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the website quality audit

This SEO Audit Will Change Your Life, Guaranteed

  • December 3, 2020

About the author

Ryan Stewart

I have an unhealthy obsession with being considered the world's BEST internet marketer. I'm highly active on social media and love a good debate.

I’m going to share the most powerful SEO tool in our arsenal.

It allows us to do 20 hours worth of SEO work in less than 2.

Internally, we call it the “Swiss Army Knife” because of how versatile it is. We use it for…

  • Technical analysis
  • Content auditing
  • Identifying quick win pages
  • Creating target pages for link building
  • SEO campaign progress reporting
  • …and much more

Publicly, we call it “The Website Quality Audit” (WQA).

What goes into the WQA?

The WQA calls for SEO data from 6 sources:

  1. XML Sitemap(s)
  2. DeepCrawl (full crawl, on page data, technical data)
  3. Majestic (links data)
  4. SEMrush (keyword data)
  5. Google Analytics (traffic, engagement, conversions)
  6. Google Search Console (clicks, impressions, CTR)

If we tried to run the audit in Sheets / Excel, it would crap out – this is simply too much data.

Instead, we push data using APIs into a Google BigQuery database. Once in BiqQuery, we format and visualize the audit in Google Sheets and Data Studio.


website quality audit wq recipe

What comes out of the WQA?

A completed SEO audit, ready for analysis – in 2 formats:

  • Google Sheets – formatted to review automated “Action” recommendations and dig deep into the data.
  • Google Data Studio – formatted to view large data sets in easy to read charts and tables. Also reports on progress over time.

Watch this quick video for deep dive into the Data Studio report.

Wait…this is automated?


BigQuery is an amazing platform. It mot only allows us to process limitless data, but also apply logic with SQL models. The SQL logic is where the real magic happens.

For example, the WQA automates all of the following…


1. Aggregation of SEO data (6 sources) at the URL level

This alone saves you hours of Spreadsheet work. No need to write crazy formulas, VLOOKUPS, pivot tables…the data comes out of BigQuery completely ready to review.

wqa formatting

Organized. Formatted. Everything you need to make an informed SEO decision about every page on your website.


2. Generates a “category” for each page

The models are trained to read pages to determine “category” (blog post, product page, etc). This is so impactful because it allows you to analyze sections of your website (i.e. blog posts only) so you’re comparing “apples to apples” (as opposed to comparing performance of a blog post vs contact page).

wqa page classification

This is especially important for large, enterprise sites who have a ton of data to sift through. You can easily break up your analysis by page category to save you time.


3. Automatically assigns “Action” recommendation to each page

The main output from the WQA is knowing what to do with every page on your site from an SEO point of view. This serves as the perfect roadmap for any SEO campaign, as you know exactly how you’re going to optimize the entire site.

Before pushing to BigQuery, we used to run the WQA by hand. We’d inspect each URL and assign an “Action” to take (i.e. 301 redirect, merge content, target with links, etc).

This took too long.

So we trained BigQuery to understand “if” statements to automatically generate Actions.

For example…

  • If a page is 404 but has external links…Action = 301 redirect to appropriate page
  • If a page is 404 but has external links and internal links…Action = 301 redirect to appropriate page, remove internal links

We literally wrote hundreds of these and we continuously add more every time we run a WQA for clients.

break these Actions down into 4 categories for simple analysis:

  • Technical Actions
  • On page Actions
  • Off page Actions
  • Site architecture Actions

You can review these in Sheets, or neatly organized on page 5 of the Data Studio report.

Read more about how we generate Actions in BigQuery

WQA bigquery


4. Schedule reporting cadence / refreshes

The WQA can be refreshed daily, weekly, yearly…on whatever you’d like.

For clients, we set them up to run monthly. Each month the WQA refreshes to find new issues, but also report on the progress of past ones.

It’s a simple, cost effective way to monitor SEO changes and progress over a campaign.


wqa scheduling


Can you share use cases for The WQA?

