How to Do a SEO Website Audit, Step by Step
4.6 (153 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,023 students enrolled

How to Do a SEO Website Audit, Step by Step

Increase organic traffic and Google rankings, by finding and fixing all your SEO issues.
4.6 (153 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,023 students enrolled
Created by Kathy Alice Brown
Last updated 4/2020
Current price: $17.09 Original price: $144.99 Discount: 88% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 6 hours on-demand video
  • 14 articles
  • 11 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Find all SEO (search engine optimization) issues with a website so they can be fixed.
  • Uncover opportunities to improve SEO and increase organic traffic.
  • Setup of Google Analytics and Google Search Console will be required. I give tips on the setup for both in the Getting Started lecture.

Calling all digital marketers, web developers and website owners! Learn how to correctly evaluate your (or your client's) website for SEO (search engine optimization). SEO is more than just placing keywords on your site, you could have overlooked major problems that are hurting your SEO performance.


In this course you will learn to do a step by step SEO audit of a website to uncover those problems as well as find opportunities to grow your organic traffic. I go beyond just teaching the concepts of SEO that you can read about, this is a hands on course that walks through an audit of a real eCommerce site. If you don't know much about SEO, don't worry, I tell you WHY I'm doing the check and then show you HOW to do the check, using only FREE tools.

In the 75 plus lectures in this course, we'll check the accessibility, on page factors such as meta tags, engagement metrics and authority of the site. You'll get a good grounding in Technical SEO, and you will also learn and apply concepts like domain authority and content quality.

At end of the course you will have a completed checklist of your site's SEO issues and a greater understanding of SEO.

You will be able to download a checklist and a list of tools needed for the SEO audit.

Students have said:

"Out of 8 courses I have done on Udemy on this subject matter, this course is by far the best on all scores"

"... very informative course."

"This course is excellent. All the information is explained in such a way that I don't need any clarification. I learned many things that were not covered in the implementing of SEO for a site. Not only did I learn a lot of new information but it encouraged me to continue on to making this my new career. Thanks so much!"

Who this course is for:
  • Website owners with a do-it-yourself attitude that are comfortable with technology and who are serious about their online businesses.
  • Service providers such as a website developer or a digital marketer that want to add SEO services to their offerings.
  • Some SEO knowledge is helpful but not absolutely required.
Course content
Expand all 80 lectures 06:02:47
+ Introduction
6 lectures 20:35

Welcome to "How to do a SEO Site Audit"!

Preview 02:17

Overview of the Course Agenda

Preview 02:30

While it's important to keep an open mind while you go through a SEO Site Audit, understanding why you are doing the audit is key.

Preview 04:34

What you need to get started. Make sure to download the checklist and the list of tools from the Resources.

Getting Started

We set up Google Search Console to be used later in the course.

Setting up Google Search Console

Tips on how to set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console

Setting up Google Analytics and Google Search Console
+ Indexation Checks, HTTP Status Codes and Redirects
8 lectures 39:14

We cover search engine basics so we can continue our initial technical checks.

Preview 02:54

How many pages of your web site has Google indexed? We get an answer in this lecture.


The HTTP status code that a web server sends back to your browser is hidden to you, but very important for SEO.

HTTP Status Codes and Redirects

I demo how to check the HTTP status code that requesting a URL returns.

How to check the HTTP status of a URL

Some of the more common HTTP status codes.

List of HTTP Status Codes

A canonical redirect is when you redirect a site's URLs so they either resolve all as "www" URLs or as "non-www" URLs.

Implementing Redirects: Canonical Redirect

In this video I cover two ways to implement a redirect from one domain to another. And I share why GoDaddy redirects are not my preference.

Implementing Redirects: 301 Redirect from One Domain to Another

Examples of Canonical Redirects using mod_rewrite code in .htaccess

Canonical Redirects using .htaccess
+ Technical Checks - Robots.txt and Mobile Friendliness
6 lectures 20:10

A misconfigured robots.txt file can play havoc with your site's SEO.


