an angry professor pointing fingers as a graphical representation of an seo expert from simba academy who is checking to see how well your website or mobile app is optimized to rank highly in search engine results pages
an angry professor pointing fingers as a graphical representation of an seo expert from simba academy who is checking to see how well your website or mobile app is optimized to rank highly in search engine results pages
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SEO Audit Checklists

Competitor Audit Checklist

  • You have identified the top 3-5 competitors.
  • You know the keywords that the top 5 competitors rank for?
  • Do competitor sites demonstrated high levels of E-A-T?
  • You monitor the Backlink profiles of the top 3-5 competitors.
  • Competitor SEO and KPI benchmarks have been set and reviewed.
  • You know and track competitors performances in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Top keywords are known, tracked and monitored.
  • You conduct Content Gap Analysis against your top competitors.

Content SEO Checklist

  • Content is up to date?
  • Content is relevant to users as shown by user behaviour matrices such as low Bounce Rate, increased Time On Site and no Pogo-Sticking.
  • There are no thin pages/content i.e. content length is <300 words.
  • Content is in-depth and covers the topic adequately.
  • Content is not copied from other sites (duplicate content).
  • Content is readable i.e. spelling and grammar is correct.
  • Industry experts and/or authorities authored the website content.

On-Page SEO Audit Checklist

  • Every page has a unique title tag
  • Every page targets one primary keyword (Keyword Cannibalization)
  • Every page has a unique and readable meta description
  • Every piece of content makes use of header tags e.g. H1 – H6, and they contain primary keywords and/or synonyms/LSI keywords 
  • There is no over-use of keywords in the content (Keyword Stuffing)
  • Every image used on the site has an image alt attribute that describes the image.
  • There are NO broken Internal links i.e. the links do NOT return 4XX or 5XX status codes (all are 2XXs)
  • There is a correct and appropriate use of the NoFollow link attribute 
  • Each page has friendly and readable website names (URLs)
  • No flash content is being used on any of the sites.
  • There is no use of iFrames on any of the site pages
  • The site makes use of a website icon (favicon)
  • There is the correct use of Canonical tags to tell the search engines the right pages to index and rank
  • There are NO “Zombie” pages i.e. archived pages, pages with thin content, pages that do not rank, pages with no external links
  • The site has an up-to-date Privacy Policy 
  • The site has an up-to-date Terms of Service
  • The site has a Contact us page with a working contact form and up-to-date contact details
  • All links are clear and descriptive (anchor text)
  • Any blog commenting on site is monitored and all links by commenters are nofollow
  • The site uses a Cookie acceptance notice
  • Do any advertising links have ‘nofollow’ or rel=sponsored applied to them?
  • Is ‘nofollow’ used correctly on other internal links?
  • Is sharing across social networks encouraged?
  • Have tags for Facebook Open Graph and Twitter Cards been applied?
  • Does the footer contain links to Privacy & Cookie policies?
  • Is the copyright statement and current year showing in the footer?

User Experience Audit Checklist

  • Users have been surveyed and responded positively about user experience
  • Heatmaps show users using the website correctly i.e. finding buttons, navigation, menus
  • All fonts are large enough to read clearly across all devices and browsers
  • Font colors are appropriate
  • Are content and navigation elements clear for users?
  • Is the quality of the content generally outstanding?
  • Is the page both useful and unique for the end user?
  • Is the quality of the web design of a very high standard?
  • Does the layout of pages facilitate ease of scanning?
  • Are there any mobile usability issues or errors?
  • Is there a clear call to action messaging showing, above the fold?
  • Is it clear what the primary action a user should take is?
  • Does the site have a clearly defined user journey?
  • Is the quality of experience comparable on desktop, tablet and mobile?
  • Are there easy to complete forms on key landing pages?
  • Is there good use of CTA buttons and panels?
  • Do product pages feature clear ‘add to basket’ messaging?
  • Are product page images of a high standard with zoom functionality?
  • Has one-step checkout been set-up for eCommerce websites?
  • Is there a clear and intuitive basket to checkout process for eCommerce sites?
  • Is there a minimal amount of advertising banners above the fold?
  • Does the site avoid oversaturation of text ad links?

