SEO audit is the process of checking your entire website and identifying the factors hindering your website’s performance. When you are competing with hundreds of websites, it is crucial to be aware of your site’s performance and more importantly, you must find out why your site is not performing as well as you want it to. However, the problem with SEO audit is that it is a time consuming process and requires rapt attention from the auditor; because it is very easy to overlook small issues when you are scrutinizing a website that contains lots of pages.
Everyone has his own method of SEO audit and follows a fixed checklist. It is not a good idea to pursue the same set of standards for years since SEO is evolving continuously and thus, you need to incorporate new techniques to find out what is wrong with your site.
Here are five simple, yet crucial and often overlooked SEO audit tips for you.
- Check status code: We often overlook the “status codes” while performing SEO audit. Are you sure that your 404 pages are giving 404 status? Are your redirects 301? You can use a Google Chrome plug-in called “Redirect Path” and check the status codes as well as path of redirects directly from the browser window.
- Duplicate page and content: Some sites have two home pages and the website admins are not even aware of this issue. This is a common concern for websites that feature a “home” link in the navigation system. Two home pages for the same site can cause serious damage to your page rank and confuse Google when people search for your brand name. It is also important to check for duplicate content in your site. Mostly, SEO professionals check across the web to make sure that competitor sites are not stealing content from the client site, but what if there are same paragraphs in two different pages of the client site itself? Google will still consider it as duplicate content and the site will get punished for plagiarism.
- Check the domain: What do you prefer? www.xyz.com or just xyz.com? You must decide your preferred domain because Google treats these two as separate domains. Similarly, “http” and “https” is an issue, especially since Google announced that they like “https” more than “http” as it’s secure. If your site has multiple domain versions, then you will never be able to get the desired number of visitors irrespective of your SEO efforts. Hence, stick to only one website domain version that has best link signals.
- Find the orphaned pages: This issue happens mostly when a site has been redesigned. When you have hundreds of pages in a website, there is a chance of forgetting some them in the navigational structure. You will find these unlinked, orphan pages in the sitemap. You must link those pages with your site’s menu so that Google as well as users can find those keyword enriched valuable web pages and boost your traffic.
- Block the pages you don’t want Google to see: You may have some web pages in your site that you don’t want search engines to crawl as those pages can affect your SERP rank. So, how do you stop the search engines? Robots.txt is the most common way to block search bots from crawling certain pages, but it’s not 100% secure. If Google thinks that a page is relevant to the user’s search query, then it will show it on the SERP, even if you have used “robots.txt” to block it. The most effective way to eradicate an already indexed page from SERP is to use “x-robots tag”. This way, you will be able to control the damage and regain your lost position on SERP.
Hope these SEO audit suggestions will help you fix the problems in your site and make it fast, user friendly and search engine friendly. If you have some exclusive auditing tips, share your ideas with us in the comments section.