SEO Audit Checklist 2019 | 10 Steps For Complete SEO Audit

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The SEO Audit Checklist is to determine if there is any problem that hinders the indexing of your site. We take the same path as the Google crawler and we find the technical points of improvement.

SEO Audit Checklist 2019

The simplest way to perform SEO Audit Checklist is to create a model of all the technical problems, then solve it one by one. This audit will take into account more than 100 technical criteria. However, certain technical factors have a major impacton the SEO Audit Checklist of your site.

What are these major factors? How to solve them?

This article helps you to identify the most important technical points for your SEO

1. Mobile optimization

The 57% of the traffic that goes to your site from mobile devices should be reason enough to encourage you to optimize your site for mobile devices, but that’s not the only motivator. Google considers your level of mobile optimization on desktops and mobile devices. It may soon switch to a Mobile First index. In other words, Google will give priority to exploring mobile sites compared to desktop sites.

This does not mean that office sites will be completely excluded, but they become less and less important over time.

What are the most important factors for successful mobile optimization?

  • Availability of images and videos.

You must ensure that all your image and video content is visible on mobile devices.

  • Visible text.

Your site must also have all the readable text immediately, without asking users to zoom in or scroll down to read it.

  • Readability and interactivity.

You must also consider the “readability” and interactivity of your site.

  • Loading speed.

The speed of loading pages is important not only for the experience of your users, but also for your ranking in searches and on mobile devices, the speed is even more important.

Make sure your mobile site is working properly on all mobile devices and networks. There are tools to check if your site is compatible with mobile devices. A search tool offered by Google is the Mobile Friendly Test. In this tool, you can simply enter your website and the tool will tell you if there is a problem, including HTML and CSS.

To go further to optimize mobile SEO in SEO Audit Checklist

2. Check the Robots.txt file

The Robots.txt file lets you tell the search engine which parts or pages of the site should be crawled and which pages should not be crawled. The pages that are crawled are those that are visible to users, and pages that should not be indexed are visible to site administrators.

In SEO Audit Checklist if some pages on your site are being redesigned, you can block the indexing of these pages for search engines. It avoids Internet users to see them. You can limit indexing in several ways:

  • to forbid indexing in your robots.txt file,
  • by Noindex X-Robots tag,
  • Meta Noindex tag.

On the other hand, as soon as the new pages of your site are finished, one must not forget to unblock them.

Check your robot’s text file to make sure it’s up to date. The Robots.txt file should always be used to check if your site is working properly.

3. Duplicate content

Search engines hate duplicate content. In SEO Audit Checklist you must check for Duplicate content can be found both on your website and / or offsite. You must check these 2 cases (tool to check the duplication of content). Otherwise Google will penalize your website. The most common form of duplicate content uses facets. To avoid this type of duplicate content, you need to differentiate one page from the other using the title, title tags, and meta description of those pages.

To stand out from the competition, the content of your pages must always be unique. You must update the content of your site to make sure it is unique.

Creating canonical URLs is the best way to eliminate duplicate content in the URL.

Why is duplicate content bad In SEO Audit Checklist?

The copied content  is bad for two reasons:

  • When multiple versions of content are available, it is difficult for search engines to determine the version to index and then display it in their search results. This reduces the performance of all versions of the content because they compete with each other.
  • Search engines will struggle to consolidate link metrics (authority, relevance, and trust) for content, especially when other websites generate links to multiple versions of that content.

4. Audit the site structure

You just have to use your common sense to structure your site. Your site architecture should be the best for users and search engines. If your site has a clear structure, you can easily navigate the site.

When you create your site, you are certain that all important pages are linked from the home page.

Keep your site simple, with logical URLs. When updating the structure of your site, be sure to 301 redirect the old page to the new one. You can also use canonical tags.

5. Analyze the loading speed of your pages

Fast page loading is crucial not only for effective SEO Audit Checklist, but also for a good UX (user experience). Users do not like to wait for the content to be displayed on a website they are trying to navigate (less than 2 seconds), or search engine crawlers.

How to improve the loading speed of my pages?

  • add infinite pagination or scrolling,
  • add responsive images using the imgsrc attribute for the img tag,
  • load images on a scroll,
  • reduce the size of CSS and JS scripts,
  • load style sheets or scripts. asynchronously

6. Check the XML site map

Sitemap is an XML file containing all the URLs of your webpage. It’s like an archive of every web page on your website and have great impact to include in SEO Audit Checklist. This file should be easily detectable on your site so that the search engine robots can read it.

What is a sitemap for SEO Audit Checklist?

