27-Steps SEO Audit Checklist to Analyze Your Website
SEO Audit Checklist will help you to keep on top of the competition and up-to-date in search marketing. SEO Audit not just helps to grow your organic traffic, but it also helps to identify where the problem areas that need improvement.
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27-Steps SEO Audit Checklist to Analyze Your Website in 2021:
1. Make Sure Your Website Has Only One Version
We can indeed have more than one version in our site index in search engines like Google, Bing, or Yandex. Having different sites like http://yoursite.com, https://yoursite.com, http://www.yoursite.com, or https://www.yoursite.com, we find pretty much the same. However, Google considers those pages separately and can have the canonical URL issue. Which is not a good thing! Luckily, this is pretty simple and easy to fix. You only have all types of those different versions in your browser. They end up on one of the same URL.
2. Check Your Website Performance (PageSpeed)
When it comes to ranking a few years back, site loading speed was the main ranking factor. But now in 2021, due to the recent Google Algorithm update, website speed still matters and is a crucial ranking factor. So the question is how to check that your site speed. Have a look at the following steps:
- You need a clean HTML code on your site
- Open Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix tool
- Now type your URL into the search bar and press enter
- Then you can see whether your site is good or not
Website speed in Mobile:
Website speed in Desktop:
3. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-friendly (Responsive)
Recently Google has started using its mobile-first algorithm, so most of the searches are based on mobile devices. Due to this, Mobile SEO is essential. Google not only uses a mobile version but desktop searches as well. Check out the following simple steps to know your site is mobile-friendly or not.
- Open Google Mobile-Friendly Testing tool
- Now type your URL into the search bar and press enter
- Then you can see whether your site is mobile-friendly or not
4. Check that Your Website Has Proper AMP Setup
Since a debate has been going on for a long in the SEO industry to use AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) on a website. If you have an e-commerce store, corporate website, or blog, then AMP will boost costs without providing any additional advantages. Usually, AMP pages load faster than regular HTML pages. However, one must follow the restrictions as to the functionality one can use. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a unique way to create a mobile page that is supported by Google and other search engines. Have a look at the following steps:
- Open Google AMP Test tool
- Now type your URL into the search bar and press enter
- Then you can see whether your site is AMP enable or not
PS: LazyEarning webpages are not AMP-enabled because our blog doesn’t require AMP pages. Basically, it is required for thousand of page websites like News sites, Stories sites, and Forums.
5. Check that Your Webpages Have Canonical Tags
A canonical tag is a tag that lets the search engine know which page should display in a search result. However, it’s confusing for the search engine to decide which page to display in case of duplicate. When the same content available across multiple URLs and multiple webpages. At this time, you can implement the canonical tag in your webpage markup. Using a canonical tag correctly can help to control duplicate content on your site without affecting the ranking.
6. Check Robots.txt and Robots Meta Tags
One must have good knowledge to use and set up robots.txt file and meta robots tags. A tiny mistake can raise a red flag to your entire result. Some digital marketers take a long time doing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to understand that their website is close to the index in robots.txt. However, some of them use this “Disallow” tag in the wrong way that leads to loose backlinks in droves. It’s pretty technical SEO to deal with robots.txt files and tags that can lead to tons of errors. You can check your robots.txt file by using the Google robots testing tool.
7. Check that Your Website has a Proper XML Sitemap file
We hear a lot of times from Google to keep a proper XML sitemap file on your website. Getting a mistake in your sitemap is a big blunder which we consider avoiding. So here, I am going to show you how to create and check a website that has a proper XML sitemap.
- You can create the XML sitemap file through free and paid tools like XML Sitemaps Generator and Screaming Frog. If you are a WordPress user, you can use free plugins like RankMath, Yoast, or Google XML Sitemaps for creating an XML sitemap file.
- Now type your website URL and press Enter.
- After creating the sitemap file, go and download it.
- After that, upload it on the root drive.
- Now go to the Google Search Console and click on “Sitemaps” and submit to start crawling.
- You can check whether the XML sitemaps file is uploaded successfully or not by typing your website including the sitemaps file address on the browser (https://yoursite.com/sitemap.xml OR https://yoursite.com/sitemap_index.xml).
