The DIY SEO Audit: How to Check Your Website’s Health in One Hour

If the thought of conducting an SEO audit sounds about as appealing as a root canal, you’re not alone. But here’s the truth: checking the health of your website doesn’t have to be a day-long slog filled with jargon and complexity.

In fact, with the right approach, you can perform a comprehensive SEO audit of your site in just one hour. Yes, you read that right—one hour to diagnose and start treating the most common SEO ailments that could be holding your site back from its full potential.

This guide is for the busy small business owners out there who want to cut through the noise and focus on what really matters. We’re talking about practical, actionable steps that you can take today to improve your website’s visibility and performance, without needing a degree in computer science to get it done.

An SEO audit is like a health check for your website. It helps you identify issues that are affecting your site’s ability to rank well in search engines and provides a roadmap for fixing them. Think of it as an essential part of your website’s maintenance routine, one that keeps everything running smoothly and ensures you’re getting the visibility you deserve.

So, grab a cup of coffee, set aside an hour, and let’s dive into how you can conduct your own SEO audit. Trust me, your website—and your business—will thank you for it.

Step 1: Test Your Website’s Loading Speed

First impressions count, and in the digital world, speed is king. A slow-loading website can drive visitors away faster than you can say “SEO.”

Tools to Use:

  • Google PageSpeed Insights: A free tool that gives you insights into your website’s loading speed on both desktop and mobile, along with suggestions for improvement.
  • GTmetrix: Offers a detailed analysis of your site’s performance and practical recommendations.

What to Look For:

  • Look for a loading time of under 3 seconds. Anything above that, and you’re likely losing impatient visitors (and potential customers).

Quick Fixes:

  • Using WordPress plugins, compress images to reduce their file size without significantly affecting quality.
  • Use a free or paid plugin like WP Rocket to minimize CSS, JavaScript, and HTML to reduce file sizes and improve load times.
  • Consider upgrading your web hosting if it’s not up to scratch.

Step 2: Evaluate Mobile Responsiveness

With more than half of global web traffic coming from mobile devices, your site must play nice with phones and tablets.

Tools to Use:

  • Google PageSpeed Insights: Has a tab for both desktop and mobile so you can quickly check how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device.

Why It’s Important:

  • A mobile-friendly site is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity for ranking well in search results.

Quick Fixes:

  • If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, consider adopting a responsive design that adjusts to various screen sizes.
SEO Audit Visual

Step 3: Check for Secure Connection (HTTPS)

Security is a top priority for users and search engines alike. HTTPS is a must-have for all websites, not just e-commerce sites.

How to Check:

  • Look for “HTTPS” at the beginning of your website URL, indicating a secure connection.

The Importance:

  • Google has confirmed that HTTPS is a ranking signal. Plus, it protects your users’ data.

Quick Fixes:

  • If your site is still HTTP, contact your hosting provider about obtaining an SSL certificate to make the switch to HTTPS.

Step 4: Analyse Your On-Page SEO Elements

On-page elements are the foundation of your site’s SEO. They’re how you tell search engines what your site is about.

Key Elements to Review:

  • Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: Ensure they’re present, unique, and include your primary keywords.
  • Headings (H1, H2, H3): Use them to structure your content logically, making it easier to read.
  • Image Alt Texts: Ensure images have descriptive, keyword-inclusive alt texts for accessibility and SEO.

Quick Fixes:

  • Add missing tags, remove duplicates, and ensure your keywords are naturally integrated into these elements.

Step 5: Assess Your Content Quality

Content is the heart of your website. It’s not just about what you say, but how relevant, engaging, and valuable it is to your audience.

What to Look For:

  • Relevance and Engagement: Ensure your content is tailored to your target audience’s interests and needs. It should provide value and encourage engagement.
  • Keyword Integration: Keywords should be naturally integrated into your content, helping search engines understand and rank your pages.
  • Freshness: Outdated content can harm your SEO. Make sure information is current and regularly updated.

Common Issues:

  • Thin content that offers little value.
  • Overuse of keywords, making content feel spammy.
  • Outdated information that no longer serves your audience.

Quick Fixes:

  • Update old posts with new information and visuals.
  • Improve or remove thin content.
  • Ensure keywords are used naturally within your content.

Step 6: Review Your Site Structure and User Experience

A well-organised website is not only good for users but also search engines. It helps them index your pages more effectively.

Navigation and Hierarchy:

  • Your site should have a logical hierarchy and clear navigation to help users find what they need quickly.

Internal Linking:

  • Effective internal linking guides visitors through your website, increasing the time they spend on your site and reducing bounce rates.

Quick Fixes:

  • Simplify complex navigation menus.
  • Add internal links to relevant articles, using natural anchor text.
  • Ensure every page is accessible within a few clicks from the homepage.

Step 7: Conduct a Basic Backlink Analysis

Backlinks — links from other websites to yours — are a crucial indicator of your website’s authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines.

Tools to Use:

  • Ubersuggest: Offers a free version that provides insights into your backlink profile.
  • Moz Link Explorer: Use it to get a snapshot of who’s linking to you and the quality of these links.

What to Look For:

  • The quality and relevance of backlinks. Links from trusted, high-authority sites in your industry are more beneficial than those from low-quality sites.
  • The diversity of the backlink profile. A variety of sources is better than numerous links from a single site.

Opportunities for Your Backlink Strategy:

  • Identify gaps in your backlink profile where competitors have strong links, and you don’t.
  • Reach out to reputable sites for guest blogging or partnership opportunities.

Quick Fixes:

  • Disavow toxic or spammy backlinks through Google Search Console to protect your site’s reputation.
  • Create high-quality, shareable content that naturally attracts backlinks.

By systematically addressing each of these steps, you’ll have conducted a comprehensive SEO audit of your website in just one hour. This process not only highlights areas for immediate improvement but also sets the stage for ongoing SEO strategy refinement, ensuring your website remains competitive and visible in search results.

Congratulations! You’ve just navigated through the essentials of conducting a DIY SEO audit for your website in one hour. By focusing on key areas such as loading speed, mobile responsiveness, secure connections, on-page SEO elements, content quality, site structure, and backlink profile, you’re now equipped with the knowledge to identify and begin addressing common SEO issues that could be hindering your site’s performance.

Remember, SEO is dynamic, with search engines regularly updating their algorithms. This means that an SEO audit isn’t a one-off task but a crucial part of your ongoing website maintenance routine. Regular audits ensure that your site not only keeps up with the latest best practices but also continues to provide an excellent user experience and ranks well in search engine results.

Need Help with Your SEO Audit?

You’ve taken the first step towards optimising your website’s SEO with our DIY audit guide. While this is a solid start, there’s often more beneath the surface that can significantly impact your site’s performance and rankings. That’s where The SEO Sherpa comes in.

If you’re looking for a deeper dive into your website’s SEO health, I’m here to help. With The SEO Sherpa’s detailed SEO audit services, you’ll get a comprehensive analysis that goes beyond the basics. I’ll uncover hidden issues, provide bespoke optimisation strategies, and guide you through implementing changes that drive real results.

SEO can be complex, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. Let me be your guide to climbing the search engine rankings and achieving the online visibility your business deserves. Whether you’re too busy to handle SEO on your own or just want the assurance of an expert’s touch, I’m here to support your journey to the top.

Contact The SEO Sherpa today, and let’s start the ascent together.