May 17, 2021 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO, refers to the process of changing some details in your website to make it more visible in search engines. This improves your website’s ranking. While SEO might sound like a straightforward concept, it isn’t something that one should jump into without a clear-cut strategy. The best first step to take to develop your SEO strategy is by running an SEO analysis.
SEO analysis is the close examination of a website to understand how well you can optimize it. SEO analysis requires you to take a careful look at the type of content you have on your page. It allows you to see the type of keywords your content is optimized for and how well it performs. Conducting an SEO analysis sheds light on the various opportunities that your brand can use on your website to improve the page’s ranking potential in search engine results pages, also referred to as SERPs.
An SEO analysis includes auditing your website and identifying areas that require optimization for search engine bots. With an examination, you can determine which aspects of your SEO strategy are working, and which of those aren’t cutting it.
An SEO analysis helps you gain insight to establish which areas of your website’s content and technical aspects need improvement on, as this provides users with a much better platform experience. It also helps show search engines the relationship between what you put out in terms of your content, and the search queries your visitors are using.
In simpler terms, SEO analysis is essential if you want your website to rank higher, drive traffic, widen your audience reach, and hit your business objectives. Conducting research lets you make strategic decisions that may help you save on time and resources compared to what would have otherwise been allocated to unnecessary expenses. By not running a thorough SEO analysis on your site, it is almost impossible to make sound decisions on how to improve your page’s ranking in SERPs.
When conducting an SEO analysis online, ensure to examine every channel and find out where most of your traffic comes from. That includes checking your social media, organic referrals, paid searches, email marketing, paid social and direct traffic, as well as any other potential channels that might be bringing in visitors.
Usually, the most traffic comes from organic sources since they yield the best visitors. The best part is that you don’t have to pay for any organic visitors directly, unless you choose to go to the paid channel route.
Constantly driving traffic obtained from organic sources ensures that you have a steady stream of new users arriving at your website. This allows you to generate leads and eventually add more contacts to your funnel.
If you discover that most of your traffic doesn’t come from organic sources, then it might be time to reevaluate your entire SEO strategy. Once you get the hang of how to conduct other parts of your SEO site analysis, you’ll likely learn how to change your strategy.
When you get here, it’s best to ask yourself the following questions:
Your content strategy should advise and influence your editorial calendar. If you determine that you can’t find some content on pointers that you need to discuss, or discover that you haven’t written any posts on subjects that you rank for, you need to do either one of two things.
First, you need to write new material, or second, reuse the older material. Generally, your content should address your users’ pain points and ease each buyer’s journey from one step to the next. If this doesn’t happen, you should create new content, fill out your funnel and provide clear steps for every contact.
Your content strategy partially influences your keyword strategy. As you look for gaps in the topics, you should rank these and classify them for your conversion funnel. You will find terms that you’ll need to tap the target market. The catch is that you will have to dig deeper and further analyze what you are already ranking to carve out the rest of your strategy.
Utilizing SEO analysis tools will help you find the terms that relate to your top performers. You will also gain insight into the words that represent your underperformers. By the time you’re wrapping up on the analysis, you would have assessed if you should diversify your keyword strategy, cut back on the audience you’re currently targeting, or avoided specific terms since they aren’t doing you any favors in terms of success.
Aside from finding the keywords for the website you’re remaking, you also need to find out the competitors you’re ranking with. Keyword and content strategy go hand in hand, so you need to keep a close eye on what your rivals are writing about to stay ahead of them.
You can ask yourself the following questions to help:
All the information you get from conducting a competitive analysis should then influence your content and keyword strategies. You preferably may want to set your path to leverage your business’ strengths while exploiting your rival’s weaknesses. Therefore, pursuing their successful keyboards and undercutting any or all of their content strategy is a wise option to consider.
For your keyword and content to be effective, you need to make sure that your on-page SEO efforts are fruitful. If, after everything, you don’t optimize your site pages and blog posts for search, your company won’t gain any footing despite targeting new keywords or writing about new subjects.
