How to Do an Enterprise SEO Audit in 2024 – Ultimate Guide

An enterprise SEO audit involves auditing a large enterprise website to identify issues and opportunities that will improve rankings and visibility on search engines on aspects which can be identified into the following buckets :

  • Technical crawl errors
  • Index Bloat
  • Information Architecture 
  • Content & Relevance
  • Website Authority

The fundamentals of conducting an SEO audit are similar to any other audit. Yet, an audit like this is an entirely different challenge because of all the complications that come from large sites and large companies such as:

  • Complex Tech Stacks, Multiple Geographies & sections
  • All the various teams are collaboratively working towards shaping the audit.
  • Large-scale Crawl Reports
  • Deep analysis of website history on SERPs and co-relations with Algorithm Updates
  • Section wise analysis

Usage of Multiple Tools that can operate at large scale also a setup where everything can come at one place to create story and everything resonates towards a success metric.

SEO checklists can become impractical when dealing with a large number of pages. It’s not efficient to check every small detail on every page as it can be time-consuming, and there is usually no return on investment (ROI) in doing so. A 200-page SEO audit is also not practical as it will not be read by anyone. It’s more important to prioritize what needs to be fixed and ignore minor issues that won’t have a significant impact.

Some of the Tools that I would recommend using for large-scale enterprise SEO audits would be :

  • Semrush ( 5k – 50k Pages)
  • Deep crawl ( 50k -1 Million Pages)
  • Ahrefs ( 5k – 10k Pages)
  • Screaming Frog ( Upto 15k Pages )
  • Google Analytics
  • Search Console
  • Inlinks ( Content Audits )
  • Surfer SEO ( Content Audits )

Here are some of the crucial and critical steps to Perform an Enterprise SEO Audit:

1. Understand the website Architecture & Crawl Report of the website

To run a successful SEO Audit, we would always want to understand how the website looks like in terms of the architecture, sub-folders, pages, etc. Also, understand what type of website it is because, for a website that is enterprise level, they generally are e-commerce websites, marketplaces, local and hyper-local sections, multi-geography businesses, Multi-lingual versions, Category or sub-category sections, product listings, Large scale content platform or an editorial media publication, etc.

2. Run a crawl analysis

One of the initial steps is to get a helicopter view of issues that are hampering the performance of the website. I will use Semrush crawler to crawl a enterprise website which is a real estate business that has around 20,000 Pages indexed and run a crawl report of 5000 pages to understand issues that can be detected by the crawler this will save a lot of our time.

A crawl report will have an overview of the website’s structure, On-page SEO & Technical crawl Report of the entire website such as :

  • Meta tags related Issues
  • Page speed and core web vitals report
  • Duplicate content
  • Schema markups
  • Text to HTML ratios of every page
  • Improper HTTP responses
  • 4xx errors
  • 5xx errors
  • 3xx chains
  • Crawl Depth & Click Depth
  • AMPs
  • Javascript Rendering 
  • SSL/HTTPS report
  • Sitemap vs crawled pages
  • Heading Tags on pages ..etc

You can also use the Google search console report and map with the crawl reports to identify any running issues related to website health

3. Check for Meta Data Related Issues:

A <meta> tag is a brief summary of a webpage’s content that helps search engines understand the page’s topic and can be displayed to users in search results. 

Having duplicate titles and meta descriptions on different pages means missing a chance to use more relevant keywords. Additionally, having duplicate metadata can make it challenging for search engines and users to distinguish between different web pages. When it comes to meta descriptions, it is better to have no meta description at all than to have a duplicate one.

It can create cannibalization issues for larger websites, which can be lethal in ranking Important Pages.

4. Client-Side vs Server-Side Rendering:

The biggest issue with Javascript and Enterprise SEO is how it renders. Most JS frameworks render client-side, which is not ideal for search engine crawlers to index the website. 

