What Factors are often Overlooked during SEO Audits?

SEO Audit

SEO audit involves analyzing the different factors that affect a website’s search visibility. The purpose is to identify the issues and areas of improvement solving which can help improve your website’s organic search rankings and traffic. While factors such as page speed, responsiveness, user experience, on-page optimization, etc., take precedence, many other crucial factors often take a backseat. However, improving these frequently overlooked aspects of SEO audit can have a significant impact on your website’s performance. This blog will highlight these aspects to help you better understand how you can improve your website’s SERP performance.

Is your URL structure SEO-friendly?

SEO-friendly URLs help search engines and users understand what a specific web page is about. Hence, during an SEO audit, we check whether the URLs of your website are SEO-friendly. An SEO-friendly website will have the following features –

  • Should clearly describe the content of the web page
  • Should include keywords
  • Should have hyphens to separate words
  • Should have lowercase letters
  • Should contain no unnecessary folders

Is your web content SEO-friendly?

SEO-friendly content helps improve your online visibility for relevant searches and attract more web traffic. The purpose is to help search engines display your website at the top of the results whenever someone searches for similar topics in your niche or industry. Doing so can help you attract more qualified leads, establish yourself as an authority in your industry, provide value to your readers and offer overall great user experience. As a part of our SEO audit, we assess your website content to ensure it is SEO-friendly. The following are critical elements of SEO-friendly content.

  • Should match your target audience’s search intent
  • Should be optimized with relevant keywords – long-tail and latent semantic indexing (keywords related to primary keywords)
  • Should be well-written to earn audiences’ trust and encourage users to check out other content
  • Should follow a proper structure with heading, sub-headings, and bullet points
  • Should have appropriate header tags to create a structure
  • Should have compelling Meta Title & Descriptions to encourage users to click on your web page link on SERP and drive traffic
  • Should have optimized images with alt text to improve search visibility in image searches
  • Should have relevant internal links to encourage users to explore your website

Well-written content that offers value to the audience helps earn the audience’s trust and build your brand as an authority in your industry. Besides, the more time audiences spend on your website signifies that your website is relevant to searches. It not only helps reduce bounce rate but also boost your website’s SERP rankings and drive traffic.

Does your Meta Description follow SEO best practices?

A meta description is a crucial aspect of your website. It helps search engines understand the content of your web page. Accordingly, they display your website for related searches on the result pages. Implement the following SEO practices when creating your Meta descriptions.

  • Create unique descriptions for each page
  • Include relevant information about your page content in the description
  • Your Meta description should clearly convey the context of your individual pages
  • Keep your meta description between 50 and 160 characters
  • Include the target keyword in the description
  • The description should match the search intent

Are your Website Images Optimized for SEO?

Large images on your website can affect its user experience and reduce loading speed. As a result, visitors may choose to leave your website if it takes too long to load. It will affect your bounce rate, which can further influence your search rankings. Hence, you need to optimize your website images for SEO. Our SEO audit includes checking whether the images on your website are optimized for SEO. Implement the following tips to optimize your website images.

  • Select the correct file format – Ensure you select the best file type for your website images. For instance, PNG format produces higher-quality images but a larger file size. On the other hand, the JPEG format uses lossy and lossless optimization. You can make necessary adjustments to maintain a balance between the quality and file size. Further, you can choose GIFs for animated images. Experts suggest using JPEG or JPG format for images with plenty of colors, while PNG for simple images.
  • Use concise and direct image names – Create descriptive and keyword-rich file names when optimizing website images. As search engines crawl image file names, optimizing your images can help improve their visibility on image searches.
  • Optimize alt attributes – Alt attributes are alternative text for images. When a browser can’t properly display the images, it will show the alt text instead. It is also used for web accessibility. They are crucial for SEO. Adding appropriate alt text with relevant keywords can help them rank better on SERP. If you own an eCommerce website, alt attributes can help your products to appear on Google images and web searches. Similar to image file names, ensure your image alt text clearly describes the content of your image. You can also add serial numbers or model numbers of products in your alt attributes. Avoid over-optimization, as search engines might penalize your website for the same.
  • Resize your images – Resize your images to ensure they appear great across all devices, including mobile and high-resolution screens. You can achieve this by using a content delivery network (CDN). It helps display the best image format according to the devices the user is using. Additionally, it helps improve the loading speed of the image file as the server location is closer to the end user.

Have you Added an Image Sitemap?

eCommerce websites might use various flashy ways to improve the overall shopping experience. It includes using JavaScript galleries, image pop-ups, etc. Adding image sitemaps can help search engines find your website images easily. As mentioned earlier, search crawlers can’t crawl images that are not mentioned specifically in the source code. Therefore, to help crawlers find your images, you should list their location in the image sitemap.

How many Internal Links are too many?

Search engines, such as Google, in the past confirmed that individual pages should have fewer than 100 links. However, it didn’t force webmasters to follow this limit. Instead, the guidelines stated that the webmaster should add a reasonable number of links on each page, where fewer than 100 is the suggested limit. Similarly, Bing, another search engine, recommended using a reasonable number of links on their pages. Many experts suggest adding 5 to 10 links for every 2000 words. Therefore, a crucial aspect of an SEO audit is to check whether every page on your website has adequate internal links.

