The Website Quality Audit

A BigQuery Recipe for SEO professionals.

The WQA is one of a number of BigQuery Recipes that CIFL executes as a service on your behalf. Learn more here about the Recipes service.

Ready to get started with the WQA? Get in touch here.


The Website Quality Audit recipe promises to aggregate all data required to guide your page-level SEO decision-making, and refresh that data every day.

The raw dataset includes landing-page-level organic metrics from Google Analytics, keyword-level stats from Google Search Console, a monthly crawl of Deepcrawl and backlink counts from Majestic.

Based on this bedrock of data, the ultimate goal of the WQA recipe is to provide you with specific recommended actions to improve your site’s pages - across technical, on + off-page, and architectural buckets.

Let’s dive into how the recipe is put together, and what you can expect from the output (click to jump):

1. The output: Sheets workbook, Data Studio dashboard, and raw BigQuery tables

2. Action recommendation logic: Across technical, on-page, off-page and site architecture

3. Starting your implementation: Running the Website Quality Audit on your sites

If you prefer video, watch the entire walkthrough here:


The WQA Output

Since all Recipes use Google BigQuery as their analytics warehouse, you have a lot of flexibility in where you ultimately make use of the output.

We provide two templates for you to make use of - but ultimately the data is yours, and you’re free to go ham on merging WQA data into your team’s process + building out more reporting.

The Sheets Workbook

wqa sheets workbook

Check out the demo workbook here.

Pulling data in directly from BigQuery, the workbook provides you with all the data you’d need to make page-level decisions. It’s quite similar to the original WQA built in Sheets, that you may know and love.

Building on the original, it also splits recommended ‘next steps’ for each site across technical, on-page, off-page and architectural action buckets.

The data in the Workbook refreshes after each month-end.

The Data Studio Dashboard

data studio dashboard

Browse the demo dashboard here.

Since you have all this data in BigQuery, why not take advantage of Google Data Studio’s powerful visualization capabilities? In our opinion it’s the most straightforward (and free) data viz tool out there.

The WQA dashboard template offers you a sitewide pulse visualization, showing overall organic + keyword-level trends over time - with data refreshed each morning.

Think of it like a rolling monthly report of your Google Analytics + Search Console data, mashed up into one.

It also allows you to view your site’s trend in terms of action recommendations - ultimately showing your team’s progression on fixing technical or architectural issues.

Most importantly - since Data Studio’s interface is drag and drop, your team can go ahead and build your own reports on top of the WQA dataset, or just use the Data Studio Explore tool to browse results.

The BigQuery Console

bigquery console

We cannot stress enough that your data belongs to you, and you only.

You have access, in the BigQuery console, to the raw data that feeds your Website Quality Audit, as well as all of the intermediate data models the WQA runs to deliver your results.

All tables + key columns are documented in the Recipe SOP, so you’ll never be lost in using it.

We also provide a BigQuery SQL getting started guide, so you can get your team off the ground in running your own analyses in SQL.

The Action Recommendation Engine

At the core of the Website Quality Audit is an action recommendation engine - since the recipe aggregates your data across a crawl, analytics + links, it’s able to pick out patterns in your site and recommend next steps.

For detailed logic of how these actions are applied, check out the Website Quality Audit SOP doc here.

Actions are bucketed into 3 categories, and are based on the original WQA standard operating procedure that you may know and love.

1. Technical Actions

Includes recommendations regarding robots.txt, sitemaps, canonicalization, crawl instructions, and index / noindex directives.

Technical actions break down into 5 sub-categories of action:

  • HTTP status: fixing any non-intentional 404 pages.
  • Crawl: adding pages to the crawl, or blocking them from being crawled.
  • Indexation: setting zero-traffic pages to NoIndex
  • Canonicalization: setting canonical URLs for any pages missing them
  • Sitemaps: adding or removing pages to / from a sitemap

2. On + Off-page Actions

These actions are marketing + positioning related - they relate to how a page appears in search results, and how well those search results convert given the page’s content.

On + off-page actions break down into 5 sub-categories:

  • Content: identifies both underperforming and rising content.
  • Meta rewrite: recommends including top keywords in meta titles + descriptions where they’re lacking.
  • Schema: recommends adding schema tags to pages, based on their page type (article, category, etc).
  • Pagination: if a category with multiple pages is lacking rel=“prev” and rel=“next” tags, recommends adding it.
  • External linking: recommends targeting external links to specific pages based on performance.

3. Architectural Actions

Specific recommendations around the internal linking structure, category organization and keyword cannibalization on your site.

Architectural actions break down into 3 sub-categories:

  • Internal linking: adding or reducing internal in or outlinks based on page performance.
  • Keyword cannibalization: recommends consolidating or 301’ing pages that are cannibalizing higher-performing pages’ keywords.
  • Categories: suggests consolidating low-performing categories.

Starting your Implementation

You might be saying, “OK, that all sounds great, but how do I do this? And what’s it cost?”

Like all BigQuery Recipes from CIFL, the Website Quality Audit is a paid service that we execute on behalf of clients.

Recipes are recurring analyses, with data refreshing daily so you’re always on top of your metrics.

All Recipes are priced at a flat rate per site, per month.

As part of the Website Quality Audit, we’ve partnered with our friends over at Deepcrawl to bring you crawl credits at a reduced rate. Deepcrawl also includes access to Majestic SEO backlinks data, which is a nice bonus.

Cost depends on the size of your site, as our amount of QC time + spend on crawl credits scales accordingly:

Site Tier # of Pages Service Cost Deepcrawl Cost Total Cost
Base < 5k $25 $5 $30
Medium 5-20k $30 $15 $45
Large 20-50k $40 $35 $75
Enterprise > 50k $50+ $50+ $100+

The typical agency implementing the WQA recipe spends between $300 and $1,000 per month.

Ready to Dive In?

Every implementation starts with a Tracking Plan - laying out what sites you’re implementing, and what analytics + Search Console accounts map to them.

To get us started working on your Tracking Plan, get in touch here. David, the Commissioner of CIFL, will be in touch to get your implementation started.