All’s well that ends well. This statement holds water but not all the time. Your SEO strategy is the best example of the cases in which the beginning matters.
If there are flaws in your SEO audit, the beginning of your SEO strategy will not be well, and the end is also not going to be well.
You certainly don’t want this kind of return on your investment. However, since time and money are two of the most important resources you are spending, you want your efforts on your SEO strategy 2022 to be fruitful. Therefore you need to do a complete website SEO analysis. SEO audit offers you an opportunity to analyze your SEO strategies.
Experts say that you should do an SEO audit half-yearly, and they have a genuine reason to offer their support. SEO is dynamic. Trends keep on changing. Google often announces new updates in its algorithms.
So, the strategy that delivered satisfactory results during the last six months may dash your hopes in 2022. So, doing an SEO audit twice a year makes sense. Furthermore, this audit will keep your website up-to-date with the latest SEO developments.
So, to save your website’s SEO from taking a nosedive, if you are looking for an SEO audit checklist 2022, as always, we have got one for you.
Technical SEO Audit Checklist
Start with a technical SEO audit checklist in 2022 to win good rankings this year. The good list of technical things you need to work on goes:
- Work on Mobile-friendliness
- Find and fix broken links
- Remove that ‘Not secure’ label
- Update Robots.txt
- Ensure HTML and XML Sitemaps
- Focus on the Speed of Website
MAKE YOUR WEBSITE MOBILE-FRIENDLY
Mobile-friendliness is one of the Top 10 Google SEO Ranking Factors you can never ignore.
If the images and text on your website look cluttered, something like your college hostel room, when you open your website on a mobile phone, you will not get ranks.
So, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, i.e., it is responsive. Design your website with mobile phone users in mind; after all, mobile phone users are more than desktop users.
Google has provided us with a free Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Use it to find out whether your website is mobile-friendly or not. Enter your website URL in the textbox and hit the Run Test button.
If your website fails this test, work on the mobile-friendliness of your website.
FIND AND FIX BROKEN LINKS
Imagine receiving a text from your boyfriend promising that he has booked a table for a romantic candlelight dinner. However, when you appear in the restaurant, no place for you.
He never booked a table. A website user clicking on a broken link can understand your feelings.
You can’t afford to have broken links on your website. These links not only impact the user experience but your ranking as well. So before you work on fixing or removing broken links, you need to identify these links, and you can use a Check My Links Google Chrome Extension for that.
SECURE YOUR WEBSITE WITH HTTPS
You should have moved from HTTP to HTTPS back in 2014. Or, maybe your website is not that old. Anyway, HTTPS has been a ranking factor since 2014.
Looks like Google had a time machine back then and already knew what data leak could do(talking about you, Mark Zuckerberg).
Google understands the importance of your privacy and data protection (with some exceptions, you! Google+ ).
If you want to understand the relation between HTTPS and Google ranking, you can do a small test. It will hardly take 10 seconds to see the results.
Google anything, say “how to do an SEO analysis of a website.” How many results on the first SERP have HTTPS, and how many results have HTTP?
Is it clear why getting SSL certification must be there in your technical SEO audit checklist in 2022?
What makes Google throw attention on robots.txt? Why is SEO incomplete without the robots.txt file? Such questions knock your head before understanding robots.txt.
It’s also known as a robots exclusion protocol that informs web robots or search engines to crawl the website’s pages. However, one can restrict web robots from crawling specific web pages.
In a nutshell, Googlebot crawls the pages to ensure users have an excellent experience while surfing your website’s pages.
The bot sets the crawl limit, which highlights the maximum fetching rate of the site. For instance, the slow responding page can have a low crawl rate limit that impacts the website’s ranking. Robots.txt is improving SEO and helping visitors with a user-friendly experience.
ENSURE HTML AND XML SITEMAPS
A sitemap is a crucial part of search engine optimization as it indexes the website.
The search engine gets to know that your website exists, and once a robot.txt file is submitted and crawled. The sitemap stores the pages & links in a structure to avoid chaos to search engines & users.
Hence, there is a difference between HTML & XML sitemap. An XML sitemap is read by Google, whereas an HTML sitemap assists users in navigating the pages.
A large website can hassle users. Contrarily, with HTML sitemap support, they can smoothly find a particular page.
FOCUS ON THE SPEED OF THE WEBSITE
The speed of the website plays a pivotal role in improving ranking.
Google algorithms deliver importance to website speed performance (including desktop & mobile speed). However, a low speed leads to the loss of visitors as it gives rise to frustration.
On-Page SEO Audit Checklist
Search engine optimization is a fundamental aspect of internet marketing, and On-Page SEO is a fundamental aspect of Search Engine Optimization. Our On-Page SEO audit checklist 2022 goes:
- Shorten URLs
- Include focus keyword in the title tag
- Include focus keywords in the first 150 words
- Include focus keywords in H1, H2, or H3 tags
- Use of Different Schema.org
- Monitor Compressed Images and Image ALT Tags
- Check Thin Pages, External and Internal Links
- Check for Pagination and Breadcrumbs on the website.
Use short URLs whenever and wherever you can. Make it easy for Google to understand your URLs and web pages.
Google will return the favor in the form of high ranks (if you are efficiently and consistently working on other SEO aspects).
According to the analysis Backlinko did on 1 million Google search results, short URLs play a significant role in improving the rank of a website.
Which of the following two links is easy to understand?
If you look at the 1st URL, the webpage is four clicks away from the homepage (blog, category, subcategory, and seo-audit-template-2022).
