How to Conduct an Effective SEO Audit for Your Website

SEO audit, also known as a website audit, thoroughly evaluates all factors influencing a website’s ranking in search engines. Conducting an SEO audit provides a comprehensive insight into a website and its competitive landscape.   

This blog delves into the key components of an effective SEO audit. We’ll explore the world of on-page, off-page, and technical SEO and how these elements contribute to an organic search growth strategy. 

Understanding SEO Audit 

SEO audit is the first step to creating an actionable SEO plan with measurable results. An effective SEO audit gives you the insights to formulate a powerful SEO growth strategy, helping your website rank well in search engines. 

An SEO audit is like a health check for your website. It involves a detailed examination of all the factors that affect your website’s visibility in search engines. This includes on-page factors like content and meta tags, off-page factors like backlinks and market-level data, and technical factors like site speed and mobile responsiveness. 

A common misunderstanding regarding SEO audits is that they only look at technical aspects. This is because many SEO audit tools only tell you about the technical issues to fix.  

An informed SEO audit should also investigate your SEO strategy, how your design and layouts, and content pages impact your performance, the opportunities for improvement, and what strategies should be implemented to improve the search engine visibility for your website.  

Key Components of an Effective SEO Audit 

Organic Competitor Analysis  

Begin the audit by conducting an organic competitor analysis. This will give you a good idea about how your competitors are performing in the organic search presence, their strategies, keywords, and what are the gaps.  

It is probably worth noting that actual organic search competitors might differ from competitors you may know of or offline competitors. 

There are four key areas we look at when doing a competitor analysis. 

  1. Your organic competitor positioning.  

SEO Competitive Positioning Map can give you an understanding of how you are tracking, compared to your competitors. However, you need to select the right competitors to get relevant analysis. 

  1. Competitor Common Keywords and Gaps 

Every circle represents the total number of keywords on a competitor’s website ranking anywhere on Google.  The proportion of common keywords is represented by the overlap between the circles, these are the keywords over which the businesses are competing against each other. 

This is how you can gain an inside into the keyword gap and fish for content opportunities.  

  1. Competitors’ Traffic Trends & Organic Traffic value 

Understanding your competitor’s organic traffic value (the amount of money spent on Google ads to generate the existing organic traffic) is a key aspect when developing your own strategy.  

However, it’s not all about the organic traffic. Sometimes competitors with less traffic have the highest traffic value because they are ranking for high value keywrods. 

  1. Organic Impression Share Analysis  

You can analyse your organic impression share like the Paid Impression Share or Market Share. This will give you a greater understanding of how you compete with your competitor’s category levels when carried out in addition to looking at keyword-specific levels.  
A screenshot of a graph

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Factoring all these considerations into your research will help you gauge your competitor’s organic search environment to formulate a better SEO strategy.  

On-Site – Technical Analysis  

On-site technical analysis is the most common ways of carrying out an SEO audit. It brings to light the areas of technical improvement on your overall website.  

Technical websites are common, therefore, it’s important to set up monitoring tools and regularly fix technical issues as they arrive – to ensure it doesn’t impact the SEO performance. 

Areas worthy of in-depth analysis include crawl ability, crawler budget and URL structure analysis within the technical analysis.  
Below is a snapshot of our SEO technical audit checklist that we use to audit our clients websites. The complete list analysis the website again 119 measures. 

Below is the list of essential measures, that must be reviewed when auditing the website for SEO. Each of these can be expanded into finer measures when carrying out an in-depth audit.  

1. Canonicalisation 11. Content 
2. Crawl & Index Management 12. Heading Tags 
3. Multilingual 13. Videos 
4. Redirect Management 14. Images 
5. Broken Links 15. Structured Data 
6. URL Structure 16. Google Webmaster Tools 
7. Internal Linking 17. Analytics 
8. Error Handling 18. Page Speed 
9. Sitemaps 19. Social 
10. Mobile Optimisation   

Analysing a competitor’s URL structure is a good way of determining the structure of your own website. 