Search engines like Google can index client-side JavaScript, but it involves a lot of additional steps, which makes it difficult to update regularly. In contrast, standard HTML has been easily crawlable for more than 20 years.

It is crucial in our enterprise SEO audits, that would lead your development team through successfully implementing server-side rendering without too much technical overhead.

Check URL inspection Reports in Google Search Console to see if the entire HTML of pages are being served to Google Bot you will get the correct data in to “view HTML” section.

5. Broken URLs & 4xx Errors

A page with a 200 status code loaded successfully, while a 4xx status code signifies an error during page access. Common errors include:

  • 401 Unauthorised
  • 403 Access Forbidden
  • 404 Page Not Found

To scan your site for 404 and other errors:

  • Install Screaming Frog, a free SEO audit tool.
  • Select Mode, Spider
  • Enter your domain name
  • Click Response Codes
  • From the drop-down list, filter it by Client Error (4xx)
  • Choose Internal
  • Press Export

Broken links on a website can lead users to non-existent pages or different websites. This negatively impacts user experience and harms search engine rankings. So, ensure that all links on your website are working properly to avoid these issues.

6. Duplicate Content Issues

It’s common for enterprise websites to have duplicate content across multiple sections, and it’s fine if there is an Internal content section that is duplicated in some portions if it makes sense to users.

But, To begin with, Google will usually display only one duplicate page and remove other instances from its index and search results. However, this page may not be the one that you intend to rank. Search engines may interpret duplicate pages as an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings, which could lead to your website being demoted or even excluded from search results. Additionally, having duplicate pages may dilute your link profile.

Duplicate content that is copied from an external source is lethal and should be reported immediately as it can potentially raise a quality-related concern and might lead to a potential algorithmic penalty.

Crawlers like Semrush will report duplicate content issues in the Audit report. But it shall be reviewed manually to assess the actual Impact it can have on the website.

7. HTTP Responses check 

As an SEO, you’ll regularly encounter HTTP status codes that significantly impact search engine spiders. It’s crucial to understand what these codes mean. For example, when you delete a page from your website, it’s important to know the difference between serving a 301 and a 410. These codes have different purposes and, as a result, yield different outcomes.

Log in to your Google Search Console to check for crawl errors detected by Googlebot. Fixing these errors is crucial for the correct indexing of your website.

Make sure a broken page returns a 4xx error, and if it serves 2xx, then it might create “Soft 404” errors on the website.

A permanent redirect should serve a 301 response instead of 302.

There are 5 types of HTTP status codes, defining different aspects of the communication between the client and the server. Belowyou’ll find the 5 ranges and their meanings:

  • 1xx – Informational
  • 2xx – Success (OK)
  • 3xx – Redirection
  • 4xx – Client error
  • 5xx – Server error

8. Index Bloat Analysis

This is usually carried out with the help of Search operators on Google and Google Search Console. The agenda is to find unnecessary portions of websites that Google indexed that weren’t supposed to be. This is crucial as it can create issues like cannibalization, loss of crawl budget, user confusion, and loss of traffic.

Examples of index bloat:Staging Server Pages, Tags and Taxonomies, Duplicate versions getting indexed, excessive parameters in URLs, UGC content, Thin pages, search query pages etc.

Addressing index bloat involves a strategic approach. Key steps include:

  • Implementing a robust robots.txt file and meta tags: Preventing search engines from indexing irrelevant pages can be achieved by properly configuring robots.txt files and using meta tags like ‘noindex’.
  • Improving site structure and internal linking: Good site structure and internal linking help search engines find valuable pages and avoid low-value content.
  • Regular audits and clean-ups: Periodically auditing the website to identify and remove or improve low-quality content can keep index bloat in check.
  • Correct canonicalization: Canonical tags signal to search engines which version of a page is primary for indexing and preventing duplicate content issues.
  • Optimizing dynamic pages: It is crucial for e-commerce sites or those with dynamic content to optimize URL parameters and ensure that only valuable, unique pages are created.

