15 Simple SEO Audit Process Steps to Boost Your SEO Ranking
Search engine optimization can be a major performance driver for businesses that rely on search engine marketing to boost their brand on the internet.
However, are you getting the best results for your SEO? Many businesses draw the line at their SEO results, not expecting them to go further. In this case, the expectations that businesses have from their SEO strategy are low.
Businesses should expect more from their SEO, and the best way to get the most results is by doing a timely audit of the SEO strategy you have in place.
Conducting an SEO audit can get you better results and improve your ROI from the SEO you conduct.
In this article, we will take a closer look at what you can do to improve your SEO strategy and get your money’s worth from the SEO you conduct.
We have taken the below steps to fix two websites that required an overall SEO overhaul to increase their site ranking on Google.
Link up your search console and analytics
Linking up your search console and analytics is the best way to see your organic ranking data merged with page-level data from Google. In addition, linking these accounts can allow you to pull up your search console data in your analytics reports. By linking your search console with Google analytics, you can see your click-through rate on pages and adjust the performance of your SEO campaigns by getting tangible data on how you can increase your SERP.
Get your new website indexed by Google repeatedly
If you have a new website, you wouldn’t want Google to index your website just once. Rather, you would want Google to make multiple indexes of your website over time and improve your page ranking based on the useful content and technical updates you do on your website.
Google indexes websites by using crawlers (or tiny bits of code that crawl through your website). The job of crawlers is to find new pages on your website and rank them on Google.
The best way to get your website ranked on Google would be to ensure that your website has a good loading speed which adds to your user experience. This will add to your SERP, along with creating unique, helpful, and original content.
Remove low-quality content
Having useful and valid content on your website improves your SEO performance and gets you the best results from search engines. In addition, having a regular content clean-up can rid your website of the content that will reduce your SERP.
For doing a page audit, it’s important to understand what users and Google search for within your content. The checklist for auditing your content is as follows:
- Is your content unique and covers the topic in-depth?
- Does your content contain insights that are not available in other articles?
- Is the content cited with links of sources and backlinks?
- Is your content useful enough to have users take action?
- Is your content mobile-friendly and adaptable to different devices?
- Is your content shareable and worth bookmarking?
Speed up your site
Google is favorable to those sites that are fast to load and speed up for accessibility. Sites that are fast attracting more users have a better click-through rate, have multiple repeat visits, and rank higher on SERPs.
Studies have found that website speed is one of the key factors that Google algorithms consider when ranking your website.
Have a quicker website can increase your:
You can increase the speed of your website by having:
- Multiple Content Delivery Networks
Content delivery networks are many servers that are present at different geographical locations which deliver content to users based on their location. Having many content delivery networks can reduce the pile uptime of your website and deliver content to users swiftly.
- Choose a better host.
Shared hosting is the most popular way to host websites. Be sure that you have a server that’s fast and efficient in delivering data. You can also opt for a virtual private server for better results, as they are much faster.
- Optimize the images on your website
Be sure to use powerful alt data and optimization for the images on your website. To get the best results for your webpage, use images where necessary. More images can be bulky, and this slows down the speed of your website. As an option for reducing image size, compress images using such tools as JPEGmini and Kraken.
- Use website caching
Depending on the number of people using your website at one time, the speed of the website may vary. This is because of the amount of time it takes to load each page for users. The better option is to cache your website so that your website does not have to render multiple times for each user.
Check structured data errors.
Structured data errors are of many varieties; however, the most common is the 404 ‘page not found. With a little research, you can find out if traffic is coming to these broken links and how much of the server resources this link consumes. You can accordingly try to fix these links or get redirects for external links or try and fix these links for internal ones.
Improve your content and on-page SEO
Better content gives you a better ranking for your SEO. On-page SEO is the steps that you can take to increase your website’s organic ranking and search engine ranking.
You can improve your on-page SEO by creating high-quality content optimized for headlines, descriptions, HTML tags, and images. You will also have to increase the website’s authority, expertise, and trustworthiness.
Improve your E-A-T
E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. It is the standard with which ranks websites and content creators online. With the right usage of keywords, high-quality content is rewarded by Google, offering more domain authority and increasing SERP.
Improper title tags is one of the number one reasons that some businesses do not find their presence on the front page of search engines. Title tags are the HTML used to allow Google spiders to understand the subject matter of content or articles.
Meta descriptions offer an understanding of what the content on a page is about. It is displayed in search engine ranking pages as a description below the title of a page.
You can optimize your meta descriptions to get better:
- Click-through rate
- An understanding of what the page is about
- An understanding of what your website has to offer
Improve your backlink strategy
Google treats backlinks like a vote for a website from another website. Therefore, a website with numerous backlinks is rated highly by Google and is considered an authoritative site by Google.
