When was the last time you audited your website?

If you've NEVER audited your website or it has been a while since you did, then you should follow this 5-step guide. It will help you find and fix every SEO error on your website. Plus, it is not like the other site auditing guides: It is neither too technical nor does it require weeks to finish the audit.

On the contrary, this is a straightforward 5-step guide that allows you to identify the strengths, weaknesses, and unexplored ranking opportunities for your website.

The things we will cover in this guide:
1. Fundamental Issues Restricting Your Indexing
2. A Comprehensive Analysis Of Your Site
3. All-Inclusive Off-page Issues
4. ___________ is King! (You know the answer)
5. Current State Of The Traffic

So, let’s begin with the Audit!
Step I: Fundamental Issues Restricting Your Indexing
- Redirect your site from HTTP to HTTPS
Did you know, if you search Gogle.com or Gooogle.com, etc. in the address bar you get redirected to the official Google homepage?

If you haven't tried it, feel free to do it now.

Google has purchased these domains because they are phonetically similar. So, whenever someone, even mistakenly, spells Google wrong in the address bar, they are lead to Google.com no matter what.

I am not suggesting you take 301 redirects to such a large scale (although you can if you find it necessary enough). But I want you to focus on two primary aspects: HTTP and HTTPS protocols.

NOTE: HTTP and HTTPS are protocols that establish communication between the clients and the web servers. HTTPS is an evolved version of HTTP that encrypts the user’s data when it is being transferred to the web server, hence, securing it from getting hacked.

You need to redirect your HTTP domain to HTTPS. So, if someone searches for http://yourwebsite.com, he or she gets redirected to https://yourwebsite.com.

This redirect is necessary because user data protection has become a priority. Having HTTPS indicates and assures the users that providing information to a particular domain is 100% safe.

Moreover, Google has started flagging HTTP domains as ‘Not Secure’ with their Chrome 68 update.

Example of an HTTP enabled site;

Example of an HTTPS-enabled site.

- Any active Robots.txt files?
Robots.txt is a file that informs the search engine spider about the pages of a site which shouldn’t be crawled and indexed.

Generally, Robots.txt can be used when certain pages of your site are under maintenance, stuffed with keywords, or the content is misleading (reasons depend upon your necessity). But sometimes, webmasters forget about removing the file. So, when auditing, you must check whether the appropriate pages of your domain are contained from being crawled or not.

Use the code https://www.yourwebsite.com/robots.txt in the address bar to check active Robots.txt files in your domain. Here’s what you will get:


Are you confused about what to make of the results?

Well, have a look at this:

Now you know what each code signifies.

So, let’s move on to the next one.
Step II: A Comprehensive Analysis Of Your Site
- Quickly check the on-page for important pages of your site
Now, you need to visit every major page of your website and examine its on-page SEO elements.

NOTE: Major pages are those pages of your site that receive the most engagement and traffic. You can extract that data from the ‘Behaviour’ section in Google Analytics.

Open the performing pages and click Ctrl+U or Command+Option+U and look at the page source OR you can right-click while on the page and select View Page Source:


This will trigger open this window:

Now, press Ctrl+F and check whether every On-Page SEO element is present or not:
- Title
- H1 Tag (and other heading tags)
- Meta Description
- Alt Tag, etc.

It is necessary for these elements to be present in the source code of your site. They send out signals to the spiders and help them gauge the context of the content, allowing them to index and rank your page accordingly.

The keywords should be placed across these elements strategically to help improve the SERP rankings. Also, while examining those tags, check that they are not stuffed with keywords; plus, make sure that only one H1 tag is present in the entire code.

Apart from that, there's the website's design as well. You must check how polished it is without any pinching colours, and how strong is the internal linking structure, so that the audience can navigate through your website effortlessly.
- Conduct a detailed on-page audit
The purpose of this guide is to save time, extract actionable data, and explore hidden ranking opportunities to grow your business. Therefore, for your next step, you need to run a comprehensive site audit to find and fix every on-site issue.


NOTE: I will be using Site Auditor by RankWatch to conduct an in-depth on-site analysis.

The final report produced by the tool includes issues concerning redirect, presence of broken pages, duplicate pages, etc. However, your entire focus should be on the ‘Issue Distribution’ section.

