Website SEO Audit Checklist – Sample Technical & Off-Page SEO Excel Report

Website SEO Audit is one of the toughest digital marketing jobs to do because there are so many things to consider even before you get your hands dirty. On top of that, there are a lot of different factors ranging from the platform the website is built to the nature of the business that the website represents. In short, there is not any single solution which fits all. Still, there will be some general rule of thumb which can be applied to most of the websites when doing the SEO audit.

I have divided those Audits into some major categories and I will talk in brief about those major categories because most of the items mentioned will be self-explanatory if you know the basics of SEO. Also, if you are looking for a sample SEO Audit report, the link is given at the bottom of the post.

SEO Audit Report Formatting

Have a look at the screenshot taken from the SEO audit report created by me:

SEO Audit Report Formatting

I like to categorize major SEO topics into categories. Each category then further can be subcategorized. Then we can list down the points that we want to check. Each point will have a status, current problem, and solution. A status could represent your finding outcomes such as you “found” the use of robots.txt file on the website.

Possible that you shall also be sharing this report with your client. In that case, you do not want to elaborate on the current problem and solution much. You just give them an overview of what the problem is and what the possible solution could be. You can download the SEO audit format from the bottom of the post and feel free to update the sheet as you want and even suggest me to add more fields in the comment below.

SEO Audit Report Categories

Here is the list of categories and sub-categories that I like to define and what do they stand for:-

Search Engine Accessibility

How accessible & easy the website is to the search engine

  • Robots.txt Restrictions
  • Meta ‘noindex’ Tag
  • Fetch as Googlebot & BingBot
  • Content Accessible with JavaScript Disabled
  • Content Accessible with Cookies Disabled
  • Content Accessible with CSS Disabled
  • Pages with blocked resources
  • Contains JavaScript links
  • Contains JavaScript contents
  • NoIndex only in original HTML
  • NoFollow only in original HTML
  • Correct Status Code

Sitemap

  • Cloaking or User-Agent Switching
  • Crawl Errors
  • XML Sitemaps Listed via robots.txt
  • XML Sitemaps Submitted via Google Search Console
  • XML Sitemaps Submitted via Bing Webmaster Tools
  • Use of Doorway Pages or Splash Screens
  • Orphaned URLs
  • URLs not in sitemap
  • Non-Indexable URLs in sitemap
  • URLs in multiple sitemaps
  • XML sitemaps with over 50,000 URLs
  • XML sitemaps with over 50 MB size

AMP Accessibility

  • Non-200 responses
  • Missing Non-AMP Return link
  • Missing canonical to Non-AMP
  • Non-Indexable canonical
  • Missing <html amp> tag
  • Missing <head> tag
  • Missing <body> tag
  • Missing canonical
  • Missing AMP script
  • Contains disallowed HTML

Website Integrity/ Security

Does the website need an upgrade from the security point of view? Search Engines do not prefer websites with security loopholes.

  • Redirection
  • Correct Use of 301s / No Bad Redirects
  • canonicalization
  • canonical Domain Version Established via Redirection
  • Canonical Version Specified via Google Search Console
  • Canonical Mismatch
  • Correct Use of the Rel=Canonical Tag
  • Malware Reported
  • Manual Actions / Penalties
  • HTML Improvements

Mobile Optimization Audit

Mobile Optimization ensures that visitors from mobile devices experience an optimized experience across the website

  • Mobile Compliant Site in Operation
  • Alternate Annotations in Use for Separate Mobile Sites
  • No Faulty Mobile Redirects
  • Search Console / Mobile-Friendly Test Mobile Usability Errors
  • Viewport Correctly Configured
  • Legible Font-Sizes in Use
  • Tap-Targets Appropriately Sized
  • App Download Interstitials Appropriate Placed
  • Analytics Configured for a Separate Mobile Site
  • mobile intrusive interstitials penalty
  • Tap Area
  • Page Size
  • Image height & width attribute

Structured/Markup data

Search engines use structured data to generate rich snippets, which are small pieces of information that will then appear in the search results.

