What does SEO audit work mean, when to do it, and how to audit it, you will have the answer through Bizzvn’s article which is done very elaborately and relatively sufficiently so you can refer to the SEO audit of each specific website.
SEO audits are the best way to find out why you are not getting good results with SEO. This is the first activity I perform when starting a new SEO campaign or quarterly. In this article, it will show you how to perform a complete SEO audit in 2019.
Remember two things before you begin:
- Investing time for any audit depends on the size of each website.
- A good SEO audit, it is important to ask lots of questions.
Here is the Checklist SEO Audit:
- Step 1: What are your strategic goals?
- Step 2: Keyword analysis
- Step 3: Analyze competition
- Step 4: Technical analysis
- Step 5: Analyze the page level
- Step 6: Content analysis
- Step 7: Analyzing user experience
- Step 8: Link analysis
- Step 9: Analyze citations
List of steps SEO Audit
What is SEO Audit?
When should an audit be done?
Check out the complete 9-step SEO
1: What are your strategic goals?
2: Keyword analysis
3: Analyze competitors
4: Technical analysis
- How fast does your site load?
- Is the site mobile friendly?
- Is the keyword cannibalization?
- Is there a redirect problem?
- Is the site being indexed well?
- Is there duplicate content?
- Duplicate page content
- Is there a 404 error (with Link Equity)?
- Is your website architecture effective for SEO?
- Are URL structures SEO optimized?
- Is internal linking the right way?
5: Analyze the page level
- Does this page serve search purposes?
- Is the content copied?
- Keywords in the title?
- Keywords in META description?
- Using Heading tag?
- Is Canonical used?
- Target keywords in the first few sentences?
- URL optimized and tidy?
- Does the ALT tag on the first image of the page contain the target keyword?
- Does the last sentence of the content include the target keyword?
- Is there an internal link? was set properly?
- Your page has used a Schema data structured markup
6: Content analysis
- You need an outside view
- Is your content unique and original?
- Is your content useful and informative?
- Is your content better than your competitors?
- Is your content compelling?
- Is your information accurate?
- Is your content long enough?
- Are there grammatical and / or spelling errors?
- Is the link broken?
- Do you advertise excessively?
- Do you moderate your blog comments?
7: Analyze user experience
- Bounce Rate: Bounce rate
- Time onsite: The average time spent on the web
- Achieving the goal
- Exit page: Identify the most discarded page
- Return Visit: Guest returns
- Brand search
- Social signals
8: Link analysis
- Related links
- Authority Link: authority link / prestige
- Diverse Links
- Target links
- Diversify Anchor text
- Total referring domain name
- History of link speed
9: Analyze Quotes
- Consistency of NAP-W …
- The directory has not been tapped
What is SEO Audit?
SEO auditing is a process of evaluating a website’s search engine friendliness in a number of areas such as the ability to crawl and index, technical SEO, on-site SEO, off-site SEO, social networking signals, penalties, etc.
There are many different tools that you can use to audit your website, the best approach is to perform an audit by following the instructions or hiring an SEO Auditor to do the work for you.
SEO Audit opens up ways for you to improve your SEO campaign.
The goal is to identify weak points in the campaign that are damaging your performance.
This process will give you a list of items that you need to improve. If you perform optimally on this list, you will see an improvement in your SEO performance.
When should an audit be done?
As I mentioned, we always perform audits when we start a new SEO campaign but we will also audit an existing campaign every quarter.
This is to make sure we did not miss anything, to identify any new issues, and auditing is always a good way to evaluate your project performance.
There are two landmarks you should perform an audit:
- At the start of each new campaign
- Every quarter
Now that you understand the basics, let’s start with the work of SEO Audit.
Check out the complete 9-step SEO
Follow these 9 steps so you will not miss any rocks. Remember, a successful SEO campaign is the improvement of hundreds of ranking factors. That is why you need to check every detail for your campaign. You do not have to be 100% perfect, but that should be your goal.
Step 1: What are your strategic goals?
Goals: to determine what your long-term goals are for your SEO campaign and business.
I have said this before and I will say this again:
SEO is a means to an end.
Nothing other than a marketing channel to grow your business.
That is why your strategic goal must be what your business is trying to achieve through SEO.
Clear strategic goals will keep your campaign focused and help you achieve your goals.
If you already have a strategic goal, then it is time to consider it.
Are your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time limited (SMART)?
You need to adjust them if they are not.
If you do not have a strategic goal for your SEO campaign, now is the time to create them.
Here are some examples of Strategic Goals for an SEO campaign using the SMART principle:
Your strategic goal should be a mix of KPI SEO and business KPI.
