Know How to Perform an SEO Audit in 2015!Posted by Lets Nurture
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You just can’t underestimate the way the Search Engine Optimization has changed over the years. Optimizing process seems to be pretty easy than SEO audit. Isn’t it? On page and Off page optimization are the most difficult tasks to accomplish in the audit.
You might have observed that it takes lot of time to get a backlink from a particular domain. This is due the overall process of crawling and indexing in the Google algorithm. There is lot to explore in SEO audit of a website, right from the title text to the footer, everything should be analyzed perfectly.
SEO Audit Factors
There are many factors that you have to analyze to check the healthiness of the website. You might get some results from webmaster tools but they might not be enough for you to solve every error in the website. To make your website error free and remove all the unwanted links, here are some of the SEO audit factors that you must analyze:
Without proper On-Page optimization, it is impossible to rank on the search engines. Many newbies might not be aware that just with On-Page optimization you can get your website ranked within no time. Now have a look at some of the On-Page factors to be considered in SEO audit:
Uniqueness and Length of the Title
Every single page on your website should have a unique title. During your SEO audit, make sure that every title on the page is unique. When it comes to length of the title, you must be accurate with the number of characters used in it. Create an attractive title and straight to the point with 60-65 characters in it. If you find any issues during the audit make sure that you correct them for better search results.
Description and the Characters In It
The number of characters in description must be from 150 to 160. Meta keywords tag can be ignored as most of the search engines do not consider them. But ensure that you do not write a description with lot of keywords in it. It would be considered as spam instead! Beware!
URL Structure and Length
During your analysis of an SEO audit, you might observe different types of URLs. Some of them include date with title, some might include category with title and few of them might just display the domain name followed by numbers.
The URL length for any category or niche must be under 100 characters. This is directly connected with your title. So make sure that your title doesn’t go beyond 65 characters so that numbers of characters in the URL are according to the regulations.
It doesn’t matter whether your website is having a category section or not but you have to ensure that the URL doesn’t consist of any underscore. Use hyphens instead. Keep the URL structure as simple as possible.
H1, H2 and H3 considerations
Headings in the content can easily tell us that what the content is all about. Be specific in the heading of your content. Make sure that during the audit you analyze all the headings, H1, H2 & H3. It would be far better if you can include H4 and H5 tags in the content. It would really boost your ranking and also the quality of the content.
There is no hard and fast rule that you should have a fixed content pattern for all the web pages. You can try any style to present the content. It is just that it should be informative and clearly explain what the user needs. After the completion of the audit, you can clearly understand that what you have to include and in what way you need to present it.
Number of words in the content
There is no limit to write content. Google often considers the websites that have a quality content and that too lengthy ones. You should have minimum 700-800 words of content on every blog page to increase your chances to rank quickly.
Sub points in the content
Just making the content lengthy is not enough. There should be a pause in every section. By this, you can include more headings to your content. The paragraph should not be more than 6-7 lines and must include bold or italic wherever necessary to indicate the subject of the content.
Now this is where most of the newbies make a mistake. They either tend to forget to interlink the content or often use similar anchor text for internal linking. Without internal linking, it is not possible to get better results and engage more audience.
Linking internal pages
Do you link the internal pages in your content? Point out the pages with no internal linking during the SEO audit. There must be at least two links that link the internal pages of your website. Just linking doesn’t complete the task. There’s still a lot more to do…
Varying anchor text
Varying anchor text might not seem important to you, but Google’s Spiders do consider every anchor while they crawl. Keep varying the anchor text in every internal link you put in the content. This will maintain a variation in the keywords as well. If you are trying to rank for high competitive keyword, variation in the anchor text is a real boon!
You must be careful with the broken links in the content. The most important part of internal linking is that your content should not have broken links with anchor text. This might cost you a lot when the web-page crawls. Link the keyword properly to avoid such problems.
Image With ALT Tag
Just like H1, H2 and H3 tags are important for content, in the similar way, the image should have an ALT tag. Google cannot read or identify the images, all it does is crawls the ALT tag and decide what the image is all about. If you want your images to rank on the top of the search engines, make sure you add an ALT tag to the image.
