A site audit is a very important step I take before I start any SEO campaign. What this does is run a full scan across your site and will let you know if there are issues. Knowing this kind of information from the start will help you gauge how much work is required to get the site into a good shape for SEO.
There are a few different tools you can use to run a site audit, some of which include:
All of these tools use their own systems, which means that one tool might flag up hundreds of errors while another might have none. So whatever one you choose to use, to avoid a headache I’d suggest sticking to one tool as you try and fix anything that an audit shows up.
The tool that I personally prefer to use is SEMRush. Their site auditing tool for me gives you the most in-depth look at your website with a percentage rating system.
To start a site audit on SEMRush you first need to create a project. In this example, I’ve set up a project for the ‘Adidas’ website.
Head to the projects section on the left-hand side, Once you set up your project it’s time to start the audit.
The setup for an audit is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is select the number of pages that you want to check and how you want to crawl it. In this instance I’ll run a check for 500 pages on the Adidas website, I could run it for more pages as this site will obviously have a lot more than this but for now, I’ll stick to the 500.
Once the audit is complete you’ll see a page an overview like the one above. As you can see SEMRush splits the audit up into 3 categories; Errors, warnings, notices. There is also an overall score on the left hand side. The 3 separate categories are for the level of importance with errors being the most important.
So in Adidas’s case, you’ll see that they have 190 errors. These are the issues that you want to get round to fixing as soon as possible as they will have the biggest impact on your SEO. Clicking on the errors will let you take a closer look at them.
So now you can see what each of the errors are. Above you can see that Adidas has things like broken links and duplicate content issues. Not only The next thing you need to look at is the warnings. These aren’t quite as urgent for you to get round to fixing but as they build up it can have a real negative impact on your site.
Adidas has a fair few warnings on their site. A lot of which is links leading to the ‘HTTP’ version of their site and links containing no follow attribute. A quick glance at the number of these warnings already lets you know of work that is required but it’s definitely something that you would want to start working on over a period of time.
Lastly you have the notices section, these ones again are less urgent and are something you should take a look at when you’ve managed to get all of the other problems out of the way first.
Now in the case of Adidas, they are obviously are worldwide recognised brand so they can afford to have these problems as their brand authority alone is so powerful to gain really good rankings. However if you are doing SEO for local companies these errors can be the difference between outdoing your competitors who may not have the same problems.