We know how frustrating it can be when your website does not appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) despite your best efforts. It’s even more disheartening to see competitors rank above you, making it difficult to engage with your target audience and create impactful interactions on your site.

Don’t worry! Our SEO experts have put together 11 steps for comprehensive and efficient on-page SEO audits so you can easily analyze your site’s performance and improve it. 

With a comprehensive on-page SEO audit, you will learn how to rank higher on search engines!

What Is an On-Page SEO Audit?

On-page SEO audits ensure your website performs well in search results by giving it a thorough check-up. They involve analyzing elements directly on your website that impact its visibility and ranking. This will help you improve your website’s relevance and authority in search engine results. As you optimize your site, you’ll climb higher in search engine rankings and attract more organic traffic and leads.

How to Do an On-Page SEO Audit?

We will now walk you through how to complete a thorough on-page SEO audit. By following these recommendations, you’ll better understand your website’s strengths and drawbacks, letting you make informed decisions about how to improve its SEO. Whether you’re an SEO pro or new to digital marketing, with this guide, you can boost your website’s presence in search results

Our comprehensive SEO audit checklist includes the following steps:

#1 Set clear, measurable goals for the audit

You need clear, measurable goals to get the most out of your on-page SEO audit. Clear goals provide focus, help you prioritize tasks, allocate resources effectively, and prevent overlooking crucial aspects of your website’s optimization. 

Also, they can help you measure your progress and determine the effectiveness of your optimization strategies, such as an increase in organic traffic or search engine rankings, and use this information to make data-driven decisions.

For example, if your goal is to improve your site’s performance to provide a better user experience, you should prioritize tasks such as improving your core web vitals, compressing and minimizing code that slows down your website, or even make sure that your site is responsive and fits all screen sizes.

#2 Identify the tools you’ll use

Once you’ve established clear goals for your on-page SEO audit, the next step is identifying the tools that will help you achieve those goals effectively.

Choosing the right SEO audit tool will help you streamline your audit process. Whether you’re analyzing keyword opportunities, assessing technical issues, or tracking user behavior, the right tools can make all the difference.

Now, let’s explore some of the essential tools for conducting the audit:

  • Surfer SEO: Analyze top-ranking pages and improve your content to meet search engine algorithm requirements thanks to its features like content score and keyword analysis.
  • SEMrush: Research keywords, analyze competitors, audit your website, and analyze your rank, all of which provide valuable information about your SEO efforts.
  • Google Search Console: With this free tool provided by Google, you can monitor your website’s performance in Google search results, identify indexing issues, analyze the keywords your site is currently ranking for, handle manual penalties, optimize your site’s core web vitals, and even visualize your internal linking structure.
  • Google Analytics: Use Google Analytics to understand and improve your website’s performance by tracking traffic, user behavior, engagement rates, top performing pages, conversions, and performance metrics.
  • Screaming Frog: With this powerful website crawler, you can identify technical issues, such as broken links, duplicate content, and missing meta tags, that may impact your website’s SEO.

#3 Analyze the site structure and accessibility

Any successful SEO strategy starts with optimizing your site’s structure and accessibility. A well-structured site helps search engines crawl and index your content more efficiently and improves the user experience and navigation. Assessing your site’s accessibility allows you to identify and remove any barriers hindering search engine bots or users from navigating your content.

Provide an SEO-friendly URL structure

SEO-friendly URL structures are essential to optimizing your website for search engines. A clear and logical URL structure not only helps search engines understand the hierarchy and relevance of your content but also enhances user experience and click-through rates.

Usually, we don’t recommend modifying URLs unless absolutely necessary, such as during site restructuring and need to group URLs under subfolders or specific categories. If that’s your case, make sure you perform appropriate 301 redirects and that the new URLs are descriptive, concise, and relevant.

Add relevant internal links

Linking relevant pages within your site strategically distributes link equity, improves crawlability, and guides users to valuable content. When adding internal links, make sure the anchor text accurately describes the content of the linked page. Additionally, consider the user journey and incorporate internal links naturally within your content to provide additional value to users and facilitate navigation.

Add the most important content to your main menu navigation

The pages linked to your main menu are considered the most important to the eyes of Google. Make sure you include pages that are meant to drive conversions to your site and that will help users find what they are looking for. For example, if you are a tourism agency and you offer different tours and packages, make sure you include those in your main navigation so that they are easily found by visitors.

