If you’re struggling for page views and leads on your site, it is time for you to revamp your SEO, and you can start with a SEO audit. Why you ask? Well, gone are the days when you could add a new post or page to your site and expect that people will come to read it. Right now, experts estimate that there are almost 60 million new blog posts alone published each month, that is 2 million a day! And this number doesn’t even include landing pages and other published online content. That is a big sea of content and because of this, standing out has become increasingly difficult online.
This is where SEO comes in. Search engine optimization has always been important. This is probably something you knew before you started reading this post. But what you might not know is what you can do to improve your site’s SEO. That’s why you need to dive right in and do an SEO audit of your site!
Why You Should You Focus on SEO
On your website, it is important to know both where you can improve and where you are doing great with SEO. This allows you to celebrate the work that’s been put into your site, and also to focus on your weak spots to keep you on the right path to amazing Search Engine Optimization. The great thing about SEO is this: the better your Search Engine Optimization, the better your traffic, conversions and leads. Win, win, right!
But as it’s been mentioned before, SEO is hard, and is a long term project, not a short term solution. You won’t notice your efforts today, tomorrow or next week, but you will notice them a month, six months and a year from now. So, after you find out your results through this SEO audit of your website, you will see areas where you can invest your time, energy and money!
Why Do an SEO Audit of Your Website?
During this SEO audit instructional we are going to use some free online tools to see exactly where your Search Engine Optimization needs improvement and where you are hitting the nail on the head. These tools are used by our team, and are tried and tested. They are some of the many we look at when evaluating SEO on a website (in addition to a lot more that I don’t have time to touch on here!).
You can get a paid SEO audit of your site too. These paid services will go deeper than free tools can take you, and can improve your SEO exponentially. But you have to walk before you run. There are simple things you can do on your own to improve your website, and if you want to be better still, invest in a paid SEO audit.
Let’s Get This Audit Started!
As it becomes harder and harder online, it is important to monitor the search engine optimization on your site, and see places where you can improve. You can find things to work on through this quick and painless SEO audit of your site. So quick in fact, that I am going to walk you through it right now. So here we go! A quick – and free – 5 minute SEO audit of your website!
You are looking for a wide variety of items during this 5 minute SEO audit of your site, but don’t get overwhelmed by this. You want to think about how your pages read, how they rank, the keywords you rank for, the meta information and how your website compares to your competitors. You want to look at things that are working well, and those that aren’t. This audit is going to give you a really good idea of the direction to take your site.
Minute 1: Check Your Free Domain Overview
Getting an overview of your domain and its SEO is an invaluable way to start your 5 minute SEO audit. This gives you a good place to start, and if you want to take this audit further, you know some directions to research and check on your site.
To do this, our team loves using the site: semRUSH ! This site allows you 10 free searches every single day, however for every click through you use one of your 10 searches. This can be a tad annoying, however you only need a couple clicks to get started on this audit:
- To start your SEO audit, you want to type in your URL into the site search box on SEMrush, without the www, http and/or https. This will give you a domain overview!
- On the top left hand corner, you will see a link to your “ORGANIC SEARCH TRAFFIC”. You can click on it, and open it in a new tab. This will tell you how your traffic is and your number of keywords (keep this tab open for minute 2).
- Next, the third column from the left shows you the number of backlinks that you have coming into the site. The more you have, the better your site will rank. Backlinks are important for building your authority and for your site to be more trusted by search engines. Link building has been a huge part of SEO for as long as there have been search engine optimizers. But you need to build links from good, reliable websites that are relevant to your audience.
- Take a look at your competitors, and see if they are who you would expect them to be. If you are doing everything right already, you are going to see your main geographical and industry competitors in this list.
Minute 2: Evaluate Your Keywords
After you have browsed through your domain overview, you want to keep looking at the Organic Search Traffic tab you opened. There, you will see your top 10 keywords listed. These are the ones that are ranking the highest for your site. You will see where these keywords are in the top 100 and also how many keywords you have ranking in the top 100. This is an important figure to know, and it also gives you a valuable insight into how your site is looking.
Ask yourself the following questions when it comes to your keywords:
- Are the keywords listed what you want to be ranking for?
- How are you doing in your top 10 keywords?
- What is missing from your list?
- What keywords should you be focusing more on?
After you’ve evaluated the keywords you are currently ranking for, then you can start making a list of keywords you WANT to rank for. This list will help you start thinking about new content and what you are going to post next on your site.
Minute 3: Check Your Site Speed
There is really only one site speed that you should care greatly about, and that is your mobile speed. People who are on the go and looking on mobile devices really don’t want to wait for the site they are on to load. Google cares about how sites are coded, how they load and if they are user friendly. Those with long wait times or iffy code might rank lower in search results.
That is why Think With Google created the Test Your Website Speed website. Right from the start you are served with the message, “most sites lose half their visitors while loading”. This is not only a humbling statement but a direct statement for why site speed is important. Type in your website and you are good to go! Just wait for your results.
Now, if you also think a lot of your users are on desktop, then you should also go to the Google Developer site for Page Speed Insights. This site gives you a score out of 100 for both mobile and desktop. You want this score to be over 70/100, and if it is not, then you will be given a list of recommendations for improving your site speed and SEO.
Minute 4: Gauge Your Meta Optimization
There are a lot of browser add ons that can tell you how your meta descriptions and titles are. If you’re thinking to yourself, what is a meta? This is the data that you put onto your page to tell Google, search engines and users what each page on your site is about. The title and description are what will come up in search results, and if optimized properly it will get the user to click on it. You want them to be the correct length, read nicely and also be optimized with the keywords for the pages. Remember, sometimes Google will decide what it wants to put in results and completely ignore your perfectly written meta title and description.
One of the easiest to use extensions for your metas is SEOQuake. Add this onto your Google Chrome and when you open it you can click on “Diagnosis” while on the page you want to inspect. This will tell you how everything on the page is doing. You want to inspect your homepage, about us, contact us, and any other relevant pages that you want to drive traffic. Make notes about how the metas look and read.
Minute 5: Evaluate Your CONTENT
I’m going to preface this minute by saying that you are probably going to have to take longer than a minute to do this, especially if you are evaluating the content across many pages. You can get a good overview of one page in about a minute, so I would start with the homepage.
When you go to any page on your site you want to look for the following things:
- Do you only use one H1 on the page? (If you don’t know what this means then look for the title and make sure nothing is as large as it is, font wise).
- Ensure that you have at least 300 words of text on the page. Even for pages that don’t require text, 300 words allows Google to understand what the page is about and rank it accordingly.
- You want to make sure that your content is broken up with headings and subheadings. This will not only make it easier to read, but also let’s Google and other search engines find out what is important in the content.
- Make sure that you use images and graphics on the page! These add to user experience.
These 4 things are key to content, and in the end content is the king of SEO! If you take one thing from this SEO audit it is that you should always focus on content.
After Your 5 Minute SEO Audit: Decide Your Next Steps
After your 5 minute SEO audit you will have determined how your site is doing overall, what keywords you are ranking for, if your meta titles and descriptions are optimized, how your site is functioning and lastly, how your content is. This gives you an overarching picture of how your site is doing, and the directions you should be going. You should be able to find some goals and some takeaways that you can start working on right now!
To learn more about making your SEO resolutions for the new year, be sure to check out our webinar on Wednesday, January 10!