Are you a marketer, or do you own an SEO agency?
You will agree that there’s always a part of SEO that isn’t ‘techy’ but not basic.
SEO analysis was something I wasn’t too keen on, but I needed to learn because it is the key to every good SEO strategy.
I always include SEO analysis and reports when working with clients and for my brand. If not, how will you measure your growth? How do you keep track of changes in the algorithm?
You can do many things with a proper SEO analysis of your site and blog.
Are you looking for how to make SEO analysis simple? Read on!
What Is SEO Analysis?
SEO analysis is the process of evaluating your website to discover SEO issues and evaluate your SEO strategies’ effectiveness.
With SEO analysis, you can better understand how your website is faring and the specific corrections you need to make to your strategies. So, you are not making a wide guess; you know where your SEO is hurting and can diagnose it accurately.
You can discover issues that range from low-ranking content and spammy backlinks to site security and crawlability issues.
SEO analysis is like playing doctor with your website as the patient.
Some website owners outsource SEO analysis and reporting to SEO agencies. This idea is usually good if the SEO issues with your website are more technical than content-related or something you can fix easily.
There was a time when I had to contact a technical SEO expert to work on my website, and he did a fantastic job. He even worked on areas of SEO that I didn’t know were important.
However, you must understand SEO analysis to the extent that you do not need to contact an expert for all the issues you discover.
Why SEO Analysis Is Important
Knowing what SEO analysis is can give you an insight into its importance. But I am here to provide you with even more reasons why you need an SEO analysis for your website:
a. Measures the effectiveness of SEO strategies
Imagine you paid huge money to learn SEO from an expert; maybe you even signed up for one of our SEO services! How would you know if the actions you’ve taken on your site are effective?
How much difference is your SEO strategy making on your website’s performance?
This is why you need to understand SEO analysis because it allows you to measure the effectiveness of your SEO strategies.
b. Pinpoints holes in your strategy
Aside from knowing how effective your SEO strategies are, SEO analysis also shows you the optimization errors on your website. It shows you the exact problem with your website and content.
It doesn’t just tell you that you have a hole but also where it is.
c. Helps you rank higher
SEO analysis indirectly helps you rank higher organically because most tools will show you the problem and suggest how to improve it.
Showing you what to change allows you to correct essential issues that reduce your ranking potential.
d. Achieves your goals faster
Achieving your SEO goals is faster when you schedule time for site analysis. You don’t have to guess or skim around the main issues; you know precisely what is wrong and the action you must take to rectify it.
e. Increases your competitiveness
Website analysis allows you to spy into your competitor’s data and discover the keywords they are ranking for, where they get their backlinks, and the content gaps between your site and theirs.
This valuable insight allows you to match content strategy with competition and even outdo them.
f. Algorithm update alert
By carrying out analysis on your website, you can notice changes that are caused by Google algorithm updates. This helps you to know what part of your content needs to be updated to fit the algorithm changes.
g. Makes optimization easy
SEO analysis makes optimization easy by giving you actionable insight into your website’s code, content, and structure. It also helps you understand your keywords’ performance in real-time and search rankings.
When to Do an SEO Analysis
Is there a specific time to do an SEO analysis?
There is no exact time to analyze your website; you can schedule site analysis based on how often you change your strategy.
You can also do an SEO analysis when you notice these things:
If you notice a consistent decline in your site’s traffic and conversion, it might be due to the SEO issues with your content and site. It could be due to bad content, low page speed, or crawlability problems.
Content not being indexed
If you want to know which of your pages Google has indexed, you can search with this “site:domain.com.”
It shows you all the pages on your website Google has indexed. If the number of search results shown does not tally with the amount of content you have, you have indexing issues, and it is time for SEO analysis.
If the number of search results is smaller than expected, your pages are not being indexed. If it is more, it probably means you have several indexed duplicate pages.
High bounce rates
A high bounce rate is usually a result of low page speed and bad content structure. A detailed analysis will show you the pages with high bounce rates and what you can do to reduce these rates.
So, if you notice your site visits have a high bounce rate, you must analyze your site.
Types of SEO Analysis
To perform a site analysis, you have to understand that there are different types of SEO analysis.
