The Hidden Power in Online Marketing
Having an online business can be daunting. A lot of risks are involved in establishing an online business. However, the risks would be worth it if your online business takes off. To increase the chances of hitting success, online business owners have turned to SEO. SEO means search engine optimization. This places keywords in your pages to drive organic traffic into them. But what happens if SEO doesn’t do the trick? If this happens, you need to troubleshoot where you went wrong. This troubleshooting is more popularly known as an SEO audit.
An SEO audit is basically a process of checking where you went wrong with your website. The audit comprehensively evaluates your website based on categories that are important in generating traffic. It is like a checklist of what needs to be done. Each of the items are checked against the website, and if there is a discrepancy, it will then be corrected.
What is an SEO audit composed of?
An SEO audit is a checklist of things to do for your website. The specifics may vary, but the general ideas still hold true. An SEO audit is like an action plan that you will lay down so your website can change for the better.
An SEO audit can be divided into five general parts: a technical analysis, an on-page analysis, an off-page analysis, a competitive analysis, and a keyword search.
A technical analysis is usually the first thing to be done in an SEO audit. This is like the foundation of an SEO audit. If the technical analysis detects something wrong in your website, it is recommended that you focus on fixing it first before delving into the other parts. A technical analysis would tell you if your website is working or not.
The technical analysis can be divided into two parts: accessibility and indexability. Accessibility is the connection of the website to Google, to other search engines, and to the users themselves. It takes into consideration the ability of search engines and users to access the page. This is the first thing to check because there is no point in doing an SEO audit if the website or landing page is inaccessible.
To check if your website is accessible, check the robots.txt file as well as the robots meta tags. This is done because they can restrict access to some website parts and content. You also have to check XML sitemaps if they are properly formatted. These sitemaps generate maps for crawlers.
Another thing to check out is your website’s overall design or architecture. It should take as little clicks as possible for a user to go back to the website’s home page or landing page. The lesser the number of clicks, the easier it would be for crawlers to access the main page of the site. You then have to check if your links or website parts actually redirect to the right page or website content. You should also check if your website loads fast. If your website loads slowly, the users would leave your website.
Your website should have an integrated mobile version for users to see. If the user is using a mobile phone to open your website, they should be able to see a great interface and click between the pages seamlessly.
Even when you think your site is accessible, it may still not be indexed in Google or other search engines. To appear in the Google results page, your website and its individual pages have to be indexed. To see if your website is indexed, input site: website URL in Google search.
If you see that your website or its individual pages are not indexed, there may be a problem in the accessibility part of the SEO audit. Check your robots.txt file if there are any problems. You can use the Google search console to detect errors in your robots.txt file so you can rectify them if needed. Here, you can also check for the robots meta tags of your website.
If these are not the problems, then it could be that Google gave you a penalty. You can check if you violated some of the rules or if your website has been tagged as spam.
After technical analysis, next comes on-page analysis. In this part, you analyze how your website looks and what each of the pages contain. On-page analysis can be viewed through checking general content issues or through individual page issues.
General Content Issues
Here, you have to make sure that the content you have on your website is related to the website’s purpose. All articles and posts written should contribute to the topic of your site. If you post about anything under the sun and do keyword cannibalization, both the Google system and users would get confused. Google may index your site’s pages more than what is actually there because the algorithm gets jumbled up. Because of keyword cannibalization, users who want different results land on your page. This would affect you negatively because this decreases the trustworthiness value of your website.
Individual Page Issues
The pages and articles the website posts should be relatable and informative. It should contribute to the overall topic of the website and contain keywords. If possible, even the site’s URL should catch the user’s attention. You can also check if the website and landing pages’ design and formatting would appeal to the users. They have to be modern and sleek while alluding to the intended general idea of your website.
This pertains to how your website fares in search engines. It would show how popular and trustworthy your page is. Google would deem your site as trustworthy if it does not engage in black hat strategies: no duplicate content, no invisible content, and no overloading of keywords. To increase the popularity of your website’s posts, you should do articles on relatable topics. Make sure that the topics you use would appeal to the young, middle-aged, and elderly populations. They should also be able to hold the user’s attention so they would regularly visit the site, generating traffic.
Competitive Analysis and Keyword Search
Here, you have to analyze the keywords you want to use that would get your site the most traffic. You can do this by looking at other similar websites’ keywords and using the most relevant and popular ones. You would want to include keywords that have high traffic while staying relevant to your website’s general idea.
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