will continue to be scanned in the background without interruption, while you perform the individual steps of the audit.
Step 2: Check if your site is version 1
You should make sure that your site has only one accessible version. There can be four different versions of a site as follows:
- I http://example.co
- I http://www.example.co
- I https://example.co
- I https://www.example.co
Those who want to access your site should only access one of them. You should redirect the version you are using to the appropriate one. If two different versions of your site are active, then you may have serious SEO problems.
For sites using Google SSL, it offers sorting advantage even if it is small. For this reason, you should try to use HTTPS on your site. Using Let’s Encrpyt you can add SSL for free on your site. You should not forget to redirect all versions of your site to the most appropriate page.
Step 3: Check Home SEO Qualities
The first point you need to look at is the internal structure of your site. Go to the homepage of your site and use the “Show page source” option to take the first step of the audit.
Here you just need to check certain points of the SEO value for the site. For this you need to ask a few questions:
- Does the page have a well-structured clickable title? Does it support the best methods for SEO?
- Is there a custom meta description? Is the click-through rate optimized to maximize it?
- Is there a H1 tag? Are best practices applied in terms of SEO?
- H2, H3 have been used in a proper way? Are best practices applied in terms of SEO?
You need to find answers to these questions one by one.
Check Home Title Tag
The title tag continues to exist as the most important in-site ranking factor today.
You should consider applying the following items in your site’s title tag:
- You should write the title tag from top to bottom, if possible. The brand name should take place in the last section.
- You should have about 65 characters in the title tag.
You should place a keyword on the title tag with a high search volume.
You should check the search volume of a keyword such as “digital marketing” using the Ahrefs Keywords Explorer or Google Keyword Planner. Which variation should you use to search for more keyballs than volume.
While building the title tag, it is much more accurate to target the pixel width to get the best result, even if 65 characters seem to be sufficient. Google is generally choosing a pixel width of 600px. You can check the width of your site title tag with the “Pixel Length” tool provided by Search Wilderness.
Check Home Page Meta Description
Meta does not directly affect your listing order, but well-written meta descriptions help you get more clicks.
The clickthrough rate should be good so that the generally accepted metadata descriptions on Google can perform well. You should take this into account when creating the meta description because the click rate is a ranking factor. Meta description should be well-written and structured to excite people.
You can think of the main page meta description as an ad. You should provide information about products and services that you have provided a good meta description. If you own an e-commerce site, you should use terms such as “free shipping” or “unconditional return”.
Check Headlines at Home
The H1 tag is very important when it comes to in-site sorting factors. Each site should have a unique and descriptive H1 tag. When you use the H1 tag for the home page, you should highlight the main purpose of the site and also aim for keywords with high profile.
The key to pay attention to the H1 tag is that you can include key words here. You should try to use the valuable keywords here by extracting the search volume. If you want to achieve ranking in which keywords, you should do the targeting accordingly.
Subheadings are one of the most important elements that need to be used to divide content in a page. In these subtitles, you should use the second key words and phrases you want to target.
Subtitles should stay as far away from generic phrases as “more”, “details”. You should make sure that subtitles are properly supported with CSS. Whatever your destination in your site, you can make the necessary improvements accordingly.
Step 4: Analyze the Crawl Report
Once your crawling report has been completed, you can begin to review this report to check for problems on your site. If there are any problems in your site, you should remove them. You will need these for in-site SEO work.
In general, one of the most important problems that will arise here will be the copy title tag. This is a very common problem if you are using WordPress. The reason for this is that the blog archive pages are added to the “blog / page / 2 /” directory and have the same headers.
You may want to check all the headings individually for this, but you do not need it at all. Using the Yoast SEO plugin, you will need to enable the “Noindex subpages of archives” option in the heading “Sitewide meta settings”.
Step 5: Make Copy Content Control
Google hates copy content. Your site is penalized by the Panda algorithm if the copy content is too large.
If you have copy content on many pages of your site, this is a bad signal for your site. But if your content is on other sites, that’s worse.
