Sep 27, 2023

How To Perform a Complete SEO Audit (in 9 Steps)?

Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
How To Perform a Complete SEO Audit (in 9 Steps)?
Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
Sep 27, 2023

How To Perform a Complete SEO Audit (in 9 Steps)?

An SEO audit can help you boost your website’s visibility in search engines. Here’s how to do a complete SEO audit in 9 easy steps
How To Perform a Complete SEO Audit (in 9 Steps)?

Table of contents

What is an SEO audit?

An SEO audit is a thorough check-up of a website's SEO performance. SEO Audit looks at different factors that affect the website's visibility on search engines. It also offers ways to improve a website's ranking on search engines

An SEO audit covers the following points:

  •  On-page optimization
  • Technical SEO
  • Site architecture and navigation
  • Backlink analysis
  • Keyword analysis and optimization
  • Content quality and relevance
  • User experience (UX)
  • Competitor analysis
  • Analytics and tracking
  • Local SEO (if applicable)

Why is an SEO audit important?

An SEO audit is like servicing your car to keep it running well. An SEO audit examines your website's technical setup, on-page elements, and off-page essentials. This website audit will help improve its visibility on search engines and make it more user-friendly, enhancing its usability. Regular SEO audits are necessary for long-term success.

Performing an SEO audit is crucial because:

Algorithm changes: Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing frequently update their algorithms. You must stay informed about these changes to adjust your website's content accordingly.

Webmaster's guidelines: Google and Bing's webmaster tools undergo regular changes. It's essential to ensure your website complies with these HTML guidelines.

Website errors: Checking for error messages and broken links is vital for optimizing site speed and improving page speed. An SEO audit reveals these issues so you can fix them and regain lost traffic. Additionally, ensuring compatibility with different browsers is crucial for a seamless user experience.

Titles and meta data: Title tags and metadata are the first things people see in search results. They need to be relevant to your content to attract visitors.

Outdated content: Having outdated content on your website is not beneficial for your site's performance. Search engines prefer fresh and relevant content. If no one visits your website or returns to it within six months, consider updating or removing the content.

Performing an SEO audit helps keep your website optimized. It attracts more search engine traffic and engages potential customers. Including a sitemap on your website, such as an XML sitemap, can enhance its optimization by providing a clear and organized structure for search engines to crawl and index your pages.

What are the different types of SEO audits?

Seo content audit

An SEO content audit takes a closer look at all the content you have on your website that search engines can see. It helps you determine which pages or content bring in the most visitors and make them do what you want (like buying something or signing up). You can also find out which content needs updating and which you should eliminate. Additionally, it provides valuable insights into the behavior and preferences of the searcher, allowing you to optimize your content accordingly. A critical aspect of SEO optimization is the use of canonical tags. These tags help search engines understand the preferred version of a webpage when multiple versions are available, such as the desktop version or the mobile version of your site. By implementing canonical tags correctly, you can avoid duplicate content issues and improve your website's overall SEO performance.

Doing an SEO content audit is also helpful for finding duplicate content on your site. It can guide your content team to find ways to rank your website better by filling in gaps and finding new opportunities.

Sometimes, SEO guys mix up content audits with content inventories. An inventory is like a list of everything you have, like blogs, videos, or marketing materials. But an audit is more about looking at the quality of your content and how well it connects with your audience and helps your business with SEO.

On-page SEO audit

An on-page SEO audit means checking and fixing the hidden parts of a webpage that help search engines understand it better. It includes looking at meta descriptions, meta titles, and image details and ensuring they are set up correctly for search engines to find and understand. You can also find here a list of the Best On-Page SEO Tools

Off-page SEO audit

An off-page SEO audit is about checking the things outside of your website that impact its visibility and reputation on the internet. It involves looking at factors like backlinks from other websites, social media presence on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc., external links, and online reviews. The goal is to assess how well your website is connected and regarded by others online. 

Technical SEO audit

A technical SEO audit is like a check-up for the technical side of your website. It involves looking at things behind the scenes, such as how fast your website loads, if it works well on mobile devices, and if search engines can easily find and understand your content. The goal is to ensure your website is technically sound and optimized for search engines to improve its visibility and user experience. A critical aspect of technical SEO is optimizing your anchor text, which refers to the clickable text in a hyperlink.

Local SEO audit

A local SEO audit is like checking how well your website works in your area. It involves looking at your business listings on local directories, customer reviews, and how you show up on maps and local search results. The goal is to ensure your website is optimized for digital marketing to attract local customers and improve your visibility in your community.

