Understanding the ins and outs of SEO can be a challenge, but if you want to rank #1 in Google search results, then demystifying SEO should be your top priority. You may have some familiarity with search engine ranking factors, but how can you tell how well your site is actually performing in search engines? Here’s a quick guide on how to audit a website for SEO.

ClickGiant is a leading SEO agency serving clients nationwide. Get in touch today to request a free site audit.

Request Free Site Audit

Top Tools to Audit a Website for SEO

Conducting an audit can be overwhelming, but there are tools available to make the process easier and more efficient.

Full SEO Audit

Site Speed

Other Tools Mentioned

How Often Should You Conduct an SEO Audit?

How often you audit your site depends on the size of your business and website. Large businesses with tons of website traffic should audit their websites for SEO every quarter, or 2 to 4 times a year. Smaller websites run by local businesses and solo-entrepreneurs should plan to conduct an audit every 6 months.

How Much Time Will an SEO Audit Take?

How long an audit will take will also depend on the size of your site. For a full SEO audit of an enterprise level site, set aside 2 to 6 weeks. For a smaller site, an audit can be completed in one week or less.

If you don’t have the time or knowledge to conduct a full audit for your website on your own, outsource it. You could even outsource certain pieces of your audit, like the technical side if you can’t afford a full audit.

Outsourcing to an agency that specializes in SEO can help ensure that your audit is being done properly while saving you time, so you can focus on other business tasks.

On-Page SEO Audit

In case you need a reminder, on-page SEO is more than content on the page. It goes as deep as page architecture and HTML source code.

The purpose of this audit is to focus on one page at a time to climb the SERPs and pull in more organic traffic. You might start with your top priority pages like your Home page and your top-performing product or service pages. You might uncover new opportunities during your audit as well.

Title Tags, Meta Descriptions & URLs

Title tags and meta descriptions are important on-page SEO ranking factors:

  • Title Tags. Title tags are very important for SEO. Ensure your title tags include your target keyword (ideally targeting one major keyword per page). Be sure to follow best practices for length as well, keeping your title tags between 45-70 characters.
  • URLs. Make sure your URLs are short and descriptive. They should describe the page’s content in a few words, exclude stop words, and ideally include your target keyword.
  • Meta descriptions need to sum up what the page is about while intertwining primary and secondary keywords. These should be 140-160 characters. One thing that needs to be clarified about meta descriptions is that theoretically, they don’t affect your ranking in google. That doesn’t mean you can slack off on them though. A well-written meta description can entice readers to click. Though meta descriptions don’t affect your SEO ranking, click-through rates do influence search engine rankings. In short, your meta descriptions do

Check out our blog on SEO Meta Tags for more help!

Title & Headings

Make sure you’re using your headings properly. For starters, be sure that there is only one H1 on the page, ideally near the top of the page. The H1 should include your target keyword. Although Google has stated there are no penalties for using multiple H1s, this practice strengthens clarity and readability for users.

As far as other headings go, use as many H2 and H3 tags as you want. The most important thing when it comes to subheadings is to make sure they’re serving your reader. They should be relevant to your content and make it more digestible. Break up content into easily digestible sections, and use appropriate headings to make navigation easier for scrolling users.

INSIDER TIP: When writing titles and headlines, make sure to put keywords near the front to tell Google it’s relevant and important. Headline Analyzer Tools, like the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer Tool, are great ways to ensure your titles are attention-grabbing and optimized.

Eliminate Thin Content

Thin content is a page with little to no value, usually posts with 300 words or less. The best thing you can do for these pages is to convert them into long-form posts. If you have multiple posts covering the same topics, combine them for a definitive guide chock-full of information. If the content is beyond help, it should be deleted. The goal is to provide high value, useful content for users.

Fix Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is exactly what it sounds like: content that can be found in multiple places across the internet. This may be content pulled from external sources or content that is duplicated internally across multiple pages on your site.

Plagiarizing content from external sources is a definite no-no. Be sure that all content on your site is original and unique. This will help to ensure maximum indexability for your pages.

In cases where you have duplicate content across internal pages on your own site, you have a few options. You can either consolidate the content into a single page—omitting and 301 redirecting the less authoritative page to the authoritative page—or implement a canonical for pages that must remain live. The rel=“canonical” attribute allows you to tell search engines that you know that the content is similar and informs search engines of which page they should treat as authoritative for indexing purposes.


When conducting your audit, you might consider adding alt text and titles to your images. These should include keywords where relevant, but it is important not to go overboard. You want to avoid keyword stuffing. Alt tags should accurately describe the function and content of the image.

Additionally, you should take the time to compress image files so they don’t slow down your site with tools like TinyPNG.

Improve Your Site Speed

We all know improving your site speed is important for user experience. On average, if a website page takes more than 3 seconds to load, users are more likely to bounce. But did you know that page speed now affects your rankings as well?

Here are a few tools you can use to improve your site speed:

Internal Links

Ever heard of “link juice”? It’s the off-page SEO you have the most control over. The practice of strategically linking to other pages throughout your website helps users easily navigate your website while helping search engines to understand how your pages are linked to each other. Internal links can also help to ensure users stay on your site longer, which search engines may interpret as quality content that should be ranked higher.

Off-Page SEO Optimization

Some people skim over off-page SEO during their audits, because it’s notorious for being harder to control. However, it’s an important factor when it comes to boosting your site’s organic traffic.

Check Backlinks

Backlinks (aka incoming links or inbound links) are important for building domain authority. Links from authoritative external sources signal to search engines that your content is valuable, determine your domain score, and affect your overall traffic. However, while quantity is great, you don’t want to dismiss quality—as bad quality or “spam” links can actually negatively impact your SEO.

Luckily, there are a few steps for dealing with bad links:

  • Use an SEO audit tool to identify toxic links.
  • Contact a webmaster and request removal. If you’re having trouble finding out who owns a website domain, try out WHOIS Domain Lookup.
  • Create and submit a disavow file to Google using Google Search Console.

Request a Free SEO Site Audit

Due to constant updates to Google’s algorithm, SEO is an ever-evolving beast. While no one can guarantee a fool-proof guide, learning how to audit a website for SEO can be a great start to improving your search engine performance.

ClickGiant is a leading SEO agency serving clients nationwide. Get in touch today to request a free site audit.

Request Free Site Audit