A site audit is a term used to describe the process of analyzing and checking your website. You can perform a website SEO audit manually or employ specialized tools for site analytics and auditing. But manually, it may be a time-consuming task, and at the end of the site audit, you are not sure you did it right or wrong.
That’s why I’m introducing you to the Semrush SEO Audit Tool for this purpose. It is one of the best SEO tools ever. Start a free 7 days trial here!
Website owners should continuously audit their sites to know what they need to improve and how to perform well in different aspects, such as organic search, social, referral, quality of traffic coming on your site, and bounce rate.
“A website that doesn’t know its weaknesses can’t improve itself or fix any problem it faces.”
Every search engine has a different way to audit websites. We will use the best tool in the market, “Semrush,” to audit our website’s first page on desktop and mobile devices.
What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is a process that consists of looking into every aspect of your site to improve its performance.
To take an SEO audit, you need to know how well you are doing in organic search by analyzing the top pages of your website and their ranking keywords.
You will also look at social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., where you should be getting good engagement. Usually, if your website ranks on the first page, it may be enough, but not all websites are there yet. This means that additional work needs to be done after performing an SEO audit or before starting with one.
An SEO Audit includes what’s right and wrong about your website as it gives you insights into your content and keywords (if using Semrush).
SEMrush Site Audit
SEO is a lot like maintaining a car. You should stay vigilant and fix any issues as soon as they come up. If you let one issue build up over time, it can damage your website and hurt its performance.
Why perform an SEO Audit?
You need to know what needs to be done and how you can do it by performing an SEO audit. It is important to note that the biggest reason for most websites not ranking on the first page is poor content.
● Using Semrush, you can analyze the quality and the needed quantity of the content to be written. So, you either write good content or hire a professional copywriter who can help you get started with your website’s topic.
● In addition, if your site does have good content, then look at other factors that may prevent it from being ranked on the first page, such as link building and internal linking techniques with the help of Semrush site audit tools.
● Use Semrush to track your competitor’s sites’ backlinks to build better links, which will eventually give you higher rankings.
● Check if your website is responsive or not. This means that the site should be easily accessible on different devices such as desktop, Android, and iOS-based mobile phones.
● Check for broken links; it’s essential to get rid of all dead links because Google doesn’t like them, and they can also affect your rankings in SERP (search engine results page). You can check this using the Semrush tool by entering your homepage URL.
● Semrush site audit gives you a report of how many backlinks you have with their corresponding anchor texts, which helps you find out if there are any dead links. If yes, then use the same tool to remove them from search engines.
● Identify the number of pages you have on your website and what is their quality. You can create different categories for your pages, such as blogs, product descriptions, company pages, etc. Then use Semrush to see how well they’re performing in organic search.
● Semrush will also give you a report on the keywords they rank for, which helps you with topics you need to write about or things that should be added or removed from these websites.
What Should Include in an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit includes multiple steps to follow:
On-page elements: Here, we analyze various essential aspects of our website such as title tags, meta description, keywords, alt tags for images, texts, links, etc. We look at the website from a different perspective by evaluating its performance from Google’s point of view and making sure that it meets all on-page SEO requirements.
Off-page elements: We focus on understanding what you have been doing to your website off-page to drive traffic to it. This includes link building and competitor research, which help us know where we need to improve or what has already been done correctly leading up to this stage.
Tools & Analytics: You should also mention the tools you’re using, such as SEMrush, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and PageSpeed Insight.
Social Signals: Last but not least, mention if your website has one or many social signals, i.e., Facebook likes, Tweets, Google plus, etc. If it does have any of these, mention the number as this is now a ranking factor used by Google in various experiments.
As you can see, the points mentioned above are crucial for an SEO audit. While some businesses receive a full report based on these aspects, others receive feedback on their website’s architecture & content optimization.
The latter is enough for most companies but if your company wants to excel at digital marketing, then make sure to request a thorough SEO audit from your web design agency.
