SEO Audit On-page and Off-page SEO Checklist 2017
If you have spent countless hours on SEO yet your blog fails to perform well, an SEO audit might be what you need.
The term SEO gets thrown around a lot as a catchphrase in the blogosphere. But what does search engine optimization actually amount to?
The answer to that question changes from year to and today we have detailed a comprehensive SEO Audit checklist for 2017.
A little disclaimer though before we start. Although we will be looking at all the factors that one must run through for an SEO audit, these are just pointers to get you started in the right direction and not a detailed how to guide.
Steps to Performing SEO Audit On-Page
First off, let us start with the On-page SEO checklist. We have divided them into broad categories so that you don’t get lost running a litany of tests on your website.
1. Creating the Perfect Content
Because there are a lot of things that make the perfect content I will be listing all the major ones in bullet points below
- Include a catchy and click inducing title that is under 65 characters
- Make sure there are no H1 headings in the body of the content and all subsequent H2 and H3 heading are in the proper hierarchy.
- Research relevant keywords and come up with secondary keywords
- Check to see if the chosen keyword for the post appears in the post title, the first paragraph of the post, the last paragraph, in one heading inside the post and in the meta description.
- Prevent overstuffing of keywords.
- Check for alt tags in images
- Check Anchor Texts in Internal Links
- Looking out for abnormal bounce rates or exit rates from certain pages
- Run the content through a plagiarism checker to prevent copied content from being published
- Include relevvant author or publisher markup.
- Look out for thin content and large sized images.
2. URL and On-Page Optimisation
Moving onto the next step of our SEO Onpage Audit, we look at the many issues that can be caused by URLs and improper page layouts
- Optimizing URLs for SEO by clearing clutter and including just the primary keyword
- Preventing keyword cannibalisation by similarly targeted content.
- Creating custom 404 pages
- Optimizing Site and Page structure for SEO.
- Checking for Pagination.
- User Interface Improvements for better navigation
- Strategic placement of ads
With that, we are done with our On-page SEO checklist. Content is King and without informative and unique content, it is very hard to make any headway.
This is why we always recommend that you get your website audited by a third part as it adds a much needed outside perspective. A definite content strategy made by a professional can just be the shove in the back your website needs.
Steps to performing SEO Audit Off-Page
The On-Page audit is generally the most time-consuming part of the entire procedure especially for sites that have a substantial content library.
As for the SEO off-page Audit, while there are a lot more points to cover, the use of tools like Moz, Majestic, SEMRush and Ahref makes it significantly easier to automate.
1. Getting Links in Order
Backlinks are the backbone to any good SEO effort and as such, there is a lot that could go wrong
- Checking relevancy of Backlinks
- Ascertaining link authority of backlinks
- Redirecting 404 backlinks to prevent loss of link juice
- Keeping tabs on the relative growth of backlinks
- Dealing with spam links
- Adding a Logo Link to the homepage
- Maintaining a parity between dofollow and nofollow links
- Ensuring an even distribution of links throughout the website.
- Fixing internal links and anchor texts
- Checking for subdomains and maintaining them
2. Figuring out Sitemaps, Domains and Hosting
Often overlooked while performing an SEO Audit off-page is the site structure and domain details. They however often play an important part especially with the way content is fed and indexed by Google.
- Domain Age and Domain Registry length are often overlooked but they do play a part
- Looking into the Domain History for relevant spam scores as well as DA.
- Checking with the Hosting for Server Downtimes
- Resolving 50x errors
- Configuring AMP, a must for being included in Google News
- Providing XML and HTML Sitemaps
- Structuring data usage for rich snippets and cards
3. Ironing out the Technical Details
There are a lot of technical details kinks in a website’s armour that needs to be strengthened out before it can have a chance of ranking in the coveted top spots on Google’s Search results.
- Ensuring fast page loading times
- Optimizing the website for mobile viewing
- Checking for Google mobile web crawlers
- Looking at proper indexation and Robots.txt
- Implementing SSL properly
- Redirecting 302 and chain redirects to 301 for proper link authority pass through
- Keeping an eye out for caching Issues
4. Analysing the Competition
The final stop on our Off-page SEO checklist is to have a sneak peek at what the competition is stirring up.
- Gauging relative competition using Domain Authority, Page Authority, and Trust Flow as well as Citation Flow
- Researching easy to rank keywords in the same niche
- Investigating their backlink portfolio
- Understand their content and social media strategy and their reasons for success.
And that concludes the SEO Audit checklist. There are a lot of points included in this list and some of them are not possible without the help of an experienced professional.
However, all of these factors have a very direct influence on ranking and it is imperative that you stay on top of these SEO issues for your own blog.
Even if a website is doing well with regards to traffic, having little niggles can hamper user experience and interaction. Any one of these points have the potential to be the last hurdle that differentiates between a good blog and a great one that is looked up to as an authority in its niche.
So what are you waiting for? If you want to scale Google’s ranking ladders and do not want to get penalised for a simple SEO mistake that could be easily avoided, get your website audited today!
Article Credits: Amartya Baofya