In the first post of this series, we talked about the questions you should ask to figure out whether or not you need an SEO audit. If you walked through those and found yourself saying, “I sure do need one,” then keep on reading.
So you need an SEO audit. Perhaps your organic traffic could be better. Or your competitors are smoking you out on search. Either way, you’ve decided that you want to step up your SEO game and discover where holes can be plugged and improvements can be made.
One of the first steps in your audit should be looking at on-site issues. This means checking out your own website to see what’s working well and what needs fixing. After all, at the end of the day your website is the key component to a successful SEO program. Since, you know, that’s where you want people to go.
Here are a few core items you should examine on your website:
You know what a searcher (and Google) doesn’t love? Broken website links. Not only do broken links affect user experience, but they also can affect your SEO ranking.
How does it hurt? One of the ways your website gets ranked is thanks to little guys like Google who crawl the links on your site. If it comes across a broken link, it can stop in its tracks and prevent it from being indexed.
There are many tools out there to help you discover broken links. They’ll scan your website and deliver a list of any links that aren’t working, which you can then fix or get rid of on your site.
Within Google Analytics, you have the option to check out how pages on your site do speed-wise. It will show you data around individual webpages, specific browsers and even offer suggestions on how to resolve the issues. You can find this in Analytics under Behavior.
Why is this important? Google has let everyone know that site speed factors into how it ranks pages in their search engine. Slow speeds = lower ranking.
If you’ve worked in marketing or communications for even the past 30 days, you’re well aware of how important mobile has become. People are using their mobile devices to access websites more than ever. Which means you have to be optimized as of yesterday in order to be in good SEO shape.
Google has a free tool that allows you to test whether or not your site is mobile ready. Check it out. If it’s not okay’d by the G machine, get mobile ready ASAP.
Those are some basic technical components to be on the lookout for when examining your own website. Google’s Webmaster Central blog also offers up some great information around how they crawl and index sites – which serves as good indicators on what you should be aware of for yours. Stay tuned for the next post in this series that will drill down more into search and keywords.
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