On the first blog post we covered the 1st part of SEO Audits, including a range of topics (tags, the meta description tags, the URL structure, the keyword research and the XML sitemaps) that you should pay attention to when you conduct an SEO audit. Concerning the second part there are equally important segments to be taken into consideration as seen below.
Unique Content – Duplicate Content Checks
Probably it sounds quite vague and quite broad but it is important to make sure that the content that you are auditing is unique, fresh, with a natural flow while reading and at the same time it is vital check if any duplicate content issues are afflicting your client’s website.
In order to identify potential duplicated issues, the use of an automated SEO software can be extremely helpful since it can point out if a website suffers from this problem. With the use of the Duplicate Content Checker of Web SEO Analytics, you can eliminate this potential danger. Usually a website may suffer from duplicate content issues, in two ways:
- www and non-www issues. In case you come up to this issue, the solution lies on the 301 redirection, by deciding which one you want to keep.
- Different variation of the pages.
Examples: www.mywebsite.com/index.php or www.mywebsite.com/index_intro : This means that there are duplicate content issues, because you may have a homepage that appears in 2 + 1 different ways. This means that there are duplicate content issues and that the link juice is diffused in 3 different pages.
You need to address this issue with the use of 301 redirections that will permanently resolve this problem.
During your onsite SEO audit, it is important to review the website pages and identify if there’s internal linking between pages.
For a successful audit you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Are there any internal links?
- If so, how the internal links are structured? Do they contain relevant and targeted keywords that point to the most relevant page?
- All the internal links where do they point? What is the flow of the internal linking?
- Do internal links (broken links) point to pages that cannot be found – 404 pages- ?
It is important not use an excessive number of internal links, but with moderation and there should be a flow.
The homepage is the most important page of your website and all pages (and their links) should be revolved around your homepage. The pages can be interlinked amongst them but they should also point to the homepage, with the use of relevant and targeted keywords.
So for example if during an audit you see that the internal link with this anchor text keyword analysis tools points to the About Us page (instead of the Tools or Services page), then the SEO strategy of your client should be revised.
Don’t forget that having too many internal links that are broken is an indicator for Google of a neglected website.
For broken links, you can use Link Structure of Web SEO Analytics, where you can find out automatically which links are broken and immediately indicate them to the webmasters and fix them.
If you want to see how your client’s or your competitor’s website, behaves towards search engines by allowing or denying access to the entire website or a part of it, then the ideal move for this audit is the use of robots.txt. All you need to do is this:
In this way you will be able to find out the level of how the website allows or denies search engine bots to crawl the entire website or a part of it.
Depending on what you are going to find out you will be able to see the level of accessibility that search engine crawlers have on a website.
A typical example:
- Allow crawling of everything
- Allow to be crawled by Bing search engine spider
- Allow to be crawled by Google search engine spider
For your onsite SEO audit, you must not forget the heading tags. What you need to ask yourself, by looking the HTML source code?
- Does the website use heading tags?
- If so how does it use them? Is there a proper hierarchy (h1, h2, h3)?
- Are they targeted enough or are they over optimized?
If during your onsite SEO audit, you find out heading tags (with proper hierarchy: h1, h2, h3) with a targeted like: SEO Services in Glasgow or Search Engine Optimisation Services in Glasgow, then it’s a practice that you will need to implement for your client’s website.
Website Architecture – Navigation
Excluding the internal linking for which we created a different section (eventhough it is a part of the website architecture), it’s better to focus on the navigation. For the SEO audit you need to review:
- What kind of navigation is there for the website (how complex or simple it is)?
- What is the link depth of the home to the other pages?
According to Google, the optimal type of navigation is breadcrump navigation because it is user friendly and it works like a road map, so that users won’t get lost. It is also important to point out the fact that the breadcrump navigation, if done properly, will appear on the SEPRs.
The concept is quite simple:
Homepage>SEO Tools>Keyword Analysis Tool (which will appear on the website and on the SEPRs)
As you see on the example above the Keyword Analysis Tool is no more than 3 clicks away from the homepage, which means that it is not somewhere ‘’buried‘’ within the website. This also means that it is indexable because link juice is passed on this type of Tool or the other similar tools.
Page Load Time
Another important factor that you need to verify during your SEO audit is the time of the page load time. It’s an important ranking factor for search engines like Google because when a page is heavy and it takes time to load, this causes a bad user experience and it is most likely to increase the bounce rate. A high bounce rate is also a factor which affects rankings.
Alt Tags for Images
For this process what you need to make sure and ask yourself:
- Do the images have keywords, descriptive text related to the image?
The alt attribute and the name of the image is the best way for engines to read an image.
If, during your onsite SEO audit you see an image that appears like that: IMG_2520, then it is something that you need to avoid for your website. (An optimal solution would be for example: Junior Suite Pool Mykonos)
Another factor that is worth checking about is the domain history of a website. The older a website is, the more likely it is to show an increased page rank and more backlinks pointing to this domain. However it is important to highlight out the fact that if a website has a volatile ownership (via whois), it will not carry the same weight as a domain that has the same ownership throughout the years. During your onsite SEO audit don’t forget to examine the country TLD extension. If you see an extension ending for example to .gr, .co.uk, .it, this website probably will rank for that particular country and it will be limited to rank in a worldwide scale (of course this doesn’t mean that it can’t rank in other domains of Google.)