What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO Audit is when you evaluate a website to grades the site for its ability to appear in search engine results pages. An audit is a standard procedure for a website. For those serious about their website, these audits should be completed frequently. It’s done purely for marketing purposes and can give deep insights into your website, pages and traffic. It will also give you the opportunity to identify areas that could be bettered to help you rank higher.
A full audit gives you an actionable plan that helps to:
- Compare yourself to competitors and use your findings to your advantage.
- Identify what changes need to be made (and how to change them).
- Get a general overview of the SEO efficiency of your site.
- Uncover your website’s weaknesses and fix them.
- Set some expectations for your website’s future.
What should you focus on?
- Ranking Higher
- Improving user experience (for both your customers and google)
What Can you Do?
- Improve Technical SEO
Sitemaps are necessary for Google to find and index your webpages.
Luckily, it’s easy to create an XML sitemap. If you’re a WordPress user, you can generate it using Google’s very own Google XML sitemaps plugin.
Once the sitemap has been created, submit it to Google via Google Search Console. Login to your Google Search Console account and navigate to Sitemaps -> Add a new sitemap and then hit ‘Submit’.
Speed Up Your Website:
Site speed is a hugely important technical factor. It’s no secret that if your site is slow, Google will penalise your website. Regardless of how good your content is. Improving your site speed can be a quick solution to helping your website rank higher. Here are some ways to help speed up your site.
- Optimise your sites images (reduce the sizes using an online image resizer or by using a plugin such as Smush
- Use a content delivery system such as cloudflare to increase your site speed
- Enable Browser Caching – enabling this allows for some of your data on the visitors computer temporarily in order to allow them to revisit without additional load times.
- Install an SSL certificate. Google confirmed in 2014 that SSL certificates were incorporated as a ranking factor. Signing up for a cloudflare account with give you a free SSL certificate.
- Remove duplicate content where possible, and if it is not possible make sure to use Canonical URLs.
- Improve Page Headings
Headings are great for structuring your website to aid User Experience alongside SEO.
Include Keywords in your Headers:
Google looks at headers to get context of your website. Although it won’t have a significant impact in comparison to something like a high quality backlink, Google still pays attention to your headers. Often people make a big mistake here and start stuffing their headers and content with keywords and end up with a spam like feel on their webpages. Make sure you design for users and then make the tweaks to optimise for Google – never sacrifice the user experience.
Optimise for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are Google’s answer boxes when you search a query on Google. They are a great way to push organic traffic to your website if you get them right. In addition – they are where google pulls answers for voice search queries. Optimise your header tag for a long-tail query and answer the query directly below it in a paragraph.
- Create Good Meta Descriptions
The meta description tag in HTML is the 160 character snippet used to summarise the content of a website page. Search engines often use these descriptions in search results to give potential visitors a guide as to what a page is about before they click on it.
Google announced in September of 2009 that neither meta descriptions nor meta keywords factor into Google’s ranking algorithms for web search BUT Meta descriptions can impact a page’s click through rate which can positively impact a page’s ability to rank.
- Improve UX
Rankbrain is Google’s third most important ranking factor. Focused on behavior metrics, such as bounce rate, organic CTR, pages per session, time spent on a page, Rank Brain informs Google whether the visitors enjoy navigating through your site. If a user moves from one page to another effortlessly, clicks on your links, spends a big chunk of time on your pages, and comes back to your site again indicates that your site is a user-friendly resource. However, if a user leaves your site without taking additional action, go back to the search results right after landing on a page, and never comes back again tells Google that your site is either poorly optimized or irrelevant to your users.
- Keep important information above the fold
Above the fold is anything that a user sees once they land in the webpage. These are the images,texts, forms, etc – everything that their eyes can immediately take hold of – without scrolling down. When a user is turned off by how your above the fold looks like, the chances of that user staying in your website to check out more information is greatly decreased – you can be sure that they will not stay any longer than 10 seconds.
- Mobile Friendly Pages
Google marks the mobile friendliness of a search result rather discreetly using a label in front of the meta description. Any URL optimised for mobile users receives preferential treatment and a boost in ranking. For example if two pages offer good content at the same quality level on a subject, but with only one of them being optimised for the needs of mobile searchers. In this case, the algorithm is supposed to ensure that the page optimised for mobile devices is ranked higher.
- Site Structure
When you take away the, the fonts, the graphics and the white space, a great structure defines good website design. Accurate site structures statistically reduce bounce rate and improve dwell time, both of which will lead to improved rankings. Site structure refers to how you organize your website’s content. A website often consists of content on a variety of – related – topics, presented on posts and pages. Site structure deals with how this content is grouped, linked and presented to the visitor. If you structure your website well, it will benefit from this; users will find their way more easily and Google can index your URLs better. Taxonomies, like categories and tags, but also internal links, your navigation and breadcrumbs are the tools to structure your site.
If you would like to chat to us about improving SEO for your website. Contact us today by clicking here.