9. Schema Markup Audit

Structured data, also known as schema, is a standardized vocabulary that helps Google comprehend your website’s content. 

By incorporating custom code snippets, search engines, and users benefit from the added value. Search engines obtain additional information about your website and its content, while users enjoy an improved experience on the SERP through rich results. 

The search result listing displayed below showcases a range of rich result features due to various structured data types, including the star rating and image.

Use Search Console to Audit Schema Errors.

What tool can you use to test for errors in a structured data markup?

Google Rich Results Tool confirms page eligibility for rich snippets but only one URL at a time. This is better for smaller sites, as enterprise sites have too many pages.

(Loading a single URL into Google’s schema validator tool.)

Note: You may also have heard about Google’s structured data testing tool, but it was deprecated a while ago.

The various schema format options add to the difficulty. Some sites use JSON-LD (the most popular), while others use Microdata or RDFa. Others often use a combination of these different schema types, which combines various specifications and makes the audit process even more difficult.

10. Content & Intent Audits

Understanding the Searcher’s Intent is crucial to moving ahead with content audits such as :

  • Navigational intent: Users want to find a specific page (e.g., “facebook login”)
  • Informational intent: Users want to learn more about something (e.g., “what is keto diet”)
  • Commercial investigation intent: Users want to do some research before making a purchase decision (e.g., “best laptops under 50,000INR ”)
  • Transactional or Buying intent: Users want to complete a specific action, usually a purchase or submit a lead (e.g., “buy iPhone 15”)

A detailed understanding of search intent can help you: 

  • Have a more effective content strategy: Using keywords that align with the intent of your target consumer
  • Create relevant content: by understanding your consumer needs and creating content that satisfies the intent
  • Rank higher in search results: by showcasing search engines that your content is useful and relevant to the searchers

Content audits can be extremely complex and time-consuming. Here are some of the criteria you should consider while auditing the content of a page:

  1. Does the page get any organic traffic?
  2. Does the page get any traffic from another source?
  3. Is the page mainly live for organic search?
  4. Is the page useful for any other purpose?
  5. Does the page have any inbound links?
  6. Is the page crawlable & indexable?
  7. Has the page had enough time to be successful?
  8. Is ranking the page a business priority?
  9. Could the page get more organic reach?
  10. Is another page on your site ranking for the same term(s)?
  11. Is the page unique to also target other queries?
  12. Is your page better than the search competition?
  13. Is your page optimized enough for on-page SEO?
  14. Is the page internally linked to other pages?
  15. Is the page’s link profile better than the competition?
  16. Are there any old deleted pages that could be redirected to the page?

11. Content-Length & Depth Audits

A few years ago, good practices like 2-3% keyword density, nice meta title, above-the-fold section, long content, and relevant images with alt text were enough for on-page optimization.

But Google is evolving with time and there are no silver bullet approach that will bump your page to the top.

Manual work is too time-consuming. Best practices are just not working as they used to in past. 

With the emergence of on-page tools such as Surfer, we now have the third option of automating our work using intelligent algorithms.

An Enterprise SEO Audit with Surfer’s Audit uncovers critical on-page optimization problems. It provides essential data for your keyword and location.

  • Content length,
  • Relevant terms to use in your content (based on natural language processing—NLP, and their popularity on competitors’ pages),
  • Page speed.
  • Number of elements like paragraphs, headings, and images,
  • Meta tags,
  • Term Frequency.

We use the SERP Analyser tool or Content Audit here. You have to type in your main keyword and the URL of the page you want to audit.

Once you have these typed in, customize the rest of your query:

  • Select the location
  • Select mobile or desktop device
  • Choose if the analysis should be enriched with NLP-driven data (entities/sentiment). 

Then, just click “Run Audit.” Wait for it to load. Once you see the green “tick” next to your query, the audit is ready.

