Before you begin putting SEO into practice, it’s a good idea to analyse your website as it currently stands. Analysing a website to grade its SEO is known as an SEO audit, and a fantastic way to assess your website’s current SEO standing.
An SEO audit can consist of many things, but it typically checks:
- Major issues with your website — are there broken links on your website, pointing to pages that are not available (404s)? Are there multiple versions available (www and non-www)? Are your images poorly optimised and your CSS stylesheets not compressed/minified? Is there broken HTML?
- Simple issues that are easily fixed — this might include titles not in <h1> header tags, multiple <h1> tags, insufficient links for Google to assess your site’s relevance, no meta description, pages with very limited content, and so on.
- Analysing organic traffic from search engines — who’s coming to your site, and what search terms are they using to find your content?
- Backlink analysis — how many backlinks point to your website? Where are they?
You could do a lot of this manually, but there are many great, free tools available to help you audit your site effectively.
For starters, signing up for Google’s Webmaster Tools is essential. It provides speed insights, analytical information, and a wealth of free SEO information to help you audit your website and assess the impact of your SEO efforts.
Using Google’s Search Console, available through Webmaster Tools, you can see each page on your website that has been indexed by Google, and you’ll be alerted to any pages that become unavailable, due to 404s or other errors.
Using Google Analytics you can acquire key information about your website’s visitors, and you will be able to see every backlink pointing to your website that Google sees!
You can check for many problems, such as multiple header tags, images without alt attributes, absent meta description, as well as perform a simple keyword analysis, with the free audit tool from FOUND.
There are many other free SEO tools available.