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Enterprise SEO Website Audit

Introduction

Performing an enterprise SEO website audit requires a deep understanding of the web development process, code, and compliance. Enterprise technical SEO practitioners are critical team members to have for an enterprise site assessment.

In addition to having knowledge of JavaScript, technical SEO analysts have the skills of website developers and experience with other server-side programming languages. For example, Single Page Application (SPA) SEO requires different techniques than server-side SEO. The enterprise SEO company performing the audit should also be familiar with JavaScript. The layout of an eCommerce website will likely include multiple layouts, which means they must understand both JavaScript and PHP. The audit helps set enterprise SEO strategies and future SEO campaigns.

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Non-Compliant SEO Website Issues

An SEO website audit will identify issues with your site’s structure, content, and technical aspects, as well as areas of improvement. Whether your website is a complex mix of content and technical features, or a smaller site, the results will provide you with valuable insights into potential areas for improvement. As part of regular enterprise SEO services, you should schedule regular SEO website audits to identify these issues and make sure that they are addressed in a timely manner.

A good sitemap, properly indexed pages, and solid internal linking are foundational to your website’s search engine rankings and are crucial elements for ensuring it receives maximum exposure and placement in the SERPs.

To check how many pages are currently indexed by Google, see your XML sitemaps, view errors, and explore organic search queries and page performance, visit your site’s Google Search Console property.

Google Search Console logo.

HTTPS compliance is also highly important as a ranking signal, so all non-secure pages should be 301 redirected from HTTP to HTTPS.  Alternatively, you could canonicalize HTTP pages to HTTPS URLs.

You can use Google’s Lighthouse Chrome browser plugin to confirm your site’s HTTPS status. Make sure to install the plugin, and check the box for “Best Practices” in the Advanced Settings.

Lighthouse for Chrome plugin logo.

Lighthouse Chrome plugin best practices setting.

Mobile SEO Optimization

Half of website traffic is generated from mobile devices. For your enterprise eCommerce SEO site to be competitive, you need to optimize it for mobile.

A web audit (include both content and technical aspects) for mobile SEO optimization is an important first step to take when seeking to optimize your site for mobile.

Mobile SEO Content Audits

Search engines like Google have made it very clear what they expect from mobile users, and site owners need to consider whether or not their content is optimized for mobile devices.

For example, if your images don’t load quickly, your videos aren’t the right aspect ratio, or the fonts are too large, your mobile audience will have a difficult time navigating your website. Using mobile-friendly fonts that properly change size with the screen viewport size is an excellent way to ensure that your mobile SEO is on par with Google’s requirements.

Mobile SEO Technical Audits

Technical SEO is a major factor in mobile SEO. While you’re focusing on your website’s structure and content, the technical aspects of search engine optimization should be carefully considered. Often, enterprise websites have a lot of content, so they must load quickly, be easy to navigate, and be fully indexed.

The page load speed is particularly important for mobile SEO, as it influences a user’s bounce rate. According to Google’s research, the time it takes for a website to load increases by 32%. Even five seconds can push the bounce rate to a staggering 90%.  It’s good to keep in mind that mobile devices have a connectivity gap and a slower processor than desktop computers.

Tools for Mobile SEO Page Speed

SEO Penalties

A Google penalty is often the result of violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. To avoid a penalty, you should:

In addition to avoiding a Google penalty, you should:

  • Monitor your website for spammy comments
  • Make sure to moderate any comments before they go live
  • Implement anti-spam tools like CAPTCHA

Website Audits for Penalty Prevention

Enterprise-level SEO website auditing can reveal problems before they affect your website’s search rankings. Penalties can come from multiple sources, such as a Google update or an algorithmic penalty. An audit can detect a penalty if it’s algorithmic or manual, and can also identify if your website’s SEO performance has suddenly deteriorated. It’s important to understand how to fix such issues before they impact your website’s ranking in search engines.

An enterprise SEO website audit can identify issues that can lead to penalties, such as:

  • Issues related to backlinks
  • Manipulative links
  • High-volume links from a small number of domains
  • Over-optimized anchor text
  • Too many keywords on prominent areas on a page

A human-level audit can identify the possible issues listed above and others, find a solution to penalties and help you regain rankings and organic traffic.

Website Security

While following best practices will help protect your site from hackers, they will not keep them out completely.

Critical areas to address to protect your website from hackers

  • Utilize a strong SEO website audit service to scour your website for any security vulnerabilities and determine the best security measures to take
  • Identify pages that aren’t as secure as they could be (e.g. HTTP vs HTTPS URLs)

Negative SEO Issues

When a website is experiencing drastic changes in organic traffic, it may be due to negative SEO. While it may seem difficult to detect negative SEO issues, the best way to stop them from happening is by conducting a website audit and identifying the problem areas, which will help to improve your site’s SEO and traffic results after they are fixed.

