The Basics of Website SEO Audit

  • Samuel Darwin
  • Nov 19, 2021
The Basics of Website SEO Audit

If you’re running your own website, it’s a good practice to always do a complete website SEO audit to maintain a competitive health score. In this article, we will talk about the basics of website SEO audit. It will help in keeping your website competitive in search rankings.

A complete website audit will take a couple of weeks to finish. Thus, it’s important to know which ones to prioritize. Focusing on the basics of website SEO audit saves a lot of time and energy.

Without further delay, we’ll go through with the discussion of website SEO audit. For this article, we will use Ahrefs Site Audit tool as the tool for website assessment.

The Goal of SEO Website Audit

First, we need to set a clear goal for your website SEO audit. This will depend on what you want to achieve during your auditing session. It’s important to set the goal to have a guiding path you can follow as you crawl your website.

Define if you want to resolve BIG issues first or deal with them later. LinkDoctor recommends dealing with “at-risk” issues that can bring a huge dent on your website. This will make sure that your website’s health score is kept level.

Once you set your goals, you are set to start your site audit for SEO performance. Below are the things you should consider prioritizing according to your set goals.

Important Things to Consider for a Website SEO Audit

In this portion, we’ll talk about the things to prioritize when doing a site audit. Focusing on these will save you a lot of time and effort when doing an audit. Let’s discuss them one by one.

1. Focus on the High Alert Issues

In Ahrefs, there are different kinds of alerts for the issues detected on your site. These alerts are arranged based on their importance.

  • High Alert (RED) – red alerts are of top priority. These issues on your website have a lot of impact on your website’s health score.
  • Medium Alert (YELLOW) – medium alerts are of second priority. Issues from this category can be dealt with after resolving the high alert issues.
  • Low Alert (BLUE) – low alerts are of the least priority. However, these alerts should still be addressed to keep a good health score.

Resolving everything from top to bottom without considering the categories is not efficient. Doing a lot of things to resolve low-alert problems will waste a lot of time. That’s why you have to focus on high-alert issues and resolve them first before the others.

2. Split the Audit Into Two

Technical Audit

Resolve the technical issues first because these are concerned with the technical SEO of your site. These will define if your pages, blog posts, and URL can be indexed by search engine crawlers. If you have technical issues on your website, consider doing them first.

You may encounter some of these technical issues during your audit:

  • Redirects
  • Page Loading Speed
  • Robots.txt
  • Crawlability
  • Canonical Tags
  • Mobile SEO

On-Page SEO Audit

Next, you have to deal with the on-site problems. These are in-content changes and optimizations you have to do to make your site appear more on SERPs. But before you proceed with an on-page SEO audit, you have to be familiarized with the categories for on-page SEO.

On-page SEO includes:

  • Meta description
  • Keywords
  • Headers
  • Title tags
  • Alt text for images

3. Do SEO Audit on a Regular Basis

Your website may have a lot of different visitors in a day. Thus, you have to make it fully functional all the time. Doing a website SEO audit regularly will ensure your site is working properly.

We know that linking to broken pages or redirects is not good for a website’s SEO. And the worst part is you have no control over the websites and servers shutting down. Thus, a regular SEO audit also keeps you from linking to broken pages and redirects.

The sooner you spot these irregularities in your site, the sooner you can craft a solution for it. It’s a healthy habit to do this regularly.

How to Do a Basic Website Audit Using Ahrefs Site Audit Tool

Step 1: Log In to the Ahrefs Dashboard

The first thing to do is to log in to the Ahrefs Dashboard. Just go to ahrefs.com and sign in if you already have an account. If you’re new to Ahrefs, you might need to create a new account and start the free trial.

Step 2: Click the Site Audit Tool From the Dashboard

Site Audit tool location from the Ahrefs dashboard.
Site Audit tool location from the Ahrefs dashboard.

Next, find the Site Audit Tool on top of the dashboard and click it. It will lead you to the tool. Now all that’s left to do is to run the audit and wait for the result.

Step 3: Run the Audit

Once you’re in the tool already, type your website’s URL or find it from the list. You’ll get redirected to an overview of your website’s health score. It will look just like this.

Ahrefs overview of the website's health score based on the most recent audit.
Ahrefs overview of the website’s health score based on the most recent audit.

You will notice a “New Crawl” button on the top-right part of the page. Click on the “New Crawl” to start a new site audit.

Step 4: Prioritize Which Issues Need to Be Resolved First

If you’re regularly updating your site, chances are there are only a few issues that you need to resolve. However, if you’ve left your site unchecked for a couple of weeks, the unresolved issues may pile up.

Example of unresolved issues arranged based on their importance.
Example of unresolved issues arranged based on their importance.

You have to prioritize those that are marked RED. You can also check how many 30X and 40X errors you have to manage the broken pages on your site. Usually, 40X errors are harder to deal with, thus taking more time from the process.

You have to use your time right by prioritizing the major issues that need attention. This way, a website SEO audit won’t take a couple of weeks or months to finish.

Final Word

Just like taking care of your own health, you need to keep an eye on your website’s health score as well. Performing a regular website SEO audit will keep your health score in perfect shape. Keeping your site neat and tidy can improve user experience and engagement.

We hope that the basics of website SEO audit are clear to you now. If you have questions related to the article, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments. We’ll try to answer them as soon as possible.

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