HomeResourcesBlogAchieving a Perfect 100 Ahrefs SEO Audit Score for a Client’s Website with 97,569 Pages

Achieving a Perfect 100 Ahrefs SEO Audit Score for a Client’s Website with 97,569 Pages

Keyword research, implementation, trending on-site content, website performance and security, and of course, user-friendly design are all part of the elements that make up one good search engine optimization strategy

However, as a site gets older more errors can accumulate over time.

To that end, detailed assessments through regular SEO audits done at least once a year should be the norm. 

With an SEO audit, you can pinpoint the exact bottlenecks and map out for you a bottom-up tactic, helping you target issues that are impeding your online success from the most severe ones to the minor ones.

Let’s explore one sensational success story that ended in a perfect 100 Ahrefs audit score:

The Client

Our client provides apps for meditation as well as various relaxation tips on their site and blog!

Their commitment to improving mental health and wellness through meditation is reflected in their extensive online platform, which features a number of interactive elements, resources, and content aimed at fostering a supportive community for meditation enthusiasts of all levels.

However, the client was still lagging behind the competition.

Given their goals our objective was clear: to diagnose and rectify any existing SEO inefficiencies that could impede their online visibility, user engagement, and overall performance in search engine results.

Our Strategy

To scan and analyze our client’s entire website we use:

  • Screaming Frog
  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs
  • Google Search Console

Then we review each notice and issue manually to check the significance and veracity. 


Once we gather the data we compile a systematic category for the issues we have found. We also prioritize the issues based on their impact and how much they are impeding our client’s site.

Once the changes are implemented, we run a follow-up crawl analysis to verify the previously resolved issues are now boosting performance.

Our Findings

Our audit made it evident that the client’s digital platform, while rich in quality content and user-friendly features, had several optimization challenges. 

These ranged from technical SEO issues, such as crawlability and indexation, to on-page SEO elements like meta tags, redirects, and internal linking structures. Seeing the overall picture, we decided to do a deep dive and organize the bottlenecks for easy resolution.

Website Speed and Performance Status

For this part of the audit, we examine both the blog and website security, front-end, and back-end standings.


The website demonstrated strong DNS and SSL configurations, indicating a strong foundation in security. 

However, our front-end performance audit of the current state showed that the site was dealing with medium-level issues, including 

  • Unoptimized images
  • A lack of caching mechanisms
  • Unoptimized scripts that hamper loading times and user experience.

Similar to the main site, the blog has strong DNS and SSL but needs help with high-priority issues like HTTP and mixed security content, unoptimized images, and inadequate caching affecting user trust and SEO.

Recommendations: 

  • Ensuring HTTP redirects are correctly handled to prevent duplicate content and addressing mixed security content are critical. 
  • Removing render-blocking resources, optimizing image size and format, implementing effective caching, and minimizing the impact of third-party code will enhance speed and user experience.
  • Implement targeted security improvements for malware protection. Addressing broken links through 301 redirects and regularly monitoring server signals will bolster security.
  • Optimizing images for the web, implementing caching strategies for static assets, and refining scripts can significantly improve speed. Regular front-end performance optimization is advised for sustained improvements.

Indexation and Crawlability

We found a discrepancy in the inclusion ratio, indicating a gap between the number of pages existing on our client’s site versus those indexed by Google. 

With 97,569 pages present in the sitemap, only 65,700 were indexed, leaving a significant portion unexplored by search engines. This gap suggests issues with server overload or connectivity, which may hinder search engines from fully crawling the site. 

Addressing these technical constraints is crucial for improving the website’s SEO performance.

Further scrutiny of the robots.txt file shows it to be largely optimized, directing search engine crawlers effectively. However, the misuse of the hashtag symbol (#) in directives meant to disallow certain paths that need correction. Properly formatting these directives ensures that crawlers are not unintentionally blocked from accessing valuable content.

Through analyzing the data, we noticed inconsistencies in the sitemap.xml, where URLs disallowed through the robots.txt file were still listed for indexing. This misalignment sends mixed signals to search engines and can impact the site’s overall SEO efficiency. Ensuring that only crawlable and index-worthy content is listed in the sitemap is vital for accurate and efficient search engine crawling.

