How To Self-Run an SEO Audit and What To Look Out For
With over 63% of marketers actively investing in SEO in 2020 (according to the Hubspot 2020 State of SEO report), it's important to remain current and relevant in the modern age of Search Engine Optimisation.
SEO is effectively about capturing a market audience that uses Google (and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo), that are looking for products and services online – and then serving your webpages to them to consume.
If you're not keeping current and keeping on top of your Search Engine Optimisation, you will lose sales to your competitors who are actively optimising their websites and pages.
So what should you do next?
Start with an audit on your website to understand your SEO score, and then understand the steps that you can take to improve those metrics.
Don't worry, you don't need technical skills to run an audit as there are many free tools available that will give you a good overview of what needs fixing.
Tools for SEO Audits
Some of my favourite free SEO website audit tools that I recommend to those new to SEO are the following:
Neil Patel's Site Audit Tool
Squarespace SEO Audit Tool
Hubspot's Website Grader
Get Your SEO Score
Each SEO audit tool has its own merits and self-claimed "SEO Score", which will be built based on a range of factors from:
• On-page SEO + Page Formatting
• Meta Tags, Titles and Descriptions
• Off-page SEO
• Technical SEO
• Keyword Analysis
• Competitor Analysis
Generally, you're looking to score as close to "100%" as possible – as many of these tools will give you a score from 0-100 based on their own algorithms and weighing.
On-Page SEO + Page Formatting
The audit tools will tell you if there's anything is out of place on your pages - in general, you want to make sure that you are taking advantage of correct on-page SEO formatting:
• Meta Descriptions, Meta Titles + Meta Tags correctly assigned to your Keywords
• Using H1-H6 HTML title headings correctly and in the right structure
• Image ALT and Description tags on all images and correctly titled
• The correct blend of appropriate keywords without keyword "stuffing"
• Great content that shows Google that you have Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness
Off-Page SEO / Backlinks
Backlinks and off-page SEO provides around ~30% of your overall SEO score, a significant weighting - and therefore it's an important factor to look at in terms of:
• The number of backlinks you have
• The authority and quality of those backlinks (non-spammy backlinks)
• The DoFollow vs NoFollow blend of links
• Social Media – Make sure all of your socials are up to date and relevant
The third and final part of SEO is getting the technical aspect correct – this means server delivery, speed, security, and accessibility.
That's what the gurus would have you believe, but in reality technical SEO comes down to the CRICS framework: Crawl, Render, Index, Cache, Serve. This is how Google works.
We know that Google prefers faster, secure, and mobile-ready websites – and therefore you will get a distinct advantage over your competition from getting this part right.
Things to look out for from a technical SEO audit:
• SSL Security Certificate (make sure you have one!)
• GZIP Compression for text and images (this reduces the file sizes from your server)
• Mobile Ready website – Does your website render from desktop to mobile devices?
• Website Speed – Google's Pagespeed Insights can help you optimise for speed
• Code Optimisation – Minifying CSS and JS delivery to reduce the coding workload
Run Your Audit Often, and Keep It Regular
If you're regularly updating content or creating new pages on your website, run an SEO audit every single month to understand where your gaps and opportunities are.
By regularly running an SEO audit you can keep on top of your overall SEO score, and you will improve your SEO metrics over time with consistent delivery and effort.
Now, go get onto it!
Want some help?
Are you missing out on opportunities?
Want to get a free website audit from a professional?
Get in touch, and send me a link to your website.