SEO Audit Checklist

Best SEO Audit Checklist 2018 Edition PDF attached | boobalan.me

Table of Contents

Check Indexed Pages

Unless your pages are indexed by Google, no one is going to find it in search. So, it’s very important to make sure your important pages and posts of your websites is indexed by Google properly. There are few things you can do to index your pages right way, for example submit your Sitemap to google webmaster console to give a clear indication to google bots which pages to index and which not. This will help google to find easily your website and index it.

Missing & Duplicate Title

The title is what Google picks to identify what the page is about. You might have seen Titles comes first in Google search and Google pays lots of attention to your title. And, not just Google but, it also helps users to decide which website to visit. So, it’s very important to optimize your title tags for the search engine as well as for users.

But, if you are having missing or duplicate titles on your website, Google may find your pages are not so useful for users and don’t hype your Google ranking. So, its always better to go with unique and SEO optimized titles for each and every page on your website.

Title tag length

Title tag length is another factor that needs to be taken care when you want to rank high on Google.

According to recent data we have found that it’s good to keep title length 55-60 characters. However, using SEO plugins like Yoast, which will help for WordPress websites.

Also, its good practice to keep your important keywords at first of titles, and less important phrases on last. And, make it relevant for users as well as for search engine. However, duplicating the tiles tags is not a good idea for SEO.

Avoid keyword stuff in title & Meta Description

Google recently says that meta description is not affected directly for ranking, but as appears in search ranking it helps to increase the CTR. But, too much keyword stuffing in the meta description and Title is not a good practice for better ranking.

Check keywords in URL

As a rule of thumb, This is the most important ranking factor so we need to make sure keyword should be used in url. And make your URL short and sweet don’t use long url.

Missing & Duplicate Meta Description

Google and User won’t like same description for different pages and google will confuse to rank. Target one keyword for one page and write unique description for all pages.If you won’t write any description for your website posts and pages, this is waste of having that page/post even if you want truly rank that page it won’t help to rank that page. So keep all titles unique and character length accordingly to google likes. Also, if you are using category pages, chances for duplicate meta description is high, so using re conical for categories is a good idea to show you have similar content in other pages of same website.

Meta Description length

Recent update from google now this has been increased to 300 to 320 characters,Previously this has been 135 to 160 characters is enough. Now google won’t consider for this meta description rankings but it will used to increase CTR and user attention to click on that page. So write simple description about that page with crispy way to user intention.

Check Url is SEO friendly

Make sure your URLs are SEO friendly, check this key points in mind while writing url,

  1. URL should short
  2. URl should be have keyword
  3. Use years in url if necessary
  4. Use “sample post” if this is wordpress site

404 Pages

404 error means HTTP error, means users looking for a page on your website that doesn’t exist anymore. It may cause because of webpage removed or modified to new pages. Its always better to design your 404 pages such a way so that users don’t bounce, So custom 404 pages will help to find relevant pages that solve their queries.

No-follow links

No follow link is a link that doesn’t provide link benefits for ranking. It also doesn’t help you to rank higher in search results. Just click on the inspect source and if you see a link is wrap up with no follow tag, this means its a no follow link.

Example: <a href=”http://www.website.com/rel=”nofollow”>Link Text</a>

Use On-Page Grader for focus keyword is Optimized for Home and Key Pages

Hey Folks, this is the most important thing while optimizing keyword for a particular page, Moz tool provides all key SEO elements for optimizing keyword for a particular page. Moz tool considers these are the key SEO elements while optimizing particular keyword for that page.

So if you don’t have this tool consider these things to fix manually to improve On-Page optimization for a keyword.

  1. Checks the accessibility to search engines
  2. Avoids keyword stuffing in document
  3. Avoids keyword stuffing in page title
  4. Avoids multiple page title elements
  5. Checks broad keyword usage in page title
  6. Checks if the exact keyword is used in the document text at least once
  7. Checks only one canonical URL
  8. Checks for sufficient characters in content
  9. Checks for sufficient words in content
  10. Checks if the exact keyword is used in page title
  11. Checks if the keyword is at the beginning of page title
  12. Checks for keywords in image alt attribute
  13. Checks keywords in the Meta description
  14. Checks optimal page title length
  15. Checks optimal use of keywords in H1 tags
  16. Checks if URL uses only standard characters
  17. Checks if external links are used
  18. Checks if keywords are used in your URL
  19. Checks the Meta Descriptions
  20. Use Static URLs
  21. Avoids keyword stuffing in the URL
  22. Avoids too many external links
  23. Avoids too many internal links
  24. Includes a rel canonical tag
  25. Minimises URL length
  26. Only one Meta description
  27. Optimal Meta description length

Check Custom 404 page is there

Having Custom 404 page will decrease bounce rate for website. Things to Consider while creating Custom 404 Pages for your website,

  1. Its always good idea to design your 404 Page looks attractive and interesting, so that if someone visit 404 page, don’t bounce.
  2. You can add links to your most popular pages and posts, homage, it helps reduce bounce rate.
  3. Also, providing a ways to report users about a broken links. This way you can get the information about the broken links and fix them.
  4. Even if you have great looking customized 404 page, its not a good idea to index 404 pages on Google search. So make sure your web server returns to 404 page when users visit a missing web page.