Now let’s get into keyword analysis.
Step 2: Keyword analysis
Goal: to determine whether the current keyword targeting strategy is worth it, and, to find untapped keywords that can lead to easy wins on YouTube.
You need to review your current keyword set before going into audit.
The first thing you need to ask the question:
Are you targeting the right target keywords?
Often, the keywords that some businesses are pursuing are ways out of their union.
They think they can win on the keywords online, but most likely they will fail.
A good audit will help you determine the quality of your keywords.
More often than not, I will target customers with long tail keywords that are less competitive. My team often refers to these keywords and often easily get good results.
It is a good practice to review your current keyword set, you should do this quarterly.
Always better to focus your resources on keywords that are performing well.
Do not spread your resources across multiple keywords.
But, now you may be wondering:
How do I know if I am targeting the “Right” target keyword?
You should think of your keywords as goals.
Every keyword you decide to target is a goal you want to achieve for your SEO campaign.
That means you need to use the SMART principle.
You need to choose a specific set of keywords to target.
A list of a thousand non-specific keywords.
Choose 10, 20 or 100 keywords depending on your budget and resources.
You must measure the performance of your keywords.
There are some people who do SEO saying that you should not track keywords anymore.
I agree that tracking keywords without tracking other important KPIs is inefficient.
But, tracking your core keywords is a great way to see how Google is pricing your site.
It is also a way to measure the impact of your link acquisition.
To measure the performance of your keywords, I use Ahrefs.
Attainable: Can be achieved
Are you targeting keywords beyond what your site is capable of?
The truth is:
New websites struggle to rank for competitive keywords.
That is because:
- Sites that rank for aged and reliable competitive keywords.
- These same sites will be more competent than yours because they have been getting backlinks for years.
- Since they are ranking for competitive keywords, that means they will also have a much larger budget than you. This will allow them to purchase authorized affiliate positions to maintain their position.
You must be realistic.
If your website is new, then you should target long tail keywords.
Do not let your ego identify the keywords you want to go after.
I am not saying you are egoistic.
I am saying that because I let my ego define my keyword selection process in the past.
It went something like this:
Hey, I am very good at SEO and I can rank for anything.
That is the way I used to be.
Moral Story: do not let your ego dictate your campaign.
Be realistic and use data to determine your path.
This is obvious, but your keywords should be relevant to what your business does.
Time-bound: Time limit
How long do you think it will take you to rank for your current keyword set?
You need to set a deadline.
Remember, improving your site’s performance for a keyword is the goal. You should try to achieve that goal as quickly as possible.
SMART guidelines are only the first step to validating your current set of keywords.
Now you need to analyze the competition for those keywords.
Step 3: Analyze competitors
The goal: to validate your keywords and find missed link opportunities.
There are several goals to analyze your opponent:
- To see whether a keyword is too competitive or not.
- To find new keyword opportunities.
To see what kind of content is working well.
- To find link opportunities.
You need to analyze your competitors to validate your keyword selections.
You should ask yourself:
- Is my keyword selection too ambitious?
- Or, are my keyword options too conservative?
We divide our competitor analysis into two segments.
The first is just a quick analysis of PA and DA in SERPS.
You will need the Moz toolbar for this.
Let’s say we want to rank for the keyword “Automatic marketing.”
Enter “Automated marketing” into Google and scan the results.
We look for websites with DA below 50. In this case, there is a website that ranks for the keyword Automatic Marketing with a DA under 50.
DA is a reasonable measure to determine whether a keyword is worth tracking or not.
At scale, this process is the fastest way to remove keywords from your list.
Competition is all relative.
For example, it would be foolish to target automation marketing if your site is new. But, if you have an established, authoritative site, that might be something to consider.
The second analysis is more in-depth because we are trying to find link opportunities.
I will not go into this, but use Ahrefs or Majestic to analyze your competitor’s link profile.
Are there any easy Hanging Fruits / Wins?
Now let me show you how you can find Hanging Fruits (low-ranking keywords).
We will use SEM Rush and Google Search Console for this.
- Go to Google Search Console and click on Google Traffic Search
- Choose Impression and Position
- Then, sort the results by position, the lowest ranking position at the top.
These are low-ranking keywords that you can target.
If your site does not rank for any keywords, you will need to use SEM Rush to find low-ranking keyword types.
- Move to SEM Rush
- Enter the competitor’s URL
- Go to Organic Search and Positions
- Sort keyword lists to display keywords with the lowest search volume
I like to start with lower volume keywords because they are the easiest rankings to rank for. Here are some low hanging fruits that I found when digging through Bizzvn.com traffic data:
Now let me show you how to do technical analysis.
