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[Community Post] How to Conduct an On-Page SEO Site Audit [in 5 minutes]

This is a guest post by our Community Member  Shyam Kotnana

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It’s so relaxing moment once you post the article in your own blog. I too feel so. In fact, its a moment I feel like ‘mission accomplished’.

And, I have a question for you – “How do you perform on-page SEO Audit?”

In this article, I am explaining “how to perform an SEO audit for a website?”; which helps in boosting your website traffic for better results.

Why is SEO audit required?

Pretty simple and straightforward – for better results from the existing website content.

How do you perform SEO Audit?

Well, it’s on 3 levels. I will explain to you.

How to do

  1. On-page SEO Audit
  2. Technical SEO Audit
  3. Backlink Audit

However, I am going to explain on page audit only in this blog post. Let me start to explain On-page SEO first and how to audit the on-page SEO later.

There are certain elements part of your content which must be used properly to make the search engine aware that you are following the right rules of it.

We all know how a textbook appears right. Every textbook has a big title, author name, publisher name, author profile or introduction to the textbook on the front and back sides of the book.

Also, if you open the book, you see the index of chapters under which lessons which chapter contains with pages number against it.

If you move a little bit forward, you see a chapter name once and the lesson heading with so much of sub-heading and details. And in between, we see nice images with proper information about it underneath.

Hope you are able to picture it all. This is exactly what your website can be compared to.

Yes, I mean it. Even, Google-like giant search engines want to understand any website like a textbook.

So, we must take utmost care to provide authentic information and detailed explanation with good figures and aesthetics while building website pages and posts.

Without wasting much time, let us jump into our main topic..auditing!

Following are the main guidelines one should inculcate in their website

Stick to one URL version

(remember, you may refer the same textbook with many short forms, but Textbook has its uniqueness, its own name)

There are many ways on can type your website (unless book-marked) name in google, as follows

WWW URL:

http://www.yoursitename.com

https://www.yoursitename.com

NON-WWW URL:

http://yoursitename.com

https://yoursitename.com

url structure

Depending on your website is SSL certificate enabled or not, use an appropriate site URL in all the cases. I mean to say, irrespective of how your website is searched, you must make just one to access. That one URL can be called as a canonical URL.

Recommended URL structure – https://www.yoursitename.com (SSL + WWW)

Important: Make sure you use the keyword in the post/page URL.

Points to consider

  • if you are using WordPress, use custom URL or postname under permalink settings.
  • Check for no numbers or dates exists in the URL

Is Meta description suiting to Title?

Often, we try to stuff the keywords in the meta description, however, it is a snap of information which explains about your post in the search results. It is advised to use one keyword (with local details of your business) in the description which actually tells about your title. This becomes a summary of your article which will give a good idea to users whether it makes sense for them to click on your link.

Points to consider

  • Make sure you are not using too long or too short a description. Ideal description length is 155 characters.
  • Avoid similar or duplicate meta descriptions
  • Don’t miss to write meta description!
  • Use Primary Keyword, Secondary Keyword, and LSI Keyword one each in the Meta Description

Check for Title tag on all important pages, posts

  • Does the page/post contain the proper keyword in the title?

Points to consider:

  • It is important to have a keyword so that the crawlers can understand the content of your site easily just by reading the title of the page or post.
  • Put the keyword as close as possible at the start of the title and then use the secondary keyword + brand name.
  • Hope the title is not truncated in the search engine (Google) results

Points to consider:

  • Google would display a title of length lesser than 600 pixels. It comes to mostly 50 to 60 characters
  • Remember title tag is very important as it will be shown in the search engines, browsers, social platforms and users would come to your site only by looking at your title of the post or page
  • Used only one H1 heading tag.

Points to consider:

  • Remember to write only one H1 tag per post/page. Though it does not much impact the SEO ranking if one has more than one H1 tag, it is not advisable to have more than one since Google crawlers may interpret the titles wrong. You are well aware of one chapter, one lesson heading… hope you got my point.
An example of URL, Title, Meta Description of a page
An example of URL, Title, Meta Description of a page.
  • Using other sub-headings or not?