Here are the different types of SEO analysis and issues you will often encounter under them:
1. Technical SEO analysis
This is an analysis of the technical health of your website.
What is technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the part of SEO that directly or indirectly affects the ability of web crawlers to crawl and index your website and improve organic rankings.
It also involves certain aspects of your website that can affect user experience.
Neil Patel defines technical SEO as the process of ensuring your website is seen, crawled, and ranked by search engines.
Technical SEO is also essential for your content to get to your audience. You don’t want all the investments in your content to go to waste.
Technical SEO analysis checklist
To do a technical SEO analysis of your website, these are the relevant things you need to check:
i. Crawlability and Indexing
This is the most crucial aspect of your analysis. If your website’s content isn’t crawlable, then whatever you do goes down the drain.
If your content is not being crawled, it simply means Google can’t rank them.
These are some of your site’s data that are relevant to the crawlability and indexing of your pages:
- 5xx error code:
5xx error codes are server-based error codes that prevent a user from accessing specific pages on your site.
If web crawlers come across pages with 5xx errors, they can remove them from the search index, meaning that your page will rank less, and you’ll lose traffic.
Here are some different types of 5xx errors:
- 501 – Not Implemented
- 500 – Internal Server Error
- 502 – Bad Gateway
- 503 – Service Unavailable
- 505 – HTTP Version Not Supported
- 511 – Network Authentication Required
To rectify 5xx errors, you should check the following:
- Server permission
- Script timeouts
- Server timeouts
- .htaccess error
- Script-specific errors
- Server-specific errors
- Robots.txt file:
Robots.txt files are code files that tell web crawlers the URL of pages you want to crawl.
It does not mean that robots.txt files can keep a page out of Google. According to Google developers, if other pages use descriptive texts to point to a page with a robots.txt file, Google can still index that URL without visiting the page.
Instead, you use these files to manage the crawler traffic to your website to prevent the crawling of unimportant pages.
When performing SEO analysis, you will sometimes see issues affecting your robots.txt files, including missing robots.txt files, format errors, blocked internal resource issues, etc.
- XML sitemaps:
XML sitemaps list the important pages on your website and show them to Google crawlers. It is like a map for your web pages, allowing Google to find them quicker.
Sitemaps make it easier for web crawlers to understand your website’s structure and ensure all your important pages are crawled.
Add them to your Google Search Console account to ensure Google finds your sitemaps.
Whenever you need to check your sitemaps, you can go to the ‘sitemap’ section on the page and check if Google has indexed all the pages in your sitemap.
Here are some XML sitemap errors you might see:
- URLs not accessible
- URLs not followed
- URL not allowed
- Compression error
- Empty sitemap
- Sitemap size error
- Invalid attribute value
- Invalid date
- Invalid URL
- Invalid Tag value
- Missing XML attribute
- Incorrect sitemap index format
- Robots.txt blocked URLs in the sitemap
They also give suggestions and additional information to help you understand each report, like this example from SEMrush SEO Analyzer:
ii. Site Security
The primary issue with a website’s security is usually the use of encrypted HTTPS protocol. However, there are other security issues aside from your SSL certificate.
Use AIOSEO’s SEO Analyzer to check your site’s performance right now.
You will see the SEO issues on your site, including your site’s security status.
SEMrush’s SEO Analyzer also does a good SEO analysis for websites, and you can use it to check your website’s security and HTTPS status.
Here are ways you can make your site’s security better:
- Get an SSL certificate for your website.
- Redirect all HTTP pages to HTTPS.
- Make sure your security protocols are up to date.
- All your subdomains should support SNI.
- All your pages are secured.
- All your plugins are updated.
- Prevent SQL injections.
- Back up your data.
- Protect against DDoS attacks.
- Download only secure plugins.
iii. Site Speed
If your website isn’t loading fast, chances are you are losing many visitors. Site speed is a crucial ranking factor because it directly affects user experience on your site.
Using your SEO analysis tool, you can check how fast the average page on your site loads.
The easiest way, however, is to use Google PageSpeed Insights. It will show you the most crucial issues relevant to your SEO strategy and what you are doing right!
To increase your site speed, you might need to:
- Optimize your images.
- Reduce page requests.
- Use a content delivery network.
- Optimize for mobile devices.
- Reduce unused CSS files.
