If you wish to improve your search engine organic visibility, an SEO Audit would be the first step to take.
It is paramount to kickstarting an SEO strategy. It covers a number of analysis ranging from accessibility to crawlability to indexation or even optimization.
Today, search engines require websites to strictly follow their guidelines and recommendations in terms of technical website setup, geo-targetting, accessibility, UX or page speed.
The larger your website becomes the greater the risks become.
Types of SEO Audits
What do I need an SEO Audit for?
SEO audits have the potential to help you kickstart the right SEO strategy for your business, whatever stage of maturity your business may be at.
Although you may feel that your website is well optimised an SEO audit could reveal the one critical issue that’s holding your website from doing yet better.
The goal is to help you avoid time and money wasted in useless tactics-based approaches to SEO, and focus on the optimization of tasks that can bring the greatest return for your investment.
What Type of SEO Audit do I need?
Commonly an SEO audit refers to a ‘technical SEO audit’, however an audit can also be related to effective keyword-targetting, content and PR, relevant backlinks, reputation management or negative SEO, or for small local businesses: local SEO.
Technical SEO audits focus on the technical aspect of your web infrastructure and often pivots to all other types of audits:
- Content Audit: assesses content quality and relevancy.
- Link Audit: looks at your external incoming backlinks.
- Performance Audit looks at aligning content with objectives.
Explaining each type of SEO Audit
Technical SEO Audit
- Website Accessibility
- Website Crawl Health
- Indexability Issues
- Cloacked urls
- Pagination compliance
- Nofollow vs noindex set up
- Nofollow vs noindex set up
- Sitemaps: HTML / XML
- Robots.txt configuration
- Website Speed
- Nofollow vs noindex set up
- Duplicate Content
- Thin Content
- Hidden Content
- Hidden Content
- Image SEO
- Video SEO
- Title tags and meta tags
- Mobile SEO & AMP
- Local SEO
- Social presence and SEO
- News SEO
- Site Architecure issues
- Dynamic url formations
- Internal linking
- Inbound links
- Semantic Mark up
- Social Mark up
- International SEO
- HREFlang compliance
- HTTPS, mixed content
My typical first step throughout a website audit is to understand the information architecture in order to establish the website sections or segments.
When SEOs refer to site architecture it is important to establish the distinction between information architecture and technical architecture. The latter is about the concepts laid out above and fall under the scope of an SEO technical audit.
Information architecture however is more about effectively organising, labelling and making the content usable and findable. These are rather scoped within the content audit.
Auditing your content is as important as auditing the technical aspects of your website, or the backlink portfolio. It will give you insights as to how each content type in your website is performing against your overall goals.
Your overall goals for each type of content, may in turn be different. Therefore, in order to conduct a compelling content audit, it is important to establish what ‘quality’ means.
In the context of an overall audit, quality content means relevant content that drives relevant and engaged traffic or content that drives conversions (leads of sales). Therefore KPIs can be drawn out from those principles.
Auditing the Information Architecture
Auditing the information architecture is paramount in order to ascertain whether issues or gaps exists, that could be critical to the overall content strategy for the website in question. A semantical analysis of the content is paramount here as it may reveal opportunities to enhance the information architecture.
What typical outputs can be expected of this type of audit?
Typically a content audit will give you an outline of the content that’s performing the best, average and poorly across you website/weblog. This will enable you take action accordingly either by pruning your content, improving, combining or adding more.
Link Audits look at external incoming backlinks and they assess adequate brand popularity, or factors like link toxicity or other forms of negative SEO.
Link audits should highlight issues or problems across your website, as well as advantages and opportunities, without getting deep into user-intent keyword targetting, content or link building.
This is the part of the SEO audit that will tell your client how well they are doing in terms of business performance. It is naturally based on the KPIs the client has set as the right ones for their business: leads, conversions, sales, or at times it could be simply search engine visibility: branding
This type of audit will comprise looking at: KPI data, keyword rankings, competitor analysis and semantic analysis of the content. This clearly overlaps with the content audit which may also be looking at the semantics of the content, keywords or topics being targeted and how it all snaps up together.
Competitor and SERP AnalysisCompetitor and SERP analysis is often the missing gem of seo audits. This type of study will help you and give you the clues as to the type of content, IA or link building strategy that you need to follow based on how the SERPS are built up around the keyphrases or topics related to your business.
Endorsement & Qualifications
I understand that when it comes to outsourcing marketing services there is a need for reassurance.
My early beginnings into digital marketing can be traced back through my check me out on Linkedin profile, and I can provide references dating back to my MSc studies in Computer Science. I began getting involved with the Internet as a web designer and developer first and moved into my first technical marketing role in 2003.
Find more information about my career, endorsements and recommendations from clients and other marketing professionals in Linkedin.
Request your SEO Audit from €
My proposed SEO audit packages start with the ‘Essential’ audit which looks at your website purely from a technical SEO angle. Only this audit on its own is comprehensive enough to provide a significant amount of value for your business.
