Creating a website and developing relevant content is the focus of most online businesses. But during the process of developing content, do you focus solely on adding new information or do you take a step back to evaluate how this new piece fits into your website’s picture as a whole?
For all businesses, taking a step back and evaluating each piece that makes up the whole picture is a good business practice. For businesses that have an online component, their self-evaluation comes in the form of an SEO audit.
A website requires a lot of content to stay relevant. Whether it be a description of services, landing pages for promotion, ‘About Us’ pages, or blogs posts, keeping content up to date can be a full-time job in and of itself. But every now and then an evaluation is needed. This is to see if you are doing your best to drive traffic to the site, keep visitors engaged for as long as possible and are providing all the information visitors are looking for.
To assist you with conducting an SEO audit of your site, here are some important elements to include in your first audit.
Essential Elements of a Successful SEO Audit
1) Review Your Links
As mentioned in our previous post, links are an essential component for getting your site discovered. Search engines use bots to crawl through websites using internal and external links in order to rank them for the results pages.
To ensure your site is being properly ranked, periodically review all your site’s links. Internally, review how many of your pages link to each other. For example, if you have a blog, make sure that each post links to at least 3-5 other pages on your site. Furthermore, when building your other menu pages (e.g. the services page, the ‘About Us’ page and the ‘Contact Us’ page), make sure they are all linked to the home page and to each other. Proper internal linkages ensure site visitors can easily navigate your site and that search engine bots can properly index your site.
A review of your external links is also important for your SEO audit. Make sure that you are only linked to quality sites that provide relevant information. Additionally, check these links every now and then to ensure the content still exists. Nothing is more frustrating than being intrigued enough to click on a link only to find a 404 ‘page not found’ error instead.
2) Optimize Your Keywords
Another important step during a SEO audit is to review some of the basic behind-the-scenes content. According to Keith Hodges here are some on-page elements that should be included in your review:
Webpage URL – to ensure you are maximizing your SEO, you should include one keyword in each of your page’s URLs.
Meta Title – page titles should include the keyword you are trying to rank for. This not only helps your SEO ranking, but also makes it clear to the site visitor what the page is about. Clear titles help visitors navigate your site so they can find the information required.
Meta Description – this is a brief summary of your page’s content. To increase your page’s SEO, make sure the keyword is referenced within your description.
3) Update Your Pages During an SEO Audit
Search engines aim to provide users with the most up-to-date and relevant content in their search results. This means that they are always on the lookout for new content. By updating your site on a regular basis, you are signaling to the search engines that your site is relevant.
By updating your site on a regular basis, you are signaling to the search engines that your site is relevant. Click To Tweet
Review your top performing web pages and look for opportunities to update the content. If you are reviewing a blog post and you cite statistics from 3 years ago, this would be a great opportunity to update the information with current statistics.
Another opportunity would be to update your homepage and menu pages. Updating office hours, contact information, and testimonials are all easy ways to update your site’s content. This may seem like very basic information, but there are so many sites out there with outdated information. Not only does it hurt the site’s SEO, but also makes site visitors wonder if your company is even in business anymore. Don’t fall into this trap. Keep your site’s content fresh and relevant.
Final Thoughts About SEO Audits
As any good business will know, regular evaluations are important for growth. Just because something worked 10 years ago does not mean it is the best way to do things now. Performing regular SEO audits will keep your website fresh and ensure that you are doing everything possible to drive traffic to your site. If you haven’t considered an SEO audit previously, it is time to add one to your annual activities.
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