EVERGREEN, COLORADO – There was a time when SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was nothing more than guesswork but that time has passed. Today, the situation has changed; in fact, the game of how to provide the best SEO continues to change with each passing day. In the past few years we have become acquainted with several facets of SEO, not known to webmasters earlier. Thanks to the changing mindset of Google, the cat is now out of the bag. They are keeping things more transparent now with an emphasis on white-hat SEO.
Think about all those on-page and off-page factors that webmasters and top consultants in SEO consider. It’s this knowledge that makes the game of SEO more competitive than ever, with everyone trying to achieve the best Google search results.
“There is no “one size fits all” package when it comes to SEO. Every case is unique and different. Trying to speed up the process and rushing to provide quick-fixes add little value, while you risk losing focus and direction. First, take the time to diagnose what’s wrong — and only then begin your SEO treatment,” says Trond Lyngbo of Metronet Norge.
Effective SEO takes more than just a Band-Aid. To take your website’s SEO to the next level, you need to have a good look at everything going on with your site. That’s where an SEO audit comes into play!
Whether it’s a website or a blog, conducting an SEO audit will help you determine the current status of a website, identify those issues that ruin a site’s keyword rankings, fix them, and let you know if other adjustments are required. As a matter of fact, an effective SEO audit throws the guesswork out of SEO. When you know where your site stands now, it becomes easier to work out search optimization strategies that will bring you guaranteed results.
The bigger question, however, is whether it’s possible to conduct a website SEO audit on your own. Well, it’s all about how much you know about the practices and procedures of search engine optimization, how many years of experience you carry and whether you are truly committed to completing the entire process.
If you haven’t done an SEO audit of your website before, below are some essential tips to get you started the right way.
#1. List All the Key SEO Factors
There are so many elements that comprise the SEO of your website. The first important step, therefore, is to create a list of all those factors that you want to check. However, you should never dwell upon only those factors that you think might be harming the search rankings of your site.
In fact, you should consider all factors that affect the search engine rankings of a website or blog.
On-Page Factors – Though there are so many on-page factors that play an important role as far as SEO is concerned, those you should never miss out on include a) content b) meta title c) meta keywords d) meta description and e) keyword density.
Other than these, you may want to take a microscopic look at the internal structure of your site to see whether everything’s in complete order. For example, it’s important to know whether your site is easily accessible to your target audience. You may also like to know whether search engines robots are able to crawl and index the pages on your site without effort. The download time of your website also plays a major role in terms of SEO.
Off-Page Factors – As you know, SEO is not just about what you have on the web pages of your site. There are plenty of things that impact your website’s SEO from outside as well. Simply put, off-page SEO is all about building links that point back to your domain.
Link building is not as simple as some may think. Most importantly, you need to look at it in the light of the recently rolled out Google Penguin updates. Any kind of link spam will get you penalized.
In terms of off-page SEO, you should audit factors like the number of inbound links to your website, the relevance of the links, the quality of the links and the usage of anchor text in links.
#2. Get the Right Set of Tools
It’s more than the knowledge, it’s the choice of tools that differentiates one SEO expert or consultant from another. When it comes to SEO audits, you should be equipped with the right set of tools. Having the right tools at hand will help you identify the issues with ease.
Depending on what SEO factors you want to evaluate, you’ll find a wide range of tools out there, both free and paid. In fact, Google itself provides you with several free tools that will come in handy when conducting an SEO audit of your website. Google Webmaster Tools is one of the best examples. You can access it as soon as you sign up for a Google account and complete the website verification process.
Open Site Explorer, Moz Analytics, Raven Tools, Brow SEO, Majestic SEO and Built With are some other tools that you may want to use in order to perform an SEO audit of your website successfully.
#3. Identify Issues and Fix Them
Finally, it’s time for analysis. Take a closer look at all the SEO data that you’ve gathered. Your site may have visibility issues which include page errors, blocked pages and redirects among others. Your site may require appropriate meta data optimization. You may also need to remove or replace all the duplicate or shallow content from your site.
Many times, it’s the poor quality of links (pointing back to your domain) that negatively impact search rankings. Broken links are also one of the most common issues that webmasters have to deal with.
Likewise, an SEO audit can open your eyes to all those issues that must be fixed over time for improved search rankings.
Anybody (even you) can perform an SEO audit. All you need is a well-rounded knowledge of the SEO procedure and some experience and versatility with the tools needed for the job. If you think conducting an SEO audit sounds like a lot of work for you to take on alone, it’s advisable to work with a reputed SEO agency or experienced SEO consultant like Millionairium to make sure a thorough audit is conducted and properly analyzed.
Did you ever conduct an SEO audit of your website or hire someone else to do the job? Please share your views in the comments.