Using too many links on individual web pages can dilute the authority each link has. Links carry authority from the source (the page that features the links) to the destination (pages where the links are pointing) page. Hence, if any web page has plenty of links, its authority will be distributed to all those destination pages. Further, the destination pages will receive an insignificant amount of authority from the links. Therefore, it is better to use a reasonable number of links on a single page.

Besides, using too many links on each page might make it appear spammy. In such cases, search engines might avoid displaying your web pages on the result pages for related queries.

Using too many links on individual pages makes it harder to maintain the page. For instance, you may need to delete or change a link’s destination page. In such a situation, you need to add necessary redirects for the links to work. With more links, the need to add redirects may increase, which can make it harder to maintain individual web pages.

Have you Assessed your Site Architecture?

Ensuring your website has a solid architecture can help improve user experience for web visitors and search bots. As a part of our SEO audit, we analyze your website’s architecture to identify whether it needs any further improvement. Your website should have a clear, logical, and organized structure represented in an accurate sitemap. A crucial aspect of having a solid site architecture is having an SEO-friendly URL, which we have discussed earlier. Further, the main navigation menu on your website should include all the primary web pages. It will allow search bots and users to find everything they need quickly and efficiently. In this regard, ensure including relevant internal links on different pages on your website. It will help create a strong site architecture and improve your SEO performance.

Have you Added Schema Markup on your Website?

Schema markup or structured data is a short piece of code used to present information to search engines to help them understand your web content. It allows search engines to provide users with relevant information in SERP through rich snippets. Some other common uses of schema markup are book or movie reviews, product markups to display price, availability, etc. knowledge panels for personal branding, etc. Adding schema markup may not directly affect your search rankings. However, it will help improve your click-through rates, quality of web visitors, search rankings, reduce bounce rates, etc. The following steps can help you add schema markup correctly to your website.

  • Go to Google Structured Data Markup Helper
  • Select the type of data from the listed options
  • Next, paste the URL you want to markup
  • Select the elements to markup
  • Keep on adding different markup items
  • Create the HTML
  • Finally, add schema markup to your site

Have you Examined the Robots.txt file?

The Robots.txt file informs search engines whether or not to index any specific page(s) or your entire website. Therefore, if Google hasn’t crawled your web pages, you must check whether you have mistakenly advised Google not to index your website or individual pages. Our SEO audit includes a thorough examination of your Robots.txt file.

Have you Checked all the Redirects on your Website?

Webmasters can erase outdated web pages and replace them with new ones regularly. In these situations, you need to add 301 redirects to drive traffic to the new pages. It is crucial to set up the new links, otherwise you will have redirect issues that can harm your SEO. As a part of our SEO audit, we help identify the redirect issues. We can further help fix them as a part of our SEO strategies.

Have you Assessed your Off-page SEO Strategies?

SEO audit is not just limited to assessing your website’s technical and on-page elements. Various off-page SEO factors can affect your website’s rankings. For instance, your social media strategies can affect your website’s SERP rankings. The reason is search engines might consider your social media content’s engagement to determine its search visibility. Suppose you have created and published different content for various social media platforms. If your social media audiences engage with the content, Google might consider your content to be valuable and relevant. Accordingly, Google’s algorithm might consider this aspect when displaying them on SERP. As a result, your brand’s visibility will increase on search engines. Our SEO audit process includes evaluating various off-page strategies to determine how well they are contributing to improving your website’s SEO performance.

How Strong is your Backlink Profile?

Backlinks are links created on external websites (other than your website) that link back to your website. They have a positive impact on SEO. Creating backlinks on authority websites signals to search engines that the external websites have found your web content valuable and relevant and, hence, are linking back to you. It further helps improve your website’s SERP visibility for related searches. Our SEO audit involves assessing the authority of the external websites that have linked back to your website. More than quantity, the quality of backlinks matters. Therefore, it is critical to verify these inbound links are coming from various quality domains to improve your website’s SEO.

How well is your Website Performing compared to your Competitors?

A significant aspect of an SEO audit is comparing your website to that of competitors. In this regard, we perform keyword searches to assess how well you and your competitors are ranking for the same. It will help us identify keyword and content opportunities that you can utilize in your favor to outrank your competitors.

Have you Reviewed your Website Analytics?

You may have implemented analytics on your website. As a part of our SEO audit, we review the analytics reports to assess your website on various parameters.

  • Past website traffic trends
  • Source of website visits
  • Top locations from where your website gets the most visits
  • Platforms driving the most traffic
  • Any hit, penalty, or dropdown on the website in the past

These insights can help understand your current audience reach. As a result, it can further help in making data-driven decisions to boost SEO performance.

Has your website adopted AMP configuration?

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) dominate global mobile search results. AMP helps improve page loading speed and mobile user experience, both of which are critical ranking factors for Google. Therefore, adopting AMP can help improve your website’s SEO performance. AMP is essential for media websites and blogs. Besides, if your site has a mobile speed issue and you lack the flexibility to improve your existing pages, adopting AMP can help.

Therefore, when performing an SEO audit on your website, ensure these aspects are also assessed. HireH Consulting is an SEO Agency in Ontario. Our SEO specialists can help perform a detailed SEO audit on your website to identify possible issues affecting its SEO performance. Based on our analysis, we can also help develop effective SEO strategies to boost your website’s organic search ranking and traffic.