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Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by Arif Chowdhury
SEO audit checklists are different from the ones you have seen before. Want to know how to use it properly? Then read on.
Most SEO experts forget to emphasize that SEO is a never-ending process that you must continually improve. Instead, they give you a laundry list of unrelated tasks and tell you that your SEO is done if you check them.
Since this isn’t the case, we’ve categorized all of the tasks with tags like this:
- One-time checklist
- Continuous checklist
Because of this structure, it’s unnecessary to go through the whole checklist. Instead, you’ll need to complete a new task for every published page.
We have written this SEO guide for beginner and advanced users.
So let’s get started.
SEO best practices.
Before we begin, please read and acknowledge everything on my checklist. If you miss these steps, your efforts will be in vain.
Step #1: Write high-quality, engaging SEO content (Continuous checklist).
Use content marketing to encourage the audience to engage with your brand, goods, and services. Content marketing is a fantastic strategy to keep your consumers engaged and build a community around your company.
Where do you even begin with content marketing?
To get started, check out our guide to content marketing and how to improve it.
Based on a study by the Content Marketing Institute, around 73% of online marketers expect to create even more content in 2022 than they did the year before.
However, content marketing may be challenging for small companies and startups.
It’s understandable to be intimidated if your rivals or favorite bloggers routinely publish long-form articles, podcasts, or video content.
Quick Note: You should be careful with technical SEO directly connected to the ranking factors, such as how mobile-friendly your site is. Is there any duplicate content or indexing issues from Google bots? Check on page speed and optimize it. Proper keyword research and use relevant keywords on the title tag, headings, meta tags, meta description, etc.
Recommended Reading: 4 Creative Ways You Can Improve Your Content Marketing Performance
Step #2: Use a responsive website template (One-time checklist).
Always use a responsive theme on your site, which dramatically impacts your Google ranking.
Several SEO tools may help determine your site is optimized for mobile devices. Developers may be given explicit instructions on what modifications to make and how to make them in certain instances.
You won’t receive mobile search visibility if your site template is not responsive to see from the mobile screen. However, you’ll get suggestions on how to make your site function (better) on mobile devices.
As a result, Google’s bot will have a very different impression of your website than your mobile visitors. But, of course, using their words for search engine optimization is a bonus in and of itself.
After you test your site, if it is green, a notice will appear if your website template is responsive enough for the mobile screen.
However, if a red warning says “Not mobile-friendly,” you should get to work to make your site responsive.
Resource box: Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to check whether your site is suitable for mobile devices.
Step #3: Check how Google indexes your site (One-time checklist).
Are you aware that Google may index several versions of your website? Yes, you read it correctly. As an example, consider the following four variations of the same web page:
What do you think? All of the above URLs are nearly identical. While the majority of companies follow the rule, Google defies rule. Without appropriate redirection, Google will see these versions as different websites.
Finding and resolving this problem is, fortunately, a piece of cake. To begin, open a browser window and enter one of the four search terms mentioned above. They should all be directed to the same page on the internet.
As of my site, Cliobra.com does not have a “WWW” extension on it. It started with https://cliobra.com. However, if someone initially puts ” WWW, ” the server will automatically redirect them to the original version. The same goes for “HTTP”; if someone uses it, the server will automatically turn them to the “HTTPS” version.
If you do not have this setting on your site, you should read MOZ’s “301 redirects” guide.
Quick Note: You should check out this at the beginning when you launch your website for the first time. Your site’s chances of getting good search engine results could drop if you keep this up for too long.
Step #4: Optimize your site loading speed (Continuous checklist).
Slow websites harm conversions. The damage has already been done, and there is no hope of recovery.
Based on the audience survey, around 47% of readers won’t wait longer than two seconds to load a site’s content. And if a website takes three seconds or more to load, 40% of visitors will get away.
When a website takes 3 seconds or more to load its content, expect to lose 50% of the audience at that moment.
You read it correctly; that’s correct.
Your conversion rates may drop with a single issue if you have that one thing going against you.
Those who decide to remain may be discouraged from returning if your slow loading times are an issue. One survey found that around 79% of the audience never returns to a site with an annoying loading speed.
Recommended Reading: 8 Smart Steps to Make Your Website Loading Speed Faster than Before
Step #5: Remove zombie pages from your site (Continuous checklist).
‘Zombie pages’ usually receive very little traffic and are hard to locate in search engine results. And the problem is that a website with several zombie pages severely affects the entire site. Thus, removing these zombie pages is the best way to save the website.
How do you identify a Zombie page?
Fix all the technical problems.
These pages often have issues with slow loading times or scripts that don’t run properly. As a result, it will index sites at a reasonable time and will likely be abandoned by users.
Also, the Google crawl bot will save resources and time to check the content of a page that takes longer than usual.
Optimize pages before publishing.
