How to Do an On-Site SEO Audit
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is never a one-time thing. In order to remain on the first page – or at the top – of search results, you need to make sure that your site and the pages in it are continuously optimized for search engines. Even the algorithms behind search engines change regularly. Evaluation and adjustment are required.
The first part of that equation is doing a thorough evaluation. To be able to optimize your site, you have to be able to perform an SEO audit. In this article, we are going to focus more on the things to check when doing an on-site SEO audit. Let’s get started, shall we?
Speed and Performance
The two things you want to check first are speed and performance. You can use Google PageSpeed or other tools like Pingdom to measure just how effective your site really is. The standards behind these tools get updated regularly, so having a site that performed well last year doesn’t necessarily mean it is still performing well today.
A minimum score of 78 out of 100 is usually a good sign. Anything above that level means your site is well-optimized for performance. When you receive the test results, you will also get information on the things you can improve to make your site faster. You can usually optimize browser caching or the images you use to boost site performance.
The way the site is structured is actually more important than many people realize. Google and other search engines now take your site’s structure into consideration. They use details from the structure to prioritize pages and contents, create a clear map of your site for the search engine users, and to enable content suggestions.
Programering.com has a great article on how a website should be structured. You can learn from the given sitemap since it is applicable to most types of websites. Naturally, you can also choose to develop your own structure, as long as you prioritize the right pages and content.
Meta tags are the next elements to check. Most CMS platforms automate the creation of meta tags to make managing the site easier, but the automatically-created tags don’t always represent the pages they were created for accurately.
There are more tags to add to your pages too. Aside from Meta Title, Meta Description, and Meta Keywords, you can also add Meta Distribution, Meta Robots, and Meta Yahoo or Google Verification. The first two major tags affect your site’s SEO performance in a substantial way, so make sure they are accurate and well-maintained.
These are the basic things to cover when doing an on-site SEO audit. There are still other things to check, from the content that works to cleaning up dead URLs, checking for errors, and even reviewing keyword density to follow the latest standards.
High keyword density may work a few years ago, but the same approach will only get you penalized today. It is easy to see why updating the page with high keyword density to maintain your site’s SEO performance is a must.