October 2, 2023

The Only SEO Site Audit Template You Will Ever Need

A site audit is a comprehensive analysis of a website to assess its visibility in search engines, usability, and performance. The results of a thorough website audit will provide insights into potential issues and areas of improvement, ensuring the website is optimized for achieving business goals. In today's highly competitive digital landscape, conducting a regular site audit and implementing improvements can be the difference to your website's success.

Download and master the website audit checklist

Serphead's website audit template is a valuable tool for conducting a thorough examination of your website. It offers a structured approach to assess various elements of your website, ensuring nothing is overlooked.

Download and utilize the Serphead Audit Checklist to inspect all page elements that can affect your website's performance, from on-page SEO, to broken links, to site architecture.

SEO audit tools needed

You'll need a few SEO audit tools to inspect every nook and cranny of your website. Some of these tools are free and some aren't. You'll have to fork a bit of money to use them but trust us, these audit tools are definitely worth it.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool from Google that enables website owners to manage their site's presence in Google Search results, detect broken links, identify crawl errors, disavow harmful backlinks, and nudge Google to index a page with its built-in website URL inspection tool. The tool also has a Mobile Usability Report that allows you to ascertain the mobile-friendliness of your website and rectify existing issues related to Core Web Vitals.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a licensed SEO audit tool that allows users to swiftly crawl websites to identify various SEO errors, generate XML sitemaps, detect duplicate content, track sources of broken links (both internal and external links), and identify page speed issues. Beyond basic audit capabilities, this SEO software can also mimic search engine bots and test how they render your pages.

screaming frog seo software for technical seo audit


Ahrefs Site Audit is a paid SEO tool that provides extensive insights and data about any website or URL. It stands out for its detailed backlink profile analysis, detection of broken links, keyword discovery, rank tracking, and competitive and content analysis. This SEO tool also has a Site Audit feature that can detect a myriad of issues not found in other paid or free tools.

Google Page Speed Insights

Google Page Speed Insights is a free tool from Google that highlights various factors affecting the page's performance, such as server response time, render-blocking resources, and image optimization. These insights are accompanied by actionable recommendations, guiding users in making targeted improvements to enhance the web page's speed, efficiency, and Core Web Vitals. Page Speed Insights also assigns a performance score to the analyzed web page, reflecting its loading speed and overall user experience.


GTmetrix is another free online tool designed to analyze and enhance the speed and performance of websites. In addition to performance analysis and recommendations, GTmetrix offers the ability to test website performance from different geographical locations and browsers.

gtmetrix for technical seo audit

Breaking down the website audit checklist

The website audit template is divided into five sections:

Technical SEO audit

A technical SEO audit evaluates the site structure, speed, security, and mobile-friendliness of your website. Inspecting each item in this section ensures that search engines can efficiently crawl and index your site to better understand your website content.

Content optimization

This part of the website audit checklist targets keyword targeting, website content quality, headings, and metadata. Content optimization ensures that search engines are presented with relevant content, keywords match the user's intent, and your page provides value to your audience.

Image optimization

In this section of the SEO audit checklist, you'll have to inspect images to make sure that they have good compression while still maintaining image quality and desired functionality. Although not directly a ranking factor, proper image optimization should not be overlooked as optimized images can make your page mobile-friendly, boost page speed, enhance user experience, and improve your website's search engine positions.

Page speed optimization

Page Speed Optimization is the process of enhancing a website’s performance by employing various strategies to pass the Core Web Vitals assessment, reduce its load time, improve accessibility, and raise conversion rates. In this part of the SEO audit, you'll look deeper into page elements, how the website was made, and test if the design is mobile-friendly. Since page speed is a ranking factor, passing these audits will help your website get better rankings.

Off-page optimization

The off-page optimization section of our website audit checklist focuses on external factors affecting your search rankings. You'll be investigating your website's backlink profile, checking external links, and ensuring that the anchor texts of your incoming links aren't overused.

How to use the SEO audit checklist

To test each item in the website audit checklist, you'll have to evaluate your website or individual pages using the tools we've enumerated earlier. Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, and Ahrefs can detect issues on your entire site while Google Page Speed Insights and GTmetrix can only find issues on a page level.

Using the audit checklist is pretty straightforward. Once the tests are complete, column D in the audit checklist tells you what tool(s) to use to check each item in column B. Click the dropdown button in column C to mark if the website passed or failed any item in the checklist then add a note in column D.

Create a separate document for your site audit report then list all of your findings in that file along with the appropriate actions for each issue you've found.

SEO issues you may find

Over the years, we've used the SEO audit template to provide a systematic approach for evaluating the search engine optimization of our clients' websites. Here are the most common website issues we've encountered in our professional SEO careers, some of which you may encounter in your audit.

Broken or lack of internal links

Internal links provide context to your content by linking related pages together. This context helps search engines understand the relationship between different pages. Internal linking also helps spread the link equity across your site. A lack of internal links will lead to indexing issues as search engines won't find all the pages on your website.

Apart from adding internal links to the main menu, it's quite common for websites in different industries to forget to link one page to another.

