SEO Performance: Did You Ever Plan A Road-Trip With A Broken Car? (So Why Do You Do It With SEO…)

A Forensic SEO Website Audit With A SEO Audit Checklist Can Save Your Business

Read this if you are planning to launch, improve and migrate your website for SEO, including local search (local SEO) and Google Maps.


Imagine you are planning a big road-trip.

You have many options to get there.


Would you simply jump into a random automobile, throw it into gear and punch it?

Let’s say you were travelling from the West Coast to the East Coast (Los Angeles, CA – New York, NY) in a 15 year old beat-up car with a pair of missing hub-caps, dented chassis and that the vehicle leaked more oil than you could fuel gasoline?

Would you just hop-in-n’-go?

Of course not.

You would have it inspected by a professional. Safety, dependability, speed, efficiency and performance would be paramount.


Why do so many launch and continue to run poorly optimized websites that never see results?

The findings and things to address from that auto-shop audit would make sure you’d get to your destination and without unexpected surprises or expensive, ongoing repairs. It might reveal if purchasing a newer car would be a better choice, etc. etc. The value of that is not missed on anybody.

Much in a similar fashion, you would not build and continue using a website that was destined to fail. Yet, that’s what 8 out of 10 most often do, even SEO webmaster owners! (You’d be surprised).

Establish a strong, scalable website foundation for search, and you’ll not only see success with the optimization of your website and using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) principles, but you would ensure long term success and growth.

And, a on a related note: There are SEO audit tools available that spit out flashy reports. While they provide some value and serve a need out there, those are not part of this discussion.

Human SEO intelligence combined with a detailed process, checklists, resources and tools that are used by real SEO professionals are what is needed.

A quick report that gets generated on a site in 5 minutes flat is not what I’m talking about. That’s something a beginner might use and on a site that contains 10-30 pages. I focus on larger web sites and 3,000-20,000 indexed pages are common, including 100,000+ page sites.

FREE SEO Checklist:
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(Includes a bonus gift and complimentary SEO Strategy Session)

The SEO Audit Process and Site Audit Checklist

The SEO process will help you understand what quality areas to focus on.

IMPORTANT: The SEO checklist makes certain the items are completed and done in order.

The end result is that you’ll see what’s working now, what’s missing, what is blatantly wrong (search engines unable to spider and index) and will help to build scalable SEO campaigns that totally rock your marketplace. If you worked with a previous SEO vendor, it will show how much work was done to the project also.

From a detailed SEO audit project, solid SEO strategies can be developed.

That means understanding how to structure your website for users and search engines, including all on-page SEO elements for heightened usability and conversion metrics. Identify the keywords that will drive real value, not just traffic and with less focus on rankings. Get clear on your content strategy and learn to build out quality posts, content and frequency via editorial calendars and similar.

Furthermore, your link building outline will be made clear so you know what to rank for (drive traffic), and how to move ahead in your competitive marketplace. You will see how to best optimize your Social Media for SEO and what content and messages will pull best for your business.

The audit will help prepare you to build your own SEO team blueprint. Your task masters will know what to execute on — whether using your own internal team, or hiring outsourced SEO assistance.

Typical SEO Audit – The Anatomy

  • Technical site audit, and indexation
  • Architecture / navigational audit
  • Content audit & on-page SEO
  • Links audit & off-page SEO
  • Keyword audit
  • Competitive audit

A Detailed SEO Audit (Example)

  • Code review (scripts, layout, rendering, performance, structure for search)
  • Content
  • Crawling  / Indexation
  • Sitemaps
  • Robots.txt
  • Canonicalization
  • Panda
  • Penguin
  • Architecture / URLs
  • Internal links
  • External links (referrers)
  • Semantic markup
  • Image optimization
  • Video
  • Title tags
  • Meta tags
  • Website performance (speed)
  • Mobile friendly
  • Internationalization
  • Local
  • Social
  • Business
  • News

Local SEO Audit & Planning

One of the important aspects to local search, is to ensure consistency in profiles and the “NAP” (name, address, phone number). Among many other things, it includes the configuration and update of Google My Business pages and profile, your top vertical directories, review sites and local pages. These pages are where you can receive local link citations.

Keep in mind there is a nuanced version of local SEO: You must consider both the local pack / map rankings PLUS the localized organic results pages. An example is found below.

Google Map Result and Google Organic Local Result:


Localized search engine optimization audit and checklist example:

Google My Business

Citations and local links


Social analysis and reviews

Local competitive analysis

Organic link analysis and intelligence

Local SEO can be just as complex as traditional SEO – and needs commitment from many resources – be it staffing, tools and time spent to prepare research reports, strategy and execution plans.

If you’re looking for a Local SEO checklist, you can download it for free here.

Want to get started with a professional SEO AUDIT?

STEP 1 – Read my personal SEO audit letter.

STEP 2 – Set up a time on my calendar.