Pro tip: The Ultimate Guide to Local SEO & How to Optimize for It?

What are SEO audit tools?

SEO audit tools are software or online platforms designed to help analyze and assess the SEO performance of a website. These tools provide various features and functionalities to conduct comprehensive audits and generate insightful reports. 

4 SEO audit tools to use in 2023

Scalenut Content Optimizer

Scalenut, an AI-powered SEO and content marketing platform, offers a Content Optimizer tool for on-page SEO recommendations. 

  • It helps you refresh your existing content inventory for SEO to improve its performance. 
  • It helps ensure the new content can also be optimized for the search engines. 
  • It provides you with on-page SEO suggestions to help you optimize your content. 

These suggestions cover on-page SEO factors such as keyword density, content depth, featured snippets, URL optimization, outbound linking, and more. There is also an AI-powered auto-content optimization feature called “Fix it,” which fixes these suggestions for you, making your life much easier.

Dashboard of Scalenut Content Optimizer

Google Search Console (GSC)

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool from Google. It helps marketers and web developers keep an eye on how their site is doing in Google search results. This tool can find and explain common technical problems that might affect how well your site shows up in searches. It also gives you information about how your site is indexed and crawled by Google and helps you spot any spam-related issues.

Dashboard of Google Search Console (GSC) 

Screaming Frog Site Audit Tool 

Screaming Frog is a tool for checking and improving the technical aspects of a website's search engine optimization (SEO). Many famous companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Disney use it. The main feature of the tool is its SEO Spider, which quickly scans websites and provides users with suggestions on how to enhance their SEO.

Screenshot of Screaming Frog Site Audit Tool 

SEMrush Site Audit

SEMrush is a software platform for search engine marketing. One of its tools is the Site Audit tool, which checks websites for more than 130 technical and on-page SEO problems. It helps you generate custom reports focusing on specific technical SEO areas, allowing you to prioritize your optimization tasks.

Dashboard of Semrush Site Audit 

Find a list of other top SEO Audit Tools on Best SEO Audit Tools to Improve Your Website's Performance in 2023

A step-by-step guide to SEO audit

Step 1: Set goals and define audit scope

Start by setting clear goals for your SEO audit. Determine what you want to achieve and the areas you want to focus on. Define the scope of your audit, whether it's analyzing your entire website or specific sections.

Step 2: Perform keyword research

Conduct thorough keyword research to understand what search terms your target audience is using. Identify relevant keywords that can drive traffic to your website. This step helps you optimize your content and target the right audience. 

You can use tools such as Scalenut's Keyword Planner for keyword research. It helps you plan your keyword and content strategy and acquire topical authority in your niche. Based on your seed keyword and target location, it provides keywords and their clusters that you should target as a part of your content planning.

Dashboard of Scalenut's Keyword Planner 

It also provides performance data such as CPC, search volume, and relevance to help you find the right keywords.

Dashboard of Scalenut's Keyword Planner 

Step 3: Review website architecture and technical SEO

Examine your website's structure and technical aspects. Ensure your website is easily navigable, has a logical hierarchy, and is optimized for search engines. Check for broken links, slow page loading, mobile-friendliness, and proper URL structure.

Step 4: Analyze on-page optimization

Review your website's pages for on-page optimization. Assess meta tags, headings, content quality, keyword usage, and internal linking. Optimize each page to improve its visibility in search engine results.

You can use Scalenut's Content Optimizer tool to optimize your content for improved SEO performance. 

  • It helps you refresh your existing content inventory for SEO to improve its performance. 
  • It helps ensure the new content can also be optimized for the search engines. 

It provides you with on-page SEO suggestions to help you optimize your content. These suggestions cover on-page SEO factors such as keyword density, content depth, featured snippets, URL optimization, linking, and more.

Dashboard of Scalenut's Content Optimizer

Step 5: Evaluate content quality and relevance

Assess the quality and relevance of your website's content. Ensure that your content is informative, engaging, and meets the needs of your target audience. Identify any duplicate content or thin pages that may need improvement. 

Step 6: Analyze backlink profile and off-page SEO

Analyze the backlinks to your site. Assess the quality and relevance of those backlinks. Disavow any harmful or irrelevant links and focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks from authoritative sources. You can use tools like Google Disavow Tool to disavow any irrelevant links. The Google Disavow Tool allows you to submit a list of URLs or domains you want Google to disregard when assessing your website's backlink profile. Access the tool through your Google Search Console account.

