If you’re looking for ways to increase your organic traffic, an SEO audit template can be a great way to help. An SEO audit is the process of reviewing your website to identify areas where you can improve your search engine rankings. By using an SEO audit template like our own, you can make the process easier and more efficient. In this article, we’ll discuss how to use an SEO audit template to increase your organic traffic.
First, let’s take a look at what an SEO audit template is and how it can help you. An SEO audit template is a tool that helps you identify and track the progress of your website’s optimization. It can be used to evaluate your current position in the search engine results pages (SERPs), identify opportunities for improvement, and track your progress over time.
The template will help you to:
- Assess your website’s current SEO health
- Identify areas where you can improve your SEO
- Track your progress over time
To use the template, simply enter your website’s URL into the “Site URL” field and click “Submit.” Once the template has been generated, you can begin reviewing your website’s SEO.
When reviewing your website’s SEO, there are a few key factors you’ll want to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to make sure that your website is optimized for the right keywords. Second, you’ll want to ensure that your website’s content is relevant and engaging. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that your website is easy to navigate and uses proper HTML code.
By following these tips, you can use an SEO audit template to increase your organic traffic and improve your website’s overall SEO health.
There are a myriad of ways that you can improve your organic traffic with an audit, but let’s take a look at the following:
Perform a Thorough Competitor Analysis
One of the most important aspects of any SEO strategy is to keep a close eye on your competition. By understanding what they’re doing, you can adapt and improve upon their strategies.
To start, take a look at their website and see how they’re ranking for the same keywords as you. If they’re ranking higher than you, it’s likely because they’re doing something right that you’re not. Try to identify what they’re doing and see if you can adopt their strategy.
In addition to looking at their website, you can also use tools like Google Ads’ Keyword Planner and Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer to get an idea of the keywords they’re targeting. Once you have a list of their targeted keywords, you can start to optimize your own website for those keywords.
Perform Targeted Keyword Research
To create the right keyword strategy, you want to perform targeted keyword research. This kind of keyword research really narrows down things like:
- Your user intent
- Search Volume
- Longtail vs. short tail
- Topically-relevant keywords to go after
- Keywords that your competitor ranks for that you don’t, fulfilling the keyword gap.
- Content that your competitor ranks for that you don’t, fulfilling the content gap.
Your Keyword’s User Intent
Typically, you want to figure out what part of your strategy will go after user intent-based keywords including: informational, navigational, or transactional.
Informational keywords are any keyword that provides information to the user, which also aids them in the research phase of their buying decision.
Navigational keywords are any keywords that potentially result in the user clicking through from Google directly to your website.
Transactional keywords are buyer-ready keywords meant to result directly in a buyer decision from people who are typing in these keywords.
If your content does not have the matching user intent, you may not be able to secure the right kind of traffic that’s going to click on your website from the search results.
You also want to make sure that the keywords you’re targeting have enough search volume. Search volume is simply the number of times someone enters a keyword into Google per month.
For example, if you’re selling wedding dresses, you’ll want to make sure that you’re targeting keywords with high search volume like “wedding dress” or “bridal gown.”
However, if you’re targeting keywords with low search volume like “cheap wedding dress,” you may not get as much traffic.
But, search volume isn’t everything. You also want to make sure that you’re targeting keywords with high commercial intent.
Commercial intent is the likelihood that someone who searches for a certain keyword will buy something from your website. For example, someone who searches for “wedding dress” is more likely to buy something than someone who searches for “cheap wedding dress.”
Longtail vs. Short Tail
When it comes to keywords, you’ll want to target both longtail and short tail keywords.
Short tail keywords are typically one or two words and are very general. For example, if you sell wedding dresses, a short tail keyword would be “wedding dress.”
Longtail keywords are usually three or more words and are very specific. For example, a longtail keyword for a wedding dress website could be “cheap plus size wedding dress.”
