Checklist and Guide for SEO Audit 2024

Dibbyyan Nath
23 Min Read

SEO is a valuable tool but if you don’t know the ins and outs of the process completely, it can seem a very taunting task for your business. We have written this guide with the express goal of helping readers understand the steps that can set up the SEO for any website to boost their chances of success in search results. Irrespective of the fact that you are a small business or an enterprise, a novice to the SEO field or a seasoned expert, this guide will help for all of you.

Defining an SEO Audit

The first question that we will tackle is that of – what is an SEO audit? The basic function of an SEO audit is to evaluate the on-page, off-page and technical optimisation of a website to look for opportunities of improving the site visibility in search engines. Conducting an SEO audit is the first step one should take as part of a broader strategy to optimise the website for greater search visibility.

Components of an SEO Audit
Components of an SEO Audit

Why is conducting an SEO audit important?

Google Search Essentials (formerly known as Webmaster Guidelines) are parameters which determine how websites are going to be searched for and displayed in search results. These guidelines also go through regular updates and changes from time to time. Therefore, conducting periodic SEO audits of your website enables you to ensure that your website is always up to date and is optimised for best possible search performance.

Components of SEO Audits

There can be various components within the SEO audit for the company, but as described in Figure 1 they broadly fall under three categories:

  • Technical SEO
  • On Page SEO
  • Off Page SEO

Now let us understand each of these three components in greater detail and review the checklists for each of them.

Technical SEO Audit

These refer to reviewing and checking for the technical elements of the website, which enables search engines like Google to index and crawl a website, and find errors or missed opportunities for improvement where ever possible. Some of the common elements of a technical SEO may include:

  • Broken links
  • Crawlability
  • Indexing
  • Internal links optimization
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Redirect links optimization
  • URL structures optimization
  • Website speed optimization

Now let us review the Technical SEO Audit Checklist 2024

1. Using an SSL

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer which is a security protocol that established a secure link between the server and the browser. Back in 2014, Google had announced that the HTTPS protocol would be used a ranking signal and it remains the same even today. If a website has been secured by an SSL certificate, then the HTTPS (or HypertextHyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) can be located at the start of the URL for the page.

Secure SSL Certificate
Secure SSL Certificate

When a URL is secured through the SSL certificate, it means that the connection between the website server and the user’s browser is secured which allows sensitive information to be shared over the connection like login details, credit card numbers, without the risk of unauthorised personnel gaining access to the information.

2. Ensure website resolves to correct URL

If you use SSL to secure your website then there will always be four versions for your website URL as mentioned below:

Inteliqo Services

Inteliqo Services

Inteliqo Services

While they are four versions of the same website in function, they are perceived very differently by the search engines. Therefore, it is very important that they all point (or 301) to the same URL that you want to be indexed by the search engine.

Correctly setup URL structure for a website

To make sure that the URL of your website is set up correctly, there are several tools that you can use, like serpworx where you can simply enter your URL and click “check redirects.”

Check redirect error
Check URL redirect error

As you can see on the picture above, doing so you will be able to see all the versions of your URL with a 301 and a returning 200 code and among them the URL returning only a 200 status code is actually where your website is addressed.

3. Make sure that your website is mobile friendly

Google has already announced that they utilise a mobile first indexing methodology for the whole web which means that it is the mobile version of the website that is used for crawling, indexing and ranking purposes for searches originating both from mobile and desktop browsers which makes ensuring that websites are mobile friendly very important.

Peroforming mobile friendly test
Performing mobile-friendly test

One of the most effective tools to test this is the Lighthouse API which was made available by Google following the discontinuation of their Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool last year. We used the Webpage Performance Test from Catchpoint, which uses the Lighthouse API for testing the mobile friendliness of the website. While the Lighthouse report generates a whole host of performance metrics, for now we will focus on only the aspects of mobile friendliness. We only have to enter the URL of the website, select the location or regions that you are testing for from the drop-down menu and click the ‘Start Test’ button.

Technical On-Page SEO Test
Technical On-Page SEO Test

The test highlights the results from a variety of audits that they independently perform and highlight the key issues that need to be addressed as well as the tests that the website has passed.

4. Optimising for speed

Google has also specifically mentioned that speed is also considered a ranking factor for mobile search results as slow to load pages were bad for the overall user experience.

PageSpeed Insights is a very effective tool that we can use to analyse the speed of the website (Lighthouse Report also includes the same information but it can be formatted differently). All you have to do is enter the URL of the website and click

Page Speed Test result on mobile
Page Speed Test result on mobile

This tool over an in depth look at the factors affecting the performance of the website on mobile ad desktop while also offering suggestions on how they can be improved.

