Pre / Post Launch SEO Audit Checklist Template | Mike Ginley (2023)

  • Mike Ginley
  • Content Process
  • July 15, 2022

In This Post


  • Website migrations are a difficult process where a lot can go wrong, especially with SEO.
  • Ensuring that important SEO tasks are done correctly in their different phases can make all the difference for a successful website launch.
  • Utilize this Pre / Post Launch SEO Audit Checklist Template to track the important tasks during your website migration.

Website launches and migrations are common tasks that SEO’s need to deal with. It is a stressful time because a lot can go wrong that can impact the organic visibility of a website. It is extremely important to optimize certain areas of the website to ensure rankings continue and users remain satisfied. I have put together a free template that is a checklist for the most important tasks for a successful SEO website migration or launch.

Pre / Post Launch SEO Audit Checklist Walkthrough

Pre / Post Launch SEO Audit Checklist Template | Mike Ginley (1)

***Priority Task – If nothing else is done, make sure these are!

Pre Launch SEO Audit Checklist


  • Ensure KPIs Are Setup – Verify goals are set up and properly tracked in the dashboard.
  • Organic Traffic / Analytics Review – Review organic traffic performance, top organic pages, etc.
  • Final – Ensure Tracking Is Added On Site – Check with Analytics Team. Verify tracking code is firing.


  • Frontend Scan – Front-end scan, and scrape of Google SERP. This will show us all site pages and the current SEO markup to identify which pages to maintain SEO markup
  • XML Scan – XML sitemap scan. Check for any indexability errors or missing pages.
  • Mockup & Information Architecture – Consulting for SEO Review the proposed new IA to advise on key considerations for SEO based on keyword research. Make recommendations for headings placement and content blocks.
  • Site Architecture / URL Structure Planning – Site architecture will be reviewed and recommendations provided for URL naming and structure. Advise on navigation and breadcrumbs structure for best practices.
  • SEO Markup – Write SEO-friendly Title Tags, H1 Headings, and Meta Descriptions for all pages (incorporating target keywords previously identified).
  • 301 Redirect Mapping – Provide 301 redirect mapping for all URLs. Devs need to implement right at the switchover.
  • Structured Data Markup Consulting – Advise on structured data markup to be utilized on the new website, such as product schema, organization schema, event schema, breadcrumbs, etc. Programming to implement recommendations.
  • Canonicalization Best Practices – Review canonical tags usage and make recommendations if needed.
  • JS Content Audit – Audit for any content or links dependent on JS. Can we optimize it to not need that?
  • Page Speed Review – Review the website for any glaring page speed concerns, for example: excessively large images.
  • Final – XML Sitemap Optimizations & Scanning – Final audit of XML sitemap, should be error free (all indexable URLs).
  • Final – Visibility Audits – Frontend scans of site and improvements on internal linking structure or crawl errors.
  • Final – Robots.txt File Optimization – Scans of the site will determine if any additional directives are needed.
  • Final – Redirects Implementation – Add redirects from the old site to the new.
  • Final – Google Search Console Setup – Add verification code on site.


  • Keyword Research: Current Rankings – Identify existing rankings for branded terms, non-branded terms, top traffic driving terms. Define top keywords to maintain in the web design project.
  • Keyword Research: Target Keywords – Research keywords for opportunity terms related to core pillars. Identify top movers on the cusp of page 1.
  • Keyword Research: Competitor Keywords – Research top branded and non-branded keywords for competitors to identify opportunities and keyword gaps.
  • Internal Linking – Review the internal linking and make recommendations to add additional internal linking on top pages.
  • Content Review for SEO – Review the content plans for the new website and advise on items such as: length of content, appropriate use of headings, appropriate use of target keywords
  • Image Optimization – Scan site images and make recommendations for compression and/or image alt text if needed.


  • Domain Audits – Audit all domains involved with migration.
  • Identify All Local SEO Profiles – Document all profiles to ensure any name or content changes are accounted for.

Post Launch SEO Checklist


  • Verify Analytics – Ensure tracking is active.
  • KPIs & Reporting – Are we accurately tracking all KPIs? What is our reporting cadence? Are we setup for it?


