We recommend using Audit when you want to quickly discern a wealth of data points related to a web page's room for improvement in on-page SEO. Whether it's a new article you want to check on once it's been published or an old article you want to update, Audit is the right tool.

How to create an Audit query?

In addition to setting a keyword and region, you must also input the relevant URL of the webpage you wish to review. If you have access to Google Search Console, consider reviewing what keywords you rank for, and identify phrases with the highest position, and associated web pages closest to the first SERP.

Don’t forget to activate NLP sentiment by clicking on settings. This could give you the edge over competitors when using especially popular keywords. Simply put, sentiment relates to a scaled score relating to how positive, negative, or neutral a keyword or phrase is.

Surfer will review your chosen web page, and make bespoke suggestions that when implemented are likely to improve your position on a SERP. As with Content Editor, your guidelines are going to be based upon competitors, so it’s worth reviewing.

Audit Guidelines

Your Audit is full of useful data points ready for further investigation related to the following 11 sections:

  1. Content Score

    Compare your chosen page’s content score against your competitors at a glance; it’s a great way to get a feel for the overall quality of your competition.

  2. Missing common backlinks

    Backlinks play a big part in SEO and are something that Surfer considers when attributing a domain score to a website. These backlinks are considered common because at least 4 competitors from the top 20 have them. Some backlinks will be easier than others to earn, so focus on them first for quick wins!

  3. Internal links

    Unlike backlinks, this section focuses solely on the domain of the page you’re auditing. Surfer suggests topically relevant pages, as well as where (on the audited page) it can be placed. A good internal linking strategy can communicate an individual page’s importance both to users and search engines!

  4. Terms to Use

    We consider this section the most important part of the audit, as it assists you in comprehensively covering the keywords input into the Audit. As well as giving you a list of key phrases, Audit will compare the amount your page uses them against competitors and highlights contextual examples of their implementation. Words are sorted by their relevance, meaning you can easily discern the most crucial words and phrases that have been underutilized on your audited page. You can also see exactly how many times you should be adding or removing a keyword(s) so that it sits in the optimum range.

    See the NLP label? These are applied to words and phrases Google thinks are important. NLP entities can also help Google to interpret your content better! We strongly recommend you implement them in a natural manner that is conducive to the readability and goals of your page.

  5. Word count

    Beyond simple number counting, the word count has data points on the total words in your content, a number of sub-headings, paragraphs, and words in bold. You are given a suggested range to aim for, based on what your competitors are doing; you’re unlikely to want to stand out too much from the crowd in this regard.

  6. Exact keywords

    The advice given for this section is heavily dependent upon the main keyword phrase you’ve used Audit with. You’ll be advised on how often your keyword should be appearing in different HTML elements, but follow common sense and if in doubt, see what your competitors are doing.

  7. Partial keywords

    This section can be broken down in the same way as Exact keywords. If your main keyword is ‘backlinks’, your partial keyword will be ‘bac’. It’s possible that words beginning with ‘bac’ are synonyms, which means further coverage of any potential content gaps.

  8. Page structure

    This relates to the readability and looks of your audited page. All the important elements have their data points counted and compared against competitors to ensure you’re not lacking in these important metrics.

  9. Title and meta description length

    Devising a quality title and meta description is deceivingly difficult, but it can be the converting factor when it comes to enticing users from a SERP onto your webpage.

  10. Time to first byte

    Ideally, your page speed should be as high as possible; AKA your time to first byte (TTFB) should be as low as possible.

  11. Load time (ms)

    As with TTFB, we recommend keeping this as low as possible. If outside the recommended range, consider adjusting image sizes!

The ‘Copy link’ button gives you a link that you can quickly share with your coworkers or with your client! They will be able to see the guidelines but will have no access to the competitor selection panel.

Additional resources:

Surfer Knowledge Base

Surfer Blog

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