Essential SEO Audit Checklist for Your Website Success

SEO Audit Checklist

Did you know that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine like Google? That’s a huge number!

People use search engines like Google to find info, products, and services. So, if you have an e-commerce store, a blog, or a company site, you need to rank high in search results. This brings more visitors and boosts your sales or influence.

But how do you make sure your website is friendly to search engines? You need to do a detailed SEO audit. By following a good SEO audit checklist, you can check how your website is doing. You can also find what needs work and fix it. This helps you do better in search results.

In this article, I’ll show you the key steps in an SEO audit checklist. These steps will help your site be more visible in searches and work better overall. Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways:

  • An SEO audit is crucial for optimising your website’s performance in search rankings.
  • 93% of online experiences start with a search engine, making SEO a vital aspect of your online presence.
  • Conducting a comprehensive audit helps you identify areas for improvement and implement effective optimisation strategies.
  • By following the steps outlined in this checklist, you can unlock your website’s full potential and attract more organic traffic.
  • Regular audits and ongoing optimisations are key to maintaining a successful SEO strategy and staying ahead of the competition.

Step #1: Check To See If Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly

Having a mobile-friendly website is now more important than ever for SEO. Google searches from mobile devices are increasing. So, it’s crucial your site works well on mobiles. This doesn’t just make users happy. It also fits Google’s Mobile-First Algorithm.

Google’s Mobile-First Algorithm has changed how websites are ranked. Before, desktop versions were key for search rankings. Now, Google looks at your site’s mobile version for all searches. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it might not rank well, no matter the device.

Wondering if your site is mobile-friendly? Google has a tool called the Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool. You can use it to check your website. It examines your site and tells you what to fix to meet Google’s criteria for mobile-friendliness.

To use the Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Google Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool.
  2. Enter your website’s URL in the provided field.
  3. Click on the “Test URL” button.
  4. Wait for the tool to analyse your site.
  5. Review the report for any mobile-friendliness issues.

If the tool finds any problems, fix them quickly. This might mean changing your design or layout. You might need to optimise images and media, tweak font sizes, or enhance responsiveness.

Having a mobile-friendly site boosts your search ranking chances. It makes your site better for mobile visitors too. Remember, mobile optimisation is always changing. Keep testing and updating your site to stay competitive.

Step #2: Make Sure Google Indexes ONE Version of Your Website

Optimising your website for search engines is crucial. One essential step is making sure that Google indexes only one version of your site. If not done, it can lead to problems with duplicate content. This can harm your website’s visibility and rankings.

indexation issues

Google views different versions of your site (http, https, www, non-www) as separate entities without proper redirection. Each version can compete for rankings, lowering your site’s overall visibility. You should be using the HTTPS version.

To fix this, check every version of your site. Make sure they redirect to one preferred version. Using 301 redirects is a good way to do this. These redirects tell search engines all versions are the same. This boosts your site’s rankings by preventing duplicate content.

Why Are Duplicate Versions of Your Site a Problem?

Duplicate site versions cause big problems:

  • Indexation issues: Search engines might get confused and index the same content multiple times. This lowers your site’s visibility and rankings because search engines struggle to find the most relevant version.
  • Duplicate content penalties: Google penalises sites with the same content in multiple places. It ruins the user experience. Redirecting duplicate versions can help avoid these penalties. This ensures your content is correctly linked to the right version of your site.

“Having multiple versions of your site confuses search engines, reducing your visibility. Using redirects properly is key to keeping your site’s authority and avoiding duplicate content problems.”

How to Ensure Google Indexes ONE Version of Your Website

Follow these steps to make sure Google only indexes one version of your site:

  1. Check each version of your site for proper redirection: Use a tool or manually check each version (http, https, www, non-www). Verify they redirect to a single preferred version. Ensure these redirects are 301, showing search engines the redirect is permanent.
  2. Set a preferred domain: Specify your preferred domain (www or non-www) in Google Search Console. This guides Google on which version to prioritise in search results. Do this under “Site Settings” or “Domain Properties” in your account.
  3. Configure canonical tags: Canonical tags tell search engines your preferred page version. This unifies ranking signals and avoids duplicate content issues. Place these tags in your HTML’s head section.

By making sure Google indexes only one version of your website, you can dodge indexation problems. This consolidates your site’s authority. It also boosts your ranking chances in search results.