If you are a paid Copyscape account, you can get information about potential copy content. For about $ 10 you can check up to 200 URL addresses in bulk. It will suffice to take the URL addresses contained in the scan report and put them in the Copyscape tool.
When you process URLs, you will be informed how long the process will take. Once the check is complete, the tool will tell you about your page content, including the “risk situation”.
By checking the URLs individually, you can see what the matching pages are. Generally, copies will be pages such as communication or rejection. Copying these pages will not be a problem for your site.
The most important thing to note is that the abstract parts of the text are not similar. If there are similarities in these areas, the penalty will not fall back from the application when the Panda algorithm detects you. If you have to use the same digest in the summaries of the text, you can remove the copy content problem that can occur in category pages by creating special content for category pages.
Step 6: Perform the Tests on Google
You can go into Google and start to run tests slowly.
Make Brand Search
First, search your brand name. As long as your site is not very new, you should be in the first place.
If you are not in the first place with your brand name, then you are in trouble with algorithms. If you are new to the site, you should not worry too much about such situations.
But in the face of such a landscape, you can instantly realize that Google is not yet trusting your site. To remove this problem, you can follow these steps:
- You should create several strong and brand links.
- If you are a business owner, you should get references in some directories.
- If you are a business owner, you must implement Google My Business login.
- You should be sure that your site exists on all major social networks.
Search with “site:” Operator
In this step you have to search using the site: operator. With this search, you can find out how much index your site added to Google.
If you have some index problems on your site, you can do the necessary checks here. To use the site: operator you need to search on site: ayhankaraman.com.
You need to compare the amount of the result of the response and the amount of URL included in the scan report. you should know that if the amount of the result is too large, you will have a number of pages that can be considered “unnecessary” in this case.
Generally, the problematic points are tag sheets. Such a result can occur because search engines add each tag separately to the index. Indexing of tags with no content inside is not correct.
If you are using the Yoast SEO tool, you need to enable the “noindex, follow” option for meta-robots under the heading “Tags”. At the same time, however, you have to imagine a similar application for pages with poor and poor quality content.
Step 7: Analyze Search Traffic
Undoubtedly, the most important goal of implementing SEO audit is to upgrade site traffic. For this reason, it is very important to see the current situation in terms of site search traffic. You can instantly access your site’s existing report using Google Analytics.
First you should review your site’s current search traffic.
From the day your site begins to broadcast, you should now switch to Acquisition> Overview> Organic Search to begin reviewing your report. It will be sufficient to look at the amount of sessions that the site receives on a daily basis.
In the same report, you should look at the “Landing Pages” section to find out what pages have the most search traffic. If you see too many pages in the landing pages, this will show that your site is quite healthy.
Finally, you should try to review site traffic on a weekly basis. You should check for any ups and downs in any way between the weeks. You should especially remember that seasonal changes may occur depending on the products you sell on your site.
If you do not think there is a seasonal change, and there are sudden ups and downs during the week, then it’s almost certain that your site has been punished by Google. You need to make the necessary checks and regulations accordingly.
Step 8: Get Data from Google Search Console
Google Search Console will provide you with many different data sources that your site will need for SEO control.
See Scan Errors
First you need to check that Google does not detect any crawl errors on your site. You can examine the data there by logging into the Scan Failures tab in the Scan section.
You can see that Google usually makes mistakes for 404 or 403 pages. 404 errors will be related to pages that have been removed from your site. In this case it would be much more accurate to point the removed pages to similar pages or category pages.
Thus, you can maintain the link values that pages have. In case of 404 error, these link values will be lost. You must prevent these values from being lost by making the necessary referrals. If you have 403 errors on your site, you should thoroughly investigate how Google finds them.
Check HTML Enhancements
By switching from the Search View section to the HTML Enhancements section, you can identify copy titles and metadata descriptions that Google has detected. In this page you should be careful that the data provided to you is very small in terms of copy content.
If you have already reviewed your site’s screening data, you may be familiar with this information. But it will be much more accurate to check it a second time and see what and what is in Google’s eyes.
If you have done everything so thoroughly up to now, you can now begin the examinations you can make using Ahrefs. After that you should remember that you must have an Ahrefs membership for the examinations.