Keyword Research 

At Sentius, we go beyond the search volume and keyword difficulty in selecting the right keywords for our clients. We investigate different verticals such as: 

  • Short-term opportunity – these are the keywords you can use to increase your organic traffic within the short term, generally ranking from position 5 to 15th . 
  • From the competitor analysis, we look at the common and valuable keywords to add to your campaign based on competitors’ performance. 
  • If your business is location-based or has physical stores that customers can visit, we will also look into your Google Business Profile data and location-based keywords.  
  • We determine growth opportunities by investigating your Google Search Console data to look for any keywords already driving strong impressions and low CTR. 
  • You can identify bottom-of-the-funnel keywords by analysing the product or service-related pages.  

All the keyword research data then feed into clustering, topics, and content strategy for a continuous and comprehensive SEO campaign.  

Content Strategy 

Content strategy is essential for an SEO campaign that performs.  Content is also referred to as KING’’ when it comes to SEO. If you don’t have content that serves the user you are competing to capture, Search Engines will not rank you. This is not limited to text only, it includes other factors such as videos, images, and other media.   

Insight: Having just 1 landing page won’t be enough to rank for competitive keywords. 

Content Marketing Funnel  

First, you will need to review existing pages. This includes the home page, about us page, key services or category pages, product pages and blogs. These pages must be reviewed for design, layout, content structure, internal links, etc. 

Identify the gaps in content based on the content funnel. Your keyword research will guide you in determining the relevant topics and in developing an informed content plan. 

You can also base your content funnel on your customer persona types.  

Improving Topical Authority  

Understanding how you can improve the website topical authority is important. Below is a demonstration of the cluster and pillar content concept. 

For large industries, catering to audiences across a variety of sub-cultures – content should aim to capture Marco and Micro semantic levels through relevant content development. This is extremely useful in improving topical authority.  

Off-Page Analysis 

Off-page SEO refers to actions taken outside your website that impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Backlinks Analysis 

Backlinks are a significant part of the off-page analysis. They’re links from other websites to your own and are a major ranking factor for most search engines. A thorough backlinks analysis can help you understand who is linking to you, the quality of these links, and where there are opportunities to gain more high-quality links. 

Different backlinks analysis tools can give you different numbers and toxic links scores. Note that these are based on their internal calculations. We need to review these links manually before disavowing the bad backlinks. You will find that although some links are identified as toxic, it is not always the case when we review them manually.  

Anchor Text Analysis 

Analysing the anchor text profile of a website or webpage can reveal its link-building strategy and potential SEO problems. Keeping a natural anchor text profile is important to avoid being penalised from Google.  

Competitor Backlink Analysis:  

Competitor backlink analysis is another essential part of off-page SEO.  This can help you get an insight into your own and your competitor’s backlink profiles, as well as plans for your backlink acquisition campaign.  

How Many Backlinks to Target Per Month? 

For competitive niches, you need to beat your competitor by not just implementing high-quality backlinks but also by the number of backlinks you acquire. 

‘Ahref’ can provide you with a good overview of how you v/s how your competitors generate backlinks. Look for the number of links your competitor acquires per month and try to top that by at least 10%.  

Using Tools for SEO Audit 

In the world of SEO, tools are your best friends. They provide insights, automate tasks, and help you track your performance. 

However, if your SEO Audit is automated based on tools alone – you are missing the complete understanding that’s necessary for developing the SEO strategy.  


In conclusion, conducting an effective SEO audit for your website is crucial for improving its search engine visibility and organic growth.  
You can develop a comprehensive SEO plan with measurable results by understanding the key components of an SEO audit, including organic competitor analysis, on-site technical analysis, keyword research, content strategy, and off-page analysis.  

It is important to go beyond technical issues and consider factors such as competitor positioning, traffic trends, and organic impression share. Additionally, conducting thorough backlinks analysis and anchor text analysis helps identify opportunities for link-building and avoiding penalties.  

While SEO tools can provide valuable insights and automation, they should be used with manual review for a holistic approach to developing a successful SEO strategy. Following these guidelines can optimize your website’s performance and increase its visibility in search engine results. 

This blog was originally published on Sentius Digital (View here).

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Written by Sentius Digital

Sentius is a full-service consulting agency, providing in-house marketing strategy, design, complete agency services, and digital solutions.

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