What Is an SEO Audit?

A car is an expensive machine that many of us rely on daily. If the vehicle deteriorates, repairs can be costly and highly inconvenient. Even if everything seems in shipshape, we prevent mishaps with regular MOTs. You should apply this same love and maintenance to your business website; this is where an SEO Audit helps.

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An SEO Audit analyses your website, scores how well it follows best practices and identifies issues that might hinder your website from appearing in search engine results. They also help to create an implementation plan with measurable results. An audit will review your SEO strategy piece-by-piece and find any issues that need to be fixed or improved to boost your web visibility and performance.


SEO Elements That You Should Review.

An SEO strategy is a detailed master plan that is supported by several distinct pillars, such as technical SEO, content, off-page SEO and competitor benchmarking, to name a few. An effective audit reflects this and will review every organic search component individually to ensure it is worthwhile.

We want to fuel your organic performance to its maximum, so all of our SEO audits are comprehensive. Our auditing wizards will evaluate:

Technical SEO

SEO Content

Local SEO

On-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO

Website Structure

SEO Backlink Profile

Competitor Benchmarks

Why You Need an Audit Service.

If 2020 taught businesses anything, it’s the importance of a dominant online presence. Search engine optimisation - SEO - fertilises your digital growth. It is the most cost-effective and fruitful way to propel your brand ahead of your competition and into the eyesight of potential customers.

A robust SEO strategy fuels the visibility and searchability of your website, driving more organic traffic to your website and therefore increasing the potential of greater conversions, leads and sales.

Investing in organic search is lucrative for your digital visibility, brand and your user experience. In contrast, if your SEO practices are problematic, this will have a negative impact. If your content is lousy, your backlink profile is full of broken links, or Google can't crawl or index your website, you will lose organic traffic, potential customers, lose out to your competitors, and ultimately, lose out on business!

Regular audits are the key to preventing this and helping you to build success and reach your maximum potential. Audits identify concerns before they arise, fix issues that are detrimental to your performance, and create a long-term plan of measurable actions to drive your online presence to match, or exceed, the industry leaders.

SEO Audit Benefits:

  1. Improve overall website health and performance
  2. Discover your competitor's strengths and capitalise on their weak spots
  3. Design a better user experience for visitors
  4. Create a long-term plan to improve rankings and key metrics
  5. Discover the keywords you rank for and which acquire traffic and conversions
  6. Quash ongoing historic SEO practices that you are being penalised for
  7. Identify areas for improvement to increase your website visibility on SERPs (search engine results page)

How Often Should Carry Out a Website SEO Audit?

As with any digital marketing audit, don't wait for your SEO campaign to be deteriorating before you decide it's time for an audit. It's far more profitable to improve arising obstacles before they become pressing. Treat an audit as a vital injection of energy to your SEO performance rather than a repair for serious matters.

If there are no obvious points of concern with your website and its performance, a good rule of thumb is to have one audit every six months, once a year at the very minimum.

Signs That It's Time to Audit Your SEO.

However, if you are guilty of putting maintenance audits on the back burner, here are some indicators that your SEO strategy is flatlining and that a thorough audit of all SEO activity would be advantageous.

  1. You're losing high volumes of organic traffic
  2. Your website has a lack of quality leads or a low conversion rate
  3. Your keyword rankings have fallen off
  4. Your websites bounce rate is high
  5. Thin or duplicate website content
  6. You're launching a new website

Core Web Vitals.

Core Web Vitals are a newer element in the world of Google but have quickly become one of the most important in terms of SEO. 

Core Web Vitals are a set of factors that Google considers important for the user experience of a website, and therefore uses these as a ranking factor for Google's "page experience" score. They measure and assess the speed, responsiveness and visual stability of a website. 

If done correctly, Core Vitals offer more opportunities for a high ranking, but if they are not implemented correctly, they can be detrimental to your rankings.

What Are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals consist of three specific measurements, looking at page speed and user interactions. The three measurements are; largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift.

LCP: Largest Contentful Paint

Largest Content Paint measures the loading performance of a website from the point of view of a user. More simply, how long does it take for the majority of content to load on the page?

For a good user experience, Google states that LCP loading time should occur within a maximum of 2.5 seconds of when the pages on your site first start to load.

FID: First Input Delay

First Input Delay measures the interactivity of a webpage. How easy is it for users to interact with your website? Examples of user interaction are choosing a menu option, entering an email or clicking on a link etc.

FID measures the time it takes for a user to complete an action on your page. For the best user experience, Google states that any webpage should have an FID of 100 milliseconds or less.

CLS: Cumulative Layout Shift

Cumulative Layout Shift measures the visual stability of a website. This means if the page elements move around the screen while the page loads, your CLS will be high. 

Google prefers page elements to be stable in the loading process so that users are aware of where the links, images and forms are located. For peak user experience, Google states that any webpage should have a CLS of 0.1. or less.

Why Core Web Vitals are Important for SEO.

Google Core Web Vitals are matter as they ensure a great user experience for your website visitors and provide them with a pleasant first-hand encounter. Consequently, they are more content with their visit and therefore more likely to return. 

But how are they important for SEO? Well, Google Core Web Vitals are measurable SEO performance metrics that analyse the UX of your website. Google CWV's give you specific data points that allow you to improve your user experience, or if your UX performance is already high, it can improve your organic rankings.

On the other hand, if Core Web Vitals determine your UX is poor, this can have an adverse effect on your current organic rankings and therefore influence your whole SEO performance. 

