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How An SEO Audit May Boost Your Website’s Performance

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Having an SEO audit done might be the finest thing that has ever happened to you.

Audit Vs. Tool: The Differences

An audit is a thorough examination of your complete SEO campaign by a skilled professional. Software tools are not humans. For example, technologies like Moz and Ahrefs are wonderful for tracking progress but lack the human cognition to explain why or why not the metrics actually mean something.

An analogy from the world of medicine can help illustrate this point. Fitbits and other entry-level wearables are ideal for tracking the most basic aspects of your health, such as your activity, pulse rate, and bedtime.

It’s important to note, though, that the figures don’t tell the whole storey. It is impossible to detect an arterial blockage with a heart rate monitor.

Additionally, daily SEO stat trackers, like the ones above, are excellent at reporting activity data but are unable to detect an oncoming sitewide SEO “heart attack.”

Changing URLs or incorrectly set canonical links might cause problems that are not detected by the software. It’s time to call in an expert to perform an audit on your website if you’re having problems with organic search results.

What are the auditing standards?

What can you expect to discover if you decide to do a site audit?

As the auditor monitors the layout of the site, the results of each audit will be unique. However, these high-level sectors will be examined in every audit.

An examination of the infractions that led to the penalty:

Is there a correlation between any unexpected decreases in metrics and either Google human operations or known algorithmic updates?

The URL structures

Is the structure of URLs such that it is obvious to both users and search engines what each page contains?

Canonical citation versus content duplication:

Google has to decide which URL to index because of content duplication. So, canonicalization is a good way to specify the preferred URL. Using canonicals incorrectly can harm a website.

Links between different pages on the same website:

Is it possible to crawl and index your website properly if the internal links are broken? (This step is vital since internal connections can be just as valuable as external ones.)

Backlinks:

Is our site being helped or hindered by the websites that connect to it? Understanding the composition of backlinks maybe a whole audit in and of itself for a large site.

Indexation:

Do search engines adequately index the website? What’s keeping it from happening? This, in my opinion, is the most critical aspect of any audit.

Use of scripts:

What scripts are being employed, and what are the results of that? However, despite what Google claims, JavaScript is not as good for SEO as HTML is.

It’s possible to uncover JavaScript that powers crucial elements of the site and re-code it in a more crawler-friendly approach, which can lead to new growth prospects.

The use of keywords

What are the most popular search terms, and where are the voids? Identifying and mapping keywords may frequently lead to new chances in an SEO effort.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Do you have an idea of how many different types of title tags are being used? You never know how many chances you’ll discover by focusing on your title tags, and it’s always a surprise to me.

Quality of the information and data

What kind of content is being used, and how good is it, and why? SEO relies heavily on content, however, bad content can actually impair a website’s search engine rankings.

Quality may be fairly judged from an outsider’s perspective.

Robots.txt:

Does the site’s information on which pages may be indexed by search engines work? Underdoing it will result in the crawling of irrelevant pages while overdoing it would result in vital pages going unnoticed.

Sitemaps:

What are the current XML and HTML sitemap’s performance levels? A thorough review of the present configuration can assist identify areas for improvement in the page discovery process.

The speed of your site:

Are the pages and the site loading quickly enough? Even if there isn’t an algorithmic issue, delayed page and site loading have a negative impact on user experience and conversions, even if there isn’t an algorithmic issue.

Spam

Do you know of any? Websites that are well-known and well-protected have faced problems with spam. While this is unlikely to affect search performance, it does not provide for a pleasant browsing experience for the end-user.

Schema coding

Where can we obtain the existing markup and the potential markup to assist us to discover fresh growth prospects?

Schema markup is becoming increasingly crucial in the age of voice assistants since it aids search engines in understanding context.

What’s better for your business: mobile or desktop?

What impact will the site’s mobile search have? Considering how mobile devices often perform the search, it’s no wonder that mobile SEO might be different.

International:

What are the differences in how each of these areas works in various countries?

Some Of The Most Typical SEO Audit Problems Have Been Identified

Website audits are an essential aspect of any SEO plan since they help to identify problems before they have a negative impact on your website’s search engine rankings. Complications arise as a result of a website’s growth, and some of these problems are more prevalent than others.

Having conducted hundreds of SEO audits for our clients, our research has shown the nine most prevalent problems.

Links that don’t work or don’t exist

One of the most crucial ranking variables in Google’s search algorithm is the number of backlinks a website has. We frequently see five distinct sorts of connection issues.

Links with a poor reputation

Links pointing to your website from other domains don’t help your search engine rankings if any at all.

Unreachable URLs

CMS platforms like WordPress or accidentally altering the URL of an article after it has been published sometimes result in this.

There are no internal connections to other pages

Links that may have been used to promote your website’s most vital content have been missed (most commonly, blog posts).