While short tail keywords have higher search volume, they’re also more competitive. Longtail keywords tend to have a lower search volume but they’re usually easier to rank for.
To make sure you’re able to rank in Google, you want to target keywords that are relevant to your topic.
For example, if you sell wedding dresses, you’ll want to target keywords like “wedding dress,” “bridal gown,” “plus size wedding dress,” etc.
But, if you start targeting keywords that are irrelevant to your topic, you’ll have a harder time ranking.
For example, if you sell wedding dresses but start targeting keywords like “prom dress” or “cocktail dress,” you’ll have a much harder time ranking because those keywords are not relevant to your topic.
Keywords Your Competitor Ranks For That You Don’t
You also want to target keywords that your competitor ranks for that you don’t. This is called the keyword gap.
The keyword gap is the difference between the set of all keywords that your website ranks for and the set of all keywords that your competitor’s website ranks for.
To fill the keyword gap, you’ll want to find the keywords that your competitor ranks for that you don’t and then optimize your website for those keywords.
You can use a tool like Ahrefs to find the keyword gap.
Content That Your Competitor Ranks for But You Don’t
You also want to take a look at the content that your competitor ranks for but you don’t.
To do this, you can use a tool like BuzzSumo. Just enter in your competitor’s URL and it will show you all the content that they have that’s popular on social media.
You can then create similar (better) content and optimize it for the keywords that you want to rank for.
You can also use a tool such as AHREFs in order to figure out and establish the content gap.
Check That Your Pages Are Thoroughly Optimized
Once you have your list of target keywords, you’ll want to make sure that your pages are thoroughly optimized for those keywords.
To do this, you’ll want to check things like your title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and images.
Your title tag is the most important on-page SEO factor. Your title tag is what appears in the search results as your page’s headline.
For example, if you’re ranking for the keyword “wedding dress,” your title tag could be “Wedding Dress – The Best Place to Buy Wedding Dresses.”
Your title tag should be less than 60 characters and should include your target keyword.
Your meta description is the short description of your page that appears in the search results.
For example, if you’re ranking for the keyword “wedding dress,” your meta description could be “The best place to buy wedding dresses. Shop our collection of beautiful wedding dresses today!”
Your meta description should be less than 160 characters and should include your target keyword.
Heading tags are used to structure your content. There are six different header tags: h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6.
The h1 tag is the most important and should be used for your page’s title. The h2 tag is the second most important and should be used for your page’s subheadings.
The h3, h4, h5, and h6 tags are less important and can be used for your page’s smaller subheadings.
You want to make sure that you’re using header tags, and in the correct order, because they help Google understand the structure of your content.
They also make it easier for people to scan your content and find the information they’re looking for.
Images are another important on-page SEO factor. You want to make sure that all of your images are optimized with target keywords.
To do this, you’ll want to give your images descriptive file names and fill out the alternative text field with a target keyword.
You should also make sure that your images are the correct size. Large images can slow down your page, which can hurt your page speed.
Ensure That Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
You also want to make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. Google now uses mobile-first indexing, which means that your site will be ranked based on its mobile
version, rather than the desktop version.
This means that for any content you want to rank, you want to make sure that Google can crawl and index it on mobile.
To check if your site is mobile-friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Just enter in your URL and Google will tell you if your site is mobile-friendly or not.
If your site is not mobile-friendly, you’ll need to make some changes to make it responsive. You can either hire a developer to do this for you or you can use a WordPress plugin like WPtouch.
Mobile-friendly is also about making sure that you don’t have intrusive interstitials. You don’t want something popping up after the page loads requesting user information, that also prevents the user from seeing your content.
You want to make sure that any interstitials that you load on the page are not too intrusive.
Be sure to read Google’s guidelines on what they consider intrusive interstitials, otherwise you could run into an interstitial algorithmic penalty.
Make Sure Your Site Has Fast Page Speed
Page speed is pretty important nowadays as well. Google wants to provide the best user experience, so they want to make sure that people can find what they’re looking for quickly.
