How To Perform An SEO Audit In 15 Minutes Or Less
We’ve all heard the old adage that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We get it. Why spend a bunch of time and energy working on something that seems to be working just fine? You’re a small business owner – you have enough on your plate already.
But … there are exceptions, and your website’s SEO is one of them.
Outside of major updates in the search algorithms, many business owners fall into a “set it and forget it” routine with their SEO. But keywords come and go. Content becomes outdated. Backlinks dry up. Take your eye off the prize for too long and you’ll find yourself eating your competitor’s dust.
Performing an SEO audit is the best way to spot any potential weaknesses and protect your spot in the search rankings. We know your time is limited, so we narrowed it down to X simple steps so you can get in and out in 15 minutes or less.
Make sure there is just one browseable version of your site
In Google’s eyes, your website could exist in more than one spot. What do we mean by that? Well, consider these four variations of your web address:
To the common user, these are all the same. To Google, they could be four separate websites. You would literally be competing with yourself for web traffic. Not good.
Type each version of your site into a web browser and confirm that they all point to the same URL. If not, set up a 301 redirect to send them to the version you want.
Crawl your site and check for indexing issues
Now that you’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to give your site a crawl. A good crawler will quickly identify errors like broken links, duplicate content, bad keywords and a host of others. Most importantly, it will tell you if there are pages on your site that aren’t being indexed by the search engines.
Common culprits behind this are HTTP code response errors, bad sitemaps, and blunders in your robots.txt file. If you just read all of that and thought, “My what file?” – don’t worry. This is a discovery mission, not a rescue op. Right now we’re just trying to identify whether problems exist.
Psst. Don’t have a site crawler? Screaming Frog SEO Spider offers a free version that you can download here.
Look for any penalties from Google
Keeping Google happy is a top priority. If Google had penalized your site, you would probably have an inkling by now. The most obvious red flag would be a big hit to your organic traffic. But penalties can go undetected in some cases, so it’s best to just check in and make sure you and Google are on good terms.
To do that, check out Google Search Console. If you have any penalties you’ll have a message waiting for you there.
Review your tags – title and meta
Do you know what Google calls title and meta tags? Easy wins. And they are. This is what you see on the Search Engine Results Pages –the title of your page (title tag) and a little snippet of what the page is about (meta tag).
The first thing you should do is simply make sure each of your pages has these tags. In many cases, if you haven’t specified them, your site will auto-populate these fields with some random copy from the page. It’s hardly the stuff that will get someone to click and a lot of times it’s actually cut off on the SERPs.
Then, check for any duplicates. Each of your pages should have a unique title and description.
How did you stack up?
If you made it through the audit with a short list of items to address – congrats! You’re in a good spot, but there’s always room to improve. Make sure you stay on top of these and other key SEO factors to keep your website from falling to a competitor.
If your SEO To-Do List is a bit more lengthy and you’re not sure where to start, we can definitely lend a hand. The SEO experts at Higgins Marketing Group can help you lay the foundation for a high-performing, well-optimized site. Rather than focus on tactics to bump your ranking, we tackle SEO issues at the root, ensuring that we’re using the right keywords, URL structure, meta tags and more. Contact us today to find out how we can take your site’s SEO to the next level.