242 Point SEO Audit Checklist (updated for 2021)
What is an SEO Audit?
If you are unsure that everything is running correctly with your website, then you will likely want to figure out what the problems are. This is where you need to turn to an SEO Audit (why this SEO audit checklist was created in the first place) and it’s something that I do on a daily basis, and have been doing for many years now.
And if you want to know why an SEO audit takes 2-3 weeks (or sometimes longer), this is why!
16 steps and 242 inspection points…
Many of the documents in circulation cover the basics of a technical audit but don’t seem to have taken into account how Google has changed – and continues to change!
No amount of technical corrections will help if you are simply not finding the cause, which is why I created this SEO audit checklist and made it public.
This technical SEO checklist covers all of the following audit points and how they should be performed.
- Step 1: Google Checks. Everything Google-related.
- Step 2: Benchmarks. For setting all baselines. Understanding where you’re starting from.
- Step 3: Competition Analysis. Understanding who you are up against.
- Step 4: Site Architecture. Ensuring visitors and Googlebot have all they need to navigate and crawl.
- Step 5: Technical Inspection. To identify hidden issues that you might not even notice.
- Step 6: Images Analysis. Make sure your images are working for you, not against you.
- Step 7: Mobile Checks. With mobile as popular as it is, make sure there are no problems.
- Step 8: Page Level & Element Checks. Best practice for your site and visitors.
- Step 9: Keyword Analysis. Are you using the right keywords in the right places?
- Step 10: Content Analysis. Is your unique & amazing? You could be setting yourself up for issues.
- Step 11: E.A.T Analysis. EAT Analysis of known signals to help improve Expertise, Authority & Trust
- Step 12: User Experience (UX). A known ranking signal. Good UX will keep your visitors happy.
- Step 13: Backlink Audit. A top known ranking signal. Are you being held back by bad backlinks?
- Step 14: International Checks. Do you cater to an international audience? Are all elements in place?
- Step 15: Local SEO Inspection. Most websites rely on some local traffic. Are you missing out on this?
- Step 16:Negative Practices. It is still very easy to find yourself with negative practices on your site.
Please remember that these are checks – results from these checks should form part of an ongoing strategy for any website owner.
Before Starting An SEO Audit…
In the world of website inspection, two important keys are preparation and knowing the right questions to ask. You would be surprised at how many times you can tie an issue down to a website event.
Before beginning, consider all of the following…
- What is the history of your website?
- Has work been completed previously?
- Have any new strategies been applied?
- Have a minimum of 30-50 keywords to track.
- Do you have the time to commit to an audit?
The last point here is especially pertinent because if you realise that you don’t have the time to perform this work, you will risk skipping possible issues and be back at square one.
Why was this SEO audit checklist created?
SEO Auditing is one of those areas that needs to be all or nothing, and by publishing the audit checkpoints that I cover, it means that everyone has access to a hugely comprehensive list that will miss nothing out.
I have spent many years creating an SEO audit that I can deliver to clients knowing that the results will find issues, no matter how small, that can all have an impact on search positions. While cleaning up my audit process I decided to share all of the points that are investigated when I’m auditing a website.
Tools used while auditing a website
There is no point trying to audit a website with just one tool – you are almost guaranteed to miss something, so I use many different tools to inspect various elements.
However, I am not saying that you need to use every one of those below. You might find that you can get away with only using some of them.
Each of the tools I use is listed next to the audit check to be performed.
Accessing The SEO Audit Checklist Spreadsheet
I have decided to go a little further and have made public this part of the SEO Audit checks in Google Sheets.
It is open to the public for anyone who has the link, so please do feel free to share it.
The resources below all provide additional information when auditing your website and provide even more practical assistance.
- Robbie Richards excellent Traffic Analysis Guide
- Learn How Matthew Woodward Increased Search Traffic By 45%
- James Hubbard SEO Audit Tools
- Search Engine Journal SEO Audit Checklist
- Ahrefs 16 step Audit
- Brian Dean’s SEO Audit Guide