Image size does matter when it comes to loading the website quickly. If the loading time of the website is more than 5 seconds, it might be due to high resolution images. The images on the website should be clearly visible and the size of it should be small. Check out size of the image during the audit.
ALT tag with keyword variation
Whenever you tag the image, it would be better if you use the keyword or variation of keyword to make the image SEO-friendly. Keep changing the keywords in the every image you post in a single content. This will give you better image optimization results and there are also chances that the high competitive keyword would rank pretty quickly.
Check No-Follow Tags
Now that you have to maintain a perfect ratio of no-follow and do-follow backlinks on your website, it is important for you to list the no-follow comments and external links. There is no hard and fast rule that you should only have do-follow back links. No-follow links are also important to generate traffic from different domains.
Blog comment links
The easiest way to get the no-follow backlink is blog commenting. Isn’t it? Make sure that if you are looking for a no-follow link, it must have a tag of no-follow. At present, almost all the domains have no-follow tags in the commenting section.
External link tags
External backlinks having do-follow from high authority websites are considered the best source to increase root domains. So whenever you are performing an SEO Audit, make sure that the external link doesn’t have no-follow tag.
Placing the Advertisements
This is where several bloggers make a mistake to earn more through bulk advertisements on their blogs. If there are more than 2 or 3 ads above the fold, it will be affecting the site and result in low ranking. Note that it would be better if your website has only one ad above the fold. If you want to earn more from your Adsense account, follow these digital marketing trends of 2015 and get a perfect niche.
During the audit, you have to check each and every page of the website. Spot out the irrelevant pages with duplicate or no content. You can also check out the broken links if any in the site content. Remove all the irrelevant pages from the site. And if you don’t want to do that, you can give a no-follow tag to the external links directing to such pages. Another way to ignore such web pages is to set no-index so that it is no longer visible on Google’s search engine.
301 & 302 Redirection
There are two types of redirections. One is permanent redirection indicated by 301 and another is temporary redirection indicated by 302. If you are having a temporary redirection on your website, you must know if there are any issues in redirection. And if you have opted for 301, you must be well prepared to pass all the benefits of SEO to the redirected website. Meanwhile, check that there is no custom 404 page in the website.
Page speed is one of the most important factors to consider while you perform an SEO Audit. The users want the website to load in a quick time. Does your website load in few seconds? The home page or inner page should not take more than 2 to 3 seconds to load. There are many website speed testing tools available online through which you can crosscheck the page speed and improve it by considering some factors like image size, website design etc.
Side Bar and Related Posts
If you have a side bar in the upper fold of the web page, it will be pretty useful for the users to get more information about different posts on the blog. Meanwhile, make sure that there is a related post section at the end of the content giving more chances to increase the internal linking and make a perfect loop of your website.
This is all about on-page factors that you must consider during an SEO Audit. Now let us see what you have to implement for better website control:
Off- Page Factors
After On-Page optimization and website control, the major factor is off-page optimization. Right from the social media promotion to inbound marketing, every aspect must be take into consideration while you perform an SEO Audit.
Root Domains and Number of Links
Getting 100 backlinks from one domain and 5 backlinks from different domains is almost similar. The number of backlinks does matter but the backlinks from various domains mean a lot to boost the ranking of a website. Ensure that there the root domains used to get backlinks that are in bulk. When it comes to linking with root domains, variation of anchor text is important as mentioned in on-page optimization factors.
Page Authority and Domain Authority
Apart from considering number of root domains, it is pretty important to check the Page Authority (PR) and Domain Authority (DA) of that particular domain giving a backlink. Additionally, you must also check the DA and PA of your website by installing MOZ plug-in in your browser. With this plug-in you can crosscheck the inbound links too. PA which ranges from 0 to 100 will give you a complete idea about the relevancy of the website. Try it now!
Promoting the Website
Now, now… How do you promote your website? By using social media or link building? Is that enough? It doesn’t seem that they are enough for a successful website promotion. Almost 40%-50% of the users prefer mobile to browse the data, your website must have mobile version to generate more leads. If your website runs on a particular application, make sure that the app is listed in the Google Play Store or iTunes Store. Give quick links to the users to install the app directly from the web-page.