Absolutely. This is why we call the WQA a “Swiss Army Knife”…


1. A scalable technical audit

Outreach.com is is an ecommerce store that sells products for churches. They came to us seeking help with a legacy CMS that had a heap of technical issues, which they believed was causing their site to lose a significant amount of organic traffic each month.

Running a traditional technical SEO audit on a site this size would be a nightmare. Instead, we used ran a WQA.

What the WQA found

  • Duplicate pages:
    • Created via sort filter facets, pagination, and internal tracking parameters added to URLs
    • This created cases where the same product page was indexed multiple times
    • There were hundreds of product pages that were inactive (zero organic sessions over 90 days)
    • Upon  inspecting these pages in GSC we discovered that they weren’t being crawled and therefore weren’t being indexed.
  • Redirects: 
    • Multiple versions of the site were index due to canonical tags for non-www and non-secured versions of the site
    • Google was not respecting their canonical directives because so many duplicate pages had self-referential canonical so it didn’t make sense
  • Duplicate page titles:
    • Over 100  unique product category pages had the same title tags because of how they were being programmatically created
    • The WQA easily generated a complete list of pages that needed to be fixedThey had to go in and fix those manually
  • Low hanging fruit: 
    • The client had no insight into what product pages were performing the best in search
    • The WQA focused their efforts on “low hanging fruit” pages, leading to a big increase in revenue for these products

The result

Within 1 month of implementing the recommendations from the WQA, Outreach was finally able to stop their organic traffic skid.

wqa - mom growth

2. A data heavy content audit

Content is a double edge sword when it comes to SEO. You need it to get more traffic, but the wrong type can have a negative impact.

If Google views your content as “low quality” you may experience lower crawl frequency, indexation and rankings.

Rand Fishkin has been talking about this for years -> “Google’s Quality Score“.

We use the WAQ as a content audit to improve performance.

For example, BombBomb – a platform that helps customers send video via email. BombBomb has been creating blog content for nearly a decade, leaving thousands of blog posts that were under performing in search.


What the WQA found

  • Thin content:
    • Hundreds of pages with 300 or less words, no media and no links (internal and external)
    • Recommended to clean up poor content with 301 redirects
    • NOINDEX tags for pages that had value to the business, but not to search (i.e. a paid search landing page)
  • Duplicate / similar content:
    • A large number of blog posts that were created around the same topic, causing massive content topic overlap
    • Recommended to merge similar content and create 1 authoritative post for each topic
  • Irrelevant content:
    • Found pages that fell outside the scope / brand reach
    • Created “hub” and “spoke” system to better organize content and ensure brand voice stays relevant to the customer

client WQA


The result

A sharp increase in overall keyword visibility 45 days after mass implementation of 301 redirects, content refreshes and NOINDEX tags.

client wqa results


3. Attacking “low hanging fruit” pages

The fastest way to turn around more organic traffic is to make improvement to the assets you already have.

We like to target “low hanging fruit”, aka pages who have keywords ranking between positions 8 to 20. These pages are ranking well, but not high enough to get significant traffic. By making improvements (titles, metas, body text, etc) we can quickly punch it up the rankings.

The WQA is the perfect tool to build a list of “low hanging fruit” pages to make improvements on.

Watch how quickly I find “low hanging fruit pages”

Want more?

The Website Quality Audit is a game changer when it comes to improving SEO performance.

There’s 3 ways you can harness it’s power:

  1. Done for you – Hire our consultants to run, analyze and present the findings to you
  2. Do it yourself – Use our software to run it for yourself
  3. White label – If you’re a consultant or agency, we can run the audit on behalf of your clients.

I’m standing by to discuss the best option for your business.

Hit this link to grab a time on my calendar that works best for you.

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Comments ( 115 )

  • Lakesha Grant Says
    3 years ago

    This is SO impressive, love the work you are doing here!

  • tom Says
    1 year ago

    what is the price to run it ourselves

  • Ryan Stewart Says
    1 year ago

    check out https://theblueprint.training, we sell the template as a standalone


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