All You Need to Know About SEO Audit
As a digital marketer, attracting traffic is the name of the game. As such, many industries believe that excellent content and popularity are the secret weapons in achieving this. However, they do not know that the most important thing to do to gain significant traffic on your website starts by performing a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or SEO Audit with help from an SEO company in the Philippines. Let us discuss what this is and how you can go with it in this article.
What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO Audit is done to check how your website is performing. In doing so, you will have a deeper understanding of what works in your campaigns and what does not. You can then use this data to recalibrate how you make your marketing efforts.
An SEO auditor will provide you with three things, namely:
- the overall performance of your campaign concerning traffic flow
- the factors not working in your campaign, and
- the necessary steps to be taken that are available in the market.
When Should You Perform an SEO Audit?
According to Gotch SEO, there are only two instances to perform an SEO audit – before starting a new project and at the beginning of a new quarter. If you are a small website, you do not necessarily need to perform these audits all the time. Instead, you can do this once a year.
However, if you are a medium to large company, you need to perform website page SEO audits during the previously mentioned periods. Others even suggest that you need to perform an SEO audit at least twice a year to have a more straightforward and better understanding of your website’s performance.
Regardless of when you do an SEO audit, the process remains crucial to help you comply with various ranking factors, acquire higher search volumes, gain the traffic you desire, and improve the overall user experience. You can learn more about improving your website by visiting the Google Search Central (formerly Webmaster Tools).
Your SEO Audit Checklist and Guide
Performing an SEO audit begins with analyzing the technicalities in your website. Page SEO audits cover two main points – accessibility and indexability. Writing and publishing compelling content on your pages will not matter if these two are not programmed correctly. Keep in mind that these two factors are not for users but search engines, including Google, Bing, and more.
Regarding a website’s accessibility, you can program contents that you want to make available for search engines. If you use robots.txt files, you can restrict Google’s access to certain parts of your website. However, it would be best to ensure you are not hiding any necessary files from Google. Otherwise, there might be a chance your page will not be visible in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
There is a way for these search engine crawlers to locate you. With the use of robot meta tags, you can instruct these search engine crawlers to handle the page. Meaning, you have control over which pages these crawlers should focus on. Additionally, you can apply what we call an XML Sitemap, which provides search engine crawlers with a roadmap that helps them navigate your website. In doing so, you help ensure that your page has a better chance of ranking higher on SERPs.
After Google or other search engines “check” your website, it will decide whether or not your site is worth a spot on its SERPs. If you cannot find your page on SERPs, there might be a problem with your website. Errors may come from content duplication and improper use of keywords, among many others. As such, what you need to do is run your site using Sitemaps to double-check what needs fixing when performing an SEO audit.
Functionality and Security
Your website’s functionality and security are the next things you need to consider when doing an SEO audit. One of the reasons users press the back button after opening a website is because it is not functioning correctly. With regards to its function, it should only have one browse-able link. For example, people should not be able to access your website using different links, such as the following:
Moreover, it would be best to use HTTPS links because search engines prefer to display Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) enabled sites on their results pages. Your website will need SSL because it is the backbone of having a secured internet connection. The purpose of SSL is to encrypt pertinent information, such as credit card details, that users may provide on a website, especially when they are making a purchase or paying bills. When you send information using the internet, it will go from computer A to computer B. If there is no SSL, any computer between A and B can gain access to the information. With SSL, only computers A and B can read the information, while it becomes unreadable to the rest.
How your website looks is also vital in its overall impact on user experience. In your website’s SEO audit, you should check if your website is structurally sound. This includes the placement of tabs on your website, even how a user will navigate it. Check if it is easy to browse your site – the number of clicks from other tabs to your homepage, the content, the graphics, and the ads. All mentioned affect the overall look and performance of your website.
To do this, study your website’s heatmap. The heatmap helps determine which part of your web page individuals click on the most. Typically, this has an F pattern. Understanding where your web visitors click on or pan will help you know where to place tabs and call to action buttons properly.
The performance of your website is also dependent on its page speed. Thus, you need to make sure that you have a fast working website with pages that can load quickly on both desktop and mobile devices. Remember that page loading performance is one of the metrics to measure your site users’ page experience.
