How Can You Perform An SEO Audit Of Your Own Website?
If you are new to the world of owning a website, then the term SEO may be relatively unfamiliar to you. This acronym stands for Search Engine Optimisation and relates to the way that your website ranks in the search engines. A website SEO audit is essential if you want to give your website a strong chance of being liked by search engines. Google algorithms are constantly evolving and the rules for best practice aren’t generally known my most website owners.
What works on one website may not work on another, due to a whole bunch of different variables. That is why it’s important to carry out an SEO audit of your website. Fail to do so and you may result in poor rankings and a lack of search engine traffic. If you don’t want to call in the skills of any SEO agency to perform the task, there are some things that you can do yourself.
Start by checking all of your on-page optimisation factors. It shouldn’t be too difficult to make any on-site changes if you are the one in charge of content and your website’s management. There are some key areas where websites fail at SEO in terms of their optimisation. Regular checks and maintenance of these technical areas could make a big difference in the long run. Make a point of looking at the following:
Meta titles and descriptions
Optimisation of on-site content
Issues with links on the page
Issues with images on the page
Issues meta titles and descriptions
Start by looking at the meta titles and meta descriptions of all of your main website pages. This is the first thing that readers and search engine bots will see. There once was a time when website owners would rely on keyword stuffing to get a higher ranking. Everyone wrote for the search engines rather than the reader. However, Google has cracked down on this and now encourages a more natural approach.
Keywords are still important but they need to have a natural place in the title. The same is true for any meta descriptions. Instinct might tell you to “stuff” in lots of keywords in these places, but it will likely end up jeopardising your best efforts. It’s better to write in a clear and natural way to bring in readers. But you still want to maintain an element of focus on your keywords.
Issues with the content on the pages
The same approach applies to the content (or copy) on your website’s pages. It is better to write with the reader in mind and to focus on quality rather than writing for Google. Longer, well-written pages with just enough keywords will achieve a better ranking than shorter ones. Also, make sure that everything you include is originally written content and not duplicated from another source. Google has a penalty that is applied to website’s that engage in plagiarism.
Issues with the links
Site navigation is essential to your user’s experience. An important part of this is the use of internal and outbound links within the site and its content. To put it simply, links need to work and take users to the right place. We all know how frustrating it is to click a link in an article and see something like this: “Sorry, that page doesn’t appear to exist any more”. If you have links to deleted pages or 404 pages then delete the links – they serve no purpose to the user.
Issues with the images
Finally, make sure that your website’s images are optimised according to current SEO standards. This is something that is easily overlooked when we focus on the written content and frameworks of the site. However, images are crucial in keeping visitors on your site. It is also crucial to optimise them for search engines.
MAKE SURE that your site is indexed in the search engines
Don’t forget that search engines need to be able to access your website and its content in order to analyse it. Poor accessibility can mean no rankings at all – so don’t accidentally block robots from crawling your site. Some websites suffer from improperly installed code files, hacked site content and other issues that stop search engines from reading the content. A proper SEO audit will identify any such issues.
look at your backlinks and compare the findings with your competitors
It isn’t just internal links and on-site content that determines your website’s rankings with search engines. Backlinks also play an important part in your overall performance and reputation. There are two factors at play here. The first is the number of backlinks pointing towards your website. Tools like Majestic SEO and SEO Moz Tools can draw up lists of all these links towards your site for an idea of your performance compared to competitors.
The second factor is the quality of the backlinks received. Where do they come from? Are they relevant, and is their origin a reputable source? SEO tools for backlinks can determine if they come from directories, press releases, social media or other sites. Some of these backlinks will be more reputable than others. From there, you can carry out the same type of assessment on the backlinks of your competitors.
Your website’s speed and performance is an important factor
The last part of this SEO audit is to test your website’s speed. Speed is an important factor for website visitors. A slow loading time may lead your website’s visitors to close the page and go to one of your competitors. Also, Google now intends to prioritise the impact of site speed when ranking sites in its search algorithms. Therefore, slower performing websites will need to speed up or they will drop in rankings in Google. You may not realise how slow your site is until you use a tool such as Google’s Page Insights tool. If the loading times are too slow then find a way to fix them.
A basic WEBSITE SEO audit is a great first step to improved rankings
These steps are designed to help those that have never performed an SEO audit on their website before and want an idea of what to expect. This is a good starting point for fixing some of the most fundamental errors that may be present on your website. If you wish to have an SEO audit carried out by a team of professionals, get in contact with us to learn more about your options.