How to do a Basic SEO Audit of your Website

Jul 05, 2024

How to do a Basic SEO Audit of your Website Header Background

If you wish to do a basic SEO audit of your website, you will need some SEO tools and the eye of someone who understands SEO.

You can always contact an SEO agency like Maxweb to conduct your SEO audit, but if you have the necessary tools and the SEO knowledge, you can also undertake this task yourself.

You can audit both on-site and off-site SEO factors with a variety of free and paid SEO tools. While you can also audit a wide range of SEO factors without tools and just your SEO knowledge, it could be very time-consuming, by using tools we speed up the process considerably.

SEO tools will help us identify technical SEO issues and speed up the time to complete an audit compared to manually checking each URL individually.

However, there are still some elements to SEO that tools are just not great at picking up. Tools are not great at reading content and making sure it makes sense and is useful, a human needs to undertake this exercise. A human also needs to make sure that your content aligns with user intent in the auditing process.

SEO audits can also be broken down into separate audits; you can conduct for example, some of the following audits:

  1. Content Audit
  2. Technical SEO Audit
  3. Backlink Audit
  4. Internal Link Audit
  5. UX Audit

A comprehensive backlink audit alone could encompass many hours of work and analysis. For most small businesses, an audit that identifies the basic SEO issues and puts in place a forward-thinking strategy is enough to have a positive impact.

Large websites may wish to run specific audits to drill down into very specific SEO elements and collect large amounts of data for analysis.


The Right SEO Tools For the Job

Now, there is a wide range of SEO tools and applications on the market used for auditing purposes. Some are great and others are not so great.

Some tools run daily audits, and others are only run when instructed to crawl your site and check for SEO issues. These tools look through the code on your website and pick up problems you can then look to resolve.

Most SEO tools used in auditing will identify:

Technical SEO Issues:

  • Broken links (404 errors)
  • Server errors (500 errors)
  • Slow page load speeds
  • Incorrect use of redirects (301, 302)
  • Duplicate content
  • Mixed Content (HTTP)
  • Sitemap issues
  • Robots.txt file errors
  • Missing or incorrect schema markup
  • Unstructured data errors
  • Missing HTTPS/SSL certificate
  • Security vulnerabilities
  • Orphaned pages

On-Page SEO Issues:

  • Missing or duplicate page titles
  • Missing or duplicate meta-descriptions
  • Incorrect heading structures (H1, H2, H3)
  • Low word count on pages
  • Poor internal linking
  • Missing alt text on images
  • Oversize images

Backlink Issues:

  • Toxic or spammy backlinks
  • Lack of high-quality backlinks
  • Broken backlinks

To begin an SEO audit, you can manually crawl your website using software such as Screaming Frog; this will help produce a technical audit. You could also set up daily or weekly audits with tools such as Semrush or SE Ranking.

Tools we recommend to use in SEO audits include:

There are numerous other tools on the market but the above list will allow you to audit many different elements relating to SEO on your website.


The Technical SEO Audit (Onsite)

To begin your audit, you will need to crawl your website with a tool such as Screaming Frog. This is a very advanced tool with multiple functions, but it is still easy enough for beginners to grasp.

You simply put in your website address, and a screaming frog will crawl the site and give you a list of issues you can resolve. For example, you can identify which images are missing alt text, export the list to a CSV, and begin working through the list.

This is a very powerful tool for identifying technical SEO issues on your website. It has a wide range of features for everybody, from beginners to advanced levels.

If you want a list of all broken links on your website or wish to identify all pages that link to other websites that return a 404 status, Screaming Frog is a great tool for identifying technical SEO issues.

This tool can also be used to gather information on all your internal links; if you want to know what page on your website a page links to, we use Screaming Frog to run internal link audits, which is part of technical SEO.


Google Search Console

Next, you should visit the Google Search Console and check your pages. Here, you can discover which pages have been indexed or not.

When a page is indexed, it is eligible to show in Google search results; if your page is not getting found by the search engines, it can not be indexed. So you need to make sure the pages are in the sitemap, and have the appropriate code applied on each web page you want to show in search engines.

In Google search console you can add your sitemap and check all website links are accessible to search engines.

You can also check numerous other factors in here, such as your LCP scores, to check for any issues that may be slowing your page’s loading speeds.

You can also use Lighthouse to identify issues on your website such as loading issues and code that may be impacting the performance of your site.


Content Audit (Onsite)

A content audit is a way to review all the content on your website to see how well it’s doing and what can be improved. First, you need to decide why you’re doing the audit. This could be to boost SEO, make your content more engaging, update old information, or find gaps where new content is needed.

Next, you’ll gather a list of all the content on your site. This includes blog posts, product pages, and any other important pages. You can get this list using tools like Google Analytics, or a website crawler like Screaming Frog.

Once you have your list, you need to collect data for each page. Look at things like how many people visit each page, how long they stay, how many share it on social media, and if the content helps you achieve your goals. SEO data like keyword rankings and backlinks are also important and can be cross referenced with other tools.

With this data, you can see which content is doing well and which is not. High-performing content should be kept as is. Content that isn’t doing well might need updates or even a complete rewrite. Some old or irrelevant content might need to be deleted.

While reviewing your content, look for topics you haven’t covered that your audience might be interested in. Consider what questions your audience is asking or what your competitors are doing well.

After you’ve reviewed all your content, make a plan for each piece. Decide if you’re going to keep it, update it, rewrite it, or delete it. Once you start making changes, monitor how your content performs to ensure the changes are working.

It’s also a good idea to keep a record of everything you find and the changes you make. This helps you track improvements over time and plan future content strategies.

Creating a spreadsheet can help you organise all this information. For each piece of content, including details like the URL, title, publish date, last updated date, word count, page views, bounce rate, average time on page, keywords, backlinks, and the action you plan to take.

By following these steps, you can improve your website’s content, make it more engaging for your audience, and boost your SEO performance.


Backlink Audit (Off Site)

To conduct a backlink audit we recommend using Ahrefs. Here, you can list all websites that link to your site and also identify opportunities by looking at competitor backlink profiles.

You can use ahrefs to inspect links and attributes such as:

·  Source URL: The exact page where the backlink is placed.

  • Anchor Text: The visible text of the hyperlink pointing to your website, which can influence the relevance and SEO value.
  • Link Type: Whether the link is dofollow or nofollow, which impacts the flow of PageRank.
  • New Links: Identify new backlinks to your website.
  • Lost Links: Detect if any backlinks have been lost or removed.


By analysing your backlink profile you can identify any low-quality links that you may need to disavow. This is important if your site has been penalised for spammy link-building practices and has faced a penalty.

Here you can also check the IP addresses of referring links, monitor your domain rating, identify backlink opportunities and also run regular automated audits.


Get An SEO Audit

How deep you go with your audit will vary. If you have an e-commerce website and are competing for sales, you may wish to inspect and improve upon every possible element to give yourself the best chance of reaching your organic sales potential.

If you are a small brochure website, you may want to make sure all the basics are covered, and your website has a sound SEO foundation without any technical errors for end users.

What is important is that you act upon your findings. SEO Audits can be used to identify current issues and help you plan for growth.

An SEO audit is the 1st thing we do for our clients as it gives us a picture of where the site stands in terms of technical SEO, content quality and the strength of a website’s backlink profile.

If your website needs an SEO audit with a focus on a particular area of interest,  or a general health check to clear up any issues we are happy to help.  SEO issues can harm your ability to rank well in the search engines and our team can identify these issues for you and also opportunities to increase organic your reach.


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