How to Conduct a Basic SEO Audit

You know how important your website is. Operating as both a window into your firm and a means of communication, it’s vital that it operates efficiently and that it’s optimised for search. After all, without search engines, a significant proportion of your users would never get to you.

We’ve previously discussed the various ways you can optimise your site for search – from keyword research to link building. But how do you identify what to prioritise?

That’s where a search engine optimisation (SEO) audit comes in.

What is an SEO audit?

An SEO audit is the process of analysing your website’s performance in defined areas and identifying what can be improved or fixed.

Once you have a list of elements you want to improve, you can compile them into a plan to address in order of importance. This may be work straightforward enough for you to do in your CMS or it may require developers to get involved.

Your list of work required will depend on your own resources and priorities, but you’ll typically want to focus on the following areas:


Auditing your content can be a big enough project to do separately. But as part of a basic SEO audit, you can analyse the pages with the best performing content and those with the worst. To do this, you’ll need to review your analytics platform to see which pages are driving the most traffic and which are converting users.

You may have pages with a significant amount of traffic but few conversions. Equally, you could have pages that see relatively small numbers of users but they convert well. You could also find that you have pages on your site that don’t attract many users and they don’t convert.

  • High traffic, low conversion

If you have the first issue, your pages are likely doing well from an SEO perspective, but falling down on conversion rate optimisation (CRO). Analysing CRO is technically a separate project, but as both elements have the same ultimate goal of improving your bottom line, you may want to consider improvements as part of your audit.

  • Low traffic, high conversion

Meanwhile, if your pages are not seeing many users, this is a sign that they require optimisation. Thinking about how to address the intent of the user who has landed on that page and how you can make your page better than your competitors’ will help. However, be cautious with introducing wholesale changes if your conversion rate is high. You don’t want to risk fixing what isn’t broken.

  • Low traffic, low conversion

Then there’s the third possibility: low traffic and even lower conversion rates. When you come across pages like this, it’s worth considering whether they really offer any value to users. These pages are your top contenders for removal.

  • High traffic, high conversion

And of course, the fourth kind of page is the one we all dream of: high levels of traffic and strong conversion rates. These are the pages you can learn from and emulate across the rest of your site, where appropriate.


Just like content, the technical side of SEO is a project that can be considered on its own. But to gain an idea of whether your site needs much improvement there, you can take a high-level approach. Looking at elements like your site speed, 404 errors and whether you’ve blocked any pages on your site can help you identify some quick wins.

Google Search Console (GSC) will be a helpful tool for analysing the technical side of your site. If you don’t have it set up, just follow the directions Google provides and you’ll soon find a wealth of information about your site’s performance, including which pages are returning a 404 ‘not found’ error.

It will show you the pages Google has indexed for your site and if there are any important ones missing. You can then add these pages to a list to improve. You may need to improve the content on a page or the technical elements – like adding a self-referential canonical link. GSC will point you in the direction of what you need to do.

Google is well known for prioritising sites that offer a positive user experience. Part of this involves fast loading speeds. You can check your page speed using various online tools. They’ll typically suggest ways of improving your loading speeds to make your site’s user experience a better one.


The most important off-page element to review during an SEO audit is that the links pointing to your site are leading to the correct pages and – crucially – that they aren’t returning a 404 error.

When a backlink from another site leads to a broken page on your site, you lose the equity that would otherwise flow through to your site. This equity helps Google understand that your site offers value. If you’ve done the hard work required to build backlinks – creating high-quality content and outreach – you won’t want to let it go to waste.

There are various tools you can use to review any broken backlinks or those returning a 404 – Ahrefs, Semrush and Majestic are just some examples. But you can also utilise Google Search Console, which we explain below. Once you’ve identified any potential incorrect or broken links, you can either reach out to the site linking to you with the correct page’s URL or redirect them to another page on your site.

The tools to help

Carrying out an SEO audit doesn’t necessitate investing in expensive paid tools – although there are a number that can offer real value to website owners.

For a basic audit, there are certain free tools that offer more than enough for you to gain an idea of which areas of your website you need to work on.

  • Google Analytics

The most used analytics tool on the market, Google Analytics is free and provides enough information for most firms. You can use it to identify your most visited pages, as well as those that aren’t performing.

You can also see which pages are driving most conversions and where users are spending the most time. Google Analytics also allows you to see where your traffic came from, letting you identify which pages are pulling in more organic traffic.

  • Google Search Console

Another hugely valuable and comprehensive free tool, Google Search Console provides data on the queries that are leading searchers to your site, click-through rate and how many times your site was seen in a Google search engine results page (SERP).

It can also show you which pages are returning a 404 error, which pages aren’t indexed by Google and which pages don’t have the right canonical links. GSC also shows whether any enhancements, like schema markup, have any errors that need addressing.

  • PageSpeed Insights

If you’re worried about your site’s speed, you can evaluate it using Google’s PageSpeed Insights (PSI). You just paste in the URL of a page you want to check and let the tool do its work. It’ll let you know whether the page passes Google’s Core Web Vitals and what the various metrics that make it up mean.

PSI will also show you what you can work on to improve your page speed – generally work that you can pass on to your development team.

  • Screaming Frog

Essentially a site audit in one tool, Screaming Frog will crawl up to 500 pages on your site for free. If you want the entire site crawled, you’ll have to pay for a licence, which costs £149 per year.

The free version shows you broken links, canonical links, pages that are exact duplicates of each other and your meta data, as well as other information to help you identify where your site needs attention.

To find out how First4Lawyers can enhance your lead generation, just get in touch.


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