Websites are complex, there’s a lot that goes into them and numerous factors which contribute to their success. Making sure that they’re healthy and performing at their best means regularly completing a site audit, enabling you to pick up on any issues and areas for improvement.

A website audit can be a mammoth task though, and getting started can be daunting. To help you through the process, we’ve created a basic guide with the key steps on how to complete a website audit for SEO.

Source some site audit software

There’s no reason to do all the hard work manually in 2024. There’s an array of site auditing tools available online that can help you do the heavy lifting, so take a look at the range of options available before getting your audit started, then simply pick the one that’s the best fit. This will make life a lot easier when trying to assess your site’s performance. 

Test for technical troubles

Websites won’t rank well if they don’t perform well, which is why you need to assess the technical health of your site in your audit.

This means checking for things like load times, bounce rates and broken links. Is the mobile version of the site up to scratch (which is critical in a mobile-first world)? If it’s an e-commerce site, are customers abandoning their carts rather than completing the purchase? There are SEO-specific things to check here as well, such as issues with image alt text, meta descriptions and title tags.

A big part of this is also asking the “why?” behind all of these issues. Identifying problems isn’t enough, you need to investigate what’s causing them so that you can fix and prevent them at a later stage.

Critique content

As digital marketers like to say, “content is king”. That phrase still holds up today, so you’ll need to check that your on-site content is up to standard as part of your audit.

Are the pages ranking well and are they doing so for the right keywords? If not, why not? Key things to consider here include whether pages are properly optimised, the size of the site’s content footprint compared to competitors and whether you’re making the most of the site’s blog. 

You’ll also want to take a look at the quality of the content itself. Does it deliver the information your visitors are looking for and does it do so in a way that’s clear and easy to read? Is it consistent and does it match brand guidelines? All of this should be considered when auditing your site content.

Look at your links

Backlinks are also a huge part of SEO performance. One of the simplest ways to test this is using Google Search Console to check the list of pages which link to your site and evaluate the type of links they are. Checking for any links which could be harming your performance is a big part of this, too.

As well as this, carrying out a link gap analysis at this stage will let you see how your site is stacking up against your competitors. Do they have a larger link profile that you should strive to match? Are there any sites that are linking to your competitors that aren’t linking to you? Doing this allows you to identify the need for outreach activity and spot which sites to target as part of your approach.

Report results

Site audits will give you a mass of data and info, which can easily get confusing or lost if you don’t organise and present it properly. After you’ve completed your analysis, compile the key findings in a simple, but detailed report to share with the relevant parties, so that they can be informed about what action and support is needed going forward.

Produce a plan

Finally, once your analysis has been completed and reported, you can use your findings to create an action plan to improve your site. Try to split this into relevant sections (outreach, content and technical) then make a list of the necessary tasks. To keep this organised, consider the “what”, “when” and “who” of each task. What needs doing, when does it need to be done and who needs to do it?

Be sure that the tasks are planned in the right order as well. Some things may be a greater priority than others, while some tasks will be dependent on others being completed first if they’re to be fully effective, so make sure this is taken into account.

Find out more

Need a hand putting all of this into action? Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help. Alternatively, check out our other posts on the It Works blog to discover more digital marketing insights.