What is an SEO Audit?

A lot of work goes into search engine optimization, both on your website and externally. But knowing what SEO problems need solving isn’t always straightforward. Understanding your site’s performance is also easier said than done. Like everything related to complex algorithms, you need to do a little digging to find the issues. That’s where an SEO audit comes in.

SEO audits are essentially website report cards designed to reveal problems and uncover hidden opportunities. They typically include an exhaustive list of both front-end features and technical components, leaving you with a grade and a checklist of ways to improve your organic search engine performance.

SEO Analytics Charts and Reports on Computer Screen

Front-end SEO Audit

Your website hinges on its design and content. That sounds obvious, but it’s more scientific than that. These are the parts of your site viewers can see and search engine bots will interact with. So, you need to optimize your site’s appearance for both humans and Google.

Search engines want to provide users with the best content as quickly as possible. They also combine design principles with content-focused criteria to determine which website is best suited to the search. In May 2020, Google announced the Page Experience signal, which focuses on making “the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and [helping] sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile.” Super vague, we know.

This boils down to streamlined, mobile-ready designs that are easy to use and relevant writing that’s easy to read and well-organized. Without high-quality content, ranking within search engines is basically unachievable. And if your site suffers from poorly organized navigation or a clunky design, it can be docked by search engines for poor user experience.

In Your Front-end SEO Audit:


  • URLs
  • Internal Linking
  • Navigation
  • External Linking


  • Mobile-friendly Design
  • Text Legibility
  • Calls to Action
  • Visual Hierarchy


  • Quality
  • Keyword Usage
  • Writing Style
  • Duplicate Content

Technical SEO Audits

To have an optimally performing website, you need to ensure your technical SEO is up to par. Technical SEO refers to the mechanics behind your website. These pieces help search engines understand and index your site. Think coding, plugins, and Google’s algorithm.

Most of these items are only visible to search engines and not website users. However, that doesn’t make them any less important. The technical side of your site is directly related to SEO ranking factors. If search engines can’t decipher the back end of your website, they won’t be able to crawl or index your site properly. That means Google’s algorithm can’t correctly place your site in its massive list of pages, even if you have great content.

Close Up of SEO Audit Figures

With the amount of information available on the web, finding what you need would be nearly impossible without some help sorting through it. Google ranking systems are designed to do just that: sort through hundreds of billions of webpages in our Search index to find the most relevant, useful results in a fraction of a second, and present them in a way that helps you find what you’re looking for.

These ranking systems are made up of not one, but a whole series of algorithms. To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and your location and settings.

In Your Technical SEO Audit:


  • Sitemaps
  • Page Errors
  • Title Tags
  • Meta Descriptions


  • Search Engine Indexing
  • SSL and Security Plugins
  • Analytics
  • SEO Plugins


  • Page Load Speed
  • Broken Links
  • Alt Tags
  • User Accessibility

Front-end + Technical = Full Optimization

It’s simple math. A fully optimized site needs more than just good content and design. You want to give your web users the best experience, but you also want to be sure search engines understand your website. Technical SEO and front-end SEO work together to create the total website experience.

And there’s never a bad time to get audited. You don’t have to wait until your website needs dire attention. Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving, so audits should be performed regularly. Frequent SEO audits can prevent a full overhaul by:

  • Explaining a website’s performance and search engine ranking
  • Recording what keywords you’re actually ranking for
  • Identifying outdated content and errors
  • Flagging pages to fix or remove
  • Tracking your progress, what works, and what doesn’t

Most people use SEO auditing tools to generate their checklists. They’re useful, but they can’t give you the same insights that a trained eye can. And they can’t actually fix the problems either. An audit is just the roadmap to get there.

Auditing is complex for anyone without expertise. This is where 20Twenty comes in. When we completely understand your current site’s SEO standings, we’re better able to develop an optimal strategy and fix the problems at their roots.