SEO Audit: How Does This Work And Why Is It Important?
SEO Audit: How Does This Work And Why Is It Important?
Performing an SEO audit is extremely important for search engine optimization ( SEO ). In this blog we explain exactly what an SEO audit entails, which steps you need to take to perform an SEO audit and how this ensures better findability and higher results in Google.
What Is An SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is an investigation into the current performance of a website in terms of SEO. Conducting such an audit helps you identify what is going well and what is not. This of course results in a nice list of action points that can give your site a good boost.
A few years ago it was still fairly easy to optimize a website for SEO. By simply mentioning the word often, it was already reasonably possible to be found on it.
Unfortunately this is no longer the case. Google is getting smarter and taking more and more details into consideration when crawling and indexing online content. According to BackLinko, there are currently as many as 200 factors that go into this ranking process. Think of small details in the structure and layout of the text, the placement of links and the amount and placement of certain words.
The better you get at finding and improving all these details, the more views your website will get.
*For simplicity, we’re talking about Google in this blog. However, Google is not the only search engine. Pages like Bing and Yahoo also crawl the internet and rank your website higher when your website is correctly and completely classified.
Why An SEO Audit?
As Neil Patel nicely describes in his blog about the SEO audit : SEO is like an online race.
Have you placed a text that scores well and meets all Google requirements? It may just be that within a few months everything will be different. An (often unnoticed) internal or external problem can have a major effect on the score.
- Google’s algorithm is changing
- The competitor is suddenly doing better than you
- A link or other element in your text breaks
Danger is looming on all sides and you have to stay alert all the time to keep winning the race. You can stay alert by means of a regular SEO audit.
The Components Of An SEO Audit
The modern SEO audit actually consists of a lot of small steps and checks. However, in general these can be divided into three parts.
1. The technical operation of a page
Sometimes certain parts of your website do not work properly, without you immediately noticing. After all, there is so much content on your pages that it is difficult to manually keep track of whether all links are working, whether all images still work and whether all text is still displayed properly.
The technical audit solves this problem for you by automatically checking all important parts of your website. The small mistakes that emerge from the audit are often easy to fix and worth investing some time in. An error-free website is seen by Google as more reliable and of higher quality.
2. SEO elements on the website
Questions that will be answered during this part of the audit are:
- Are you using the right headlines?
- How many times does a website visitor have to click to get to a page?
- Is the text scannable?
- Which internal links do your texts contain?
- Are you using enough keywords?
- Are there no duplicate texts on your website?
3. SEO elements outside the website (backlinks)
Finally, elements outside a website ( backlinks ) also influence SEO. For example, as we described in our previous blog, external links have a strong influence on the findability of a website.
Which websites link to yours? Every link from a good quality website can also give your website a big boost.
An SEO Audit: How Do You Approach This?
Because there are so many aspects involved in the success of SEO, an audit is almost impossible to perform manually. And luckily you don’t have to. There are dozens of useful tools that analyze your website for little money or even completely free. This often only takes a few minutes and provides a large amount of information, especially about the technical functioning of a page.
We therefore recommend that you perform all of the above three parts of the SEO audit automatically.
An automatic SEO audit with an online tool
By using an SEO tool, you can collect enough information about both the technical aspects and the SEO aspects on and outside your website.
Most tools simply ask you to enter your website and they automatically run a report for you. Including technical issues, areas for improvement on the website and a backlink report.
When you type in ‘SEO audit tool’ on Google, you come across a long list of possibilities.
Most tools do their job well, but the following three are perhaps the most well-known options:
All three tools are good and comparable in many ways. However, at Leapforce we use SEMrush.
SEMrush not only offers an SEO audit, but also all other SEO functionalities that we need. A nice all-in-one package for us. However, MOZ and Neil Patel’s tool are also worth a try. So a personal choice.
SEMrush SEO Audit
Since we use SEMrush ourselves, we will briefly show you what the SEMrush SEO audit looks like.
For a full audit, we use two features of SEMrush:
1. The technical site audit
The technical SEO audit is perhaps the most important and comprehensive check. By entering your website in the SEMrush tool, you will see a report including:
- An overall score for your on-site SEO ( called site health by SEMrush)
- Technical errors on the website
- Crawlability (how crawlable is the website for Google)
- Crawl depth (how many clicks does a visitor need to get to certain pages)
- The loading speed of your scanned pages
The check results in useful action points that you can implement immediately.
- Fixing links that don’t work
- Ensure that the website visitor has to click less often to reach important pages
- Make heavy pages load faster
The above check can be performed for free, but under the paid subscription your results are more extensive and you can scan your entire website instead of a limited number of pages.
2. The backlink check
To also include the SEO outside your website in the audit, we recommend that you also do a backlink check . The more strong backlinks you have, the better your SEO performance.
In a backlink report you can see who links to your website (and who doesn’t), what is most often linked to and which links to your website have recently been removed.
Turning the results into action points takes some thinking, but it’s worth it. For example, you can use the results to:
- Get inspiration for websites that you can ask for a backlink
- Investigate why certain backlinks have been removed
- Analyzing which type of content gets a lot of links, to be able to create more of it
An SEO audit every few months
To (continue to) win the SEO race, a regular audit is necessary. Many companies do an audit between 2 and 4 times a year , but we recommend that you do this at least four times a year. After all, it just happened and can yield useful action points.