Screenshot of Google Disavow Tool 

Off-page SEO refers to optimization techniques performed outside of your website to improve its search engine rankings. It involves building high-quality backlinks from reputable websites, increasing brand exposure through social media, and engaging in online reputation management to enhance credibility and authority in the digital landscape.

Step 7: Review user experience (UX)

Evaluate the overall user experience of your website. Check for user-friendly navigation, intuitive design, fast loading speed, and mobile responsiveness. Ensure visitors can easily find the information they need and have a positive experience on your site.

Step 8: Monitor analytics and tracking

Keep track of your website's analytics data to gain insights into user behavior, traffic sources, and conversion rates. Monitor key metrics like bounce rate, average session duration, and conversion funnels.

Dashboard to monitor analytics and tracking

Step 9: Create an action plan and implement changes

Based on your audit findings, create a comprehensive action plan. Prioritize the identified issues and make necessary changes to improve your website's SEO. Monitor and optimize your site to stay ahead of your competition and drive organic traffic.

The ultimate SEO audit checklist

SEO audits are essential for improving your website's search engine performance, but there's no one-size-fits-all approach due to Google's ever-changing algorithm. However, here are nine core steps that will help you conduct a successful SEO audit:

  • Set goals and determine the scope of your audit
  • Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords for optimization
  • Review your website's structure and technical SEO factors
  • Analyze and optimize on-page elements like titles and descriptions
  • Evaluate the quality and relevance of your website's content
  • Analyze your backlink profile and assess off-page SEO strategies
  • Review the user experience (UX) of your website. Read Website Design: A Definitive Guide
  • Monitor analytics and tracking data to measure performance
  • Create an action plan based on your audit findings and implement the necessary changes

By following these steps and addressing any issues identified, you'll be on your way to improving your website's organic search visibility. Remember, SEO audits should be an ongoing process as search engine algorithms and best practices evolve over time.

Conclusion - Mastering SEO audits for ranking

Mastering SEO audits requires a combination of technical knowledge, analytical skills, and a continuous learning mindset. By following a comprehensive checklist and adapting it to your specific website and industry, you can optimize your site's performance in search engine rankings. Remember to set clear goals, conduct thorough keyword research, analyze technical aspects, evaluate content quality, assess backlinks, prioritize user experience, monitor analytics, and implement an action plan based on your findings. Stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and algorithm changes to ensure long-term success. With consistent effort and optimization, you can achieve organic search supremacy and drive valuable traffic to your website.


Can I do my own seo audit, or should I hire someone to do it for me?

Yes, you can do your own SEO audit if you have the knowledge and resources. However, hiring an SEO professional can provide expertise and save you time. An SEO audit is beneficial for businesses or individuals who want to improve their website's visibility and rankings on search engines. You can sign up with SEO experts such as Scalnut to get help to improve your website ranking. You can sign up for a 7-day free trial to explore Scalenut’s SEO features. 

What is the cost of an SEO audit?

The cost of an SEO audit varies depending on the size of the website, the depth of analysis required, and the expertise of the SEO professional or agency. Generally, SEO audits can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Find Scalenut’s pricing plans to explore their helpful SEO features. 

Who needs an SEO audit?

An SEO audit is beneficial for anyone who owns a website and wants to improve its performance in search engine rankings. It can be especially helpful for businesses, online retailers, bloggers, or anyone who relies on their website to attract organic traffic and generate leads or sales. An SEO audit helps identify areas for improvement, optimize content, enhance user experience, and ultimately increase visibility and organic traffic to the website.

How can I reduce the audit cost? 

To reduce the audit cost, you can consider the following approaches:

Do-it-yourself: If you have the knowledge and resources, you can perform a basic SEO audit using free online tools and resources available.

Prioritize specific areas: Instead of conducting a comprehensive audit, focus on specific areas that need immediate attention, such as on-page optimization, keyword research, or technical SEO.

Seek affordable SEO services: Research and compare prices from different SEO professionals or agencies to find more cost-effective options. You can sign up for a 7-day free trial with Scalenut to do a content audit or keyword research. 

Utilize free tools: Take advantage of free SEO tools to gather data and insights, such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, or free SEO auditing tools available online.

Remember, while reducing costs is important, it's also crucial to ensure that the quality of the audit is not compromised, as a thorough and accurate analysis can significantly impact your website's performance in the long run.

Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager
ABout the AUTHOR
Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager

Suman Samal is a Asst. Marketing Manager at Scalenut. She is a technology enthusiast with a keen interest in content marketing and SEO. She truly believes that with the right set of tools every organization can improve the ROI of their content marketing campaigns. She spends her time managing content operations at Scalenut and ensuring that everything we publish is of the highest quality.

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