It is a good idea to periodically conduct an SEO audit of your websites. Constant change is the way of the search engine algorithms.   What was once deemed good may now be bad. Things that did not register on the RADAR may now be top ranking criteria. Where does your site stand right now? A fresh audit is a good way to know.

Tools for conducting an SEO audit have changed as well. Casey Markee with SearchEngineNews.com gave a presentation at #StateofSearch 2014. Kelsey Jones with SearchEngineJournal.com sat in on the presentation and shared some of Markee’s insights.

An audit is only as good as the information gathered and the tool used gather that information. Make sure the audit you are conducting is trustworthy and that the results can be counted on. You know the old saying “Garbage in, garbage out.” In this case the penalties of bad data can be significant. Markee, noted, “It is important to remember that Google is looking for relevance: meta tags/data, site appearance, page speed, mobile design, among others.”

Jones shared some of the tools Casey mentioned.

  • Free SEO toolbars: SEO QUake, SEOMoz, SearchStatus
  • Free auditing tools: HubSpot’s marketing grader, Quicksprout, Woorank
  • SERP Snippet Tester from Screaming Frog: Meta Tags/Data: Google uses pixel width for titles and descriptions, not characters. Use this tool for compliance checking.
  • Image Optimization: Never upload images larger than 80KB to your site. SmushIt and Photoshop are good auto-resizing/consolidating tools for images.
  • User testing reviews: Casey recommended Peek.UserTesting.com, which gives you a free 5-minute review of your site from a real user.
  • More Editing Tools: URLprofiler.com, which can import Screaming Frog data, and Siteliner by CopyScape, which scans your site for similar content. None of your content pages should be too similar.

Work closely with your SEO expert when planning and conducting an audit. Even more important, have your SEO on hand to help interpret the results and determining what action, if any, to take.