Step 4: Technical analysis
Goal: to identify technical issues that are hurting user experience and hurting the performance of your search engine.
Technical issues can affect the SEO performance of your website.
The good news is that you have tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider at your side.
These tools will help you identify many common issues.
Let’s get started:
How fast does your site load?
How quickly your site loads will affect user experience in a positive or negative way.
If the page is overloaded, you need to analyze more than 3 seconds to analyze to improve the load time, TFB first load time <200ms.
That is why it is in the top position of the Technical Analysis checklist.
Use Google’s site speed tool to get your benchmark.
Any website that takes more than 3 seconds to load has room for improvement. It is ideal if you can load your website in under 1 second, but this is challenging.
Here are some resources that will speed up your site:
- Guide to optimize page load speed
Is the site mobile friendly?
This is a no-brainer, but you need to check if your website is mobile friendly.
Google considers this a strong ranking factor, so do not take it lightly.
Use Google mobile-friendly testing to analyze.
The solution is quite simple here:
If your website is not mobile friendly, then make it mobile friendly.
Check out these instructions for further assistance:
- 10 ways to make your website more mobile-friendly
Is there a keyword cannibalization?
One of the most important factors to look for in an audit is the keyword Cannibalization.
“Keyword Cannibalization” is when two pages are competing for the same keyword.
This can be confusing for Google and force Google to make decisions about which pages are best for search queries.
It is always better to guide Google instead of letting it make a decision.
You must review the entire site avoiding “Cannibalization keywords” to achieve this goal.
There is one of the most common forms of cannibalization:
When you optimize the homepage and a subpage for the same keyword.
This is most common at the local level.
Let’s say it is a local personal lawyer from Chicago.
The homepage title will look like this:
- Chicago individual lawyer | Great law firm
At the same time, customers will also have an optimized subpage like:
- Chicago’s best personal lawyer | Great law firm
These should be avoided.
Choose a page to optimize for Chicago Personal Lawyer and not a competitive page.
There is another problem that you need to look for and it is related to your blog.
There is nothing wrong with writing on the same topic more than once.
But beyond that, it can cause some confusion for the search engines.
Google will fight to determine which page is the most authoritative for that keyword.
More importantly, Google wants you to write comprehensive, original and well thought out content not a short, thin article without fully explaining a topic.
There are exceptions to the rule, but thin content should be avoided for most businesses.
Keep in mind that strong and well-developed SEO content will work better in search engines and will generate better user engagement.
In contrast, publishing underdeveloped content can lead to keyword loss and Google may understand your activity as a long-tail keyword manipulation.
If that happens, the Panda algorithm will remove your site.
As said, let me show you how you can quickly identify keyword Cannibalization issues:
Open Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
Enter your website and start scanning:
Go to Title Page Title Page:
Enter one of your main keywords in the search bar (this will show you all pages that compete for that keyword).
Look over your page title and identify pages that can compete for the same keyword.
Is there a redirect problem?
There are four types of redirects that can affect a site’s SEO performance:
- Redirect 302
- Redirection Chains
- Non-preferred version of the domain name is not 301 to Preferred
- the non-secure version of a domain name is not 301 into a secure version
- The 301 is not required
Let’s start with 302 redirects.
302 redirects are temporary redirects, and do not bypass authority. 302s need to be changed to 301 redirects to bypass link authority.
To see if you have any 302s, open Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
- Enter your target URL and start scanning
- Go to the Response Codes tab
- Click Filter’s dropdown and select Redirection 3xx
- Click Export to export all 302 redirects
Redirect many times
A redirect is when a redirect is connected.
See the picture below:
Breaking the chain will send all authority to the final landing page (instead of partial permissions).
This will be the same as when you edited a redirect:
Here’s how you find the redirect chain with Screaming Frog SEO Spider:
- Access to Configuration and click on “Spider”
- Click Advanced, and select “Always Follow Redirects” and click Ok
- Enter your target URL and start scanning
- After the scan is complete, go to “Report” and click on Redirect Chains
Is the non-preferred session of the 301 domain redirected to the Preferred version?
Every website owner must decide which website version they want to be visible to their users.
Some people like “www” while others do not like www.domain. Understand that whatever you choose will not affect your SEO performance.
Google treats them the same way, so this is a matter of priority.
The problem arises if you do not redirect unwanted domain names to priority.
For example, suppose I decide to go with Bizzvn.com.
By doing so, Bizzvn.com became my favorite domain.
And now, www. is my preferred domain and vice versa.
You must redirect 301 from your preferred domain name to the preferred. Otherwise, you will end up with two duplicate sites AND you will leak authority.
