SEO audit - technical analysis of the website
The first element of any effective positioning strategy is an SEO audit, which results in a list of optimization recommendations that have a direct impact on improving the website’s visibility. We can even go so far as to say that a website’s compliance with SEO principles is the most important ranking factor.
A professional SEO audit should be the starting point of a long-term vision of building a presence in organic search results. The conducted audit and, as a result, the implemented list of optimization activities will have a positive impact on the website’s position, even before we “set in motion” the remaining elements of our positioning process.
What is an SEO audit in practice?
An SEO audit is an analysis of the content and structure of a website and its environment in the search engine in terms of the requirements set by Google. It consists of 3 main elements:
- on-site audit,
- off-site audit,
- list of optimization recommendations.
All requirements set by Gogle as a Webmaster can be found on the official platform – the Google Search Center.
Elements of an on-site audit
An on-site audit is an audit of a website, which consists of a technical analysis and verification of the content present on it. The purpose of this part of the SEO audit is to detect any irregularities that can be repaired directly within the website itself and which may affect users’ experience with our website.
HEAD SECTION CORRECTNESS
The two most important elements of the head section from the point of view of indexing robots are meta title and meta description, they should be completed for each subpage on a given website and contain the appropriate number of characters (page titles, i.e. title, maximum 55, descriptions, i.e. description, approximately 165).
It should also be remembered that meta tags are the user’s first contact with our website directly in the search engine and they are intended to encourage him to visit our website. They should therefore be planned not only in terms of positioning, but also in terms of image.
RELATIONSHIP OF CONTENT TO PAGE CODE
It determines the amount of content visible to the user in relation to the page code and should be at least 20%. A large amount of valuable content makes it easier for us to answer as many possible user queries as possible and allows us to include a large number of key phrases on the website.
CONTENT OF KEYWORDS IN THE CONTENT OF THE WEBSITE
This is one of the elements of website content analysis, focused primarily on how many and what key phrases are on it and what are still missing. Creating a list of keywords focuses on selecting those that will best meet the needs of potential customers.
ORIGINALITY OF CONTENT
Verification of content originality focuses primarily on detecting the potentially occurring phenomenon of duplicate content – i.e. internal (on our website) and external (on other websites) copies of the content. According to Google’s guidelines, all content added to your site must be original.
It is a sitemap in the form of a file placed to help search engine robots index our website. It should be located at yourstrona.pl/sitemap.xml and reported in the Google Search Console tool in the “scanning” section.
The robots.txt file is a file through which we indicate to robots which addresses we want and which we do not want to be indexed in the Google search engine. It should be located at yourstrona.pl/robots.txt.
USE OF FRIENDLY LINKS
Friendly links are a form of writing URL addresses that reflects the structure of the page and does not contain any unnecessary parameters such as random numbers or percentages.
MARK LINKS AS NOFOLLOW
All links leaving the website should be marked in the html code as “nofollow” so as not to pass its power on.
PAGE LOADING SPEED AND CORE WEB VITALS
Currently, Google considers the most important technical issues in the context of website positioning to be those that affect the speed of loading its individual elements. That’s why he created the concept of Basic Internet Indicators, which are intended to distinguish weak sites from good ones based on data about their users’ experiences.
Creating an appropriate internal link structure also affects your website’s position. Sending users between related content not only helps you retain them longer, but also makes it easier for the robot to index your site. However, internal links must be added carefully so as not to make our website too confusing and unreadable.
A comprehensive SEO audit is not only an analysis of what we see at first glance, but also a verification of technical elements such as the presence of errors in the code, which may have a significant impact on its operation.
COMPLIANCE OF THE MOBILE VERSION WITH REQUIREMENTS
Appropriate display of the website on mobile devices is very important due to the fact that currently over 60% of users search using their phones.
Every modern website is characterized by a large number of different graphics. Their analysis is also part of the SEO audit. Website optimization should include posting image files in the formats suggested by Google, i.e. WebP and AVIF. The size of the added images should not exceed 100kb, and each should have the ALT attribute supplemented with the original content.