#4 Check structured data

It might not seem like a big deal, but structured data lets search engines interpret your content better, which means your content shows up higher in search results, which results in more clicks and traffic.

Structured data provides context to search engines of the type of content in each of your pages. For instance, article schema will tell Google that your page is in blog format, while product schema is ideal to present product pages.

With a better understanding of your content, search engines show rich snippets, knowledge panels, carousel results, reviews, and ratings.

To ensure that structured data is being implemented properly, you can use tools like Google’s Schema Markup Testing Tool. This tool analyzes your website’s markup and identifies any errors.

#5 Analyze metadata

Metadata is essential information about your webpage that search engines use to understand and display your site in search results.

Specifically, title tags describe your webpage’s title and appear as clickable headlines in search engine results. Meta descriptions are attributes that offer more context about your website. Together, they allow your users to get a sense of what your content is all about, helping them decide whether or not to engage with it.

To analyze your website’s metadata, you can use tools like Screaming Frog or Sitebulb to crawl it and identify problems or areas for improvement.

#6 Check the heading structure

It’s extremely important to ensure that your headings are hierarchically arranged, with only one H1 tag per page representing the main heading or title of the content. Subsequent headings should follow a logical order, with H2 tags used for section headings, H3 tags for subsections, and so on.

Using this pattern helps search engines understand the hierarchical relationship between different sections of your content, making it easier to index and rank them. Also, a well-structured heading hierarchy makes your content more readable and easier to navigate for users, so they stay on your site longer.

To check the heading structure of your webpages, you can use tools like the SEO Meta in 1 Click extension to look for any inconsistencies. Make adjustments as needed to ensure your headings are structured logically.

#7 Evaluate alt texts

Alt texts, or alternative texts, are descriptive labels added to HTML image tags that describe the image’s content.

In cases where images don’t load or can’t be displayed, alt text provides information about the image. Additionally, properly optimized alt text can increase your website’s visibility in image search engines and boost its overall search engine optimization.

Use SEO auditing tools like Screaming Frog to evaluate alt texts and ensure they’re done correctly. Check for images with missing or empty alt attributes or alt texts that aren’t descriptive or relevant. Provide meaningful alt texts that accurately describe the images.

#8 Review content quality

To meet the needs and expectations of your target audience, you need to review the quality of your page content. A high-quality piece of content engages users, provides value and creates credibility and authority for your business. Also, it improves rankings and website performance.

The time and effort you put into improving your content can pay off in terms of user satisfaction, engagement, search visibility, and can also act like a magnet to attract leads.

To make sure your content is good, follow these steps:

Perform keyword research

Creating content that resonates with your target audience and aligns with their search intent requires keyword research. You can optimize your content to attract more organic traffic if you identify relevant keywords and phrases with high search volume and low competition.

Note: targeting long-tail keywords has been proven to drive better results as it matches what users are searching for, either manually in Google or through voice search.

Review website copy

Reviewing your website copy involves assessing the clarity, accuracy, and effectiveness of the language used throughout your site. Copy should be well-written, concise, and error-free. It’s important to tailor the tone to your target audience, keeping it engaging for them so they stay on your site.

Include LSI keywords

LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing) are the keywords that are semantically related and the ones that tools like Surfer SEO suggest. They help search engines understand the context and relevance of your content. The more LSI keywords you integrate naturally into your content, the more likely it is that your site will rank higher in search results and get more organic traffic.

Review internal links

Internal linking is a vital aspect of on-page SEO that helps search engines crawl and index your website more effectively. That’s why you should use internal links strategically by directing users to relevant content within your site

You should also make sure they’re relevant, well-structured, and support a seamless user experience.

Watch out for keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing means stuffing your content with too many keywords to trick search engines into assuming it’s valuable. It can, however, negatively impact your content’s readability, quality, and result in penalties from search engines.

To avoid this, focus on writing useful, informative content that integrates relevant keywords naturally without losing readability.

Watch out for keyword cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on your website compete for the same keyword or keyword phrase. This can confuse search engines and dilute your content’s authority, leading to lower rankings for all affected pages.

Make sure to review your content to find overlapping keywords and optimize to guarantee each page targets unique and relevant keywords. If two or multiple pages rank for the same keyword, we suggest merging the content of all into a single, comprehensive page and redirect the rest to it.

Be careful with AI-generated content and plagiarism

While AI-generated content can be useful for generating ideas and inspiration, it’s important to use it responsibly as it can do more harm than good. Search engines prefer human ideas based on experience. AI tools only have the ability of regurgitating existing content out there and are incapable of using creativity.