From there you may decide to have your website content and backlink portfolio audited too, and finally if you are looking to get insights about your competitors and why they may be ranking higher than you on the search engine results, I advise you request the full-blown audit. You will then a masterpiece of unparallel market intelligence information and actionable recommendations that give you will a competitive edge, if implemented.
If you feel you don’t fit in with the model below, eg: larger site, then a custom-built proposal and quote may be better for you. Feel free to send me a message outlining the specifics of your project.
Up to 5,000 indexed urls
- All checks in ‘Essential’ plus:
- Content Audit
- BackLink Audit
- Penalty Detection
- Log file analysis
- 1 hour consultation
Why are you packing all different insights into a single SEO audit ?
For the sake of simplification and to avoid complexity.
Often SEO agencies and consultants sell these packed into one single audit and report.
I find that for the most, and in particular for Small businesses a technical SEO audit is enough to get them going. I do still cover essential items from the other types of audits like 'thin or paginated content' or toxic links in case you have been hit by negative SEO. So this helps you be more focus without necessarily having to spend money if budget is scarce.
Every website and business model is different so in the majority of cases a tailored proposal looking at what the business wants to achieve, is better, but in general, people like to see prices on websites, to get an idea of costs, so this is the reason for the packages.
My website boasts more than 5K/ 50K/ 500K/ 1million urls, can you still run an SEO audit for me?
Yes, of course I can crawl your website up to 10million urls and conduct an SEO audit for even larger websites, but I will need to assess it individually before I send you a customised quote. Obviously if your website is bloated to the point that there are unlimited no. urls to be crawled ( and this exists) then I will plateau the cost in order to avoid wasting money and time on useless crawling of duplicated urls based on similar issues. Again for large complex website models, I can conduct a preliminary analysis and send you a tailored quote.
What SEO tools do you use to perform SEO audits?
For the basic type of audit, I typically use a combination of desktop-based tools, like Screamingfrog and Sitebulb with some cloud tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. From the Standard type of audit (20,000 urls) onwards I would use mainly Cloud-based tools like Oncrawl, Safecont and LinkresearchTools.
The above is only a small subset of tools used for technical SEO analysis. The list will go on to tools that focus on content analysis, internal links and social media amplication and Market Intelligence like 'Oncrawl', Sistrix and SEMrush onto sophiscated link auditing tools like Ahrefs, Majestic and my preferred one: LinkresearchTools.
Are you able to run all four types of audits highlighted above and send me a report with recommendations based on those four areas?
Simple answer: yes.
I can indeed provide you with a more thorough research and set of recommendations at all levels and specifying the converging areas: technical, content, links and performance data., all in one.
If say, you go for the 'Standard' package, I have to cap the audit time and report writing time to about 20 hours. So I can give you a comprehensive report for that length of time, but of course, a report with recommendations could go on for e
Tools I use for SEO Auditing today
The main SEO tools I use to crawl websites and perform analysis or forensic assessment for the basic SEO audit package are mainly desktop-based crawling tools. I find it it sufficient when dealing with small and even medium-sized websites:
- ScreamingFrog, it’s a must
- Sitebulb, for better visualisations and validations
- SEMrush crawler does present the https issues nicely
- Ahrefs to ascertain traffic strength and backlink health
- Siteliner for duplicate content
- SEMrush crawler does present the https issues nicely
- Website Auditor by SEO Powersuite
- Google Page Speed and GTMetrix
- Google Search Console and Google Analytics
- Google Lighthouse
- A range of Chrome extensions for page markup, snippet validation, seo analysis, LRT toolset, GTM, etc
For websites going beyond 20,000 urls I prefer to use more robust, cloud-based crawling tools. I have used Botify extensively in the past.
- Oncrawl, to crawl large sites conduct more thorough analysis of the data
- Safecont, for large-scale duplicate content identification
- LinkResearchTools, the one and only tool to identify penalty risk
- KW finder, to perform adhoc keyword research or targetting
How would my SEO Audit will be delivered?
SEO audits should always be actionable. The main report should have a recommendations section following each of the areas being audited. This recommendation section should be easy enough to follow if the client was going to read just that.
In addition, I always provide a Google sheet outlining the full list of recommendations sorted by priority. This will save you time in internal discussions as to what should be prioritised first.
I will hand you a very comprehensive SEO report that will pack a minimum of 25 sections for the ‘Essential’ SEO Audit.
The SEO report will also include information about patents, algorithm updates, references as well as quotes from Googlers or top SEO industry leaders. So the report itself will be both informative and educational.
Not Budget to commission a Professional SEO Audit?
If you have a website that needs attention for you do not have budget to commission an SEO audit, I may be able to offer you a discount, if your startup or even with a free audit if your company qualifies as a Charity. If you run a commercial business I can only suggest you come forward with your budget and I will do my best to propose a solution based on that.
The alternative to outsourcing an SEO audit is to try and follow industry advice and audit checklists to perform the analysis by yourself. You may want to read some of my articles on technical SEO.
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