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HomeBlogSEO11 Major Issues in SEO Audit: Ongoing Website Updates Guide

11 Major Issues in SEO Audit: Ongoing Website Updates Guide

You’re not the only one who has wondered how to address a sudden decline in traffic or who wants to attract more visitors. All business owners who depend on their websites to bring in money should be highly concerned about these issues. It’s a good idea to start with an SEO audit of your website and look for on-site problems that you can repair to increase traffic.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss nine major issues to monitor in an SEO audit, including low-quality links, broken and missing internal links, non-secure or dead links, duplicate content issues, thin content & deceptive page titles, inclusion and tag optimization, image compression & page speed improvements as well as redirects and customized error pages. So stay tuned to learn about issues in SEO audits.

Ongoing Website Updates

1. Low-Quality Links In SEO Audits

One major issue that arises during website audits is low-quality links. It’s crucial to have an ongoing link examination and pruning schedule using tools like Majestic SEO to maintain a healthy link profile free from bad links.

Identify Harmful Backlinks with Majestic SEO

Maintaining a clean backlink profile is essential for optimal site performance and search engine rankings. You can use the powerful SEO audit tool Majestic SEO to identify potentially harmful or low-quality backlinks. This platform provides comprehensive data on your website’s backlinks, allowing you to spot any toxic or unwanted links that may negatively impact your site’s authority.

Importance of Regular Link Pruning for Optimal Site Performance

In addition to identifying harmful backlinks, it is important to regularly prune and remove these undesirable connections from your website’s link profile. Regularly monitoring and cleaning up your link portfolio helps prevent penalties from search engines like Google due to association with spammy or low-quality sites. By maintaining a high-quality set of inbound links, you can improve both user experience and overall organic visibility in search results.

  • Action Step: Use Majestic SEO every month (or more frequently if needed) to monitor your website’s incoming links for quality control purposes.
  • Action Step: Remove any identified low-quality or toxic backlinks by either contacting the linking websites directly requesting removal or disavowing them through Google Search Console’s Disavow Tool.
  • Action Step: Keep track of your link pruning efforts in a spreadsheet to monitor progress and ensure that harmful backlinks are not reappearing over time.

2. Broken and Missing Internal Links

Broken links can detrimentally affect user experience and search engine rankings. Thus, it is imperative to repair them quickly. On the other hand, missing internal links may lead to valuable content being overlooked by both users and search engines. To address these issues, you need a combination of regular site audits and Google Search Console.

Use Google Search Console for Detecting Missing Internal Links

Google Search Console is an invaluable tool that helps identify missing internal links on your website. By monitoring the “Internal Links” report under the “Links” section in GSC, you can easily spot pages with few or no internal links pointing to them. This allows you to make necessary adjustments by adding relevant internal links where needed, ensuring better crawl ability and indexation of your web pages.

Fix Broken Links Through Regular Website Audits

To detect broken links on your website effectively, use the SEO audit tool, Screaming Frog SEO Spider. This software crawls your entire website just like a search engine would do but highlights any broken (404) URLs encountered during the process. Once identified, take prompt action by either fixing or removing these problematic URLs from your site.

  • Action Step 1: Run Screaming Frog SEO Spider regularly (e.g., monthly) to identify broken URLs within your website.
  • Action Step 2: Fix or remove detected broken URLs promptly for improved user experience and search engine rankings.
  • Action Step 3: Monitor the “Internal Links” report in Google Search Console to ensure all valuable content is adequately linked within your site.

Incorporating these strategies into your ongoing website maintenance routine will help you maintain a healthy internal linking structure, ultimately improving your business’s user experience and search engine rankings.

3. Non-Secure or Dead Links

Another common problem encountered in site audits is non-secure or dead links. Ensuring your website has proper Google Analytics installations will help monitor these issues; this can be done using Screaming Frog’s search function.

Monitor Non-Secure/Dead Links with Google Analytics

Maintaining a secure and enjoyable web experience requires tracking down any non-secure (HTTP) or broken links on your website. With Google Analytics, you can easily identify such problematic URLs by setting up custom alerts for 404 errors and monitoring traffic sources that lead users to non-secure pages.

  • Create Custom Alerts: Set up custom alerts in Google Analytics to notify you when there is an increase in 404 error pages on your site.
  • Analyze Traffic Sources: Identify the traffic sources leading users to non-secure pages, then update those referring URLs with secure HTTPS versions.