To avoid plagiarism, check AI-generated content carefully for accuracy and relevance. Additionally, ensure it matches your brand voice. Always cite sources and give credit where credit is due to maintain your work’s integrity.

#9 Review overall user experience 

A positive user experience retains visitors, encourages engagement, and drives conversions. Also, it ensures that visitors can navigate your site easily, find the information they need quickly, and complete desired actions without frustration.

When you evaluate your site’s user experience, you can identify areas for improvement and improve its overall usability.

Take a look at the most important aspects to consider:

Improve page speed

Site speed directly impacts user satisfaction and engagement, while slow-loading pages increase bounce rates and reduce conversions. Check for factors that could slow down your site, such as:

  • Large image files
  • Excessive scripts
  • Plugins
  • Image carousels or slideshows

Consider optimizing or removing these elements if they are not essential to your website’s functionality.

Make sure your images are optimized

One of the most effective ways to improve user experience and site speed is by optimizing images. Large, unoptimized images can take longer to load. Make sure your images are appropriately sized and compressed, but avoid sacrificing quality.

Assess mobile responsiveness

As mobile devices become more common to browse the web, it’s imperative to ensure mobile responsiveness to provide a seamless browsing experience.

To that end, review your website’s layout, design, and functionality on various mobile devices to ensure it’s working. Also, confirm your site adapts dynamically based on the user’s device, screen size, and orientation.

#10 Identify technical issues

Although technical SEO may seem unrelated to on-page optimization, it affects it directly. Search engine crawlers can have problems indexing your content effectively if there are technical issues.

However, when you proactively identify and fix technical issues, you can make sure your site is search engine-friendly, crawlable, and optimized for users. It also boosts user satisfaction and engagement, which leads to better on-page performance.

Redirections

When URLs are changed or removed, redirects are vital to maintaining structural integrity and SEO ranking. Incorrect or excessive redirections can lead to redirect chains or loops, which negatively impact crawl efficiency and the user experience. Ensure your redirections are implemented correctly and efficiently to avoid these issues and maintain a seamless browsing experience.

Duplicate pages

Duplicate content can confuse search engines and dilute your website’s authority. Identifying and addressing duplicate pages is crucial to ensuring that your website’s content is authentic and valuable to users. By using tools such as Google Search Console or website crawlers, you can identify duplicate content and take appropriate actions.

Not found and server errors

404 errors and server errors can negatively impact the user experience by frustrating users and preventing search engine crawlers from accessing and indexing your content. Monitor your website regularly for not found and server errors, and fix them right away to keep it accessible and functional.

Canonicalization issues

Canonicalization issues arise when the canonical URL is not defined correctly or is not defined at all. There are a few ways to deal with canonical URLs in order to avoid this situation. You can implement canonical tags on duplicate or similar pages, specifying the preferred URL that search engines should index. Additionally, you can use 301 redirects to redirect duplicate URLs to the canonical version when you have multiple pages with similar intent.

#11 Check for Social Meta Tags

A social meta tag is a snippet of code embedded in your website’s HTML that provides information about your content when it is shared on social media platforms. They ensure that your content appears attractively on social media feeds by including details like the title, description, and image.

For on-page SEO audits, they are important since they influence how social media platforms display and share your content. Correctly implementing and optimizing social meta tags will result in more traffic to your website by making your content more visible and attractive.

Make sure your web pages are performing well with comprehensive on-page SEO audits.

Boost Your Online Presence with Nativo’s On-Page SEO Audits!

Standing out online can be challenging, but you’re not alone! At Nativo, our SEO experts conduct comprehensive on-page SEO audits that help your website rank higher in search engines.
Count on our SEO specialists to identify optimization opportunities and optimize your website. Contact Nativo today, and let’s improve your online presence together!

 FAQ

Does on-page SEO matter?

Yes, on-page SEO matters because it helps you rank higher and generate more relevant traffic.

Can on-page SEO help a site rank?

Absolutely! Implementing effective on-page SEO methods, such as optimizing content, metadata, and internal linking, can significantly improve a site’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages.

What is the difference between on-page and technical SEO?

On-page SEO analyzes elements on your webpage that impact its visibility and ranking, like content, metadata, and user experience. On the other hand, technical SEO involves optimizing website infrastructure and backend elements for better crawling, indexing, and performance.