Auditing Google for SEO

A few years ago, I made my SEO Audit process and spreadsheet available to everyone who wanted it. There is no signup and the whole process was explained, but I still get a lot of questions about this, so I think it is time to go over these in more detail and what they mean to the whole audit process.

Technical SEO Audits have been one of my business’s biggest service areas, and I can’t see that slowing down any time soon. You will find the complete SEO Audit Checklist here.

So, what better way to start than with the first section – Google…

Auditing Google for SEO

It should come as no big surprise that most of the data we are going to get from Google is found in Search Console.

What I tend to do is find out what my clients require and then tailor these checks to suit, but lets look at the basics here.

Is Google Analytics installed on the Site?

Not everyone wants or likes to work with Google Analytics, so there is no real right or wrong here. This is more of a note for the client that explains if analytics is installed correctly.

You will hopefully have been given access to Analytics to help you confirm everything is working as it should and that pages are being tracked correctly.

Google Analytics Duplication Checks

It happens. Sometimes, a site ends up with more than one tracking code, which can lead to untold problems when trying to see what’s working and what’s not.

By scanning pages for the tracking code, you can quickly see if there are any problems.

Is Search Console Setup?

Don’t assume that everyone who has a site knows everything that they need to do. That’s why I always ask for Search Console access. Once I have this, I can see if it is setup and running correctly.

Reporting on this should be paramount as part of the audit because of the information and data that can be investigated.

Are there any search console errors?

This can be a mammoth task if there are lots of them, but for the sake of the audit, I tend to keep this as straightforward as possible and then expand on what this means during the consultation call at the end.

This is another reason why Search Console is so important – if there are problems with the site, Google tells us.

In here, you will be looking for issues relating to:

  • Site Performance
  • Indexing
  • Experience (Core Web Vitals et al)
  • Shopping
  • Enhancements
  • Manual Actions
  • Search Results
  • Discover
  • Pages
  • Sitemaps
  • Page Experience
  • And anything else that Google reports in here

This tends to be one of the largest individual parts of the audit, as it can take a lot of time to unpick the issues.

Google Cache Analysis

By checking if pages on the site are being cached correctly, we can make sure that Google are seeing what is intended.

Check for cached dates and make sure that the pages Google has cached are the latest versions on the site.

Checking for Negative Brand Messages

Be it personal or business, your brand is hugely important to you. Google loves brands, but if someone searches for you and starts to see negative messages, this can have a damaging effect.

Here, you check Google search results and Autocorrect for any signs of anything negative. If you find negative results in any of these, steps must be taken to correct this. Online Reputation Management can help with this by effectively clearing and changing negative results for positive ones.

Reporting on Search Console issues

So much can be gained by inspecting Search Console thoroughly. Google wants to give their users a nice clean experience so if you find issue son here, make sure that you take notice of them and get them corrected as quickly as possible.