When assessing your on-page success, ensure you’ve defined your keyword strategy on every page. If you intend to rank for a specific keyword on your page, see to it that the word appears all through the meta title, page title, meta description, and the full page copy.
Do not forget to include internal links that lead to your other blog posts. This allows your audience to further expand their knowledge on a particular topic, which then creates heavier traffic on your page’s related content. Doing so helps form logical organizational content throughout your website and enhance your user experience generally.
SEO is a massive thing for marketers. More than 60% of marketers agree that they focus primarily on SEO when it comes to inbound marketing. If you want to succeed online, it’s in your best interest to maximize your SEO efforts; otherwise, your business might get left behind.
If you’re wondering where to begin, the answer lies in assessing your website’s current SEO. The simplest way to evaluate your current SEO is by conducting an SEO audit. An audit allows you to see how your site currently ranks on Google, and how you can improve this.
The process may sound intense and probably tedious for novices, but it’s a straightforward process in reality. Before we list the steps to take when conducting an SEO audit, first, you need to understand what conducting an audit means.
As a business, you take great pains in ensuring that your content is relevant to any visitor who shows up to your site. Old SEO strategies just don’t work anymore in this current technological world. Gone are the days when marketers would implement keyword stuffing to gain engagement, or attempt to use various microsites to drive traffic.
In recent years, the criteria and ranking factors used by Google have changed drastically. Nowadays, search engines favor optimized , mobile-friendly websites. They have algorithms that crawl through pages and compare your top various ranking factors indicating relevance and ease of use.
This algorithm also considers related factors including the average time that users spend on your site, pages visited every session, direct website visits, number of backlinks, content length, keywords in the page’s body, density, meta description, and title of videos on the page.
Search engine algorithms crawl through each of your accessible pages to determine whether or not your website has valuable and legitimate content. While the algorithm goes through your website, the search engine also checks to determine if your site is secure, fast, and easy to use.
Afterward, every page gets ranked. The ranking determines how high the page will show up on the SERP for people searching any related keywords. While all this might sound like ordinary SEO happenings, it’s important to note that times change, and the SEO constantly changes as well.
Every search engine has a specific algorithm, and algorithms get updated frequently. However, algorithms aren’t the only thing you should worry about. Now and then , rules are subject to change. You, therefore, need to make your website and its pages adaptable to new and emerging SEO tactics. You may also need to think of strategies to further enhance your page’s accessibility to users.
A possible worst case scenario is for your website to break down or undergo some glitches without your knowledge. Such an occurrence may result in a disruption in the flow of high-quality traffic to your website. As such, a regular SEO audit is more than necessary to ensure that you stay up-to-date with your search engine demands.
Running an SEO audit on your site is equivalent to checking how healthy it is. SEO experts recommend conducting monthly audits to keep up with the ever-evolving search algorithms and technology. However, while the mini-audits every month are essential, they need not replace full audits.
Full audits should occur after every four or six months. You can also run a full SEO audit after undertaking a significant change in your website.
When conducting SEO audits, you need to look at three pivotal factors:
Sometimes you may be too busy to address every pain point. Therefore when deciding which audit components you’ll take action on, you can use the 80/20 rule. The aspect of your site that Incoming traffic sees is the most crucial part of your website’s SEO, but that becomes irrelevant if your website isn’t mobile-friendly.
However, thanks to the mobile-first index, you can ascertain that your site performs well on mobile devices to secure proper placement on SERPs. Nowadays, more than 60% of all web searches start on mobile. Google has also adjusted its crawlers to begin crawling on mobile.
Taking note of this information and counter-checking to ensure your site is optimized will help you analyze where you stand once done with the mini audit. Below are steps you should take to conduct an SEO audit on your page.
Before we start counting the auditing steps, you first need to verify that only one version of your site is accessible. To do this, consider all the ways a visitor can type your website into a browser or how another user or business can link to it.
For example, if you own a bakery, you can try the following links:
From the above criteria, only one of those links should be found in a browser. If you type the rest of the links, the search engine should (301) redirect you to the canonical version. In this scenario, if your link is the third one, if anyone types the HTTP version, it should redirect them to the HTTPS version. The same analogy is also accurate for the www version.
