The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.
For SEO agencies, consultants, and website owners
As an SEO consultant, I was always on the lookout for a good SEO audit checklist. One that I could use and present to my clients. One I could modify to my own needs. One that covered all the important SEO bases. One that was up-to-date. And importantly, one that I didn’t have to pay several hundred dollars for.
This, my SEO friends, is that checklist. And Moz is making it available to you.
One cool thing about this audit checklist is that you can perform it almost entirely 100% for free, or using free versions of SEO tools. This is important for SEO starting out on a budget, or small business owners who want to learn to audit a small site on their own.
That said, if you’re looking to audit medium/large sites or more than a few pages at a time, you likely want to look into more scalable solutions, such as our Moz Pro Site Crawl including our new Performance Metrics Beta.
Regardless, you’re probably ready to dive in…
We also like the audit checklist by Benjamin Estes over at BrainLabs, in particular, the pass/fail selector for each item. While our own audit is substantially different, we incorporated this feature into our own.
Site Audit Coverage
Originally, we set out to create a solid technical SEO audit checklist — one that covered all the important technical SEO areas which could have a significant impact on rankings/traffic and could be completed in a short amount of time.
As we created the audit, we realized that SEOs also want to check other traffic-impacting site issues that aren’t necessarily technical. Hence, we ended up with a more complete Technical SEO and beyond site audit — one that covers nearly every important SEO area with the potential to impact traffic and rankings.
Briefly, the audit checklist covers:
Here you take a few quick steps to set your audit up for success: making sure you have analytics installed, Search Console access set up, and optionally, running a site crawl. Go to Basics.
2. Crawling & Indexing
Covering the foundations of technical SEO, the crawling and indexing section of the audit makes sure that search engines can find, crawl, and index your content without challenge. Go to Crawling & Indexing.
3. Meta & Structured Data
Both metadata and structured data have become increasingly complex in SEO. Here we include 8 quick checks to ensure maximum visibility in all types of search results. Go to Meta & Structured Data.
Content isn’t often considered “technical” SEO, but many technical issues with the content itself can impact indexing and rankings. Beyond the quality of the content itself, these technical issues need to be checked and addressed. Go to Content.
5. Links & Navigation
Links are the roads that hold your site together and connect it to the larger internet around the world. Google uses links in a variety of ways to rank content, so here we include 8 brief audits to make sure your links are optimized for crawling and ranking. Go to Links & Navigation.
Images not only add relevance to web pages, but also improve engagement, and can help with rankings. Additionally, Google Images is one of the largest search engines by itself in the world. Here we include 5 quick checks to make sure your images are up to snuff. Go to Images.
Videos play an increasingly important role on the web, but in truth, many sites pay no attention to video SEO. This is one area where Google simply won’t “figure it out” without solid, technical SEO. Here are 4 audit items to make sure your videos can rank. Go to Video.
Google is now mobile-first! (Well, almost there.) Most SEO audits take place on desktop, but doing a few quick mobile checks can make the difference between ranking or not. Go to Mobile.
Ready for Core Web Vitals? In truth, page speed has been important to SEO for years, and now there’s more attention to it than ever. Go to Speed.
Many SEOs often overlook security issues, but Google takes it very seriously. Beyond implementing HTTPS, there are a couple of areas you want to check if your site experiences problems. Go to Security.
11. International & Multilingual Sites
This optional section applies if your site targets multiple languages and/or regions. Implementing hreflang and international targeting is a technically tricky area, so you want to make sure you get it right. Go to International & Multilingual Sites.
While backlinks are only rarely included in a technical SEO audit, a lack of relevant backlinks is often the number one reason good, relevant content struggles to rank. While this doesn’t represent a complete link audit, we recommend a few quick link checks to make sure you aren’t leaving rankings behind. Go to Backlinks.
This is a living document. That means we’ll work to keep this audit checklist up-to-date as SEO changes, so be sure to check back for new updates. If you have any additions or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.
To your SEO auditing success!