If you want to get a chance at getting significant organic traffic, one of the things you need to spend time on as a WordPress website owner is your website SEO.Short for search engine optimization, SEO refers to the practice of increasing your website traffic using non-paid search engine results.
But with so many factors affecting your website’s performance in search engines, you must do a full SEO audit of your site regularly to ensure that all the moving parts are working well. Doing so allows you to fix issues that might be hurting your standings, thus helping boost your website ranking.
But how do you do an SEO audit for your WordPress site? Here is a quick five-step guide to get you started.
Step 1: Get your SEO Tools Ready.
To do an SEO audit, you need to prepare some tools that will let you collect pertinent data about your website. Check out the following tools that you can use for free:
- Screaming Frog – This downloadable tool allows you to scan up to 500 URLs for free. It crawls your entire website and provides relevant information about technical SEO.
- Google Search Console– This webmaster tool offers information about the health and optimization level of your website.
- Google Analytics– Get to know more about your site visitors and their behaviors using this tool.
Once you have set up these tools, you can use Screaming Frog to run a site crawl and gather data about your site.
Step 2: Check Your Site Accessibility.
While your website is being crawled, you can now start with other areas of your SEO audit.
One thing you need to make sure of is that all your web pages are accessible for visitors and search engines. Otherwise, all other SEO tactics you employ won’t matter.
Here’s how to do it:
- Make sure you only have one site version available. Pick a primary address and redirect other versions to it to avoid any duplicate content. Use the HTTPS version for site safety.
- Check your Robots.txt. Assess ifany rules keep crawlers from accessing parts of your site that you want to be indexed.
- Check for broken links. If you have too many of these broken links, Google might judge your site as low quality. Redirect these links to relevant pages.
- Examine your XML sitemap. Your sitemap serves as a roadmap of your website. Make sure that it’s updated and submitted to Google Search Console.
- Test site loading speed. You can use several free services like Pingdom and GTMetrix to check your site’s loading speed, as this can affect your SEO rankings.
Step 3: Check if Your Site is Getting Indexed.
Now that you’ve made sure that your site is accessible, you have to check if it’s getting indexed as it should.
You can do so through the following:
- Google site:yourwebsite.com. Googling your website gives you an estimate of your indexed pages, allowing you to compare them with the number of pages in your sitemap.
- Check any penalties. A tool like Panguin will help you see if any of your pages have been penalized by Google and act on them.
Step 4: Audit Your on-page SEO.
Your on-page SEO optimizes your individual web pages to help them rank higher and get more organic traffic.
Here are the things that you should review:
- HTML Markup – Keep your themes updated so that nothing goes awry in your HTML markups.
- Page Titles –Improve your page titles by making sure that they are clear, concise, unique, relevant to your content, and keyword-rich.
- Meta Description – Keep your descriptions under 155 characters, with keywords and a clear call-to-action.
- URLs – Use permalinks to keep your URLs readable, short, and user-friendly. Include relevant keywords, as well as hyphens to separate words.
- Heading Tags – These will help make your content scannable and structured. Use the H1 tag for the title.
- Content – Aside from using keywords, you also have to make sure that your content provides unique and valuable information. It should also be longer than 300 words.
- Images – Your file names and ALT tags should contain keywords and be descriptive. You should also compress your image size to make them load faster.
- Links – Check your links if they are updated and relevant. They should also be linking to trustworthy sites to increase your authority.
- Keywords – Optimize one page per focus keyword. Use them in your titles, subheadings, content, images, and meta tags and descriptions.
- Duplicate Content – Steer clear of any duplicate issues with the help of Google Search Console.
Step 5: Audit Your off-page SEO.
Though off-page SEO ranking factors are not under your direct control, you can still do something to optimize them, such as the following:
- Check your site’s trustworthiness. Make sure that your website does not engage in spam tactics like keyword stuffing and hiding text on your site.
- Check your backlinks. Use tools like Ahrefs and Open Site Explorer to ensure that you’re not getting links from spammy websites. You should also check your links to see if they are only linking to authority websites.
- Check your site authority. Monitor how your site is perceived by search engines using browser extensions like SEOQuake. Improve your authority by gathering quality links and getting rid of bad links.
Doing an SEO audit for your WordPress site is the first step towards improving it. It lets you learn of any weak spots in your website, thus allowing you to formulate a clear action plan to improve your site SEO, make your website visible online, and boost your organic traffic.