The user will get redirected to the non-www version. Most often, typing the non-www version of a link onto an address bar rarely brings about any issues compared to the HTTP to https one. With that said, it’s probably best to fix this issue as a priority.
A website crawl is perhaps the most crucial party of an SEO audit. A website crawl will go through the site and provide helpful information on the current SEO setup and site structure. Here’s how to crawl through your website using UberSuggest:
Step 1: Enter your site’s URL and click on the search
Step 2: Click on the site audit button located on the left sidebar
Step 3: Allow the scan to run. Once done, you will receive a full rundown on what’s going on with your site, including organizing keywords, organizing traffic, and backlinks.
Crawling comes in handy when identifying problems. Issues like duplicate content, unlinked pagination pages, low word count, or excess redirects are easily spotted when you conduct an SEO audit than going manually through the page yourself.
If you’d like a detailed list of issues, scroll down to the bottom of the page. You’ll then see a top SEO issues button. Click on it, and any concerning topics, if any, will be shown with the relevant information and possible solutions.
Indexation is crucial. This is because it allows you to show up in your search results. If Google doesn’t index you, you’ll essentially have zero rankings. To confirm if the search engine has indexed you, go to the Google search console, click on Google index, then on index status.
The first graph you’ll see when checking the index status will show you how many times Google crawls your site. If Google crawls your site often, your page is more likely to rank higher. However, too much of something may be bad, and that also applies to the Google algorithm crawler.
If the crawler goes through your site numerous times, it can overload your server resources. The good news is that this occurs very rarely, which shouldn’t be a significant concern. Google allows you to increase your crawl if you find yourself not indexed.
If you often post on your page and update your content, Google goes through it and eagerly takes in all your updates and changes as fast as possible. If your site loads more quickly, it allows Google to swoop in and index it faster.
Google wants to recommend high-quality, authoritative sites to its users. Therefore, it looks for sites that provide their users with good user experiences. Although this may include various factors, site loading speed, and high-quality content make up the significant factors for a good user experience.
To simplify it, a faster site equates to a better user experience. If your users have the best experience on your website, Google will recommend you more.
The best way to find out is by heading over to Google and search for your brand or company name. In the case of the bakery, if you type cake house bakery, you should expect to see your brand’s name as the first organic result unless your site is very new, or if the name you are using is a generic phrase.
You should also expect the first result to be your company’s (bakery in this case) homepage. If you find that you don’t rank in the first position or rank further down in each result, there is a high likelihood that Google thinks another website is the best result for the term you used.
This type of issue happens when you use a generic word for a brand. For example, if you simply type bakery, you’ll find many search results. Ranking the term bakery is difficult for Google because most people aren’t necessarily looking for your website when they type in the bakery.
The answer lies in link building and brand building. What these two phrases mean is undertaking tasks like:
Keep in mind that the searcher intends to push your brand to the number one result. If you implement the above techniques, you should start climbing up the ranks. With this, when most people search for the term bakery when looking for your bakery, Google will start pushing down other sites while lifting yours to the top.
The first thing is to check how your website ranks on Google. What position does your page hold in SERPs? When starting your SEO analysis, you need to look at it from a birds-eye perspective. Find out how many of your pages have a search engine ranking and better understand how visible you are on Google.
Always ensure that you shorten your URLs to a maximum of five words to describe your page’s content. For instance, if your article is about “how to check my SEO in four easy steps,” your URL should read something like “how-to-check-my-SEO.”
If you realize that your article URLs are long and somewhat irrelevant, you can optimize and edit them so that search engine bots can understand the information on the page. However, optimizing and editing long URLs can affect the link juice of your old URL, so it is wise to approach this method as a last resort and with caution.
The edit rule does not apply to meta descriptions as you can edit them however much you want. The meta description has to include primary and secondary keywords. It should also sum up what the page is about in roughly 160 characters. A well-written meta description improves your website’s click-through rates by 5.8% than a website without a description.
