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SEO strategy audit checklist

Use our detailed, 50 point checklist for a SEO comprehensive review giving recommendations to improve your organic traffic

How will this checklist help me and my business?

The first step in any successful strategy is to audit your current activities against best practices. By looking at a full list of activities, and how they should be carried out, you can score yourself from 'market leader' down through to 'improvements needed'. After all, you can't create a plan to better if you don't know how well you're doing right now.

This SEO strategy audit checklist gives you a comprehensive list of activities to grade your organization against. You can set tasks as priorities and designate responsible workers inside your company against them so, once completed, you have a full list of further actions that your team can work from. By completing this checklist every three/six months, you'll be able to measure how your SEO efforts have improved and prove return on investment for multiple areas of work from your digital marketing team.

What's included in the SEO strategy audit

We've made the strategy audit easy to scan and complete a quick review by prompting 50 questions to assess the effectiveness of your SEO in these categories:

  • Step 1 – Goals and KPIs: Auditing value of current SEO and identifying goals
  • Step 2 – Technical SEO: Improve crawling and indexing for maximum visibility
  • Step 3 – On-page optimization: Review markup and copy against best practices
  • Step 4 – Content strategy: Managing the right type of content to attract links and visitors
  • Step 5 – Link-building: Ideas to gain more quality links and review and disavow poor quality links
  • Step 6 – Internal linking: Often a missed opportunity to improve SEO

We try to keep the jargon and buzzwords to a minimum, but they're inevitable with SEO, so we recommend using this spreadsheet checklist alongside our straightforward 7 Steps guide if you need to understand concepts.

Who is the SEO audit checklist for?

Details are important within SEO since there are so many factors Google uses to inform its search rankings. It's easy to get lost and miss the important factors for success.

The 'use-case' for this audit is for:

  • Consultants – Who can use the spreadsheet as a detailed checklist and then make prioritised recommendations for improvement.
  • Agency or in-house SEO specialist – Who will also benefit from the using the checklist to identify spreadsheet also includes a  for a higher-level review by non-specialists. This can be useful for getting buy-in to an SEO strategy from higher levels management.

Our companion 7 Steps SEO guide gives the full details of best practices covered in this audit checklist giving businesses a practical tool to manage the changes that need to be made. Our SEO playbook gives a higher-level checklist for reviewing improvements to your SEO.

Latest updates

This checklist has been updated with brand new recommendations and instructions for you to follow. The priority section of the audit has been edited to improve automatic colour formatting, meaning you can score all of your activities and quickly see what needs actioning immediately (P1 in green), over the next six months (P2 in red), and in the long term (P3 in blue). The resources section has also been updated to include links through to our latest resources, such as our Google Search Console Quick Wins which you will find useful if you have not undertaken some of the tasks mentioned in the audit before.

Resource Details

About the author

Dr. Dave Chaffey

Dave ChaffeyThis audit checklist and health check was developed by Smart Insights co-founder and content director Dave Chaffey who first started helping businesses improve their SEO in 1998 and continues to advise businesses on SEO today through consulting and training. Dave has helped many companies improve their SEO from small businesses looking to improve their rankings in one country to international businesses looking to maximise their digital footprint in hundreds of markets.

Do let us know any questions or comments you have about how to best use this checklist via our community.

James Story

James Story is Senior Content Manager for Lead Tech, a financial lead generation company providing high-quality leads for financial advisers and financial advice firms. He is a University of Leeds graduate and has spent over five years creating content for online PR, SEO, and digital marketing activities.

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