Organizing pages on your site is pretty simple, but website architecture is also the primary factor in SEO. Why? Have a look at the following reason down below:
- Firstly, site architecture makes it easier for a search engine to find and index all of your pages: Having a big mess architecture will give trouble for Google or Bing to find and index. Once site architecture links all the pages together, search engines can find and index easily.
- Secondly, architecture lets Google know which page on your site is crucial: Basically, closer to the page is to your homepage more essential. So make your site architecture flat, which takes only three clicks to go from your homepage or any other page on your site. Sometimes, you need the help of a developer to remake your site navigation. You can add internal links and links to the sidebar.
9. Check Your Domain Name is Rank on Search Engine
A well-optimized domain name lets your audience know what your website is all about. In the search result listing, the domain is more likely to be clicked. Domain names have a huge impact on SEO, but the domain name is based on your brand. By doing this, users can easily find, share, and remember your business online. Google likes what users like that are brands. Having a strong online brand means more click-through-rates (CTR), share, and links to your site. Also, increase your website’s credibility and trust value and higher Google rankings.
10. Check that Your Webpages Have Proper Meta Description
The meta description is not the main ranking factor but the quality and clean description influence your click-through-rate on your site. Check the following checklist of the meta description:
- Keywords: Always keep the most important and focused keyword for every webpage in your meta description.
- Keep readable and legible: Your meta description should not be like Robot but it should be simple, normal, and well-written.
- Make your meta description compelling and relevant: Make the appealing meta description, but the content of the webpage should match with the content.
- Length of meta description: The meta description should be 140 – 155 characters long. Recently Google has been testing longer snippets, so ensure that important keywords are nearer.
- You should not have duplicate meta descriptions: Google penalized mass duplicating the meta description or content. So every webpage should have different meta descriptions.
- Use rich snippets: You can make appealing rich snippets using schema markup like customer ratings, product information, calorie counts, and star ratings.
11. Check that Your Webpages Have Decent Title
A title tag is a key element that appears in the search engine. Webpage title plays a vital role in SEO strategy, due to the following reasons.
- A well-written descriptive title boosts the click-through-rate (CTR).
- The search engine has taken the title relevancy into its algorithm.
Following are some tips to write a decent title:
- Make a short title: Your title should be no more than 60 – 65 characters. If the characters exceed the limit, Google cuts down and displays in search engines.
- Come up with the relevant keywords: The keyword you choose for your title will display in the SERP as a clickable link. That means, it must contain the main keywords, so list down all the possible keyword that describes your content.
- Title must summarize your content: Summarizing the content of your webpage can help users what the topic of your page is in the SERP. That will boost your click-through-rate and decrease your bounce rate.
- Make your Title Unique: keep the unique title for each webpage and stay away from duplicate content issues.
- Keyword stuffing/ Spam technique should be avoided: By over-optimizing, let’s say you manage to get a high ranking in SREP. But the title can reduce your click-through-rate. Due to this, one should not keyword stuffing and spam technique.
12. Check that Your Webpages Have a User-friendly URL
When it comes to SEO tasks, URL optimization is the easiest one out of all. However, it’s very important to make sure that your webpage has an SEO-friendly URL. It describes each webpages using a keyword to search engine as well as users. Using the keyword that is relevant to the content of your site is the first optimization step to make URLs friendly. Following are more than that:
- SEO Friendly URL enhances the user experience: SEO is all about making a better experience for users and search engine spiders. A well-crafted URL attracts a lot of users and increases Click-Through-Rates (CTR).
- SEO Friendly URL is the ranking factor: Pages that are in the high rank in search engine results have a short URL length.
- Links: Using the relevant keyword in the URL makes the search engines with more information about the page.
- Check for Images Optimization: Pictures can be sure to state more than words, and users love to associate with images instead of words. Over time the importance of the image on media websites, e-commerce sites, and traveling sites has increased drastically. More than 64% of the website contains images if we lessen the size of these pictures without decreasing the picture quality. We can have an immediate and positive impact on page load and user-experience in your sites. Users are likely to abandon if your sites take more than three seconds to load. That will not only increase your bounce rate but also affects the conversion rate as well.