Always ensure that your titles grab the reader’s attention to motivate them to click on your articles. Make sure to use the correct SEO keywords in both your headings and titles. Remember that high search volume keywords are difficult to rank, so try to use long-tail keywords with less competition to improve your chances of coming first on a SERP.
Google uses bots to understand various search queries and content with impressive accuracy. For it to do so, the algorithm analyzes the content by reading through the page’s HTML code. It uses the keywords and other related entries to find out their hidden meaning.
Incoming links, also called inbound or backlinks, are links that other sites route to yours. Most of these backlinks are hyperlinked on other sites. Inbound links essentially alter the search engine to show that your website is trustworthy and authoritative, which can impact your SEO ranking positively.
Continually evaluate the inbound links to help you see who’s linking back to your website and understand what you need to do to enhance your search engine rankings.
While inbound links might be beneficial for your brand, a lot of them might do more harm than good — especially if they come from low-authority websites. As such, if you’re analyzing your backlinks, try and get rid of the wrong inbound ones.
If you want to remove wrong inbound links, you can try to get in touch with the webmaster and request them to remove the link from their article. Alternatively, you can surpass the contacting step and disavow the link.
Disavowing a link is one of those SEO strategies that usually gets a bad rep but isn’t all that bad. Rejecting a link gives you the control to select entire domains or individual links, and inform the search algorithm which ones you do not want.
Disavowing links prevents low-quality websites from linking back to you, thus pulling your performance up by a couple of notches.
Internal links refer to linking to other pages on your site to assist your users in navigating to different pages. Internal linking is a great SEO strategy that aids in improving your search engine rankings. Additionally, it can enhance the user’s experience on your site. Revisit your newer and older pages and insert internal links to other authoritative and relevant pages on your website while remaining mindful of using keywords and anchor texts for best practice allocation.
Broken links have a negative impact on user experience and your site. Always look out for any broken links on your website. To fix these links, you can verify if they are spelled correctly. Alternatively, you can finish a 301 redirect to another relevant URL.
Redirect messages usually come up when websites have been moved to a completely new URL. They are typically clean and notify you that the link you clicked on is taking you to another page.
Content plays a significant part in building SEO for your website. If there is something that Google hates, it is duplicate content. If your site has a lot of the same content, you may get crushed. Assess your content for duplicate content as this is a crucial SEO red flag. To further avoid this mistake, remove or de-index the duplicate content.
An excellent tool to use to check for duplicate content is Copyscape. Copyscape helps you find any identical result available on the internet. Additionally, you can ensure that your content is error-free and of high quality. You can begin your analysis on your most popular pages, then work your way down to smaller and less popular ones.
Since search engine bots don’t crawl images, you must optimize the images with the correct alt text to describe the image’s function and appearance. A good image optimization strategy is to compress the images and reduce their size to improve their load speed.
Your page’s load speed plays a huge role in your website’s SEO and general user experience. You, therefore, need to pay attention to constantly analyzing your speed to ensure that your website is running efficiently and quickly. Google’s page speed insights tool functions as a guidance for you to determine your page’s speed.
Conducting an SEO audit reveals which points of your SEO strategy are weak and also provides the most effective solutions to fix the issue. For example, you may learn that your business’s physical address may be buried deep within your website. Adding in a separate page that details your business’s location will help more users find your business faster.
After running an SEO audit, you will be able to obtain a detailed list of actions that you need to take to enhance your SEO. Such solutions can range from writing your keywords in HTML and not Java, increasing your page’s load speed, or adding a meta description to your blog posts to help users know what they are about to read.
Once you implement such solutions, you’ll be left with the most exciting outcome yet, watching your website move up in search engine rankings. Additionally, an SEO audit allows you to analyze your website for any security issues. While some of the changes may not happen overnight, you’ll start seeing some improvement as time goes by.
No matter how many keywords you use on your content, some particular ones make your website popular with search engines. Most people are usually surprised once they learn which keywords they’re ranking for.