Technical SEO Audit Checklist

Crawling Issues

  • A Brand name search i.e. site:yourwebsite.com returns the homepage as the 1st result.
  • The website has a robots.txt file.
  • The robots.txt file does not block search engines (bots) from accessing, crawling and indexing the site.
  • There is a correct use of meta-tags for Index and NoIndex HTML attributes.
  • The site has an XML site map that has been submitted to Search engines for indexing
  • XML sitemap shows valid site addresses (URL) on the site
  • XML sitemap has NO invalid site address URLs to be kept out of the index.
  • No XML sitemap errors.
  • No discrepancy between indexed pages in Google and Sitemap
  • There are NO redirect chains
  • The site does not show different content to different user agents, including search engine bots.
  • There are NO (302) redirects unless page and/or site is under maintenance. 
  • There is no Thin or Duplicate content.
  • There is an appropriate Structured data (Micro-data) and Schema mark-up in use on the site.
  • Deleted or missing important pages have redirects (30X) to other important pages.
  • No URL Parameter issues
  • No unnecessary Javascript redirections
  • No iFrames in use
  • No Doorway pages
  • No Hidden text
  • Positive Crawl rates i.e. NO decrease in pages crawled per day and less time taken to crawl the site.

Canonical Issues

  • There is ONE PREFERRED version of your site address (URL). The rest have been 301 redirected to the preferred version. 
  • Every page has a Canonical Tag.
  • There are no Canonical errors
  • There are NO multiple URL patterns returning the same content.

Security Issues

  • The hosting platform the site is up to date and secured.
  • The site has a valid SSL certificate
  • The website has Malware/Virus protection
  • There are regular Malware & Security checks
  • All site links (URLs) start with HTTPS:// 
  • There is a permanent redirection (301) of all non-HTTP:// to secure links HTTPS://
  • The site secures and protects any emails submitted by visitors. (Email Privacy)
  • There is NO use of flash on the site
  • There are no resources accessible via HTTP

CMS Security Issues

  • Check default CMS settings for
    • User settings
    • Comment settings
  • Check file permissions
  • Your CMS is running the latest version available?
  • Are you using updated and secure security plugins/extensions?
    • Check security plugin/extension settings.
  • Is data regularly backed-up?
  • Check the integrity of backups to ensure they are not corrupted or unusable
  • Is the recovery plan up-to-date
  • Sensitive files are protected
  • Directory browsing is prevented
  • Image hotlinking is prevented
  • FTP (file transfer protocol) is secured using SSH (Secure Shell)
  • Passwords for FTP. CMS, Database etc are strong and secured
  • All plugins/extensions are up to date
  • All inactive or unused plugins are removed
  • Themes are up-to-date and secure
  • Is two-factor authentication in place for entry to the CMS?
  • Is adequate security software installed within the CMS?

Site Architecture Issues

  • There is a flat-site architecture i.e. good organisation of site’s pages and categories.
  • Important pages are only 3 clicks away from the homepage.
  • Speed & Server
  • There is regular monitoring of site uptime.
  • There are no server-side (5XX) errors.
  • Low site’s server response time
  • The site is not timing out because of server issues
  • The site and its pages take less than 3 seconds to load 
  • All JavaScript rendering takes place on the server versus client-side. 
  • There are NO Javascript errors.
  • No Inline CSS is being used.
  • Minification of CSS
  • The site uses GZIP or compresses of resources.
  • The site caches content
  • A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is in use and configured.
  • All images on site are optimized i.e. compressed and all using descriptive ALT tags
  • International (Foreign) SEO Issues
  • There is the correct use of the Hreflang HTML attribute across local sites.
  • In the Google Search Console, the target country/region is set.