When visiting www.Bizzvn.com, you need to redirect 301 to Bizzvn.com
I have found that websites built on custom platforms will encounter this problem.
Developers underestimate the impact of keeping two versions of the site live.
They often do not redirect 301 unwanted versions of the domain to priority.
In fact, if you do not redirect, you have two duplicate sites.
I used Chrome’s Developer Tool to see if the proper redirection was done.
Is the unsafe version of the 301 website redirected to the safe version?
Let’s say the transition to SSL is not so good.
Many websites have made a great decision to secure their site with a certificate.
But, many people are struggling with the implementation of certificates.
Many customers forget to redirect 301 insecure websites (http) to secure (https). This has the same effect of not diverting an unwanted domain name to the preferred one.
Identifying this problem is simple:
- Access your target URL: https://Bizzvn.com/.
- In the address bar of your browser, remove “s” from http and press enter.
It will redirect back to the safe version, when typing http://Bizzvn.com will switch to https://Bizzvn.com
If not, then you need to fix it!
You can also use the above tools to check as well.
Is the site being indexed well?
Your website can only get traffic if your pages are indexed in Google. That is why it is always a good idea to make sure all the pages on your website are well indexed.
A good place to start is with your robots.txt file.
Sometimes by accident, site owners will block search engines from crawling their websites.
That is why you have to check your robot.txt file to make sure your site is being crawled well.
The command you need to find in your robot.txt file is Disavow.
If you use it incorrectly, you can prevent search engines from crawling your site.
The specific command you want to search is “Disallow: /” which instructs search engines not to crawl your site.
Your website should have a sitemap as it helps with better indexing.
If you are using WordPress, Yoast will automatically create one for you.
If you are not using Yoast, then install the XML Sitemap plugin.
For those on custom or non-Wordpress construction sites, you will have to go the traditional way.
The Web of:
Visit the Google search page using the site: yoursite.com
This will show you how well your site is indexed.
If your website does not display as the first result, then you will probably be penalized.
Or, you are blocking search engines from crawling your site.
Is there duplicate content?
Duplicate content can damage your site and can result in your site being penalized by the Panda algorithm.
Ecommerce stores are most likely to duplicate content issues because they will copy the manufacturer’s product description.
This creates a long list of duplicate content.
Let me show you problems with duplicate META data first:
Copy META data
Duplicate META data is most common on e-commerce sites.
This is because many Ecommerce websites have many pages with similar products.
As a result, they will become lazy and paste similar META descriptions on pages.
This is not a good practice.
If your Ecommerce has many similar pages, you should consider merging them. There is no reason to have several pages for different colors or sizes of the same product.
Once you are concerned about this, you need to write unique descriptions for each page.
Yes, that is right. Each page.
You should strive to have unique META data and unique content on every page of your site.
This will take a lot of effort and resources, but it is finally worth it.
Remember: you do not have to finish it in one day.
If you improve only 10 pages per day, you will have 3,650 pages optimized within a year.
To find duplicate META data, you can use Screaming Frog SEO Spider and Google Search Console.
Let’s get started with Screaming Frog:
Enter your URL and start scanning
Go to “Meta Description”, on Filter select Duplicate and Export
The next place to look for duplicate META descriptions is in Google Search Console.
Visit Google Search Console and access Search for improved appearance
In this section, you will find duplicate META descriptions and title tags.
Page-level duplicate content
Now that you have identified all duplicate META data, you now need to find duplicate page-level content.
To perform this task, you will need to use Siteliner.
This tool will show you which pages have the same or very similar content.
Visit Siteliner.com and enter your target website. Click on duplicate content and see which pages are affected by it.
Remember that this tool is not always accurate. For example, you may not know that you have pages without your content. So, it will probably categorize those pages into duplicate content. Let’s use your best judgment.
Is there a 404 error (with Link Equity)?
Not all 404 errors are the same.
First, let me dispel a common myth that all 404 errors are bad for SEO.
This is not true.
404s are an effective tool to notify search engines that a page no longer exists.
When a search engine like Google finds a 404, it removes that page from the index.
For intentional 404 errors, this is exactly what you want.
Think about it: do you want someone to find this dead 404 page through a Google search?
Of course not.
That is why Google removes them because it is not useful for users.
With that myth dispelled, a 404 error can really affect your site’s performance:
Page 404 has backlink.
These types of 404s are leaking authority on your site.
What you want to do is get these back links back by redirecting your 404 page to a relevant page on your site.
If there is no matching page, redirect it to the home page.
To find 404 errors, I recommend using Google Search Console:
Go to Crawl and Crawl Errors. Click the “Not found” tab to see your site’s 404 errors:
Is your website architecture effective for SEO?
