DIY Site Audit: Possible or Not?
This article is by Anna Rud, Content Marketer at Serpstat.
It’s obvious that audit is a fundamental step of the site optimization. Experts point out that sometimes site can enter top-10 without a single backlink, just through correct internal optimization. And, of course, it can be done only by a competent site audit.
But what are the types of the audit? And which one is right for you? It this article, I’ll describe two types of audit, and explain how to choose an appropriate one for you, depending on your purpose and budget.
Technical audit with SEO tool
This kind will fit your site if:
- you’ve just launched or bought the site, so it hadn’t been analyzed before.
- the analysis was carried out a while ago, and it needs to be updated.
It allows you to identify the most common technical errors and content mistakes. Also, it shows the popularity of the site at the Internet.
This audit includes:
1. On page analysis;
- SEO-layout (correct filling of Meta description, Keywords, Title tags and H1);
- Pages in the search engine index;
- Server response code;
- Link profile (external, internal, with or without anchor);
- Hidden blocks in the content;
- Image optimization (alt and title attributes);
- Text optimization (relevance, volume);
- Uniqueness of texts;
- Presence of viruses;
- Robots.txt and sitemap files;
- File meta.robots;
- The age of the site (the date of the first indexation) and the age of the domain (the date of registration);
- Region of the site;
- 404th error;
- Duplicate pages;
- Speed of the page loading;
- Mobile adaptation.
2) Analysis of marketing indicators:
- The dynamics of positions in the SERP;
- Traffic dynamics, attendance / views;
- Search phrases;
- Outgoing and incoming links.
The main benefit of this method is that you can do it by yourself without spending money on the agency. Collecting data is not a big deal but analyzing is way harder. You should read a lot about SEO or take some online courses to learn how to fix all mistakes.
Some useful tools:
Serpstat — for all SEO issues, including site audit feature;
SimilarWeb — to check marketing indicators (attendance, page views);
Google Pagespeed Insights — to check speed of page loading, obviously;
Grammarly — to fix grammar mistakes.
Serpstat site audit tool quickly analyzes your site to find all on-page desktop and mobile issues that may prevent your site from ranking in Google and generates reports with actionable best practice recommendations.
Choose one of your projects or create a new one, set up the audit settings (number of threads, number of pages to crawl), and start site audit:
You’ll see an SDO score on the project dashboard — a metric that measures website technical optimization on a scale from 1 to 100.
SDO is calculated as the ratio of the site’s number of errors and their importance to the total number of possible errors. The higher the SDO score is, the better is the optimization level.
Then you can pass to the audit summary and custom overview to see the detailed list of site errors.
Serpstat Site Audit checks sites for the following errors:
- HTTP status code (Broken URL, status code for the broken URL, linking to the broken URL);
- Meta tags (duplicate titles or descriptions, missing title/description, title/description length (too short or too long);
- Headings (missing H1 heading, invalid heading nesting);
- Accessibility & Indexation (canonical errors, flash elements, iframes, disallowed pages in robots.txt, pages with ‘noindex’ tag);
- Links (too many outgoing links);
- Server Parameters (presence of an SSL certificate, redirects between the www and non-www URLs, redirect from http to https).
It’s the most common mistakes. Simply fixing some of them can cause a significant ranking growth.
One of the latest Serpstat audit updates — now you can see a list of errors sorted be the type:
You can see where the errors were found, how many of them you have, and recommendations on how to fix them. Just click on one of the errors:
So, now it’s much easier to do site audit by yourself. You have the list and you know how to fix it. With Google you’ll be able to handle it! Also, you can see your progress on the dynamics graph.
Comprehensive audit by a specialist
This kind will fit your site if:
- you’ve just started planning your site optimization and want to do it right with the only one attempt;
- you’re trying to break in the SERP top-10 in the niche with the high competition;
- you’re stuck in the one place in the SERP and can’t find the problem;
- you’ve faced a sharp drop in the position of the site (for example, because of search engine penalties);
- you have a high bounce rate and low conversion (people come, but quickly leave the site).
It’ll provide you with the full analysis of your site, a list of your mistakes with recommendations for fixing, a detailed strategy for its development (internal optimization plan, marketing plan, sales growth plan, budget plan).
This audit includes:
- Analysis of the bulk (recommendation on how to improve your keywords list and optimize content);
- Analysis of technical parameters and content (all points from the first method, evaluation of interlinking, URL, commercial factors);
- Analysis of usability and user behavior (user behavior on the site, social media activity, evaluation of design, monitoring of your site mentions);
- Analysis of the direct competitors.
Of course, it all depends on the agency you’ve chosen. This list includes the most common services. It might vary, as well as prices.
I can’t say that one method is better than other. It’s obvious, that first way is much cheaper but needs much efforts and time as well. The second one will bring results faster, but you should be able to spend money.
Anyway, site audit is not a one-time procedure, it’s a permanent process. The search engine algorithms, content requirements, information on your site constantly changes so you should keep track of it all the time.
Thus, I recommend you to learn how to do it by yourself using tools. You’ll be able to do audit regularly to fix all the errors right away. And you can contact the agency if you’re dealing with the serious problems like sharp drop or being stuck in the one place for the long time.
Extremely helpful article, BLOGHERALD BLOGGER!
I wanted to ask a question if you don’t mind.
What would be a good alternative for Serpstat according to you?
I would recommend agency analytics