  • Submit New XML Sitemap to Google Search Console – Submit new sitemap to trigger crawling, and monitor for any errors.
  • Initial Crawls – Check frontend and XML for any indexability errors (noindex, blocked by robots, 3xx, 4xx, 5xx).
  • Redirects Check – Audit implemented redirects for any errors, check past ranking URLs for any errors.
  • Verify SSL & www. – Check for forced HTTPs as well as www.
  • Check New Robots.txt File – Audit for any errors or missing directives.
  • Change of Address in Google Search Console – Initiate COA in GSC. Both properties need to be in the same account.
  • Verify Crawling/Rendering – Test content in a mobile-friendly test, and ensure Google can access it.
  • Check Browser & Mobile Compatibility – Check all popular browsers and rendering.
  • Verify Structured Data – Any errors? Is any data missing?
  • Check Crawl Depth & Orphans – Any pages hidden or buried?
  • Verify 404 Page – Is it throwing a proper error? Is the page helpful to the user?
  • Crawl Error Cleanup – Continuous based on crawls. Check Frontend and XML for any non-indexable errors.
  • Visibility Audits – Any crawl errors (3xx, 4xx, 5xx, canonical)? JS dependent content or links? Blocks or noindex? Excessive redirects or chains?
  • Page Speed Audits – Continuous based on data.
  • Google Search Console Verification & Maintenance – Constant monitoring of Google Search Console Coverage Report.


  • Page Title Optimization – Continuous based on data.
  • Meta Description Optimization – Continuous based on data.
  • Header Optimization – Continuous based on data.
  • Internal Linking Additions – Continuous based on new content and rankings.
  • Content Creation for Top Pages – Create content for top ranking pages to allow for consistent rankings and more linking opportunities.
  • Content Creation for Gaps – SEO & Content will work together to create a content plan to help answer user queries.
  • Content Calendar – Audit for thin content that is not helping the user. Is it out of date? Optimize accordingly. Check for cannibalization across all domains. New topics? Do we have a plan built out?


  • Verify Local SEO Profiles – Check Google My Business and other profiles for accuracy.
  • Competitor Audits – Content gaps? What are they doing that is working? What can we do to overtake that?
  • Backlink Analysis – Audit backlink profile. Anything to disavow? Any domains with opportunities? Any unlinked mentions?
  • Local SEO – Continuously monitor and optimize any priority local SEO profiles.

What Comes After The SEO Audit

Many websites complete SEO audits and unfortunately nothing happens with them. Sometimes it is due to poor planning, others it’s due to a lack of resources or prioritization. One of the most important parts of the SEO audit is making it actionable. After you complete an SEO audit you need to map out each task by priority and expected impact. Having a plan of attack will make it a lot easier to follow through with.

When you optimize these initial areas it does not mean that SEO is over. SEO is a continuous process that needs to evolve based on your user’s needs. Continue to audit your website for technical or visibility issues. Continue to plan out content that solves your user’s problems and is backed by keywords you know users are searching for. Review older content to ensure it is still relevant and up to date.

How I Help

I am mainly using this site as a portfolio to create content that can help others in the industry. I have learned so much from people in this field and I want to do my part to help as well. I will continue to createprocesses and free templatesthat can hopefully help anyone inSEOandDigital Marketing. If there is anything you are looking for or have questions about please reach out to me on myContact page or onTwitter!

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Mike Ginley

SEO/SEM Specialist at Humana.Results-focused technical SEO & digital consultant with experience in B2B & B2C that range from local mom & pop shops to enterprise ecommerce sites.I specialize in technical SEO, international SEO, ecommerce SEO, data analysis, data reporting, content strategy & omni-channel digital marketing consulting.