Many auditors ignore website architecture, but this is a big mistake.
Most websites are not designed with SEO in mind.
Strangely, this is not always a bad thing. That is because many businesses create their websites based on what they believe users want.
You must always be user-centered with your SEO strategy.
But, you still need to guide and please search engines at the same time.
A robust website architecture makes both users and search engines satisfied.
When examining your site architecture, you should ask the following questions:
- Is navigation clear or confusing?
- Do internal links use effective anchor text?
- Can you improve navigation to make it easier for users and search engines?
The URL structure is SEO optimized?
We always analyze URL structures during our audit to make sure they are SEO friendly.
But, we are also careful at this stage.
You do not want to change the URL structure if your client’s website is working properly.
The reason is because you have to redirect the old URL to the new URL.
301 redirects are incorrect and will not always send trust and authority from the old URL.
This means you may end up losing rankings for a long time.
Changing your URL into a cleaner and more optimized version can help your site in the long run.
You just need to be willing to lose some organic upfront traffic. Or, you can only avoid changing URLs.
Now, if the customer does not rank for anything, we will always suggest changing the URL structure (if it is bad).
You must use it at your disposal and remember, if it is not broken, do not fix it.
The URL is overly optimized
In an optimization effort with search engines, some customers will keyword stuffing their URLs. Keyword stuffing anything on your site is never a good practice. In fact, it will probably hurt your performance more than help it.
Here is an example of a keyword-stuffed URL we encounter a lot: x
You will notice that “Widgets” in the URL appear three times. Whether intentional or not, it will hurt a page’s performance.
I recommend removing the “cool-widget” subdirectories so that the URL looks like this:
Is internal linking the right way?
Ineffective / non-strategic internal links can be confusing for search engines. Internal links are said to be clear and supposed to use exact match anchor text.
If you have a page about other blue widgets, then the blue widgets could be an anchor text inside of you.
In my eyes, this seems to be a fairly simple concept.
Unfortunately, I found this problem repeated many times when we audited the site.
Finding inefficient internal links is not easy
You must go to each page to identify them and fix them.
This is one of the most time-consuming onsite SEO changes that you will encounter.
To avoid this from happening, just make sure you always use good practices.
Most of your internal link anchor text should use exact or partial match anchor text.
Step 5: Analyze the page level
Objective: to ensure that each keyword-targeted landing page is effectively optimized.
Each audit must check the quality of content and optimize each page.
Powerful content without effective optimization will not be complete. Weak content with strong optimization will also not complete.
You need both strong content and effective optimization to drive search engine traffic.
The first page level optimization question you must ask is:
Does this page serve search purposes?
Meeting the purpose of the search is crucial for your ranking in Google. It does not matter how long your content is. The key is how well you meet your search goals.
Understanding search intent helps create Content that matches the target keyword
The next step is to run the page through Copyscape.
I do not run landing pages through Copyscape because I think my customers are liars.
That is because there is some point on the Internet that will steal content.
All you need to do is send the DMCA report to Google and they will remove the content from the index.
After we run each landing page through Copyscape, we will examine the basics.
On-page checklist of Audit by Mozbar
Keywords in the title?
Your target keyword for the page should be in the title. And, the keyword only needs to appear once.
- The title is 50-65 characters long
- Title is unique for each page
- Each page has only 1 <title> tag
That is all!
Keywords in META description?
Make sure the target keyword is in the META description. Do not put it in more than 2 times.
Card length describes 130-300 characters?
Use Heading tags?
H1 needs to highlight 16-18px large font, containing the target keyword, and only once for each page
Are there H2, H3 for subheadings on the page?
Is it using Canonical?
Has your site used canonical to identify the original content for pages with similar (duplicate) content?
Keyword target in the first few sentences?
Your main keyword will appear once at the top of the content. This is to enhance the relevance of the page.
URL optimized and tidy?
Is the URL SEO friendly?
The landing page must include the target keyword in the URL, and the URL must be short and clear.
Does the ALT tag on the first image of the page contain the target keyword?
All your ALT tags need to describe the image, but your main keyword for the page will appear in the first image ALT tag.
The image name to describe and contain keywords
Has the image size been optimized?
Does the last sentence of the content include the target keyword?
The last sentence or conclusion is your chance to reinforce the relevance of the page. Make sure you include your keywords.
Is there an internal link? Was it set properly?
As I mentioned before, if you have internal links, make sure they are using Anchor text that exactly matches the landing page linked to.
Your page has used Schema data structured markup
Schema markup helps you search engines to understand your content and provide the best possible search results. Adding Schema markup to your HTML will improve the way your page displays in the SERPs by enhancing the rich snippets of code displayed below the page title.
