It’s important to ensure that any SEO plan is not only being built on the right foundations but also identifies the type of SEO work required to make a difference. Over the years we have done 100s of site audits and have refined the process into 6 key steps, we recommend that as part of the early stages of your SEO campaign you undertake a full site audit by following the steps outlined below to identify any issues that need to be addressed at the outset and to give you a good guide to plan the rest of you SEO campaign.
Your audit should look at the following 6 main areas:
This is where you need to crawl your site to ensure that it is accessible by Search engines and that the general structure, architecture and performance of your site are up to scratch. You need to check for technical issues, such as broken links, missing meta data and duplicated content. You should also check how long the site is taking to load as site speed is becoming an increasingly important ranking factor for Google in the smart device world. There are a number of free tools that will give you some useful information such SEMRush.com and seobility.net but you’ll need to pay from the more premium options or approach a SEO agency for more detailed analytics.
This test is to demonstrate that the amount of pages in your site is equal to those actually being found in Google , as it isn’t always the case! If there are any issues here and if there is a big gap you’ll need to understand why these pages are missing. In the worst case you may be suffering under a Google penalty and Google is not indexing your web pages and you need to act quickly.
- Keyword Research
Ultimately the success of any SEO campaign will be determined by the quality of the keyword research conducted at the start. First you should review what the site is already being indexed, which could already provide with a good platform to improve from. Then using a keyword tools you can search for some more modified or phrase matches to your target and related keywords to judge the volume and competitiveness of potential search terms. From here you can assess what the most appropriate keyword targets should be and then ensure the ongoing work is reflective of targeting those terms..
- On-Page Ranking Factors
This will help you assess your site’s relevance. Do the main target pages reflect the keywords you want to rank for? Here you should typically review the site’s meta information and on-page copy to ensure a sensible density of the target keywords and that the right signals are being sent to the search engines. We refer to these as the Key Content Signals of a page and and you can read more on this in our blog “3 simple steps to SEO Glory”.
- Off-Page Ranking Factors
Along with the site’s relevance the site’s authority is the next crucial factor to consider. Once a search engine has deemed your site to be relevant for a search term it will rank but what position it achieves will be down principally to how authoritative your site appears to be. Here you should be reviewing how much buzz your site is creating online, how many links does your site have how many times is your brand mentioned?
- Competitive Analysis
The final aspect to review is to understand what your competitors are up to? How does their site stack up under the same scrutiny? By understanding the gap between your competitors we can better gauge how much work is required and more importantly what type of activity is required.
If you have any questions or you’d like us to take a look at your site for you please read more about our SEO services here and feel free to get in touch!