On-Page SEO Elements 

Below you will find the details of each on-site SEO element we’ve examined as well as the recommendations we provided.

Internal Pages

Timed Out URLs: On the main website, we found that 3 URLs were timing out, however, this is classified as low priority status due to their low number. 

Bear in mind, that these issues still need to be resolved promptly to avoid any negative impact on site crawlability and user experience. On the blog, no timeouts were detected, indicating a healthy status.

404 Pages: The blog showed a medium-priority concern with 29 “404 – Not Found” errors. Such errors are detrimental to the user experience and can waste search engine crawl budgets. We recommend a thorough review and redirection to live or relevant pages, especially for those 404 pages with significant backlinks.

Forbidden Access (403) and Server Errors (500 & 5XX): Both the main website and blog showed no issues with forbidden access or server errors, marking a good status across these areas.

HTTPS/HTTP Mixed Content: Only the blog displayed a medium-priority issue with 146 instances of mixed content. This situation undermines the security and user experience of your HTTPS site and needs correction to ensure all resources load securely.

Indexability

Canonical Issues: There were no canonical links pointing to inaccessible (4XX) or server error (5XX) pages on both the main site and blog. This indicates a healthy use of canonical tags, which is crucial for directing search engines to the preferred version of a page.

Links

The blog faces a low-priority issue with 570 internal links pointing to HTTP URLs instead of HTTPS, which could potentially harm the site’s security perception and overall authority. Additionally, 15 orphan pages were identified in the blog, lacking internal links, which could impact their visibility and link equity distribution. 

There were also 13 instances of links to broken pages, further emphasizing the need for meticulous link management to enhance user experience and SEO efficiency.

Redirects

Both the main site and blog were found to be free from issues related to redirect chains, loops, or broken redirects, indicating efficient management in this area.

Content

The blog faces a significant issue with 206 pages missing meta descriptions, a medium-priority concern due to its impact on click-through rates from SERPs. Furthermore, 146 blog titles were deemed too long or too short, potentially affecting visibility and relevance in search results. 

Also, the main website has a high-priority issue with 716 duplicate pages without user-selected canonicals, highlighting the need for explicit canonical tags or content differentiation.

Localization

Our audit found no issues related to hreflang annotations, HTML lang attributes, or reciprocal hreflang links, indicating a good status in terms of localization.

Issue Details:

  • Timed-out URLs hinder crawlability and worsen user experience.
  • 404 Pages waste crawl budgets and degrade user experience.
  • HTTPS/HTTP Mixed Content affects site security and user trust.
  • Canonical Issues misguide search engines, diluting SEO efforts.
  • Internal Links to HTTP diminish perceived site security.
  • Orphan Pages and Broken Links interrupt navigation and SEO.
  • Missing Meta Descriptions and Title Tags impact click-through rates and relevance.
  • Duplicate Content confuses search engines, reducing page authority.

Recommendations

  • Improve Server Response Times: Addressing the timed-out URLs by optimizing server performance or resource allocation can enhance both crawlability and user experience.
  • Fix or Redirect Broken Links: Identifying and correcting or redirecting broken and 404 links can significantly improve navigation and SEO by eliminating dead ends for crawlers and users.
  • Secure Internal Links: Converting all internal links on the blog from HTTP to HTTPS ensures security and trust, aligning with SEO best practices.
  • Enhance Content Relevance and Visibility: Crafting unique and compelling meta descriptions, adjusting title lengths, and resolving duplicate content issues will improve both user engagement and search engine rankings.
  • Orphan Pages Assessment: Evaluate whether orphan pages serve a strategic purpose. If not, integrating them through internal linking could distribute link equity more effectively across the site.

The Results

We prepared our audit and sent it to our client. In this case, they opted to make the changes in-house utilizing their own development team (despite Shortlist’s capabilities). 

Luckily, they took action on our recommendations, and, in a few month’s time were able to increase their score to 100%.

Let’s get you Shortlisted to the top!

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