The Fastest Marketing & SEO Audit
How do you do an SEO Audit let alone an SEO audit report? Is there an SEO audit tool you should use or is there a one-stop SEO checklist to make things easier? Or do you need to hire an SEO consultant or agency and outsource your SEO services? These are all very good and very common questions for any business owner. In this post I’m going to run you through an easy to follow, 12-step guide to doing your own basic SEO audits without breaking the bank on time of budget.
SEO audits are fairly straightforward for the most part. However, an understanding of fundamental SEO principles makes things much easier. There are plenty of free SEO audit tools and other SEO audit examples to be found online and anyone who can use a search engine can find them. Knowing how to use the SEO audit tools to perform your website audit and make sense of the data provided requires a little more expertise and may require you hiring a specialist to take care of your SEO audit and your whole website optimization strategy.
SEO Tools For SEO Audits
Anyone can use free SEO audit tools which will each provide you with basic SEO data, but I believe each SEO uses the data the same but differently. It’s in those differences where the differences in your website optimization strategy are made. You feel what I’m saying?
An article on SearchEngineLand.com get’s it and puts it this way: “I’m sure we are not all that different from many other SEOs that will perform a quick assessment of a site in order to provide some specific feedback to the prospect. But we always want to make sure our assessments are meaningful. We don’t want to just say, “Hey, look at us, we know something!” We want to put together a proposal that addresses many of their marketing needs, so they understand that we truly have a grasp of what needs to be done.”
SEO is an objective practice but in many ways SEO has its subjective elements. I’ve discussed SEO with various peers in the industry and it’s clear we all see certain things the same way, but we also have differing views on some SEO elements. I’m not sure there is a right way to “do SEO”, I just know what has been working for me and I continue to use those practices.
10 Steps For a Basic SEO Audit
I’ve written a two-part article discussing SEO Audits and creating an SEO Audit checklist. Each deals with fundamental SEO factors, both on-page and off-page, which will help you improve your search engine rankings and your website’s “SEO juice”. Read Part 1: An SEO Checklist For Every Skill Level and Part 2: SEO Tactics and Strategies.
If you’re looking to do a quick and basic SEO audit of your company website or for one of your clients, here are 12 SEO audit items you should work through and assess. Remember that you’re doing this SEO audit to determine what steps you need to take to fix any SEO issues your website may have. Be sure to create an action list of all issues to get a well-rounded perspective of the website’s over all optimization and marketing needs.
1. Keyword Focus
Keywords are still important. Trust me on this. They’re just not the only factor search engines look at in order to rank web pages for relevant user search quires. It’s a good thing to check out the overall keyword optimization of the website in question. Look at title tags, image alt and title tags, meta descriptions, and link title tags to see how well the website is optimized for long and short-tail keywords.
2. Architectural Issues
“Next, look at global architectural issues. Things you can look at quickly are broken links (run a tool while you’re doing other assessments), proper heading tag usage, site and page spiderability, duplicate content issues, etc. None of these take too much time and can be assessed pretty quickly. Some of the solutions for these are quick and some aren’t; and undoubtedly, once you start digging deeper you’ll find a lot more issues later.”
3. Navigation Issues
Website navigation is so very important for users and search engine spiders. Its approach has changed over the years but it’s functions and importance are still the same. Check out the site’s navigation structure. Be sure that only the important pages are shown in the main navigation. Each page that the website owner wants people to visit, and convert, should be in the main navigation menu. Users must be easily able to find what it is they’re looking for.
4. Local Optimization: Off Site
Local websites need a separate and different SEO approach compared with websites that are national. The analysis is much different between the two. For local sites, ensure the company is being consistent across the internet with their citations, listings, maps, and any other off-page signals. A company’s name address and phone number should be the same, in the same format, across all platforms. Don’t use a 1-800 number on Trip Advisor or Yelp and your local number on your Google Business Page.
5. Local Optimization: On Site
Local optimization on site is so very necessary, If you business has locations in different cities, I’d suggest to publish a page for each city and optimize that page with a Local SEO strategy for each particular market. Be sure not to stuff “local keywords” in metadata or on the page itself.
6. Social Presence
I always perform a social media audit on any website we intend on working on. Social signals are real as is social sharing. These will become official Google ranking factors sooner than later. Check to see if the website has social media integration in place. Facebook Open Graph protocol and Twitter cards should always be coded into the website. As should Pinterest verification. Social sharing buttons and the ability to like, follow, circle, etc, directly on the site, without leaving, is essential.
7. Conversion Optimization Issues
Website traffic in one thing, but what are you doing to help convert those that visit your website. What about those who left? Why did they leave? Digital marketing is not just about driving traffic to your website. If you’re not converting your website traffic into paid and returning customers, you need to figure out why. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is vital to the success of any digital marketing campaign. Look at the website and check for clear calls to action, mobile responsiveness, and easy to read landing pages with useful and relevant information.
To read the other 5 steps (and one bonus one) for your SEO Audit read the full article here.
Remember, this SEO Audit checklist is just to get you started. It’s very basic in nature and should by no means be considered a comprehensive SEO audit. We haven’t even talked about competition analysis among a few other key things.
If you spend just 10 minutes analyzing each of these steps, you’ll gather much useful and valuable information that can be used to improve the website marketing and SEO of the site.
Everyone needs some place to start. Here’s your jump off point.
If you need a hand with your website SEO Audit or an entire marketing audit of your digital presence, feel free to contact me to discuss your goals and the challenges preventing you from reaching them.
What are your steps to a quick and simple SEO audit?
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