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Search Engine Optimisation

A beginner's guide on how to do an SEO audit (7 simple steps)

A beginner's guide on how to do an SEO audit (7 simple steps)

An SEO audit can help you to reassess your performance and your strategy. It allows you to see what's working and what isn't to improve your strategy and make it more effective for your business.

A comprehensive SEO audit is the best way to assess your website’s performance. The problem is there’s no universal approach to an SEO audit, and everyone’s process is a little different. 

However, you should include some essential steps in every SEO audit. The seven steps below are an excellent place to start if this is your first audit. 

What is an SEO audit?

An SEO audit evaluates how well your website is optimised for search engines. This typically involves identifying technical, on-page, content and link-related issues. It’s essentially a health checkup for your website.  

An SEO audit usually covers aspects such as:

  • Indexing 
  • Crawlability 
  • User experience
  • Site structure 
  • Keyword research
  • On-page SEO
  • Backlinks

Why is an SEO audit important?

Improve your site’s performance

Running an SEO audit will let you know if your website has significant issues, such as low site speed or broken links. Ensuring your site performs well will help it rank better in search engine results.  

Performing an audit regularly is a great way to ensure your site's continued performance. External factors can harm your site’s performance, so regular maintenance is required. 

Learn which keywords your site is ranking for 

An SEO audit should include an analysis of which keywords your site ranks for. This can allow you to better optimise your site and content for target keywords that you’re not ranking highly for or at all. 

Ensure your site is optimised for mobile 

Google now uses mobile-first indexing on all websites, so your site must function well on mobile devices. Aspects like page loading time also impact your site’s ranking in the search results. 

SEO audit tools

You will need at least one tool to complete a thorough SEO audit (and follow the steps below).

SEO Software

Most SEO software includes a site audit or crawl tool, allowing you to determine your site's performance. They’ll also include tools to help you with tasks like keyword research and backlink profiling.

Popular SEO software includes Ahrefs, Moz Pro, and SEMrush. One of these platforms will make your audit much easier, and there are free trials that you can take advantage of. 

Google Search Console

You can use Google Search Console to help with some aspects of your SEO audit, such as keywords and technical fixes. 

Google Analytics

You’ll need Google Analytics to measure the effectiveness of your audit and see how it’s impacted traffic to your site. Google Analytics can also help you prioritise pages which get the most traffic or have recently dropped in traffic. 

Page speed tools

Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix are both free tools that you can use to assess your site’s speed. 

Now onto the seven steps you need to include in your SEO audit for it to be effective. 

1. Check for manual actions

The first step in your audit should be to check for manual actions. This is when a human reviewer at Google decides your site doesn’t comply with their guidelines, so some or all of your site won’t be shown in the search results. 

Although this is fairly unlikely to be a problem with your site unless you’ve done some serious things wrong, it’s still best to check this off your list first. 

You’ll need to head to the Manual Actions report in Google Search Console to check for manual actions. Ideally, it should say “no issues detected”. 

2. Sort out any indexing problems 

Your next step is to check for any indexing issues. If your pages aren’t indexed, then Google can’t rank them.

You can check that your pages have been indexed in Google Search Console. Look in the Index section for the Pages report. This will show you a graph of all your pages, whether they’re indexed or not, and a list of reasons why pages haven’t been indexed. Go through this list and check that no pages that should be indexed aren’t. 

Pages that don’t need to be indexed

Not all pages need to be indexed, just the ones you want to rank in the search results. 

Here are some pages that don’t need to be indexed:

  • Admin pages
  • Feed pages
  • Redirected pages
  • Alternate pages with canonical tags 

How to index pages 

If you find a page that isn’t indeed but should be, you can fix the issue by following Google guidelines. Then you can click on Validate Fix. 

You can also request that Google index a specific URL by clicking the “Request Indexing” link.

3. Run a Site Crawl

This is one of the biggest and most crucial steps in any technical SEO audit. Running a site crawl means you’ll be able to simulate the way Google crawls your website and identify any issues that Google has. 

