It’s Time For A Website Health Check. Your Step-By-Step Guide for Doing Your First SEO Audit.

Jan 30, 2024

One of the most important things you can do to make sure your business shows up on the first page of Google is to make sure you do a website health check every now and again. We'll talk about how often later in this blog, but for now, all you need to know is that it's like taking your car in for a service.

Your website health check will look at how well all the elements of your site are working together, and it will give you a good idea of how likely it is that your website will show up in the SERPS (the Search Engine Results Pages).

So, I'm going to talk you through how you can do your first SEO Audit today, and I'll share the best tools (free and paid) to do it with.  

But first, let's spend a bit more time looking at why SEO audits are so important.

Why A Website Health Check Is Worth Doing

It's really quite simple. When you do an SEO Audit, you will identify all the strengths you can build on and the weaknesses you can fix. It will be an incredible help in pinpointing technical errors that are stopping your site from being crawled and indexed correctly, and it will also give you lots of ideas for areas where you can improve your optimisation and move on up the ranking. It can also give you a super clear understanding of where you stand on off-page SEO factors like backlinks. 

Knowledge is power! If you know where your website is performing well, you can do more of that. And, of course, once you know what's wrong, you can get things fixed up instead of thinking there's something wrong with you or your business idea! 

Step 1: Crawl Your Website

The first step in any website health check or SEO audit is to crawl your website. Crawling simulates how search engines navigate and index your site. If you're set up on Google Search Console, you can use Tools like Google's Search Console (free) or Screaming Frog SEO Spider (free and paid versions) are excellent for this purpose. 

If you're using Google Search Console, make sure you check your XML sitemap, index coverage, crawl health, on-page performance, security issues and backlinks.  

This will shine a light on all sorts of things like broken links, page titles, meta descriptions, and other on-page elements, all of which can significantly impact your site's health.

You can also use Screaming Frog's SEO Spider (free and paid) as well as my favourite tool for DIY SEOers, Ubersuggest. This is a very affordable SEO tool you'll use time and time again while you're optimising your website, and you can try it out for free. ( and no, I'm not an affiliate!)

Step 2: Assess Your On-Page SEO 

On-page SEO is crucial for a website's health as it makes sure all your pages and your content, including your blogs, are packaged up properly so they can be understood properly by bots when the search engines crawl your site, but also so that people looking at your content have a great experience when they come to visit. 

Ubersuggest will give you an On-Page SEO assessment, but other tools like Moz (free and paid) and SEMrush (paid with a free trial) offer on-page analysis that will highlight issues with aspects such as…

  • Title tags and meta descriptions: You need to make sure you've added them to your site and that they're optimised and unique for each page.
  • Headings and content structure: Check you've used your H1 to H6 tags properly.
  • Keyword optimisation: Make sure that your content includes your relevant keywords.
  • Image optimisation: Ensure all images have alt tags and are compressed for quick loading.

Step 3: Take a Look At Your  Off-Page SEO 

Off-page SEO is all about your backlinks, which play a BIG part in your website's health. Tools like Ahrefs (paid with a free trial) and, yup, you guessed it, Ubersuggest offers in-depth backlink analysis. 

You're looking for as many quality backlinks as possible, good anchor text distribution, and potentially harmful links that could affect your site's credibility.

Step 4: Keep An Eye On Your Competitors

Understanding your competition is essential in an SEO audit because you can get great insight into what's working for others in your niche, and you can plan to do some of the same. Tools like SpyFu (paid) let you see competitors' keywords and backlink strategies and will give you inspiration for your own website.

Step 5: Conduct a Content Audit

The next thing for you to do is a content audit. You want to look at which pages are performing well and which could do with a revamp.

You can use tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, or Ubersuggest to find pages that are thin on content or that are outdated or showing duplicate content and either get rid of them or take some time to improve them.

Low-quality content is not good for your site's health, so make sure you have a good review of your pages as often as you can.

Step 6: Check For Any Technical SEO Issues

Technical SEO is the backbone of any website health check, and you need to be looking for issues like slow loading times, mobile responsiveness, and crawl errors that can be identified using tools like DeepCrawl (paid) or Google's Search Console.

Website speed and mobile usability are super important parts of your website health check as they are key elements determining how well your website ranks.

You can quickly check your website's page speed on Google's PageSpeed Insights (free), and GTmetrix (free) will show you everything you need to know about how well (or not) your website performs across different devices. 

And yes, Ubersuggest will do this all for you, too!

Crawl errors are issues search engines encounter as they try to access your pages. These errors prevent search engine bots from reading your content and indexing your pages, and if you're not indexed, you won't get found.

You can check your crawl errors with tools like Ubersuggest, Screaming Frog or Lumar (paid).

Step 7: Eat, Sleep, SEO Audit, Repeat

I'm only joking; keeping on top of your SEO isn't THAT onerous, but you should try to undertake a website health check by running through the steps above once a month if you have time and once a quarter if you're really pushed.

If you've done any work on your site, like adding lots of new pages or deleting old out-of-date ones, then you should also run through these checks once you're finished.

To Wrap Up Your Website Health Check Steps

 Working through these website health check steps by doing an SEO audit once a month or once a quarter if you're really pushed for time is hugely important.

Once you've done it once and got all the metrics set up, it's really easy, and if you use one of the tools like Ubersuggest, Moz or Semrush that do all these steps under one roof and give you a consolidated report, it's hardly any trouble at all.

Of course, you'll have to fix anything that's broken, and again, most of these tools give you instructions on how to do that once you've done your SEO audit, drop me a line, and I can see if I can help.


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