Utilize Screaming Frog for Identifying Problematic URLs

Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool is an invaluable resource for detecting various types of link-related issues like broken links, redirects, and insecure content. By crawling your entire website, it provides comprehensive data about each URL’s status code (e.g., 200 OK or 404 Not Found), response time, and security protocol (HTTP or HTTPS), among other valuable insights.

  1. Crawl Your Website: Run a complete crawl of your site using Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool to gather information about all URLs.
  2. Filter Results: Filter the results by status code (e.g., 404 Not Found) or security protocol (HTTP) to identify problematic links that need attention.
  3. Fix Issues: Update dead or non-secure links with working, secure HTTPS versions, and ensure proper redirects are in place when necessary.

Tackling non-secure and dead link issues is crucial for maintaining a healthy website with an optimal user experience. By leveraging Google Analytics and Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool, you can effectively monitor and address these concerns as part of your ongoing site maintenance strategy.

4. Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions provide users with important context about the page’s content, helping them choose which link to click. They are also a chance to make your listing stand out on the page.

The Importance of Meta Descriptions in SEO Audits

In performing regular SEO audits, you must include a technical SEO audit and a site audit. One crucial aspect of this process is ensuring that all pages have meta descriptions that accurately reflect their content and target keywords.

  • Missing Meta Descriptions: The most common mistake we see is that meta descriptions are missing altogether, which forces Google to simply show the opening sentence of your page. This can be detrimental as it does not provide any valuable information or context for potential visitors.
  • Poor Quality Meta Descriptions: Another issue we often encounter during an SEO audit is poorly written or irrelevant meta descriptions. These may either be too long or too short and fail to convey what users can expect from clicking through to your website.

Tips for Effective Meta Descriptions in SEO Audits

To ensure your meta descriptions work effectively in search engine results pages (SERPs), follow these tips:

  • KISS Principle: Keep It Short & Simple – aim for no more than around 155 characters, including spaces, so they don’t get truncated by Google’s algorithm when displayed in SERPs;
  • Action-Oriented Language: Your description should encourage people who organically across it through searches like “SEO Audit” or “Digital Marketing Agency” to click through to your site. Use action-oriented language, such as “Learn more,” “Discover how,” or “Get started today”;
  • Include Target Keywords: Incorporate target keywords into the meta description where appropriate and relevant;
  • Avoid Duplicate Descriptions: Avoid using duplicate descriptions for multiple pages – each page should have a unique meta description that accurately reflects its content;

5. Mobile-Friendly

In today’s digital age, mobile devices have become integral to our lives. With more people accessing the internet through their smartphones and tablets, ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive is essential.

The Importance of Mobile Optimization

A study conducted by Statista shows that in 2021, over half of all internet traffic worldwide came from mobile devices. This means that if your website isn’t optimized for mobile users, you could miss out on many potential customers.

Google has also recognized the importance of providing a seamless experience across all devices and introduced its mobile-first indexing update in 2018. This update prioritizes websites with a solid mobile presence when ranking search results.

Making Your Website Mobile-Friendly

To make sure your website is optimized for mobile users:

  • Use a responsive design: A responsive design automatically adjusts to fit any screen size or device type used to access your site.
  • Avoid using Flash: Apple products do not support Flash content which can cause issues for some visitors who may be unable to view certain parts of your site.
  • Simplify navigation: Ensure easy-to-use menus are visible on small screens so visitors can easily find what they’re looking for without having to zoom or scroll excessively.

If you’re unsure whether or not your site meets these requirements, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. The tool will analyze each page on your site and provide feedback on its performance on different types of devices.

By making your website mobile-friendly, you can provide a better user experience for all visitors and increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

6. Duplicate Content Issues

One of the key challenges to achieving a high SERP ranking is avoiding duplicate content. It’s essential to address this problem by identifying and fixing any duplicated meta information on your site. By ensuring unique content across all web pages, you can improve SERP visibility and avoid penalties from search engines.

Identify Duplicate Content with Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a powerful SEO tool that can help you identify duplicate content on your website quickly and efficiently. The software crawls through your entire site, analyzing each page for similarities in titles, descriptions, and other metadata elements. Once identified, it provides a comprehensive report highlighting areas where duplication exists so that necessary changes can be made.