This section lists every on-site issue based on criticality into three separate categories:
- High
- Medium
- Low

Issue Distribution saves you from creating strategies to decide what issues to address first. You should begin with fixing the issues listed under ‘High’, then move on to ‘Medium’, and finally, ‘Low’.

You can click on ‘View All’ to explore other issues listed under each category.

Clicking on the numbers next to each issue will open a page which includes the URL affected by that issue.

For instance, here are the pages with Short Titles:

You need to visit the links and correct every error manually, be it the missing alt-tags, short titles, or multiple H1 tags.
- Are your web pages loading fast enough?
People who perform searches online would hardly spend time waiting for a site to load. If your website does not load fast enough, visitors will go for your competitors. For this, you should use Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. This tool by Google can help you identify the issues that are slowing down your site.


First, it tells you how slow your site is;

And then it goes on to list out the various opportunities that can help your site load faster.

You can click on the ‘dropdown’ next to each issue to get more details about the problem. Then, you should start fixing them to improve your site’s loading speed. Also, you can follow the popular hacks that can improve your site’s loading speed and rankings.


- Is your site Mobile Optimised?
With more and more searches being performed on Google via mobile devices, it has become more than necessary that you have a mobile optimised site. After all, Mobile-First Indexing is an ingenious addition to Google’s Ranking factors other than the loading speed of a website.

You can use the Mobile-Friendly Test by Google to find out if your site is mobile optimised or not. It will give you a straight answer to whether your website is mobile-friendly...

...or not.

If it is not, then Google Mobile-friendly Test will tell you what issues to fix.

Other than that, you can refer to articles which tells you every detail about mobile-first indexing and how to start optimizing your site for it

- Keyword Performance & Research
To gain knowledge about the keywords you are targeting and their performance, you need to use SEO tools like RankWatch, Moz, SEMrush etc. Also, these tools will suggest you more relatable keywords that can drive traffic to your site.

Also, RankWatch has this special Low Hanging Fruits feature that provides you with a list of keywords that you are ranking in the top SERPs for but are unaware about it. You can optimise for those LHF terms and position yourself at #1.
Step III: All-Inclusive Off-page Issues
- Run A Backlink Analysis Test


Enter your site and start analysing your backlink profile.

The tool will inform you about the active links that lead to your site.

Apart from that, you can get information related to the referring domains;

Along with the anchor texts for each link;

Followed by no-follow, do-follow, and deleted backlinks.

You need to approach sites that deleted the links pointing to your domain with the motive of getting linked to again. Also, if you find any spammy links, you should use the disavow tool to remove those links; otherwise, your rankings and DA will fall.
- Check For broken link checker
If the backlinks lead to 404 Errors, then that can negatively impact your site’s DA, traffic, and bounce rate. You should use a broken link checker to examine how many links on your site lead to error pages. You need to approach the websites with those broken links and provide them with working links to your website.
Step IV: Content Is King! (I told you, you know it!)
- Removing Duplicate Content
You can either use the Site Auditor tool to resolve duplicate content issues because it lists them in its report:

You can click on the issue and check the pages on which duplicate content is present.

And check which of the pages -in this case, 2- have duplicate content.


You need to remove those duplicate content pieces or provide canonical links so that the bot can differentiate between the original content and duplicate content.
Step V: Current State Of The Traffic
- Use Google Analytics
There’s no better answer.

Google Analytics provides a detailed account of how your site has been performing, and that’s not it!

GA provides you with information about the people visiting your site:
- How long are they staying on a page;
- When do they leave your website;
- And at what time do they subscribe to your site.

Through GA’s data, you can gauge how your content pieces are performing and identify the reasons that compel visitors to exit your site. You can also see returning users and provide them with special offers to retain them.

Done With The SEO Audit
Each step of this audit is as important as the other; skipping even one of these steps would lead to an incomplete SEO Audit.

While conducting the audit, you will discover ample opportunities that can position you to the #1 SERP ranking. Every time I audited my site’s SEO, I explored several ranking opportunities myself.

So, if you have any doubts regarding the SEO Audit or have suggestions related to it, the comment section is open for discussion.

Author's Bio: 

Information Transformation Services(ITS) is an IT and back-office support services company. ITS offers a comprehensive range of business process outsourcing solutions, tailor-made for each customer. With years of experience servicing a diverse range of industry leaders around the globe, ITS has developed its staff and facilities to meet the requirements of any data or resources intensive projects.