If you’re looking for a simple and successful audit process to utilize with your very own clients
…you’ve come to the right place!
Before You Read Any Further:
I highly encourage you to head over to my Facebook Group and join me and 2,000+ SEO’s where we discuss awesome white hat SEO techniques that work.
What’s up there SEO pros!
Chase here. Today, I’m going to be talking to you about some of the most important things you’re gonna want to do when doing an audit for a website.
Step One: Find The Right Software To Crawl The Site
So the first thing I would recommend is that you get a good crawling software like Screaming Frog or Deep Crawl. If you’re using a site like Deep Crawl, you’re probably not going to want to use that unless the site has over like 50,000 pages being indexed.
So the cool thing about using these types of softwares, well first of all, the cool thing about using screaming frog if you do use screaming frog and you’re not trying to crawl a site with over 50,000 URLs, screaming frog is actually free for up to the first 500 URLs.
And if you want to go above that and you want to go up to 50,000, then you would use screaming frog if you want to go past that then you would go to deep crawl. The cool thing about screaming frog is it’ll show you a lot of the things that you need to be changing right away.
On Page Basics
So, for instance, like the on-page basics. If you don’t know what the on-page basics are you can definitely go to the description of this video I will leave a link to a tutorial of me going through on-page basics on a site. So, some of these things include title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, and you want to look for are these things missing maybe people aren’t using the right character lengths, like for instance, the title tag usually should not be over 75 characters.
Like I said, if you check out the on-page basics video, you can go over all of these different things that I look at, but in the end, this is not the most important thing, so it’s good to get an analysis of the website to see, for instance, are there 60 title tags missing or are the meta descriptions missing? Are they too long?
But, if there’s other things going on with the site that are more catastrophic to the SEO? The first thing you’re going to want to do is not do on-page SEO for a bunch of pages if you might need to get rid of those pages because, for instance, maybe too many of them are getting indexed or you shouldn’t be indexing certain things, so we’ll get to that in a second, but just know that you really should prioritize your tasks, so that would be the second tip.
So, the first tip was to find some software that would be good to crawl the site that you’re looking at, and the second tip is to start taking notes of those things.
Step Two: Take Note Of Those Problems
Now, when I do my audits, I’ll go through and I’ll look at all of the different things that I think should be changed on the site like we were just talking about. For instance, there’s title tags missing or there’s alt tags missing. Are those the most important things? Usually they aren’t, unless it’s for something like a home page or a really valuable product page, but we won’t talk about that right now.
What we’re going to talk about is getting a good analysis overview of the different things that should be changed on the site, and then at the end of that, you’re going to want to create a list based on priority for what should be changed first.
So let’s go back to the subject of duplicate pages being indexed, or for instance, thin content pages being indexed. Or, maybe the person you’re doing an audit for has tags being indexed or dates being indexed and it’s not a new site. So there’s a lot of things that you’re going to want to look at first.
In order to know these things, I would go through the on page basics tutorial. Like I said, I’m going to leave it in the description and also maybe the other part of the national SEO playlist that I do or maybe even check out one of the audits. I have a huge audit playlist with over 30 different audits that I’ve done live for people, and you can check out and see what I sort of look at as a priority versus not a priority in those audits.
Step Three: Figure Out Where Your Priorities Are
The third thing that I would say is you’re gonna want to really look at certain things first. So for instance, you know doing a crawl is great, but I usually look at the homepage and the other main pages first as the highest priority, because usually those pages are the pages that should or are receiving the most traffic. So the best way to look at these pages is not just through a crawling tool but actually looking at them visually. So if you go to a home page and the site doesn’t have a call to action on it, for instance, above the fold is usually the best weird place to have a call to action, then there’s usually a problem. Because there’s going to be a lot of people going to that site, and they’re going to be confused what to do when they hit the home-page. You have to direct people, especially with the home page, because the home page is usually the most trafficked page.
This is not in every case, but in in most cases, because people are looking for a brand usually before a certain search query that you might be ranking for, so you’re going to want to include a call to action on that page.
The other thing that you can do is go into something like Search Console or Google Analytics and actually look and see how many people are visiting the page, whether or not they’re converting into customers from there or you know are they bouncing off the page…
So, that brings me into the next part which is user metrics. So, it’s really important that you’re not just looking at the audit from an on page perspective. You want to look at it from other perspectives as well, like user intent and user experience optimization.
The best way to check these things is to start measuring your conversion rates, so if somebody’s not doing conversion tracking, which most people aren’t, then you’re gonna really want to put that in your audit. Say “hey look, first thing that you need to do: conversion tracking. Second thing that you need to do: start looking at your user metrics”.
So then of course, if you’re doing an audit for the off page portion of the website looking at links, whether this might be linked penalties of course you’re gonna want to set up search console if it’s not set up already so you can see if there’s any warnings or problems.
In terms of the off page, I always run my sites that I’m adding through Ahrefs to see what the links look like, making sure that there’s no links in Mandarin. I don’t usually do a huge link audit right off the bat unless the links look really sketchy just by combing through them. Or, maybe there’s like 50,000 links pointing to a website. If it’s a national website and it’s been around for a while, it might be a good idea to do a link on it, but that is a completely different type of audit which takes a lot of time to do.
If you guys want to know how to do a link audit, leave a comment, and I can create a video for that in the future as well.
We covered getting a crawler, checking out the on-page basics (you know, prioritizing with lists, looking at pages from a user intent standpoint/user experience standpoint, making sure that these pages are optimized for users through pagespeed, through making sure that there’s call to actions to direct people to where they need to be). There’s going to be tons of the other things that you can start putting into your notes when you’re doing on it, like for instance, are people internally linking to other relevant pages? Are people externally linking to highly authoritative, relevant, pages to the subject? But, in the end, you’re looking for quality and you’re looking for three main metrics. And this all goes back to the triforcing course that I teach.
Let’s Talk Triforcing
You want to look for user experience optimization, user intent optimization (so, you’re optimizing with the best experience possible for what people are looking for), and then authority building, which means creating authority and making yourself an entity around your main subject. If you can go in that direction, you’re gonna have a great time.
So, what does that really look like? It means, you don’t want to have a ton of pages on your website that are just low value, Google doesn’t want them, people don’t want them, there’s no reason they should be indexed. So, no-index those things.
As far as the technical side of an audit, if you’re looking to really dive into schema markup and setting up your OG data and setting up your link silos and doing your LSI keywords and all that stuff, I have tutorials for all of that. This was sort of just a quick video on some things that you can really do to start focusing on your audit and some of the things that I do right off the bat.
So, I hope that was helpful for guys. Let me know what you think in the comments, and until I see you guys next time… Happy SEOing.