Pages that are difficult to navigate or take excessive loading time will suffer on mobile devices. As a result, Google may rank them down in organic search results because of the terrible user experience they provide.
Improve the quality of the content.
Publishing content that hasn’t been updated in a long time. Such pages may have their rankings lowered by Google if the search engine believes they are out of date.
They also penalized pages with little or no content or natural attraction. Usually, 300 words or less content is penalized as thin content.
Step #6: Fix indexing errors (Continuous checklist).
Identifying sites that Google has yet to index is the next stage. So, again, go to the Google Search Console to get started.
For various reasons, the “Index section” report fails to index a particular website correctly.
Even though your website seems error-free, you should constantly double-check your work. Screaming Frog is a great free SEO tool.
Screaming Frog uses the exact mechanism to examine a website as Google does. In addition, you’ll be alerted if any particular websites are blocked.
If your robots.txt file has a non-index tag, this may explain why your site has been banned.
If you come across a website that says it’s banned, check it out.
Categories and comments will not be indexed. It isn’t a big deal since you won’t use them anyhow.
Quick Note: Even after ten years, your site may have indexing errors; thus, frequently check if any errors exist.
Step #7: Monitor your site’s organic traffic (Continuous checklist).
As a webmaster, you’ve probably experienced a sudden decrease in site traffic for no apparent cause.
However, the most probable explanation is a new update to the Google algorithm.
There will be typical responses when your organic traffic decreases.
Knowing what’s going on now can help you avoid the ranking drop and potential revenue losses in the future.
Stay calm if your website visitors are stagnant or decreasing. This phase’s only purpose is to create comparison points. After completing the SEO assessment, things should begin to improve for you.
Recommended Reading: Why Content Marketing is the Best Way to Boost Business Growth?
Step #8: Focus on on-page SEO (Continuous checklist).
Hence, to improve a website’s search engine ranks and generate organic traffic, on-page SEO is required to optimize individual web pages.
The on-page SEO audit checklist involves optimizing the content, keywords, headline tags, HTML components, meta-description, etc.
And pictures, in addition to providing relevant and high-quality content. Ensure your website is optimized to rank higher in search results and prove authority within your niche, competence, and credibility.
Thus, various factors on your page are considered to enhance your website’s ranking in search engine results.
Because of time constraints, focus on the following five methods instead:
- The title tag must have your focused keywords at the beginning.
- Then, within the first paragraph of 100 words, include concentrated keywords.
- External linking with other high authority and relevant Sources.
- Internal linking with your pertinent other contents.
- Utilize LSI keywords within your content.
Remember and do these five simple tasks, and you are good to go.
Quick Note: Use relevant anchor text when linking to your pages or other sites. Also, do not underestimate the power of social media marketing to boost your overall search engine ranking.
Step #9: Check your keywords ranking (Continuous checklist).
Analyzing your keyword placement may reveal organic search patterns and the wants and requirements of your target market.
In addition to increasing your organic reachability, knowing this can help you identify which marketing tactics are working and which need to be tweaked.
By doing this, you’ll be able to observe which search keywords generate the most traffic, so you can include them in your articles and try other platforms if your current ones aren’t working.
Diamonds in the rough, such as popular search terms linked with your business, will also be on display. Constantly getting up to date on current trends may help you start utilizing them.
It may help your website move from the second search results page to the top page if done correctly.
Step #10: Monitor how many backlinks you have (Continuous checklist).
Link building is essential for ranking your site on Google and other search engines.
Having other websites link to yours is critical for search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google consider backlinks to be an indicator of the quality and authority of your site. Therefore, the more high-power, relevant, and reputable sources link to you, the higher you’ll rank.
In other words, to be effective in SEO, you need to know everything about your existing relationships and your competition’s connections.
Step #11: Fix broken links as soon as possible (Continuous checklist).
You may ruin your conversion rates if you have broken links when the audience visits your site and clicks on a link to check more. However, that link is broken; what do you think will happen? Wrong impression from both the audience as well as search engines.
Broken links may hurt your search engine rankings by warning the search engines that your site is old and outdated. However, fixing a faulty link is relatively easy.
The first step in fixing a broken connection is identifying where the problem is. There are many methods for locating broken links within your content.
Using Google Webmaster Tools is one option. “Crawl Errors” displays a list of all your website’s errors.
It will not find any other websites that have broken connections to theirs. You can use a custom filter in Google Analytics to determine the number of visitors to your 404 Error page for further insight. But, again, you’ll be unable to detect any broken external connections.
Using an Ahrefs SEO tool may assist you in achieving this goal more quickly. Contact the webmaster and ask that a functional link be added to your website once you’ve identified the broken one.
I’ve attempted to take you through the most critical elements to consider while doing an SEO audit. This free SEO audit checklist is essential and ongoing. You’ll still need this checklist in 20 years because they are the most critical and fundamental aspects.