Performing an SEO audit is very important for several reasons. For one, there is no better way to get an idea of how your online campaigns are performing at any given time.
In this sense, an SEO audit is much like a checkup you’d get at the doctor. By looking at various data like blood pressure and heart rate and other biological signs, your doctor can get a “snapshot” of your current state of health.
It’s the same with an SEO audit. By checking the number of monthly visitors, where those visitors are coming from, and how long they stay on your site, as well as what they do once they arrive, you can get a clear concept of the current health of any digital marketing campaign.
The first step is to gather the proper tools to make a complete Google SEO audit possible and accurate.
Technology has made it easier to conduct a proper search engine optimization (SEO) analysis. All of the tools listed in this guide are available free of charge or at a freemium with a low monthly cost.
Of course, higher priced tools typically offer more ease-of-use, automation, and functionality, but Google makes a good number of these tools and rarely does the search engine charge you to use them.
Tags are often added to your website to connect various platforms to your website. Google Analytics is a good example of a platform that makes you place a tag within the code of your site.
Google Tag Manager still forces you to place code in your site, but then you can add any other tags directly to the tag management system. The Tag Manager puts all your data together, makes it easy to manage, and can notify you of any errors with a free bug checker. This platform is ideal if the concept of coding isn’t really your thing.
Google Analytics is like hooking up a heart monitor to your website. You can determine how it’s operating, what’s wrong with your site, and how to improve in the future.
The thing about Google Analytics is that it takes time to learn the more technical aspects of the platform, but only a few tricks and reports are necessary to get a firm grasp on any site’s current status.
We’ll cover Google Analytics and how to generate the proper reports for greater results in the coming sections.
Google Search Console is a terrific tool for determining if you are putting forth the best search experience for your audience. The platform lets you see precisely how Google bots are crawling your website, informs you if there are any crawl errors, and tells you the keywords people are typing into Google before clicking on your website, along with a host of other capabilities.
WordPress is an open-source initiative that allows anyone to start a website or blog online. WordPress is free for download and fully customizable. You don’t need to learn PHP, the code that comprises WordPress, in order to use its more complex functionality, but people who are adept at PHP programming can customize the platform for nearly unlimited potential.
The system is versatile and ideal for SEO (at least for now), as the system gives Google bots everything they need in an easily-discernible manner.
I highly recommend that you use WordPress for any websites you optimize, as the platform has everything you need to achieve and maintain prominent Google results.
You can improve the functionality of your WordPress site in untold ways using a few free and useful plugins.
Step 1: In WordPress, visit your dashboard and click on the left-hand Plugins;Add New.
Step 2: Search for a plugin name.
Step 3: Click “Install Now” on your plugin of choice.
Step 4: Click “OK” when asked if you’d like to install the plugin.
Step 5: The plugin will be downloaded and installed.
I’m going to recommend at least two plugins for your WordPress site.
You can help Google bots crawl your site more efficiently by installing the WordPress plugin Yoast, which allows you to easily input SEO data for easier management and a mega SERPs boost.
Using Yoast, you can add back-end metadata with ease to each blog post and page, as well as identify keywords and other critical SEO elements.
Forms allow you to gather important information from your site visitors, such as their name, email address, website, and a note of inquiry, for example. By using Contact Form 7, you can easily create forms around your site without the need to code.
Imagine being able to track phone numbers, forms, and record phone calls. You can do all of that with CallRail, which allows you to determine where your marketing efforts are most paying off. This knowledge can then help you improve your phone game and grow your ROI using a simple application.
That’s CallRail in a nutshell. I highly recommend it for conversion rate monitoring and optimization, both of which will be explained in detail in coming sections.
This platform lets you see first-hand how visitors to your site interact with your website as it happens. By viewing enough recordings, you should begin to see various opportunities that weren’t immediately apparent before. For instance, if you notice that a majority of your visitors click an image that isn’t clickable, you can rectify that roadblock for increased engagement.
You might also see that visitors hover in the top right corner. That might be a good spot for a call-to-action button, improving your conversions.
This is just one of the many reasons to give Smartlook a try. You can also A/B test various elements in real time, allowing you to see if your test results are viable or if it’s back to the drawing board. You might call it ethical spying on your target audience, which makes it perfect for a Google SEO audit.
This platform offers a wide range of features that are designed to make an SEO audit simple and efficient. While Screaming Frog does offer a paid version, which comes with a host of useful tech for SEO auditors, the free version allows for 500 URL searches and should be adequate for your needs.
By downloading the platform, you can find broken links, analyze meta titles and descriptions, identify duplicate pages, pinpoint sitemaps and redirects, and so much more.
It’s best to check to see if your website is currently under penalization by Google.
The search giant has been sending out penalization notices with increased regularity. So, if your site has been penalized, it’s likely you’d know about it. Still, it’s best to be thorough.
If you discover that your website is heavily penalized due to black-hat SEO or an issue in the past that cannot easily be overcome, it might be necessary to secure a new domain name and start the entire web profile anew.
Now it’s time to set up a few of your tools to monitor conversions ahead of time and to set some goals, which are necessary for a thorough SEO audit.