There’s no denying that search engine optimization (SEO) has a significant impact on how well your WordPress website ranks against Google’s algorithm.
Carrying out a comprehensive SEO audit evaluation of your website can help you determine the areas that may be causing problems and help you keep your website up-to-date with the latest technology developments.
There are several different SEO auditing services out there that can perform a complete evaluation of your website. That said, SEO auditing is something you should be doing regularly and, therefore, should learn how to do yourself. With this in mind, we’ll walk you through a tutorial on how to SEO audit your WordPress website – the right way.
Let’s get started.
SEO Auditing With Screaming Frog Spider Tool
The Screaming Frog Spider Tool is a powerful website crawler that enables users to crawl a website and return key onsite elements that are significant from an SEO perspective. This SEO auditing tool is fully automated and it helps webmasters evaluate their site’s SEO in real-time.
For the purpose of this walk-through, we’ll use the Screaming Frog Spider Tool to SEO audit this website.
SEO Parameters You Can Audit With Screaming Frog
With Screaming Frog, you can audit just about any SEO element on your WordPress website. In this tutorial, we will audit some of the most critical parameters including content, images, URLs, tags, titles, sitemaps, errors, and links. Although meta descriptions do not effect SEO directly they encourage your site’s visitors to click. A better click through rate, however, does have a significant impact on your site’s SEO.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at how we can fix these SEO parameters with the help of Screaming Frog. To start things off, we are going to download the free Screaming Frog tool on our drive.
Note: Screaming Frog needs Java 7 to operate.
Once you’ve installed it you’ll see a screen that looks something like this:
To start the SEO auditing, enter your site’s URL in the box up top that says Enter url to spider. Keep in mind that when you are giving your URL you also need to enter the root domain so that you do not miss any pages.
Content is king. Perhaps the most important element of SEO revolves around your site’s content. So it makes sense to begin with reviewing our site’s content. Once the URL has completed loading your WordPress website, navigate to the Internal tab. In the filter drop-down menu, select HTML and click Export. You’ll notice that the Screaming Frog tool will fetch the word count for all of the pages on your website. In addition to this it will also display the size, level, inlinks, outlinks and external outlinks for you to analyze.
One of the most important aspects of SEO is to maintain a healthy word count. And because it improves your SEO it helps your website rank higher in popular search engines. In-depth content (with higher word count) is more likely to get shared on social media networks and it also receives more links. Once you’ve analyzed your WordPress website’s page’s word count you can export the entire datasheet as spreadsheet and save it to your drive.
Another important factor that impacts your website’s SEO is URL. Generally, a URL within 150 characters is considered to be healthy from an SEO perspective. Another important element to having a healthy URL is that it should be descriptive, user-friendly and it should ideally contain a keyword towards the beginning.
By navigating to the URL tab you can view analytics on the screen. You can use Screaming Frog to completely filter out your entire site’s URLs and analyze them by applying several different filters. These filters include over 115 characters, parameters, duplicate, uppercase, underscores and non-ASCII characters.
You’ve probably heard that image optimization is an important factor that determines your site’s SEO score. Google’s page rank algorithm takes site speed into account. Larger sized images dramatically reduce a website’s speed as they take longer to load. Generally speaking, JPEG images are lightweight whereas PNG images are not. Regardless of what image format you use on your WordPress website, it’s best to optimize them beforehand.
By navigating to Screaming Frog’s Images tab you can apply the filter to display all of your images above a given file size. After you click Export, you will see that all of the images in the dataset along with their image format and file size are displayed on the screen. It is an industry’s best practice to keep your image file sizes under a 100 KB. Once you filter out the results you can go back and optimize the images that do not meet the mark.
Aside from the image size you can also analyze its title, ALT text and ALT text linked –all of which effect the SEO. Once you give your site’s URL to Screaming Frog tool it will automatically detect and display all of the images on your website.
The best part about this is that it displays the image URL so you can easily go back and modify them. The alt text field is a vital part of every image. It’s important for SEO purposes that you add a description to the ALT text field. Generally speaking, healthy links of the ALT text field are within a 100 hundred characters. The Screaming Frog can help you filter out results that exceed this length. To further elevate your site’s SEO through ALT text field you can use a focus keyword in it.
HTML tags are very important for on-page optimizations. The content that you place between HTML tags plays towards improved SEO. Another important factor is the placement of your keywords within these tags. The closer they are to the beginning of the title they better. Logically speaking, a person who lands on your page after clicking the search results will tend to be more convinced if he finds your website relevant. Keywords that appear in the beginning of the results make your site more relevant.
Placing keywords in important tags like the title tag and the H1 tag also increase the relevance of your website. One of the best things about the Screaming Frog tool is that it lets you view and evaluate all of the tags that are used on your website. In addition to this, you can also give the tool your competitors URL and find out how they implement their tag strategy for SEO purposes.
Basically the elements that you look for in tags are lengths, keywords and keyword placements. As we did above, click on the filter drop-down menu and select an appropriate filter to examine each of these elements. The advised length of your tags should be under 70 characters. As we mentioned above keyword placements are also very important, you can use the Screaming Frog tool to filter out keywords that do not appear in the beginning of your page title.
That said, meta keywords are no longer important because search bots do not look for them anymore. There is no need to use them any longer. You’ll notice that there is a pixel field in the filter drop-down menu, this field describes the length of your page title in pixels. Google picks out the first 512 pixels from the title of your page, so if your page title exceeds this amount then you can think about truncating it.
As the name suggest, sitemap is a map of your website. It allows crawlers to understand how to navigate through your website. In addition to this, it also ensures that your webpages get indexed and are accessible to search engines. Search engines use sitemaps to understand the structure of your website. For this reason, sitemaps are important for SEO. They let search engines know when you’ve added or removed your page. This makes all of the web pages on your website discoverable to search engines.
The Screaming Frog tool enables webmasters to create sitemaps. You need to explicitly list out the pages that you do not want to have indexed. An example of such a page might be the thank you page after a successful checkout. If the Screaming Frog’s sitemap does not work for you there are a ton of WordPress plugins that can help you create XML sitemaps for your website.
During web development, errors are unavailable. Sometimes a page might be missing a link, or not re-direct correctly. Broken links have a very bad impact on your SEO. Therefore, it is very important that all of your web pages have active links.
The Screaming Frog tool helps you filter out all of the problematic links on your WordPress website. In addition to this, you can also determine which pages are leading to 404, 302, client and server errors. The tool also displays a complete web address of the web page so you can go back and fix the broken links.
If this seems like a daunting task (manually going back and forth fixing broken links) then you can install the Broken Link Checker plugin, which will automatically identify the broken links on your website.
Links building is one of the most important SEO activities. Screaming Frog’s Bulk Export option helps you gain insight into every kind of link on your website. These include internal, external along with anchor text and follow links. For all of the incoming links, you can export the all inner links report. Similarly for outgoing links you can export all out links option.
Wrapping It Up
The Screaming Frog Spider Tool is a versatile SEO auditing solution that helps you evaluate and manage all aspects of your WordPress site’s SEO. We explored some of the most vital components of SEO in this tutorial and hopefully you’re in a good position to take things to the next level.
We encourage you to try out the Screaming Frog tool on your own and SEO audit your website all by yourself. By doing so, you’ll be able to identify the areas on your website which could be improved to help it rank better in search engines. You may also want to see our roundup of best SEO Tools and WordPress Plugins For Maximum Visibility.
Were you able to perform an SEO audit of your WordPress website? How was your experience with SEO auditing? We’d love to hear from you so get in touch by commenting below!