Category Archives: Audit

How to Perform a Website SEO Audit in Ten Minutes or Less

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seo auditIf you work for a SEO company or marketing agency, you know how cumbersome it can be when clients or leads ask you questions on the fly. You have to be able to answer their questions, not only in general terms, but by quickly looking at their website.

A quick website SEO audit can also be very beneficial if you’re trying to justify the reasoning behind your SEO strategy. With the right tools, you can easily perform a quick website SEO audit in under ten minutes. It may take you longer just to write up the verbiage, but the entire analysis should only take this amount of time. If not, you’ll get faster as you do it!

Below are some things to look at when performing a quick audit for a lead or client:

Website On-page SEO

We use a tool here called SEO Doctor Stats to get a quick feel of the current SEO quality score of a page. It basis the quality score off of a percentage system by crawling the on-page SEO structure. Look for things like:

  • Is there an H1 tag on the page and does it only display one H1?
  • Are there H2 tags on the page?
  • Are the title tag and meta descriptions the correct character length?
  • Is the page indexable?
  • How many seconds did it take the page to load?
  • Are the URLs SEO friendly?

When there are errors on any of these things, it could affect the SEO quality score of the page. Point out any errors you find with screen shots and explain why each item is important for search engine indexing and crawling. To keep this time sensitive, only focus on the primary landing pages of the site for now such as: home, about, and product/service pages.

Do the “5 Second Blink Test” to See If You Understand Their Offer

Since SEO is becoming more and more about user-experience, you should fully understand their offer when you hit the site in under five seconds. When you hit the home page, does it clearly define what the user should be doing next? Does it clearly define their brand and their unique selling proposition? If these things are not clearly defined when someone hits the website, they are going to lose potential leads right away. With a higher bounce rate, Google will not rank the site as high as others because it means the user isn’t finding what they are looking for.

Organic Traffic Growth

Using SEMRush, you can capture a snapshot of the overall traffic and organic traffic growth of the site. Is there consistent growth in the campaign or is it at a standstill? You can also view the keywords the site is ranking for currently and their search volume. If there are limited keyword rankings, that may be why the site hasn’t had much organic traffic growth.

Competitor Backlink Comparison

Using the focus keyword the client or lead wants to rank for, search Google and find the sites that are ranking high for this term. To keep it quick, pick two competitors to start. Put their root domain into Moz Open Site Explorer and compare the important SEO metrics each site has.

  • How many backlinks does their site have in comparison to their competitors?
  • What is their domain authority in comparison to the competition?
  • How many referring domains does their site have?
  • How many social indicators are there?

It can be really easy to justify the needs of a custom SEO strategy by simply taking a screenshot of what the competitors are doing. If their site doesn’t even come close to the amount of backlinks and the quality of those backlinks – their site won’t rank as high as their competitors.

Closing Thoughts

By doing a quick mini-SEO audit of a website, you can easily justify why your client or lead needs a custom SEO strategy to build their organic traffic. Not only do business owners value this information and education you’re giving them, but they will have a better understanding of all of the technical variables that go into SEO. These mini-audits are definitely worth the time to do because they can help turn your lead into a sale! If you need help with a website SEO audit, don’t hesitate to call us today: 800-871-4130.

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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The Importance of a Website Content Audit During a Re-Design and How to Do It

This entry was posted in Audit, Content and tagged , on by .

content-audit-dog

Content audits are primarily done before marketing begins and during the website re-design stage. We always recommend doing a content audit on a website BEFORE starting the re-design, especially if it is a larger website that has a lot of history. A content audit is necessary in order to properly keep track of all the content that is going to be included in the new site.

What is Included in a Website Content Audit?

A website content audit involves exporting the pages of the site using a tool and manually going through the pages of the site to get a better understanding of the content strategy, navigation architecture, and on-page SEO. The important information that is needed includes:

  • Navigation Title
  • Page Name
  • All Page URL’s
  • Meta Title
  • Meta Description
  • 301 Redirect Table
  • Keyword Research
  • Comments

This information can be hosted in an excel file. More on the process below.