Step 9: Check Curves
Ahrefs’ Site Explorer overview report will be able to tell you a lot about the current status of your site. If you want to get a visual report about your site’s SEO status, this report will be highly useful. You can still see the most important factors affecting your site’s ranking and traffic data thanks to this report.
Once you have entered the domain name in the Site Explorer, you will need to click on the “Explore” button. This will take you to an overview report for the domain name.
You should first look at the section “Referring Domains”. It is very important that this data increase over time. Then look at the key word and estimated traffic value by going to the “Organic Search” tab.
It is extremely important that these values increase as well. If there is no increase, it means that your site is moving in the same direction. Even if there are ups and downs at certain points in the data curves, it will be much more accurate to look at the general situation.
This report is especially important for new sites. Sites that want to go to heal in order can decide what changes they need to make by reviewing this report. If keywords and traffic are regularly on the rise, then you can easily understand that SEO work is the result.
Step 10: Locate Pages in 5-10 Position Range for High Volume Keywords
It’s not so bad to be in the 5th place for high volume keywords. When you start to line up above the site, traffic values will change a lot.
The good news about this statement is that it will start to rise when you rank it a little better SEO practice. If you manage to implement your SEO work a little more effectively, you can get out to the top.
You should look at the high-volume keywords and the 5-10 positions along with the rapport provided by Ahrefs. You can get this in the “Organic Keywords” report section. By applying the required filters, you can find high volume keywords and pages in 5-10 positions.
Once you have implemented these filters in a convenient way, you can quickly browse through the quick acquisitions that will be achieved in a short time. You can start to think about what you can do to get these pages up a little higher:
- You should add more internal links to these pages. (I do not recommend using Anchor Text.)
- You should try to get new links to paging.
- You must update or re-share the content.
- You should be sure that intrasite optimization works for the right keywords.
You can get various links for the pages you are targeting by directing pages that do not have much traffic on your site but have links but want to increase the amount of traffic. You should avoid doing this tactic for all pages as much as it would mean tricking these search engines.
Step 11: Analyze the Link Profile
Examining the Link profile is one of the most important SEO control processes that every site will need. In this process, it is very time consuming to perform each operation individually. Using Ahrefs you can do this time-consuming process much easier.
Anchor Text Distribution
You should go back to the first Ahrefs report you created for the domain name and look at the “Anchors Cloud” section. This section will inform you about the site’s anchor text distribution.
The anchor text will usually include phrases such as open URLs, brand names, etc. Their placement is good news for your SEO work. It will be more accurate to make anchor texts from brands to increase your confidence in your mark.
If too many keywords are involved here, then you should know that you are far from doing your work in the right way.
Broken Links and Easy Gains
In this step you should check for broken links on your site. In the report created by Site Explorer, you should log in to the “Backlinks” section and then “Backlinks”. You can see which links have been lost by clicking on “Broken” in the bottom part of this page.
If you navigate pages that are no longer in your site and are redirected to a new and appropriate page 301, you can remove the broken link problem and you can sign up for easy gains at the same time.
Quick Link Control
Finally, you should perform a quick check of your site’s domain resources. On this page you can determine what the unnecessary links with low quality are.
You can start browsing the values of the links you have obtained by browsing the “RaordA” “Referring Domains” section created by Site Explorer. Here you should sort the links according to the “Domain Rating” or “DR” rating. It will be much easier to find low-quality links if you sort the lowest one first.
Thanks to this report, you can succeed in reviewing the links you are suspicious at the same time. You can do more extensive reviews to keep an eye on the links you find suspicious.
For now, it will suffice to find poor quality links or those created for manipulation. Especially if there are too many links from the indexes or if there are links from more than one forum profile.
If you wish to find bad links, you might consider using different guides. Your main goal should be to find the most useful links for your site by doing SEO inspections and remove unnecessary ones.
Step 12: Identify Crimes
Panda and Penguin algorithms are embedded within Google’s basic algorithms. They are now acting in real time. However, you can use the following method to determine if your site has been penalized in the past.
