You may have set up a new website for your business, designed with a slick interface and plenty of relevant content that satisfies the search intent of your target audience. Now you’re wondering why the number of site visitors per month still hasn’t reached the numbers you hoped for. You’re also wondering why your content isn’t appearing much in Google results. What’s sabotaging your SEO efforts could be a myriad of technical elements, like issues with your site’s architecture, server errors, broken links, slow load times, and many more that cause crawlability problems.
Using a website audit tool allows you to identify problems, especially those critical issues that negatively affect how Google sees your website. Keep reading to learn all about what a website audit is, what issues a Semrush Site Audit can reveal, and how solving these issues can make your website end up ranking high on the Google SERP.
What Is a Site Audit and Why Is It Important?
For your website to receive plenty of organic traffic, all the pages need to have a solid technical foundation devoid of errors and be friendly to search engines like Google. It must also be easy for users to navigate its pages to find the relevant content. Unfortunately, there could be various problems with your website, like broken links, duplicate content, missing metadata, HTTPS issues, and slow load times that hinder all your efforts to attract visitors.
There could be problems caused by missing meta descriptions or image alt text problems. These can be collectively called “technical SEO issues” since they have a negative impact on your website’s rankings and reduce your visibility online.
A comprehensive site audit tool, sometimes also known as an SEO audit tool, can reveal these technical SEO issues and provide recommendations on how to fix them. If you’re preparing for a complete redesign of your website’s user interface or planning to implement a new SEO strategy, it would be very useful to perform a complete site audit in advance and iron out the wrinkles first.
Technical SEO Issues Revealed by a Site Audit
Technical SEO is all about making sure your website’s architecture, URL structure, indexing, and crawling are done correctly. There may be many factors that you are currently unaware of which are causing technical SEO issues on your website. Let’s see what kinds of problems can be identified through a website audit.
You may be very familiar with the way your website and its web pages are structured. On the other hand, it could be a very different experience for a first-time visitor. If a user starting from your home page has to click multiple times to reach the desired content, then these web pages have a high crawl depth. This indicates pages that are hard to find for users and may not even be crawled by search engines like Google.
If your pages don’t get crawled, they won’t be properly indexed or show up in search engine results pages, or SERPs. You could be creating high-quality content that never gets read by your target audience because they can never find it in search results. You’ll never know if this is hindering your SEO strategy until you do some site audits to reveal the problem.
Internal links are a great way of sending a user to another page on your website for additional context, to provide more value, or even to push for conversions. External links that are pointing to your website, also known as backlinks, are a great way to bring visitors to your website and act as a sign of trust for your domain. If these turn into broken links, then they become useless for search engine optimization. An SEO audit tool can pinpoint these broken links and help you keep track of them so that you can fix these issues and your users’ experience is not affected.
The use of outdated security protocols can also be found, making this a form of security audit as well. However, a comprehensive security audit is another topic entirely, and you should seriously consider performing one to find any vulnerabilities in your website.
Website Loading Issues
People are so used to getting everything at their fingertips near instantaneously that they will not like to wait for more than a few seconds until your website loads. If your website has very slow load times, this could be a major turnoff for many potential customers. This is especially true for the mobile version of your website. A site audit can help you understand why your site’s performance is lacking, allowing you to find solutions and improve the performance.
Content and Meta Data Related Issues
Your on-page content is held up to a certain standard by Google crawlers. As a result, if your content doesn’t meet these standards, Google will not help to improve the search visibility of your content. For example, if your content word count is less than 200, it is a signal to Google that your content is probably not very meaningful to a reader, and it will rank it lower in search results.
On the flip side, if there’s too much text in the title tags, this will also be penalized by having your page titles truncated in the SERPs. You want to avoid this by sticking to the character limit since a truncated title looks unattractive on a results page. A good website audit tool will notify you when you’re making these types of mistakes. It will also remind you to add meta descriptions to your web pages since they help people find relevant content on a search results page.
How Semrush Makes It Easy to Do a Site Audit
Using the Semrush Site Audit Tool, you can quickly identify the most problematic technical SEO issues that are bringing your site down. Semrush does this by crawling your domain, similar to how search engines do it, and then returning with useful audit results that highlight the most major issues. Semrush also provides the recommended solution to these technical SEO problems.
A Dashboard View of All Your Website Issues
The first step in your SEO audit is to enter your domain into the Semrush Site Audit Tool. Semrush will then crawl your website and you’ll even get some options such as limiting the number of pages crawled or subdomains you wish to include. When your site audit report is completed, you will be presented with a nice dashboard overview of your website that brings many issues to your attention.
The first thing you’ll notice in the audit results is a visual gauge of your website’s health. The Site Health Score of your website is a great way to see how optimized it is for search engines. The higher the score, the better the optimization and the fewer problems to solve. Semrush will also categorize your technical SEO issues into ‘Errors’, ‘Warnings’, and ‘Notices’. The errors are what have the most impact on your site’s health score and should be high on your list of priorities to work on.