Running an SEO audit will give you invaluable information on how your presence on the search results looks like. Once you’re aware of what keywords you’re ranking for and those you’re not, you can optimize your content to fit into the ranking accordingly.
In early SEO days, marketers believed in keyword stuffing to maneuver search results. They would fill their content with keywords to make it to the top of the search engine results page. Today, that kind of strategy won’t cut it, and your content may even be marked as spam.
Nowadays, the best way to enhance your website ranking is to use strategic keywords in the most natural way possible. Keep in mind that keyword stuffing may not mainly get your website penalized, but using many keywords can see your site get tagged, which will reduce your domain’s authority.
Once you’ve identified which keywords you’re ranking well for, it’s time to find out if those keywords are generating traffic or not. Another thing to consider is whether or not the traffic that you are receiving on your website is the right sort to benefit your page.
Suppose you determine that a specific keyword enhances your search engine rankings, but ultimately drives less high-quality traffic. In that case, it might mean that your visitors aren’t researching that particular terminology or that keyword has a low search volume.
Conducting an SEO audit helps you understand which search terms or variations your target audience is using. You can then implement this information into your SEO strategy to create and optimize your content to fill in any gaps.
After running an SEO audit and implementing the suggested changes to your website and content, it is necessary that you repeat the process regularly, preferably monthly. Running regular SEO audits helps you reach your progress and estimates what you will do next regarding your presence in search engines.
It also gives you greater insight into the possible solutions to further improve your search engine rankings. After all, SEO is an ever-evolving digital marketing activity. You can use tools like SEMrush to keep track of your progress.
There is always going to be that one rival who always seems to be one step ahead of you. If you’d like to find out what keywords keep them on top and how they do it, the answer lies in SEO analysis. Conducting an SEO audit on a rival or two is a great way to assess your competitors and learn valuable information that you can implement in your SEO strategy. Healthy competition is acceptable and makes it worth your while.
You may think that having a flashy, over-complicated website with too much information is the ideal way to go. On the contrary, if your website has too much going on, visitors won’t want to stay and engage with your content.
They’ll quickly leave if they don’t find whatever they’re looking for immediately. Running an SEO audit allows you to detect any places that you should simplify. This way, you can identify the function, content, and structure that works well for your users.
A site audit looks at essential issues like bounce rates, time a visitor spends on site, number of views your pages get, and much more. These are crucial areas that need enhancing to guarantee your site a better Google index. Search engines and your users visit your site continuously if you provide good quality and authoritative content.
Auditing your site allows you to analyze the type of content your audience and search engines love, and how they like seeing it. An audit helps you to quickly come up with an effective content strategy for your blog and website. Through this, your users will receive helpful and engaging content every time, leading to improved organic rankings on search engines.
For any business, traffic might be excellent, but conversion rates are the most crucial aspect. Conducting an SEO audit critically examines your site’s top landing pages, design, content, and calls to action to ensure that they achieve the maximum conversion rates.
However, this is easier said than done. The process can take months to determine what works well for your website, but with strategic and thought-out planning, testing, and analysis, an SEO audit can help increase your return on investment.
Having readable content on your site doesn’t do you any good if viewers cannot organically access your content. Using analytics data is necessary and relevant in ensuring that your readers and search engines can easily find your content.
A full audit helps identify which areas of your website need correction to attract more traffic and improve your site’s ranking on search engines. Using content audit tools allows you to present information in a way that makes sense to your readers and attracts the target audience relevant to your business.
It’s always in your best interest to conduct routine audits on your website at least thrice a year. Proactivity in SEO audits on your site allows you to build your page’s traffic organically, gain momentum via consistency, increase your page’s visibility instead of losing to existing rivals, ever-evolving industry trends, or algorithm updates.
A website audit will have you enjoying increased organic search engine traffic, higher rankings, and increased sales for your brand.
There is no understating the importance of running an SEO analysis. To make headway with your page and business, it is essential to conduct regular checks on your website to ascertain that everything runs as it should and is in perfect order. Audits highlight any potential issues and allow you to fix those issues by providing a reasonable, effective solution.
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