This is an essential part of your on-page SEO analysis because mobile optimization is a key ranking factor on Google.
Most users surf the internet from their cell phones, making it crucial.
You can easily check if a page is usable on mobile devices using Google’s mobile-friendly test. However, to check and monitor the mobile optimization status for your entire site, you need to use the Google Search Console or your SEO analysis tool of choice.
How to optimize your site for mobile devices:
- Use responsive designs.
- Improve your page speed.
- Use mobile-friendly themes.
- Avoid intrusive interstitials.
- Do mobile testing for your website.
- Enable lazy loading.
- Enable browser caching.
- Use AMP markups.
- Compress images.
- Decrease HTTP requests.
v. Core Web Vitals
This technical SEO factor also affects the performance of your website to users, which means that these factors also directly affect user experience on your site.
It is a new ranking factor and a group of metrics that prioritizes user experience.
Using Google’s PageSpeed Insights shows your performance scores for these factors. You can also get your Core Web Vitals using the Google Search Console.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Largest Contentful Paint is the loading performance of your website, which measures how fast your web page’s main content loads. Ideally, a good LCP should be within 2.5 seconds of loading.
In these 2.5 seconds, LCP should span 75% of all web pages on your site.
First Input Delay (FID)
First Input Delay is the Core Web Vital that measures interactivity, i.e., how fast your site responds to a user’s interaction.
It captures the load responsiveness of each user on your site and is to be within 100 milliseconds of clicking.
It means the time it takes for a user to click on an icon on your page and the browser’s response to loading the destination page is crucial to SEO.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Cumulative Layout Shift measures the visual stability of your web pages. When elements shift during viewpoint, it is referred to as layout shifts.
CLS measures how much of the visual elements shifted on your page and the distance they were shifted.
All layout shifts are expected to occur within 500 milliseconds of a user’s input.
2. On-page SEO analysis
This is an analysis of your content; it evaluates the performance of your content both to search engines and users.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to the processes involved in optimizing your web pages. Unlike technical SEO, which deals with the website in general, on-page SEO has to do with the content of a web page.
According to Search Engine Journal, on-page SEO includes headlines, HTML tags, links, keywords, and images.
On-page SEO analysis checklist
You need to check some relevant data to conduct an on-page SEO analysis of your website. You can get an in-depth insight into your content’s health using a good SEO analyzer.
However, if your SEO analyzer allows you to manually check specific SEO attributes of your site, look out for the following:
Cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on your website have the same or similar keywords. This means that two or more pages are competing for traffic within the same site.
Google will get confused about which pages to rank for a search query, and rather than selecting just one of them, it shares ranking across all the pages with similar keywords.
When you discover cannibalization from pages on your site, you can redirect weaker pages to a main one or combine all the pages and create a single source page for that topic.
You can also search through Google using this search format: site:yourdomain.com “topic”
This will show you all the indexed pages related to that topic. You can quickly check which blog posts serve the same intent from these pages.
ii. Keyword Gap Analysis
Using an SEO tool like Ubersuggest, you can analyze keywords you don’t have on your site but are present on your competitor’s site.
It is usually not mentioned as an integral part of SEO analysis, but it is crucial to your SEO content writing strategy.
With keyword gap analysis, you can know the type of content users search for and bridge the gap between your site and the competition.
It shows you the keywords driving traffic to your competitor’s website.
iii. Meta Description
Meta Description is a summarized version of your blog post on the search engine result page for a searcher’s query. They are essential for organic traffic because they can be the deciding factor for a user to click your post leading to high CTR.
It is, therefore, important to optimize your meta description for search engines and users.
You can use SEO analyzers to determine if your meta description is optimized for engines and users.
Crawling my website on AIOSEO Analyzer shows me all the critical SEO issues I have on my website, including a lengthy meta description, alt attribute issues, and even header tag issues.
Formatting relates to how your content is arranged to make it readable for users.
It includes using header tags and images to make content easily skimmable.
- Header tags:
You need to have appropriate header tags for your content.
For example, you cannot use an H1 tag twice on your content. H1 tags are usually reserved for headlines and appear only once on a page.
- Image audit:
You should optimize all the images used on your page; you shouldn’t have low-quality or high-sized images that will slow down your page speed.
