Website Need Audit?
Over the last year, we have seen a lot of changes from the search engines in how they calculate the search results when someone does a search. It used to be that you could just add keywords to your title tags and content and header tags, get a few backlinks and there you go you are ranking.
It is NOT AT ALL like that any longer and most business owners have not been able to keep up. There are so many factors used by the search engines to determine how your site will be returned in the results. Below are some recent added Factors.
2) Technical Code
3) Site Speed
Things change very fast in the SEO industry and what is working today may not work for 6 months from now.It is compulsory to perform periodically SEO audits to make sure that your website is up-to-date with the latest developments.
To Make It Simple To Work With The list, It Is Separated Into 5 Sections:
1. On-Site SEO Checklist
On-Site SEO is the most important part of the SEO Audit checklist. In General, many audits cover this part only. To check if your website is optimized for search engines; you need to focus on following factors:
Titles and Descriptions: Are they unique for each page and within the specified size? Can the user understand from the title what the page is all about and is the description an advertisement of what the page has to offer?
URL Structure – Since a URL is the starting point to a page's content, it's a logical place to begin our on-page analysis.
Good URLs include Proper keywords (not stuffed), include hyphens (‘-‘) to distinct the keywords, are unique for every page and are less than 255 characters (with the domain name).
Text formatting – Format of the text also key in the On-Site checklist. Any text should be properly formatted using H1 (for the main title) and H2 (for the main headings), bold and italics for the important parts, lists where necessary etc.
Content – The content of your website has to be unique. You can check all your pages for uniqueness and if you find the duplicate content you have to remove or de-index these pages.
Have to focus on content length and content freshness. If you have pages with little or no content or pages with similar content, need to merge them together using 301 redirects.
If the content is old or out-of-date, create a publishing strategy and make sure that your website is updated on a regular basis. No need to post daily but you need to maintain a steady posting scheduling.
Use Google Analytics to find the most popular pages (both landing pages and with the most visits) and make sure that these have high-quality content (free of spelling and grammar errors, properly formatted, properly promoted in social media etc.).
Internal linking – Linking your pages together is used to both search engines and users. The pages you want to rank better in search have to be the greater number of internal links.
The pages you want to rank better in search are linked from your home page. You have to maintain between 2 – 10 internal links per page.
Images – A picture might say a thousand words to users, but for search engines, pictures are mute. Therefore, your site needs to provide image descriptive concern so that search engines can participate in the conversation.
We have to focus on below 3 important things when it comes to images:
Image filenames are the descriptive manner to what the image is about. You can use keywords in the filename but do not overdo it.
All images have the ALT tag defined
All images are compressed to minimize their size. If you are using a lot of images in your pages you may need to consider using a content delivery network (CDN).
Broken links – Broken links are not good for the user experience and thus not good from an SEO perspective.
Use of banner ads above the fold – A few years ago, Google started punishing websites that have too many ads above the fold.
If your ad implementation is not according to standards you have to remove or change the position of the ads.
User friendliness – Make sure your website is user-friendly or not. Although it is difficult to judge what a user-friendly website is and what is not because this depends on the type of website and how it is designed,
Page speed – From my experience talking to clients, handling website page speed is one of the most challenging tasks at least for the non-technical users. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most important search engine optimization factors and has to be addressed successfully.
Your website should load fast and preferably faster than your competitors.
Website structure – The structure of the website also need to check for a good user experience. What I usually check is the following:
Does the website have a strong content structure? Is the content grouped into relevant categories and pages?
2. Website Control Checklist
Are you using all the basic tools to properly control your website? Have you registered your website with Google webmaster tools, can the search engines bots access your website without any problems?
Are you monitoring your Google analytics report frequently? These are just some of the questions you have to answer in this section of the audit checklist.
Create an XML Sitemap
An XML sitemap allows the search engines to decide which URLs are actually on your website so that they can crawl them more quickly. You also need sitemaps to ensure that your site is viewed as the original source of content in case somebody copies it or references it so that it doesn’t get punished by Google.
Edit robots.txt File
Robots.txt file is used to tell the search engine spiders which pages they should take into account when crawling your website.
By changing the contents of the file, you can prevent the crawlers from duplicate indexing content, or make sure that they don’t crawl individual pages of your website which you want to keep private and outside of SERPs. Again, you can create your robots.txt file manually or automatically; it’s up to you.
By using a 301 redirect command, you are notifying the search engines that the page is no longer available, and redirecting them to a new address. As a result, they will eliminate the old URL from their index, and remember the new one.
Also, Redirects will allow you to monitor traffic that your 404 page is receiving.
3. Social Media Checklist
As the Web becomes more and more social, the success of your website depends more and more on its ability to attract social mentions and create social discussions.
You may be questioning, how is social media correlated with an SEO audit? Social media affects your SEO efforts both directly and indirectly so it is a factor that can influence your efforts to have an accurately optimized website.
Fundamentally what you have to check in this section is whether you have a proper presence in the most important social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest), whether it’s easy for people to find and follow you in those channels and if your social media profiles are SEO optimized.
4. Off-Site SEO
Once you finish with above checklists, next we're going to focus on the ranking factors that are generated by external sources.
Incoming links profile analysis – Find out who is linking to your website
You may know about your incoming links by using the ‘Links to your site’ report from Google webmaster tools.
Once you have the report with incoming links you need to analyze the following questions
How many unique domains are linking to you?
If only a few domains are linking to you, you need to get links from related domains so you need to create a list of possible websites to be used for guest blogging.
Which of these domains are considered trusted domains?
If you don’t have links from trusted domains you need to get in touch with the leaders and let them know that you exist.
How many links are redirecting to your homepage and how many links to your other internal pages?
If all the links are pointing to your homepage, you need to ensure that links are pointing to your internal pages as well. You can do this by either eliminating links from the home page or by building additional links to the internal pages.
Which of your pages have the most incoming links?
You have to know which pages have most incoming links and are that page is important to gain Rank.
What percentage of the links is keyword based?
If all the incoming links are keyword based, you need to urgently change them by making them more relevantly by using your domain name only, your full post title and things like ‘click here’,’ link’ etc.
Links are very important if you want high rankings but you really don’t have to go out and build links like crazy.
Instead, you should concentrate your efforts on building good websites (with good content) and automatically links will flow in naturally.
5. Website Promotion Checklist
Website promotion Checklist goes beyond SEO and slightly touches the area of Internet marketing.
For example, you must have a mobile version of your website since more than 50% of online searches are made through mobile phones.
You need to have an Android app when there are millions of new Android users per day. You need to have some presence on YouTube since millions of people are on YouTube every single minute.
In other words, you need to look at the big picture and how you can promote your website on the Internet (as a whole) and not just on search engines.
A good SEO Audit will give the recommendations for finding your missing opportunities, finding where your potential customers are hanging out online and suggest ways on how you can make those your readers or even better your customers.
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