You can use Screaming Frog to identify the microformat Schema.org code that exists on the site.
Or you can use Google’s Structured Testing Tool https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool
Data structured testing tool from Google
This is all you need to analyze to optimize page level. Now let me show you how you need to test your content.
Step 6: Content analysis
Goal: to determine whether the existing content strategy is working. And, what needs to be improved to get more from the content.
Your content analysis must explore both your target keyword landing page and any blog content that has been published.
Content analysis is the most time-consuming part of SEO auditing.
That is because that is the most important part of the whole audit.
You can get all the other parts of the SEO campaign, but if your content is missing, the results of your audit will not be satisfactory.
You need an outside view
The important thing is that you need a third party to analyze your content strategy.
Because you need an external perspective. It is hard to test and criticize your own content because you will be biased.
You need an outside expert to tell you the truth.
Most businesses do not have an effective content strategy.
In fact, most people do not have a strategy.
Here are the questions you need to ask during your content analysis:
Is your content unique and original?
The content on your website needs to be unique and original.
That means using your creative mind to come up with great ideas!
No spam content anymore. The extra effort to create something original is truly valuable and helpful in solving the problem of the target audience.
Or is your content useful and informative?
In addition to your content being original, you also need to make sure it is useful and informative.
That means, it should inform, guide or address an issue that your target customer is having.
You must always consider your target customers when creating content.
The content on your website is not to impress your colleagues.
Your content to serve and help your potential customers.
Is your content better than your competitors?
There is no point in creating content unless you believe it will be better than what is currently ranking in search engines.
Every piece of content must be intended to beat your competitors.
If not, you are wasting your time.
Your content compelling?
Your users need to feel like you are talking to them directly. Present content that addresses what customers need instead of saying what you want to express.
Is your information correct?
Do not create facts or statistics or falsify information.
Your content long enough?
You can also do your own research and see this shown in the SERPS.
Are there any grammatical and / or spelling errors?
I have said this many times. Use the Hemingway Editor if your text has grammatical errors.
Or are there any broken links?
Google hates having broken links in your content because it hurts user experience. Make sure you audit your pages to make sure your links are working properly. Use this free broken link checker to find broken links on your site.
Do you advertise excessively?
Using too many ads can take away your content, cause distraction and will cause users to hate your site.
When users hate your site, Google will hate it.
If you use ads, do not let them overwhelm your content or Panda will probably ask you questions.
Do you moderate your blog comments?
Spammers love to inject annoying links in blog comments.
That is why you need to ensure that you are properly censored.
You do not want to be convicted by the association, so make sure your comments are clean.
These questions are the first step in determining whether your content strategy is working or not.
The ultimate indicator of your content performance will come from real user experience data.
See details about Content Audit: A 5-step guide to implementing Content Adit
Step 7: Analyze user experience
Goal: to see how the entire user interacts with your content and website.
Can’t know what people think of your site.
Fortunately, you can get a general picture of the user experience based on data within Google Analytics.
There are several data points that you want to test in user experience analysis:
You may be wondering: what is a good bounce rate?
Unfortunately, there is no clear answer.
Bounce rates are all relative and depend on the type of site.
For example, a funny cat picture site might have a high bounce rate.
Because people go to the site, laugh and leave.
Sites like Bizzvn will have lower bounce rates because people will want to read and learn more.
With all that said, the bounce rate between 60% – 80% is okay.
80% – 90% is sufficient to ensure further consideration of the issue.
If it is above 90%, it needs to be at the top of the priority list of solutions to improve.
Time onsite: The average time spent on the site
The longer a user stays on your site, the more likely you will be to convert them.
Like bounce rate, the average time spent on the site is relative.
If the average time spent on the site is less than 1 minute, then that is definitely something you will want to consider.
As a general rule, users will spend more time on your site if there is more content for them to learn.
For example, my readers spend an average of 3:29 minutes for Bizzvn .
If this is less than 1 minute, I will have to start questioning my content strategy and website in general.
One thing will quickly repel users:
Lack of quality content.
The low average time spent on the site often hurts local businesses for this exact reason.
That is because anyone looking for a plumber in Cau Giay, is likely to use the service.
They will jump from business to business to look for the best deal.
The best way to combat this problem at the local level is to produce more useful content.
You should focus on guiding your potential local customers.
Education and transparency lead to trust.
Trust leads to sales.
You should focus on giving more value than your opponent.
This will improve bounce rate and force users to stay on your site longer.
Think about it this way: if someone wants to come to you, can they learn more in 30 seconds or in 3 minutes?
