What is an SEO site audit and why is it so important?
An SEO site audit is like taking a X-ray of your website to identify if there are any issues that could affect your performance and potentially negatively impact your customer’s online experience. In today’s hyper-competitive online world, customer experience and delivering value need to be top priorities. I personally like to think site audits have a symbiotic relationship with customer experience.
One important method to continually improve your customer’s experience is to make sure that your site is running at optimal performance. This blog will address best practices for performing site audits, as well as provide some solid proven tools to uncover potential issues. This could include anything from difficult navigation, slow loading times to a weak call to action.
Here are the top key metrics related to the health of your website
As Google evolves, so does their commitment to providing a relevant and very meaningful based customer experience. That said, here are the top key indicators of site health that Google values most.
- H1 Tags/ H2 Tags – This is the title tag and subhead tag of your page/blog.
- Meta Titles – Meta titles are the title you see when doing a search.
- Meta Descriptions – This is the description that shows up under the Meta Title.
- Inbound / Outbound Links – These are links from other sites and links to other sites.
- Backlinks – This is a link placed on someone else’s website that points back to your site.
- Internal Links – These are links to other pages on your site.
- Broken Links/Dead Links – these are links that can’t be found or no longer exist. This causes what’s defined as a 404 error.
- Keywords – The specific words or phrases that search engines use.
- Serps – This is the page that gets displayed when you search for a keyword on Google or other search engines.
- Alt Tags on Images – This is a keyword or phrase tag that tells the search engine what the image is about.
- Page Load Speed – Google penalizes sites that are slow to load. Ideally, you want to be within 4 seconds to load.
- Social Media – This refers to evaluating the reach and impact of your social media efforts.
- CSS – This refers to the specific style sheets that are part of your site.
There are some very good audit tools out there to consider based on your needs. Here are a few popular tools…
SE Ranking crawls your website and looks at an estimated 70 different parameters. I like the fact that it quickly identifies potential technical, content and SEO issues while at the same time doing a deep dive into your entire website. Their reports are also thorough, yet relatively easy to understand. Their platform also includes some very valuable competitive analysis tools.
- 14 day free trial
- $7/month for a Personal account
- $39/month for an Optimal account
- $89/month for a Plus account
- $189/month for an Enterprise account
I am a big fan of this tool because it is intuitive, easy to use, and it shows how to properly correct any issues. They offer a 2 week free trial period and 3 levels of services based on your needs. I really like their reports because they show you over 40 diagnostic checks and provide a score based on the number of checks that passed.
- 14 day free trial
- $24.95/month for Basic version
- $39.95/month for Webmaster version
- $79.95 for Professional version
SEO Report Card from UpCity is a great free tool, particularly for smaller organizations. Their reports are easy to interpret and very actionable.
Found offers a solution to quickly identify and solve SEO issues. Their report includes data on technical issues, content issues, as well as an external link analysis.
There is no such thing as a silver bullet when it comes to SEO site audit tools. Some are better for evaluating smaller sites and others work best with larger more complex sites. This is why I personally use a combination of tools when I do audits for clients. The common denominator in my mind is improving customer experience by improving site performance. That’s the real value. This ultimately results in more qualified leads, better customer engagement, and increased revenue.
Does your organization use a particular SEO Audit tool that you have found effective? If yes, please share with the community.