The sudden drops in your site’s traffic values could be a sign that Google is sanctioning your site. Using the free tool called “Panguin” you can get rid of examining individual traffic values.
Sign In to Analytics
Once you visit the Panguin tool provided by Barracuda, you should log in with your Google account.
Select Your Site
Once you have logged in to your Analytics account, you should select the Analytics account for the site you want to review from the menu on the left.
Once you have made the necessary selections, you will see a graph of organic traffic from your site. This chart will show different colors according to Google updates.
Panda, Penguin, etc., you can more clearly see the data in the graphic. The only thing you need to be aware of here is the reduction in traffic that corresponds to the algorithm updates.
Step 13: Check Site Speed
Site speed is one of the most important ranking factors for Google. Even in some studies it is stated that the scanning speed is more important than the loading speed of the site.
It is a fact that sites that are opened quickly provide better experience with users. Then you need to make sure your site opens up quickly. You may need to make various changes to the site and the server to ensure that your site opens quickly.
The first tool to check your site’s speed is Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool. Just type in your URL address on the site line and press the “Analyze” key. Google will offer you a speed score for mobile and desktop versions of your site. In addition to this speed scoring, there are various improvements you can make on your site.
Step 14: Check Configured Data
The next step in the SEO audit process will be to check the site’s configured data. The fact that the structured data is used correctly will increase the visibility of your site in the search results and at the same time will make your click-through rate better.
The types of content that can benefit most from structured data in Google search results are content types such as product information and events. However, it is possible to develop almost any content type with specific structured data. However, escaping excessively will cause you to be potentially penalized.
If you want to use structured data in a good way, you will only need to use the Structured Data Tester, which Google offers. You need to enter the URL of your site and press the “Fetch & Confirm” button.
Google will check the configured data on your site and notify you of any errors. Having errors in structured data will mean that the results of your site are not properly placed on the search engine result page.
Step 15: Find Content Spaces
The content gap is the key to targeting competitors and being away from your goal. In other words, you definitely need to try to use the key words.
You can find content gaps using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. This is called “Content gap”. To do this, you must first find your opponents. You can explore your nearest competitors by looking at the “Competing Domains” section under the heading “Organic Search”.
You should skip these marketplace-style sites like Ebay or Amazon. Once you have found the top three sites that are synonymous with your site, you should enter the “Content Gap” report and enter the site of these 3 competitors. You can try to find the best key words by looking at the filters and activating the search volume.
During this review you have to come from ignoring brand names and similar key words. This report will see your business to discover high volume keywords that are targeted to a content. Especially if you have an e-commerce store, these keywords will give you much information about the content gaps.
Step 16: Perform Comprehensive Content Control
The last step in the audit process is a bit depressing as it is a bit time consuming. For this reason you will have to delete various pages from your site.
How will deleting pages from your site help you to increase search traffic? The short answer is quite specific. Pages that have low quality and do not perform as well as their capacity can reduce the overall performance of your site.
By deleting pages from your site, you can increase the search traffic. For this strategy, you can follow the steps below:
- You have to find low quality pages that do not provide any search traffic.
- If you can improve them, you should develop them and consider publishing them again.
- If it is not possible to improve, you should direct these pages to the page 301.
You should be very careful when removing content from your site. Your first job should always be to improve the content and republish it.
If one of the pages has very low quality and can not be updated in any way, you should not hesitate to delete it. You should only take care to direct 301 towards the appropriate page as required.
However, you should be careful about the different content that targets the same keyword. Ideally, create a single page for each keyword. You can achieve a stronger content by converting several pages that target the same keyword to a single page.
When you follow all these steps you will be able to successfully carry out the SEO audit. Remember that you need to evaluate every opportunity to improve your site. Performing a comprehensive SEO audit is time consuming. However, once the process is over, it will be much easier for you to succeed in your SEO campaign.
If you want to do SEO audit work much deeper, you have to turn around and do as detailed as you can every step of the way. You should pay extra attention to issues such as site structure, internal link studies, intra site factors, scanning errors.