Another thing to consider is the responsiveness of your website. With so many people preferring mobile devices over desktop computers, you must have a mobile-friendly website that can translate from desktop to mobile accurately.
Choosing which keyword to use is very important. As such, you need to know the kind of keywords individuals use in their search queries to look for information regarding your business. The ideal types of keywords to use are those that have medium difficulty and medium traffic. You can identify which keywords to use through keyword research.
Moreover, there is another thing that you need to keep in mind when optimizing your keywords—keyword cannibalism or the use of duplicate keywords. This makes it difficult for Google search to prioritize which content to optimize and display on SERPs. Thus, it would be best to optimize one page with a particular keyword. If you use the same keyword for multiple web pages, they will compete with each other on SERPs. So, take careful notice of your keywords when performing an SEO audit for your website.
Due to the outpour of fake news seen in previous years, search engines such as Google are more stringent in scanning a website’s content. As a result, you must make sure your content is solid. To craft sound and compelling content, it has to be original. Creating new, fresh, and up-to-date articles should be everybody’s top priority. There are free spelling, grammar, and plagiarism checker platforms online, such as Grammarly and Copyscape, which you can use to analyze your content’s structure and effectiveness.
To avoid monotony in your web pages, you can use images, videos, and other graphic and interactive elements to supplement your content. Just remember to use the alt attribute feature and optimize your images to help search engines locate your content through image search and display them on search engine results pages, maps, and the like.
These kinds of analyses mainly focus on your website’s connections. Your connections help build your website’s reputation. So, as part of the SEO audit, it is important to check who your links are and how these networks affect your website ranking.
Popularity and Social Media Marketing
You may disagree; however, most people search for a website because of its mainstream popularity. It is a huge factor in gaining that coveted SERP spot. Therefore, you must also pay attention to your social media marketing efforts. Check if you are getting any social mentions or if other people also use your hashtags. Due to the increasing amount of people using social media, it has become an excellent platform for marketing. Several people now use social media accounts to spread the word about their business but do not necessarily give you the guarantee of having high traffic on your website. You still need to ensure that you share your posts correctly and target the right audience for your social media marketing to become effective.
If you are not getting those mentions, do something about your engagement with your audience. Better yet, utilize influencer marketing by collaborating with bloggers and other social media influencers in your industry so you will have more opportunities to market your brand. Then, to improve your web traffic, you can consider asking your existing customers to be part of your referral marketing strategy. Lastly, you can also use Google Ads to expand your reach to your target market and further establish your brand online.
Backlinks and Internal Links
Link building is probably one of the easiest things to do in a website’s SEO audit. However, it is proven to be the most effective. Backlinks are those websites that you connect with. Networking is vital in building your website’s reputation, especially if you have connections to sites that correlate to your branding.
These backlinks will also ensure your website’s trustworthiness. Many people tend to visit popular websites because it establishes that people can trust such a brand. Link building is just like choosing soap where you prefer buying from big named brands regardless of its price. You know it has been proven and tested by a lot of people.
Besides backlinks, you should also focus on the internal links that you place on your anchor texts when writing content. These internal links allow site users to navigate your web pages easily. They also show your users that you have other content on another page related to their current reading. Internal links encourage visitors to explore and browse your site further.
Schema markup is code that you can place into your website to help search engines return more useful and relevant results for users. When you use schema markups, users can see what kind of website you have. They will also know the products or services you are offering, how much they cost, and more.
Additionally, these markups tell search engines what the content on your website means instead of just telling them what the object is. The commonly used schema markups in digital marketing include Product, Site Search, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Local Business, and Event.
The Share Button
It would be best if you had a share button on your website. It will allow visitors to share your content on different platforms what they find interesting on your site. Doing this will enable others to know about your business and result in organic searches on your website.
Perform SEO Audits the Right Way!
As you have learned, there are several things to consider when performing an SEO audit. We know that it can get a bit overwhelming. However, it is something that you should face and tick off of your list to ensure the improvement of your website traffic. If you need assistance in your SEO efforts, you can hire an SEO company in the Philippines to improve site traffic and rank higher on SERPs!