Implementing Strategies to Avoid Duplication Penalties

To prevent potential penalties due to duplicate content issues, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Create Unique Meta Information: Ensure every webpage has its own unique title tag and meta description reflecting the specific topic or purpose of the page.
  • Noindex Tags: If certain pages contain similar or identical content intentionally (e.g., printer-friendly versions), use noindex tags (<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>) to instruct search engines not to index these pages.
  • Canonical Tags: In cases where multiple URLs lead to the same piece of content (e.g., product variations), implement canonical tags (<link rel=”canonical” href=”[preferred URL]”>) to indicate the preferred version for search engines.
  • 301 Redirects: If you have permanently moved a page or merged content, use 301 redirects to direct users and search engines from the old URL to the new one.

All in all, by actively monitoring your website for duplicate content issues and implementing these strategies, you can maintain a healthy online presence while improving your site’s performance in SERPs.

7. Thin Content & Deceptive Page Titles

While thin content may not pose a significant problem if you have covered the technical basics, avoiding deceptive page titles and click-bait tactics is essential. Google algorithms consider these as serious on-page signals that can negatively impact your website’s search engine rankings.

Recognize Thin Content Risks

To ensure a high-quality user experience and maintain good standing with search engines, it is crucial to identify thin content risks. These include pages with little or no valuable information, auto-generated content, doorway pages, and duplicate text across multiple web pages. Addressing these issues will improve your site’s overall performance in SERPs.

Avoid Click-Bait Tactics & Misleading Page Titles

Misleading page titles and click-bait tactics are frowned upon by users and search engines. To prevent this issue:

  • Create accurate, descriptive page titles that reflect the actual content of each webpage.
  • Avoid using sensational language or exaggerating claims just to attract clicks.
  • Incorporate relevant keywords naturally within the title without resorting to keyword-stuffing techniques.
  • Keep your title length within recommended limits (50-60 characters) for optimal display on SERPs. Moz provides helpful tips on crafting effective titles while adhering to best practices.

Eventually, taking steps towards addressing thin content risks while avoiding misleading page titles will result in better user engagement rates and improved organic traffic from search engines like Google. Always prioritize providing value to your users through high-quality content and accurate, informative page titles.

8. Inclusion and Tag Optimization

Ensuring that your website is easily accessible to search engines is crucial for achieving high rankings in search results. One effective way to do this is by including a link to your sitemap in the robots.txt file, which helps search bots easily find relevant information about your web pages. In addition, the proper use of various tags such as heading tags, hreflang tags, and canonical tags can significantly improve the overall SEO performance of your website.

Importance of Sitemap Inclusion in Robots.txt

A well-structured sitemap provides an organized list of all pages on your website that you want search engines to crawl and index. By including a reference to the sitemap within the, you make it easier for search engine bots like Googlebot or Bingbot to quickly discover new content on your site. This simple step can lead to faster indexing times and better visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Proper Use of Heading, Hreflang, and Canonical Tags

  • Heading Tags: Using appropriate heading tags (H1-H6) throughout your content improves readability and helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of information on each page. Make sure each webpage has one unique H1 tag followed by properly nested subheadings using H2 through H6.
  • Hreflang Tags: If you have a multilingual or multinational website, hreflang tags tell search engines which language or regional version of a page to display for users in different locations. The proper implementation ensures that the right content is served to your target audience, reducing bounce rates and improving user experience.
  • Canonical Tags: Duplicate content can lead to SEO issues and lower rankings. By using canonical tags, you inform search engines which URL should be considered as the primary source when multiple pages have similar or identical content. This helps prevent duplicate content penalties and maintains your website’s authority in SERPs.

9. Image Compression & Page Speed

Optimizing images without sacrificing quality plays a vital role in improving loading times. Compressing images to no larger than 1mb can help prevent website performance issues, improving user experience and search engine rankings. To avoid these issues, it is essential to compress images to no larger than 1 MB.

Techniques for image compression without losing quality

There are several techniques you can use to compress your images while maintaining their visual appeal:

  • Tinypng: This online tool uses smart lossy compression techniques that reduce the file size of your PNG or JPEG files without a noticeable loss in quality. Try using Tinypng.
  • JPEGmini: Another excellent tool for reducing the size of JPEGs is JPEGmini. It optimizes and reduces file sizes by up to 80%, preserving image resolution and quality.
  • Gzip Compression: Gzip is a popular method web servers and browsers use for faster data transfer through compressed files. Enabling gzip on your server will help improve page load times across all site elements.

Utilize Google’s PageSpeed Insights for website performance optimization

In addition to optimizing images, it’s crucial to monitor overall website performance regularly. One powerful tool at your disposal is Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which was released in 2018. This free service analyzes both mobile and desktop versions of websites, providing actionable recommendations based on various factors affecting page speed, such as render-blocking resources, unused CSS rules, inefficient cache policies, and more. You can access Google’s PageSpeed Insights to analyze your website performance.