Flat website structure

A flat site structure, where there are no parent pages or categories, can negatively impact SEO by lacking a clear hierarchical organization. This absence of site structure confuses both users and search engine bots, making navigation and understanding the site's layout and content challenging. It can lead to a poor user experience, inefficient crawling by search engine bots, indexing issues, and difficulty in highlighting the site's most important and relevant content.

flat url structure, common technical seo error

Missing or unoptimized meta descriptions

Meta descriptions act as a concise summary of the page that is displayed in Google Search results. Without a well-crafted meta description, users may not receive enough information to encourage them to click on the link. Search engines will also automatically select a snippet from the webpage as a makeshift meta description, which may not accurately represent the page's content.

Unoptimized mobile pages

In an era where mobile internet usage is paramount, users anticipate seamless navigation, swift loading times, and a design tailored for smaller screens of mobile devices. Failing to meet these expectations due to unoptimized mobile pages can lead to user frustration and a decline in site traffic.

unresponsive website, common technical seo error

Search engines, particularly Google, emphasize mobile optimization as a critical ranking factor. Mobile-friendly pages can enjoy better search rankings which will ultimately impact organic traffic.

There are several adjustments to make your website optimized for mobile. Read our complete guide on how to optimize a landing page for SEO to learn more about the topic and how to implement them in your website..

Not using target keywords in the metadata or content

Without incorporating target keywords, your website might not appear on Google Search results pages. This is because search engines match the keywords in your content with particular search queries made by human users. A lack of keywords in your content will lead to decreased impressions in Google Search and a reduction in organic traffic.

Pages aren't found in Google's index

Pages that use JavaScript heavily often have indexing issues that prevent search engine bots from rendering the page. This is a common problem with websites built using React JS, a popular framework favored by front-end developers due to its ease of use but comes with a cost in SEO.

Pages built using React are rendered in the user's web browser. This means that the page's source code that search engines see doesn’t show actual page elements like headers, images, or content. Since the source code is blank, there is nothing to render and index. 

Web browsers can't render pages correctly

Web browsers may struggle to render some mobile pages correctly due to a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's caused by a page design that is not mobile-friendly, meaning the page does not adapt to different screen sizes which causes misalignment on mobile browsers. Complex JS or CSS may not process correctly on all mobile browsers, leading to display issues and a compromised user experience.

Website has no valid XML sitemap

An XML sitemap lists all the pages of a website which helps search engines understand the website's structure and find its content; kind of like a table of contents. Without an XML sitemap, search engines will have to rely on internal links to find all the relevant pages on your website.

xml sitemap for technical seo

Missing robots.txt file

The robots.txt file is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots. It can prevent search engines from crawling pages and also tell them where the XML sitemap is located. Without a robots.txt, unwanted might get indexed while your important pages may not.

Duplicate pages

Indexed pages that are identical will compete with each other and make it challenging for algorithms to determine which page should be ranked higher in Google Search results. The presence of duplicate content can hinder bots from visiting important pages. Duplicate pages are often caused by pages with URL parameters, http and https content, or pagination.

Title tags used by multiple URLs

Duplicate title tags are bad for two reasons. Users who encounter multiple pages with the same title in Google Search can confuse them and make it unclear which page will provide the information they seek. Using the same page titles will also confuse algorithms and cause the wrong page to appear in search results.

Need help conducting a full website audit?

Conducting a comprehensive site audit using Serphead's website audit checklist is essential for identifying and addressing various issues on your own website. Implementing the insights gained from the website audit will significantly enhance your website performance, user experience, and overall success in the digital landscape.

If you encounter an issue that is too complex, don't hesitate to reach out to us here at Serphead. Our team of seasoned SEO professionals will diagnose the problem and formulate the solution for your website. Whether it's website audit, technical SEO, content writing, or link building; we've got the right man for the job.

SEO audit questions from our potential and existing clients

Why is a technical SEO audit necessary?

A technical SEO audit provides a detailed insight into the current site performance of your website and can identify potential issues and areas for improvement. Moreover, a regular website audit helps keep the website updated, competitive, and compliant with the latest search engine algorithms and standards.

Will auditing be automated?

A website audit is already partially automated with various tools and software available that can quickly and efficiently analyze various aspects of a website. These tools we've enumerated above, for example, can identify all website issues in a matter of minutes.

While automated tools can handle many technical aspects, human expertise is still needed to interpret the results of the website audit, understand the context, and make strategic decisions. SEO involves not just technical factors but also content quality, user experience, and other subjective elements that are difficult for AI to assess accurately.

How long does an SEO audit take?

Depending on the size of a website, a complete website audit can take from a day up to a month. Checking the website of a small-medium business can be completed by a single SEO specialist in several hours. A website of a huge corporation (like Amazon) will need a large team of professionals to do a complete website audit.

What does an SEO audit include?

Here at Serphead, a complete website audit will include an extensive check of your website using the checklist and tools we've mentioned in this article. Not only that, but we'll also show you how to fix each issue we've identified in the website audit. Some clients have even given us access to their CMS so that we can do the site improvements ourselves. That just shows you the level of trust Serphead has with our clients.

How much does an SEO audit cost?

We can't speak for other SEO professionals or agencies, but a website audit is part of all SEO service packages offered by Serphead. A monthly investment of $4,000 starts (four months minimum) with an in-depth analysis of your industry and competitors, a full website audit, and on-site enhancements. We'll then follow it up with content optimization and complement onsite work with a robust link-building strategy.

Sergei Ivanov

Sergei Ivanov

Co-Founder and CEO of Serphead

Sergei has more than a decade of experience blending data-driven insights with SEO strategies to enhance online visibility and user engagement. He has been providing practical guidance for businesses and individuals navigating the digital landscape since 2012.