13. Check that Your Webpages Have Proper Headings
The use of Heading tags is not only for making Text Large or Bold. It differentiates our web page content, and each web document must structure the content. Categorizing your content with different headings makes users friendly. H1 tag is the most important that depicts everything about your website page in one shot. So keep it like that your users will get an idea reading your heading. Furthermore, For better SEO of your web page, one should have to follow the hierarchy like <H1> followed by <H2>, <H3>,<H4>,<H5>, and <H6>.
14. Check Your Webpages for Duplicate and Thin Content
A content with badly written articles that do not provide benefits to users. It contains pages that target a different keyword, which people never share on social media channels. Google might penalize for duplicate content on a website. Also, the main pages that ranked high in SERP may not rank again and crawl to new content. Here is how to check your duplicate and thin content on your website:
- Using a Google search is the easiest way to find duplicate and thin content on your website.
- Take a piece of content and put it in quotes to search on Google.
- Google will let you know the total number of pages in its index of the web.
- Use Copyscape, DupliChecker, or Turnitin to check the duplicate content.
15. Check that Your Website has Relevant Keywords and LSI
LSI keywords help search engines to understand the content of the page adding context and connecting the copy to the target keyword. Using the relevant keyword not only strengthens the content. But it also leads to better and accurate rankings. Have a look at these two steps on using LSI keywords:
- Find LSI keyword: Finding the LSI keywords alone will be tough. But tools like LSIGraph, Google Related Searches, and Google Autocomplete help to gather LSI keywords for your content.
- Implement the LSI keyword: Once you come up with the relevant LSI keywords, you can use them in your content. You can use the best including LSI in the title tag, description tag, header tag, URL, Anchor texts, and first and last paragraph.
16. Check Your Website Internal & External Links
Internal and external links are the most underrated SEO strategies. Internal link in the right way is pretty simple. You have to ensure to link high-priority pages. Then you can see all of the website’s internal links in the GSC (Google Search Console).
- First, go to the Search Console and then click on “Links”.
- There you will find the pages on your site that get the top internal and external links.
17. Check and Delete Zombie Posts/Page from Your Website
Deleting your zombie post and page from your website makes the On-page SEO audit checklist easier. Fewer the zombie pages fewer the problems on your website. Search result pages, Old press releases, thin content, archive pages, and category and tag pages in WordPress are the common types of Zombie Pages. Most of the sites have more than 50% indexed pages, so these pages are zombie pages. Getting rid of these zombie pages can increase your organic traffic. To know that your site has zombie pages:
- In Google search, you have to type site:yourwebsite.com
- You can see there how many pages Google has indexed
18. Check that Your Contents are Optimize for Featured Snippets
One thing that can drastically increase your organic traffic is your page to show up in featured snippets. You have to follow this guide down below to show up in the Featured Snippet.
- Your content should be mobile-friendly.
- Include a short answer to the description (40 – 50 words).
- In your content use headers (H2 or H3) tags as you can.
19. Check that Your Webpages has Proper Redirection
One that can permanently redirect from an old URL to a new URL is 301 redirect. It is the most efficient search engine friendly redirect. Using 301 redirects lets you send one URL to other URLs. Also, it protects your website backlinks from the old site to the new site. The following can help you to check that your webpage has proper redirection:
- Testing 301 redirects to ensure that redirect is working correctly. It informs Google and other search engines that the URL has permanently moved and indexed.
- Display your high-quality content on the new page
- When redesigning your site, 301 redirects move your content as soon as possible. It even makes it easier to troubleshoot and manage.
- Your new site submits to Google Search Console to confirm ownership. This step is crucial as Google will come to know that a new website is available in your domain. Google Webmasters tools help to check for crawl errors and ensure that redirect from the old site is working.
20. Fix Broken Links from Your Website
Having broken links in your site can hurt your SEO and bad user experience. So have a look at the following steps listed down below to fix the broken links on your site:
- First, you have to look for the broken pages on your website which Google can not fix: Go to the Google Search Console Index Report
- If your page has Google 404 errors, you can see them there. But in some cases, you have deleted lots of Zombie Pages. At that time, Google will stop reporting those broken pages.
- Second, use the SEO tools like Ahrefs or a free WordPress plugin named Broken Line Checker to find out broken internal and external links.
