If you want to ensure your estate agent’s website is optimised for SEO best practices, you must have a comprehensive SEO audit checklist. A thorough audit is the only way to ensure your website has all the necessary elements to rank high in search engine results.
Why do you want to rank high in search engines like Google and Bing? To increase local/targeted traffic to your site, who will ultimately view your properties, request an online valuation or book a property consultation!
Let’s talk some facts: In the fast-paced digital world, search engine optimisation is an ever-evolving landscape. SEO practices that worked like a charm yesterday may be obsolete today. This is why conducting regular SEO audits is crucial to keeping your website in peak performance and maintaining or improving your rankings.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into “The Ultimate SEO Audit Checklist for estate agents,” providing you with a step-by-step process to ensure your website is optimised for success.
Let’s jump right in!
Understand what an SEO audit is
An SEO audit is the process of analysing and evaluating the visibility of a website in search engine result pages (SERPs). It examines various aspects that impact SEO performance, such as content quality, metadata optimisation, link building, user experience, and much more. It’s the ultimate way to evaluate your website’s performance from an SEO perspective and determine where improvements can be made.
An SEO audit will give you valuable insights into your website’s effectiveness at ranking for relevant keywords, competing with other local estate agency websites, and driving greater organic traffic. Furthermore, it will provide a clear roadmap of actionable steps to improve your SEO performance. Overall, an SEO audit is a critical first step in any successful SEO strategy.
Crawl your website
Crawling your website is one of the first steps to conducting an SEO audit. Crawling is the process of systematically browsing through a website and collecting data about the site’s structure. This includes all pages, links, images, and other content on the website.
Using a tool like Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl, you can easily crawl your website to get a full view of its structure. This will allow you to uncover any indexation issues and broken links that could be hindering your SEO performance.
It’s also important to look at how your website is structured during this step. Pay attention to factors such as the internal link structure, redirects, canonical tags, and URL structure. These elements are all important for a successful SEO campaign.
Other factors to take into consideration when crawling your website
Robots.txt and XML Sitemap: Start by checking your website’s robots.txt file and XML sitemap. Ensure that search engines can crawl and index all your essential pages. Tools like Google’s Search Console can assist in verifying your sitemap.
Crawl Errors: Regularly scan your website for crawl errors, such as broken links or missing pages. Tools like Screaming Frog, Moz, and Ahrefs are valuable for identifying these issues.
Mobile-Friendly: In this mobile-first era, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can help you evaluate and optimise your site for mobile users.
Once you have crawled your website and collected all the necessary data, it’s time to move on to the next step of your audit.
Indexation is a critical part of SEO, and it’s the first step of an SEO audit. Indexation is when a search engine adds your web pages to its database, making them visible to searchers. If your website isn’t being indexed, no one can find it, no matter how well-optimised
To check your website’s indexation status, use Google Search Console. Log in to the tool and then head to Coverage report. This will show you URLs indexed by Google. Use the URL Inspection Tool to check the indexation status of any individual page.
If any pages aren’t indexed, you can submit them to be indexed in the URL Inspection Tool. However, if a page isn’t indexed for a valid reason, such as due to low-quality content or because a noindex tag blocks it, then you’ll need to take action to resolve this issue before your page can be indexed.
Assess site speed
It is essential to assess the speed of your website when auditing for SEO. Site speed is a critical factor that affects search engine rankings, user experience and website performance. A slow website can hurt your SEO rankings, frustrate users, and lead to higher bounce rates.
To assess your website’s speed, there are several tools available. Google PageSpeed Insights is one of the most popular tools, giving you a score based on how well your page loads. It will also give you suggestions on improving your page speed if it’s too slow. Other tools, such as GTMetrix and Pingdom, are also good options.
When assessing your site speed, it’s important to look at both desktop and mobile versions of your website. Mobile devices are increasingly being used to access websites, so it’s crucial to make sure your website loads quickly on all devices. Additionally, use caching and minify code to reduce the load time of your pages. Compressing images can also help speed up your website. If you have a WordPress website, WP Rocket is excellent for this and will dramatically increase your website’s speed and performance overnight.
By taking the time to assess and optimise the speed of your website, you will not only improve SEO rankings and provide a better user experience.
Evaluate site architecture
Site architecture is key to optimising your estate agent’s website for SEO. It’s the structure of your website and how pages are linked together. When evaluating your site architecture, it’s essential to consider the following:
- Does your website have a logical navigation system that makes it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for?
- Are there any orphaned pages that can’t be accessed from the main menu or through any other links?
- Are all pages organised into categories and subcategories that make sense?
- Are all of the internal links pointing to relevant pages?
- Are all the internal links using descriptive anchor text that accurately reflects the page it links to?
- Are there any broken links on the website?
- Is the website responsive and optimised for mobile devices?
Reviewing and evaluating your site architecture will go a long way towards improving your SEO. It’s vital to ensure that all pages on your website are accessible and easily navigable so that search engine crawlers can properly index them. Providing a good site architecture also helps improve user experience and increases the chances of conversions.
For more tips on improving the SEO on your estate agent’s website, visit my article – SEO Factors That Affect Estate Agents.
