July 2nd, 2009

short url: http://beeseen.com/s/j

Conducting An SEO Audit To Troubleshoot Problems & Tune-Up Performance – SMX Advanced 2009

Vanessa Fox
Adam Audette
Derrick Wheeler

Has something gone wrong with your organic search engine traffic? An SEO audit might be in order. This session covers how to conduct an efficient audit that troubleshoots real problems, rather than taking you down blind alleys. It also helps you reassess your current SEO efforts for areas that can be tweaked and improved.

Speaker: Derrick Wheeler


  • Crawl
  • Index
  • Rank
  • Traffic
  • Action

Six Steps to Sucess:

Organic Search Engine Optimization is the process of systematically satisfying the needs of search engines and the needs of your users.
The 6 steps to success in organic search engine optimization are:

  1. search engine crawls entire site
  2. search engine indexes entire site
  3. users perform targeted queries
  4. search engine ranks appropriate pages
  5. users click on ranked listings
  6. users take action and/or interact with the site

Search Engine Ranking

SE Rankings should be tracked on a monthly basis. Some important factors to track are:

  • Top keyword list
  • Long tail keyword list
  • User paths
  • Success events
  • Value of user

Speaker: Adam Audette

Outrider (’97), AudetteMedia, Oversee SEO at Zappos, Lead SEO strategy at AKQA

Site Audits

Site audits are very intensive experiences. They rely on the experience of the auditor and require a crucial amount of problem solving. It’s easy to learn, but takes a lot of time to master. It’s essentially, part art and part science.

Part Art:

  • Follow your nose
  • Use your experience
  • Requires diligence
  • Requires trust

Part Science:

  • Use tools to diagnose
  • Undergo calculatory investigation
  • Check for set factors
  • Document everything

Factors Investigated:

  • Main navigation elements
  • General navigation items
  • URL

A Framework for SEO audits:


  • Domains
  • Sections and categories
  • Pages
  • Media (Images, video, etc.)


  • Back-links (quantity, quality)
  • Social media signals
  • Cache date(s), indexed pages
  • Toolbar PageRank

Big 4 Factors:

  1. URLs
  2. Site Architecture & Navigation
  3. Product-level Pages
  4. Site Latency

What about Deliverables:

  • Summarize
  • Keep it Prioritized
  • Keep it Actionable
  • Build in Follow-up
  • Sizzle Matters (presentation matters, professional, visuals)

Executive Summary

Priority level = High Medium Low

Documenting Issues:

  • Problem
  • Impact
  • Recommended Solutions

Some Cool Tools:

  • Google Searches
    site: + inurl: / intitle:
  • Lynx / SEO-browser.com
  • Charles / ySlow (checks latency)
  • Various Toolbars
    SEO Book Toolbar – compare up to 5 URLs together
  • Google WAVE

Other Tools:

  • Linkscape
  • SEMRush
  • wget
  • Log Analysis

Speaker: Vanessa Fox

Tools and Tactics for Diagnostics

Step 1: Get the data

Benchmark the top 10 search queries that bring in the most traffic
Aaron wall’s rank checker

Crawl Log Example:

Apache Log Analyzer 2 Feed


Some important things to consider:

  • Site latency is an indexing factor. If the site is not crawled then it’s a ranking factor.
  • AJAX is not adequate at this point for SEO. The URL needs to change (don’t keep the same URL for all content/pages)
  • Make a URL structure Checklist
  • Keep track of and make a crawl efficiency checklist
  • Set “nofollow” for registration pages, add to cart shopping cart pages, etc.

If there are any problems:

  1. Check if you are penalized
  2. Review the webmaster guidelines
  3. Identify the issue
  4. Fix it!
  5. Request re-evaluations

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