For this step, you’ll need SEO software with an SEO auditing tool, such as SEMrush’s Site Audit. 

You’ll need to create a project and set up the SEO audit. It might take some time for SEMrush to run the audit, depending on the number of site pages. 

Once it’s done, you’ll see the audit dashboard 

Site Health score

This is one of the main aspects of the dashboard you should pay attention to. It tells you the overall health of your site based on how many issues it has found. 

These issues are divided into three categories:

  • Errors
  • Warnings
  • Notices


Clicking on the Issues tab will show a list of all the SEO issues with your site. You should review and fix them individually (SEMrush will give you a ‘how-to guide’ for fixing each issue). If you click on an issue, it will show you all the URLs affected by it.

Here are some issues you might encounter:

  • Crawlability (for example, some pages return a 5xx status code)
  • Sitemap (for example, incorrect pages in your sitemap)
  • HTTPS (for example, HTTPS pages linking to HTTP pages)
  • Redirect (for example, looped redirects)
  • Internal links (for example, broken links)
  • Performance (for example, pages loading slowly)
  • On-page SEO (for example, missing title tags)

You should ideally perform a site crawl regularly (you don’t need to wait for your next comprehensive SEO audit). This will ensure your site performs well and allow you to fix any new issues. 

4. Ensure you can only browse one version of your website

You should only be able to access one version of your site out of the following versions:

  • http://domain.com
  • http://www.domain.com
  • https://domain.com
  • https://www.domain.com

The other three versions should redirect to the master version of your site. If there are multiple versions, it can cause issues with crawling, indexing, and ranking. This is because Google will see the other versions as duplicate sites with duplicate content, which can negatively affect PageRank.

You can use a tool to check for other versions (such as Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar), but it’s also straightforward to check yourself. Just enter all versions of your site into a web browser and check that each one redirects to the preferred master site. 

If they don't, you’ll need to set up a 301 redirect. 

5. Look for mobile-friendliness issues

Mobile-friendliness is important for Google and has been a ranking factor since 2015. So, it’s crucial to ensure that all the pages on your site work well on mobile devices. 

You can check for any mobile-friendliness issues in Google Search Console in the Experience section under Mobile Usability. This’ll show a quick overview of the usability of all your pages and a list of any issues. You can follow Google’s instructions to fix any mobile-friendliness issues that have been identified. 

6. Check page speed

Page speed is another factor that contributes slightly to rankings. However, there’s no official guidance on how fast a page should load. 

You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to check your page speed for free, but this will only allow you to test one page at a time. 

Alternatively, you can use SEMrush’s Site Audit tool. You’ll find speed and performance issues (and tips on how to fix them) under the Site Performance report. 

7. Analyse Core Web Vitals

Google introduced Core Web Vitals in 2020, which are three new metrics that relate to user experience and page speed. 

Core Web Vitals include:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures the time it takes to load the largest piece of the page
  • First Input Delay (FID): measures the delay between the first interaction with the page and when the browser responds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)C: measures visual stability and how much the page’s layout shifts for users. 

Because these new metrics are ranking factors, you should check your Core Web Vitals for your SEO audit. 

You can check them using Google Search Console in the Experience sections under Core Web Vitals. This will show you Desktop and Mobile reports listing any issues and all the affected pages. You can then follow Google’s instructions to fix any issues. 

Need help with your SEO audit?

Conducting a comprehensive SEO audit can be tricky, especially if you don’t have the right SEO software and tools to do the job correctly. If you know your company needs an SEO audit but don’t have the time, skills, or resources to complete one, it might be time to seek the help of an experienced SEO agency. 

The team at Logica Digital has over 15 years of experience in SEO strategy and digital marketing. Our comprehensive SEO audit service checks what’s working, what isn’t and what we can improve. Our expert team will then make any necessary tweaks to your site and continually monitor its performance to ensure everything runs smoothly!

We offer a free digital marketing audit which includes checking the performance of your site, as well as your broader SEO performance and any other aspects of marketing that you need help with.

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