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What should be included in an SEO audit? ›

What Is Analyzed in an SEO Audit:
  1. Site Content Structure.
  2. Keyword Research.
  3. Page Copy Theme Analysis.
  4. Keyword Use.
  5. Meta Data Analysis (Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Heading Tags)
  6. Schema.
  7. User Experience.
  8. Images & Video.
Apr 8, 2021

How do I create a SEO checklist? ›

On-Page SEO Checklist
  1. Crawl your website.
  2. Conduct an SEO audit and define your site architecture.
  3. Update URLs, page titles, and meta descriptions.
  4. Make sure your keyword is in your URL.
  5. Include your keyword throughout your page.
  6. Track keywords and topics for each page.
  7. Don't keyword stuff.
May 19, 2022

How do you perform an SEO audit with complete steps? ›

  1. Step 1: Identify link building opportunities. ...
  2. Step 2: Identify site structure improvements. ...
  3. Step 3: Find (and fix) thin content. ...
  4. Step 4: Identify (and nix) duplicate content. ...
  5. Step 5: Scan for keyword optimization. ...
  6. Step 6: Make sure meta tags are optimized. ...
  7. Step 7: Identify page update opportunities.
Jun 20, 2018

How do I create an SEO audit report for my website? ›

How to Conduct a Website Audit
  1. Run your website URL through a site audit tool.
  2. Find technical errors.
  3. Identify SEO problems.
  4. Analyze design and UX.
  5. Assess website content.
  6. Generate a checklist of all site issues and recommend fixes.
Jan 19, 2023

What are the 5 contents of an audit report? ›

Audit Report Contents are the basic structure of the audit report which needs to be clear, providing sufficient evidence providing the justification about the opinion of the auditors and includes Title of Report, Addressee details, Opening Paragraph, scope Paragraph, Opinion Paragraph, Signature, Place of Signature, ...

How to do SEO audit in 2022? ›

The 15-Step SEO Audit Checklist for 2022
  1. Step #1: Check To See If Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly.
  2. Step #2: Make Sure Google Indexes ONE Version of Your Website.
  3. Step #3: Speed Up Your Site.
  4. Step #4: Find and Delete “Zombie Pages”
  5. Step #5: Find and Fix Indexing Problems.
  6. Step #6: Check Your Organic Traffic.
Nov 5, 2021

How do you write SEO in 4 easy steps? ›

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your article
  1. Create a search engine friendly title. Include 1-2 keywords related to your topic. ...
  2. Optimize your abstract. Place essential findings and keywords in the first two sentences of your abstract. ...
  3. Use keywords throughout your article. ...
  4. Be consistent. ...
  5. Build links.

What is SEO Checklist module? ›

The SEO checklist module keeps a track of how tasks have been taken care of, what has already been done (with timestamps) and what needs to be attended to. If a task needs you to install a module, it provides with a link to download it as well. This data provides a report that can be used for further monitoring.

How do I make a content checklist? ›

Content Creation Checklist: 7 Steps to Get You Started
  1. Start with an idea. Each and every piece of content starts with an idea. ...
  2. Do your research. You know your industry like the back of your hand, probably. ...
  3. Determine the direction of your content. ...
  4. Create your headline. ...
  5. Write. ...
  6. Grab a drink. ...
  7. Proofread and publish.
Jun 25, 2017

How do you complete a technical SEO audit in 8 steps? ›

How to perform a technical SEO audit in eight steps
  1. Crawl your website. ...
  2. Spotting crawlability and indexation issues. ...
  3. Checking technical on-page elements. ...
  4. Identifying image issues. ...
  5. Analyzing internal links. ...
  6. Checking external links. ...
  7. Site speed and performance. ...
  8. Ensuring your site is mobile-friendly.
Jun 21, 2022

How do you conduct a content audit for SEO? ›

Let's start from the top.
  1. Step 1: Create an inventory. ...
  2. Step 2: Categorize your posts and pull relevant data for each group. ...
  3. Step 3: Analyze your data. ...
  4. Step 4: Make post-level decisions. ...
  5. Step 5: Follow through with your plan.

What should an SEO report look like? ›

To recap, the perfect SEO report should:

Be nice looking and easy to read, with excellent UX (user experience) Include your client's or your company's logo. Be accessible in the format your audience wants. Include all the data from the tools you already use to do your SEO work.

How can I do SEO audit for free? ›

Free SEO Website Crawler
  1. Screaming Frog – Free For 500 URLs Or Less. Industry-leading site auditing software Screaming Frog offers a free version that's perfect for auditing smaller sites that are under 500 URLs. ...
  2. Netpeak Spider. ...
  3. Xenu Link Sleuth.
Feb 15, 2022

How do I create a SEO report in Excel? ›

Solution. Firstly, extract all of your Search Console data using Search Console API (or by using Google Sheets extension if you want to avoid any coding). Then use to extracted data to build powerful, flexible, and very insightful set of SEO reports using Excel (or alternatively in Data Studio).

