60 Site SEO Audit Checklist

Reviewing SEO in an audit sometimes can be overwhelming. We all want to make a systematic approach so we are able to address two important issues: a) Make use of time efficiently and b) Ensure we don’t miss any relevant SEO issue. Hence this SEO audit checklist for webmasters who don’t want to engaged with a consultant and learn more about SEO at their own pace.

1 Indexed pages

  • Use the “site:” operator in Google search (for example enter “site:seo-hongkong.com“) and verify how many pages are indexed in Google.
  • If Google displays there are no results, the website may be penalized or very new that Google is still trying to access its content.
  • Homepage link appears on the top result; otherwise website structure may have issues (internal links, footer, top navigation, etc)

The “number of pages” returned in Google search results is roughly the number of pages you have in the website; otherwise if the number is much lower there are many pages not yet crawled / indexed.

2 Homepage and landing pages

Each page has a purpose and such purpose needs to be amplified through elements we use.

  • Main headline contains important keywords
  • H1 tag is used on main headline
  • Homepage has at least one paragraph (at least 20 words)
  • Images in homepage uses ALT attributes or text captions
  • Proper call to action (contact, download or call actions) present
  • Flash is used onlyas a part of the page
  • Each page contains a few paragraphs rendered in HTML
  • Main headline contains important keywords
  • You can identify the main keyword target for each page
  • H1 tag is used on main headline
  • Ratio of target keywords with entire page text is within 5%
  • Text content also includes links to other pages
  • ALT attributes or text captions are used in images
  • Proper call to action (contact, download or call actions) present
  • Each page contains 100 links or less
  • Each page contains keyword-rich hyperlinks
  • Each page contains unique page titles
  • Each page title contains target keyword placed towards the beginning
3 Brand search

Search engines help build great brands. But failure to check their status also sends negative signals

  • Homepage or appropriate pages appear on top result
  • Sitelinksappear along with search results
  • Take action when a competitor uses your keyword in AdWords

4 Content structure
Content is good, but presenting well makes it ideal for visitor consumption.

  • Category and tag pages do not “leak” link juice to less important pages
  • Each category or tag contains sufficient amount of content associated to them
  • Important sections of the website are linked on every page (top menu and footer)
  • Sub sections of a website are linked consistently(sidebar links or submenus)
  • Navigation menu links can be followed by search engines (ie. not generated using JavaScript)

5 User experience
Anticipating what visitors want helps a lot in letting them complete goals we want them to accomplish.

  • Each page contains prominent, attractive headlines
  • Content is readable (text color, prominent links, navigation)
  • Significant amount of text is found above the fold
  • Grammar, punctuation and spelling check done
  • User can easily adjust font size, print or share article
  • There is more unique content present than ads on each page
  • Number of clicks from homepage to content is two or less

6 Technical issues
Setting up a healthy website framework supplements a great collection of content.

  • URLs contain target keywords
  • URL length is 115 characters or less; the shorter the better
  • Only one URL represents each piece of content
  • No same content appears on multiple pages or subdomains
  • www resolves to non-www URL address (or vice versa)
  • Setup Google Webmaster tools and checked website errors generated
  • Proper use of rel=canonical on category, tag or search result pages
  • Checked and verified robots.txt against accidental blocking of pages
  • Common parameters (eg. analytics tracking codes) are excluded using Google Webmaster Tools
  • Filed content removal requestin Google if your content is copied elsewhere
  • Checked website speed and optimized images, JavaScripts and CSS to improve performance
  • Verified all HTTPS versions require extra layer of security (HTTPS loads a bit slower)
  • Checked entire site for broken links
  • Old pages are redirected to new ones using 301 redirection method
  • Checked for a working version of 404 page
  • Automated XML sitemaps everytime a new page is published
  • Content is generated in HTML and not pulled from iframes or external sources
  • Certain links are generated thru JavaScript only for the purpose of page sculpting

7 Tracking and conversion
Setting up tracking code enables us to interpret data into actionable items without the aid of guesswork.

8 Social media

As social media is now a factor in SEO, this aspect should also be taken care of.

  • Set up Feedburner to promote blogs and website updates
  • Automated blog posts to deploy messages in social media (eg. Twitter)