SEO Course for Newbies: Lesson 2 – How to Perform SEO Audit?

Lesson 1


First question you may ask – how long does it take to audit my website? Based on my experience, most of the common problems can be identified in 10-15 minutes.

Before we get started, we need to tweak our Internet Browser to act more like the search engine crawlers – to identify simple crawling errors. In order to do this, you will need to do the following:

  1. Disable cookies in our browser
  2. Switch our user agent to Googlebot
Next, let’s look at our homepage and do the following:

  1. Pay attention to your first impression – how do you feel about the page
  2. Look at the Title tag and see if it can be improved
  3. See if our URL changed or redirected
  4. Redirect all of the variation URL to your canonical* URL

*Canonical URL: the search engine friendly URL that you want the search engines to treat as authoritative.  In other words, a canonical URL is the URL that you want visitors to see.

Next step is to verify the Global Navigation on our website. In order to do this, we need to temporary disable Javascript and reload the page and see if the global navigation still works. Many times it won’t work and it will cause major indexing issues. For now, just take note and move on to the next step.

Categories and Tags are important for search engines – not just visitors. It’s all about navigation – sorting and grouping our content to help visitors find related information. Firstly, we need to make sure we have enough interesting content on these pages to be useful as a search result. Many people don’t realise that category and subcategory pages actually stand a very good chance of ranking high in the search engine result page. When optimised correctly, these pages will have links from all of the children content pages, the website homepage and include a lot of information about a specific topic hence promote relevancy. Combine this with the fact that each link that goes to one of their children content page also helps the given page and you have a great pyramid structure for ranking success.

Next thing to do is to check the format of the Title Tags, Meta Description, URL of our website. If you are trying to rank for a very competitive term, it’s best to include the keyword at the beginning of the title tag. But if you’re competing for a less competitive term and branding , it is best to put the brand name first.

Now that you have an idea of how the website is organised and it’s time to see how the world thinks about it. Here, I would like to talk about ‘Links‘ found on the website. Links are incredibly important in the search engine algorithms. Links provide a complete view of a website. The following tools can be used to find out your ‘backlink’ and popularity

Lastly, search for your domain name to make sure it isn’t penalised and see roughly how many pages are indexed on the result page. Type in three of the most competitive keywords that relate to your website or business and see roughly how your site are displayed on the result page.The last thing to do is to quickly search for duplicate content. Duplicate content is bad because it is forcing the website to compete against itself for the rankings and for the search engine to decide which page is more valuable.

About Michael Choong

Michael, London, MSc Information Systems, ICT Management, Education, Internet Entrepreneur, GEEK. View all posts by Michael Choong

One response to “SEO Course for Newbies: Lesson 2 – How to Perform SEO Audit?

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