Basic SEO Audit For Your Site

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A basic SEO audit of your site is an essential part of your site success.

A full website SEO audit involves a lot of things that require a few technical know-how but the basics which this article will address require little to no technical knowledge.

This article is simply about the basics of an SEO audit. These are the things you must get right if you don’t want to be penalised by Google and other search engines. You can call the issues addressed in this article the foundations of a website SEO.

When it comes to your website SEO audit, the number one thing you must get right is the site domain name. 

Four prefix issues will affect your site domain name, these are:

WWW

NON-WWW

HTTP

HTTPS

For example, if your site domain name is smartride.com but it also responds to www.smartride.comhttp://www.smartride.com, http://smartride.comhttps://www.smartride.com and https://smartride.com. 

When your site responds to these domain name prefix variations without redirecting the user to a specified destination, then you have a problem.

WWW and NON-WWW 

First, you have to decide if your domain name should be a www or non-www domain. This is really important because Google will treat the www and non-www versions of your domain name as two different entities. 

What this means is that when you publish a content on your site, you will be penalised for having a duplicate content because the same content will be available on the www and non-www versions of your site.

HTTP and HTTPS 

HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. The S at the end of HTTPS stands for Secure. When a website browser shows https it means the site is secured. This means communication between the user browser and the website is encrypted.

For your site to have https instead of the normal http before it domain name, you must install an SSL certificate on your site. 

Normally, after you’ve installed an SSL certificate on your website, depending on your hosting company infrastructure, https should automatically appear before your site domain name, but sometimes this is not the case as some have discovered. If your site is temperamental or erratic when it comes to displaying “secured site status“, I have the fix for your below.

 

Fix 1: Redirect to https and non-www

This fix is for those who want their site domain to be ‘naked’, i.e. without the www prefix.

First, ensure that your site is secured by installing an SSL certificate. After this, redirect all traffic to the secured non-www version of your site by inserting the code below in your site root .htaccess file:

# BEGIN of HTTPS/non-WWW

 RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off [OR]

 RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.mysite\.com [NC]

 RewriteRule (.*) https://mysite.com/$1 [L,R=301]

# END of HTTPS/Non-WWW

Replace the two instances of mysite.com with your site domain name.

 

 

Fix 2: Redirect to https and www

Just like in ‘Fix 1‘, ensure that an SSL certificate is installed on the site. Contact your web hosting company to assist you with this.

After installing an SSL certificate on your site, redirect all traffic to the secured www version of your site by inserting the following code inside your site root .htaccess file:

# BEGIN of HTTPS/WWW

 RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off [OR]

 RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\. [NC]

 RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(.*)$ [NC]

 RewriteRule (.*) https://www.%1/$1 [R=301,L]

# END of HTTPS/WWW

After inserting the above code in your site root .htaccess file, check if it’s working properly by typing http://www.mysite.com/, this should redirect you to https://www.mysite.com/. 

Again, replace mysite.com with your site domain name.

If you’re getting https://www.www.mysite.com/, then you will need to change the RewriteRule code from RewriteRule (.*) https://www.%1/$1 [R=301,L] to RewriteRule (.*) https://www.mysite.com/$1 [R=301,L].

Doing this should fix the extra www issue.

After addressing the issues surrounding your site domain name, the next thing is basic diagnosis of your site.

Site Diagnosis

There are several SEO tools for diagnosing websites for issues but as I said at the beginning of this article, we are covering the basics of SEO audit for any website, so, we won’t be needing any of the expensive SEO audit software.

Instead of expensive SEO software, we’ll be using the Google search engine to carry out the basic diagnosis.

To check for the pages on your site with the www prefix, inside Google search bar type “site:mysite.com inurl:www

This should display all links on your site with the www prefix. If you wanted your site to display pages without the www prefix, the links displayed after you entered “site:mysite.com inurl:www” in the search bar are the ones you need to fix in your site backend. 

Using the following codes for further diagnosis of your site:

site:mysite.com -inurl:www: This command will display links on the domain without the www prefix.

site:mysite.com -inurl:https: This will display unsecured links on your site.

site:mysite.com inurl:https: This will display secured links on your site.

site:mysite.com inurl:tag: This will display all the tags on your site.

site:mysite.com inurl:author: This will display all the authors on your site.

site:mysite.com inurl:page: This will display all the pages on your site.

site:mysite.com inurl:post: This will display all the post on your site.

Remember that mysite.com is an example. Change it to your site domain name.

Doing this “site:mysite.com inurl:” checks will reveal broken links and empty pages and posts.

Fix Broken Links

Every broken or dead link on your site is harming your site SEO ranking. So, delete the links you don’t want anymore and where necessary execute a 301 redirect.

Conclusion

The steps discussed in this article are simply about basic SEO audit for your site. It’s not comprehensive or detailed but carrying out the steps in this article will only be beneficial to your website.

If you require a detailed audit of your site, you can request a free one by filling the form here. Remember, an audit is about finding faults. If you require professional assistance in addressing the issues discovered on your site after we or you audited your site, Exalt Media have SEO experts with more than a decade experience in technical SEO. Get in touch with us for expert SEO service at affordable price. You’ll be glad you did.

Thanks for reading.