Social Media Promotion
When it comes to website promotion, you just can’t get away with the social media. Isn’t it? Today’s most powerful weapon of generating million leads within hours is social media. Create a strong impact with the official profiles of your website on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, linkedin etc. Let’s see what all you should have for your website:
Business Pages on Major Social Media Platforms
Business pages can be pretty useful to engage with more customers. Ensure that your website has Facebook, Google and Pinterest business page. Get a perfect logo, profile, and design etc for your business page to make it look more attractive.
Social Media Buttons
Including the social media buttons on each and every page of your website will increase your chances to spread the posts virally. Facebook like, G+, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Reddit, LinkedIn, Delicious, Tumblr, etc will give users a chance to share their experiences on their social media profiles. This will boost your website traffic within no time.
Important point to note here is placing of social media buttons. You can place the on the top, side bar or at the end of the post. Most probably, the major websites prefer to place them at the bottom of the title. You can try your luck by trying something different! Follow the social media trends of 2015 to get more traffic through social media.
What can be a better option to drive more traffic than YouTube channel? Do you have it on your website? If not, create it today! YouTube has grown enormously over the years and now the users prefer to watch the videos to understand any concept clearly and visually. Videos are considered as the best source to drive traffic and decrease the bounce rate of the website which is the most important factor to rank your website on the top.
This is all about the off-page optimization factors of an SEO Audit. Is there still any factor to consider? One more important factor is still left. It’s Google Analytics. Have a glance at the aspects in detail:
Website control can be tricky if you know every tactic used in it. Ensure that your website is registered with webmaster tools of major search engines that you are targeting. Here are few factors that you must consider in controlling your website:
XML Sitemap and Sitemap for users
If users want to check all the URLs and posts on the blog, user Sitemap can help them. An XML Sitemap is considered as an important on page factor to let the robots know about each and every link on the website. You can generate the XML site by ‘Google Sitemaps Generator Plug-in’ on WordPress platforms.
How do Google’s robots know that which page or section on your website should not be displayed? It is very simple. All you have to do is insert few parameters like User Agent: *, Disallow: /wp-admin/ and Disallow: /wp-includes/. By these parameters in the Robots.txt file, the pages will be indexed but not displayed on the website. You can also add no-index if you don’t want to index a certain page on your website. But make sure that you have a Robots.txt in your website. This is something you must do to have a control on your website.
You can perform an SEO Audit if you have a right to access the Google Analytics account of the website. Once you login to Analytics, you have check out many aspects in the tool. You can watch the videos of Google Analytics tutorial online to know more about the factors to consider in the audit.
Bounce rate can be defined as, when a user visits the home page and doesn’t visit the inner pages or spends less time on home, the time taken by the user will be considered as bounce rate factor. If the bounce rate of the website is more and if you have invested more time in SEO, it will be a huge loss for you. There are many ways to decrease the bounce rate of a website. Even if you don’t have knowledge to decrease it, at least ensure that the rate is not more than 5%-10%
Traffic and Impressions
Analyzing the traffic is a time consuming process. But if you want to succeed in ranking your website, you must invest your time. If the traffic is reducing on your website, it will be clearly indicated on the graph. You have to sort out the problems for the same. It might be due to on-page or off-page optimization errors. When it comes to impressions, you have to concentrate more on link building to increase them. More impressions will generate more traffic.
Analyze Social Media Traffic
Apart from analyzing the overall traffic, you can check the impact of social media signals. This is pretty important, because if you are able to generate sufficient leads by social media, there is no need for link building. But yes, getting backlinks from high PR root domains is equally important. While performing an SEO Audit, don’t forget to check this aspect. It will save lot of time if you are capable to generate bulk traffic just through social media promotion.
Everyone knows that it takes much time to conduct an SEO Audit. But if you want to get your website ranked quickly and remove all the errors from it, you have to consider each and every factor given above. We hope that you have now got a perfect idea about the overall process of auditing the website. Try it today and see in which aspects you are making mistakes. Rectify and correct them to increase your rankings in the search engines.