If your site takes too long to load, chances are that people will just leave and go to another site.
To check your page speed, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Just enter in your URL and Google will give you a report on how fast your site loads on desktop and mobile.
Google will also provide you with some recommendations on how to improve your page speed. Some common recommendations include:
- Compressing images,
- Caching static resources,
- and reducing the number of HTTP requests.
Make Sure Your Site is Crawlable
Crawling and indexing are the two processes Google performs that are absolutely critical if you want them to store your website.
If your website is not crawlable and indexable, then it won’t show up in Google search results.
To check if your site is crawlable, you can use Google’s Search Console. Just click on the “Crawl” tab and then “Robots.txt Tester.”
Enter in your URL and Google will tell you if they’re able to crawl your site or not. If they’re not able to crawl your site, they’ll provide you with some suggestions on how to fix it.
You can also check if your pages are being indexed by doing a site:example.com search in Google.
If your pages are being indexed, then you’ll see a list of all the pages that Google has indexed from your site.
If you don’t see any pages listed, then that means that Google has not indexed your site yet.
To get your site indexed, you’ll need to submit a sitemap to Google. A sitemap is a file that contains all of the URLs on your website.
You can create a sitemap using a tool like XML-Sitemaps.com or you can use a WordPress plugin like Yoast SEO, which will automatically generate a sitemap for you.
Once you have your sitemap, you’ll need to submit it to Google via their Search Console. Once submitted, then Google will crawl your site based on the URLs in the sitemap.
Make Sure There Are No Problems With Indexing
If you’ve checked that your site is crawlable and indexable, but your pages are still not showing up in Google search results, then there may be some problems with indexing.
To check for indexing issues, you can use Google’s Search Console. Just click on the “Coverage” tab and then “Excluded.”
This will show you all of the pages that Google has attempted to crawl but has not been able to index.
If you see any pages listed here, then you’ll need to fix the issue so that Google can index the page.
The most common reason why pages are not indexed is because they have a noindex meta tag. This meta tag tells Google not to index the page.
If you see that a page has a noindex meta tag, then you’ll need to remove it. You can do this by editing the code of the page or by using a WordPress plugin like Yoast
SEO, which will allow you to edit the meta tags for each page.
Another common reason why pages are not indexed is because they’re blocked by robots.txt. If you see that a page is being blocked by robots.txt, then you’ll need to edit your robots.txt file and remove the block.
You can find your robots.txt file in the root directory of your website. If you’re not sure how to edit it, then you can use a tool like Google’s Search Console to edit it for you.
Once you’ve fixed the issue, you can resubmit the URL to Google via their Search Console and they will attempt to crawl and index the page again.
Another common reason why pages are not properly indexed is because Google can’t see the content.
Google has a generally narrow range of parameters when it comes to being able to see the content, and if your site falls outside of these parameters, you may not achieve any rankings at all.
To check and see whether Google can see your content, you can use Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool. Just input the URL, and allow it to test it. Then, click on the button that says “View live URL.”
Then, search for any content within your page, within the page window on the mobile testing tool. If you can find the text content, congratulations. Google can see it.
Don’t Use Spammy Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. Google uses backlinks as a ranking factor, so the better the backlinks that you have, the more you could potentially increase your site’s rankings.
However, not all backlinks are created equal. There are good links and bad links. Good backlinks are from high-quality websites that are relevant to your niche.
Bad links are from low-quality websites, or websites that are not relevant to your niche. These types of links can actually hurt your rankings.
To check the quality of your backlinks, you can use a tool like AHREFs. Just enter your URL and click on the “Backlinks” tab.
This will show you all of the backlinks that are pointing to your website. You can then click on each link to see the quality of the website that’s linking to you.
If you see a lot of low-quality websites, or websites that are not relevant to your niche, then you’ll want to disavow those links.
To do this, you’ll need to create a file with all of the bad links and submit it to Google via their Search Console.