Let’s Start SEO Audit of Your Site: Tools You Need For SEO Audit
Okay, finally, now you understand the importance of the site audit and what a site audit includes. Here I’m not using a lot of tools that will puzzle you. I will Use Only four tools for a website SEO audit using Semrush and Google.
The process is straightforward, and step by step follows and takes a robust site audit. The tools I’ll use for the site audit are:
1. Semrush Site Audit Tool
2. Google Pagespeed Insight
3. Google Search Console
4. Google Analytics
Starting SEO Audit Using SEMrush
As with any good audit, SEMrush’s Site Audit tool is the first step. Run a crawl of your site before you start working through each process. So those insights can be used as reference points for where our time goes in completing this task, and what needs to be done next. Follow the steps to take a site audit using Semrush
1. Go to Semrush Site Audit Tool
2. Enter your domain name, project name, and other on-demand data by the Semrush
Start your website audit!
You don’t need to do any work. Let the Semrush site audit crawler, crawl your website. While checking your site audit, make sure your website is indexed in the google search console; otherwise, Semrush will not show any data.
Once the crawling process completes, you will see the data of your website. You will see something like this on your screen related to your website. The number will be changed according to your website.
SEO Audits Basics: Most Important Things to be Considered in Site Audit
Let’s get to work!
We will start with those things that you have got to check. Potential areas of concern and potential issues for your site, which could prevent it from being adequately crawled or indexed by search engines like Google.
Let’s head on over there now so we don’t miss any crucial parts while auditing our website.
- Audit, Your Website, Indexed URLs
I always like to do a site audit on my websites because it’s such an important step. The first thing we will check is the indexed URLs. Enter your
“site: www.<domain>” in the Google search bar (not Regular), take note of how many pages come up for this domain.
You might be shocked at what number pops up – especially if there was some spammy content around before that just crawled by unnoticed.
How many articles do you have listed on your website? This is a quick check to see if the number of indexed URLs for that particular site matches what we expect then it’s fine. If not, then there might be some indexing problems with thin pages or duplicate content.
This should get attention from an SEO expert immediately before those issues can progress into more important things. Such as being too easily accessible in search engine rankings and ranking lower than expected due solely because they were not adequately optimized by experts who know how important it is.
2. Audit Your Website On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is one of the most crucial parts of site ranking. A manual on-page SEO can be time-consuming, but using the Semrush on-page SEO tool can be relatively straightforward and healthy. Usually, on-page SEO includes:
● Optimized title tag
● Optimized article meta description
● Optimized headings
● Images alternative tags
● Optimized and quality content
● Interlinking the article
The SEMrush On-Page SEO Checker tool can help you audit your site to make sure that it is optimized for the keywords and phrases used on pages throughout.
Semrush on-page SEO checker tool provides you with all data that can help you to improve your site ranking. Even if your site lacks content, it also gives you content ideas related to your previous articles.
Semrush on-page SEO checker tool is highly reliable for the site audit. It provides you with your site analytics and gives you suggestions to make your content better. You must try a Semrush SEO content template to make your content more qualitative.
SEMrush On-Page SEO Checker
The SEMrush On-Page SEO Checker is a universal tool that can help you easily identify what you might be missing out on search engine-wise. So if your site isn’t ranking as it could, or if you’re looking to make some tweaks to better optimize it for search, this tool is a good place to start!
3. Ensure That Your Site Uses Https
A website should consistently implement HTTPS because HTTP is not secure. If your site is already using HTTPS, you can move further. However, you can read the benefits of using HTTPS.
HTTPS stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure,” and it’s the next generation of encryption used on websites. HTTPS storage transfers packets in an encrypted or encoded format across the network using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), which guarantees your data is transmitted securely to its final destination.
HTTPS also provides more granular security by exchanging sensitive information like login names and passwords necessary for web access.
This ensures that intruders can’t intercept any other data type like credit card numbers, account numbers, social security numbers, etc. This makes your browsing experience much safer than plain HTTP storage transfer protocol.
If you’re looking for a way to prevent online fraud or fraudulent activity with your details, then HTTPS is something you must use in your website domain.