The ‘Thematic Reports’ section breaks down issues based on crawlability, issues caused when transitioning from HTTP to HTTPS, broken links, and more.
Prioritize and Deal With Your Website Issues
Next, you can head over to the ‘Issues’ tab to start investigating what’s causing technical SEO issues on your website. Here, you can separate the most severe issues by using the in-built Semrush filters to sort the list of issues based on errors, warnings, and notices. There are also ways to sort by the type of issue, such as crawlability, indexability, security, meta tags, links, duplicate content, etc.
Semrush has even provided tooltips so that even a beginner can understand what the root cause of each issue is and what steps can be taken to resolve it. By clicking on “Why and how to fix it”, you get a brief description of the issue and what the recommended method is to fix it. Clicking on the issues will bring up even more information, such as URLs to the relevant problematic pages and the date these issues were discovered.
Detect Crawlability Issues for Every Web Page
By visiting the ‘Crawled Pages’ tab, you can view every page that has been crawled by Semrush for the SEO audit. Here you can get an idea of the crawl depth of each page, which shows how many clicks a user has to make to reach that page from the home page. Keep in mind that pages with high crawl depth may not be properly crawled by Google and may never appear in search engine results.
You can also adjust the given filters to sort all of this data or integrate your Google Analytics account to retrieve even more useful information like the number of site visitors for each page. This will allow you to see which pages are the most important to fix, so you don’t lose valuable organic traffic due to crawlability issues.
Core Web Vitals Reveal Website Loading Issues
In the Thematic Reports section, there is one feature called ‘Core Web Vitals’. Clicking this will show you metrics related to how fast your website loads. It also shows the amount of time your web pages are unavailable for data input and whether the visual elements are stable while loading.
Integration with Task Trackers and CRM
After you perform the website audit, the actions recommended by Semrush can be made into tasks for your web development team or content team to work on. This can be done by integrating Semrush with a task tracker platform like Trello. The issues highlighted by the site audit tool can be directly sent to the relevant Trello board of your development team, so they can keep track of what needs to be done. Furthermore, Semrush also supports integration with task managers like Monday, Jira, and Asana, which is possible through the online automation tool Zapier.
If you’re performing the site audits on behalf of a client, you can send the audit reports, including the identified issues, straight into the Semrush CRM as a task. Semrush CRM is its own solution that allows digital marketing agencies and consultants to manage multiple clients and follow up on their leads.
Track Progress of Your Website’s Health
As you work on resolving the most pressing technical SEO issues, you can track your improvements with the ‘Progress’ tab. This will display a historical chart that shows how your site’s health improved or declined over a specified period of time. You can add errors, warnings, and notices to see how they affect the site’s health over time.
You can even add more specific issues with meta tags, missing meta descriptions, duplicate content, broken links, DNS resolution problems, 5xx and 4xx errors, HTTPS issues, and anything else you wish to track. Tracking progress can be a great way to check if the steps you’re taking to resolve these issues are actually contributing to an overall better website health score.
Watch How Your Website’s Search Visibility Improves with Semrush
As your website’s health score improves, this should result in an improvement in your Google search rankings. You can do this by checking the Semrush Position Tracking Tool, which provides a handy visual representation of your search visibility for a specified time period. As you perform your website audit, identify technical SEO issues and resolve them, you may notice corresponding spikes in your search visibility in the Position Tracking Tool. For more on position tracking and keyword research, read Perform Keyword Magic with the Best Keyword Research Tools from Semrush.
Use Semrush On-Page SEO Tools
A website audit will help you root out the technical SEO issues that are holding your website and your SEO efforts back. You can make certain that title tags are properly entered, that your website loads quickly on mobile devices, that backlinks are functional, and that server errors are corrected. After these technical problems are identified by site audits, you can even make tasks out of them and assign them to your web development team through Semrush integrations with task management systems.
Afterward, you can use the Semrush On-Page SEO Tools to further improve your Google rankings and become an SEO success story. This is done by exploring more SEO opportunities where you can improve your content with fresh ideas to attract more visitors, deliver a better UI experience, and build a more trusted backlink profile. To learn more about Semrush Site Audits and On-Page SEO Tools, head over to Semrush Technical SEO Tools.
How do I audit my site for SEO?
You can use Semrush’s “Site Audit” feature to analyze your website in detail and improve its efficiency and ranking on the SERP. Semrush’s Site Audit feature is as simple as just adding your website URL. You can find extensive information and data about your website and any issues your site may have regarding SEO.
Is the Semrush Site Audit any good?
Yes! Semrush’s Site Audit is easy-to-use and has everything you need in order to improve your website’s SEO. Within Semrush, you will be able to utilize their “Compare Crawls” and “Progress Reports” feature to compare your website’s performance and improvements over time. Semrush is a must-have for any business with a website.