Check Site is Responsive

Why we need mobile responsive website, Now a days visitors are not only from desktop, there are lot of platforms there(tablet, mobile),so we need to make sure our site mobile responsive, to improve CTR and traffic.

Check robots.txt and sitemap_index.xml

Robot.txt files act as guide for search engine crawlers to find the right page on your websites. You can command search engine to which pages you want them to consider and which not. Once you create the robot.txt file, submit it to search console.

On other hand, sitemap is like road map of pages that are accessible for users. Its probably the best way to tell search engine which pages to index. However, sitemap doesn’t help in ranking, but its helps to search engine to index your website easily. You can create XML site map using easy to use plugins like YOAST.

Duplicate Content on Pages

Duplicate content may cause real problem when you want to rank high on search engines. Same contents with different URLs are what known as duplicate contents. This makes confusion in search engine which page to consider for ranking. This cause most of the time if you change your post URL often, and forgot to redirect it to the new URL.

Check Image alt for all images

Google can’t read images, but can read the description or ALT text of your image files. So, ALT text acts as contextual description of your images and tells Google what is in that image. Its a good practice to put keywords in your image files, but you should do it wisely.

As nowadays search engines are very concerned about user experiences, and a webpage with no image ALT texts is not a good sign for good user experience.

Check Overall Organic Traffic growth and weak

While doing site audit need to do organic traffic comparison to help site improvements.

How we can do that,

1.

2.

3.

SSL

Google announce that SSL is mandatory for all website or otherwise google chrome will show website is not secure.

Interlinked Properly

Why Interlinking matters for SEO, because of our link juice should not wasted from any page or post, So we need to interlink properly.

  1. Silo Structure

Use Category

Outbound Links are not Competitors

When we are giving outbound link to another website, we need to make sure, avoid giving outbound link to top pages before ranking pages, it will boost their website not our website. And won’t rank higher on above their website.

Broken Links

If you are having lots of broken links on your website, that’s going to harm your whole on site SEO. However, having one or two broken links is not a big problem, but having lots of them may cause serious problem. Think when users expecting useful informations and landed on a broken link page, this may leads to traffic drop.

Also having lots of broken link is not good for google crawlers. Everytime when google bots comes to your website and found lots of broken link pages, this may divert google bots visiting your website and index pages.

We have found 25% of sites that has large number of broken links, in long run reduce this issue cause reduce the organic traffic. So, better to fix all broken links before it cause your traffic drop.

301 Redirection done properly

A 301 redirect is a command used to tell the search engines that a page has permanently moved, and that you want them to index the new page and drop the old one from their index. Think of it as a change of address card for the web. As long as everything is done correctly, a 301 redirect will ensure that you keep the rankings earned by the old page and prevent duplicate content that could arise if the engines were to index both versions of your site.

Site Speed

Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages.

Two ways to check website speed,

  1. Google insights
  2. Pingdom speed test
  3. Think with google test my site

Check AMP installed

AMP is smart technology for boosting your page speed for mobile users. With AMP technology mobile users are able to load web content instantly without any delay. However, the AMP coding comes with lots of restrictions and specifications.

Positive reviews on Google My Business page

Google My Business name, address & phone number and website address should be same, because google consider this NAP consistency to trust our original My Business page. Positive review on google will also help rankings in maps.google.com.

Check Analytics and Webmaster Code Properly added

Remove unwanted Codes (rsd,short links,wlw)

These are the unwanted code, we should remove these codes and make sure our website neat and clean. The below code should be used to paste in function.php

and to remove rsd, shortlink & WLW code

remove_action (‘wp_head’, ‘rsd_link’);

remove_action( ‘wp_head’, ‘wlwmanifest_link’);

remove_action(‘wp_head’, ‘wp_shortlink_wp_head’, 10, 0);

Check UX for all pages in user point of view

To put it simply, UX is important because it tries to fulfill the user’s needs. It aims to provide positive experiences that keep users who aim to keep their users happy. Most importantly this is ranking factor also.

Organization and Other Schema are installed

Organization Schema Markup. The organization schema markup helps generate brand signals which can enhance your Knowledge Graph entry and website snippet presence in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Be sure to specify your logo, social profile links and corporate contact information.

For blog we have to use Article schema most pro point for ranking signal.

NAP Consistency

Balance No-follow & Dofollow links

Nofollow links attributes do not allow search engine bots to follow link.That means if the website owner is linking back to you with nofollow attributes, it does not pass on link juice. Only Humans will be able to follow the links. Though some time back Google made it clear that they don’t consider nofollow link attributes but weightage of such links are really less. Even though, it’s a good practice to use Nofollow link attribute to those link, where you don’t want to pass link-juice.

