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SEO Audits & Recommendations

If you’re looking to learn how to develop or expand your SEO audits and recommendations knowledge, you’ve come to the right place! From analyzing your pages status codes and crawl errors, indexation issues, broken links, optimizing your XML sitemap, assessing duplicate content issues, to faceted navigation best practices: In this page you’ll find the best free SEO audits and recommendations resources: guides, tools, and even tips. Take a look below.

Free SEO Audits & Recommendations Guides

242 Point SEO Audit Checklist
Checklist from Andy Drinkwater

The Ultimate SEO Checklist: 41 Best Practices
Checklist from James Brockbank / SEMrush

How to Approach Website SEO Audits
Guide from Geoff Kennedy / Sitebulb

Getting Tech SEO Implemented
Guide from Areej AbuAli

Rethinking Technical SEO Audits
Guide from Andrew Charlton

Free SEO Audits Templates

242 Point SEO Audit Checklist
Google Sheets from Andrew Drinkwater

Annielytics Site Audit Checklist
Google Sheets from Annie Cushing

The Comprehensive Guide to Technical SEO Audits
Google Sheets from Benjamin Estes / Brainslab

SEO Audit Template
Google Docs / Word / PDF from Backlinko

SEO Audit Checklist: Our Ever-Changing List
Google Sheets from Ian Lurie / Portent

How to Run an SEO Focused Content Audit
Google Sheets from Ryan Stewart Webris

The Guide to SEO Content Audits
Google Sheets from Benjamin Estes / Brainslab

The Quick-but-Thorough Local SEO Site Audit
Google Sheets from Whitespark

Tips To Develop your SEO Audits

“Score your recommendations on impact (1-5) and effort (5-1). Average both scores and that’s a neat way to prioritise your audit!”

By Lidia Infante

“Copy/pasting generic advice from SEO tools and handing in a 30+ page audit won’t make developers love you more. Break down issues into smaller tasks and present them in the context of the website you’re auditing. Then prioritise them by least effort/maximum ROI before submitting.”

By Roxana Stingu

“Explain the SEO performance effect of the issues mentioned. This will help them realise the importance. After delivering the audit, meet with your client and ask for business priorities and resources. Select together the important items to start working on, setting deadlines.”

By Silvia Martin

“Don’t assume you understand difficulty/complexity around a recommendation until you have spoken to the developers. Do your best to understand the platform and the limitations and then rethink your audit recommendations based on impact against effort.”

By Chris Green

“Don’t just rely on tools. Crawlers can be great at finding issues but the human touch is important. Plus, Google is becoming user-first. Run through the site as if you were a user and find those sticking points – if you’re having issues, other users are likely to as well.”

By Sophie Brannon

“Always ask what are their preferred style of communication. Some devs team just want a list of the issues and will come up with the solutions. Some others want super detailed information on what should be done to solve errors. Make sure you do that before sending your findings.”

By Nathalia Menéndez

“While sharing the audit and recommendations, it’s good to mention WHY for recommendations. For example: Recommendation: Use ‘alt’ tag with images. WHY: So that search engines can better understand what this image is about, this will help it better understand your content.”

By Praveen Sharma

“The purpose of an SEO audit is not to recommend solutions, it’s to get those solutions implemented. An importing distinction. From is this the right thing to do? To what are the high-output activities that can realistically be implemented. And…how can you sell it to them?”

By Andrew Charlton

“Prioritise according to potential impact and difficulty. Avoid recommendations that are low impact and high difficulty. Don’t be afraid to leave out recommendations that won’t really make much difference”

By Barry Adams

“Your prioritisation based on your audit findings will probably not match the business priorities so before you start talk to them and understand how they get development time booked and how long that can take to get changes.”

By Simon Cox

“Weight up actions and priorities based on their SEO impact, business importance, and ease to resolve to win buy in from stakeholders and plan your roadmap more effectively and in a more meaningful manner”

By Nikki Halliwell

“Make sure your recommendations are aligned with both the business goals and the objectives of the project. It’s right that clients don’t always know what they need, especially when tech/seo elements are involved, but finding the balance is your (difficult) job.”

By Francesco Baldini

“Calculate a forecast overall, group your recommendations in a few key pillars for SEO success (~5), prioritize the pillars based on SEO impact to your forecast this year, define projects linked to these pillars, get buy-in and resources, report on operational progress and results”

By Eduard Blacquière

“Be prepared to explain the why behind your recommendations along with possible impact. Be open to feedback & push back on timelines based on resources such as internal dev teams. Always remember it’s about doing what’s best for the client to meet their business goals.”

By Dayna

“Before diving in to an audit first take a step back and understand what goals of the page/site are. With that in mind look at the site through the eyes of the ideal visitor before firing up your crawling tool. An audit is more than just running through a series of technical tests”

By Simon Kensinton-Fellows

“Set a goal of what you want to get or where you are going. Not to rely on checklists and automated report generators. Perform manual checks of major pages. Take a look at neighboring niches websites for ideas where to improve if the goal implies.”

By Olesia Korobka

SEO Audits & Recommendations FAQs

When should I do an SEO Audit?

It’s advisable to develop an SEO audit to identify the organic search optimization of a Website when starting a new SEO process and then do frequent checks as the process moves forward, not only to validate that the SEO recommendations are effectively implemented but also to identify any additional potential issues that could arise over time. 

Should I assess all the related configurations from SEO checklists?

The scope of your SEO audit will depend on the nature of your SEO work: if you will develop a full SEO process you’ll want to analyze and identify the challenges and opportunities in all the areas, from current rankings, competition, technical, content or link popularity; but if your SEO work focus on optimizing content, or technical configuration or want to grow link popularity, the areas to analyze and recommend for, should change accordingly. 

Should I optimize all the areas or configurations identified to have issues in the SEO audit?

Not all the configurations will have the same effect in your Website organic search rankings, traffic and conversions, and therefore, you should prioritize those that will have higher impact depending on your Website goals, resources, timings and context, to make your efforts cost-efficient. 

In what order should I implement the SEO audit tasks?

The order in which you should implement the SEO tasks will depend again on your own context, goals, resources and timings, to make your SEO efforts cost efficient. Prioritize using impact and effort, using the resources shared in this page. 

How Many Types of SEO Audits are there?

Depending on the type of SEO project you’re involved with, you might want to do a full SEO audit to analyze every aspect and configuration that can influence an SEO process or focus on specific areas and develop a technical SEO audit, content audit, link audit, etc. 

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