Conduct keyword research
Regarding SEO audits, keyword research is a vital component. Without proper keyword research, your website may not be seen by the right people at the right time. It’s essential to understand what words and phrases potential customers are searching for, so you can include them in your website content.
One way to start researching keywords is by brainstorming a list of related terms and phrases that apply to your business. You can then use keyword research tools such as SE Ranking or the Keywords Everywhere extension for Google Chrome and Firefox to find related terms and gauge search volume.
You should also look at your competitor’s websites and see which keywords they’re targeting. You can even use the SE Ranking tool to uncover their keyword strategy and better understand which keywords are working best for them. Investigate the keywords your competitors are ranking for and identify potential gaps in your strategy.
Keyword research forms the foundation of any successful SEO strategy. Properly targeting keywords ensures that your content aligns with what users are searching for.
Other factors to take into consideration for keyword research
Long-Tail Keywords: Focus on long-tail keywords specific to the real estate industry, such as “best real estate agents in [your location].” Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and SEMrush can help you discover relevant keywords.
Keyword Volume and Competition: Evaluate keyword search volume and competition levels to choose the most strategic keywords for your content.
Keyword Mapping: Organise your keywords into a structured plan for on-page optimisation.
Once you have a good list of keywords and phrases, you can optimise your website content accordingly. This includes updating titles and meta descriptions, adding relevant headlines and subheadings, using internal links to relevant content, and including images with appropriate alt tags. Make sure to use synonyms and related terms to capture more search engine traffic.
By conducting proper keyword research, you can ensure that the right people will see your website at the right time.
Analyse on-page optimisation
On-page optimisation is a key part of any successful SEO audit. You must assess the optimisation of the content on your pages. This includes looking at titles, headings, meta tags, image alt tags, and more.
Start by checking that you have unique page titles for each website page. Titles should be descriptive and include relevant keywords. They should also accurately reflect the content on the page.
Next, review your H1 and H2 headings to ensure they are keyword optimised and match the page’s content. Also, look for hidden headings or content that can improve the structure of your page.
Meta tags provide search engines with information about what is contained on each page. Ensure you have filled out meta tags on each page, such as descriptions, keywords, author, and more.
Keyword Placement. Strategically place keywords in the content, headings, and meta tags, ensuring natural and contextually relevant usage.
Finally, optimise all images with relevant alternative text (alt text). This improves user experience and helps search engines understand what the image is about.
By taking the time to review your on-page optimisation, you will be able to identify areas for improvement. Implementing these changes will help improve your overall SEO and your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages.
My two preferred tools for this are:
Surfer SEO to help you create content-rich pages and optimise images and headings.
The All In One SEO plugin helps with page structuring, on-page and Basic SEO, meta descriptions, schema and more.
Examine link-building and backlinks
Link building and backlinks are an important part of SEO and should be a major focus of any SEO audit. Link building helps search engines understand the relevance and authority of your website, which can directly affect your rankings.
When examining your link-building efforts, look for opportunities to build more links and check that your links are still active. To do this, use a tool like Moz to check your domain’s link profile. You should also make sure that the anchor text used for any links you have is relevant and appropriate for the content you’re linking to.
For more help improving your backlinks and domain authority, visit my article – Increase Your Estate Agents Domain Authority.
Auditing your competitor’s backlinks can provide further insight into opportunities and strategies for your own link-building efforts.
Competitor Backlink Analysis: Use tools like Ahrefs, Majestic, or SEMrush to analyse your competitor’s backlink profiles. Identify high-quality backlinks that you can target.
Broken Link Reclamation: Discover broken links pointing to your competitor’s content and reach out to the linking websites with your updated and relevant content.
Identifying any bad or spammy links pointing to your website is also essential. If you find any, take steps to remove them immediately, as they can seriously harm your ranking.
Finally, don’t forget about internal links. These links from one page on your website to another are just as important for SEO as external links. Ensure all your internal links are relevant, descriptive and working correctly.
Anchor Text Optimisation: Use descriptive and relevant anchor text when linking to other pages on your site. This helps search engines understand the content’s context.
Link Depth: Ensure that important pages are not buried deep within your website’s hierarchy. Make them easily accessible through internal links from your homepage or top-level pages.
Technical SEO factors
Technical SEO focuses on the backend of your website, ensuring it is optimised for search engines.
SSL Certificate: Ensure your website is secured with an SSL certificate, indicated by “https://” in your URL.
Canonical Tags: Implement canonical tags to indicate the preferred version of a page when duplicate content exists.
Schema Markup: Use structured data markup (schema.org) to provide search engines with context about your content. This can enhance rich snippets in search results.
Tools for a Comprehensive SEO Audit
To conduct a thorough SEO audit, you’ll need a suite of reliable tools. Here are some recommended tools for each stage of the audit:
Crawling the Website:
Google Search Console
Assessing Site Speed:
Google PageSpeed Insights
Google Keyword Planner
Yoast SEO (for WordPress)
All-in-One SEO Pack (for WordPress)
HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
Google Search Console
Technical SEO Factors:
Google Search Console
I hope this helps!
Find out more about our SEO services and how we can help your estate agency business grow.