A sitemap is typically used to allow search engine spiders to follow links to all your web pages so that nothing escapes them.

Sometimes we omit or hide URLs from all visible pages because we do not want some users to go there. As a result, some of these URLs cannot be crawled by search engine robots.

We can always leave these hidden URLs to certain users without losing sight of pages that are not being crawled by Google by including them in an XML sitemap.

How do you create a sitemap?

A sitemap is easy enough to create and you must include it in your SEO Audit Checklist. For WordPress users, you can download the Google XML Sitemaps plugin for your convenience. This plugin helps you generate an XML sitemap without doing anything other than activate it.

Once the plugin has generated your Sitemap, you can find it at an address like this:

http: //YourURL/sitemap.xml

My Sitemap is available at https://oscar-referencement.com/sitemap.xml, but I also place the sitemap of the website at the foot of the page so that it has a stronger and analyzable presence.

For those who do not use WordPress, you can use this XML-Sitemaps online generator tool. It’s quite easy and they provide a step-by-step approach for you to implement your own Sitemap on your website.

How does your Sitemap affect your SEO?

Search engines should see all the pages you want them to see. The more pages you index, the more confident your site becomes. It would show that your content is more relevant and contains all the needed info about it.

Ensuring that search engine robots explore everything they need to explore their website is the exact purpose of a Sitemap. It’s not for navigation, it’s not for internal linking. This is for search engine robots.

Your SEO will not improve drastically, but it would certainly help through this SEO Audit Checklist.

7. Analyze error pages and redirects

When Google crawls a site, it’s sometimes possible for a page error and code to appear due to which it must be part of your SEO Audit Checklist. The most common codes are explained below:

  • HTTP 200 – When you try to crawl your site, you get this code.
  • HTTP 301 – This code is a permanent redirect. This is indicated on a page is always moved to a new location or permanently deleted. This is the search engine to go from the old URL to the new one.
  • HTTP 302 – This is a temporary redirect. This is just the URL of the link to the new page.
  • HTTP 404 – This code says that the page cannot be found. Getting a 404 error is sometimes dangerous. This should be avoided. If you find a 404 error on your site, look for its origin because it could be due to a simple misspelling in the URL.
  • HTTP 503 – This code means that the service is unavailable. Search engines will regard this code as a temporary site that does not work. You can also redirect your site.

8. Check your structured data or rich snippets

Structured data helps Google better understand your content. This is an important signal to take into account to improve your positioning on the search engines.

Should all websites use structured data?

Is it worth it?

The answer is yes and it should be part of your SEO Audit Checklist

But before explaining why, let’s dispel a misconception: structured data is just an SEO strategy.

The fact is, it’s more than that. Structured data is a foundation on which machines can understand your content.

Organic research is becoming more and more competitive.  Any additional information you can give to search engines can help you:

  • Increase your clickthrough rates
  • Improve the visibility of your website
  • Improve the conversion rate through enriched extracts
  • Being present during a voice search

You can get this structured data from your Google search console account. Go to the “appearance of search results” section and then to “structured data”.

9. Check the meta tags

Meta tags are HTML tags that describe the content of your page for search engines and visitors to the website should be included in SEO Audit Checklist. Meta tags appear only in the code of the page and anyone can check them via the source code (Ctrl + U).

In short, meta tags are key elements for all search engines that appear in the HTML code of a website page and tell the search engine the content of the page. They are the first impression and the first entry point of all search engines.

What are the most important tags to optimize?

  • Title tag (title of your page)
  • Meta description (summary of your page) How to write a good meta-description?
  • Alternate text tag (alt) of your photos or images.
  • Hn tags (H1 to H4, they structure your content page)

10. Optimizing your photos 

SEO Image Optimization is one of the building blocks of optimizing your page and have vital role in your SEO Audit Checklist. Images are an important visual element of a web page. It is said that a “picture is better than a thousand words”.
If used correctly, they can convey your message at a glance, while neglected use of an image can destroy your message.

In addition, images can be a good source of traffic from Google Image (10% of traffic).

The main factors of image optimization include:

  • the alt tag,
  • the title tag,
  • the size of the image,
  • the name of the image
  • and the linkage of the image.

KNOW, IT’S HALF OF THE BATTLE

But it’s not the whole battle. Now that you have completed this audit, it is time to implement the recommendations of this SEO Audit Checklist. Remember that this list is not exhaustive. We usually finds new things to do each time we perform a SEO audit  and each new data file generates a new task.

However, I am confident that if you follow the steps outlined above, you will get a ton of information about the visibility of your site and will have the data needed to understand how to improve it.

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