What are the 4 C's of auditing? ›

As for directors, there are four features to consider when evaluating the sufficiency of any risk-based audit plan: culture, competitiveness, compliance and cybersecurity – let's call them the Four C's, for short.

What are the six parts of an audit report? ›

The audit report template includes 7 parts of elements these are: report title, introductory Paragraph, scope paragraph, executive summary, opinion paragraph, auditor's name, and auditor's signature.

Is SEO still relevant in 2022? ›

The fact that SEO works perfectly fine even in 2022 as a method of delivering improved commercial outcomes for business websites and their owners, combined with the need for ongoing research into what works, makes it still relevant as a digital marketing method, but even more so as a valuable service and a rewarding ...

What is the difference between SEO analysis and an SEO audit? ›

While the SEO website audit services assess the historical performance of your site's Search Engine Optimization efforts, on the other hand, SEO analysis involves applying methods to verify or discover the impact of applying SEO variables on search rankings.

How much should I pay for an SEO audit? ›

The typical cost is anywhere between $650 to $14,000 per audit. Most companies use this standard range when they deliver a comprehensive SEO audit report.

What 4 pillars are important in SEO? ›

The four pillars of SEO
  • technical SEO: How well your content can be crawled and indexed.
  • content: Having the most relevant and best answers to a prospect's question.
  • on-site SEO: The optimization of your content and HTML.
  • off-site SEO: Building authority to ensure Google stacks the deck in your favor.
Nov 1, 2017

What are the 4 important stages in SEO? ›

Here are the four steps of the SEO process:
  • Get your technicals right.
  • Find a keyword to target.
  • Create an optimized page.
  • Build links to it.
Jan 30, 2023

What are the five ingredients SEO? ›

5 Basic Components Of A SEO Strategy
  • Content.
  • Keywords.
  • Technical SEO.
  • On-Page SEO.
  • Off-Page SEO. Conclusion.

What is an SEO Toolkit? ›

The IIS SEO Toolkit gives you multiple tools to use in improving the search engine discoverability and site quality of your Web site. Keeping search engines current with the latest information from your Web site means that users can find your Web site more easily based on relevant keyword searches.

What is the local SEO checklist? ›

Here's your 2023 local SEO checklist:

Test your site speed. Use SEO-friendly URLs. Create internal links with locally-relevant anchor text. Add structured data.

What are the 5 steps for the content creation framework? ›

Much like a road trip, a lot of work goes into creating a single piece of content: research, planning, editing, distribution, and more.
  • Conceptualize content. ...
  • Plan a timeline. ...
  • Create a workflow. ...
  • Review and edit content. ...
  • Organize and store content.
Nov 7, 2019

What are the contents of checklist? ›

A typical checklist should have the following items:
  • Give a name to your checklist. The name of the checklist represents the purpose and use of creating it.
  • Date / Date range. ...
  • Add tasks in your checklist. ...
  • Continue repeating for every task.

How many hours does it take to audit SEO? ›

These SEO audits can take me anywhere from 40 hours to 60 hours depending on the size of the website. These audits are bucketed into three separate parts and presented with Google Slides. Technical: Crawl errors, indexing, hosting, etc. Content: Keyword research, competitor analysis, content maps, meta data, etc.

How often should you do an SEO audit? ›

You know SEO is a long-term commitment. You also know trying to check for changes each day can be frustrating and make it seem like you aren't gaining any ground. I recommend conducting SEO audits two to four times per year.

What's the first thing you look at when doing an SEO audit? ›

Check basic on-page elements

Every indexable page on your site should have a title tag, meta description, and H1 tag. These basic on-page elements help Google understand your content and help you to win more clicks from your rankings. To check for issues, head to the “Issues” tab in the Content report in Site Audit.

Is an SEO audit worth it? ›

It will save you time and money.

By purchasing a professional audit from an agency, you'll not only free up time for yourself and your team to focus on other tasks, but you'll also save money that you would otherwise be spending to hire and onboard new employees.