Below are a few examples of common negative SEO issues to make sure your site audit addresses:

Backlinks

Unmanaged toxic links (e.g. spam) will often decrease your website’s search engine rankings, so be sure to keep an eye on your backlink profile and be on the lookout for large numbers of spammy URLs and suspicious domains that could cause problems.

Email Lists

Along with backlinks, a comprehensive website audit should also focus on email lists.

URL Structure

Another important area in an SEO audit is your site’s URL structure. The URL structure helps the search engines understand the context of each page. The more relevant, clean (URLs do not contain badly-formed or invalid characters), and up-to-date your URLs are, the easier it will be for Google to rank your website.

Structured Data

Another important area to pay attention to is structured data, otherwise known as schema. Schema is the language of search engines. Missing schema can prevent Google from displaying visual features on the SERP. When it comes to your website’s enterprise SEO, this is critical. In addition, structured data is necessary for local business listings and is a key part of local SEO. Your business’s site content should include targeted keywords and phrases.

Website Tracking and Analytics

An enterprise SEO website audit should consider many factors. By checking these elements, you’ll be well on your way to a better-optimized website.

Crawlability & Indexing Issues

An SEO website audit should focus on identifying crawlability and indexability issues (if a page cannot be crawled by the search engines, Google cannot analyze it, and if a page is not indexed by the search engines, it will not be shown in the SERPs).

The best way to combat crawlability problems is to make your content accessible to crawlers by doing the following:

  • Ensure your site’s txt file is not blocking the search engine bots. For example:
  • Tag pages properly and organize them within categories that are easily understandable and make sense to new visitors

The best way to combat indexability problems is to keep a handle on what pages your site has indexed:

Google Search Console "Index" menu.

Google Search Console pages indexed graph.

Google Search Console's "URL Inspection" feature.

Post-Audit Tracking & Monitoring

After the audit is completed and optimizations are put in place, monitor your rankings and traffic with the help of SEO tools such as Google Analytics and BrightEdge. You can also conduct in-depth audits on a regular basis to identify areas that need improvement.

The enterprise SEO website audit should include keyword research and analysis. Once you’ve mapped out keywords and keyword opportunities, you can begin planning your next steps toward a cohesive content strategy, content creation, and content optimization.

 

SEO Audit FAQs

What should I get from an enterprise SEO audit?

You should see a checklist of all the factors that are going to be evaluated. Make sure they include all the relevant factors, as well as any that may have a specific bearing on your company. When performing an enterprise SEO website audit, your enterprise SEO agency should consider both on-page and off-page factors.

On-page factors affecting enterprise SEO include technical “detective work,” such as analyzing title tags, schema, OpenGraph, rank, meta descriptions, and customer reviews while taking key website infrastructure into account as well.

Factors related to website architecture also matter, particularly because they indicate whether signals are being appropriately distributed throughout the website hierarchy for search engine crawlers or not.

Altogether, these findings account for clues indicating what needs to be improved upon in an optimization strategy.

SEO Audit Checklist

There are many factors you need to evaluate when doing an SEO audit for an enterprise website. Here’s a checklist to help you get started:

  1. Preliminary analysis: Evaluate the website in terms of its visibility on the web, traffic numbers, and backlinks.
  2. On-page optimization: Verify that the website’s title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, etc. are properly optimized for search engines.
  3. Technical SEO: Check for any issues with site architecture, crawlability, duplicate content, etc.
  4. Local SEO: Verify that the site is properly configured for local search results.
  5. Content marketing: Assess the quality and quantity of content.

What should be written up in an SEO audit report?

Your written assessment of the SEO audit report should include a benchmark of your rankings and an understanding of your competitors’ share of voice.

Then, you’ll want to check for duplicate content and other on-page issues.

Finally, you’ll want to look at off-page factors such as backlinks and social media shares.

Benchmark your rankings and understand your competitors

You’ll want to benchmark your website against your competitors to see where you stand. You can use a tool to get a general idea of who your top competitors are, and then track their rankings over time using a tool such as SEMrush or Ahrefs.

Benchmarking will give you a good sense of where you need to focus your efforts and your progress along the way.

How long does an SEO audit take?

An SEO audit timeframe depends on the size and complexity of the site, but usually takes between 40-60 hours. There are two parts to an SEO audit:

  • On-page SEO
  • Off-page SEO

Checking both of these factors will give you a complete picture of your website’s SEO health and where improvements can be made.

On-page SEO includes things such as assessing your site’s titles, descriptions, header tags, and keyword usage. This part of the audit is mostly about making sure that your site is optimized.

Off-page SEO includes things such as content marketing, backlinks, social media, and local SEO. The off-page SEO part of the audit is mostly about making sure that the site is gaining authority and being properly interconnected in the overall SEO strategy.

How much should I pay for an SEO audit?