CORRECTNESS OF REDIRECTMENTS
The technical audit should also take into account whether the 301 redirection between the version of the domain containing www and the one without was performed correctly. As part of the verification of redirections, it is also worth checking whether the website address is linked to others using permanent redirects and whether the SSL certificate works properly.
LANGUAGE VERSION OF THE WEBSITE
Websites often have more than one language version, and their appropriate implementation is necessary to display content to the user in the language spoken in a given country.
SOFTWARE UP TO DATE
This is a particularly important topic if the analysis of the website shows that it operates on commercial solutions, such as: WordPress, which are often exposed to various types of attacks, so they should be updated on a regular basis to avoid potential threats.
PAGES RETURNING 404/500 ERRORS
If the website returns many errors with code 500, it means problems with the server that require the website owner to respond as soon as possible. If the website returns many errors with code 500, it means problems with the server that require the website owner to respond as soon as possible.
Elements of an off-site audit
An off-site SEO audit consists primarily of analyzing the profile of links pointing to a given website and their impact on building its authority. Incoming links, or more specifically the domains they come from, still have a very large impact on the website’s visibility in the Top 10 search results.
First of all, it is worth examining them in terms of thematic connections, then their quality and anchor texts. This will allow you to decide what link building activities should be undertaken in the future.
The second important element in terms of website positioning is an audit of the competition, or more precisely, the activities they conduct within the organic search results. This will allow us to check who is currently the leader for the phrases/topic areas we are interested in and what moves they are making to maintain this position.
Examples of SEO audit tools used by Up&More
We use many different types of both free and paid tools to conduct comprehensive SEO audits for our clients. The tools we use are influenced primarily by the size of the website and the country in which it operates. These are among others:
- Screaming Frog
- Google Search Console
- Google Page Speed Insights
- Surfer SEO
- Majestic SEO
When is it worth conducting an SEO audit?
It is worth performing a comprehensive SEO analysis of the website in several cases:
- When we want to launch a new website and plan to start SEO activities for it. In such a case, it is best to conduct an SEO audit before it starts, so that it is indexed in the version with optimization changes.
- When we want to start SEO activities for a website that has been on the Internet for some time but has never been optimized.
- When there were significant changes in the Google algorithm that affected the positioning of websites, our strategy requires a revision and another SEO audit.
- When we have made significant changes to the structure of our website and we are no longer sure whether it still meets Google’s requirements.
How much does a website SEO audit cost?
It is difficult to give a clear answer to this question. If we want professional and complete conclusions, it is worth performing an SEO audit in cooperation with a qualified SEO agency. Then you will be sure that nothing important has been omitted in the analysis of your website.
However, the cost of such analysis can vary greatly depending on the size of your website. The time spent on auditing an online store with thousands of subpages will be completely different from the time it will take to audit the website of a glass factory in a small town.
The price range can be really large. It is worth asking an SEO agency for an individual quote dedicated to your website. At Up&More, the cost of a website audit starts from PLN 1,500 net!
Why is a free SEO audit performed automatically not necessarily a good idea?
If you want to position your website yourself, you can try to conduct a free audit.
There are many tools that offer a free audit, but these types of SEO audits are never complete, and very often the interpretation of their results requires specialized knowledge related to both positioning and website creation.
Taking advantage of a free audit should only be an indication that not everything is OK with our website and that we need to take care of it if we want to achieve satisfactory organic results.
Why is it worth choosing an SEO audit at Up&More?
- We approach each website we audit individually. We do not follow established patterns, we thoroughly look for problems that may be hidden within the website, seemingly invisible at first glance.
- We describe the data that we include in our audit. We want our clients to understand the essence of the problems their websites are struggling with, so we translate all the data we refer to in a language understandable to everyone.
- For us, an SEO audit is one of the most important elements of every strategy. Our many years of experience show that excellent website optimization allows you to achieve excellent results.
- We are up to date with changes in the Google algorithm. We constantly monitor changes in the search engine algorithm and we conduct all our audits with them in mind.
- We provide assistance at the implementation stage. If any questions or doubts arise during the implementation of the audit, either on the part of the client or the specialists who implement the audit, we are always happy to help. Our work related to the audit does not end at the stage of sending a message with optimization recommendations!