How do I check my SEO performance? ›

10 KPIs to track your SEO performance and drive better results
  1. Organic traffic. This KPI measures how many visitors come to your website from organic search results. ...
  2. Search rankings. ...
  3. Search visibility. ...
  4. Links. ...
  5. Organic CTR. ...
  6. Branded traffic. ...
  7. Bounce rate. ...
  8. Average session duration.
Jul 20, 2020

What is Stage 1 of a content audit? ›

Collect all your content in one place

The first step in your content audit process is to gather all content in your inventory including blogs, site content, social posts etc.

What are the 12 things to know about SEO? ›

12 SEO Tips to Boost Your Organic Rankings & Traffic
  • Target Relevant Primary and Secondary Keywords. ...
  • Write Quality Original Content. ...
  • Format Your Content for Search Engines & Target Featured Snippets. ...
  • Optimize Your Page Title and Meta Description. ...
  • Use Short, Descriptive URLs.
Feb 4, 2022

What should be in a monthly SEO report? ›

They typically include crucial SEO metrics like backlinks, technical website health, click-through rates, keyword rankings, organic traffic, conversions, etc. The main goal of an SEO report is to show your client the results of your SEO efforts and the impact your strategy is having on overall website performance.

What is a good SEO score out of 100? ›

A good Site Health SEO score is anything above 80. If your score is over 90, it means your website is in the top 10% of the best technically optimized websites on the web. Once you reach a high SEO rating, you can: Schedule regular Site Audit crawls to spot any possible new issues.

Does Google have free SEO tools? ›

Google's SEO tools are a great place to start.

Since the search engine currently accounts for 70% of all searches, their SEO tools harness the most accurate and comprehensive source of data. The best part of using these tools is that they're absolutely free and generally unlimited.

What should be included in SEO content audit? ›

So let's dive into the good stuff!
  • Ensure Content Is Being Fully Accessed and Rendered (Hello, JavaScript SEO) ...
  • Audit Core Web Vitals and Optimize for Page Speed. ...
  • Audit Index Bloat and Keyword Redundancies, and Prune Mindfully. ...
  • Determine (And Improve) Pages Where You're Losing Users.
Nov 15, 2021

How do I create a SEO audit report for a client? ›

Create Your SEO Report In 6 Steps
  1. Title Card. This is the very first step in your SEO report. ...
  2. Table of Contents. As its name suggests, this page is simply a table of contents that'll help you structure your SEO report.
  3. Overview. Customize this template and make it your own! ...
  4. KPIs. ...
  5. Organic Traffic. ...
  6. Backlinks.
Jan 5, 2022

What is SEO Tools for Excel? ›

SeoTools for Excel is a plugin that adds a bunch of useful SEO-related functions and other web metrics directly to Excel. We've paired SE Ranking up with SeoTools for Excel to help you closer analyze your sites, competitors and keyword statistics in Excel. Data is transferred through the SE Ranking API.

What three things should be included in an audit program? ›

What four things should be included in an audit program? An audit program for accounts receivable consists of all the audit procedures used to test accounts receivable. The four things to be included are audit procedures, sample size, timing of the tests and items to select.

What is SEO checklist? ›

The checklist also covers information about best practices for title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and more for on-page SEO. We explain how to do keyword research and incorporate keywords into your content. We cover off-page SEO strategies as well, including the importance of building backlinks.

What are the 7 steps in the audit process? ›

Audit Process
  • Step 1: Planning. The auditor will review prior audits in your area and professional literature. ...
  • Step 2: Notification. ...
  • Step 3: Opening Meeting. ...
  • Step 4: Fieldwork. ...
  • Step 5: Report Drafting. ...
  • Step 6: Management Response. ...
  • Step 7: Closing Meeting. ...
  • Step 8: Final Audit Report Distribution.

What are the 4 main components of an SEO? ›

The four pillars of SEO
  • technical SEO: How well your content can be crawled and indexed.
  • content: Having the most relevant and best answers to a prospect's question.
  • on-site SEO: The optimization of your content and HTML.
  • off-site SEO: Building authority to ensure Google stacks the deck in your favor.
Nov 1, 2017

What are the SEO KPIs? ›

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) KPIs are values used by marketing teams to measure the performance of their website for organic search results. Search engine optimization is a core function for any marketing team.

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