21. Fix Indexation Issues from Your Website
Finding out the webpages that are not indexing is pretty simple. Go to the Google search console, and then click on the “Coverage” report shows a list of pages that could not index for some reason. You can use the Screaming Frog tool to double-check and see everything is ok. It crawls in the same as Google and informs the pages that it can not access.
22. Find and Fix If Any Google Penalties
Google penalties are a bummer for every SEO guy. The website penalized by Google can never get a higher ranking in SERP. Every year Google changes its search algorithms to improve the quality of its search results. Some websites get organic ranking while some lose the traffic. Having your site in a top position gives lots of benefits that you can not ignore. Two methods can help you find and fix any Google penalties.
Google Search Console: It is a medium through which webmasters come to know the problems on their websites. But first, you should understand the types of penalties:
Manual Penalty: Google quality team imposes a penalty on your website. Google informs the problem with a list of actions to correct the issue. When the changes are made submit the reconsideration request, then they will let you know whether a penalty is removed or not.
Algorithmic Penalty: It is the most common and automatic type of penalty. Here, one can not report to the Google Search Console tool, and no option to fill in a reconsideration request.
23. Google Analytics and Reviewing Your Google Traffic
If your website is penalized by an automatic penalty, then you can check in Google Analytics.
- Go to the Google Analytics dashboard and select your website.
- Go to the “Acquisition” and then “All Traffic” and then Source/Medium.
- Now select “Google / Organic” from the list here you will see the number of visits you get from Google search.
- Select from the top right the reporting period and go back.
- Now, compare the dates that you see in a Major Drop with the dates and update that was released.
24. Check Your Website Organic Traffic
Go to Google Analytics first there you will come to know your organic traffic.
- Go to the “Acquisition” and then “All Traffic” and then “Channels”.
- Click on “Organic Search”, you will see how many people visited your site from search engines last month.
- Now, set the dates to the last 6-8 months, then you can see that your organic traffic is going in the right direction or not.
- No worries if your organic traffic is declining, your goal is to see where you’re at and improve once you finish this on-page SEO audit checklist.
25. Check Your Website Structured Data
Now, it’s time to make your structured data. So have a look down below to make your website structured data:
- Keep a short introduction: Long introduction makes your article looks dull and sluggish, and no one likes to read them. Instead, keep a short and engaging introduction.
- Write a small paragraph: People don’t like to read a long paragraph. Keeping a small well-written paragraph makes your content better.
- Make a lot of subheaders: Subheaders help your readers to read as well as help content to break up.
- Use images and videos: Visuals, images, and videos make your content more compelling and helps to understand more easily.
Backlinks are the prime factor for a ranking, which means backlinks are crucial and there is no doubt that you should create backlinks. So right now, it is the right time to analyze your backlink consider the following steps to analyze your website backlinks:
- Enter your website URL into your backlink analysis tools like Aherfs, SEMrush, Moz, or Majestic SEO.
- After that, you will get the report on your links and refer to domains and domain authority.
- Now, look at your “Domain Authority” as this lets you know how much authority your site has based on the quantity and quality of your backlinks.
- At last, look at your toxic links, so check out the common anchor text in your link profile. If you see many branded anchor text, then it’s good. But if you see many keyword-rich anchor text and that’s the sign of a toxic link profile.
27. Analyze Your Website Competitors
You should keep eye on your competitors. Analyzing your competitors is a good thing. It will help you to keep you ahead of your competitors. Have a look at the following to analyze your website competitors:
- You have to find out the competitor’s best keyword using SEO audit tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs.
- And then check the pages that are ranking on those keywords. With this, you will come to know what type of content works best in your niche.
- Lastly, you need to see who links those pages, go to URL into Ahrefs. Look at the links pointing to that page from this you will come to know the influencers in your niche. Now, you can start building relationships with them.
Well, that’s all for analyzing the Off-page and On-page SEO audit checklist, that was long if you have made it to this, congrats. Following this above checklist will increase your website traffic and ranking on the search engines. So do you have any tips that I didn’t mention here? Or you have any questions about this checklist? Tell me in the comment section.
Originally published Feb 2, 2021, & updated on Feb 2, 2021