SEO Audit Elements
The following are the core sections that we cover as part of an SEO site audit. It is worth noting that some elements are added to, some retracted depending on the needs and the situation. As with all things in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), we have to be fluid and adapt.
We also do more of a "limited audit" in some situations as the needs of the client are more specific. This is just a framework I wanted to share for those interested.
NOTE: this is NOT a forensic audit framework, that's completely different.
1. Table of Contents
2. Domain information
2.1 Domain analysis
2.2 Geo Targeting
2.3 Domain Name System (DNS) and glue
2.4 Content Management System (cms) status
2.5 Past or present penalties
2.6 Content Delivery Network (CDN)s or other off-site assets
3. General Onsite Analysis
3.1 Titles and Meta Data
3.1.1 TITLE length
3.1.2 TITLE targeting/duplication
3.1.3 Meta-D Call to Action (CTA)s
3.2 Prominence Elements
3.3 Image Alts
3.4 Duplicate Content
3.4.1 Thin content
3.5 Phrase Diversity
3.6 URL Structures
3.7 Site/Page Speed
3.8 Mobile Readiness
4. Technical On-site Analysis
4.1 Page Naming Conventions
4.2 Site Structure
4.2.3 Faceted navigation
4.2.5 Click depth
4.3 Canonical Issues
4.3.1 Page Canonicals
4.3.3 WW v non-WWW
4.4 Cookies/Session IDs
4.6 URL re-Writing;(Apache/Microsoft IIS etc)
4.7 Header status codes
4.8 Error Codes (search console
4.9 Site Maps
4.10 Structured Data / rich media
4.11 HTTPs implementation
5. On-site Link Profile
5.1 Internal links / Navigation
5.2 Keyword Mapping
5.3 Outbound links
5.4 Broken Links
6. Off-site Link Profile
6.2 Link Diversity
6.3 Link Text(s
6.5 Potential for link toxicity
7. Search Engine Visibility
7.1.1 Over/Under indexation
7.1.2 Search Console
7.2 Existing Rankings(s
7.2.1 Past ranking reports / search console
7.2.2 Query classification diversity
7.3 Analytics analysis
7.4 Local needs/presence
7.4.1 Citations and reviews
7.5 Social media presence (in engines)
7.6 Brand knowledge graph presence
8. Action Plan
6.8 Short Term Recommendations
6.8.1 Quick wins
6.9 Long Term Recommendations
SEO Audit Start Up Needs
Things we'd like to have (from the client) where possible;
• Google Webmaster Tools (access)
• Google Analytics or related (access)
• Keyword strategy (core and stemming/modified terms)
• Page mapping of terms and target pages (if any)
• Historic rankings (if any)
• Geo-local targeting (if applicable)
• Past SEO work (if recorded)
• Past developer change logs
• List of other domains/microsites (if applicable)
• Competitive analysis (known query competitors)
And how much would such an audit cost?
$5000 – $10K for a freelancer of decent but not high end $10,000 – $15,000 for an agency
This is why it takes money to make money, as a newbie to the website business and not having enough funds to support such an audit it's hard to survive among the big boys who just throw money into their sites and sit back.
If you're small you need to focus on local SEO and building relationships with businesses and individuals in your community. The people that pour ~$10,000 into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on their website are not your competition (at the moment).
The building relationships in the community aspect is 100%on point, but the product that is being sold is a nationwide product that needs volume. For a retail shop local SEO make sense, but for a nation wide e commerce what would you suggest?
Depends on what you are selling. An online-only T-shirt company could still benefit from local SEO (and also greatly benefits from Instagram). However, a drop shipping company relies exclusively on competing nationally and is quite difficult. Luckily, the overhead of running a website is cheap so if you are drop shipping and making more than the cost of your host and domain I would consider that a win. Keep making posts and keep everything relevant to what you are selling and you should climb.
Optimize your website as much as you can:
• Optimize images
• Use image alt tags
• If you're using WordPress then use Yoast to guide your writing habits
• Secure your website (https)
• Use services such as GTMetrix to dig into your site and eliminate slow loading
• Look at other similar businesses in your niche, see what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong then improve on it
• Everything else OP mentioned
Remember that even by doing one of the things listed you are benefiting. You won't complete it in a day and an ongoing SEO strategy is necessary. It's a lot of work but if you put in the time and really hustle you can become successful.
Great advise, thanks! As far as optimizing the site I have done extensive work to make sure all my images are optimized and the site speed fits well with user likings,
Quick question regarding alt tags. So at the moment I have about 1000 images, when I started I had no idea regarding alt tags. I also found out that I need to actually name the image files. Example instead of image 00712 it should be names as what the image is? For example I sell bongs, therefore the image title when saving should be "sesh supply beaker bong" but the alt tag shouldn't be the same as the tittle? So the alt tag should be sesh supply beaker bong front view or something of that sort?
And I'm having trouble understanding why search console is not indexing any of my images yet when I do a site: search on Google images all of my images are there.
Any advice is much appreciated!
Thanks in advance.
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