The Ultimate Guide To SEO Audit For Small Businesses

Seo audit for small businesses

Doing an SEO audit for your small business from time to time is vital to succeed online, and here’s why…

Imagine your website is like a car.

You wouldn’t drive years without a check-up, right?

The same goes for your site. A search engine optimization audit is essentially that check-up.

It ensures that everything runs smoothly and finds any hiccups that could slow you down on the web highway.

Now, why does this matter to you?

Simple. You want your business to be easily found online, right at the top of the search results when someone searches for your offer.

But if there are issues you’re unaware of, your site might lag behind, unseen by potential customers.

So, read on to learn how to perform an SEO audit and become confident about optimizing your site.

The 7-Step Guide To SEO Audit For Small Businesses

This post is your roadmap. It will walk you through conducting an SEO audit step by step.

No jargon, no overwhelming tech talk.

I’ve put together clear, actionable steps to help you uncover what’s holding your site back and how to fix it using helpful SEO tools.

With that said, let’s dive in and get your website firing on all cylinders!

Step 1 – Ensure Correct Indexing on Google

Let’s explore some handy tools and tricks for keeping your website’s SEO in check, starting with Google Search Console.

Think of Google Search Console as your website’s health dashboard.

It’s where you can peek under the hood and see if everything’s running as it should be.

First up is the “Index Coverage” report.

This is like a report card for your website’s pages—it shows you which ones are showing up in Google’s search results and which ones aren’t making the cut due to issues. 

To check it out, just hop into Google Search Console, find the “Indexing” section on the left, and click “Pages.”

You will see a graphic summary of all the pages indexed on your site, like in the example below for a pretty new website.

google search console indexed pages example

Under this summary, you’ll see a list of URLs that have problems, and Google will even tell you what’s up, like if a page is marked ‘noindex’ or has some redirect issues.

search console list of pages with problems

Now, for a quick check on how many of your pages are in Google’s index, there’s a simple trick.

You can find this information by going to Google and typing “” — obviously, swap ‘’ with your website address.

google query using site operator

Handy, right? If the number of results seems way off from what you expect, like way too high or too low, that’s a clue you might need to dig deeper.

And if you wanna go deeper…

Enter Screaming Frog Spider, your SEO detective tool. It’s like sending a robot crawler to do a full sweep of your site, similar to how Google’s bots do it. 

Once Screaming Frog is done crawling, it’ll give you a rundown of any pages that have issues, like being blocked from Google’s view by a misconfigured robots.txt file.

Clicking on a particular URL lets you check its details and find useful SEO information, such as the page title, meta description, 404 error, etc.

screaming frog complete report result

And a general overview of the resources the tool has found on your website.

screaming from overview of the resources found on a website

It’s a bit more technical, but it’s a goldmine for spotting problems that could keep your site from appearing in search results.

Using these tools, you know exactly where your website stands with search engines.

And if something’s off, you’ve got the starting point to fix it and get your site up in the rankings.

Step 2 – Optimize Website Loading (Especially for Mobile Devices)

How do you figure out if your site is quick on its feet or more like a slowpoke?

Tools like WebPageTest or Google’s Pagespeed Insights are your best buddies here. 

They’re like personal trainers, telling you where you’re acing it and where to pick up the pace.

Remember to always start with the Mobile version of the test because Google began using its Mobile-First Algorithm in 2018.

webpagetest mobile device selection for test

For example, in this analysis by WebPageTest, clicking on tips opens a series of opportunities to fix the problem.

webpagetest optimization tips after analysis

And if your site is lagging after following these tool suggestions, don’t sweat it—there are plenty of ways to speed things up. 

Begin with your site cache. It’s often the reason things get sluggish.

You can shave off precious loading time by caching your website data. 

Think of it like packing a suitcase: It’s all about fitting everything you need in advance.

Another game-changer? Your hosting service.

Sometimes, you get what you pay for, so your site speed might suffer if you’re skimping on hosting. 

Consider upgrading to a more powerful hosting provider if necessary.

It’s like moving from a crowded apartment building with a slow elevator to a swanky place with a super-speedy lift – the difference can be night and day.

I use WPX, and it’s fantastic. Their support can help you fix every problem, and with their chat service, you receive assistance in 30 seconds, LITERALLY!

And here’s something that puts things into perspective…

After observing e-commerce sites over 30 days, it was found that sites loading in just one second boasted conversion rates of 3.05%. 

But for those dragging along at five seconds? The rate plummeted to 1.08%.

Imagine you sell handmade candles online, and your website currently takes about five seconds to load.