Structured Data Issues

  • Are there any errors or warnings relating to structured data across the site?
  • Is important business data marked up with Local Business schema on relevant pages?
  • Is Organization schema firing on a suitable page?
  • Are FAQ pages marked up with FAQ Page schema?
  • Are important people in the business marked up using Person schema?
  • Does the client have reviews that can be marked up using aggregate Rating schema?
  • If the client sells products, are the products marked up using Product schema?
  • Are breadcrumbs marked up using Breadcrumb schema?
  • Is the sameAs schema property used for social media links and other identifiers?
  • Are there any other types of structured data that could be applied, relevant to the client?

Mobile-Friendliness Issues

  • The Website displays on a desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
  • There are NO missing links on mobile sites that are present on the desktop site.
  • Mobile buttons and links are easy to click
  • The site favicon displays in mobile search engine results pages (SERPs)
  • Content, Meta & Directives are the same as the desktop version

Accessibility & Compliance Issues

  • The site is W3C Compliant
  • Site complies with the latest accessibility guidelines i.e. WCAG 2.0 AA‎
  • WHOIS contact details are correct and up-to-date.
  • Does the site have a unique, GDPR-compliant Terms & Conditions page and Cookies page?
  • Can the end user opt out of unnecessary cookies?
  • Do pages on the site pass W3C markup validation checks?
  • Is there a high contrast between the colour of text and the colour of the background?
  • Does the alt tag for images adequately describe the image?
  • Are written transcripts of video and audio content available?
  • Can text be enlarged without impairing the function of the page?
  • Are hyperlinks clearly visible and distinct?
  • Can all parts of the website be accessed without a mouse?
  • Is it easy to find the contact page?

Manual Actions

  • Site owners can receive and respond to Manual Actions/Penalty notices.

Technical SEO

  • Has the client attempted to implement international SEO activity? If so…
  • Are the correct language and country codes used for regional variation pages?
  • Are foreign language versions translated well without errors?
  • Has hreflang been implemented correctly?
  • Is X-default in place on all pages and correct?
  • Are SEO-friendly navigation links to regional variations of the site in place?
  • Are there any forced redirects in place based on IP / location?
  • Is OG:Locale set correctly?
  • Are there any backlinks pointing to international versions?

SEO Link Building (Backlinks) Audit Checklist

  • No negative search results for the brand
  • No negative Google Autosuggestions associated with brand search
  • All Backlinks are high quality i.e. they are “DoFollow,” from trusted, authoritative and relevant sites.
  • Other sites use branded or varied texts when linking back to your site. (Anchor Text diversification)
  • There is routine monitoring and recording of Brand mentions and/or sentiment.
  • Periodic audit of Backlinks i.e. tracking links earned or lost, checking for Spammy Backlinks.
  • Are Social media business profiles associated with the Website?
  • Is the Social media business profile information consistent, descriptive and up-to-date?
  • All key content website pages contain social sharing capabilities.
  • All advertisements (ads) and affiliate links are nofollow or using new Google rel=sponsored HTML attribute
  • There are NO broken Backlinks

Local SEO Audit Checklist

  • Descriptive local title tags are used.
  • There is consistent use of the Business name, Address and Phone number (NAP) across the site and external sites e.g. social media profiles.
  • There is a correct use of location-specific structured data/schema.org
  • There is an up-to-date Google My Business listing with correct categories, description of the business and up-to-date business information
  • The site is listed on reputable business directories
  • The site has local citations
  • The site has high quality and relevant content that serves the local users
  • The site has NO thin content on local relevant pages
  • There are no Citation gaps i.e. site has as many citations from the same sources as the top competition

Ecommerce SEO Audit Checklist

  • Correct use of product filters 
  • Correct use of product/review schema/structured data mark-up.
  • Internal links to product pages match corresponding Canonical tags.
  • Duplicate product URLs are not indexed
  • Correct use of URL referral page parameters 
  • Top-level pages have Canonical links
  • NO broken Backlinks to product pages.
  • All categories and product pages have unique page titles and meta descriptions.

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