Website Content Audit Process

Everyone performs their website content audits differently. There isn’t really a right or wrong way to do it as long as all of the necessary information is easy to access and clearly defined.

Step One: Run a Crawl Report

The best way to begin gathering content information for the site is by simply running a crawl report. This will produce necessary elements including: URL, meta title, meta description, and more. Highlight areas of the crawl report that may need improvement such as: missing meta titles or descriptions, long title tags, missing header tags, etc. By keeping this information in a separate tab, you will know if the site needs to be re-siloed, has missing content and SEO, etc. This also allows you to see all of the URLs of the site which can help you with your next step.

crawl report

Step Two: Layout the Navigation

In the same spreadsheet, different tab, begin manually going through each page of the site in order. Gather the title for the top level navigation first. Then begin gathering titles of secondary navigation pages in a secondary column. Include the URLs in the third column. Comments for each page in the fourth column. This makes it really easy to see what the focus strategy is per page at a high level. This also helps create the correct silo architecture each site should have for better rankings.

Step Three: 301 Redirect Table if Needed

When going through the navigation and content of the website, you’ll probably notice redundancies in pages, or find certain pages that are located under the wrong top level navigation. With those, you want to make sure they are properly 301 redirected, so there are no 404 errors created from moving the pages. This also is a necessary if the website has any backlinks pointing to specific pages within the site. 301 redirects are Google-friendly redirects. In the column next to your landing page URLs, create a column next to that titled “301 URL”. Create the new name of the URL so that it includes the proper category names needed to be properly siloed.

For example:

Old URL: www.example.com/plumbing/

You want the plumbing page to be hosted under the ‘Services’ silo.

New URL: www.example.com/services/plumbing/

Pretty simple, just time consuming if you have a ton of URLs that need to be properly siloed.

content audit

Step Four: Keyword Research

In order to properly optimize each landing page of the site, you have to understand how users are searching for your product or service. In a separate tab of the same excel file, you can use the Google Keyword Planner to discover keyword opportunities. This was explained in our recent blog post more in detail: How Content and Links Work Together for Better Organic Marketing

Step Five: Get to Work!

Now that you have all of the content information properly laid out in an excel document, you can get to work. Refer to your crawl report to prioritize which pages need to be re-written and optimized by looking for errors that stand out. Use your keyword research to incorporate the right keywords in each page. Once those errors and pages are complete, you can refer to the new website architecture for any new pages that may need to be written. A lot of re-architecture means writing pages that were missing before. Get those done next or simultaneously with the other pages that have errors. Lastly, implement the new optimized content with the 301 redirects.

Why a Website Content Audit is Necessary for a Successful Re-Design

As you can see, there are many moving pieces to a content audit. Some companies are quick to sell a website re-design and simply move existing content over. The content should be part of the re-design process because it is a huge contributing factor to the overall user experience and how Google indexes and ranks the site. This can easily be overlooked in the re-design process which can lead to issues later such as:

  • Loss in website rankings when 301 redirects aren’t properly implemented
  • Duplicate content issues
  • Missed opportunities for proper on-page optimization with rankings and conversion
  • Technical website errors

These are just to name a few. The website content audit needs to be done in order to catch any errors and mistakes during the process.

The content audit also helps set up opportunities for future months of marketing. When a site has a fresh design, fresh content, and fresh navigation, it will be clear if anything is missing from the content. For on-going marketing, you can collect ideas for new landing pages that can be developed in future months which will help with the organic SEO and the overall user-experience, leading to increased conversions.

When the new design is live there is also a final step, which is to review the work for accuracy. Even though you laid it out all pretty in an excel file, things still may be missed. Run a new crawl report to find any missing elements and manually go through each page to see if anything stands out. Refer to our website checklist to make sure everything is cohesive with your strategy and you’ve addressed everything found in the initial audit.