Ways to Optimize Mobile Page Speed
Ways to Optimize Mobile Page Speed

5. Checking foe duplicate and thin content

When we use content management systems (CMS) on websites, they can automatically generate new pages which could be very thin on content or might even contain duplicate content already available on other pages on the website. And by thin content we mean pages that offer little information and do not adequately answer the user’s query. Google considers such ages to be have little to no value or sees it is a manipulation tactic which is why doing so can harm your SEO. Some common examples of pages that can house thin or duplicate content are:

  • Archive
  • Category
  • Search result
  • Tag
Duplicate content check on screaming frog
Duplicate content check on screaming frog

To find such pages with duplicate or thin content we can use tools like Screaming Frog, on which if you enter your site’s URL to crawl the site, then you can go to its ‘Content’ tab to find ‘Exact Duplicates’ and with some tinkering you can even find ‘Near Duplicates.’ This is a desktop only application and cannot be used online directly.

Near Duplicate content check with the help of Screamingfrog tool
Near Duplicate content check with the help of Screamingfrog tool

You may also view “Low Content Pages” on the same drop down menu, just below the ‘Near Duplicates’ option, which shows pages on the website with less than 200 words.

6. XML Sitemap

The XML (extensible markup language) sitemap is a file that contains information about websites and search engines crawl this data to understand the relations between the pages of the website, its images and other files on the given website.

SItemap Generated by Yoast SEO plugin
SItemap Generated by Yoast SEO plugin

You will not need any special tool to find the XML site map for your website all you will have to do is add the root domain of your website to the address bar of your browser and add ‘/sitemap.xml’ or ‘/site-map.xml’ to the end of it. To continue with the example that we have been using, it would be:

You will not need any special tool to find the XML site map for your website all you will have to do is add the root domain of your website to the address bar of your browser and add ‘/sitemap.xml’ or ‘/site-map.xml’ to the end of it. To continue with the example that we have been using, it would be:

7. Validate Schema Markup

We need to have a good schema markup to help search engines understand the content present in a website and also for it to create rich snippets on SERPs where applicable like reviews, FAQs, etc.

schema markup serp result on recipe
schema markup SERP results on the recipe

There should not be any issues with your website’s schema markup, because in that case there are high chances that your website would not even qualify for these special features of the SERPs.

You may check your schema markups by using a tool like, entering your URL, and clicking on ‘Run Test’.

We are using the link for the first recipe in the previous image for this demonstration.

Sceema markup test result
Google’s Rich snippet test result

Any likely errors would pop up on the right-hand side of the page under the Detected tab with the labels (specific to this site; will be different for different websites) ‘hentry’, ‘VideoObject’, ‘Recipe’, ‘BreadcrumbList’ and ‘Article’.

Schema org schema markup check
Schema org schema markup test result

If a user clicks on a link on your website which is broken and upon clicking on it return a 404 error, then it can hamper the user experience and as such for Google broken links can result in de-ranking of a website. Checking for and removing broken links can be done easily in a multitude of ways. You can use tools like Ahrefs or Screaming Frog, which are mostly paid tools or you may also use free tools like Broken Link Checker to check your site.

Broken Link Checker tool
Broken Link Checker tool

You can then use the ‘Page where found’ segment to locate the broken links on your website.

On Page SEO Audit

These refers to reviewing the elements of each individual page of the website including its HTML code to identify areas of improvement in page performance. This allows search engines to understand the content and the context of the page in a much better way. Some of the common elements of a on page SEO audit may include:

  • Header
  • Image
  • Internal link
  • Meta tag
  • Page title
  • Site content

Now let us review the On Page SEO Audit Checklist 2024

1. Quality of the Content

One of the most important on page SEO aspects that we need to see is if the content that we are presenting on the page is a worthwhile content that adds value to the reader, builds positive user experience, and is engaging for the users. Poorly written or presented content can be confusing or unengaging for the readers and as such might drive users away from your website which will affect your search rankings on SERPs.

So, always evaluate the content that you put on the website for the value it generates for your prospective reader. The following questions might help you in identifying deficiencies or problems with your content.

  • Do the page’s headings and subheadings correspond appropriately?
  • Does it address an issue?
  • Does it contain no errors of grammar or spelling?
  • Does it contribute value?
  • Does the material incorporate pertinent multimedia elements such as videos, images, or other visuals to bolster the content?
  • Is the content lucid and straightforward to comprehend?
  • Is the page simple to read and well-organized?

Internal links refers to hyperlinks on your webpages that link to other pages on your website. They allow search engines to crawl and index your website much more easily. This also helps your readers navigate thorough the website in a much easier way.

Silo Internal linking structure
Silo Internal linking structure

But it is also important to ensure that the links actually serve a purpose, are presented in a meaningful and understandable manner, are used in moderation and that they actually add value to the reader.

3. Optimising Title Tags

Title tags are HTML elements that help define the title of the page or post and appear in the title bar of a web browser and search engine results pages (SERPs).

