The Complete Checklist for an SEO Audit

Let's face it. Auditing your SEO can be complex. Whether you are a small business looking to rank higher or an agency helping a client, it's always hard to know where to start. 

In this guide, we have listed the most important SEO audit checklist that will help you audit your site and help you rank higher and convert better. 

9 Useful Tips to Do An SEO Audit

1. Make Sure Google Indexes Only One Version Of Your Site 

Do you know there are four versions of website URLs? And it's possible to have them indexed separately. 

These versions are as follows:


For average users, all these URLs are the same. But, search engines like Google are different. 

That's why it's critical to redirect these versions properly. Otherwise, Google will consider them completely different websites, which is not good. 

Here's how to check and fix this problem.

  • Open your browser and type all four URLs one by one. 
  • All of them should redirect you to only the same URL. For example, if someone types in the HTTP version of your site, then users should automatically get redirected to the HTTPS version.
  • If they don’t, Worry not. Just use the rel=”canonical” option shown in the screenshot below. 

Now, move on to the next point. 

2. Delete 'Extra' pages 

This is one of the most neglected aspects, but it can significantly affect your SEO. Google has said that more content doesn't mean a better ranking.

How to check for extra pages?

  • Just type into Google. 
  • It will show you how many pages Google has indexed. The below screenshot shows an example of the same. 


  • If this number is higher than you thought, you have extra indexed pages. 

In fact, according to Backlinko, many sites have 50% to 70% more index pages than they'd expect. So, it's better to delete these pages to get more organic traffic. Sean from Proven removed over 9k extra pages, and his organic traffic climbed over 50%.

But why does this work? 

Shouldn't more pages give more exposure? 

Unfortunately not. These extra pages are adding no value to the users and search engine. That's why they don't contribute to SEO. 

Here are a few "extra" pages to get rid of.

  • Archive Pages
  • Boilerplate 
  • Page with less than 50 words
  • Old category and tags pages
  • Old press releases

3. Check for Meta Title And Descriptions 

Meta and structured data are information users cannot see on the page. However, it can help search engines understand your content and influence how your pages appear in search results. 

Here's how to audit metadata:

  • Title Tag. Your URL should contain a single title tag with text describing your page. You can use tools like Ahrefs and Semrush to find missing title tags. You can even use the Mozbar extension to see each page’s title, as shown below quickly. 
  • The title contains important keywords in the first 60 characters. Since Google only displays 60 characters, adding keywords can improve the click-through rate significantly. 
  • Structured Data. It's a code added to help search engines understand your content. These days, nearly every URL should have structured data. It can be as simple as identifying the author, reading time, social shares, etc. 

4. Content Audit 

Content remains the king when it comes to SEO. Without content, it would be impossible to rank. 

Here's how to do a content audit of your website. 

  • Duplicate content. If there's one thing that Google hates, it's duplicate content. While Google won't directly penalize you for duplicate content, you will surely get filtered out of search results. Use tools like Siteliner to check for duplicate content. Here’s a sample result obtained from the tool. 
  • Organized content with hierarchical tags. Although Google doesn't care how you organize your page, it does, however, need a structure. This means ordering your headline in the proper hierarchy. Common hierarchies include H1 for heading, H2 for subheadings, and H3 for headings and subheadings. 
  • Content should not violate content policy. Google has set quality guidelines to maintain the quality of search results. It's important to ensure that you meet at least a few of these guidelines. This includes 
  • No sneaky redirect
  • No link cloaking
  • No spam
  • No doorway pages
  • No keyword stuffing 

5. Backlink Audit 

Backlinks are an important part of SEO. Yet many choose to ignore it completely. Most SEO audits ensure the page has the maximum potential to rank. 

But what most people forget is sometimes, all you need is a backlink to rank. 

Here's how to conduct a backlink audit 

  • Ensure that your backlinks don't violate Google guidelines. If Google notices that you have been building backlinks using black hat strategies, they may issue a manual penalty. Or worse, completely demote you from ranking on search engines. 

