How to Perform a Complete SEO Audit on Your Site

complete SEO audit illustration

Is your website not getting the organic traffic it deserves? If this is the case, it may be time to perform an SEO audit.

 

Don’t worry. This isn’t as painful as it sounds. If you’ve ever wanted to know if you need an audit or how to perform a complete SEO audit on your website, you’re in the right place.

 

Keep reading. We’ve got some tips and tricks to help you focus on some key points to get more eyes on your website.

The Importance and Value of an SEO Audit

 

What is SEO? Search engine optimization is the process by which search engines like Google decide how valuable the information is on your website. This information is then listed from most relevant down in their results page, also known as the SERPs.

 

Everything from poor loading times to bad links can cause your website to rank poorly. 

 

It’s rare for there to ever be just one problem. It’s usually an accumulation, often of many small things that are easily fixed, that cause issues. Let’s get into 5 key items you can look at that will help boost your SEO.

 

1. Evaluate Problems with Links

 

The first thing you should do is evaluate your links. This includes internal linking within your content, links going to other websites, and links from other websites that are pointing to your website.

 

Internal linking and links going to other websites are an easy fix. You can use an extension called Check My Links to go through your website. Run the program on all of your pages and look for any broken links. Replace them with something relevant and valuable.

 

Managing incoming links from other websites can be a bit trickier. You want links from external sources. This helps Google see your business or website as an authority and a relevant source of information.

 

But if shady websites are linking to you, there could be a problem. Your competition could be building bad links to your website or you could have paid a link builder who decided to use black hat link-building methods to get a paycheck.

 

Rather than trying to track down every link site by site, try using tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. They are expensive but offer great tools to find bad links. 

 

Once you find the links that are causing problems, you can contact Google using their disavow tool and have the bad links disassociated from your website.

 

2. Look at Content that isn't Ranking

 

Sometimes your content may be causing issues with your SEO. This is a concern because there could be a dozen different reasons why this is happening.

 

If you don’t have proper links internally and externally, Google isn’t going to rank you. 

 

If you’re trying too hard to make money blogging, such as overdoing it with ads or spamming affiliate links, you may be getting punished.

 

Let’s start with writing your content. Start with an interesting header. Something that’s going to make people want to visit your site. Write a brief introduction and then get into the meat and potatoes of your content. 

 

Use headers (in title case), images, gifs, and videos to break up the content. Do not write in a wall of text format. Make it as easy as possible for your audience to read and digest the information you want to present.

 

More than anything, make sure the content is better than anything that is currently ranking. Anything less than 500 words is likely not going to get the attention you want. But fluffing out blog posts isn’t ideal either.

 

If you’re struggling to generate great content, then there are tons of online resources to find a freelancer or to hire a professional writer to come in and help. There are thousands of writers available on different job boards every day and it’s an inexpensive way to find an experienced content creator for your business or brand.

 

3. Adjust your Keywords 

 

Keywords help you rank. People search for a term, Google finds the most relevant articles/content for this term, and then presents it to the user.

 

If you aren’t ranking for your desired keywords, there is a reason. 

 

The first is that you could be targeting keywords that are too short. As an example, if someone Googles “shoes” and you own an independent shoe store, you will never, ever, ever show up on the first page. It’s not going to happen. 

 

You’re competing with brands like Nike, New Balance, Footlocker, and every major department store. You have a zero percent chance of winning this fight.

 

But all is not lost. You can combat this issue by targeting long-tail keywords. Maybe you want to try to compete by going after “black shoes”. No. Still not going to happen. Your tail is still too short.

 

“Black pumps with 3-inch heels”. Now we’re getting somewhere. If you have a shoe store in a city, you can also utilize the name of this city.

 

How? Blog content. Product descriptions are great but jamming in “black pumps with 3-inch heels in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania” is going to look absurd in a product description. When search engines see this kind of thing, your website could be flagged for “keyword stuffing” and your site will not rank.

 

Most marketing software has some sort of keyword tool. But you can use free and freemium software to get a good idea of great, low competition long-tail keywords. 

 

Ubersuggest is one of the better options. It’s technically a free keyword tool but if you’re willing to spend $29 a month, you can get plenty of keyword searches to help you write content to get your on-page SEO in order.

 

4. Optimize Title Tags for Snippets and Schema

 

Let’s use the above example again. You want people to know that your independent shoe store in Pittsburg has a great selection of pumps with 3-inch heels. You decided to take our advice and write a piece of content about this topic.

 

Go back through old blog posts and look at the title tags. This is what appears to people and search engines. You may see blog posts and description pages that say something like pittsburgshoes.com/jibberish$$%%and$%^$%^numbers3489357%$%@^.

 

Clean those title tags up to give search engines a clearer idea of what your website is trying to do. You can do this manually but there are also SEO plugins like Rank Math that can help you come up with cleaner tags.

 

For this example, your tag should be something like pittsburgshoes.com/pump-with-3inch-heels. See how much better this is?

 

As another example, you own a website that’s involved with high ticket affiliate programs. You promote/sell new and used RVs on this website. The only way you’re going to compete with big names in the industry is through long-tail keywords and optimized title tags.

 

If someone is looking for content like “The Top Ten RVs Under $100,000” then you have a chance to rank for that keyword if the rest of your SEO efforts are up to snuff.

 

Using the above idea, your title tag should be something like affiliatesite.com/top-ten-rvs-under-100k.

 

5. Make On-Page Adjustments for Underperforming Articles

 

Not every piece of content is going to be a winner. This is an unfortunate part of the SEO game.

 

Even the best content creation efforts can fall flat. You may even see your favorite pieces of content slide slowly down the SERPs page and eventually into the abyss of page 2.

 

Here are a few tips to return this content to its former glory or help to bring it into the light.

 

The first thing you can do is use internal linking from more popular pages on your website. You can do this by replacing other internal links with new ones to this particular piece of content. However, you want to make sure the anchor text is relevant.

 

Your content may also be out of date. Go through it and update any information. This may take just a few minutes or you may have to rewrite the entire piece. 

 

Once you’re finished, you can add a line of text at the top of the page mentioning that the content was updated for the current year.

 

If you tried to stuff too many keywords into this piece of content, try removing some when you update. You should have a keyword in the title, at least one header, and a couple of times in the body of the post. 

 

Your content may also be too short. If you search for “black pumps with 3-inch heels in Pittsburg” and your content is being overpowered, then check out the competition. 

 

If you wrote about the five best black pumps and your competition wrote about the six or seven best pumps with a 3-inch heel, then Google may see them as providing more value. One-up your competitors by crushing them with a ten best pumps post or updating your old with some new footwear.

 

SurferSEO has one of the best tools for helping people who aren’t professional writers optimize content for their websites. It’s a bit pricey at $49 a month. If you would prefer something free, then use apps like Grammarly and the Hemmingway App to tweak your content.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Perform a Complete SEO Audit

 

Finally, we’d like to mention site speed. With Google’s core vitals update, loading times have never been more important.

 

If you’re using WordPress, the first thing you should do is make sure all of your plugins, themes, and WordPress itself are updated. Delete unused plugins and themes. 

 

You can use free tools like GTmetrix to get an idea of how fast your website is loading.

 

After you’ve applied all of the fixes we recommended in this post, your website should be in much better shape. If it isn’t, then it may be time to bring in a professional!

Gael Breton

Gael is one-half of the Authority Hacker Duo. Together, they help small to medium businesses grow their online presence. Whether is testing new tools and techniques or optimizing and refining existing ideas, there’s always progress to be made!

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