How to Perform a Complete SEO Audit

Conducting an SEO audit involves assessing the optimization level of your website for search engines. This evaluation highlights any issues that might hinder your site’s ranking and also uncovers potential areas for improvement, enhancing your chances of achieving greater online visibility. An SEO audit usually covers areas like:

  • Indexing and crawlability 
  • User experience
  • Site architecture
  • Competitor benchmarking
  • Keyword research
  • On-page SEO
  • Backlink profile

It is basically an overall “health check” for a website. A successful SEO website audit relies on concrete data pertaining to the technical condition, traffic, and backlink portfolio of your website, as well as those of your competitors.

How to Do An SEO Audit

1. Check for Indexing Issues

Pages that haven’t been indexed are absent from Google’s database, resulting in an inability to rank them. To verify the indexing status of your pages, examine potential issues directly within Google Search Console. Navigate to the “Index” section in the left menu and access the “Pages” report. Here, a graphical representation categorizes all pages according to their indexing status.

Google search console

Beneath, you will find a compilation of explanations for pages that have not undergone indexing. Examine each listed reason methodically and inspect the pages associated with these specific reasons.

SEO audit

Keep in mind that not all pages need to undergo indexing—only those you intend to rank in search results. It is entirely normal to have certain URLs that remain unindexed. Here are examples of URLs that are not required to be indexed:

Pages with redirects

  • Admin pages
  • Alternate pages with canonical tags
  • Feed pages

If you come across a page that should be indexed but isn’t, rectify the issue by adhering to Google’s guidelines. Once resolved, click the “Validate Fix” button.

SEO Audit tool

Alternatively, you can just grab a specific URL and enter it into the top search bar in the Google Search Console dashboard.

Page indexing

You’ll see the URL’s status. You can also request that Google index the URL by clicking the “Request Indexing” link.

URL inspection

2. Check for Duplicate Versions of Your Site

It is crucial to ensure that Google is indexing only a single version of your website. Your site may exist on various URL versions, depending on factors such as the presence of “WWW” in the domain and the use of HTTPS. From a search engine perspective, these variations are distinct versions of the site:


Running your website on multiple URL versions can lead to complications in crawling, indexing, and ranking, primarily because Google considers them as duplicates. Furthermore, maintaining several site versions can dilute PageRank, negatively impacting your SEO rankings. You can easily check this by entering all versions of your site into a web browser. You should be automatically redirected to the preferred version. For instance, if your preferred URL version is, entering any other version into your browser should redirect you to it.

If you can access your site through various versions, use a 301 redirect for the other versions. 

3. Run a Site Crawl

A good SEO audit is crawl-based. 

That means you should be able to simulate the way Google crawls your pages. And see all issues related to those pages the way Google might see them. To do that, you’ll need a website SEO auditing tool. First, you’ll create a project and set up the audit.

SEO Auditing Tool

4. Check for Manual Actions

If your site violates Google’s spam policies, it may receive a manual action from Google. A manual action means that your site’s rankings will drop until Google revokes the action. This can either be at the page level or sitewide. Some reasons why you may have received a manual action include:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Unnatural links (both to and from your site)
  • Various kinds of spam
  • Thin content with little or no added value

You can check if you’ve received a manual action in Google Search Console. Down the left-hand side menu, you will see a “Security and Manual Actions” section, and within this, a “Manual actions” link. Click it, and you’ll land on a page where you’ll see the status. Hopefully, you see a green tick that shows that no issues are detected.

SEO Audit

If there’s a manual action against your website, you need to fix the issues and make a reconsideration request. Check Google’s Manual Actions guide for more details.

5. Check for Mobile-Friendliness Issues

We reside in a mobile-centric era, and if your website lacks mobile-friendliness, chances are you’re not prioritizing user experience. Mobile-friendliness stands out as a primary Page Experience signal for Google. In fact, it has been a ranking factor since 2015, directly impacting your potential to rank in search results. To identify any issues related to mobile usability, you can refer to the Mobile Usability report in Google Search Console. Just click “Mobile Usability” under the “Experience” section in the left menu.

6. Analyze Your Site’s Speed

Now, more than ever, the speed at which your site loads is of utmost importance. Page speed has held its position as a ranking factor for an extended period, contributing to higher Google rankings.

Additionally, it serves as a critical element in user experience. Analyzing user behaviors reveals that as a page’s loading time increases, the likelihood of a user leaving the website also rises.

7. Analyze Your Core Web Vitals

In 2020, Google introduced three new metrics related to page speed and user experience:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures how long it takes to load the largest piece of the page
  • First Input Delay (FID): measures the delay between the user’s first interaction with a page and the browser’s response to it
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures how much the layout of the page shifts for the user, as well as visual stability

Together, they’re called Core Web Vitals.

core web vitals

Since Core Web Vitals are a ranking factor, checking these metrics for your key pages should definitely be part of your SEO site audit. Google Search Console comes to the rescue here again. Head to the “Core Web Vitals” report under the “Experience” section in the left menu. You’ll see both “Desktop” and “Mobile” reports listing all the issues and the affected pages.

These reports offer comprehensive insights into any Core Web Vitals issues your site might encounter. The tool differentiates between pages with severe problems (termed as “poor URLs”) and those that require minor enhancements. Review the identified issues and adhere to the provided instructions for resolution. For a dedicated Core Web Vitals report, simply access the “Core Web Vitals” widget on the dashboard in Site Audit.

8. Analyze Your Internal Links

Internal links play a pivotal role in SEO for three key reasons:

  1. They facilitate search engine crawling of your website.
  2. They assist users in navigating your website.
  3. They enable you to channel link equity, also known as “authority” or “link juice,” towards the most critical pages.

9. Check Your Organic Traffic

Organic traffic means visitors that land on your website after clicking on unpaid (“organic”) search results. This is one of the most important indicators of the success of your website when it comes to SEO. To see your organic traffic, go to Google Search Console and open the “Search results” report under the “Performance” section in the menu. 

performance search results in google search console

There are four main metrics in the report.

The metric that will be most interesting in this context is “Total clicks”—how many times a user clicked through to your site during the specified time frame.

google search console performance clicks

10. Benchmark Against Your Competitors

A good SEO audit should also help you see where you stand when compared to your competitors. A great way to start is to use Domain Overview. The tool will give you a solid comparison of the key metrics of the selected domains. These will give you a good overview of where you’re lagging behind or excelling.

To get the best overview, 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 (This provides a better picture for comparison than the overall number of backlinks.)

11. Find Keywords You’re Missing Out On

Conducting an SEO audit presents an excellent chance to examine the keywords targeted by your competitors and determine if there are any opportunities you might be overlooking.

12. Audit and Improve Your Top Pages

While a general site crawl is effective in identifying technical issues throughout your website, it’s equally beneficial to closely examine specific pages, especially those of utmost importance. Analyzing their performance and seeking ways for improvement constitutes an on-page SEO audit.

To streamline this process, the On Page SEO Checklist proves invaluable. Set up the project, input your pages, and specify their target keywords. The tool offers the flexibility to either automatically identify pages and keywords or manually input them.

13. Monitor Your Rankings

Utilizing a rank tracking tool stands out as one of the most effective methods to consistently monitor your website’s performance in organic search results.

These tools provide the following capabilities:

  1. Monitor your website’s rankings for specific keywords of interest.
  2. Assess how the rankings on the search engine results page (SERP) fluctuate across different geographical locations.
  3. Compare your rankings with those of your competitors.
  4. Receive alerts for any significant changes in your website’s rankings.

Where do you even start? To keep you from going insane, I’ve organized a complete website audit into one epic checklist with six clear-cut phases