Dofollow links allow google (all search engines) to follow them and reach our website. Giving us link juice and a  backlink . If a webmaster is linking back to you with this link both Search Engine and Humans will be able to follow you. The best way to give someone dofollow love is allowing keyword in the  anchor text . This means when you are linking to any website or page, use the targeted keyword as anchor text.

Refference: https://www.shoutmeloud.com/understand-dofollow-nofollow-link-seo-basics.html

Natural Anchor Text

Anchor text is the visible and clickable text in a link. We need to do anchor text with shuffled targeted keywords.

Reference: https://www.gotchseo.com/anchor-text/

Brand Search for Site links

Links that are shown for a website search is known as site link. This helps users to navigate users to the important pages to your website directly from the search results, also helps users to quickly find the information that users are looking for. You can submit your link structures on webmasters, and if Google thinks its useful for your users google will show site links when users search on google.

Check referring domain & backlinks for balance

Spam Links

Spam links are those incoming links to your website coming from a spam website or very low quality site, or google think its a paid links. Having lots of such spam links can harm your linking severely and drop your ranking. So, its always good idea to avoid spam link building and go with genuine methods. However, if you have many spam links, you can disallow your spam links using google link disavow tool.

Find thin Content and block

Does thin contents harm SEO?, Yes, however there is no minimum or maximum words counts for a web page, but Google says the website that has in depth contents tends to rank better, and obviously with thin content you can’t cover a in depth research content. So, it’s better to go with one big well researched content, then writing many small thin contents.

Check Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.

You can check domain authority by using this link: https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/

Analysis Competitors for keywords, Backlinks, Top pages

Top Ranking Keywords

Find the top ranking keyword and take a look if that page optimized well with that keyword.

Mobile Usability error

The mobile usability report identifies pages on your site with usability problems for visitors on mobile devices. The following errors can appear in the Mobile-usability report:

  • Flash usage
  • Viewport not configured
  • Fixed-width viewport
  • Content not sized to viewport
  • Small font size
  • Touch elements too close

For more information check this link: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6101188

HTML Improvements

HTML improvements are nothing without the HTML error that google found while crawling your website. Its better to check in if there is any error google finding on your website. You can use webmaster tool for checking HTML improvement errors. There are few common HTML improvement errors that you need to check regularly Title problems, Meta description issue, Non indexables contents.

Structured data error

You can find structured data error on search console page. Google will show up all structured data error Google found while crawling your website in search console. It includes errors like page markup error, rich snippets error, and other related errors.

AMP error

AMP error occurs when Google crawl your website and found error in the page. There may be different errors like connectivity error, broken links error, other errors associated with AMP page. Pages that has AMP errors will not shown up on Google search as AMP pages, and will not benefits you having a AMP enable pages.

H1 tag for Home and Key Pages

With the time the use of H1 tags for web pages have changed. Usually its better to go with one H1 header for web pages. Its good idea to keep title of home page, or blog post as h1 and rest wrap up with other headings such as H2,H3. It helps to create a good hierarchy of any web content.

Favicon Implementation

A favicon is a graphic image (icon) associated with a particular Web page and/or Web site. Many recent user agents (such as graphical browsers and newsreaders) display them as a visual reminder of the Web site identity in the address bar or in tabs.

Breadcrumb Implementation

Implementing Breadcrumb on website, it will useful for navigation and in SERP results, URL looks neat and sweet. For UX point of view and navigation it’s important for website.

If blog is there, check article scheme implemented

Brand name web 2.0

Brand name web 2.0 is very important for ranking signal as well as free blogging platforms. Web 2.0s are effective because you are piggy-backing off their authority and trust. Yes, it is a sub-domain and your page authority will start out with a goose egg ZERO.

For More information check this link: https://www.gotchseo.com/manual-web-2-0-creation/

 Brand name Profiles(boobalan.blogspot.com)

Profile Creation is one of the best way to improve your website traffic and keywords ranking. Some examples below,

  • https://picturepush.com/
  • https://deviantart.com/
  • http://livejournal.com/
  • http://podbean.com/
  • http://jigsy.com/

 Proper Brand name Anchor text

Proper Brand name anchor text matters and comparing to Brand name anchor text should be more than other keyword anchor text.

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About the Author: Boobalan

To begin with, introducing myself, an enthusiastic lad Boobalan a professional SEO Expert and a blogger who revolves around the latest in the strategies for ranking better on the google results. I am a postgraduate engineer with a major in Communication Systems.  My Interest started shifting towards researching through the strategies of googles algorithm when I found internet searches and corresponding relevant results by Google seemed to be fascinating. This interest later turned out into a hard hit passion to shape around a career in Digital Marketing with specialization in Search Engine Optimization.

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