Doing a regular site audit is a crucial part of making sure your website is reaching the audience it deserves. You may be doing all the right things already, such as in depth keyword research and reaching your targeted social media audience But if Google is having trouble crawling your site, and finding all of your pages, you’re going to take a hit on your organic search results. What’s the point in doing all this work if Google can’t find all of your pages? Your incredible SEO efforts may all be in vein if a search engine can’t properly crawl your site.
Why a Site Audit is Crucial to Website Growth and Rankings
A site audit will tell you a ton of details of what you’re doing right… and what you aren’t. They discover any site issue that may be stopping you from ranking well. You may have pages with broken links to outside sources or within your own site. Perhaps Google notices duplicate pages that should have a canonical link included to avoid this, as Google hates duplicate content. Maybe you have pages with duplicate meta descriptions. All of these factors can affect your rankings in Google… and no one wants to take a hit for simple issues they could easily resolve.
Most issues do not require a technical background to solve. If they do, it’s easy to Google the answer as to how to fix the issues. If you have a programmer on board, of course this is a million times easier.
What a Site Audit Does
A site audit will tell you all these details and more. I use SEMrush for site audits, which are divided into three sections: errors, warnings, and notices. The errors need to be immediately dealt with, as they mean that Google is unable to crawl certain pages. These errors can make your website really take a hit, in turn reducing your website traffic.
But that’s not all site audits will tell you. You’ll also be shown everything you’re doing right. It’s important to take note of these things so that you can continue to duplicate these things on new pages.
You always want to address errors first, followed by warnings, and then notices. Some things in warnings and notices will be things that you don’t really need to fix. For example, on my own website there are many pages that contain a notice that the content is too short. These articles, however, are incredibly old ones from the days when I started blogging. Back then, I wasn’t trying to rank in Google. I was merely sharing my stories for friends and family. I am not trying to rank for these pages, so nothing needs to be fixed. You can ignore things like this, and you can always tell SEMrush to omit them from the next audit.
What Else Can You Do to Improve Your Rankings?
The following things are crucial to improve your website, thereby helping you rank better in Google:
- Do proper keyword research: pick good keywords that will rank well.
- Use SEO Content Templates for new articles to see what your rivals are doing to rank in the top 10.
- Use SEO Page Audits for pages that rank in the top 100 of Google’s SERP results, but you want to rank better. Much like SEO Content Templates, this will show you what your Top 10 rivals are doing. Unlike SEO Content Templates, this works for pages that are already active on your site. It also lets you know what you’re already doing right.
- Do regular Backlink Audits to get rid of any spam links pointing to your site. These can damage your domain authority and page ranking in Google and other search engines.
- Check out how your page speed is with Google Page Speed Insights. This tool tells you how fast your site loads on both mobile and desktop. Google takes into account page load speed for how you rank. It also gives you advice on how to improve your speed. Remember to not only check your homepage, but a few other pages as well. Your homepage might not have things such as widgets and ads that can slow you down.
- Monitor your organic search positions to see how your efforts are working. Are your pages improving in search results, or have they gone down? This is crucial to be aware of so that you can implement proper changes.
- Check what keywords your rivals are ranking for that you aren’t.
- Much of this is done on SEMrush, which I’m a huge fan of. But there are other programs you can do the same or similar things with as well.
Website audits are important to do regularly to track your progress. Doing a site audit once is great, but you want to track your progress after you’ve made the necessary changes to your site. While you can just do them every once in a while, I highly recommend monitoring closely and doing audit reports at least once per month. Looking after your website health is a crucial component in ranking well.