One areas of SEO that many people do not understand is SEO audits. Even the name itself can be confusing because it is associated by most people as having to do with checking on your tax deduction claims. In the same way that the tax man checks your taxes are correct an SEO audit checks your website to make sure that it is working as well as it can and that it is not doing anything that will negatively impact your page ranking.
Why Audit Your Site
Over time the ways that search engines index and weigh a website changes and this can mean what once was acceptable is now negatively impacting your website. It can be difficult to judge what is responsible and in many cases it is not until a websites visitor numbers start to substantially drop that a problem is noted.
When you regularly audit your website then you can quickly pick up problems and fix them before they have a major impact. You can also build up a longer term view of what works for your website and what doesn’t which is a great way to steer your SEO efforts and maximize the return on money spent to attract site visitors.
How to Audit Your Site
It is important to check that your site is being processed fully by search engine web crawlers. This will ensure that all of your pages are being indexed and are not being missed. It is also a good idea to use webmaster tools that are provided by the search engines as they will give you the basic information that you need about how your site is processed and about any problems that the search engines have with the site.
How Accessible Is Your Site
These items are all important as they affect both how visitors and search engines access your site. It starts with fundamentals such as how fast do your pages load and are any being inadvertently being kept from search engines by an incorrect robots.txt file. It is also important to make sure that your XML sitemap is up to date and correct.
You will also need to check how many of your site’s pages are being indexed by each search engine. This will allow you to quickly pick out problems such as content identified as duplicate, bad redirects and broken links.
Important Factors on Your Web Pages
Your sites pages and the way they are structured are important to how well ranked your site will be. An audit needs to check keyword density with particular emphasis on not over using keywords and that the content that contains the keywords is unique. It is important that URLs on your site do not point to the same content as this can make search engines believe it is duplicate content. Redirects should also be used to avoid this problem and are one of many reasons that SEO audits are so important.
Links, back links and a social media presence are all important and need to be audited so that you can be certain you are not overdoing them and being negatively affected. Your ranking at reliable page ranking sites is also a good indicator of how well or poorly your site is doing and is good information to add to an audit.
How do you compare to your competition
One area that many people forget to include when they are auditing their own site is comparisons to competitors. It can be time consuming particularly if you have a lot of competitors so selection is critical. When you can see how their strategies compare to yours you can learn more quickly what works for the market segment you are in and what doesn’t.