Note: The monthly prices for professional All-In-One SEO tools usually start around 99€/ month. However, most tools, offer trial periods, such as Semrush (free 30-day trial) or ahrefs (7‑day trial for $7). During these trials period, the tools can be tested extensively.
As Alternative Neil Patel’s Site Audit is free of charge through UberSuggest. Compared to paid tools, this SEO tool is very limited though. We, therefore, advise you using a professional SEO tool.
In our SEO agency we work with Semrush, among with other tools. We can recommend the tool without any restrictions for beginners and for professionals.
- Accept the instructions made in the robots.txt
- Crawl the website using the Sitemap.xml
To start a site audit with Semrush, navigate to “semrush.com > projects > add new project > start site audit”.
Until the Semrush crawler has examined all your pages, some time will pass. As soon as the crawl is finished, you will receive an overview with possible recommendations for action. These are divided by error (critical), important (to observe), and hints (situation-dependent).
Error messages in Semrush
Any errors found should be observed critically. Most of the time these are serious problems that can have a negative long-term impact on the accessibility of your website.
- Do all pages have a well-formulated meta-title?
- Do all pages have a unique meta description in addition to the meta title?
- Is there a unique H1 tag on every website? It’s only allowed to be used once.
- Does the website load quickly and without problems?
- Do all contents of my website provide “Unique Content”? Should this not be the case: Do I use NoIndex tags or Canonicals so that they are not indexed?
- Are all 404 errors on the website been fixed?
- If internal and external links were set: Are all links valid?
- Are all images on the website displayed correctly and do not contain a 404 error?
- Have you removed redirect chains?
- Does my website have a robots.txt file?
- Does the website have a valid XML sitemap?
- If yes: Is the XML sitemap included in this robots.txt file?
- If you have a website with multiple languages — is the href-lang tag implemented correctly?
- Is the website only accessible with a single https:// ‑Version?
- Are the URLs of the website all crawlable?
- Is a valid SSL certificate activated?
Warnings in Semrush
Warnings should be observed. Mostly these are problems that have a marginal impact on the rankings of your website and do not require urgent action.
- Meta-descriptions have a maximum of 160 characters and are formulated in a meaningful way.
- The meta title is well formulated and has a maximum of 70 characters.
- If the ratio of text to HTML is higher than 10%, this may indicate an overloaded code.
- To help visitors better match the image to the content, a good ALT attribute is required that correctly describes the image.
- Web page URLs are hyphenated instead of underlined.
- If pages have little content, this might be the first sign of low quality and a lack of research.
- URLs have less than 300 words. To keep the URLs of the web page short, stop words should be avoided if possible.
- To reduce the loading time of the website significantly, modern methods such as compression, caching or current image formats such as webP are used.
- Internal links on the website use the do-follow attribute.
These notices provided by SemRush, should be seen as hints instead of concrete recommendations for action. A tool like Semrush can determine whether a web page has the NoIndex tag, but it does not examine whether this tag is also desired on the corresponding URL. For safety’s sake, it is worth checking for possible errors that may have occurred.
- If individual pages can only be reached with more than three clicks, this indicates a poor website structure.
- If individual URLs of the website are only linked once, this also indicates a poor structure.
- URLs of the website were checked for noIndex tags and noFollow tags. And their correctness was ensured by you.
Conclusion: Check for technical issues regularly!
Technical errors are one of the most common reasons for a website’s rankings to collapse. WordPress plugin updates & incompatibilities can quickly lead to display errors or other problems that are not even noticed.
Therefore you should not only check your website for possible errors during a one-time SEO audit. Regular checks can help to fix such problems before they leave any damage on your website.
In the next step of our SEO audit, we analyze our WordPress website for harmful backlinks.