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:
In this first step, we will make sure we are running SEOquake under Chrome and pointing to the page we're going to audit.
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:
In this last major step, we will look at the content and structure diagnosis report.
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!