Struggling to perform a successful WordPress website audit?

After today’s guide, you will have the exact techniques to perform an audit yourself and fixes the newfound issues.

These steps are some of the techniques we use ourselves when auditing our own WordPress website, and our client websites.

So, let’s get straight into it!

Why WordPress Website Audits are Important

Firstly, it’s important to understand why performing regular audits is vital for SEO success.

WordPress website audits are important to identify and resolve sitewide issues that impact performance, user experience, security, and visibility online.

Audits provide insights into improving website functionality elements like vulnerabilities, speed, SEO, and indexability.

Undergoing regular audits allows website owners to find areas of improvement that can boost online success

Now you understand the big picture, let’s run through what a WordPress audit includes.

Google Analytics and Search Console

To start your WordPress website audit, you’ll want to make sure that your Google Analytics and Google Search Console are set up correctly.

If you want to ensure that your Bing Webmaster Tools set up is correct, we’ve left a link to help you do that.

Check if Google Analytics 4 is set-up

To start things off, it’s important that your Google Analytics 4 property is set up on your WordPress site.

If this isn’t set up yet and you want to do this check out Google’s Universal Analytics to GA4 migration guide here.

To see if data is being collected, Go to your homepage in Google Chrome, right-click, and press ‘inspect

This will open the Chrome Dev Tools

Now hold the command key (CMD) and press ‘F‘, then type ‘analytics

If the measurement ID is set up on your site, you should see this:

Finding Google Measurement ID inside Chrome Dev Tools for WordPress Audit

If you see your measurement ID here, that means the data stream is set up correctly on your WordPress site.

If you’re a user and you don’t, follow the steps below:

1. Head over to your Google Analytics admin section.

2. Find the properties column, then click data streams.

3. Click on your data stream (Note: the stream URL should be your preferred URL)

4. You should see your measurement ID here.

Finding Data Stream Measurement ID in Google Analytics 4

5. Copy this measurement ID, and head to your WordPress admin section.

6. Navigate to ‘tools‘ on the sidebar, click ‘marketing‘, and then ‘traffic‘.

7. Scroll down to ‘Google‘, where you’ll see a bar for ‘Google Analytics Measurement ID

Pasting Measurement ID into WordPress Traffic Section in Tools

8. Paste it there, click ‘save settings‘, and you’re done.

Now you’re Google Analytics 4 data stream should be set up and ready to track your WordPress website audit changes.

Check if the Sitemap has been submitted to Google Search Console

After the analytics are properly configured, make sure your website’s sitemap has been submitted to search consoles.

For this example, we’ll use Google Search Console.

Firstly, make sure you’re logged into and your property is verified. You can choose URL or Domain verification (we suggest using domain verification)

Then, navigate to the ‘indexing‘ section and click ‘sitemaps‘.

Sitemap Submission to Google Search Console for a WordPress Website Audit

If your sitemap has been successfully submitted and received, you’ll see a green ‘success‘ message in the status column.

If you’re using a WordPress plug-in like Yoast SEO for automatic XML sitemap generation, make sure your sitemap index is submitted.

This will ensure that all of your pages included in your sitemap are submitted, along with pages that are created after your sitemap has been submitted.

WordPress Technical SEO

Once your analytics and consoles are audited and good to go, you’ll want to audit the technical elements of your website.

This will be the main focus of the audit, as technical SEO plays a very important part in any WordPress website audit.

WordPress Security & Redirects

Firstly, you’ll want to make sure your website has an SSL certificate, and is using the HTTPS protocol as its preferred version.

You can double-check both of these things by looking for the closed padlock in Google’s search bar – this means the SSL certificate is installed.

Checking for SSL Certificate in WordPress Website Audit

You can also type in different variations of your domain name in Google to see if redirects are set up correctly.

Type into Google’s search bar ‘site:‘, then your protocol, followed by your domain name, then your TLD.

Try this with different variations:

1. HTTPS + yourdomain + .com

2. HTTPS + yourdomain +

3. HTTP + yourdomain + .com

4. HTTP + yourdomain +

This will show you which pages are indexed of which domains

Try this to to make sure that:

1. Your SSL certificate is installed.

2. Your domain runs on the HTTPS version

3. All non-HTTPS versions, and all TLD variations you may have (Top-level domains), redirect back to your preferredsecure version.

Now, you should be ready to move on to see which pages of your WordPress website are indexing, and which aren’t.

Make sure to audit your WordPress website’s indexing

Now, you need to check that your site’s important content is actually getting indexed.

Navigate to Google and type in the search bar ‘site:your preferred domain‘

Here, you’ll see all of your indexed pages.