Bottom Line

In order to reduce organic traffic downtime, increase organic traffic from the re-design, and set up future months of content strategy for the website; always start with a content audit. The content audit works hand in hand with the overall sales funnel of the website. If the website is hard to navigate, missing important content, and not properly optimized per page – you’re losing money.

Learn more about how we can help you with your re-design by auditing your site here, or call us today: 800.871.4130

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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Top 5 Benefits of a Website Audit

This entry was posted in Audit, Websites and tagged , , on by .

What do you think of when you first hear the word “audit?”. For most people in the business world, this word conjures up powerful fears because many times audits are not a good thing (if you have ever Top 5 Benefits of a Website Audit - ESEO Monsterreceived a letter from the IRS in the mail, you know exactly what I am talking about… *gulp*).

However, in this case, performing an audit of your website and online brand is a very good thing and essential in developing a solid website and marketing strategy.

Think of it this way – whenever you fine-tune a process at your business, you’re technically auditing it in order to address the issues and improve its performance.

The same idea applies to your website, which if it isn’t already, soon might just be your main source of business.

If you have an internet marketing company audit your website, you can (or should) expect at the bare minimum to evaluate and suggest recommendations to improve the following:

1) Conversion Rates (AKA “Sales”) – Let’s face it; this is what you want any internal audit you perform to do, right?  A website audit should examine your top landing pages and their design, content and calls-to-action to ensure they maximize conversions.  It’s not a simple process – it can take months to figure out what really works for your website.  However, through strategic planning, testing and analysis, an audit should lead you to increased ROI’s.

2) Better SEO – SEO has changed drastically in recent years. Google actually makes about 500 changes to its algorithm per year (whoa!). What works now will likely be much different than what works next year, or even next month for that matter. Good SEO always focuses on providing the best user experience first and pleasing the search engines second. Focusing on users first also protects you from constantly analyzing every last detail of your SEO. Just remember, Google wants to serve up the very best websites. If your user experience sucks, your bounce rates and repeat visitors will be low and that is data Google will use against you. A good website audit will evaluate your SEO and how it overlaps with your user experience so you can find a good balance that makes your users AND Google happy.

3) Enhanced Usability – The design and functionality of your website is limited only by your imagination (and the team of experts you hire to execute your ideas). However, an overly complicated design, busy web pages and too much information are actually bad for your site. If your website doesn’t tell your visitors they are in the right place in a clear and concise way, they will leave quickly – and likely never visit again. A website audit can help you nail down the areas of your site that should be simplified, so you can determine what structure, content and function works best for your users.

4) Stronger Content – A technical website audit will check things such as bounce rates, time on site, page views, etc. – which are extremely important areas to improve upon for better search engine indexing. However, people AND search engines come back to your website repeatedly because of the quality of the content you have to offer.  Auditing your content helps you understand which types of content they like, as well as how they like to view it (words, images, video etc…). An audit can help you decide on a solid content strategy for your website and blog that will focus on what your users want specifically – and happy users in turn lead to better organic rankings with the search engines.

5) Improved Organic Search Visibility – In order to increase your search engine rankings you have to first understand what you want to rank for. Good organic search rankings start with a solid keyword strategy. Once you understand your market and competition, you can develop an on-page SEO plan which will integrate your target keywords into specific areas of the content and code of your website. Google and the other search engines determine what your website should rank for based off of the content and on-page optimization of your website. If you don’t tell them what you are an authority for, how will they know what terms to serve you up for? A website audit should include keyword discovery and research which should then be integrated into your on-page SEO and off-site website marketing.

If You Haven’t Had One in a While (or ever) Now is the Time for a Website Audit

If you haven’t had a brand or website audit in the last year, now is the time! Yesterday’s search environment is much different than today’s and even relatively minor changes can have a large impact on your site’s search performance and conversions.

Click here to find out more about the Eminent SEO audit services, or better yet, give us a call at 1.800.871.4130… we are waiting…

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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