Step #3: Speed Up Your Site

Website performance heavily depends on speed. A slow site annoys visitors and hurts your search rankings. Google sees loading speed as crucial for ranking, making it important to speed up your site.

There are key steps to take to improve your site’s speed:

Clean Up Your HTML Code

Check your HTML code for anything unnecessary. Too much code slows down loading. Get rid of extra spaces, comments, and scripts you don’t need. Think about minifying HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to cut file size and boost speed.

Use PageSpeed Insights

Google’s PageSpeed Insights helps find your site’s speed issues. Enter your URL and get a full speed analysis. It gives tips to make your site faster.

Optimize Your Image Sizes

Big images can slow down your site. Making images smaller without losing quality can help. Tools like CompressJPEG and TinyPNG are great for reducing size without harming the look.

Consider Upgrading Your Hosting

The hosting service affects your site’s speed. If it’s slow, consider a better host. Look for a plan with good infrastructure, SSD servers, and CDN support to speed things up.

Following these steps can make your website load faster. A speedy site ranks better on search engines. It also keeps visitors happy and likely to stay longer.

Step #4: Find and Delete “Zombie Pages”

Many websites have more indexed pages than they realise. These are called “Zombie Pages.” They often have low-quality content. This can hurt your site’s performance. It’s key to find and get rid of these pages to boost your organic traffic. This lets you give Google the high-quality content it wants.

Getting rid of Zombie Pages helps make your site’s organic traffic better. This is because you’re improving your content. By removing these low-quality pages, your site becomes more valuable to visitors. This also makes search engines like Google see your site as more credible. “Zombie Pages” include:

  • Archive pages
  • Category and tag pages
  • Search result pages
  • Thin content

Why Should You Remove Zombie Pages?

Here are key reasons to remove Zombie Pages:

  1. Delete low-quality pages to tidy up your website. This shows search engines you have better content. It might help you rank higher in search results.
  2. By taking away irrelevant pages, visitors find it easier to navigate your site. This leads to them staying longer and reduces bounce rates.
  3. Guide search engine crawlers to your best pages. This makes the most of your site’s crawl budget. It helps search engines focus on indexing your valuable content.

To find and remove Zombie Pages, use tools like Google Search Console and website analytics. Look at the quality, relevance, and how users engage with each page. Decide which ones should be deleted. Be careful to not accidentally delete content that is valuable.

By removing Zombie Pages, you make your site perform better. This offers users more valuable and engaging content. Prioritise quality over quantity. Make sure every page on your site helps increase your organic traffic.

Example of Zombie Pages Removal Impact:

WebsiteIndexed Pages Before RemovalIndexed Pages After RemovalOrganic Traffic Improvement
Website A10,0005,00030% increase
Website B5,0002,50045% increase
Website C20,00012,00025% increase

When they removed Zombie Pages, these sites saw big jumps in organic traffic. This shows the value of high-quality content. Removing low-value pages can really help your visitors.

indexed pages

Step #5: Find and Fix Indexing Problems

Ensuring Google can access your website is key for search engines. Problems with indexing might stop your pages from showing up in searches, affecting your site’s visits. In this step, we talk about spotting and fixing these issues to make your site more visible.

The Index Coverage Report

Google Search Console’s Index Coverage report helps find non-indexed pages. It shows the status of each page, including any errors blocking indexing. With regular checks, you can quickly fix these problems.

To access the Index Coverage report:

  1. Log in to your Google Search Console account.
  2. Select your website property.
  3. Navigate to the Coverage section in the left-hand menu.
  4. Review the report to identify any issues with page indexing.

Checking Page Accessibility

A common indexing problem involves the robots.txt file. This file tells search engines what to index or not. If it blocks pages by mistake, Google can’t index them.

To check if your pages are blocked by the robots.txt file:

  1. Access your website’s root directory.
  2. Locate the robots.txt file.
  3. Open the file and look for blocking directives.
  4. If necessary, change the robots.txt file to ensure indexing.

Noindex Tags

Using noindex tags incorrectly can also prevent indexing. These tags are for non-important pages, but if used on key pages, they’ll be left out of search results.

To check for noindex tags:

  1. Inspect your web pages’ HTML source code.
  2. Search for the noindex meta tag.
  3. Remove the tag from pages that should be indexed.

Fixing issues with robots.txt files and noindex tags can help Google index all your content.