12. NLP Entity Analysis

This is the most powerful section of your entire Enterprise SEO Audit, which allows you to quickly complete the content so that it covers the entire subject comprehensively.

 The NLP setting allows Surfer to fetch data from Google’s NLP API and assess the sentiment of every term.

Both the non-NLP and NLP analysis are important and actionable, don’t worry. But just like I said before, for competitive terms, I recommend going for NLP data. You need that extra edge to win over the competition, after all!

13. Content Decay Analysis

The crucial part of an Enterprise SEO Audit: Many websites have issues with Content Decay, where older content becomes outdated and needs to be refreshed to satisfy Google’s QDF algorithm.

When people think about content and SEO, they’re always heavily focused on creating new content. However, they often forget about their existing content and its impact on their website’s SEO performance.

While it may feel contradictory, your rankings may indeed well improve after removing content. Over the past few years, it’s become pretty clear that the phrase “less is more” also applies to content in SEO.

As a part of the SEO Audit Examples of content that is typically pruned and need identification:

  • Pages with outdated information and content
  • Pages that aren’t getting, and never will get traffic or engagement
  • Pages with duplicate or thin content

Some content ranks well initially but becomes outdated and usually declines in traffic with time. In order to identify such content, open Google Search Console and:

  • Go to Search Results
  • Click Date, then click the Compare tab at the top of the window.
  • Choose comparison dates (e.g., “Last 3 months to a previous period”).
  • Scroll down & press Pages
  • Choose “Clicks Difference” twice.

This will show the pages that have lost the most organic clicks over the last three months. 

Consider if this is due to content needing a refresh or a seasonality factor.

14. Headings & Header Tags

While less important than <title> tags, h1-h6 headings still help define your page’s topic for search engines and users. If a <h1> tag is empty or missing, search engines may place your page lower than they would otherwise. Besides, a lack of a <h1> tag breaks your page’s heading hierarchy, which is not SEO-friendly.

Following a Heading Hierarchy is Important. All the tools like Semrush, Screaming Frog, and Surfer will provide heading data.

I also recommend using the amazing browser extension META SEO Inspector to quickly check a page’s Header tag structure.

15. Link Audit ( Authority )

In some cases in an enterprise SEO Audit, you may also want to do a link audit—especially if you have a history of spam or have a manual action against your website. I urge caution when using the disavow file and identifying “toxic” links, as the methodologies used are often questionable. Disavowing these links can end up causing harm rather than helping.

I would recommend using Ahrefs and Google Search Console for the Backlink and Internal Link Audits.

16. Backlink Audit

So far, I’ve used reports in Ahrefs Site Explorer to help uncover the most common backlink-related issues and opportunities sites face. Yet still, we haven’t checked the full Backlinks report.

Check linking patterns such as :

  • Number of referring domains at Domain vs Page Level
  • Dofollow vs No Follow Ratio
  • Anchor text ratios
  • Link velocity
  • DR Distribution of Links
  • Links by Traffic and Referring Links

The reason for first uncovering broader issues and opportunities is to guide the process when perusing the full list of backlinks, of which there are often thousands.

17. Competitor Analysis & Benchmarking

Identify Link Gaps and Content Gaps using Ahrefs using the Link intersection tool and Content GAP tool.

You should have a list of keywords to identify top competitors and then do the comparison to show why they are better and where are we lagging.

You will get tons of linking and content opportunities, which can help you get better and also show the right path in the audit that can help you form a long-term content marketing strategy.

Competitor Benchmarking is crucial in enterprise Audits to show an impact and provide clarity to a business on areas where they have to focus.

18. Other Important Aspects of an Enterprise SEO Audit:

  • Core web vitals and Page Speed analysis ( That can be done by PSI tool)
  • Topical Authority Audit
  • History of overall website’s visibility with algorithmic updates in the past
  • Featured Snippet Analysis
  • Keyword Research and Traffic Potential Analysis
  • Curating a roadmap and strategy with all the data points with an execution Plan

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