Now, let’s say your website gets about 10,000 visitors a month.

With a 1.08% conversion rate, that’s roughly 108 sales.

If your average candle price is $20, you make around $2,160 monthly from your website.

But what if you optimized your website to load in just one second?

With a conversion rate of 3.05%, your monthly sales could jump to 305 candles.

At the same price, you’d be looking at $6,100 in sales – that’s an increase of nearly $3,940 just by improving your site speed!

Step 3 – Analyze And Benchmark Organic Traffic

Let’s see how you can check your site’s organic traffic using Google Analytics (GA4). 

It’s a fantastic tool for getting a clear picture of how your site’s doing and where you can grow.

First up, you’ll want to log into your Google Analytics account. Got it open? Great.

Make sure you are in the “Reports”.

GA4 reports area selection

Then navigate to “Life cycle” and click “Acquisition.” 

Here, GA4 breaks down how users find your site. We’re specifically interested in the “Traffic Acquisition” report, so go ahead and click on that.

GA4 traffic acquisition selection

Now, you’re in the heart of where GA4 tracks traffic sources.

This is where you’ll find your organic traffic data. GA4 labels it “session_source/medium,” and you’re looking for the medium that says “organic.”

Here, you can see trends over time, which is crucial for evaluating how your SEO efforts are performing.

To adjust the period you’re viewing, use the custom date range box in the upper right corner of your screen.

GA4 traffic acquisition report example

What you’re doing here is looking for patterns in your organic traffic.

Is there steady growth? That’s a great sign. A sudden drop? Time to do some digging to see what might have changed.

For benchmarking, take note of your current traffic levels, especially after significant content updates or SEO strategy shifts. 

These will be your benchmarks to beat as you optimize your site.

Remember, GA4’s approach is more centered around user engagement and events, so adjusting to this new perspective might take some time.

But by keeping a regular eye on your organic traffic trends in GA4, you’re setting yourself up for informed decision-making and strategic growth.

Finally, put a sticky note near your desk that says, “This isn’t a one-and-done deal.” 

Regularly checking in on your organic traffic helps you stay on top of your game and spot opportunities or issues early on.

Plus, it’s pretty satisfying to see those numbers climb!

Step 4 – Discover, Optimize, And Track Ranking Keywords

Keywords are signals your audience sends out, lighting up the path to your website.

It’s like following breadcrumbs through a forest. 

Each breadcrumb, or keyword in this case, guides you closer to your destination, attracting more eyes and activity to your site.

Google Search Console is your go-to tool for this.

Once you’re there, you’ll find a report showing the queries people use to find your pages.

google search console queries report example

This is gold because it tells you what’s working and what’s not. You might discover keywords you didn’t even know you were ranking for!

Now, why bother optimizing your content around these keywords?

Well, it’s all about meeting your audience right where they are.

If you know people are finding your site using certain terms, you can tweak your content to serve those searches better.

This makes your site more relevant to your audience and tells search engines it matches those searches well. 

It’s a win-win.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Keeping an eye on where your keywords stand in search rankings is crucial, too.

That’s where a tool like Keysearch comes in. It lets you track your keywords’ positions over time.

keysearch keywords tracker

Why does this matter?

Because the higher you rank, the more likely people are to find you.

If you notice a keyword slipping down the ranks, it’s a signal to refresh your content or revamp it to make it more relevant and valuable.

Step 5 – Improve On-Page SEO

Let’s focus on beefing up the SEO for the most critical pages on your website.

These pages get the most traffic or potentially bring in a lot of visitors.

Optimizing these pages helps boost your overall site performance.

Start with the basics: the title tags, headings (h1, h2, and so on), and meta description. 

These must be crisp and clear, and, most importantly, they should include your primary keywords.

Like on one of my posts where the primary keyword is ‘SEO tips.’

title tag, heading, and MetaDescription optimization example

These elements are like big neon signs telling search engines what your page is about.

Plus, they catch the reader’s eye when your page pops up in search results.

Speaking of keywords, make sure your primary keyword appears in the URL and in the first 150 words of your content.

This helps Google immediately understand that your content is relevant to the search query.

It’s like telling someone the topic of your story right off the bat so they know they’re in the right place.

Now, to ensure that your content resonates with what your audience is searching for, you need to use some LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords. 

These keywords relate to your main one and assist search engines in understanding your topic better.

I recommend a tool called NeuronWriter, which can be super helpful here.

It suggests LSI keywords based on what’s already ranking well, which can guide you on what to include to make your content more comprehensive and engaging.

Look here at its suggestions while I’m writing this post.

