DIY Flash Audit in 15 minutes
DIY Flash Audit in 15 minutes
July 18, 2018
Site Audit Using SEOquake

DIY Flash Audit in 15 minutes

(using SEOquake)

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to perform a flash site audit. A flash site audit is a rapid cleanup that allows you to identify -- maybe even fix -- the majority of your site's most pressing technical SEO problems. You should be done in 15 minutes or less.

If you are new to SEO or need to do a quick check on your site, you can either do a flash site audit, or pay someone hundreds of dollars to drip you the same information over the next weeks and months of your SEO contract.

For the purpose of this flash audit, we will be using SEOquake, a free Chrome extension published and maintained by SEMRush. The tool is completly free

Ok, we have fifteen minutes: start the counter:

Step 1: Install the SEOquake Chrome extension

In this first step, we will make sure we are running SEOquake under Chrome and pointing to the page we're going to audit.

Step 2: Clean up your index

In this second stage, we will clean up your site indexes. We will identify all the pages that the search engines know about your website, and we will determine if some of those pages should not appear.

Because CMS's like WordPress create pages dynamically -- based on the tree-like information structure of the site --  content authors don't necessarily keep track of every branch and leaf. This often causes dead ends, duplicate or redundant pages, even dummy or leftover test endpoints to hide in your site. The more pages and content you have on your site, the more likely you are to find such zombies. Because search engines have no way to tell whether these little monsters are intentional or not, they will weight them when calculating your site's ranking.

Though the process can be a little tedious, especially for huge e-commerce applications, it is best to review your site indexes once once or twice a year and make sure you get rid of them. Here's how to do this:

  • Click on the SEOquake icon on the top bar of Chrome.
  • Select the PAGE INFO tab.
  • A page opens in a new tab.
  • Under Domain: click on the number next to the Google icon.
  • Google's site:index page opens. It display all the pages that Google currently "knows" about in your site. These are the pages that the search engine has indexed. Scan the list to make sure that it does not contain stale leftovers, or pages that should not be public. Hide, remove, or better yet, redirect the pages that should not be showing up on Google.
  • Once you have removed the unwanted pages from the Google index, the remaining search engine indexes (Bing, Yahoo, etc.) will adjust automatically. Time heals, and once their crawler comes around, everything will be fine.

 

Step 3:

In this last major step, we will look at the content and structure diagnosis report.

  • Click the SEOquake icon again, this time click on the DIAGNOSIS tab.
  • A page opens, displaying a summary your site. Review the first part of the page analysis, up to the Images section. Try and resolve all the issues  flagged by the extension using the instructions provided under Tips (on the right side of the issue.)
  • Most everyone uses a different environment and configuration, so the generic tips provided by the tool may not apply, or you may find them difficult to implement. In cases where you do not know how to fix a problem you can always look up our extensive documentation here at seotomation.com. If you are still stuck, you should contact your SEO partners, or reach out to us directly.
  • Scroll down to the Site compliance section (the last one on that page,) then resolve any problem indicated by a red X the same way.

 

Step 4:

  • Make a note of all the problems that you could not fix right away, or those that point to more complex structural issues.
  • You should disable the SEOquake extension. As with any extension, leaving it active can interfere with other add-ons and slow down your daily browser operations. You don't need to remove SEOquake completely: disabled Chrome extensions go dormant and do not interfere with others. You can re-enable the extension at any time in the future.
  • To disable the SEOquake extension, visit chrome://extensions/, search for seoquake, then move the slider located on the bottom right side of the area to the left. It will turn grey and the extension will not load until you re-enable it.

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Conclusion

Now that your flash audit is done, you can sleep better knowing that the major technical issues that prevented your website from ranking as high as it could are not standing in your way. Don't get me wrong: a flash audit is by no mean a full SEO site audit: it doesn't address the site's content, the targeted keywords, the backlinks, or anything in between. However, a flash audit is a neccessary first step in removing the blockers that have a direct and immediate impact on the search engines' ability to properly judge your site.

In future installments of our DIY tutorial series, we will look at how to fix the more complex technical problems indicated by SEOquake quickly and safely. Subscribe to our feed or join our list to stay tuned. Have a great day, and as always, be safe and found!

 

 

SEO Dog

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