You are here

SEO Audits Experts Discuss Basics, Tools and Tips

Digested from “The ins and outs of an SEO audit”
Search Engine Land (3/11/16) Driscoll Miller, Janet

There’s an art to conducting a search engine optimization (SEO) audit, which gauges the performance of your website and helps identify problems.

The following three experts at the SMX West Search Marketing Expo offered some tricks of the trade for conducting a successful audit:  Jessie Stricchiola, CEO of Alchemist Media;  Benj Arriola, technical SEO director for the Control Group; and Annie Cushing, founder of Annielytics.

Stricchiola walked through the audit process and the common reasons a company might need an SEO audit. Perhaps it just launched a new website or an existing website has undergone a redesign and content management system migration. Or a company seeks to find the reasons behind penalties and traffic drops.

Stricchiola described what an SEO audit should include, such as paid search data, subdomains, mobile versions, https, schema, organic efforts history, the site’s technical background, analytics status, Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools History.

Once this information has been assembled, it’s time to take a site tour, which looks at broad landing pages, subtopic focus pages and other features. Stricchiola discusses what steps to take if a site has experienced traffic drops or penalties.

Then Arriola offered tips on the many technical tools companies could use to conduct an SEO audit. Tools like Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider, DeepCrawl and Xenu’s Link Sleuth crawl a site and look for issues like broken links.

Many tools are available to conduct various auditing tasks. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights or YSlow to measure page speed, Bing Markup Validator to assess schema and microformats, and VisibleThread’s Clarity Grader to gauge readability.

Arriola stressed that SEO audits should focus on content, as well as technical issues, on a website. He listed a number of tools useful in auditing content.

To secure buy-in from the people to whom you’re sending audit results, Cushing said it’s important to share data in a way that doesn’t place blame on specific individuals. Refraining from using the word “you” is a good way to avoid seeming critical of the ones responsible for issues.

As part of organizing your final SEO report, Cushing suggested some checks and balances such as running a crawl, doing a page review of the site, and filling out website forms to see if they work properly.

Read More