Auditing an existing site is one of the most important tasks that SEO professionals encounter. SEO is still a relatively new field, and many of the limitations of search engine crawlers are non-intuitive. In addition, many web developers, unfortunately, are still not well versed in SEO. Even more unfortunately, some stubbornly refuse to learn, or, worse still, have learned the wrong things about SEO! This includes those who have developed CMS platforms, so there is a lot of opportunity to find problems when conducting a site audit. While you may have to deal with some headaches in this department (trust us, we still deal with this on a regular basis) – your evangelism for SEO, and hopefully support from key stakeholders, will set the stage for an effective SEO strategy.
Elements of an Audit :
Your website needs to be a strong foundation for the rest of your SEO efforts to succeed. An SEO site audit is often the first step in executing an SEO strategy. Both your desktop and mobile site versions need to be audited for SEO effectiveness.
The following sections identify what you should look for when performing a site audit.
1. Page load time :
Is the page load time excessive? Too long a load time may slow down crawling and indexing of the site – and can virtually eliminate your site from competitiveness in mobile search.
2. Mobile-friendliness :
Your site should have a fast, mobile-friendly version that is served to mobile devices.
3. Usability :
Although this may not be seen as a direct SEO issue, it is a very good place to start. Usability affects many factors, including conversion rate as well as the propensity of people to link to a site.
4. Accessibility/spider-ability :
Make sure the site is friendly to search engine spiders (discussed in more detail in “Making Your Site Accessible to Search Engines” and “Creating an Optimal Information Architecture (IA)”