Unsecured connections

An exceptionally frequent occurrence occurs when links are overlooked during the transition from HTTP to HTTPS.

Defunct URLs

An outdated link connecting to an old page or file on your website.

Duplicated or thin content

It’s no secret that Google prioritises high-quality material in its search results, but it’s notoriously tough to measure. Search engines have to utilise additional indications, such as inbound links and user experience, to judge the quality of each page’s content.

It’s possible to quantify certain aspects of quality, but the two most typical issues are:

Content that is scanty

Pages with insufficient substance to warrant its own separate page.

Inconsistent information and content

There are numerous pages with the same or comparable information.

Contact pages and indexed login pages are two examples of pages that can properly keep their content light. As long as you’ve addressed the technological fundamentals, Google will be able to discern when thin material is appropriate.

If you have numerous product pages with the same or comparable specifications or features, it is tough to write distinct descriptions for each of them, making duplicate material harder to sustain but also more complex to eliminate. A good example of this is product pages.

Page headings

Page titles are one of the most powerful on-page signals, providing visitors and search engines with crucial content on your pages. The following are some of the most frequent issues we run upon throughout our audits:

  • There are no page headings
  • Too broad or general
  • Inconsequential to the subject matter
  • Too lengthy to appear in the search results

Deceiving or fraudulent titles, click-bait methods, or titles that aren’t enticing enough for anybody to click are the most significant page title difficulties.

Meta description

Meta descriptions assist consumers to make an informed decision about which link to click on based on the context provided by the content of the page. You may also use them to make your listing more noticeable.

Most often, we discover that meta descriptions are missing entirely, which compels Google to merely display the first paragraph of your page. Additionally, they are either too long to show up in organic search results or too short to be useful.

Robots.txt does not include a sitemap.

If you want your sitemap to be indexed by search engines, you need to include a link in your robot.txt file that points to your sitemap.

Tags are not being used or are being used incorrectly.

Content management systems (CMS) are used by more than half of the world’s websites, and a significant feature of these platforms is that you can write things like page titles and meta descriptions into text fields without tagging them.

WordPress users, especially those who have no prior knowledge of SEO, are less likely to issue a new page with an empty page title box, but other tags can still pose an issue, even when using a CMS.

When we do an audit, we frequently discover the following tags are either missing or being misused:

Identifiers for headings

There are several problems with the headings in this document.

Tags with hreflangs

Language code errors, missing return links, broken links, and other implementation issues can occur on bilingual or regional websites.

Canonical tags

Duplicate material can be crawled and indexed if canonical tags are absent or wrong.

Pages that take too long to load

Loading times are still a typical SEO issue, and the penalties for page performance are only going to grow more severe.

With the Core Web Vitals programme, Google plans to provide a new page experience signal in May of this year, which will include a new loading speed measurement and benchmark.

It’s possible that pages that don’t load in 2.5 seconds or less after the upgrade may be penalised for their slowness, which might cause them to drop in search results as quicker pages rise above them.

Unoptimised images

Your photographs should not exceed 1MB in size, and you should compress them as much as possible without compromising quality based on the visual experience you need to provide (you almost definitely do not need 4K resolution images for your content).

Alt-text is another typical problem with photos that we encounter.

Because screen readers rely on alt-text to describe pictures to visually impaired people, the absence of it is a significant barrier to usability. This data is also used by Google to rank and give relevant picture results for queries.

Redirects and missing pages

Inevitably, as a website expands, pages are moved or deleted. In extreme circumstances, you could even have to relocate your entire website to a new server location.

As a result, you may have connections to pages that no longer exist or are no longer accessible because of this.

If the page they’re looking for isn’t there, you want to send them to the most recent version of your site’s home page or the most relevant page to the topic or anchor text they clicked on.

To inform search engines and visitors that this page has been completely relocated, you must utilise 301 redirects.

404 pages that haven’t been optimised are another item we notice in our audits. In the event that someone misspells a URL on your site, you may redirect them to a personalised 404 page that includes connections to related content.

Don’t use 301 redirects if you plan to utilise the URL you’re redirecting to again in the future, and don’t build up redirect chains that span via numerous URLs if possible.

An audit will become your best friend

The “So what?” question is the most crucial lesson from an SEO audit. We’ve seen audits that go on for over 100 pages, yet don’t provide many concrete recommendations for improvement. Neither the author nor the recipient benefits from producing a pointless book.

As a result, the audit should be performed by someone who is capable of identifying the necessary next steps.

An employee is the greatest option because the audit will help them better grasp the website as they carry out their responsibilities.

Audits by human people (not tools) are essential if you want to improve your SEO techniques. It’s never enjoyable to discover where your SEO efforts are underperforming, but because digital marketing is by essence such a fast-changing sector.

Our list of the top SEO-friendly plugins for WordPress is also worth a look!