The longer users stay on your site and digest your content, the more they will feel like they know you.
Tracking Goal Completions is the most important metric in Google Analytics.
The only reason that your business should even have a website is to get conversions or accomplish goals.
It does not matter if your bounce rate is low or people stay on your site for hours. If visitors do not convert into leads, sales, or email subscribers, you are wasting time.
The goal of improving other metrics is to make you more money!
Remember, SEO is just a means to support sales. SEO itself does not make money.
YOU make money by selling goods.
You may have the best SEO on the planet, but if you do not sell, that does not matter.
The word “sell” will have a different meaning to everyone.
But there is one thing every online business has in common:
You must sell via copywriter or through video. If you skip this step, no one will buy your product or no one will become a lead.
That being said, whenever our goals are fulfilled, we immediately consider our customers’ on-site sales strategy.
- Is it easy for potential customers to contact you?
- Is there enough information about your service?
- Are you showing enough social evidence?
Exit page: Identify the most discarded page
Determining which pages that users abandon the most is the first step in troubleshooting. This is obvious, but you must analyze the page most frequently.
You have to ask the simple question why do they leave one particular site more than the other?
Believe it or not, there is not always a high bounce rate on a page.
Sometimes content does its job for readers and forces them to get out and take action.
Do not always think users will leave a particular page because they hate it.
If the content solves the problem of users and they leave the page, you have finished your work.
There is one very important thing to consider when checking Bounce Rate inside Google Analytics.
Do not look at Total Exits.
Total bounce will always be higher on pages with more traffic.
The number you want to see is % Exit.
Sort your data from highest to lowest rates.
A high bounce rate will be over 80%. A normal exit percentage is about 50-65%.
The # 1 problem that will force people to leave a page with high frequency is that your content does not solve their problem or answer the questions they already have.
There are other factors that can force people to leave a site like design, but content is almost always the culprit.
Go to the page with the highest bounce rate and ask:
- Does this page solve problems or answer questions to the maximum?
- Still have some unanswered questions?
- How easy is the content to read?
- Too many large blocks of text?
- Too few images?
- The picture is broken?
- Is the page loading slowly?
- Is there a distraction factor such as an ad that takes users away from your site?
- Are you setting up external links to open in a new window (if not, you should)?
These questions are more than enough to get to the bottom of the problem. Go through this process for every page with a high bounce rate.
Return Visit: Return visitors
The number of visitors returning to your site is a positive sign of the user.
It means your site or content is worth reviewing.
Returning visitors are also good from a conversion standpoint because it gives you more opportunities to convert them into potential customers or email subscribers.
If you do not have a high rate of returning visitors, this may be a sign that your content is missing. Or, your website has one or more of the technical or content issues I described above that are repelling your users.
Search for brands
Like Returning Visitors, branded searches are a strong signal that people are interested in your website and brand.
If you are creating great content and your site is built in the minds of users, then people will want to come back. That means they will go to Google and search for your brand.
To see how well you are currently doing, you will need to use Google Search Console.
Visit Search traffic to the network and click Search on Search Analytics. Filter by click clicks so that the search query with the most clicks is placed on top.
Your brand name must be one of the top queries.
The social signals themselves are not strong.
BUT, if you combine them with all other positive user metrics, then your site will get a whirlwind of positive ranking signals.
Getting REAL social signals should be a priority for your business. The only way to get them is through creating great content and pleasing your users. You might also consider using social locker plugins if you really get stuck.
Now it is time to see your link profile.
Step 8: Link analysis
Goal: to identify strengths and weaknesses in your link profile.
As you know, backlinks can make or break an SEO campaign. This is why a large part of our audit is devoted to analyzing customer link profiles. We use Ahrefs, Majestic, Open Site Explorer and Google Search Console to analyze links.
Now you are probably wondering: what are we looking for?
We are looking at a few different factors:
Related links are king when it comes to link building.
That was almost always the place where I started the affiliate audit.
Is the backlink from the site relevant?
100% of your backlinks do not need to be relevant, but most should.
In order to quickly determine the relevance of our client’s link profile, we export their links from Ahrefs and use the bulk test on Majestic.
When you export from Ahrefs, make sure you export such referring domains:
You will now take those referring domains and use Majestic’s bulk test to see the Topical Trust Flow Topics.
Although the Topical Trust Flow Topics figures are not perfect, these are relevant metrics that can expand the relevant metric.
Manually checking the relevance of each affiliate site will be a terrible waste of time.
The goal of this step is to get a general picture of the DOMAINS linking to your customers’ websites.
Go to Wikipedia tools
Put referral domains into the bulk validator and export the results. Organize your CSV file based on Topical Trust Flow Topics.
