Technical SEO audits are incomplete in what they report about how easy it is for your website to be found via organic search

What Everyone Should Know About Performing SEO Audits of Websites

The Technical Aspects of SEO are Required, But…..

They’re not enough to ensure a high ranking.

Since there are a number of free tools that provide you a wealth of details about the technical aspects of SEO for any site you specify (your own or someone else’s) rather than repeat here what’s been said over and over, I provide a list of tools at the end of the post with a brief about each one.

My list below excludes tools advertised as being free but which actually provide a free trial period after which you pay.

This post focuses on those aspects of ranking a website that most (perhaps all) SEO audit tools do not report on. Some of which are very difficult (currently) to easily report on as tools to do so have not yet been developed.

Important SEO Aspects Most Tools Miss

Ever wonder why no matter what you search for a Wikipedia page shows up on page 1?

Every wonder why no matter what you search for news organization websites tend to rank higher than business websites?

Why is this?

It’s because some of the main factors involved in ranking your website are done by those websites simply due to the nature of how those websites operate.

What Are These Important Website Ranking Factors

Websites with more pages tend to rank higher

This is a guideline not a hard and fast rule, but one of the reasons Wikipedia and news websites tend to rank high is because they are very large repository of data.

But don’t fall into the trap of publishing quantity over quality. That is a false choice. To look for the means of publishing both quantity and quality, look to how news organizations put out interesting stories at regular intervals.

Websites that are well formatted for SEO and for people tend to rank higher

SEO formatting is where the technical aspects of SEO come in. Things like the page title matter greatly. Ensuring the SEO meta data is set well (secondary title, meta description) and that images are well described are important.

Of equal important are the links on your pages. Every blog post needs a good external link which acts like a citation and every blog post needs an internal link to another page on the same website.

You also want to over time create a tiered or hierarchical internal link structure, where lots of short posts link “up” to a smaller number of longer more in depth posts, which in turn link “up” to your website home page or to important landing pages.

This internal link structure gives greater authority to the pages being linked to the most.

Formatting for people is a matter of ensuring your blog posts are created to be easy to scan, as that is how most of us read online. You do this through the use of headings, bold text, and white space.

Sites That Are Updated More Often Rank Higher

Sites that are updated daily attract far more visitors and leads than sites that are updated every week. How often and how consistently you update your website has a very strong effect on how well your site ranks.

Older Sites Tend to Rank Higher

And there is nothing you can do about this but continue to publish a high volume of high quality content at regular intervals until one day your site becomes an “old” site on the Internet. You’ve simply got to put in the time.

Getting Closer to Wikipedia

The closer your website becomes to wikipedia within your industry niche (or to a news organization website) the higher your website will rank.

So when you’re thinking strategy and tactics for ranking your website, think about content others will reference (that others find useful) and think about stories and publishing deadlines.

A List of Free SEO Audit Tools

SEOptimer.com runs an audit of one page at a time. Did a very incomplete audit.

Zadroweb.com also runs an audit of one page at a time. Even less complete than the previous one.

Found.co.uk this tool did check a few off page factors such as having a robots.txt and sitemap.xml file.

InternetMarketingNinjas.com also runs on one page at a time, but for me produced an empty report. I’m not sure what went wrong. The the way to tool is used seems very simple.

SEOToolSet.com also provides a tool that analyzes one page at a time.

If you’ve found a free SEO audit tool you really like, please let me know what it is in the comments below.

Quality SEO Audit Tools Cost

If you want quality SEO reports, you’ve got to be able and willing to pay for a quality tool.

Once such tool is SEOmator, which allows you to run audits for $5 each for sites with less than 100 URLs. For larger sites, or frequent audits, or the ability to audit multiple sites, they have monthly subscription plans available.

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