Mobile friendliness is a ranking factor. We review the three ways a site can be made mobile friendly.

Mobile Friendly

On January 10, 2017 Google implemented a new penalty for sites that show annoying popovers on mobile devices. We also have learned that Google plans to transition to mobile first indexing.  

UPDATE: Mobile Interstitial Penalty and Mobile First Indexing

List of resources mentioned in the previous lecture. 

Mobile Friendly - Resources

How to test whether your site is mobile friendly

Mobile Friendly Testing

Recap of the problems we found with our initial technical checkjs for our example site.

Technical Checks - Recap
+ What Search Engines See
15 lectures 01:03:09

We learn more about search spiders and why we need tools to see the website from a search spider's perspective.

Why We Need Tools

We find broken links and 302 redirects on our example site.

Broken Links and Redirects

What I recommended for the 302 redirects I found.

Follow up on the 302 redirects

How does Google and the other search engines put together the snippets that show in the search engine results pages? We learn about the important metadata on your site for SEO. 

Meta Data and Anatomy of a Search Snippet

We review the site's page titles (also called title tags). 

Page Title Review

Meta descriptions are all about getting the click. This newer video also gives us a peek at Screaming Frog Release 10

Meta Descriptions

We use Screaming Frog to take a look at the H1 and H2 tags of our site.

H1 and H2 tags

We look at linkdepth, download time and take a closer look at image optimization.

More tags and Link Depth

Screaming Frog's internal tab shows all the fields collected, including fields found on the other tabs, such as page title and canonical link. We take a closer look at this tab to answer questions like "How do I find the pages with a low word count?" or "How do I see the link depth for a URL?" Bonus lecture created to answer some student's questions.

Bonus: Screaming Frog's Internal Tab

Now, it's your turn. Here's a recap of what to review when you crawl your site with Screaming Frog

Crawl and Review Your Site with Screaming Frog

Crawlers gather information about a site, but to do a comprehensive audit it's necessary to look at individual pages as a search bot would.

Individual Page Review: What to Check

I show how to use a free tool to browse a site like a search spider would

How to browse a page like a search engine spider

Here's how to check that the site's HTML is valid. Doing this check led me to uncover a problem with the site's OpenGraph tags.

We check that the site's HTML is valid

An alternative tool to check your pages tags.

SEO META in 1 Click

A recap of the results of the checks for this section.

What Search Engines See - Recap
+ Traffic and Site Speed
8 lectures 39:30

In this section we cover traffic, using Google Analytics to review a site, and how to check the performance of a site. 


Traffic to your website comes from different channels, we cover an explanation of each.

The Different Types of Traffic

How to use an organic traffic segment and set up a year over year comparison. We also take a look at the top landing pages and engagement metrics. 

Google Analytics Review

Recap of our review of Google Analytics: Traffic, Top Landing Pages, and Engagement Metrics

Google Analytics Review - Recap

Site speed is a ranking factor so we need to review the Page Speed Insights section in Google Analytics to see if the site needs to be optimized to be faster.

Checking Site Speed

Quick demo of a tool that gives you a snapshot of the website's performance.

Website Speed Test

Recap of how our site performs.

Site Speed - Recap
Bonus Lecture: A deeper dive into Site Speed Optimization
+ Structured Data and Google Search Console Review
12 lectures 01:23:03

Google Search Console is Google's SEO communication channel to site owners and has a wealth of information on Google's perspective of your site.

Introduction to GSC and Structured Data

Structured Data is additional markup that helps Google and other search engines understand the context of your site.

Introduction to Structured Data

An example of testing for Structured Data

Structured Data Testing Tool

We look at the "Enhancements" section of Google Search Console, where we can find feedback about our Structured Data from Google.

Google Search Console Enhancements

In this article I provide a link to a free tool that you can use to generate some common types of JSON-LD Schema. tools

In the new Google Search Console you can find an URL inspector tool.