Identify sources of link completely off the wall.
If you are a lawyer and you have a backlink from a domain name to Pet’s Trusted Flow Threads, then you should be concerned.
Mark all unrelated backlinks. This does not mean that you will eliminate them.
That is just a way for you to know that they exist. That way, you can get back to looking at unrelated domains if your site is penalized.
Authority Link: authority link / prestige
After determining the relevance of the links, look forward to the authoritative links (DA and PA of the incoming links).
In fact, pure authority can sometimes hide irrelevance.
I like authority before relevance because I believe it keeps your site more secure from algorithm updates.
But separate the two types of separate links!
There are several ways to find out how authoritative backlinks are.
You can run a bulk test on both Majestic and Ahrefs.
Ranking the Ahrefs domain name in the ranking list (DR) is an accurate measure of website authority.
It is much more accurate than PA and DA because it updates regularly.
Data from Open Site Explorer updates with snail speed and is inaccurate most of the time.
You do not believe?
Open Site Explorer gives Bizzvn.com a DA 25 and claims the site has only 57 root link domains.
Google Console is showing 143 backlink domain names that Bizzvn.com actually has.
That said, you can use Open Site Explorer for cross-checking, but do not rely solely on its metrics.
Another figure almost impossible to accomplish in online games is SEMRush traffic score.
That is because it is based on real organic search engine rankings.
SEM Rush uses its own algorithm to determine how much your organic traffic is.
It is not perfect, but it is a metric I rely on daily to determine the quality of link opportunities.
Use all available metrics once to gauge the quality of your current backlinks or opportunities.
Diversifying your backlinks makes your profile more natural.
The different types include:
- Contextual links
- Footer link or navigation column (sidebar) entire page (site-wide)
- Directory links
- Resource page links
- Link appropriate records
- Forum links
- Related blog comment links
Adding backlink types, you also want diversity with the Follow and NoFollow links.
In this analysis, just ask simple questions:
Is my link profile diverse enough?
Another important link factor you need to check is the ratio of your home page links to deep links.
If you are using content-focused SEO, then most of your backlinks will be redirected to deep pages.
Regardless of which method you are using, it is always a good way to distribute backlinks throughout your site.
This will build up the overall authority of the site and improve the chances of seeing SEO results.
Diversify Anchor text
Anchor text abuse is rampant and that is why we always check ratios.
The first percentage we care about most is the exact percentage of our customers’ anchor text.
Then we want to see the percentage of their branded anchor text.
If the EMA outperforms the brand anchors, then the strategy needs to be changed.
As you may know, the majority of your anchor text profile must be branded anchors.
EMA should be used far and little in the middle as this is a strong spam signal for Google.
If customers are suffering from overly optimized anchor text, there are a few solutions:
- Build new backlinks with brand anchor text to make up for over-optimization
- Consider changing some EMAs to branded anchor text
Total referring domains
The more unique the referral domain, the better a website links to it.
The analysis we do here is nothing more than comparison with their top ranked rivals.
For example, how many referring domains do they link to them compared to their competitors?
The solution is very simple here:
Get relevant, high quality backlinks from unique domains.
Link speed history
Are their link velocities stable throughout the life of their site? Or was it capricious?
The big drop in link loss is suspect.
Backlinks from websites really rarely fall out.
Backlinks from artificial websites fall out when affiliate providers stop paying for their hosting or do not renew a domain name.
Your goal is to achieve steady link growth over time like this:
Now that you know how to analyze your link profile, let me show you how to analyze your citations.
Step 9: Analyze Quotes
Goal: to see if customers have consistent NAP-W information across all listings. And, to identify business directories that customers are not listed on.
Citation is an online reference to your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). Like links to your website, Google uses them when evaluating the online authority of your business.
Citation analysis is used for local customers, doing business by area of searchers near the location of the store or business searching for your brand name will appear on the map in Google SERPs.
However, it can be used for any business looking to maintain consistency across all online assets.
I recommend every business to perform a quote audit even if you are not involved in local SEO.
What to look for in a quoted analysis:
Consistency of NAP-W
Consistency NAP-W (name, address, phone, website) is one of the most important ranking factors in Google Local.
There are countless tools to check your citation, such as:
- Moz local
The directory has not been tapped
There are hundreds of business directories to submit your website and that is why it is best to use a tool. Once again, we use Bright Local’s Quote Tracker, White Spark, Moz Local, and Yext to find these untapped citations.
Wow, the article is super long, now you are equipped with enough steps to perform a comprehensive SEO audit whenever you want.
You do not want to audit SEO yourself? Our SEO audit service will help you do this.