Points to consider:

  • Google loves (any search engine for that matter) to read a content beautified. Use all the necessary h2, h3, h4 tags per requirement instead of font size. crawlers interpret good of them very well.
  • Don’t use similar or duplicate title tags

Points to consider:

  • Each page/post must have a unique title which can be easily distinguished by both crawler and visitor

Does the page/post contain Breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumb is a navigation bar which helps users to find where exactly they are on the web page/site. And it also helps crawlers from back-end to understand the pages properly as in which category or hierarchical structure the page/post falls under.

Image: Breadcrumb showing the hierarchy of page.
Image: Breadcrumb showing the hierarchy of the page.

Short/thin content? Is content Duplicate?

Google object like Panda check for content duplication and thin content (very short content like news). Avoid content duplication across the site and from other sites. Have a genuine content reside on your site.

It is advisable to have a canonical tag added in case yours is an e-commerce site for multiple versions of a product.

P.S: Use Copyscape to check the plagiarism.

Note: Often we doubt about Privacy, Disclaimer pages are been copied which may impact the authenticity of the site in the eyes of Google. Don’t worry about it. In case you are still worried, use the canonical tag.

Example: <link rel = “canonical” href=”https://www.yourdomain.com/page”>

Coming to Thin content, a recent study conducted by Mr. Brian Dean, average words per page that are ranking in the first position in Google SERP are 1829 words. This means if you are writing a post and want to get good visibility, write a long content. This also helps you from Panda penalization.

P.S: You can use www.wordcounter.net site to count the no. of words in a post.

Links on your page are set to share ranks or indexed by Google?

Google likes to see linking between your own interrelated pages and between different pages from the other websites to your site pages. This actually helps Google algorithm find the authority of the site based on the referrer site or page or posts and passes links rank juice to one another.

Find whether you are passing link juice to other sites:

Points to consider:

  • Affiliate links should be nofollow
  • All the important pages must not be noindex
  • Noopener noreferrer tags don’t have any impact on SEO
  • Too many links become over optimization
  • Use contextual links along with content which makes sense to the user.

Check your content

Though we discussed thin content here I would like to stress on keywords and content around it.

You might have done good keyword research and found some primarily focused keyword, secondary keywords, and few LSI keywords already.

Check whether you didn’t use them very frequently.

Points to consider:

  • Use primary keyword no more 2 times
  • Use 2-3 secondary keywords
  • Use 4-6 LSI keywords (based on content length)
  • Write the engaging, crisp and clean article around the keywords without missing the flavor that you would like to share with your audience
  • Use, bold, italic, underline, font size and colors which grasps users attention and relaxing

Are images set properly?

Since images will help the reader to understand the complete concept with-in a picture. Images require an equal amount of care along with content. 

Points to consider:

  • Check whether you are using the proper name to your image – use one keyword + brief title for each image
  • Use at least one image and a max of X images in one article, X is contextual
  • Fill the alt tag!
  • Just in case if your article contains more images, optimize only 2 – 3 images only
  • Use 1 Primary keyword, 1 Secondary Keyword, and 1 LSI keyword in the Image alt text

Image tag Usage: <img src = “/abcd.png” alt = “keyword and alternative text”/>

Image showing alt, title, image name
Image: showing alt, title, image name

Videos Embedded?

Make sure you use a video (if possible) which helps in engaging user and improves session duration. Use proper resolution and audio videos on the post.

Social Sharing Buttons to share information at glance, embedded?

It is important that one should have social sharing buttons on the top of every page and it enables users to share the pages/posts immediately if the content is engaging.

Points to consider:

  • Don’t use too many gadgets, use lightweight plug-instead
  • Use Embedded share, like, follow buttons also
social sharing buttons example
Image: social sharing buttons example

Is website footer set with right details?

Points to consider:

  • Anchor links to important business pages
  • Add Physical Address of business location helps in local listings SEO
  • Add contact details and social media links to your business.

Broken links will lead to no way

Check for the broken links and do 301 URL redirection or otherwise, remove them from sitemap.xml.

Points to consider:

  • Check for images links which may be broken
  • Check for internal links for which titles are modified and update the post  with proper links

I hope now you understand How to Conduct an On-Page SEO Site Audit manually in just 5 minutes