  • Image Alt-Text Used
  • No Depreciated Tags or Attributes
  • Organisation / LocalBusiness Schema
  • Logo Schema
  • Social Profile Schema
  • Search Sitelinks Schema
  • Breadcrumb Schema
  • Product Schema
  • Review Schema
  • Site Navigation Element
  • Any Other Relevant Schema
  • Other missing structured data
  • Validation errors
  • Validation warnings
  • Parsing errors

International websites SEO Audit

International Targeting checks the website usability in different languages and across geographies.

  • URLs Indicate International Variants
  • Hreflang / Rel=Alternate Tags
  • Hreflang / Rel=Alternate Sitemap Declarations
  • Hreflang Return Tags Configured on International Sites
  • Country Content Geographically Targeted
  • Currency Reflects Country
  • URLs Reflect Native Language
  • Server Location & TLD vs Location of Target Audience
  • Search Console
  • Root Domain Country Targeting via Search Console
  • Sub-Section Country Targeting via Search Console
  • hreflang Errors

Social Media & Engagement

Ensures the ease of User engagement & social media sharing.

  • UGC on Blog/News Pages
  • Twitter Meta Tags
  • Facebook Meta Tags
  • UGC on Product Pages
  • Use of Social Sharing Features

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is used to track the website data. Just to check if perfect organic data is being captured or not.

  • Analytics Tracking Code Installed Throughout Site
  • Only One instance of a GA property on Each Page
  • Demographics Tracking Configured
  • Adwords and Adsense Linked
  • Search Console Linked
  • Internal IP Addresses Excluded
  • Google Analytics Linked to Search Console
  • Branded Terms Setup in Google Analytics

Search Console

Search console is used to track the organic data of a web property.

Off page SEO Audit

Off-Page SEO strategy focusses mainly on the website authority and quality backlinks from contextual websites.

  • Does the anchor text distribution look natural?
  • Are there any signs of malicious linking?
  • # Of backlinks
  • # Of Linking Domains
  • # Of Internal Links
  • Domain Authority
  • Backlinks from Edu or Gov sites?
  • Wiki Page Setup?
  • Toxic backlinks
  • Broken backlinks

Site Architecture Audit for SEO

Site architecture looks at the intuitiveness of the website

  • 301 redirect Setup for all website versions to one website
  • Pagination Issues – rel=prev/next
  • Bad URLs
  • Concise URLs
  • URLs Contain Keywords
  • No Special Characters in URLs
  • Critical iFrames
  • Critical Flash
  • Browser Compatibility
  • Correct Error Page for Caught Errors
  • Breadcrumb Navigation

Navigation & Internal Linking

Navigational & internal linking analyzes the website’s internal contextual linking along with natural link distribution

  • Vertical Linking Structures in Place
  • Horizontal Linking Structures in Place
  • Contextual Linking/ Internal
  • Top Pages with highest Internal Links aligned with SEO Objective?
  • Excessive Footer Links
  • Internal Anchor Text Distribution
  • Noopener used for links originating on another source

Content Optimization

Content optimization focusses around the content being optimized towards the targeted keywords.

Keywords

  • Keyword Analysis
  • Competitor’s keyword research
  • Keyword research
  • Keyword mapping

HomePage

  • Homepage Content is Present
  • Homepage Content is Accessible
  • Content Supports Keywords
  • Document Outline Supports Keywords
  • Content Presentation/Formatting Adequate
  • Category, Sub-Category, Services Pages
  • Content is Present
  • Content is Accessible
  • Content Supports Keywords
  • Document Outline Supports Keywords
  • Content Presentation/Formatting Adequate

Blog / News

  • Blog or News Section in Use
  • Good Use of Headlines on Blog Posts
  • Content Supports Keywords
  • Content Utilises Internal Linking
  • Content Presentation/Formatting Adequate

General

  • All Content Offers User-Value
  • Content Placement -> Above the Fold
  • Amount of Content vs Ads
  • Keyword Cannibalization
  • Keyword Stuffing / Spam
  • No Hidden Content
  • Document Outline
  • Google Recognises Important Keywords
  • Any thin content pages?
  • Are thin content pages No-Indexed

Content Duplication

Content duplication checks the quality of the content internally as well as externally due to certain conditions.