Most SEO analyzers will show you the readability of your pages.
However, if you are using a hosting provider like WordPress, you can see the readability of each post from the backend of your website before they are uploaded to the internet.
Links are essential to SEO; they show search engines that your content is valuable enough to be referenced by others in your niche.
- External links:
External links are links to other websites from your site. It shows you respect other experts’ opinions and are all about value for your readers, making search engines tag your content as reliable.
- Internal links:
Internal links are links to other pages on your website that help search engines better understand your site structure and contents.
My website’s SEO analysis on AISEO Analyzer shows I have an uneven ratio between my internal and external links.
While this might not directly affect ratings, there should be a good balance between your internal and external links.
Some of the common link issues on your website can include the following:
- Spammy links
- Non-descriptive anchor texts
- Broken links
- Malformed links
- Nofollow attributes for internal links
- Links with no anchor texts
- Permanent redirects
- Low internal links
- Redirect chains
- Low external links
- Too long URLs
- Too many on-page links
3. Off-page SEO analysis
This analyzes other factors outside your website that can affect your SEO health.
What is off-page SEO?
Off-page SEO is the actions taken outside of your site that may directly or indirectly affect your rankings on search result pages.
Off-page SEO is important for Google to determine your brand trustworthiness beyond your blog posts. It considers factors such as brand mentions and backlinks from websites in your niche.
Off-page SEO analysis checklist
Here are the most important off-page SEO factors to consider when doing an SEO analysis on your site:
Backlinks are one of Google’s top ranking factors. Based on the new way Google’s algorithm is tailored, websites with high domain authority are prioritized for search results, mainly when the searcher uses voice search.
High domain authority shows your level of experience, expertise, authority, and trust (E-E-A-T) in your niche, aligning with Google’s guidelines for determining content quality.
NOTE: The fact that you have a low domain authority does not mean you cannot rank for organic results. SARMLife’s current domain authority is 11, yet we have had posts ranking above relevant sites in the SEO industry.
Domain authority contributes to top ranks, especially when it’s YMYL content, but Google ranks web pages, not websites.
These are different ways you can get quality backlinks to your website:
- Create a linkable resource tool.
- Guest blog for niche websites.
- Create original resource images.
- Direct outreach.
- Accept crowdsourced post requests.
- Create shoulder niche content.
- Write listicles.
- Broken link building.
- Create case study posts.
- Accept podcast interviews.
- Be interviewed using HARO.
- Create guide posts.
- Do an industry survey with statistics.
Here are some major backlink issues you can see on your website:
- No backlinks
- Spammy links
- Links from spammy sites
- Press release links
- Random nofollow links
ii. Local SEO
This is an essential off-page SEO for businesses. You need to optimize your website for local searches.
Using the Moz Local tool, you can get valuable insight into how your business is faring in local directories and social media platforms, including Google searches, Google Maps, Facebook, Bing, Foursquare, etc.
4. Traffic analysis
Analyze the visitors coming to your site and find ways to improve your SEO strategies.
What is traffic analysis?
Traffic analysis is an analysis of the visitors coming to your website. It shows you details on organic and paid results, the source of traffic, and user interactions on your website.
The best tools to use for traffic analysis are Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These tools show you in-depth information as efficiently as possible and give you information on each metric’s significance.
Traffic analysis metrics
You get to see many metrics on your analytics tool that are impossible to mention.
Here are some of these metrics:
- Total clicks
- New users
- Traffic source
- Total impression
- Average CTR
- Average position
How to Perform SEO Analysis on Your Website
Now that you know the essential things to look out for in an analysis, what is the best process for conducting an SEO analysis on your website?
Do you go to the SEO analyzer and type in your domain? How do you make an effective SEO analysis? The end goal of an analysis is not just to know what is wrong with your SEO strategy but also to fix it.
To perform SEO analysis on your website, follow this process:
a. Set your goals.
Before analyzing your site for SEO issues, you must have your goals down. What do you want to achieve? What are the major SEO challenges you need to address?
When you have a goal, staying focused on the metrics you need to track is more effortless.
b. Decide your metrics.
When you do an SEO analysis, you will see many metrics and factors; they are so many that one can get distracted and curious about the numerous figures and data.