Title Bar:

Title structure


Page visual in SERP

Title tags should be optimized to accurately reflect the content on your page and include relevant keywords related to your topic.

4. Meta Description Optimisation

Meta descriptions refer to short summaries of the webpages that generally appear underneath the title tag on SERPs which help the users in getting a better understanding of the page before clicking the link.

Meta Description Capture by Google
Meta Description Capture by Google

While they may not be considered to be affecting rankings on SERPs directly, but a well written meta description can effect the click through rate for the page and thus should not be ignored if you want effective SEO optimisation.

Meta descriptions need to be short, use relevant keywords and be engaging for the readers. Some of the best practices when writing such meta descriptions some of the most important aspects includes:

  • It is recommended to limit your meta description to a maximum of 150-160 characters.
  • Emphasising the principal benefit or distinctive selling point of your website, product, or service.
  • Integrating pertinent keywords while avoiding spammy behaviour.
  • A request to take action.
  • Prevent the duplication of meta descriptions.
  • Non-alphanumeric characters should be avoided.

5. Optimising the Image Alt Attributes

“Alt text” or “alt tags” which are also known as Alt Attributes are HTML attributes associated with images that are embedded in a web page that help the search engines understand what is contained in the image.

Alt attributes are also used to provide accessibility functionality to those with vision impairment while accessing the web.

Off Page SEO Audit

These refer to the review of elements not directly within the purview of your website that might still affect the search performance of your website. Some of the common elements of a off page SEO audit may include:

  • Backlink to the website
  • Branded searches
  • Sharing on social media

The most important among the three is backlinking of the website as backlinks are used by search engines to determine the quality of your website’s content. The basic concept is that the better the quality of backlinks that you have the better the ranking of the page.

Now let us review the Off Page SEO Audit Checklist 2024

It is important to remember that the most important aspect of off page SEO optimisation is managing the backlinks that the website has. You should seek backlinks based on what type of ranking you are seeking, locally or nationally. There are several types of backlinks that you may try to garner for your website:

  • Bio links
  • Editorial links
  • Guest post links
  • Image links
  • Industry-specific directories
  • Local directories
  • Resource page links
  • Social media links

While evaluating the backlinks that you might seek for your website you should keep in mind the following points. By evaluating or auditing your website through these parameters you will be able to prioritise which backlinks to pursue to improve the SEO optimisation of your website.

1. Relevance

You always have to make sure that the backlink is relevant to the content that you place on your website. Using non-relevant backlinks can make Google perceive your website as spammy.

2. Authority

It is always important to know the authority of the website from which the back link is provided as links from sites with high authority has significantly more weight that links from sites with low authority. You can use tools like Moz’s Domain Authority or Ahrefs’ Domain Rating to check the authority of the site.

3. Quality

It is always important that you make use of links that seem natural and integrated into the contained as they are much more valuable. Links that seem like they have been forced on to a site offer very little value. You should also try to avoid buying links or take part in link schemes which are available on the internet in plenty as these could negatively harm your website in the long run.

4. Anchor Text

As discussed in the previous point, it is very important that the links appear natural to the content of the linking website. Therefore, the words used for the hyperlink (anchor text) through which the backlink is provided becomes very important and has to be relevant to the content on your site. Backlinks through generic texts like “Know More…” or “click here” have much lower value as backlinks.

5. Local Directories

This may not be important for everyone, but all websites that represent a business front should get listed in all the relevant local directories like Google My Business, Yelp, etc as these listing also provide additional value to your customers and helps to build the authority of the website.


An SEO audit is not a simple affair to undertake and will need some patience, expertise, time and knowhow to conduct. Therefore, most companies either employ professionals for SEO optimisation specifically or hire SEO companies to manage their SEO and conduct regular SEO audits. This guide and checklist offer a great deal of expertise into the aspects of what actions might be necessary to conduct a full scale SEO audit for the site and what are some of the tools that you can use for conducting a SEO audit.

It is also important to remember that after conducting the steps mentioned in this guide to audit your website, it is not advisable to sit back on the information collected and remedies implemented. SEO audits need to be conducted regularly, at least once a year as specific parameters and ranking factors change pretty frequently and missing out on effective SEO optimisation can affects your SERP visibility. Finally, remember that once you have identified the issues and taken corrective actions, you may not see results for quite some time as these changes take time to bear fruit. But if you do take these steps adequately and regularly you will definitely rise in the search rankings with time.

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Dibbyyan Nath is a well-known entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the Chief Creative Officer of Inteliqo Research and Services. Mr. Nath, over the past two decades, has donned a lot of hats, while writing has remained his first love. Now he aims to express his experiences, as the head of a digital marketing, content creating, and website development company, through his love for writing. To keep up with the young entrepreneur and his thoughts
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