SEO plays a critical role in today’s internet age like never before.
Day by day, many businesses are switching online, and the pandemic has worked like a booster for it!
Therefore, it has become crucial for any website to follow Google guidelines to outrank its competition.
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About Website Audit:
A website audit shows you where you can improve your website’s search engine ranking, traffic, and performance, with exceptional opportunities for business growth.
You can perform a website audit either manually or automatically.
There are many tools that can generate an automated SEO audit report, but it is limited to showing issues on your website.
What is a manual website audit?
A manual website audit consists of analyzing a website using different types of tools to measure various aspects of search engine optimization. It also required deep SEO knowledge and a better understanding of the business objectives and audience behavior.
A manual audit performed by an SEO expert helps you get information on issues with suggestions on how to fix them, as well as a comparison of your performance with that of your competitors to see where you need to improve and where you can take advantage of opportunities your competitors miss.
Let’s start learning “How to do a manual website audit.” Follow the below-mentioned website audit checklist to create an outstanding audit report.
- Understanding the business objectives & goals
- Perform a competitor research
- Find valuable keywords
- Check on-page SEO
- Check technical SEO
- Check off-page SEO
- Test the site for user experience
- Presentation of the Website Audit
1. Understanding the business objectives & goals
Before starting a website audit, you must understand the business objectives and goals, as every business has different objectives and requires different strategies to fulfill its goals.
In SEO, mainly business has 3 objectives; traffic, leads, sales, and goals are the desired achievement that a business needs for its objective.
If your objective is to increase traffic on the website. Your goal might be achieving 3X of your current traffic in 3 months.
Note: A business can have multiple objectives and goals as well. So it’s better to ask your client about the business objectives and goals.
2. Perform a competitor research
A website audit is incomplete without competitor research since it allows you to compare the website to its competitors.
How are they performing? What keywords are they targeting? How strong is their backlink profile? How many organic users do they have? What SEO strategies are they implementing?
These data should be gathered and added to your audit report. This will help clients understand where their business is weak and what they need to do better than their competition.
3. Find valuable keywords
In SEO, keywords are the backbone, and the choice of keywords should fulfill user intent as well as business objectives and goals.
So it is important to understand the keyword intent and buyer journey where the keyword belongs. In this way, you can determine if your current website’s keywords are correct or not.
Find some valuable keywords using SEMrush, Keyword Planner, Ahref, and competitor keyword research, and include them in your audit report.
4. Check on-page SEO
As you checked for keywords, now it’s time to see if your site is optimized for valuable keywords.
On-page SEO involves optimizing the content of your website to make it more relevant to both search engines and users.
Following are some important on-page SEO factors that require keyword optimization:
- Meta title
- Meta description
- Heading tags
- Image Alt tags
- Landing page content
- URL structure
- Internal linking
If you’d like to learn more about how to optimize content for SEO, I wrote a blog post about it. Click here.
Review each point carefully and provide any relevant suggestions or action plans that can be used to increase the website’s rank on the SERP (search engine results page).
5. Check technical SEO
If you are not familiar with technical SEO and its importance for a website. I explained it in depth in my previous blog. Check it out.
I recommend checking important technical SEO components to figure out the website issues that you can add to your audit report and provide suggestions to fix them.
Using SEMrush, Ahref, and Google Search Console, you can easily detect technical problems with your website.
6. Check off-page SEO
Without off-page SEO, SEO is incomplete. And the same goes for website audits.
Look for incoming and outgoing links on your website. If you find any spammy sites linking to you or vice versa, then you must suggest removing those links.
Toxic links can harm your website’s SEO, so it is important to spot them during a website audit.
With tools like SEMrush and Ahref, you can figure out whether a website has toxic scores and affected links.
7. Test the site for user experience
These days, search engines also track the behavior of users on websites.
If you rank higher but your users bounce back to SERP, then the search engine counts user experience as negative for your site, and therefore you won’t be able to stay at the top.
So it’s crucial to check the user experience of websites on different browsers and devices. Include screenshots of user experience issues in the audit report. They will give your report another star.
8. Presentation of the Website Audit:
After manually extracting data from different areas of SEO, you can add that to the SEO audit report.
Let’s use your collected data to create a stunning manual website audit report.
- Add all the competitor comparison data you gathered above for your website.
- You should also add high-value keywords you discovered above and how they will help the website’s SEO.
- Add website issues and suggestions you discover by checking the on-page SEO, technical SEO, and off-page SEO of the website.
- Add suggestions that will improve the user experience on the website.
- In the end, create an SEO plan that you’re going to follow.
Tip: Provide screenshots of issues as much as possible to showcase them to clients. In addition, you will get a graphical view of your SEO audit.
Take Away Thought:
I hope following these steps has provided you with an understanding of the process of creating a manual SEO audit report.
Do you need someone to perform a website audit for you? As a Remote SEO Expert, I have performed a large number of website audits. It’s my pleasure to help you. Request a free SEO audit for your website now.
Your feedback and sharing are always appreciated. I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for this post.