What is a WordPress SEO Audit & Do you Need One?
In this guide, we’ll explain what a WordPress SEO audit is and why you need one, allowing business owners, directors, marketing managers and more to understand the necessary steps to optimising their website.
What is a WordPress SEO Audit?
If you have a WordPress website for your business, you will likely be aware of the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Naturally, you may be wondering how you conduct a WordPress SEO audit.
A WordPress SEO Audit is the process of evaluating a website, hosted by WordPress, to determine its ability to appear on search engine results pages (SERPs).
It will also identify any flaws in your SEO strategy that could be negatively affecting your site’s performance. WordPress SEO audits also give you an insight into how well your site is able to generate organic traffic.
They present an opportunity to uncover issues, such as:
- Technical aspects that prevent search engines from crawling and indexing your site, such as poor architecture.
- Duplicate or irrelevant content or broken links .
- Slow loading times.
- Problematic off-page elements ,such as low-quality backlinks.
The pros and cons of WordPress for SEO
Using WordPress does have its pros and cons when it comes to SEO that you should be aware of when deciding whether or not to use it for your site.
Pros of WordPress for SEO
User friendly CMS
WordPress is made for blogging, thanks to its strong content management system (CMS). It is extremely easy to manage and edit your content and makes it simple to organise without the need for knowledge on website management.
There are over 50,000 plugins for WordPress users, with a range of both free and paid for. These plugins allow you to customise and enhance any WordPress site, and there are many plugins available to help optimise content, meta tags, keywords and much more. Having access to plugins like this ensures your website is SEO ready.
WordPress has thousands of themes available which can help your sites become more responsive. How mobile friendly your site is plays a huge part in an SEO audit, since an increasing number of searches are conducted on a mobile device.
Cons of WordPress for SEO
Certain WordPress themes contain a lot of unnecessary code which can decrease the speed of the site and cause slow loading times. This can cause visitors to quickly bounce off your page, which can negatively affect how your page ranks on search engines.
Installing updates is important for the health of your website, but it can be a nuisance if it isn’t done thoughtfully. Updates can bring small problems to your site that could affect the way your site ranks on search engines.
SEO audit tools for a WordPress site
Most significant website issues that might negatively affect search rankings can be found and rectified with the assistance of reliable SEO audit tools.
Some of the best tools to use on your WordPress site include:
- Google Search Console
- Screaming Frog
What are WordPress SEO plugins?
Plugins can be both helpful and potentially harmful for your site. They make web page customisation easy, but they can also slow down your site if used improperly.
Listed below are a few popular plugins amongst WordPress users:
- Yoast is a simple plugin that helps you to set-up meta tags and descriptions.
- WP Rocket is a plugin used to optimise site speed.
- Imagify is a popular plugin for image optimization.
- WooCommerce is a plugin for e-commerce, turning any site into an online store.
- Ninja Forms is a great plugin to create well maintained forms on your site.
Common SEO issues on a WordPress site
Too many plugins
WordPress by default is lacking in many features of SEO that professionals need at their disposal. Instead, you have to rely on plugins for basic SEO features, like Yoast.
The problem with having too many plugins on your site is that oftentimes, you will need more resources to be able to keep your site well maintained. When a plugin is updated, it can damage your entire website if it conflicts with another plugin.
Internal broken links
There is no easy way to detect broken links on a WordPress website without the use of another SEO plugin. To work around this issue, you will have to download a plugin to check for links or use tools like Screaming Frog.
Poor header tag setups
By default, your WordPress site’s theme may have poorly structured header tags. Your header tags (H1, H2, H3 and so on) are extremely important for readability.
You can change these tags by editing your theme, but you may need to have web dev experience or hire a developer to do this.
How often should I do an SEO audit on my WordPress site?
Just like any other website, regardless of if it is hosted on WordPress or not, you should be doing an SEO audit between two and four times a year.
If you are a smaller business with a small website, once every six months would be perfect. If you are a larger company, with new content being regularly uploaded every month, reviewing your site every quarter is more sensible.
If you have a relatively new website, or have never had an audit done before, then the first SEO audit you have is the most crucial.
How to perform an SEO audit on a WordPress site
There are various ways to perform an SEO audit for any website. You can go down the route of a manual audit or via an audit tool to accomplish the task.
If you choose to go down the manual route, here is a checklist for WordPress website audits:
- Verify the programme and plugin versions
- Check the sites speed
- Review the content on your blogs
- Verify WordPress’ security
- Look for any broken links
- Verify the functionality
- Analyse your metrics
- Review your SEO results.
SEO audits can be difficult to understand; that’s why the team at Tao Digital are here to help. We can perform a WordPress SEO audit for you and run through the key findings with you in order to plan the best next steps for your website.
How do I know if I need to audit my WordPress website?
There are a few different signs that your WordPress website will need an audit:
- Your search rankings have fallen
- You’ve launched a new site and want to check it is built correctly
- Your aren’t 100% sure you’ve caught everything
You can check out our blog on ‘factors to consider before conducting an SEO audit’ to learn more about when this is necessary.
WordPress SEO audits with Tao Digital Marketing
Whether your site is new or old, is for a large business or an SME, we can conduct an SEO audit to help identify key issues and areas of improvement for your website to help its performance.
Get in touch with us today to plan your WordPress SEO audit and let us ensure that your website performs as best as it can.