Conducting an SEO Audit for Your Website

While you can hire a company who will take care of the SEO for your website—and will likely conduct an initial SEO audit, in truth you can do this type of audit yourself. An SEO audit is meant to provide a snapshot of sorts of the health of your website as well as identifying any potential problems with the search engine optimization of your site. Proper SEO can not only bring in the most highly targeted traffic for your website, but can also move you up the search engine’s ranking systems.

  • First, define your statement of purpose—or explain why you have a website in the first place. This doesn’t mean you should write a three page report of why you have a website—or that you should write down “money, visibility and brand building,” and be done with it. The point is to figure out what you hope to accomplish with your website as far as your business is concerned.  Is your primary goal to educate people through your content, or are you selling a service, such as legal services or solar installation services? Are you specifically selling a product? How do you want to go about doing that? As you answer these questions, what follows will make more sense.
  • What are your current keywords and keyword phrases? Did you follow a specific method in determining the most successful keywords for your particular niche, or simply use the most obvious or most common keywords? Write down your keywords, then justify that keyword in one sentence. What are your search priorities, and how well do you truly know your readers, customers or clients? Do you actually know what people are looking for when they type your specific keywords into their search bar? Step away from your product or service and ask yourself what you would type in if you were looking for your business. Great keywords are the backbone of a successful website, and you can’t simply jot down a few off the top of your head and hope for the best.
  • Review your current tools and practices. If you are using Google Analytics, look at your data and reports, beyond just looking to see how many people clicked onto your site. What is actually more important than that number is how many of those people immediately clicked away, or spent less than thirty seconds on your site. If this is the case in a large number of visitors, then your keywords are absolutely not doing the job they were designed to do and must be changed. People who are clicking off your site immediately are doing so because one glance tells them this is not what they were looking for.
  • Analyze your website’s design and architecture. Check out your URL keywords, the age of your content, how often new content is added, deleted or modified, how unique and interesting the content is, and how visually appealing the overall site is. The organization of your website is crucial, in that people must be able to easily find exactly what they are looking for. Your internal linking structure is of great importance as well, so make sure any time a user clicks on an internal link that it takes them immediately to what they are searching for. Make sure your pages don’t look cluttered or chaotic, and don’t overuse images or flashy fonts.
  • Go over your content carefully, ensuring it is fully optimized and keyword rich. There should be no unnatural usage of keywords, rather they must appear natural throughout the content, with the greatest concentration being above the fold as well as in the main header and paragraph titles. Is the content clear, or does it ramble? Does it grab the reader’s attention and hold onto it until the very end? Does it properly relate to the business purpose of the website?
  • Review your backlinks, and ensure none of them are broken or past their prime. Only the highest quality links will garner you Google’s nod of approval, so ditch any that are not giving your site a boost.

Once you’ve been over yours site with a fine-tooth comb, make note of any areas you found to be lacking, then create an action plan in which you will fix those issues. An SEO audit of your website can be an essential part of your overall plan, and the results can make the difference in whether your site—therefore your business—grows in popularity or simply sits there.


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