Indexing Problems

Indexing ProblemSolution
Blocked by robots.txt fileReview and modify robots.txt file to allow proper indexing
Incorrect usage of noindex tagsRemove noindex tags from pages that should be indexed
Pages not appearing in Index Coverage reportInvestigate and address any technical issues preventing indexing

Step #6: Check Your Organic Traffic

Looking at your organic traffic is key to seeing how well your SEO works. Google Analytics helps you see how many people visit your site from search engines.

Watching your organic traffic over time shows if your SEO plan works well. This step is good for setting goals to measure progress.

To see your organic traffic, sign in to Google Analytics. Go to the Acquisition area. Click “All Traffic” then “Channels” to see your organic search traffic.

Notice how many people visit your site from organic search. See how the numbers change. Look for any patterns or big changes in your traffic.

Studying these patterns helps you know if your SEO is working. It lets you make smart choices to boost your site’s search performance.

Step #7: Improve Your On-Page SEO

Improving your website’s search engine rankings starts with on-page optimisation. By optimising key elements, you make your site more visible and relevant. Here are important strategies for boosting your on-page SEO:

1. Optimise Meta Tags

Meta tags help search engines understand your web page. It’s vital to use relevant keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions. Your title tag should describe your content well. The meta description should be a short teaser that makes people want to click.

2. Incorporate Target Keywords

Keywords are essential for on-page SEO. Find keywords that match your web page and add them to your content. Make sure to include keywords naturally to keep your content quality high. Avoid too many keywords, as this can harm your ranking.

3. Utilise Internal Linking

Internal linking means connecting one of your web pages to another. It helps search engines find and understand your content better. It also makes your site easier for users to navigate. Be sure to link to pages that offer extra information or value.

“On-page optimisation is like giving directions to search engines, telling them exactly what your web page is about.”

By using these on-page SEO strategies, you can make your web pages more visible and relevant. Always keep your on-page elements up to date to keep your SEO strong.

on-page optimization

Advantages of On-Page OptimisationDisadvantages of Neglecting On-Page SEO
Improved search engine rankingsMissed opportunities for organic traffic
Enhanced user experienceDecreased visibility in search results
Increased click-through ratesPoor relevance to user searches
Clear communication of page content to search enginesLack of keyword optimisation

Let’s Recap the SEO Audit Checklist…

After doing an SEO audit, I found several ways to make your site rank better. By making your site mobile-friendly, fixing indexation issues, improving site speed, and enhancing your content quality, your website’s search performance can soar.

It’s vital to do regular audits and improve your site continuously. This way, you can keep up with changing search algorithms. Ensuring your website is always at its peak is crucial.

If you’re running a small business, an online shop, or creating content, SEO is key. Following the audit’s advice can boost your organic traffic and visibility. Start enhancing your website’s SEO now to achieve your online goals!


What is an SEO audit checklist?

An SEO audit checklist is a list of steps for checking a website’s SEO performance. It looks at technical SEO, on-page optimisation, backlink analysis, and more. This checklist helps improve a site’s ranking on search engines.

Why is it important to have a mobile-friendly website?

Having a mobile-friendly site is crucial because many Google searches are on mobile devices. Google’s Mobile-First Algorithm uses the mobile version of your site for ranking. So, your site must work well on mobiles to keep high search rankings.

How do I make sure Google indexes only one version of my website?

To have Google index just one website version, redirect all versions to a preferred one. Check all versions to ensure proper redirection. Use 301 redirects if needed to correct any issues.

Why is site loading speed important for SEO?

Google sees site loading speed as crucial for ranking. Improve your site’s speed by cleaning your HTML code. Use PageSpeed Insights for fixing issues, optimise image sizes, and maybe get a faster server.

What are Zombie Pages, and why should I delete them?

Zombie Pages are low-quality pages that hurt your site’s SEO. Deleting them boosts organic traffic and quality for Google. They include archive pages, category and tag pages, and pages with little content.

How can I identify indexing problems on my website?

Use the “Index Coverage” report in Google Search Console to spot indexing issues. Check if pages are blocked by robots.txt or have a noindex tag. Make sure Google can access all pages you intend to show.

Why is it important to analyse organic traffic?

Analysing organic traffic helps assess your SEO’s impact. Use Google Analytics to track visitors from search engines. This shows if your SEO strategies work and what to improve.

How can I improve my on-page SEO?

To boost on-page SEO, work on your meta tags, include keywords in content, and use internal links. These steps help make your pages more visible and relevant in search results.

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