This is why the first step is essential. When you know your SEO goal, you will be able to understand the exact metrics that are relevant to you.
c. Choose your tool.
What SEO analyzer tool do you prefer?
Numerous SEO analyzers can give you in-depth insight into your site’s SEO health.
However, you need to consider different factors:
- Pros and cons of each tool:
Some tools prioritize and are great at analyzing specific aspects of SEO but are weak in some other areas. Your tool choice will depend on your goal and the SEO analyzer’s ability to carry it out.
The free features of most SEO analyzers are okay, but if you want a more detailed analysis, you must be ready to pay for it.
The prices also vary, so consider the amount you can spare for the analysis.
Depending on how experienced you are, the user interface of some tools is easy to understand, even without technical knowledge. However, some require a certain level of expertise to understand and navigate.
d. Crawl your website.
This part is pretty much automated. All you need to do is to insert your domain name in your tool, and it will crawl all the pages on your website to detect SEO issues that it might have.
I often enjoy SEO analyzers that highlight the parts I am doing well and not just focus on the issues on the site.
e. Effect corrections.
Usually, your SEO tool will give you suggestions on each issue and how you can make it better. If the tool you use doesn’t, I suggest you switch.
These suggestions are effortless most of the time. However, some suggestions involve coding, and you might have to outsource.
f. Review your website.
When you are done making the corrections, it is best to run another diagnosis on the site to see if these corrections have been updated on the web. You can also test manually on your device.
For example, if you worked on page speed or mobile optimization issues, you can check whether these have been rectified on your device.
g. Create an action plan.
You will have discovered fundamental issues in your SEO strategy from the analysis. The next thing to do is to create an action plan to avoid future occurrences.
It might mean changes in your content writing processes, intentional link building, or image optimization.
Your action plan should indicate what to do, how, and when to do it.
h. Implement the strategies.
Implement these strategies continuously and also make sure to stay updated regarding industry changes that affect SEO.
NOTE: You can always outsource your SEO analysis to an expert.
SEO Analysis Report
After carrying out a thorough analysis of your SEO health, the next thing to do is to draw up a report. It doesn’t matter if you are doing the analysis yourself or from an agency; it is crucial to have an analysis to track your progress better.
What is an SEO report?
An SEO report summarizes the SEO issues discovered on a website that shows how a website performs over time.
SEO reports are relatively easy to create, and most SEO analysis tools automatically generate a report for your analysis.
For example, when I used the AIOSEO analyzer to analyze my website, I got a 13-page detailed report that included the issues and the solutions. It also had details like the date and categories.
It even had a table of content!
Features of an SEO report
If you are making an SEO report for yourself or a client, here are some features to keep in mind:
i. Easy to understand
SEO reports are meant to be easy to understand, even for an SEO baby; it doesn’t need to be filled with many technical terms.
ii. Focuses on a few metrics
Your report should highlight the few and most important metrics. If you need to include more metrics, you can use umbrella words.
iii. Outlines issues
Clearly state the SEO issues that are relevant to your SEO goals. The issues are more than just metrics and data; an SEO report should clearly state what issues each data represents.
Give recommendations for each of the highlighted issues. How do you expect them to be solved, tools that can be used, and the time it will take to see results?
v. Outlines results over time
For each analysis, ensure to include both expected and seen results over time.
Importance of an SEO report
SEO reports are vital, and aside from the fact that they allow you to access relevant data regarding your SEO health easily, they also enable effortless communication between you and your clients.
Also, with SEO reports, you highlight the critical metrics, allowing you to review months of evaluation in record time. You don’t need to waste time reviewing a metric only to realize it isn’t relevant to your goals.
What metrics should be highlighted in an SEO report?
The metrics that need to be highlighted in an SEO report depend on the SEO goals of the clients. If all the client wants is to increase traffic, the highlighted metrics will differ from those focused more on conversion.
However, specific metrics are essential to a website’s SEO health regardless of the goal. For example, if you want conversions, you must attract enough traffic.
No matter what the client’s SEO goals are, there are some metrics every client will want to know about their website. These metrics include:
- Overall SEO score
- Organic traffic
- Keyword ranking
- Domain authority
- New visits
The list can vary, so you can ask your client if they have any specific metric they would love to see in the report.