10. Redirects and Customized Error Pages

As websites grow and pages are moved or removed, it is essential to implement 301 redirects for search engines and users, indicating a permanent page relocation. Customizing your website’s 404 pages can also enhance the user experience when encountering broken links.

Implement Proper 301 Redirects

A 301 redirect is an essential tool that informs search engines about the new location of a permanently moved webpage. It helps preserve link equity, ensuring that any existing backlinks pointing to the old URL still contribute positively to your site’s SEO performance. To set up a 301 redirect, you can use various methods depending on your server type (e.g., Apache or Nginx) or content management system (CMS), such as WordPress plugins like Redirection.

Create Customized Error Pages for Better User Experience

A well-designed custom 404 error page improves user experience and helps retain visitors who might otherwise leave due to frustration from encountering broken links. By providing helpful information, clear navigation options, and maintaining consistent branding with the rest of your site design, you can turn this potential negative into an opportunity for engagement:

  • Create a visually appealing design in line with your brand identity.
  • Add clear instructions guiding users back to relevant sections of your website.
  • Incorporate humor or creativity if appropriate for your target audience.
  • If possible, provide suggestions based on what they may have been looking for using internal search functionality or popular content listings.

Eventually, to ensure optimal website performance and usability, proactively manage changes and development to meet user expectations.

11. Leverage SEO Tools & Internal Linking Strategies

Optimizing your website’s search engine performance requires a combination of powerful tools and effective strategies. In this section, we’ll discuss how to utilize Semrush’s suite of tools for comprehensive audits and the importance of internal linking strategies in achieving better SERP rankings.

Use Semrush Tools Suite for Comprehensive Audits

Semrush offers a variety of valuable features that can help you identify areas for improvement on your website. Some key components include:

  • Domain Overview: Get an instant snapshot of your site’s overall health, including organic search traffic, backlinks, and top keywords.
  • Keyword Gap: Discover new keyword opportunities by comparing your site with competitors’ websites based on shared keywords.
  • Backlink Gap: Analyze the difference between your backlink profile and those of competing sites to find potential link-building targets.
  • On-Page SEO Checker: This tool provides actionable tips based on various audit areas like content quality, technical optimization, user experience (UX), etc., helping you prioritize improvements effectively.

The Importance of Internal Linking Strategies

A well-planned internal linking strategy is crucial for guiding users through your website’s journey while boosting its authority in search engines’ eyes. Here are some best practices to follow when implementing internal links within your content:

  1. Create a logical hierarchy within pages using relevant anchor text that accurately describes the linked content; avoid generic phrases like “click here” or “source.”
  2. Link to high-authority pages on your site, such as blog posts or resources offering valuable information related to the topic.
  3. Ensure all internal links are functional and up-to-date; broken links can negatively impact user experience and search engine rankings.

Incorporating these strategies alongside Semrush’s powerful tools will help you identify areas for improvement, optimize your website effectively, and ultimately achieve better SERP rankings. Remember always to monitor your progress regularly using rank-tracking tools like Google Search Console.


To audit a website for SEO problems, you can use various SEO audit tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, and Google Pagespeed Insights. These tools can help you identify issues such as broken links, duplicate content, missing meta tags, and other technical SEO issues that may be affecting your site’s ranking. You can also use Google Search Console to monitor your site’s search engine visibility, index status, and other performance metrics. Additionally, you can perform a manual site audit by reviewing your site’s content, structure, and user experience to identify any issues that may be affecting your site’s ranking.

The SEO portion of a website audit typically includes a comprehensive review of your site’s on-page and off-page SEO factors. This includes a review of your site’s content quality, keyword optimization, site structure, broken links, index status, core web vitals, and other technical SEO issues. Additionally, the audit may include a review of your site’s backlink profile, social signals, and other off-page factors that may be affecting your site’s ranking. The audit may also include a review of your site’s SEO strategy and alignment with your business goals. An SEO audit aims to identify any issues that may be affecting your site’s ranking and provide recommendations for improvement.


Performing ongoing website updates is crucial for maintaining a healthy online presence and improving search engine rankings. By monitoring the nine major issues outlined in this SEO audit, businesses can ensure their website is optimized for both users and search engines.

From identifying harmful backlinks to implementing effective internal linking strategies, these key focus areas will help businesses stay ahead of the competition and improve their online visibility.

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