Scroll through the results, and make sure that all of your important pages are visible.

Alternatively, you an go back to Google Search Console, navigate to the ‘indexing‘ section, and click ‘pages

Exploring Page Indexing for WordPress Website on Google Search Console

Inside here, you’ll see a list of which pages are and aren’t indexed.

Below this image, you’ll see which indexing category pages are in, along with the number of pages, and why they are there.

This will give you some useful insights into why some pages are, or aren’t, appearing in Google’s results.

Analyse your website’s speed

Now, I suggest that the next step of your WordPress website audit should be checking out some of your page’s speed metrics for your WordPress webpages.’s speed metrics.

My favourite tools to do this are:

1. GTMetrix

2. PageSpeed Insights, a great free tool developed by Google.

For today’s post, we’ll be using the latter.

Head over to PageSpeed Insights, enter your domain, and click ‘analyze

I suggest analyzing your homepage URL, along with another URL of your choice.

Once the test has been completed, you’ll see 4 metrics.

I’ll be focusing on the ‘performance‘ section here, as this is the main metric for page speed.

Analyzing PageSpeed Insights Performance Metrics for WordPress Website Audit

Here, you can see the performance metrics for our page on keyword research services.

(93 is a great result, but we’ve still got work to do!)

Some of the metrics shown above are part of Google’s Core Web Vitals.

These values are displayed in tie and number format, along with a color:

Green is considered good.

Orange is considered to be needing improvement.

Yep – you guessed it, red is pretty poor.

Ideal values for these metrics are as followed:

First Contentful Paint (FCP): under 1.8 seconds is considered good. 1.8 to 3 seconds needs improvement, and over 3 seconds is bad.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): under 2.5 seconds is considered good. 2.5 to 4 seconds needs improvement, and over 4 seconds is bad.

Total Blocking Time (TBT): aim to be under 200ms here.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): under 0.1 is good. 0.1 to 0.25 seconds need to be improved, and over 0.25 is poor.

Speed Index (SI): under 3.4 seconds is considered good. 3.4 to 5.8 seconds needs improvement, and over 5.8 seconds is bad.

To find out some ways to eliminate page speed issues, check out this article by Search Engine Land.

You’ll find out how to get rid of some issues that are slowing you down.

Audit your URL and Site Architecture

Now it’s time to explore the architecture of your WordPress website .

Head over to your WordPress admin section, probably located at the URL

Then, Scroll down to the ‘settings‘ tab, and click ‘permalinks

That should take you to a page similar to this.

WordPress Permalinks Section

Notice the warning at the top of the page.

WordPress Website Warning for Changing Permalinks

Sometimes changing the URL structure on a live site causes traffic issuesespecially for important, high-traffic pages.

If you want to read the Yoast article on permalinks from the image above, you can here.

If you’re a user, you should have 301 redirects automatically set up from the old URLs to the new URLs when changing your structure.

Overall, or .org, I would suggest leaving them alone if your site is live.

If you’re just getting started on a new WordPress site, or your architecture is completely unreadable, maybe you want to give it a go.

If you decide to change them, I’d suggest going for the post-name permalink structure, like the image below:

Post Name Permalink Structure for WordPress

This will ensure blog posts appear under ‘yourdomain/postname‘

Either way, here are 5 things to look out for when performing a WordPress URL audit:

1. Target keywords should be in the URL slug of each page.

2. URLs should be short and readable.

3. URL slugs should allow the user to easily understand what the page is about.

4. Post category and URL architecture should be consistent across your whole website.

5. URLs should stick to a maximum of 3 subfolders.

If you stick to this architecture, your URLs will be friendly for users, and great for search engine crawlers.

WordPress On-Page SEO Audit

An On-Page SEO audit on your WordPress site could take up a whole post on its own.

To keep it simple and effective, I’ve created a 14-step on-page checklist.

This covers all the essentials you’ll need to audit your WordPress website’s on-page elements.

On-Page SEO Checklist

Every page should have or include:

1. An H1 tag.

2. A page title.

3. A meta description.

4. Focus keywords included in the H1, page title, and meta description.

5. Location-based keywords in the H1 tag, page title, and meta description (for Local SEO strategies)

6. A minimum of 3 internal links

7. A minimum of 2 external links (which should open in a new window)

8. No broken links.

9. A minimum of 500 words (I’d suggest 1000 for higher quality content)

10. At least 2 or 3 images and/or videos (again – I’d suggest a few more)

11. A clear call to action

12. For those that want to dive deeper, I’d suggest 2 calls to action (1 paid CTA, like checkout or consultation, and 1 free CTA, like a free report, checklist, or cheat sheet.)

