Search engine optimization or SEO, has existed since a long time, however, a lot has been changed in this field. Nowadays, keywords are used more sensibly than they were used previously. Social link building has improved a lot and quality content is being used to attract the audience. Before we move on to explain all the important points that must be included in your first SEO audit, let’s first explain the actual meaning of SEO audit.
What is SEO Audit?
SEO audit is a process used to evaluate the health of a website depending on different areas. As an auditor, you will check the website against a given checklist and make the required changes to improve the website’s search engine ranking.
You can hire an SEO auditor to do the job for you or you can even do the audit of the website yourself. Here are the most important steps that must be kept in mind while doing your first SEO audit. Also, make sure that you prepare, organize, and analyze the website while sticking to the basics.
Define The Goals
The most important step while planning an SEO audit for the website is to have a well-defined goal. Without a preset goal, how will you determine whether your website is search engine friendly or not? So make sure that you plan the SEO audit strategically and remember to have a deadline to complete the project on time.
After you have defined your goals, the real work starts. The first step will be to make sure that the citations present on the web about your company are correct. Citation means online references to your business which makes it easy for your visitors to find your services. Check whether your business name, address and phone number are correct or not. You can do this by simply searching the Google for:
Variations of business name
Variations of phone number
Have you used the page specific Meta Tags? Meta Tags are visible on the Search Engine Page Results and thus they must be optimized to mark a good first impression on the visitor. Use the main keywords on Meta Tags along with an identifier, so that your business becomes easily searchable on the SERPs. However, while writing the Meta Tags, make sure it is not just stuffed with keywords, rather choose to write an impressive Meta Tags that will make the visitors click on it.
You can further describe your business in a precise but attractive manner in the Meta Description. Description are used to help people find what they are looking for, therefore, make it self-contained. You can further use the Google Webmaster Tools to check for any copied content in your Meta Tag.
Now that you know how to use the keywords, include them on your website content. In SEO, content is the king, thus make sure your website does not have duplicate content as it can decrease your website’s ranking. Use unique and appealing content on your website without stuffing the keywords. You can also have a blog section on your website to attract potential customers. A well-placed call to action can direct the visitors to take an action that you want them to take. So make sure that your website has organized content and call to action to convert the online users into potential leads.
While auditing the website, ensure that your website URL’s are readable to the users. You can increase the URL readability by separating the words with a hyphen (-). However, do not use an underscore (_) to separate the words as according to Google underscore is not a word separator. The next thing that you must check is the architecture of the website. A website having a flat architecture means that a web page is not nestled into different categories.This makes it easier for the users to navigate through the site.
So you believe that images on your website are not responsible for the ranking? If so, you are probably wrong. Heavy images can increase the website’s loading time, thus having an effect on the overall performance of the site. Make sure that images of the right size are present on your website and for the same, you can use different plugins to compress the images without affecting their quality.
An important part of the ranking algorithm, backlinks help your website to increase its rank on the search engine. While link building is an essential process, you should never compromise on the quality of the backlinks. You can audit the quality of backlinks with the help of Google Webmaster Tools. Check for the spamming sites and remove the links that can harm your website.
Different tools that will provide you with good data about the quality of the backlinks include:
How to Perform Your First #SEO Audit
Google+ Page Audit
While auditing your Google business Page, the first thing that is required to be checked is the dashboard. Make sure that your Google+ page is 100% complete and verified. Fill in any missing information and connect the Google+ page to your website. Do not stuff keywords in your business description and make the +1 button visible on the site. By making some simple changes, you can increase your website’s search rank.
Last but not the least, while doing the SEO audit for the first time, make sure that you do not forget to check the online reputation of your business. Keep a track of the reviews that people have left about your company on different review websites. Take out time to respond to the reviews and list to what your loyal customers or online visitors have to say.
Armed with the above information, you can easily find out the reason behind the low ranking of your website. Well, this is not a complete checklist, but it should give you a fair idea on how to increase your visitors, convert users into leads and rank your website higher. You can regularly perform SEO audits to save yourself from the trouble of indulging in different SEO practices that have no effect on your site.