Search engine optimization (SEO) is a focal point of each website. With more than 100 billion Google searches a month, you need to apply state-of-the-art methodology and keep the webpage up to date with SEO trends. But even if you conduct a thorough optimization, you need to test the website and see if the SEO preferences serve their purpose.

James Palmerton, a SEO expert at Superior Papers, recently noted: “If you want to make sure that your website is fully optimized, you need to follow a set of strict procedures and analyze each one of its elements carefully.” But what exactly are these procedures? Let’s see it in our step-by-step checklist for effective SEO audit.

Webpage Composition

Make an XML Sitemap

XML sitemaps give you the possibility to keep search engines informed about the pages displayed on your website. At the same time, they enable you to notify Google and other providers about potential changes to the website. Using the XML sitemap, search engines can index all pages efficiently, which is great for new websites in particular. There are many online tools that can help you to generate XML sitemap, one of them being XML Sitemap Generator.

Edit robots.txt File

Search engines crawl the Internet to detect every little piece of content there is to find and they also keep the track record in order to help users find the desired information. This process is also known as the spidering. Robots.txt file essentially gives search engines information about the relevant pages on your site. In order to ensure your robots.txt file is found, always include it in your main directory or root domain.

Redirects Control



Most websites have a number of unavailable pages, which is why they utilize the 301 command to let the search engines know about it. Additionally, this command serves to redirect users to the new URL. Using the 301 option, you tell search engines to delete the former link and add the new one to their indexes. It’s a simple process that you can check using a tool like Internet Officer.

Page Composition

Title and Meta Description

SEO is an essence of your website, whereas the title and meta description are an essence of SEO. Two things are crucial in that regard: keywords and text length. Titles and meta descriptions must contain targeted keywords, while the two elements differ by the maximum number of characters. The title should contain between 55 and 65 characters to make the biggest SEO impact. On the other hand, meta description allows you to write up to 160 characters.

Check Alt Tags

The Internet is getting more and more visual these days, which is why you also probably post a lot of images online. Besides the quality and relevance, you need to keep alt tags in mind, meaning that you should describe each photo in a way that can reveal its true meaning and purpose. If you are not sure how to do it, you can check it out using Image & Link Analyzer.

Explore URLs

Website URLs are another important aspect of SEO. The most relevant URLs should include keywords and niche-related phrases in order to boost the overall optimization of your site. Besides this, there are other very important rules on how to create a SEO-friendly URL that you could learn.

Usability

Mobile Optimization

With more than 5 billion smartphone users all around the world, mobile optimization has become quintessential. You need to make sure that the mobile version of your website is user-friendly and test it on a regular basis. It’s easy to conduct an online test, so don’t wait too long. Also optimize your website with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

Load Speed

When it comes to SEO, Google takes into account even the loading speed of your webpage. This is very logical as the vast majority of users don’t enjoy slow motion surfing and want to open a page almost instantly. Make sure to indulge them and test your site with Pingdom Website Speed Test.

Health Checks

Broken Links

Broken Links can really herm your reputation and make your online efforts meaningless. That’s why you need to check both for the internal and external broken URLs. This is not a one-time project but the procedure which you have to complete every once in a while. There are many online tools to help you explore link health but we recommend Online Broken Link Checker.

Duplicate Content

You are not allowed to have duplicate content on your website – or at least the Google SEO algorithm won’t like it. In order to avoid being penalized for duplicate content, make sure to investigate everything using a tool such as Copyscape.

Additional Suggestions:

SEO Audit Toolkit

In order to conduct a perfect SEO audit, we suggest you use the following online tools:

  • Screaming Frog – This is the all-around SEO onsite checker. You can use it to explore each segment of your webpage.

  • SEMrush Site Audit Tool – Using this tool, you can detect website errors. Additionally, SEMrush Siste Audit Tool behaves proactively and gives you recommendations on what should be improved.

  • Google Search Console – Besides being an error-finder, Google Search Console is the perfect medium of communication between your website and Google.

  • WooRank – As another useful tool for SEO inspection, WooRank will check all indexes and detect other potential mistakes in the process.

  • Zadro Web SEO Auditor – It analyzes keywords, loading speed, authorities, etc.

Accessibility and Performance-Checking Tools

  • Robots.txt Analyzer – Gives you an in-depth analysis of the robot.txt. file.

  • YSlow – This tool examines the speed of every single element of the webpage.

  • Meta Tag Analyzer – You can learn about the potential of your keywords, meta tags, headlines, and titles using Meta Tag Analyzer.

Backlink Checkers

  • Ahrefs – There is no better way to learn than to watch what the biggest competitors are doing. This is exactly what Ahrefs enables you to do.

  • Majestic – It gives you a complete overview of backlinks.

Broken Link Checkers

  • Broken Link Checker – It’s a comprehensive and reliable broken link checker.

  • Xenu Link Sleuth – Xenu Link Sleuth has only one purpose – to find broken links – but it does it perfectly.

  • W3C Link Checker – This is another useful tool for broken links inspection with a wide variety of other options.

Duplicate Content and Plagiarism Checkers

  • Small SEO Tools Plagiarism Checker – We already mentioned the negative effects of duplicate content and this software will eliminate the problem promptly.

  • PlagSpotter – It will find each page you are looking for online almost instantly.

Page Speed Checkers

Conclusion

Having a website is not enough to get your foot in the door and stand out from the hundreds of pages with similar content. You need to design your webpage so as to meet the strict SEO criteria. Following the checklist and the tools that we described above, you will make a good job in that regard, so don’t hesitate to use it now.

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