Optimize for Structured Data
Structured data is a code that you can add to your website that helps search engines understand specific types of data on your website.
It’s sometimes also called “schema markup” or “rich snippets.”
Adding structured data to your website can help you rank higher in Google search results.
To see if your site has structured data, you can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Just enter your URL and click “Test.”
If you see any errors, then you’ll need to fix them. You can do this by editing the code of your website or by using a WordPress plugin like Yoast SEO, which will allow you to edit the structured data for each page.
Prevent Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization is when you have multiple pages on your website that are targeting the same keyword.
For example, if you have a blog about “SEO” and you have two blog posts that are both targeting the keyword “SEO,” then you’re cannibalizing that keyword.
Keyword cannibalization is bad for your SEO because it confuses Google as to which page they should rank, for that keyword.
As a result, neither of your pages may rank as high as they could had they each been targeting a different keyword.
To fix this issue, you will need to find all of the pages on your website that are targeting the same keyword and change the keywords that they are targeting.
Make Sure You Don’t Have Duplicate Content Issues
Duplicate content is when you have multiple pages on your website that have the same or substantially similar content.
This can happen if you have two pages with the same title, or if you have two pages that are very similar in terms of the content.
Duplicate content is bad for your SEO because it confuses Google as to which page they should rank for that keyword.
To fix this issue, you’ll need to find all of the duplicate content on your website and either remove it or change it so that it’s significantly unique.
You can also set the canonical tag of the page to the preferred version of the page, which could potentially repair duplicate content issues. This is because, when
Google crawls that page, they will understand through the canonical tag to make that page a priority.
Repair Canonicalization Errors
A canonical tag is an HTML code that you can add to your website to tell Google which page is the “master” page.
For example, if you have two pages that are very similar, you can add a canonical tag to one of the pages to tell Google which page they should rank.
Canonicalization errors happen when there’s more than one “master” page, or when there’s no canonical tag on any of the pages.
To fix this issue, you’ll need to either add a canonical tag to all of the pages on your website, or remove the duplicate content so that there’s only one “master” page.
Ideally, every page should have a self-canonical tag except for a few specialized scenarios.
Audit Your Internal Links for Anchor Text Optimization Issues
Anchor text is the text that you see when you click on a link.
For example, if we were to link to this blog post, the anchor text would be “increase your organic traffic.”
Anchor text is important for SEO because it tells Google what the page is about. And it’s important to note that anchor text tells Google about the page that it’s going
to, not the page that the anchor text is on.
Google is on record in saying that you can do whatever you want with your own internal link anchor text. Just don’t engage in cloaking or black hat behavior.
Utilize SEO Silos for Your Content to Boost Its Authority
SEO Silos are a way of organizing your website’s content so that each piece of content is in its own “silo” or compartment.
For example, if you have a blog about “SEO,” you could have a silo for each of the following topics:
- On-Page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Link Building
The idea behind SEO Silos is that it’s much easier for Google to rank a page that’s in its own silo than it is to rank a page that’s not.
This is because each piece of content in its own silo is effectively its own content hub. And Google does love content hubs.
To create an SEO Silo, you’ll need to first organize your website’s content into topics.
Then, you’ll need to create a separate page for each topic.
Finally, you’ll need to link all of the pages in each silo together using internal links.
Using Our SEO Audit Template Will Help You Keep Your Work Organized and Prioritized
SEO is a complex process, but by following these tips, you can make sure that your website is optimized for Google’s algorithm. Checking for duplicate content issues and repairing canonicalization errors will help to ensure that your pages are being correctly crawled and indexed by Google.
Additionally, optimizing your internal links for anchor text and creating SEO silos for your content will help to boost the authority of your site’s individual pages.
Finally, making sure that your website is mobile-friendly and has fast page speed will help to keep visitors on your site longer and improve their overall experience.
Implementing these tips will help you to increase your organic traffic and improve your website’s ranking in search results.