An SEO audit is necessary after a period to gauge the performance of your website. It will provide you with highly insightful details to help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. You can then launch better SEO strategies for your site. There are various content factors to check when doing an SEO audit. Dig in and find out.
It would be best to have an action plan before starting your SEO auditing to guide you through it. Each step involves analyzing and evaluating every factor that affects SEO.
So below are the ten website content factors to check when doing an SEO audit:
1. Facts Verification
Days are long gone when one could make unsubstantiated claims and get away with it. When people Google something to check its authenticity, they tend to visit more than one website to be double sure. Your visitors will notice if your site continually speaks the opposite of what many other sites agree on.
However, the more serious bit of it is that Google has become a fact-checking machine when someone searches for something. Google fact-checks websites before relaying the results, which means that only the websites with the most accurate information prioritize the search results first page.
Google now has fact-checking tools (Fact Check Explorer) used by content creators and SEO professionals. Use them to verify some of your website articles’ claims and ensure they gear towards the truth, not propaganda.
2. Eavesdrop on Your Competitors
The whole essence of SEO ranking is to beat your competitors in their own game. You can only succeed if you watch what they do; otherwise, you will be left behind. Conduct detailed research about them and evaluate how exactly they employ different keywords to attract organic traffic.
What’s their monthly search traffic, inbound links, domain authority, and search traffic value? Once you make the side-by-side comparison, you will discover the gaping areas in your site, which you then fix.
3. Website Accessibility
Anything from slow web page loading and page-not-found/404 errors to delayed server responses can make it harder for users to access your website. You probably well understand how impatient surfers can be.
Once Google notes that your site has accessibility issues, it ranks low on the search results. It would be best if you tried the Ubersuggest tool to check your website speed. The tool will advise you on what to do if it’s slow.
4. Keywords Analysis
Keywords are the bone-marrow of any SEO endeavor. You should analyze if the keywords in the articles are still valuable in attracting search traffic. Valuable keywords should attract the target audience, leading to conversion.
For more straightforward keyword analysis, you can use Google Search Console and Analytics. Also, remember that SEO stuffing is no longer a viable option to attracting heavy traffic, so check if there is keyword stuffing in any of the articles during auditing.
5. Website Architecture
This is all about how your website is organized. A poorly organized website makes it difficult for Google bots to crawl through your content and index it on the search results. So a disorganized architecture negatively affects ranking.
A poorly-organized website is also not a great experience to scroll through by users. The website design should be easy to navigate, secured with HTTPS, and mobile-friendly. HTTPS is not just secure but as well much faster than HTTP.
6. Shareable Content
Users who visit your website would often want to share with others some of your informative, exciting, or on-point articles or pages. This act of sharing alone can get you more traffic than your SEO strategies put together do.
During the audit, check if the social sharing plug-ins or buttons are prominent and if the links are active. At times, you may have changed the Twitter or Facebook accounts linked to the site, so users who click the plug-ins meet dead-end.
7. Check the Internal and External Links
Some of your outbound links could all be dead-end links because the sites you linked them to no longer exist. During the SEO audit, check if the outbound links are still functional. You can use Xenu Sleuthto quickly check out for dead-end links.
The same applies to the internal links. You might have deleted some pages, yet there are still links pointing to them.
8. Scan for Duplicate Content
Google has become smart enough to detect deliberate content duplications to give your site a double advantage on the SERP. It was a good strategy back in the days, but not anymore.
To avoid unnecessary penalties by the search engines, scan your website for duplicate content or pages. It can happen unintentionally, especially if you have been filling the site with articles for years.
The best time to find these duplicates is during an audit session.
9. Meta Tags Optimization
Meta tags include meta description and meta title, both of which assist Google in figuring out what the content of the page it is crawling through is about.
When ranking your page after crawling, Google will consider the meta description and meta title, so you have to optimize them for the keywords that enable them to appear in the search results. Again, users will click your page once the meta description and meta title convince them that the content is relevant to what they are looking for.
Note that Google usually displays only the first 50-60 characters of the page title. In keywords beyond that are omitted, so no potential visitor sees them. Your meta description should also not go beyond 160 characters.
10. Content Quality
Some content creators write poor-quality content then sprinkle high-value keywords in them. But Google is no fool; it learns every grey hat trick you have up your sleeves and soon penalizes you for it in its new update.
Nowadays, low-quality content hardly makes it to the top, so evaluate each article from Google and users’ perspectives. Ensure no grammar issues and that the keywords are naturally placed, blending well with the sentences.
Over time, Google comes up with updates that affect its ranking algorithms, so make sure your SEO auditing takes the latest updates into account. With the above proven content factors to check when doing an SEO audit you are good to go.
There is no all-time single formula to apply when auditing SEO, so keep on learning.