# SEO Audits
Trying to rank on a search engine is not an easy task. Even professionals with years of experience need months to rank a site on the first page. There are a variety of tactics that SEO professionals use to rank, but almost all agencies begin with an SEO audit. An SEO audit can tell you exactly where you need to focus so you can rank higher. Here are some of the main factors that are taken into account in an SEO audit.
## Mobile Friendliness
Google searches from a mobile device actually exceeded google searches from laptops in 2015. Google has accounted for this trend and index sites based upon their mobile friendliness. You can check if your page passes the mobile friendliness test by going to this site: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
## Having only One Official Page
When it comes to indexing, you have to make sure that you have one main URL. It is possible that Google can treat each of the different versions of your websites as different entities, and this could severely hurt your SEO. Here are some examples of variations of the same site that should all be treated the same.
To fix this issue, be sure that regardless of how they type in your site they are all redirected to the same exact URL. It is up to your discretion which site you choose, but make sure that it is consistent.
Google has explicitly stated that loading speed is a factor used to rank pages. Recently, they have also started taking into account the speed at which your mobile page loads as well.
There are several ways to improve your loading speed, but you should start by using a free tool to see exactly what is causing your sub-optimal web page speed.
After finding what to improve, you can either attempt to fix the problems yourself or you can consult with an SEO professional to do it for you.
## Site Indexing
It is possible that you have a fully functional site for your users, but there are still pages that are not being indexed. You can use several tools to help you get a clear grasp on which pages are not getting indexed and why. The most popular tool on the market right now is “Screaming Frog”.
Screaming Frog is a crawler that will perform a test on your site to see if all of your pages are behaving in the way that they should be.
It’s important to note that there could be reasons to purposefully block a page from being indexed. If you have pages dedicated to content that is not relevant to most users, then it could be best to block those pages. This functionality is also available on Screaming Frog.
Backlinks are an easy way for search engines to determine the legitimacy and domain authority of your site. However, it is not always the case where more backlinks mean more authority.
We suggest going to a backlink analyzing tool and seeing exactly where the backlinks are coming from. Take a careful look at where the backlinks are coming from.
After investigating, if you find that several of your backlinks are originating from websites that do not have any domain authority it may be best to take action. There is an easy way to disavow those links, and doing so may help with your SEO
## Broken Links
Google has not officially stated that broken links effect SEO, but broken links do lead to a bad user experience.
Users clicking on a link and being sent to an error page could lead them to leave your site all together. As you know, the longer a user stays on your site and interacts the more Google deems your site as relevant. Removing broken links is a great way to ensure there is a smooth user experience.
## Penalty Checks
One easy way to check if your SEO is being negatively effected is to check if your site has a penalty. You can check if you have a penalty by going into your Google Search Console.
Among the Search Console Messages should be a post saying why you received a penalty and what the penalty entails. However, if there are no messages in the console, that means that Google has not penalized you.
If you do find a penalty, that is both good news and bad news. The good news is you now have a clear idea why your SEO is not as good as it should be. The bad news is that removing a Google penalty is not always possible.
Work on fixing the issues that caused the penalty, and hope that Google removes the limitations on your site. Of course, the best course of action is preventative. Do not engage in behavior that Google would deem inappropriate for SEO.
## On-page Factors
The last and possibly most important aspect that you will want to see in an SEO audit are the on-page factors.
The on-page factors can include:
* The titles and subtitles
* Headings and Subheadings
* Meta descriptions
* Duplicate pages
* Internal links
* Page crawling and indexation
* Not found and server errors
All of these should be highlighted by an SEO audit, and fortunately most can be easily fixed when found.
An SEO audit is imperative to find out which direction to go in terms of your SEO. Do not be deterred if you come to find there are several flaws in your site that are preventing you from ranking as high as you would like. It is better to find that you have critical mistakes on your site than to be oblivious and content with your low ranking. The more information you gain from an SEO audit, the better you can make informed decisions to improve.
A great SEO audit will provide insights on all of the above factors and will put you on pace to beat out your competitors.