Running an online business requires you to track and measure all your campaigns to benchmark conversions and increase them.
As your source of income, your blog is no different than any business out there. Therefore, you need to analyze its performance and find out how you can get the most out of your blog.
To do this, you must run an SEO audit.
Assuming that you haven’t run an audit of your blog, you are likely making little mistakes that pile up to become huge factors as to why your website isn’t ranking well.
If you’re not familiar with running an SEO audit, then you’re in luck because this post will show you how to do it!
What is a Website Audit?
A website audit is an in-depth analysis of all things related to your site’s search visibility.
It gives you a deeper understanding of the strengths and weak points that you should be looking at to improve your sales and conversions.
A website audit is more important than ever because the SEO continues to evolve.
Back then, the more keywords you add, the more likely you will rank on search engines.
That’s not the case anymore.
Search engines perform little and incredible changes that affect how your website performs.
Some websites were hit hard by the recent Florida 2 update by Google. They experienced a sudden drop in traffic because what was once ranking on the first page is now on the fifth page of Google.
This is not new in the SEO community.
Your search visibility fluctuates from time to time. It could be your competitors are doing better or you just need to be level with the current SEO best practices.
That’s the reason why an SEO audit helps you come up with better strategic plans to counter the negative effects of any search engine updates.
How Long Does an SEO Audit Take?
The duration of an SEO audit will depend on the size of your blog.
The more pages, images, and content your blog have, the longer the audit will take.
Take these factors and their examples as things to look out for:
- Technical data – Broken links, 404 errors, on page metrics, and XML site map.
- Content review – Meta title, duplicate content, and image alt texts.
- User experience – Page speed, navigation, mobile design, and web design.
- Social signals – Inbound links, social shares, mentions, and subscribers.
If your blog is simple, it might take you an hour or less. You can also have a large blog but only have a few SEO issues from the audit you ran.
A comprehensive SEO, however, may take over a day to complete.
How to Do an SEO Audit?
To do an SEO Audit, download a free application called Screaming Frog.
This tool crawls every page on your website like a search engine would and will help you identify all URL issues, duplicate pages, meta descriptions, and more.
You can audit up to 500 pages of your site for free but with limited features. To unlock those features and audit more pages, you need to pay up.
For this example, however, the free account should work just fine.
To use the tool, enter the URL of the domain you want to analyze. The tool will process your request and share details of the analysis.
Here’s a run-through on how to perform a website content audit on your own using Screaming Frog:
Page Titles tab – Filter for page titles that are over 60 characters long. Google only displays 50-60 characters and anything more than that will be cut off.
Images tab – Filter by “Missing Alt Text” to see any images on your site that doesn’t have any associated alt texts. Think of Google as a visually impaired machine – they need help to understand what your image is. Therefore, placing alt texts on your image helps them serve it on the image search results.
URL tab – Find and fix any duplicate URLs and apply canonical tags if necessary. Canonical tags instruct search engines crawlers where to direct the traffic in case of any duplicate pages.
These are just some of the features that Screaming Frog can provide but there’s a whole lot more you can do with the free tool if you avail their paid plans.
Performing an SEO audit can be a strenuous job and may require a level of mastery especially when you need to analyze all the key elements that may or may not affect your site.
If you don’t have time to do it, you can hire companies such as Pathtorch to do it for you.
Remember that proper SEO optimization will be dependent on the results of your SEO Audit.
It should be carried out regularly or at least every six months to make sure you maintain the quality score you need for your website to rank and perform well.
If you haven’t done any SEO audit in the past couple of weeks, then now’s the best time to do so.