NeuwronWriter LSI keywords suggestions while writing a post

Let’s not forget about internal links.

These are links from one page on your site to another. They’re crucial because they guide visitors deeper into your website, keeping them engaged longer.

Plus, they help spread some SEO juice around your site.

When you link internally, try to use relevant anchor text (that’s the clickable text in a hyperlink), which should naturally include relevant keywords.

Think of it as creating a web inside your site where every thread leads visitors to more helpful content.

If you want to automate this process faster, I suggest a tool called LinkWhisper. It simplifies the process by suggesting relevant internal links automatically as you write your content. 

linkwhisper explanation image

Step 6 – Analyze Backlink Profile

Backlinks are super important in SEO because they’re like votes of confidence from one website to another.

If a bunch of reputable sites link back to you, search engines view it as evidence that your content is valuable and trustworthy.

This can boost your site’s visibility in search results.

Now, to get a clear picture of who’s linking to you and how it’s impacting your SEO, a tool like Ahrefs comes in handy.

You can check the backlinks report by clicking on the site explorer section and following the menu on the left bar.

Ahrefs backlinks report example

It’s a deep dive into your site’s backlink profile. You can see not only who’s linking to you but also the quality of those links.

It’s like having a detailed map showing where your website’s roads (links) come from.

However, not all links are good for your site. Some can be toxic, like those from sketchy sites or spammy directories.

You don’t want these links because they can harm your site’s reputation and rankings. Ahrefs can help you spot these bad apples.

Once you find them, you can disavow them through Google.

To do this, go to the Google Disavow tool, select your site, and upload the list of disavowed links.

google disavow procedure

You can use the directive to disavow a specific URL or an entire domain inside the file. 

disavow instructions example for single page or entire domain

Before doing so, I strongly suggest checking Google support.

Building a healthy backlink profile is about more than cleaning up bad links. You also want to encourage good-quality links. 

Start by creating top-notch content that others will want to link to.

Reach out to related businesses and bloggers to see if there’s an opportunity for them to link back to your content.

Submitting guest posts to well-respected sites within your niche is another effective method for acquiring quality backlinks.

Step 7 – Address Technical SEO Factors

Let’s unpack some technical SEO basics that help shape your site’s relationship with search engines.

These elements ensure your site is easy to crawl and understand and doesn’t have barriers that might prevent it from ranking well.

First, robots.txt is a small text file that guides search engines to the areas of your site they can and cannot navigate.

Think of it like a doorman who decides which guests (search engines) can enter certain rooms (parts of your site).

You need to make sure this file is correctly set up to avoid blocking search engines from important content you want them to see.

You can find your site’s robots.txt file by typing your domain followed by /robots.txt into your browser’s address bar.

For example, if your website is, you’d go to

To update it, access your hosting server via FTP or your web hosting control panel, locate the robots.txt file in the root directory, and edit it using a text editor.

Next up, sitemaps. A sitemap is a guidebook for search engines, laying out all the essential pages on your site.

It’s crucial because it helps search engines easily find and index all the pages you care about.

Some of your pages might go unnoticed without an XML sitemap file, and I’m sure you definitely don’t want something like that.

I use a plugin called RankMath that automatically creates and updates the file when I publish new content.

rankmath generated sitemap

Then there are broken links, which are links on your site that lead nowhere.

Imagine sending customers into a store only to find some doors locked – that’s frustrating, right?

It’s the same for your website visitors.

Broken links hurt user experience and can harm your site’s credibility with search engines.

As you know, tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider or Google Search Console can help you find and fix these links.

Or if you want to check some broken links manually, I recommend a Chrome extension called Check My Links.

This smart extension crawls through your webpage and highlights broken links. 

google chrome check my links extension

Lastly, flat site architecture ensures that every page on your site is a manageable number of clicks away from your homepage.

By simplifying navigation, your site becomes more accessible to users and search engines, ensuring easier browsing and crawling.

A rule of thumb is to keep important pages at most three clicks away from the homepage.

seo-friendly site architecture graphic

Kickstart Your SEO Audit For Better Google Rankings 

That’s all! — your comprehensive guide to conducting an SEO audit for your small business.

Diving into the world of SEO might seem daunting initially, but just like regular car maintenance ensures your vehicle runs at its best, a well-executed SEO audit will set your website up for success.

You now have the tools and knowledge at your fingertips.

It’s time to put them to use.

Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back. 

Start by taking one step at a time, applying these practices consistently, and watching as your site climbs the ranks.

Remember that SEO isn’t a one-time job—it’s an ongoing process of improvement and adaptation.

So, breathe in, get ready, and start your audit today!

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