Providing your audience with the pinnacle of website experience turns into more invested customers, higher conversion rates and possibly other bonuses such as increased revenue. Having said that, Core Web Vitals are important, but they shouldn't be the sole focus of your future SEO efforts, “Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall, even if the page experience is subpar.”

We Have Delivered SEO Audits for:

How to Do an SEO Audit.

Before you begin the SEO audit process, run a full site crawl. You should complete this first as you'll need to refer to these insights as you work through the audit steps.

We've created a 13-step SEO audit for you to work through, starting with nine absolute *MUST CHECK* points for any successful website.

  1. Check for duplicates of your website in Google’s index.

    The first step in your SEO audit should be ensuring there is only one browseable version of your website. Think about all of the ways that a user could enter your website address into a browser, such as:


    Only one of these options should be accessible, and all other versions should have a 301 redirect to the canonical version.

  2. Ranking and competitor benchmarking.

    One of the most important factors of a successful SEO campaign is understanding your competition and finding ways to expand on their activity. The more you know about the space, the more you can refine your strategy and fuel your success.

    Start by benchmarking your websites current rankings so you are familiar with the starting blocks, and then examine the performance of your competition.

  3. Inspect your website indexed URLs.

    A quick way to check your indexed URLs is to run a "site: search" on Google. Head to Google and examine your domain URLs using the site search, for example, site:https://www.seeventhelement.agency.

    Google will display the number of results for your domain, and this should be roughly similar to the number of pages, posts and products you have published in your CMS system - the sheer volume of indexed URLs might shock you. If the number of indexed results is far off what you would expect, there might be an issue with duplicate content or pages with this content on your website.

  4. Does your website have any manual actions?

    A manual action is issued to a website if your site has violated Google's Webmaster Quality Guidelines. Having a manual action associated with your website will cause your rankings to drop significantly and you can't regain ranking positions until the manual action is removed.

    A manual action can be for a page or sitewide. If you have been issued a sitewide manual action, it's possible for your whole site to be deindexed and you won't even rank for your company name. You can check for manual actions on Google Search Console.

  5. Examine your page speed for desktop and mobile.

    Page speed has been important for SEO for a long time, and in 2018 Google declared page speed as a mobile ranking factor. In 2021, page speed and loading speed are critical factors of Google's Core Web Vitals. Both mobile and desktop page speed is critical for both SEO performance and user experience.

    Google's Page Speed Insights displays the exact speed of your website on mobile and desktop devices and offers recommendations on how to improve your website speed.

  6. Are there any mobile-friendly issues with your website?

    We now live in an age where most people use their mobile for internet browsing, whether shopping, using social media or reading the news. Therefore, if your website doesn't cater to this and has a poor level of mobile friendliness, your user experience will be negative. Not only is your UX compromised, but your SEO efforts will also be as being mobile-friendly has now been a ranking factor since 2015.

  7. Check for and resolve indexation issues.

    Navigate your way to the Coverage page on Google Search Console to find any coverage errors and indexation issues on your website. Any alerts showing here could hinder your site from being crawled and indexed correctly, and therefore you must fix these immediately.

  8. Review the website user experience against Core Web Vitals.

    User experience has finally been introduced as a ranking factor in the form of Core Web Vitals, and rightly so. Your customers are the most important element to your success, so at least provide them with a great UX! Right?

  9. Audit all on-page SEO elements.

    You need to audit all on-page elements on your website to ensure your pages are SEO optimised as best as they can be.

    On-page SEO includes elements such as:

    Image alt tags
    Internal linking
    Optimised content
    High-value content
    Heading tags
    Metadata; title tags and meta descriptions

  10. Fix broken internal links.

    Broken internal links create a poor user experience and send a poor quality signal to Google. Broken internal links or those serving a 404 error should redirect appropriately. SEMRush is one of the most efficient tools for locating any broken links on your website.

  11. Check for duplicate content issues.

    Duplicate content on your site causes issues that hinder your chances of ranking highly on Google. Duplicate content confuses search engines and it becomes difficult for them to understand which page should be ranking. Also, Google can see duplicate content as manipulating rankings which it may punish your website for.

  12. Locate webpages with thin content.

    Similarly to duplicate, thin content can cause issues with rankings and user experience. Pages with thin content typically offer no value to the user or the search engine. Resolve issues with thin content before it affects your website success, this can simply be done by creating exciting and valuable content for the user or stopping the page from being indexed by adding a noindex attribute.

  13. Ensure content is comprehensive and satisfies user needs.

    Content is king.

    Sorry, that old SEO cliche but we have to mention it!

    Searcher intent should always be your biggest consideration as a creator of SEO content. Google understands the intent of a searcher's query and it's no coincidence that the pages that rank address the user.

    Compare your content with that of your competitors and use it as a way to leverage your piece three steps ahead. Your content always is the most comprehensive, informative and most engaging piece available, and if it's not - keep on working!

Utilise SEO Audit Tools for an Extensive Review.

Nowadays, there are countless technical SEO and free SEO audit tools available to make the process easier. Not all of them are essential, but trust us when we say they will certainly speed up the audit report. Of course, rather than committing to them all, it’s about finding which SEO tools work best for you!

Free SEO Audit Tools You Can't Be Without.

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Google PageSpeed Insights
  • Google Tag Manager

The Greatest Technical SEO Audit Tools.

  • Screaming Frog
  • SEMRush
  • SEO Browser
  • Moz
  • Wayback Machine
  • BuzzSumo
  • DeepCrawl
  • Copyscape
  • You Get Signal
  • Pingdom