Website auditing is a great way to keep your website healthy. Just as you schedule regular check-ups at the doctor’s and dentist’s clinic, you also need to bear in mind that your website needs a periodic check-up too. There may be some problems which you might not even be aware of, which you will notice during an audit. With a website review you will also be able to make sure that the site is truly as SEO friendly as possible.
What are some of the main things you should check while carrying out your website analysis?
Check broken links
Broken links are unfortunately quite common, and they will be more so if you do not audit your site. You can use Screaming Frog (an SEO tool) for this exercise. This is a small and convenient program that will bring out key on-site elements, including broken links. By simply using Screaming Frog for your website, you will be able to check the integrity of the various links. If there is a link that points to a page that does not exist you will be made aware of it and then you can either edit it or remove it.
Check for error messages in Google webmaster tools
If your site is linked to a Google Webmaster Tools account you will be able to generate a Crawl Errors report and fix any problems indicated in it.
Since your sitemap essentially lists all of your site’s pages you need to make sure that it is well-formed and complete. Visitors will know at a glance all the pages that are included in your site. Search engines will also have a snapshot of your web pages and which pages on your site are updated.
Duplicate content is something that you need to avoid. Otherwise your site ranking will suffer. You can check for duplicate content in Copyscape. Any content that comes up as being duplicate should be fixed. If you copied content from another site make sure to remove it immediately. If on the other hand, someone copied from your site, it is best to report to Google. For improved SEO there is nothing better than fresh and original content.
Optimized 404 pages
Ideally you won’t have your site visitors clicking on a link and ending up on a 404 page. But if there are any 404 pages coming up, you can at least optimize them rather than just redirecting to the home page.
When there are multiple URLs for one page, you should try to pick the best URL and avoid having more than one pointing to the same page. Read more about URL canonicalization.
Page Load Times
Nobody likes to wait ages for a site to load. So during a website audit you should surely check the page load times. You can do this with Pingdom. If there are slow response times, there could be different problems, such as a broken script or a broken plugin. Fix these, and if the response time is still slow, you may need to consider changing the server architecture or the web hosting.
You need to ensure that redirects are properly implemented, especially if you have recently changed your site architecture or the URL structure.
the schema markup is a new form of optimization. If you implement it properly you will notice a significant boost in your site’s SERPs. This is one of the best forms of SEO analysis you can implement.