What Items are Included in an SEO Audit?
Search engine optimization (or SEO) is a crucial marketing strategy that you should employ for your business. The process entails boosting your brand’s online visibility by appearing as one of the top websites that answer your target customers’ queries on search engines like Google and Bing.
Most companies either hire an in-house team for digital marketing or they outsource the task to agencies. You may already have an SEO strategy in place, but as with everything in business, you have to check your marketing plans from time to time to ensure that the tactics you have continue to produce a return on your investment.
An SEO audit is a comprehensive inspection of the structure and content of your website that influences your online visibility. Evaluating the effectiveness of your site elements can help you figure out ways to improve your reach to your target audience and engage with current customers.
Here are some items that are included in an SEO audit:
1. 301 Redirects
A redirect is a technical SEO practice wherein users and search engine spiders are sent to another URL from the one that was typed in. 301 redirects entail a permanent rerouting of the links, while a 302 and meta-refresh involve temporary forwarding and page-level transferal.
In an SEO audit, you should check whether your 301 redirects are working seamlessly. This means that, regardless if customers type in www.yourbrand.com or yourbrand.com, they still end up on your official website.
While these URLs may seem similar for a human being, computers and machines consider them as two separate links. That’s why you should use a 301 redirect to have a single landing page for these pages.
It’s the same way with HTTP and HTTPS hyperlinks. Ideally, even if people type http://yourbrand.com, you should redirect them to the HTTPS URL, which has a secure connection.
Most consumers nowadays prefer to do everything on their smartphones, from shopping to canceling an order. It makes a lot of sense for business owners to cater to this preference and ensure that their website is mobile-friendly.
This means that your site should still look good regardless of the device from which your readers are viewing your domain. Moreover, because of Google’s focus on user experience, the search engine also uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, which can help boost your SEO.
3. Site Speed
The rate at which your page elements load is another factor that is checked during an SEO audit. Similar to mobile-friendliness, today’s generation of shoppers want instant results. If they are unable to view your homepage a few seconds after clicking on your link on Google, it’s highly likely that they’ll abandon your website in favor of a different company with a faster loading site.
Some consumers will only wait three to five seconds for your page to load before they decide that the wait isn’t worth it. The emphasis on site speed is so significant that Google revamped its “Test My Site” tool to help web developers in assessing this factor.
Some tips to help you improve your site speed:
Compress Web Elements – You can lessen the loading time of your website by compressing media, like images, audio, and videos. This doesn’t entail publishing low-quality content. It only means that you reduce the sizes of the files to improve server response time.
Lessen Redirects – Redirects are essential for web pages that have been published but are not in HTTPS mode. However, it’s best to lessen page reroutes because it takes away the precious seconds you have to entice consumers to learn more about your products and services.
Use Browser Caching – Take advantage of browser caching, which entails automatically saving some web elements on the user’s computer. This ensures faster loading time when they revisit your website.
4. URL Structure
URLs are in a delicate position because they act as the digital address of each page in your website. Links are used by both search engine spiders and consumers. In an SEO audit, you should check that each hyperlink strikes a balance between readability for human users and accuracy for machines.
You should also take a look into the things that you’ve published and check for ways to improve your SEO. Evaluate the keywords that you associate with your website and make sure that you have unique content that provides relevant information to readers.
An SEO audit takes a look into the technical aspect of your website to ensure that all of its components work together to boost your online visibility. Some factors that are inspected include your site’s 301 redirects, mobile-friendliness, site speed, URL structure and content.