As one of the leading SEO companies, we consider that a comprehensive SEO Audit is a very crucial element of any SEO project. SEO Audit is in itself a standalone process and hence requires profound involvement of a person or a team of highly analytic minds.
When we decided to create an extensive SEO audit template for our clients, we reviewed hundreds of audit reports, some of which included audits templates from many renowned digital marketing agencies. However, no audit alone looked satisfactory. So, we started generating a list of important factors, strengths, weaknesses, etc. that need to be addressed when planning a SEO or marketing strategy for a website. The end result – well, we’re quite pleased with it and so are our clients.
This audit preparation exercise gave us some really important revelations regarding some critical elements that are unfortunately often ignored. Though, all elements covered in SEO audits are highly important be it keywords analysis, backlinks analysis, mobile friendliness or pagespeed checks, etc. Let us give you an overview of the key elements of a SEO Audit that are often overlooked.
1. Technical SEO Audit
The technical SEO Audit implies that we check almost every possible technical element related to the usability of the website. There is an extensive checklist that we follow to make sure that nothing is left to the imagination. And, this is the one area where we found most of the issues within our clients’ websites.
2. Develop a Detailed Competitors Profiling
Competitors Profiling is something that helps in planning a future SEO strategy, especially in terms of link building and brand building. Most of SMEs that come to us generally have a couple of established brands, as competitors, whom they want to outrank, hence getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of these competitors is a must.
We begin with analyzing the competitors’ existing authority such as Domain Authority (MOZ), Keywords they are already ranking for (Ahrefs/SEMrush), Paid Keywords they are targeting (Ahrefs/SEMrush), extensive research of their ON Page elements (type of content, how they have incorporated keywords in the content, what kind of blogs or news they publish on blog, etc.).
After these checks, we gear towards their backlink profiling using two most preferred techniques discussed below.
The first involves analyzing the links to the competitors, which you can do using many tools, though we prefer Ahrefs for it. We do an extensive research on Ahrefs using different tactics such as checking unique linking domains, their authority, type of links etc. Also, if they have multiple links from one domain, we analyze the type of links. For example, sometimes there are some multi-use channels where a competitor can create his business profile under business directory and also get an option to contribute a guest post or participate in the forum. Ahrefs also offer an interesting feature called Link Intersect tool using which one can filter the sites that link to the competitors (but not the client).
However, Ahrefs has some restrictions when it comes to showcasing the brand mentions or citations (as some of them might now have a direct link to the competitor’s website but only the NAP info). In order to find such hidden gems, most effectively location-based and niche directories that the competitors are utilizing, we run a manual search on Google using client’s BRAND NAME as the keyword. You would be astonished to see how valuable it can prove especially for finding the industry-specific niche resources which can generate some quality leads as these channels are directly focused on the targeted audience.
3. Perform a Comprehensive Content Analysis
Comprehensive content analysis not only for its sufficient keyword weightage but also on readability, easiness etc. Since, the content is meant to be consumed by users, therefore, we utilize advance scale such as Flesch–Kincaid readability tests; Coleman–Liau index; etc. to determine the content readability.
4. Perform a Detailed Review of Analytics
If analytics is already implemented on a website then it is important to go ahead and do a quick audit of the Analytics stats and evaluate the website on various parameters, some of which could be:
- How the website traffic trends have been in the past?
- What is the scenario of visits coming on the website?
- Top cities from where the website is getting the most traffic?
- Any dropdown, penalty, hit on the website in past years?
- Which channel is driving the most traffic?
- Which channels is helping most in the conversions?
If collated properly, these insights can prove extremely helpful in understanding and analyzing the current reach and audience of the business.
5. Check AMP Configuration
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) format dominates mobile search results globally. It facilitates user experience and gives traffic building opportunities to webmasters. It helps in accelerating page load speed. For an updated blog on a website, it is something that is highly recommended as it increases the reach (especially to the mobile audience). AMP has become a must for media websites and blogs, as well as sites with mobile speed issues and which don’t have the flexibility of improving their existing pages. Many sites have already adopted AMP given the recent developments, so it’s an important tip to be considered in a technical SEO audit.
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