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A basic SEO audit for small businesses

I’m a immense fan of getting the basics precisely dialed in for small replace SEO (SEO). Guaranteeing you lay a solid SEO foundation will customarily ship spherical 80 percent of the implications, for beneath 20 percent of the hassle, for small local companies.

A principal ingredient of getting SEO on level for your small replace is a frequent SEO audit. This diagnosis gives you a instrument, powerful esteem an SEO SWOT diagnosis that highlights the areas that it’s basic to center of attention on. And, while there are many tools accessible that offer a top level conception of your SEO, learning learn the technique to kill a frequent SEO audit the usage of free tools esteem Screaming Frog is a skill that will wait on you well and make obvious the treasured time you devote to SEO is well-spent.

Having the abilities to kill a frequent SEO audit no doubt empowers you as a replace proprietor in regards to your SEO. It’s tempting to instruct that net designers and builders all realize SEO, but in most circumstances, they’re simply no longer specialists, and no one is aware of your replace better than you raise out.

By following the steps outlined on this post, it is doubtless for you to to assess your SEO, title alternatives and troubleshoot disorders as they come up.

Instruments of the replace

There are a replace of tools accessible that will allow you to audit your map. However the bulk of those comprise a monthly price. For this audit, though, all it’s best to have is the next freely on hand tools:

  • Google Analytics.
  • Google Search Console.
  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider.

Level to: Screaming Frog is free for up to 500 pages or is licensed yearly. Even the paid model is an inexpensive instrument that will allow you to raise out your targets, so register it in case you feel it provides worth (Effect: This can).

Glide your map

Step one here is to high-tail your map, so delivery the Screaming Frog and instrument and high-tail your map. This can offer you the easy task we can check as we step by the audit.

SEO Audit

A frequent SEO audit for a small local replace should keep in thoughts the next areas. I obtained’t inch into painful detail for every, as hopefully, every step is rather self-explanatory (and lets receive a book). But every thing here is simply Googled in case you are unsure.

1. Google Analytics

I esteem to test four factors with Google Analytics:

  • Google Analytics is installed properly and on every page.
  • Valuable actions on the map are position up as conversions.
  • Analytics is properly configured for HTTP / HTTPS.

These are all frequent assessments but bear obvious the analytics recordsdata is sound so that we are confident in the usage of it to title areas for improvement.

2. Google Search Console

As with Analytics, we desire to make certain the map is decided up as it must be in the Google Search Console so that we are seeing the marvelous diagnostic recordsdata within Search Console.

  • Search Console is decided up with the marvelous protocol and URL.
  • Coverage tab shows about the replace of listed pages you would possibly ask of.
  • Sitemaps tab has your fresh sitemap listed (if no longer, put up it).
  • Mobile Usability tab does no longer reward cellular errors.
  • There is nothing surprising or irregular on the Links tab.

The Search Console recordsdata offers diagnostic suggestions from Google, so any disorders highlighted here must be investigated and remedied.

Three. Response codes

Commence up your Screaming Frog high-tail for your map and jump to the “Response Codes” tab. This can list the general recordsdata and response codes, but more priceless is the “Overview” tab to the staunch-hand aspect of the cloak.

In most circumstances, we are shopping for quite a couple of success codes (2xx) and no longer powerful else. Whenever you raise out learn about quite a couple of redirects, 404s or diverse disorders, you would possibly perhaps click on these in the staunch column and compare (and resolve!).

four. URI

Next job is to discover at our URI tab and review the URIs (aka URLs) of the pages on the map. Within the “overview” tab here, we can learn about the substances we desire to discover out for, including non-ASCII characters and uppercase characters.

Ideally, what we desire here’s a position of decrease-case URLs that accurately portray the content on the map.

5. Structure

While we are in the URI tab, we can discover at our URLs and make obvious the URLs are all neat. What we desire to raise out here’s a filing cabinet construction the build associated pages are grouped together. (Click on the bar at the tip of the “Contend with” column to kind by alphabetical portray, as that will wait on you to verify out better learn about the organization.)