4. Audit The Speed of Your Website
If I say website speed is the most crucial point to be considered, I’m not wrong. Because once a user comes to your site, and if your site or any page takes around 5-10 seconds to load, there might be a chance of losing a customer. This is the reason you must audit your website speed at least twice a month.
“According to Google, the best time to load your page is under two seconds.”
The speed of your website not only matters for your customer loss but also affects your site’s ranking. Because sometimes google gives a sudden boost to the new website to check how they perform, in that case, if they perform well and provide the user intent, then the website keeps ranking.
In the reverse scenario, if your site doesn’t load fast and has bad UX, it’s a chance to lose the ranking.
You can check your website speed using the Semrush tool or use the GTmetrix website for this purpose. I would recommend using Semrush because here, you can do multiple tasks on one platform.
You can also check your website speed using the Google developer tool “PageSpeed Insight” it not only informs your website data but also suggests what to do better.
The above screenshot is taken from PageSpeed Insight.
Optimizing your site’s speed is crucial for search engine optimization, which can help you in many ways. Optimizing your site’s speed will lead to more visitors on the site, improving rankings of the site in search results.
5. Check The Mobile-Friendly Behaviour of Your Website
According to a Google study, the number of searches from smartphones and tablet devices is exceeding. That means about 55% of all global searches happen on mobiles today.
However, statistics also show that 4 out of 5 websites are still not optimized for viewing smartphones or tablets.
That’s why it’s essential to be aware when designing your website, keep the mobile-friendly behavior of your site features in mind.
Today there are more mobile devices on earth than there are people. Mobile usability is essential for the future of your business. It’s critical to make it faster, simpler, and easier for users to finish their desired task with your website by planning upfront.
This screenshot is taken from Google Search Console.
So if you want to be at the top of Google rankings, you need to measure your website’s performance with a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights.
This screenshot is taken from PageSpeed Insight.
Suppose you don’t have time or resources to optimize all existing and new web pages. In that case, Semrush helps business owners and managers save time and money by optimizing their websites to rank better in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
6. Know Your Competitor Using Semrush
If you are not familiar with the competition, your chances of success aren’t looking too good. You need to benchmark both rankings and profiles before diving into an audit. So that, when comparing them against other players in their respective industries or spaces, there won’t be anything left unknown about how they stack up.
SEMrush is all set to make this easy for anyone who needs data-driven answers by providing insightful audit reports. Which takes away any guesswork involved—at the same time. Giving plenty of opportunities to make intelligent decisions based on complex numbers.
Benchmark Your Website with Semrush
If you are a beginner and don’t know how to benchmark your site, I will give you a short tutorial here.
Open your Semrush account or start a free trial here!
Open the “Position Tracking” tool and start a new project to benchmark your site with Semrush.
After starting your new project, select the required details for your new project. Choose your targeted country, your related device desktop or mobile.
After adding your related data, it is time to add your website-related keywords to track your website audit.
You will see multiple keyword ideas that you can rank easily. Getting numerous content ideas brings more chances to beat your competitor.
Using Semrush’s competitive research tool, you can find multiple edges on your competitor. In the site audit, competitor analysis is one of the most crucial parts to rank.
7. Audit Your Site’s Core Web Vitals
The first thing that is important to know about performing your website audit is the performance of your website. Your web Vitals will be indicated from three main categories: HTTP response time, available bandwidth, and server response time.
These three main categories include everything necessary for a site to be successful on the internet. If one or more of these metrics are off, it can decrease your site’s performance.
HTTP response time: is the speed at which a file transfers into a browser that is requesting it. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and is the standard protocol used to efficiently communicate between servers and browsers. The first thing you will want to check with HTTP response time is how fast your HTML is loading.
If your files take a long time to load, they will start to stack, and the site will slow down.
You can use Google’s Page Speed Insights for this.
Bandwidth: is also known as “network capacity,” the total amount of data that can flow through a network connection at any one time. Bandwidth is usually measured in bits per second (bps).
