What Is Included in an SEO Audit?

Published: | By Jamie Stowe

An SEO audit aims to evaluate how well your website is optimized for search engines by identifying errors that prevent your site from ranking and highlighting opportunities that can help you gain more visibility.

So, what is included in an SEO audit?

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Read on to learn more about what aspects are included in an SEO audit.



Content Audit

A content audit is a key task that should be carried out towards the start of any SEO campaign.

As part of a content audit, the written copy on your website will be analyzed to see how well it performs. Typically, the categories involved in a content audit include:




To have a positive impact on SEO, there needs to be a substantial amount of content on all of the key pages on your website. This allows you to include important SEO and Google ranking factors such as: 

  • Keywords 
  • Relevant and useful content for readers

Additionally, as you may already know, duplicate content is bad for SEO for multiple reasons.

Most importantly, it confuses search engines, forcing them to choose which version of the content should rank higher.

Using the same content as another website also adds little value in terms of SEO and user experience.

Keyword Research



The keyword section of the content audit is another very important section.

Without properly using carefully selected keywords, your website will struggle to rank as you’d like.

This stage will give you insight into how your keywords are currently being used and any changes that need to be made.

Our favorite tool for keyword research is a fantastic SEO platform called Semrush. This all-in-one toolset provides a comprehensive look at your keyword rankings and site performance.

Page Structure

This stage of the content audit will inform some of the high-priority tasks you'll conduct in the initial stages of your campaign. Tasks in this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Optimizing title tags and meta descriptions
  • Ensuring key pages have H1s that align with their offering
  • Tagging subheadings appropriately (H2s or lower)
  • Checking for unnecessary/excessive header tags
  • Ensuring listed content is numbered or bulleted
  • Adding FAQs to relevant pages



Technical SEO Audit

In addition to a content audit, a technical SEO audit helps a Search Engine Optimiser, a website owner, or any other involved parties understand where a website is failing or succeeding.

Once the technical audit has been completed, an SEO professional can prioritize which areas of the website need focus first.

To read more, look at this insightful article, 'How To Perform a WordPress SEO Audit (Step-by-Step).'

So, what does a technical SEO audit look like? 

Indexing & Crawlability

If your pages are not indexed in Google’s database, Google won’t be able to rank them. To see whether your pages have been indexed, it's best to check for issues directly in Google Search Console.

Remember, not all pages have to be indexed - only the ones you want to rank in search results.

Whilst auditing for indexing issues, an SEO professional will identify any obvious problems with how the site is indexed and presented in Google’s results. They will look for:

  • Previous bad SEO practices that may be harming the site 
  • Issues that prevent desired pages from ranking
  • Large numbers of low-value pages being indexed

A crawler (e.g., Googlebot) scours the web by ‘crawling’ from page to page, often via internal and external links. It’s crucial that search engines can effectively crawl key pages and all resources on a website to provide the clearest picture of what the site offers. 

User Experience



Google’s algorithm has consistently taken user experience into consideration when determining rankings. User experience improves organic search marketing performance, helping websites rank well on SERPS.

So, what factors should you consider when evaluating how user-friendly your site is?

  1. Manual Actions - If your site violates any of Google’s spam policies, it may receive a manual action. A manual action means your site’s rankings will drop until Google revokes the action. This can either be at the page level or sitewide. You can check if you’ve received a manual action by looking at the ‘Manual actions’ section on Google Search Console.
  2. Mobile Friendliness - In a mobile-first world, it’s vital that your site is mobile -friendly. Mobile friendliness has been a ranking factor since 2015 and is actually one of the main page experience signals for Google.
  3. Site Speed - Site speed is an important ranking factor. In fact, data shows that the slower a page loads, the higher the chance of a user leaving the website.
  4. Core Web Vitals - In 2020, Google introduced three new metrics related to page speed and user experience called Core Web Vitals. As a direct ranking factor, checking these metrics should be part of your SEO audit. Once again, navigate to Google Search Console, where you’ll find a report section called “Core Web Vitals.”

Backlink Profile



When it comes to SEO, backlinks can improve your rankings because search engines view the quality and quantity of the links as votes of confidence from other websites.

Essentially, your site can rank higher if you gain a good number of quality backlinks.

Remember that it’s not just about quantity but also the quality of the backlinks. For example, there’s no point in having large amounts of backlinks to untrustworthy sites.

You can use the “Backlink Gap” tool on Semrush to find missed backlink opportunities. All you need to do is enter your domain and the domain names of up to four competitors.

The tool will then show a list of domains that link to your competitors but not to you. These types of domains are likely to link to your website as they are already linking to similar sites.

Competitor Analysis

On top of the content and technical aspects mentioned above, a good SEO audit should also help you see where you stand compared to your competitors.

A great way to do this is to use the “Domain Overview” on Semrush. This tool will give you a solid comparison of the key metrics of the selected domains to see where you are falling behind.

To get the best overview, it’s best to focus on these metrics:

  • Authority Score - The overall quality of the domain on a scale from 1 to 100 (based on backlinks, search traffic, and other factors)
  • Organic Traffic - How much organic traffic the domain receives
  • Organic Keywords - Shows how many keywords the domain ranks for
  • Referring Domains - Shows how many different domains link to the analyzed domain

By conducting a competitor analysis, you can also see what keywords your competitors target. Using Semrush, open the Keyword Gap tool and enter your domain and up to four competitor domains.

Click “Compare,” and the tool will compare the sets of keywords for which the analyzed domains are ranking. The list will most likely reveal hidden keyword opportunities you may not have considered.




To wrap up, we cannot stress enough the importance of SEO audits in this article. Regular audits will give you insights into your website’s overall performance and keyword rankings.

By following and implementing these content and technical aspects, you can ensure that your website is successfully optimized for SEO at all times.

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