Here are some other metrics that can be based on the client’s goals:
- Content gap
- Traffic sources
- Dwell time
Top Tools for SEO Analysis and Report
These are my top tools for carrying out SEO analysis and report:
1. Ahref’s SEO Analyzer
Ahref’s SEO analyzer is an advanced SEO resource tool that analyzes your website’s elements and shows you technical SEO issues, link analysis, and how specific pages are faring on your site. Some of its main features are content explorer, keywords explorer, site auditing, and site explorer.
- Trial Period – $7 for 7 days
- Lite Plan – $99/month
- Standard Plan – $179/month
- Advanced Plan – $399/month
- Agency Plan – $999/month
Ubersuggest is a freemium SEO tool that allows you to crawl your website in minutes and generate a detailed analysis. It helps you check performance and technical issues affecting your website and gives suggestions to make your site more SEO-friendly.
- Free version
- Premium Plan
- Individual Plan – $12/month
- Business Plan – $20/month
- Agency Plan – $40/month
- Lifetime access
- Individual Plan – $120
- Business Plan – $200
- Agency Plan – $400
AIOSEO analyzer allows you to discover SEO issues affecting your website effortlessly, gives you information on the data, and shows you how to fix it. It also gives you a detailed SEO report showing the places needing improvement.
The icing on the cake is that this tool also gives a free SEO audit to ensure your website’s SEO issues are fixed!
- Pricing: Free
4. Google Search Console
Arguably one of the best SEO analyzer tools, Google Search Console allows you to analyze your site from scratch and helps you identify crawl errors, keyword rankings, mobile responsiveness, indexed pages, and even show metrics important to your SERP rankings.
To use the Google Search Console, you must confirm that the domain is yours through DNS verification. You can also select analyzing the entire domain or a single URL.
- Pricing: Free
5. Google Analytics
This tool focuses on customers and allows you to filter your search sources, determine your engagement metrics and identify pages on your site that lead to conversion and those that don’t.
- Pricing: Free
SEObility free SEO checker is another SEO analysis tool that checks if your site complies with search engine guidelines. It analyzes your website for technical errors, meta information analysis, link structure, and server errors.
It also gives you tips on optimizing your website for future success in SEO. With SEObility SEO checker, you can access 1,000 subpage audits, alerts, keyword monitoring, and email reporting.
- Pricing: Free
This is one of the tested and trusted analysis tools out there.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider helps you to crawl your website for crawl issues. It can carry out big-scale analyses of larger websites.
- Free version
- Paid Plan – €149/month
SEMrush is one of the biggest SEO analyzer tools trusted by big brands like Tesla, Walmart, and even Forbes. SEMrush’s SEO Toolkit allows users to track keywords, build links, and conduct keyword analysis and competitive analysis.
It covers things from content marketing to PPC and social media marketing.
- Pro Plan – $119.95/month
- Guru Plan – $229.95/month
- Business Plan – $449.95/month
SEOptimer is an SEO analysis and reporting tool that checks over 70 data or metrics. It covers on-page SEO analysis, backlink analysis, usability, performance, and local SEO analysis.
It also helps you create customized white-label SEO audits and conduct keyword research.
- Trial Period – 14 days free trial
- Paid – $19.99/month
10. Moz Pro
Moz Pro offers a range of recharge tools that help with SEO, including crawling up to 3,000 links for a given URL to search for errors influencing your SEO health. It also allows you to track growth, build reports, and identify SEO opportunities for your site.
- Trial Period – 30 days free trial
- Standard Plan – $99/month
- Medium Plan – $149/month
- Large Plan – $249/month
- Premium Plan – $599/month
The best strategy for your SEO analysis is to ensure you have a goal in mind. It makes it easier to understand what metrics to look out for and how you can measure your growth.
It’s also okay for you to outsource the SEO analysis of your website, and it doesn’t mean you are less of a blogger. Sometimes, you need to work with a professional SEO marketer or agency because some issues are more technical and severe than others.
For SEO reporting, it’s necessary to do it for the sake of records and to make your metrics more accessible. It’s like a summary book that you can quickly review to get facts or quick reminders.
Overall, you want to ensure your SEO content strategy is in place and that you are not going against any of Google’s guidelines on your website.
How often do you carry out SEO analysis on your website?