Bandwidth is significant because the faster your web pages are, the more it will cost you to maintain them. If your site takes too long to load, the user may get impatient and leave, resulting in a loss of money.
Server response time: is the speed at which your server responds to requests from browsers. Another critical metric to keep track of is how fast your server can respond to requests and process them. If this takes too long, it may slow down the whole site resulting in a bad user experience.
So, never put off your website’s core web vitals and keep auditing them at least twice a week.
Critical Points of SEO Audits
A lot of people get stuck when it comes to auditing the site. Yeah, including me!
But trust me, it is never time-consuming if you adequately do this. Running an SEO audit of your website does not always mean that you start digging the problem and then spend a lot of time fixing them. In both cases, it’s time-consuming.
Still, here are some crucial key points that can give you a time-saving and winning chance if you follow them.
8. Keep Your Sitemaps Clean
Sitemaps are an XML specification used as a map of where your site’s content is located. Search engines can use them to find all the pages on a website and index their contents for searching.
XMLs are a way of submitting a list of URLs to search engines to crawl them more effectively. The sitemap lists all the URLs on a site or just those that have been changed recently so that search engines can more efficiently crawl the site.
Sitemaps work a lot like a shopping list for Googlebot. It tells it which pages to look at and when they were last updated. Search engines index sitemaps very quickly because the sitemap lists all of a website’s pages in one place.
The sitemap makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site and find fresh content.
In the status bar, you can check the progress of your sitemaps. If you check any error, simply fix that, and your XML sitemap audit is completed.
9. Save Your Site From Toxic Links
Although receiving backlinks gives your site a ranking boost. But remember, not all links provide a positive response.
To check whether your website is getting toxic links or not, use the Semrush Backlink Audit tool, and it will give your complete details. Remove those links as soon as possible so that Google doesn’t consider you as manipulating their system.
10. Audit and Fix Broken Internal Links
Internal links are crucial for the user experience. If any visitor clicks on any internal link, he/she must get what he wants instead of a page with 404, making them leave and go elsewhere.
This behavior not only causes losing a customer but also affects your website in the Google algorithm.
Using the Semrush site audit tool, open the issues tab, and you will find your website’s internal broken links. This is the easiest way to audit your website.
If you find any broken internal links in the audit, redirect them to the original website where you have actual content or merely remove those links.
11. Audit Your Website Orphan Pages
Pages that exist in your sitemap but are not linked to any other page within the site might be considered an orphan. This can result from internal linking; therefore, you will find these pages with topical authority passed through it on Google’s search engine results page (SERP).
I’ve found this situation most often occurs when there is no clear path or form for visitors to navigate our website using logical links between different content sections instead.
The quickest fix here entails adding key pages/content areas into your navigation bar while ensuring all relevant text contains at least one link back towards itself.
12. Compare Your Website Content Quality With Ranking Keywords
It can be challenging to understand the intent behind a searcher’s query and pages, but one thing often shines through: Google gets good at understanding. When building your SEO strategy, make sure you consider this factor because it will affect how people search for things now more than ever before.
The top-ranking results on google should meet many of our goals as marketers. They have high-quality content with keywords throughout each paragraph or sentence. Getting the ideas to make your content more powerful can be wiser to rank your site instead of your competitor.
13. Is Your Content Completing the Needs of the Users?
Most of the bloggers or website owners ignore the user intent, but google doesn’t. Google wants to show the best results to its users. Writing the content is not all about keywords.
Suppose your keywords have high search volume, but your content is not completing the users’ needs, then your website bounce rate will be increased, and Google will consider you are manipulating the system.
This behavior can affect your website ranking, which is not good, I think.
Next Step After Completing the Website SEO Audit
Once you have completed your website SEO audit, then move on to fixing the issue. One of the best ways to resolve the problem is, to use the Semrush tool because the Semrush tool has an all-in-one feature that helps the users in an SEO site audit.
The most crucial part of being considered is, to prioritize your content as per its time and value. Fix those issues first that take less time and have more weight, instead of spending more time on that issue that has less value but takes more time.