When you look at the 2nd URL, the webpage is only two clicks away from the homepage (blog and seo-audit-template-2022).
A webpage with a long URL has low authority and poor ranks.
INCLUDE FOCUS KEYWORD IN THE TITLE TAG
Make sure that you are including the focus keyword in the title tag. Some people find it confusing about where to use the keyword in the title tag.
The best practice is to add the focus keyword right at the beginning of the title tag.
This practice will take no time to give the visitor an idea of what’s in for him. This effort on your end will also make your website more rankable.
INCLUDE FOCUS KEYWORD IN THE FIRST 150 WORDS
A good introductory paragraph can quickly ignite the reader’s interest in your content.
In the same way, including the focus keyword in the first 150 words can help Google have a quick and better understanding of the content. This practice is what we have done in this post.
INCLUDE FOCUS KEYWORDS IN H1, H2, OR H3 TAGS
After adding the keyword to the title tag, include the focus keyword in your H1, H2, and H3 tags. Sometimes, it is impossible to use the focus keyword in H1, H2, and H3 in a natural flow. In those times, keep in mind that the keyword should sound relevant.
USE OF DIFFERENT SCHEMA.ORG
Schema.org handles structured data in a specific vocabulary that helps search engines to understand. It provides a series of properties and tags to explain products, local business listings, reviews, etc.
MONITOR COMPRESSED IMAGES AND IMAGE ALT TAGS
Visual representation is always powerful as it attracts your audience. A website without images will make it dull & boring. Relatable images help visitors to have a better idea about the website.
But search engines can’t understand until the image is not well described. Search bots or crawlers read alt tags and increase your opportunity to improve organic visibility. Even images must be of the size mentioned in Google’s guidelines because otherwise, it increases your website’s page loading time.
CHECK THIN PAGES, EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL LINKS
A drop in ranking can be because of thin page content.
Wondering, what is thin page content? It’s low-quality content that doesn’t serve a purpose to users. The low quality can be due to fewer words, duplicate content, and even unnecessary keywords. As a result, Google restricts such pages, which influences the visibility & ranking.
CHECK FOR PAGINATION AND BREADCRUMBS ON THE WEBSITE.
Pagination is a procedure that divides your website content into a series of pages.
It’s a prominent technique for websites that divide the lists of articles/blogs into a format. So, delivering a better user experience requires websites to split the content across various component pages.
On the other hand, breadcrumbs reduce users’ work by avoiding several actions on the website to reach the higher-level page.
Breadcrumbs are a secondary navigation scheme that indicates the users’ location on a website. With the help of breadcrumbs, users can trace the path back to the starting landing point.
Off-Page SEO Audit Checklist
- Do Your Own Website’s Backlinks Audit
- Competitor Backlinks Audit
Once you’ve completed the on-page checklist, it’s time to step to off-page SEO.
One looks for higher domain – authority & page authority. That depends on the number of backlinks & ranking of the website. Complete off-page SEO to get effective & authentic backlinks for your website. See what the checklist contains:
DO YOUR OWN WEBSITE’S BACKLINKS AUDIT
Once your website is ready to go, traffic becomes the priority; otherwise, how will users know about your business? Poor traffic gives you a red signal to audit the backlinks and prevent the issues. With the audit, monitor the broken & dead links which need to be corrected and make a productive link strategy.
COMPETITOR BACKLINKS AUDIT
To discover valuable backlinks, you need to watch competitors’ backlinks. Organic traffic is a challenge but delivers fruitful results by implementing high source backlinks. Measure the top-performing pages of your competitors and catch the essential backlink sources.
Keyword Research Audit Checklist
Ranking the right keywords will be very rewarding for your website, and when you fail in identifying the right keywords, you will be ranking the wrong keywords.
Ranking wrong keywords may bring more traffic, but it will also increase the bounce rate.
This increase in bounce rate numbers is not good for your website. Our keyword research audit checklist goes:
- Identify low competition keywords
- Use Google Keyword Planner to find more solid keywords
- Use long-tail keywords
IDENTIFY LOW COMPETITION KEYWORDS
There are some paid and free keyword research tools to identify keywords.
If you are using many keywords that are too common, you will find it hard and sometimes even impossible to rank those keywords.
There are too many websites targeting the same keywords. So, find unique keywords with low competition.
Keywords with low competition and high monthly searches are best for you. Google Keyword Planner is one of the most used free keyword research tools.
USE GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER TO FIND MORE SOLID KEYWORDS
With Google Keyword Planner, you can explore, identify and analyze keywords that are the most suitable for your business. You can use it for both PPC and SEO. This tool uses the data generated from Google ensuring accurate keyword research.
USE LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS
Short-tail keywords are less specific, while long-tail keywords are more specific. Even google can suggest you some keywords.
For example, if you type ‘buy shoe’ in the search bar and don’t hit the Google Search button, Google will give you some suggestions such as:
- Buy shoes online
- Buy shoes at the lowest price
- Buy shoes near me
Google suggests these keywords because a lot of people are using these keywords. These are high potential keywords but make sure that you check the monthly searches and competition.
We are ending the article with the same note. It can’t end well if the beginning is not well. Without a complete and accurate SEO audit, an SEO campaign sets itself up for failure. Do it completely. Do it accurately. Don’t miss anything when you are doing an SEO audit.
Talk To Experts
Expert help is a high-yielding decision to make your business stand out from the crowd. So let’s start the project and make it the way you dreamt. Our SEO professionals will improve traffic, engagement metrics, and all technicalities of your website. Contact us to create a difference.