Part of any sensible SEO strategy is a firm understanding of your current “state of affairs”. This includes completing a few audits to clarify what your shortcomings are and where you currently rank.

Why is this important? Well you may uncover some technical roadblocks on your website that could take time and money to resolve. It’s better to find out if there are issues upfront rather than waiting until after executing your plan. 

SEO Website Audit

Thankfully this process has been greatly improved by the use of SEO tools and services. Basically, a tool can crawl your site and look for known technical issues and report back. Most tools will report some sort of grade and give you a prioritized list of issues to fix. 

Some great tools Risdall uses for website audits include:

  • BrightEdge 
  • SEMRush
  • Ahrefs
  • MOZ
  • Serpstat
  • Screaming Frog
  • Sitebulb
  • Varvys
  • Builtwith
  • GTMetrix
  • Google Lighthouse

The more premium tools frequently offer keyword research tools and competitor insights. Another key feature of a quality SEO tool is the ability to monitor your keyword rankings across search platforms. You’ll want to measure and monitor your impact on both technical and content optimizations.

The best tools can integrate into your existing Google Analytics and Search Console accounts. This will allow for more precise reporting and the ability to aggregate different metrics from various sources.

Keyword Rankings and Search Results

Ask yourself these three questions:

  • Do you know what you currently rank for? 
  • Are these rankings in alignment with your audience and business goals? 
  • Do you have pages that are not being indexed that should? 

To determine your current keywords, some of the above mentioned tools can analyze your current visibility. 

Another key observation is the number of pages you are currently ranking for. This is easily accomplished by turning the search engine on your site. Type this into the search bar ““.

This will give an idea of how many of your pages are in Google’s index. Does the number seem high, low or just about right? 

Google Tools Audit

Ensuring that your suite of Google tools are properly configured is the most crucial step in an SEO strategy. You must ensure that analytics is properly configured, the website has been submitted to Google and that you are taking advantage of tag management. 

Remember: Google’s tools are very powerful, but out of the box they are set in a one-size-fits-all configuration. Like any tool, they need to be setup by experts and tailored to your website, audience and traffic. 

Google Analytics Configuration Questions:

  • Are you filtering out your own traffic? 
  • Are you filtering out your vendors traffic?
  • Are you filtering spam/bot traffic?
  • Are you excluding self-referrals?
  • Are you excluding spam referrals?
  • Are your audiences segmented? 
  • Are goal conversions setup? 
  • Is site search enabled?
  • Is your AdWords account linked?
  • Is Google Search Console linked?
  • Are content groups enabled and correct?
  • Is tracking code implemented properly?

Google Search Console Questions:

  • Are https and www/ non-www versions setup?
  • Sitemap submitted?
  • Robots.txt file submitted?
  • Is the website verified?
  • Any crawl errors? 
  • Are resources blocked?
  • Are there security or malware issues?
  • Are there 404 errors?

Google Tag Manager Questions

  • Is GTM installed?
  • What tags are implemented and are they firing correctly?
  • What events are being tracked? 
  • Is data being pushed to the data layer correctly?
  • Is analytics implemented through GTM?

Risdall’s Guide to an Effective SEO Strategy explains the main concepts everyone should understand about SEO and the essential components that should be in every SEO plan. Click here to download your copy.