When you are running a website or creating content, it is important that your site and its content are easy to find. After all, great content only goes so far in building up your website if no one sees it. To make sure that your content is found, you have to use SEO techniques to make sure that your website comes out on top of the search engine.
The best way that you can make sure your website comes out on top when someone searches a related term is to conduct an SEO audit of your website. Of course, you could hire someone to audit your website for you but that isn’t your only option. In this article, we are going to look at some of the best practices that you can perform an SEO audit of your website so you can keep increasing your website traffic.
Do A Site Crawl
Before you do anything in an SEO audit, you need to perform a site crawl. A site crawl involves “crawling” through your entire website with certain features. This includes the following:
- Error messages (such as 404 pages)
- URL issues
- External links
- Page title tags
- Meta description tags
- Meta keywords tag
- Meta robots
- File size
- Rel canonical
- Page depth level
- Internal links
- Anchor text
- Follow and no-follow
- Bot crawling
A site crawl will not only point out any flaws with your site – such as error messages – but it will give you an idea of other aspects that can affect your site. For example, large file sizes can slow your websites loading time. This, in turn, can negatively affect your site’s search engine placement. In fact, how well your website works is a big factor in making sure that it ranks well. This means making it loads quickly and actually works. We will look more into what you can do to make your website intuitive later on, though.
Before you panic that this isn’t exactly the “easy” step that we promised, don’t worry. There are plenty of online tools that can help you conduct a website crawl. Applications like Screaming Frog and 80legs are among the many options you have to conduct your website crawl.
Double Check Your Content
There are two main ideas that you should be aware of when you assess the content on your website. The more obvious of the two is that your content should be optimized. Placing keywords and using proper tags when describing content is a great way to go about doing this. If you aren’t sure what keywords to use, tools like the LSI Keyword Generator are available to help you find your best options.
What you should also pay attention to, though, is that your content is of a good quality. There are two big reasons for this. One, if your content only gets new users to click on the link to your website but doesn’t keep them around for your content and services, you haven’t really increased your conversion rate.
Secondly, search engines are getting smarter. Once upon a time, it was possible to reach the top of the ranks by stuffing SEO in but not anymore. Now, most search engines can tell if you are just trying to manipulate their formulas rather than offering quality to users. As such, it is important that you
In addition to doing a site crawl, you should register for webmaster tools. Both Google and Bing – the search engines that are most used – have their own webmaster tools that you can register for without charge.
Using webmaster tools are about the closest you can get to know how a search engine works without having access to their formulas. In addition, tools like Google Analytics can help website owners to see data pertaining to their site such as rates of traffic.
It is important to note that you might not see any data on your website right away. For Google Webmaster tools specifically, many users note that it takes a few hours for anything valuable to show up.
Make Sure Your Site Is Intuitive
You can optimize your content all you want to reach the top of the search engine but none of it will work if your website is broken or difficult to use. If you gain a lot of traffic, for example, but none of your traffic sticks around long because they can’t find what they need to your site is full of broken links, your results will suffer. For one, no one will stay on your site long enough to reap the results you are hoping for. In addition, though, your SEO ranking will fall.
The best way to go about this is to start with our previous suggestion – do a website crawl to find any error pages and fix them. From there, it is only a matter of making navigation easy for new users.
This can include options such as a search bar and advanced search options. This will help your users find the specific content that they are looking for. An entertainment website, for example, might have a specific page dedicated to movies while another page might be dedicated to celebrity gossip, allowing users to find what they need quickly. Alternatively, a clothing site might allow users to browse based on style or search clothing items based on their function or color.