How to do a Quick SEO Audit

Understanding how to perform an SEO audit of any given page is an important skill to acquire for any SEO practitioner. In this lesson, we’ll show you how to quickly identify key elements on a page that require optimization to rank higher in search engines.

16 minutes

Key points you can
learn in this lesson.

Optimizing Audits

Learn how to audit a specific page to look for optimization opportunities.

Understanding SEMRush

Gain a deeper understanding of SEMRush’s built-in tools.

Analyze Data & Insight

Understand how to pull insight from SEMRush’s tools from your audit to inform optimization efforts.

Our key metrics increased. More importantly, we implemented a lot of new tactics and test scenarios, which will boost our company’s future prospects.

Dave McCue
Digital Marketing Manager at Allstate

Lesson Preview

In this lesson, we’ll be walking through how to quickly audit a page with SEMrush and its multiple, built-in tools.  By the end of this lesson, you will know how to take a page and ensure it is on the right path towards ranking for its focus keyword.

Why is this important?

Simply making changes on your site and hoping for the best is not enough.  You need to be able to routinely check in on a page and be able to know if it is set up for success.  By learning how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a page, you are then able to focus your SEO efforts and generate results where it counts.

What you’ll need:

The Process:

Step 1: Enter Your Page Into SEMrush 

  1. To start, from the homepage of SEMrush, you will need to enter the specific page you want to audit into the search bar.
    1. For this lesson, we will be using our own page: https://directiveconsulting.com/services/ppc-agency/ 
  2. Click ‘Search’ and from there you will be presented with the following screen: 
  3. From here you will be presented with an overview of your page metrics along with tabs that will enable you to further break down this information.  For this lesson, we will be utilizing the ‘Positions’ tab as this quickly shows what keywords we are already ranking for and what positions they are already in.

Step 2: Choose the ‘Focus Keyword’ to Optimize Toward

  1. After clicking into the ‘Positions’ tab, we now need to assess what we are looking at. 
  2. Scroll down to ‘Organic Search Positions’ and click the column marked ‘Pos.’ (Position) in order to sort your keywords according to their rank.  Ideally, we want to optimize towards a keyword that is already being registered for the given page as this makes our efforts easier to carry out.  
  3. As you can see, we are already ranking for many keywords of varying volumes and keyword difficulties. But really, we want to rank for the keyword with the most relevancy and volume.  In this case, that keyword is “PPC Agency.” 
    1. This keyword has substantial volume and matches the exact intent for our service page: https://directiveconsulting.com/services/ppc-agency/
    2. As a reminder, your focus keyword should always:
      • Be relevant to the content on the page
      • Have enough volume to generate valuable traffic
      • Be within reach for your page to potentially rank

Step 3: Analyze the Competitive Landscape

1. Now that we have chosen our ‘Focus Keyword’ we need to ensure that our page is set up with proper keyword targeting.  We will be staying in SEMrush for this exercise but having the page open alongside in a separate tab is beneficial.

2. In the left tab of SEMrush, find “On PAGE & TECH SEO” then click the tool “SEO Content Template” 

3. Once this is done, you will be presented with the following screen: 

  • Enter your focus keyword, our is “PPC Agency”, and hit “Create SEO Template”

4. This next screen presents you with a wealth of information that you can use to help fine-tune your page and have it move up the rankings.  This information includes: 

  • Top 10 pages currently ranking for the entered keyword
    • Oftentimes, the best way to rise in rankings is to simply see what the competition is doing and do it better.  Having access to this competitor’s research from a streamlined source makes this process a lot easier.
  • Key Recommendations 
    • All of these recommendations combined would give us the best possible on-page setup.  Keyword additions enable you to create a piece that increases relevancy while Text Length gives you more room to naturally place these keywords into the piece.  Backlinks (which we will dive into more later) can oftentimes be the deciding factor as to what pages rank. As such, these listed domains would go a long way towards helping our page rank if we were to acquire backlinks from them.
  • Competitor Keyword Usage 
    • This ties directly into competitor research as it shows how they use the target keyword within their meta-information.  Just by looking at these three results, it is easy to see that we could capitalize on our competitor’s title set up as ⅔ do not have “PPC Agency” at the forefront or even in the URLs.
  • Basic Recommendations
    • Like we touched on above,  meta-information is a great way to start laying a proper SEO foundation.  The title, description, and H1 should all have the focus keyword included.

Step 4: Analyze Current On-Page Setup

Now that we have taken in the information from around the competitive landscape, it is time to assess our own content that is currently live.  The content of a page is what makes a huge impact on rankings so aligning towards your focus keyword as much as possible is imperative. Luckily, SEMrush’s “Real-time Content Check” makes this easy to determine.

  1. While still in the “SEO Content Template” section, click the “Real-time Content Check” tab 
  2. Once in the “Quick Checker” copy and paste the content of your page into this area in order for it to be analyzed instantly. 
  3. From here, it is time to dive into the most important metrics, which can be found in the column on the right, and assess ways to address them. 
  •     Readability

    • Readability should always be pushed to the forefront if your users can’t understand what is being said it will not resonate with them.  To address this, break up your content with images, use concise sentences, and avoid wordy language.
  • Word Count: 
    • As you can see, we are well below the recommended word count for our focus keyword “PPC Agency.”  Depending on the keyword, research has shown that pages with longer-form content have shown strong positive correlations with higher rankings on Google. The previous step also showed that our competition was embracing this fact, so until we follow suit we likely will not make headway here.
  • Keyword Usage

  • Keyword usage and content length go hand in hand.  The more content you have, the easier it is to add in your focus keyword in a way that avoids “keyword stuffing”.  Ideally, you want your focus keyword to appear on your page 8-12 times. This makes it evidently clear that this is the primary keyword that Google’s crawlers should take note of.  Keep this in mind while using this tool as it simply gives credit for one occurrence of the focus keyword.

Step 5: Check Backlink Profile

Now that we have assessed our on-page setup, our penultimate step will be to find out how many other domains are linking to this page.

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