For example, building backlinks from PBN sites, which solely work for providing backlinks, is a black hat strategy. 


Check your Google Search Console for manual actions.

  • Disavow bad links. You cannot control bad backlinks. However, you can disavow them so that they don't harm your rankings. Simply use Google's Disavow Tool

Read: Best Practices to Earn High-Authority Backlinks for Your Website

6. Loading Speed 

Speed. Always the most discussed topic in SEO. It has played a major role in SEO for years. If your site is fast, you don't need to worry. 

However, if it's not fast, let's see how to audit your site speed. 

  • Address common speed issues. These include heavy images and videos, uncompressed JS and CSS files, hosting, etc. 

7. Mobile-Friendly Audit

It's the era of smartphones. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you are losing opportunities every second. 

Google officially announced in 2018 about mobile-first indexing. If your site is not mobile-responsive, Google will not index it. 

Here are a few tips for auditing your mobile-friendliness 

  • Ensure that your site passes Google's mobile-friendliness test. It shows whether or not a site is mobile-friendly, as shown in the below image. A site that doesn't meet its criteria will not rank well. 
  • Match the mobile and desktop sites. This is one of the most common mistakes that people make. As Google uses mobile-first indexing for most sites, any content not included in the mobile site won't appear on the desktop site.

8. Internal Link 

Most people run after backlinks, but it's the internal links that they need to worry about first. 

Here's how to audit your internal links.

  • Ensure Your Page Doesn't Link To Broken Links. Pages break for many reasons. The web is littered with 404s. These can ruin the user experience and stop the flow of equity rank. You can use any tool or Check My Links extension that easily shows 404s, as shown below. 
  • Have Relevant Anchor Text While Linking Since It Passes More Value Than Generic Anchor Text. Google also uses anchor text as a ranking factor. Hence, it is important not to overuse common anchors text like click here, read more, etc. Try to use unique anchor texts like 'Best Ice Cream Shops In Austin'.
  • Ensure That The Page Does Not Contain High Amounts Of Links. When a page is littered with links, it is harder for Google to understand which links are important. 
  • The Page Should Not Be Linked To The Redirect Chain. Google has stated that it will follow up to 5 redirects. So, avoid longer redirect chains to avoid crawling issues. 

Read: How Internal Linking Affects Your SEO?

9. Keywords Optimization 

It's no secret that keywords are an essential part of SEO. Since search engines cannot read like humans yet, they depend on keywords to understand what your content is about. 

Without using proper keywords, you would decrease your chances of ranking higher. 

So, here's how to audit your keywords 

  • Top ranking keywords. Using your SEO tools, see which keywords are ranking at the top—the historical data of how keywords perform now versus before. 
  • See which keywords your competitors are ranking and targeting. By looking at your competition, you will find many hidden keyword opportunities that can help you improve your rankings. 
  • Include keywords in the right places. The best places to include your keywords are: 
  • URL
  • Title
  • H1
  • H2
  • Meta title
  • Meta Descriptions 
  • Body copy( sprinkled all over)

SEO Audit Checklist - FAQs

1. How Do You Do An SEO Audit?

While doing an SEO audit, you need to check for core SEO elements and know whether they are working properly. These elements include speed, mobile responsiveness, keywords, backlinks, internal links, etc. 

2. Name Some SEO Audit Tools?

Popular SEO audit tools include GTMETRIX, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, Semrush, etc. These tools help audit the complete website. 


3. How Long Does An SEO Audit Take?

Depends! A site audit can take as short as one day to as long as six weeks. The result depends on site size. 

Key Takeaways

  • Leverage tools to audit your site. E.g., Semrush, Moz, Ahrefs, etc.
  • Include keywords in the proper place. This includes the title, URL, metadata, etc.
  • Ensure proper internal links to pass value from page to page.
  • Delete extra pages. E.g., boilerplate content, pages with thin content (less than 50 words), etc.

Rank Your Website

Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.


Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.

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