Performing a website audit is a great way to improve SEO. It is ideal for cleaning your website and making it friendlier for both search engine and end users.
If you’re looking to save money and take the do-it-yourself (DIY) route, the following nine tips should help you compile your own website audit checklist. We will start our first tip with:
1. Searching Your Company On Google
Google can make or break a business deal. A particularly sticky issue will arise if the message “This site may be hacked” appears under your company name and Web address in the search results, indicating that Google suspects your website has been hacked or may redirect the user to spam or malware. Here are some ways you can try:
- Make sure you have a Google Webmaster Tools account.
- Explore your website’s status under Security Issues within your Google Webmaster Tools account.
- Submit a review request to Google once you address the issue.
If you’re still not sure how to fix it, seek an SEO expert to help ensure your issue gets resolved and your site gets fixed as soon as possible. Google will not remove the message until it deems your site fixed.
2. Identifying Dead Links
A dead link is a hyperlink that connects to a Web page or server that is no longer active. Here are two main reasons to fix dead links found on your website:
- They can damage your SEO, lowering your rankings in Google and leading to a decrease in page views.
- They can deter potential clients if viewers cannot locate information on the goods/services your company provides.
Many free online tools exist, like Online Broken Link Checker, Dead Link Checker, and many more to help you locate dead and broken links. However, these tools don’t fix those links. That’s something you’ll need to do, which can occupy valuable time, especially if you don’t perform regular site maintenance.
3. Finding The 404 Page Error
“404 Error” messages appear when a user tries to locate Web pages not listed on the server. This message could indicate that a particular page has been removed or that you may have incorrectly typed the Web address when attempting to link it to existing content. The recommended way to fix a 404 Error is to insert a 301 redirect, which reflects that a Web page has permanently been moved within the server and ensures that your content is once again present and searchable.
4. Keeping Consistent Page Title Tags
If you’re looking to boost your website rankings by performing a website audit, consistency among your page title tags is crucial. Accomplishing these tasks helps improve your website’s SEO and leads to an increase in site traffic:
- Use your keyword at or near the beginning of your title.
- Title tags reflect the subject of your page content.
- Create unique but short title tags.
- Don’t exceed the 70-character limit.
5. Writing Meta Descriptions
The meta description of a page appears in search results below its title tag. It can be a snippet of your page content but is often customised to create better optimised content for search engines. Meta descriptions are limited to 155 characters, so one to two sentences should do the trick. Here are some steps to improve SEO and draw viewers in via meta descriptions:
- Stay within the 155-character limit.
- Your keyword appears toward the beginning of your meta description and must be included at least once.
- Each meta description distinguishes its page from the rest of your website, focusing what makes that page unique.
- Avoid using special characters (#, *, %, &).
6. Utilising ALT Image Tags
Although a picture may be worth a thousand words, it does very little for your website in terms of SEO if it’s not assigned image ALT text. Image ALT text helps search engines identify your image and gives you the chance to further utilise your keywords to influence your SEO for that particular page. Here are some helpful hints for enhancing your image:
- Use unique keywords.
- Use less than 100 characters.
- Avoid special characters.
- Rename the image file to reflect your keyword or topic.
7. Fixing Mobility Issue
More and more people are investing in mobile devices in today’s society. Newer devices provide users with Internet access, so Google has enhanced its algorithm used to identify mobile results over non-mobile-friendly websites. To determine if your website is mobile-friendly or not, you can conduct Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
8. Improving The Canonical Links
Duplicate content confuses search engines, and confusing a search engine like Google can lead to a lower search ranking. If you feel your website may contain duplicate content, canonicalisation can help direct Google to any page you prefer. An SEO professional can help you by adding special tags to specific pages so Google chooses those pages to search before its robots get confused by your duplicate content.
9. Creating A Sitemap
A sitemap is an organised list of links to all the pages on your website. Just as an atlas guides a traveler, your sitemap helps direct search engines to the desired content. Adding a sitemap.xml file to your website allows your pages to become indexed, making the search process simpler for various search engines and, in turn, boosting your SEO with your increased number of keywords.
These are just a few DIY tricks to performing a website SEO audit. Hiring an SEO professional can save you precious time and money and aid in increasing your client base by optimising your website to boost its rankings in Google and other search engines.