The cost of a technical SEO site audit varies, but the exact price will depend on the size and complexity of your website. Most SEO agencies will give you a tailored quote based on your specific needs, so it’s important to get plenty of quotes before deciding.

Remember that the aim of an audit is to help you improve your website’s organic search visibility and rankings, so it’s worth investing in a company that will give you actionable insights and recommendations.

What does an SEO audit include?

An SEO audit is a process of analyzing how well your web presence relates to search engine results. It covers on-page optimization, link building, and website traffic analysis.

Most importantly, it can help identify any weaknesses that may be preventing your website from ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). The main components of an SEO audit include:

  1. Analyzing your website’s structure and content. This includes looking at titles, meta tags, header tags, images, and other elements that help define your site’s structure and improve its visibility to search engines.
  2. Examining your site’s link profile. This includes assessing the number and quality of links pointing to your site from other external sites.

Why do I need an SEO audit?

Any good SEO strategy should be built on a foundation of continual improvement, and part of that process is conducting regular audits.

An audit allows you to take a step back and assess how your SEO efforts are performing against your goals, identify any areas that need improvement, and see how your site adheres to the latest best practices.

SEO audits are an important, necessary component of keeping your SEO strategy up-to-date and effective. Without them, you risk falling behind the competition and missing out on valuable organic traffic. So, if you’re not already performing audits regularly, make them a priority!

Overdrive Enterprise SEO Audits

Enterprise SEO (and international SEO) is complicated. It involves a broader web of niche-specific, high-quality content.  Furthermore, enterprise websites often struggle with indexation problems, poor crawl rates, and algorithmic penalties. These problems are typically the result of poor website architecture (when the website is not well-structured, it is difficult for Google to find relevant information for the keywords that are indexed) and an array of technical issues that build up over time (particularly in cases of enterprise SEO website migrations and consolidations).

For these reasons, it’s best to entrust this type of large-scale project to a company with deep industry domain knowledge.

Performing an enterprise SEO website audit is an essential first step to maximizing the benefits of SEO. Here are a few important audit boxes to check:

  • An enterprise site audit must examine over 200 factors to determine whether the website is optimized for a particular keyword
  • A proper enterprise SEO website audit should target keywords that will attract qualified leads and have sufficient search volume

A proper, thorough SEO audit should be performed at least twice a year. Then, if the SEO strategy continues to produce results, the website and its SEO strategy can continue to grow.

What Overdrive Enterprise SEO Audits include

Non-Compliant Issues

  • ADA and WC compliance
  • HTTP/HTTPS/SSL encryption
  • Code and compliance
  • Server security
  • Penalties and security issues
  • Malware and vulnerabilities
  • Piracy or DMCA takedown
  • How to a submit reconsideration request
  • Requesting a review

Website Configuration

  • IP address
  • CMS
  • JavaScript
  • CSS files
  • Template review
  • Code

Crawling & Indexing

  • Site Architecture
  • Navigation
  • Breadcrumbs
  • URL structure & compliance
  • Categories
  • Indexing
  • Pagination
  • On-Site Search
  • Website code bloat and consolidation

Domains & Subdomains

  • robots.txt
  • Sitemaps (HTML and XML)
  • Feeds

Linking

  • Broken Links
  • (No) Follow Links
  • Link Spam
  • Paid Links
  • Authority building

Content

  • Orphan pages
  • Heading tags
  • Meta tags
  • Thin or Shallow Content
  • Keyword Stuffing
  • Hidden Text
  • Cloaking
  • Copywriting
  • Duplicate content

Errors

  • Response Codes
  • Error Management

Technical SEO

  • Canonicals
  • Site performance
  • Query parameters
  • Viewports
  • Plugins, Widgets, Tracking and Code Bloat

International SEO

  • hreflang tags

Images & Video SEO

  • iFrames

Structured Data

  • Schema code
  • JSON-LD, RDFa, Microdata

User Experience

  • Ads or Top-Heavy Layout
  • UX

Mobile Optimization

  • Mobile images & videos
  • Mobile website
  • M-Dot sites and parallel mobile
  • Dynamic serving sites
  • Progressive web apps
  • Mobile site performance
  • Google Search Console (Mobile First Indexing)
  • Mobile issues in Google Search Console (GSC)
  • Mobile UX
  • AMP
  • Mobile conversions
  • Mobile apps
  • App optimization

Social SEO

  • Facebook Instant articles
  • Open Graph & Twitter Card markup

Local Search and GMB

  • Google My Business
  • Optimization for Local Search
  • Location pages on your website
  • Local content
  • Name, Address, Phone consistency
  • Online directories and local citations
  • Site Visibility & Brand Embrace
  • PR
  • Tracking and Analytics
  • Goals-Events-Filters
  • Traffic Trends

Scale Your SEO Program

Overdrive will provide the talent, technology, and process required to stand up, maintain, and optimize an always-on SEO program.

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