Indulge in in thoughts a map that sells SEO and PPC and has quite so much of services for every. We could learn about URLs something esteem the next:

  • positioning.
  • positioning/audit.
  • positioning/retainer.

The construction of the map here offers a transparent signal in relation to the content of every page.

Major areas to keep in thoughts here for most local companies are:

  • Areas.
  • Services.
  • Blog posts.

Construct obvious the improvement of your works esteem a filing cabinet with every thing filed exactly the build it must be to lend a hand reward the relationship of the pages to every other.

6. Page titles

To review page titles, we can desire to leap into Screaming Frog and discover at the (shock, shock) “Page Titles” tab. Here we can review all of our page titles to bear obvious they’re well-optimized.

As a rule, I’d desire to verify out the main key phrase and per chance portion of the map + doubtlessly, the placement, in case you were a neighborhood replace. Also the branding, the build imaginable. Utilizing the SEO audit example from above for my possess company, we would cling something esteem:

SEO Audit for Miniature Companies, Birmingham UK | Bowler Hat

Do no longer forget that we desire our page titles someplace in the region of 35 to sixty 5 characters to best match the region on hand.

A tip here is to export your page titles from Screaming Frog and then simply work by the spreadsheet. Then manually bear any modifications mandatory on your CMS.

7. Meta descriptions

Search engines speak the text out of your meta description when listing your map, so that it’s basic to keep in thoughts this as a possibility with the scheme to add some sales copy to entice users to click. Reviewing the meta description tab, you would possibly perhaps export all meta descriptions and strengthen them as mandatory to bear bigger click-by rates.

eight. Headers

That you just would be succesful to furthermore review your H1 and H2 tags in Screaming Frog and make obvious these are sensibly optimized. Ideally, these must be aligned along with your page names, page titles and meta descriptions to ship a transparent message regarding the sphere and center of attention of every page.

9. Station velocity

I esteem to test the map with three diverse tools:

These tools are all free to speak and together present a solid overview of the build enhancements could be made. I covered testing the velocity of your map in a outdated column.

10. Technical SEO

I furthermore esteem to raise out the next 10 mercurial technical tests to make certain there are no small technical disorders affecting the map:

  • Error pages should return 404 keep codes.
  • Error pages should reward a priceless 404 error page.
  • All URLs should work with both HTTP or HTTPS, but no longer both.
  • All URLs should work with both www or with out www, but no longer both.
  • Internal links should no longer return 4xx errors.
  • Page copy must be proven when fetched and rendered (in Google Search Console).
  • The positioning should no longer be duplicated due to any diverse domains or subdomains.
  • The positioning must be making speak of HTTPS.
  • The Robots.txt should no longer be blocking content we desire to be crawled and listed.
  • There must be XML sitemaps, and so that they accurately instruct all ample URLs on the map.

That you just would be succesful to conduct all of those tests in a browser or Screaming Frog, so no special tools are mandatory!


SEO has many inspiring substances. But, I strongly receive that nearly all small companies can raise out loads to lend a hand strengthen their results by guaranteeing these frequent necessities are covered. Whether a small replace is performing an audit, finishing up more detailed SEO programs or exploring ways to build links, there is powerful you would possibly perhaps raise out to reinforce your rankings with out an agency.

By following the ten steps laid down here, you will salvage areas that you simply would possibly perhaps strengthen. And by revisiting this audit as your map grows, you will proceed to salvage doable enhancements that allow you to protect competitive in the local results.

Opinions expressed on this text are those of the shopper writer and no longer essentially Search Engine Land. Workers authors are listed here.

About The Author

Marcus Miller is an skilled SEO and PPC consultant primarily primarily based in Birmingham, UK. Marcus makes a speciality of strategy, audits, local SEO, technical SEO, PPC and simply in most cases serving to companies dominate search and social. Marcus is managing director of the UK SEO and digital marketing company Bowler Hat and furthermore runs wArmour aka WordPress Armour which makes a speciality of serving to WordPress owners salvage their security, SEO and map upkeep dialled in with out breaking the monetary institution.