URL Inspection Tool

Google's new Performance Report delivers similar data as the old Search Analytics report, but with a new User Interface and access to much more data. The Performance Report gives you insight into the keywords your site is ranking for and how your top pages are performing.

New GSC Performance Report

You can use the Compare feature in the Google Search Console Performance Report to compare device types, timeframes and more.

Performance Report: Compare Feature

We review Additional Google Search Console Reports: External Links & Links to Your Site, Manual Actions, International Targeting and Mobile Usability.

Other Google Search Console Reports

The new Index Coverage Report gives us an expanded look at what Google thinks is good enough to index. 

New GSC Index Coverage Report

In this section we can find Google's crawl report and whether a XML sitemap has been submitted.  

More Google Search Console Reports

Recap of the Google Search Console Review for our site.

Google Search Console Review - Recap
+ Power Tags and Advanced Technical SEO
8 lectures 36:19

You want your best and only unique pages to be in the Google index. We have three tags: rel canonical, meta robots noindex and rel prev/rel next that help us control what gets indexed of our site.

Using tags to control indexation

The rel canonical tag helps manage duplicate content.

Rel Canonical

The meta robots noindex tag tells Google to not index the page. We look at reasons why we might want this and a comparison of the noindex tag with robots.txt.

Meta Robots Noindex

The rel prev and rel next tags help Google understand your paginated pages.

Rel Prev & Rel Next

Recap of the opportunities we found in our example site to control indexation

Advanced Technical - Recap

New in Screaming Frog release 10, new columns that gives us the indexability status of a page.

Screaming Frog 10 - Indexability

An additional two new features in Screaming Frog release 10. 

1) Visualizations - a visual way to see the levels of your site.

2) Link Score - a measure of a page's page rank based on internal linking

Screaming Frog 10 - Visualizations and Link Score

More and more sites are using JavaScript to dynamically generate the site's web pages. We talk about what this means for SEO, and how you can check that Google understands the JavaScript on the page.

JavaScript and SEO
+ Authority Checks
11 lectures 36:19

Let's look beyond the accessibility and on page factors of a site and evaluate its authority and engagement

Authority Checks - Introduction

We define Domain Authority.

Domain Authority

We use a browser plugin to check the Domain Authority so that we can do a competitive review for the sites that rank for two completely different queries.

How to check Domain Authority

We take a look at the top keywords for the site.


Why backlinks are important for SEO. 


I demo two tools you can use to look at a site's backlinks.

Using tools to look at Backlinks.

Evaluating Content Quality and User Experience.

Content Quality and User Experience

We check for freshness of content, and whether the content has been scraped (and find something surprising)

QDF and Scrape Checks

Another way to check for scraping and plagiarism

We check for plagiarism

Social Media is an amplification channel that can supercharge marketing and SEO campaigns. Learn the 3 things I check when reviewing the social media presence of a site.

Social Media

Recap of the results of our Authority Checks

Authority Checks - Recap
+ Bonus Section and Wrapup
6 lectures 24:24

Local SEO is SEO plus some special considerations. If your site targets a local audience, here's the additional checks you need to do.

Local SEO

Considerations for a SEO audit of a WordPress site

WordPress SEO

We cover the 5 elements you need to optimize on a page, plus additional factors you need to consider in today's SEO landscape when optimizing your page for SEO.

Preview 07:22

Google makes hundreds of changes to its algorithms every year, most are small changes and not noticeable.  But there are a couple of Google updates per year that ARE noticeable and can change your site's SEO performance.

The question is, how do you keep abreast of Google updates and other changes in the SEO landscape?

Keeping up to date on Google algorithm and SEO changes

Aside from a color change, the basic functionality of Screaming Frog didn't change much between release 7 and release 8. However release 8 does have some cool new features that we explore in this video.

Bonus: New features in Screaming Frog release 8

Thank you for taking this course! In case you didn't download them earlier, I've attached all the resources for the course to this lecture.

Thank you and Resources