  • Internal Duplication
  • HTTPS Duplication
  • Non-WWW Duplication
  • Index / Default File
  • Check for Duplication as a Result of Pagination
  • Check for Duplication as a Faceted Navigation
  • Other Query-Parameter Duplication
  • External Duplication
  • Sub-Domain Duplication
  • Duplication on Other Owed Sites
  • Duplication on Social Properties
  • Development / Staging Servers blocked from crawling?

Meta Title & Description

Meta title & description checks make sure that meta title & descriptions are as per the search engines standards.

  • Title Tags
  • Reference Keywords
  • Reference Brand
  • Short Titles
  • Long Titles
  • Duplicate Titles
  • Missing Titles
  • Short Meta Descriptions
  • Long Meta Descriptions
    Duplicate Meta Descriptions
  • Missing Meta Descriptions
  • Descriptions Prompt CTR

Blog/Newsroom

This check is to make sure that blogs have all the important attributes

  • Author
  • Published Date
  • Modified Date
  • Tags
  • Category
  • Comment
  • Featured Image
  • Image with alt text
  • Breadcrumb
  • Also Read
  • Prev / Next Blog meta tag & at the bottom of the page

UI/UX

UI/UX checks for the user-centric performance of a website

Performance

  • First Contentful Paint
  • Speed Index
  • Time to Interactive
  • First Meaningful Paint
  • Estimated Input Latency

Accessibility

  • Do elements have a name?
  • Do links have a name?
  • Is zooming disabled?

Website Speed

Website speed checks focus on the site speed and speed of browsing experience

  • Review Page Load Time for Key Pages
  • Gzip Compression Enabled
  • Browser Caching Enabled
  • Images Adequately Compressed
  • Are there many images with size >100 Kb?
  • Images Served in Correct Dimensions
  • NextGen images such as JPEG 2000, JPEG XR and Web P being used?
  • Minification of CSS
  • Minification of JavaScript
  • Minification of HTML
  • Consider Using a CDN for images
  • Critical Request Chains Found?
  • Preload Key requests used?
  • Landing Page redirects?
  • Any animated content?
  • Excessive DOM Size?
  • Too Many External HTTP Requests
  • W3C Validation
  • Properly sized images
  • Defer off-screen images

Competitor’s research in SEO Audit report

Once you have got everything ready, you should also include some of the competitors and what they are doing online in terms of SEO. There are a few factors which you might to consider here. You are free to make an edit as per the client.

  • Estimated Monthly Traffic
  • Desktop Speed Score
  • Mobile Speed Score
  • Domain Authority
  • # Keywords Ranked Page 1
  • # Keywords Ranked Page 2
  • Estimated On-Page SEO Score
  • Total Backlinks
  • Referring Domains

Once you have these things ready as well then you do keyword research and calculate the keyword opportunities. Then, you should summarize the entire findings, list out the top priorities and your SEO plan towards the same and present that to the client. Here is the link to the Sample SEO Audit Report

Yes, you would need some tools to do these SEO Audits. Some of the tools that I use are:

  • Google page speed insights
  • Search console
  • Google Analytics
  • Moz SemRush
  • Screaming Frog
  • Deep crawl
  • Lighthouse chrome plugin

Have a Question? Get in Touch!



6 Replies to “Website SEO Audit Checklist – Sample Technical & Off-Page SEO Excel Report”

  1. freelance Topic

    Thanks for sharing your ideas about SEO. I have learned something new from your article. And I will use them on my personal freelancing website.

    Reply
  2. tech varieties

    Happy to inform you that I get a lot of useful information from your blog.Thank you for your lovely thought. I always waiting for your next post. Please carry on this type of blog. God bless you

    Reply
  3. IOGOOS Solution

    Appreciate for this assistance!
    But want to know which is best format to show audit report either in word file of excel?

    Reply

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