7 steps of a good SEO audit
To know if the SEO of a website is good, it is essential to carry out what is called an audit. An audit is the analysis of the key performance indicators of a website's SEO. It is followed by a review of the SEO strategy and a series of recommendations for improvement. It is recommended to have a site audited on a regular basis in order to have a global and accurate diagnosis of its SEO health.
What are the steps of an SEO audit, where do I start ?
Which KPIs and data are important to analyse ?
Are you interested in becoming a professional SEO auditor? This 7 steps guide was made for you!
1. Why should I do an SEO audit ?
First of all, what is the purpose of an SEO audit? 🤔
The SEO audit will take an in-depth look at the SEO of a website. It lists and exposes all the "KPIs", that is, the key performance indicators, constituting the good or bad aspects a website. It is important to do it regularly, just like a check-up at the doctor's because it will allow you to :
- know the current SEO performance of the site 🏆
- know the elements to be improved 💪
- establish a real SEO strategy if it hasn't already been done 📈
Once the KPIs have been analyzed, all you have to do is to implement the recommendations to lift your or your client's site to the top of the search results!
2. Why should I carry out an SEO audit on a daily basis ?
The referencing of a site is constantly recalculated by search engine algorithms. The positioning of a site in the SERPs can therefore fluctuate enormously with the slightest change. All it takes is one bad piece of content published, a technical error, or worse, the improvement of the competitors' sites and, booom you go down!😵
With the explosion of competition, a site cannot afford to lose places in the SERPs. It is therefore necessary to check its positions and its KPIs as regularly as possible to avoid being overtaken.
So, what are the KPIs to be monitored ?
3. The steps and KPIs of an SEO audit
Now that you know what an SEO audit is and what its purpose is, let's see how it's done. For us, at Cocolyze a good SEO audit consists of 7 steps :
1) Determine the keywords on which you want to be ranked
Your site offers a very specific service/product/content to which corresponds to a certain semantic field. It is very important to try to position yourself on keywords that are part of this same vocabulary. ✏️
Indeed, if you sell cars, it is not relevant for you to be positioned on the word "fork". You should therefore think about the words you want to position your site according to its offer and opt for a regular use of these words in your site. Determining these keywords is the basis of a good SEO strategy. If you are lost, you can of course use a keyword research tool.
You can also research the keywords of sites with a similar offer , that is, your competitors. We have written a special article on the subject if you are interested: How to find the best keywords to be positioned ?
2) Identify competitors and their positions in the SERP
You need to know who your competitors are and the state of their SEO.
Once you have identified your competitors, the first thing to do is to check their positions against yours on certain keywords. These keywords can be similar to the ones you have chosen for your site or totally different.
There are 2 purposes to this approach :
- to know if your competitors are outperforming you on the keywords you have chosen
- to know if they are performing well on other keywords
This step will help you to define your own keywords, already mentioned in the previous paragraph. You will have an idea of which ones are the best to select in relation to the performance of your competitors on them. If there are keywords that work well for a similar activity or offer to yours, you may want to use them as inspiration. This is quite a marketing step, close to benchmarking. It gives you an overview of the SEO performance of the competition on certain keywords and allows you to compare with your own.
3) Analyse the visibility of the site on search engines
Just like your competitors, you need to know where your site ranks in the SERPs. 🔍
For each keyword you have decided to rank for, you need to know your position. This step will allow you to see where you stand in relation to your competitors and give you an overall state of your current SEO.
4) Check the technical health of your website
Poorly coded pages or text published without the right keywords can seriously damage your SEO performance. It is therefore very important to regularly check if everything is in order on a technical level. 💻
For this aspect, it is important to check if :
- the pages of the site are crawlable and indexable by search engines
- the titles and descriptions, i.e. the metadata of the pages, are complete
- the content of your metadata is unique and not duplicated or missing
- the pages of the site load quickly enough
- the site's pages are responsive, mobile-friendly or even better, mobile-first
5) Pay attention to the semantic content of the site
In order to be positioned on the chosen keywords you must use them in the content published on your site. ⌨️
However, for the texts on your site as well as for the metadata, make sure that these keywords are not repeated too often in a very short time. Otherwise you create a "stuffing" effect, which search engines hate.
6) Audit the backlinks that have been built to your site
The ranking of a site is also calculated via its e-reputation, that is, its connections with other sites. 🔗
The more influential the sites issuing links to another are, the better the referencing of the site to which the links are made.
It is therefore very important to make sure :
- the other sites on the web make backlinks to your site
- these sites are authoritative and therefore that these backlinks are of good quality
- the links to your site are not "no-follow" or have not been removed, if they come from influential sites
To learn more about these toxic links, go to "How do I find toxic backlinks for my SEO? "
7) Give your recommendations
Depending on the results you have obtained and the SEO strategy that you or your client would like to implement, draw up a list of recommendations. 👍
For example, you can:
- improve the general technical quality of the site
- position it on new, more relevant keywords, whether or not based on those of the competition
- adapt the semantic content and add (with moderation) the chosen keywords
- make you lots of influential friends on the Internet to develop an external network and backlinks
Now you know the recipe for the SEO by Cocolyze! If you need an analysis tool and SEO recommendations to carry out your audits, this is the right place! And we're so kind that we've even made a summary infographic.