If you want to grow your presence on search engines, have a strategy to increase the backlinks from your website.
Here are some ways that you can create a robust backlink strategy for your website.
- Publish high-quality content
Your website should have high-quality content on all its pages. By creating high-quality content, you increase the possibility that another website will see you as an authoritative figure and consider your content useful for their presence online.
- Publish original research
Original, in-depth research is another reason for other websites to want to backlink to your webpage. For example, graphs and statistics are highly prized by website booking or original content and research to backlink to.
- Create content that is driven by visuals
When creating your web pages, do not just focus on content and text. Instead, have a fully rounded approach that also includes images and media such as graphs and charts. This will get your website more attention from peers that will want to backlink to your page.
- Focus on news and trends
Create evergreen content that is focused on the latest happenings and trends. Such content will be prized by peer websites looking for the latest news and event-based content.
Delete Zombie Pages
Zombie pages are those pages that generate little to no traffic and affect the ranking of your site on SERP. As Google ranks your site as a whole, the existence of Zombie pages reduces the overall ranking of a website and minimizes the click rate.
Here are the advantages of chasing away Zombie pages on your website:
- It improves the user experience
Sites with fewer Zombie pages have higher click-through rates and provide a higher conversion rate. It also reduces the bounce rate from your website.
- It increases your ranking on Google.
Google ranks your site as a whole. Therefore, chasing away zombie pages from your website improves your overall site ranking and makes it easier for crawlers to move through pages on your website.
Check URL structure
Making your URL more accessible to search engines has the two-pronged effect of also not making your URL look spammy to users on the internet. While there is no direct link to URL structure and Google ranking, a better URL may make your site look more authoritative to users on the internet.
- Try and use fewer hyphens to your URL and opt for a short and easy to read URL
- Use keywords in your URL path so that search engines can pick them up
Check Canonical Tags
Canonical tags tell search engines which page you want to use in a search result when you have multiple pages with similar content.
If your website does not have similar content on different pages, it is preferred that you remove the canonical tag. Canonical tags help you solve the issue of having multiple similar pages on one website.
Create and upload XML sitemaps
Creating a sitemap is not as difficult as it sounds. You can use tools like Screaming Frog to create a sitemap for your website and check it for errors in just 10 minutes. In addition, XML sitemaps boost your presence on search engines. Sitemaps cleanly and seamlessly allow Google to rank your website and index your site, helping your website increase its ranking.
You can use various tools online to check your sitemap for errors. Ubersuggest, seranking, ahrefs, and semrush are some tools used to check for sitemap errors.
Track your SEO results
There are 5 KPIs that you can use to monitor your website’s SEO performance.
1) Organic traffic – This tells you how many people have visited your website through organic searches on Google.
2) Search ranking – check the ranking of your website based on the keywords in your content.
3) Search visibility – This tells you how many times your website shows in search results, depending on the keywords ranked for different search terms.
4) Backlinks – This is a key factor for websites that want to get ranked on search engines. However, watch out for low-quality backlinks that may reduce the ranking of your website.
5) Organic CTR – Organic CTR is the percentage of the number of people that have clicked on your link to the number of people who see your website in search results.
Fix Broken Links
Broken links are terrible for the ranking of your website on search engines. It affects your conversion rate, bounce rate, click-through rate, and time spent on the website. Broken links can also show that your website is outdated and that you have to update the content. Again, this affects your SEO ranking. You can find broken links by using the Google webmasters tool.
Check and Disallow Toxic Links
Toxic backlinks lower your website’s SEO ranking and reduce the number of organic SERPs you receive.
Many factors create toxic backlinks. Let’s take a look at some of these factors.
If more than one backlink to your site has the same anchor text, this may lead to the formation of a toxic link.
Low domain power
If the trustworthiness of a backlink is low, this can also lead to toxic links. The domain score is important for the backlinks you receive. The ratio of the trust score to the domain score ratio should be high. If it is low, it can mean that the site’s domain score has been artificially inflated.
Fix issues with orphan pages
Orphan pages no longer exist on your site but are linked to by other sites. As the old link still exists on your site, Google can still pick up on these orphaned pages, which affects your site ranking. Orphaned pages must be fixed or removed altogether for them not to affect your SEO ranking.
We have used the above 15 measures to improve the SEO of two websites that needed an overall SEO overhaul. As a result, these websites now rank highly on search engines with just a few changes to the on-page, technical and off-page SEO.
We used these techniques for two websites. The results we received for these websites is once again proof that any site can rank highly on Google provided that the best practices in SEO are put in place.