13. An accessible top-level navigation

14. An HTML sitemap present and in the footer.

If you’ve made it this far, pat yourself on the back.

If you’re learning for a future audit, or even performing one as you read, you’ll have enough knowledge by now to make your WordPress audit a flying success.

Off-Page SEO Audit

Similar to on-page, an off-page audit can take days, if not weeks to complete (depending on the size and depth of your WordPress website audit)

Today, I’m going to cover one of the most important off-page factors…


Audit your WordPress Site’s Backlink Profile

A good backlink profile could be the deciding factor between high SERP rankings, or no rankings at all.

Furthermore, having loads of domains and links pointing to your WordPress site doesn’t automatically make your backlink profile good.

It takes a lot more than that.

So – how do you know what to audit for?

Well, here are some things you’ll have to look out for when auditing your WordPress website:

1. The quality of the backlinks

2. Your Domain Authority (DA) score

2. Your backlinks:referring domains ratio

Today, we’ll look at the ratio.

To do this, we suggest using the Domain Overview Tool in SEMrush.

So, head over to the tool by clicking the link above and type in your domain.

You should see these metrics appear:

Backlink Profile Analysis for WordPress Website Audit

Take a look at the backlinks and referring domains section.

In a perfect world, this ratio should be as close to 1:1 as possible.

This means having 1 backlink per referring domain.

Of course, this isn’t the case with a large percentage of websites.

You’ll have to use some common sense.

If there are an alarming number of backlinks present, like 12,000 from 1 domain, that should ring your spam detector.

If the ratio is high, but you don’t notice any red flags, chances are it’s okay.

Some of these red flags could include:

1. Low-quality domains with 1000s of outbound links on each page.

2. Anchor text spam

3. Lots of links from sites that aren’t relevant to yours.

If you’ve done this, and feel that any backlinks may be causing your WordPress site a problem, there’s a fix.

I’d suggest disavowing these links, so they don’t have any impact on your site’s backlink profile.

To do this, check out this guide on disavowing toxic backlinks by SEMrush.

WordPress Website Specifics

Of course, this audit wouldn’t be complete without some WordPress specifics audits.

You could spend hours navigating through your CSS, JavaScript, and Cache Policies.

Although this may sound fun, I’ll cover the parts you’ll want to check first.

Remove any unused WordPress plug-ins

WordPress plug-ins can be great at speeding up and optimizing your website, but they can also be great at slowing it down.

When performing your own WordPress website audit, you might find that a plug-in provides no additional functionality to your site.

If this is the case, you may as well bin it.

Navigate to your WordPress admin section, and click on ‘plug-ins‘, then ‘installed plug-ins‘.

You’ll be greeted with this page:

WordPress Website Plug-in Page Audit

You’ll see some plug-ins you don’t use anymore.

You might even see plug-ins that aren’t even activated.

If this is the case, you may want to remove some from your website.

Of course, some plug-ins won’t be doing any harm there, and some may be vital for functionality.

I’d suggest setting up a staging site before you start removing any plug-ins.

Alternatively, you could take a site backup.

Check your software and theme versions

If your WordPress software hasn’t been updated, or you are using an outdated child theme, your site may not be at its full potential.

If you’re a user, I suggest running a site health scan.

This will automatically find any areas of your site that could be improved.

First, navigate to the ‘tools‘ tab in your wp-admin directory.

Click ‘site health‘, then, ‘run test

If you’re site is in good health, you’ll see this:

WordPress Website Site Health Scan

If there are any errors, or you’re interested in what the scan checks, click ‘Passed tests

This will show you a list of WordPress tests that the scan performed.

You can also click the ‘info‘ tab to find even more details on the ins and outs of your WordPress site.

Make sure WordPress is being backed up

Backing up your site can be a lifesaver – especially if things take a sudden turn for the worse.

Although, we all know how tedious this process is if done manually.

That’s why I suggest using an auto-backup feature or plug-in for your WordPress website.

Personally, I use Jetpack’s VaultPress Backup feature.

Although it isn’t free, it allows me to one-click restore my website to specific points in edits I make.

WordPress Website Backup with Jetpack VaultPress

Pretty useful tool.

Either way, whatever method you choose to use for back-ups, just make sure you do it often.

And… we’re done!

Of course, there any many more things to take into account when performing a full audit, but you’ve now got the starter skills to perform your own professional audit.

Now it’s over to you.

What was your favourite part of the WordPress website audit?

I want to know.

Click the button to send me and my team a DM on Twitter, or share the post if you enjoyed.

See you in the next post!

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