SEO audit: A comprehensive guide for beginners (Part- 1)
- Jul 05, 2017
- Sudipto Das
SEO auditing is something that every SEO professional does at the beginning stage of any project.
Since I am framing this article particularly from a beginner’s point of view, I will start with the very basics first and then move on systematically and gradually to the more complex parts of the topic.
First things first; What is a SEO audit?
A SEO audit is nothing but a standard procedure for ANY website.
It’s something that’s done to give the user a better insight into the website and get a good idea of its ranking on a search engine results page.
A properly done SEO audit can actually help you rank better on Google, Bing and other major search engines, provided you take necessary steps to correct all the errors on your website that might crop up as a result of the audit.
So how can you do the audit in the best possible manner? It’s time we go through the steps as closely as possible.
SEO audit: A step-by-step guide
Step 1: Prepare your web browser
Before starting on your SEO audit, you need to prepare your browser well. Such a procedure can help you identify crawling issues (if any) with ease.
You need to do these two things to complete your first step:
Disable browser cookies. You can refer to this article for a detailed step-by-step process as to how to do that.
Change your user agent to Google bot (You can use a user-agent switcher for this purpose. It’s basically a Firefox extension that can be installed in matter of seconds. So, in a sense I am asking you to use Firefox for this entire procedure especially if you want to follow our procedures in the best possible manner).
Step 2: Go to the primary URL of the website homepage
You need to do three things here:
Study the page well. Pay special attention to the first impression that you’ll be getting from the page itself. Be as true to your opinion as possible. This step might look too petty to you but trust me; it’s not.
Go through the title tag. Can you make an improvement there? If you can, do it.
Pay special attention whether the URL changed in the process or not. Meaning, say you meant to browse www.seo.com/ but you were redirected to www.seo1234.com/. If you see any problem like that, fix it immediately.
Check whether the URL’s canonical or not. You can simply use the Canonical URL Checker tool for this purpose of yours.
Step 3: Next up is global navigation
So you have already checked the basics of your webpage in step 1 and step 2. Your next step should be to check on your global navigation system.
Take these steps to analyze the same in the best possible way:
Check whether global navigation is working or not. If it doesn’t, you’ll get several indexing issues. So that’s a clue. Your fix should be done on the basis of that.
Ensure that all links are in HTML.
Ensure that your page interlinking is done perfectly. Remember, one small error can lead to a faulty site navigation system which can hurt you in the long run.
Step 4: Delve deep into category and subcategory pages
Your website is like a canal system. There’s a landing page (your home page) and the others are category or subcategory pages that can play a big role in improving the SEO ranking of your website.
These should be your steps:
Ensure that there’s enough content on your category and subcategory pages that are relevant enough to your site and aren’t there for the sake of it.
Note whether there are any extraneous links on those pages or not. 150 links should be the limit.
Try to improve the anchor text if you feel that it isn’t right up to the mark.
Note: Most people don’t even realize the importance of category and subcategory pages and hence, they fill them up with junk content which ultimately leads to zero values. Do not think in the same manner if you really want to improve your ranking on a search engine results page.
So that takes care of the first part of this article. I’ll come back with a second part as soon as possible. So don’t forget to drop in from time to time. You might get a surprise soon.
Sudipto writes technical content periodically for softz solutions and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993
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