We all already know that content is king and distribution is queen. But is it possible for this royal couple to rule effectively if the castle they live in is poorly built? What if its foundation is ramshackle, its construction is unsafe and its walls crumbling? Any rival can easily bring such a castle to ground.
So let your king and queen’s reign be long and prosperous; ensure their castle is strong and reliable enough. In other words, before developing a content strategy, you need to identify and fix any possible mistakes in your website’s structure that can hamper your success.
- Does your website load fast enough?
- Are you sure you don’t have any broken links?
- Do your URLs meet search engines’ criteria?
Let’s discover how you can check your website’s health together with our Twitter chat participants and our special guest, SEO consultant and coach Dagmar Gatell. And also we've created for you an ebook that will help you conduct your website audits quicker and more effective!
Technical SEO Checklist
To get a general idea of your website’s performance, you can check its most essential technical SEO elements. Here’s what you need to audit above all else:
Accessibility and indexability. Make sure your website’s content is accessible for search engines; if it isn’t, you won’t get any rankings. Check your robots.txt file, XML sitemap and HTTP status codes. Ensure search engine crawlers are indexing all of your website’s pages.
No duplicate content. If the content that you publish is not unique, this will have negative consequences for your rankings. E-commerce websites are the ones most often facing the problem of duplicate content.
Inbound links. Make sure you don’t have any broken links and that all deleted or moved pages have proper redirects (301 for permanent and 302 for temporary redirects).
Site speed. Your page load speed can seriously affect your website positions, especially when it comes to mobile users’ experience.
Optimized titles and meta tags. Ensure your titles and descriptions are unique for each page and don’t exceed the recommended length (30-65 characters for titles and 100-150 characters for descriptions).
Optimized images. All images on your website should have informative filenames and relevant alt texts. Also check that your images have the correct dimensions, so they don’t look stretched on your website.
Mobile-friendly criteria. Since Google has launched its mobile crawler on April 21, you need to optimize your website for mobile users in order to rank well in mobile search.
How Should You Optimize a Site's Content to Pass a Health Check?
Now let’s take a look at what key qualities your content should possess in order to be considered optimized.
I guess, it’s not even worth mentioning that all of your website’s content should be unique – both for your website in general (content is not copied from another website) and for each page (there are no pages with same content on your website).
Make sure your content has a clear and transparent structure: use headings and subheadings, highlight key points, use bullet points and create lists. Well-structured content makes it easier for people to read your text and easier for search engines to understand what a page is about.
Check that your targeted keywords are included in your titles, meta tags, URLs and on-page text. Find the optimal keyword density: too many keywords will be considered keyword stuffing, and too few keywords will make it difficult for search engines to understand your content’s topic. The keyword density formula suggested by SEOPressor: two to four keywords for every 100 words.
Always keep the end user in mind. Make sure your page’s content meets the specific need that your client will have at any point in the buying cycle.
SEO Audit Toolkit
Auditing a website is a difficult and time-consuming task. To save time and get better results, you’ll definitely need some tools.
Comprehensive audit tools:
- Screaming Frog - crawls your entire website and gives you a lot of insights on how to improve. You can also download it to your computer, which makes the crawling process faster.
- SEMrush Site Audit Tool - gives you a list of issues, prioritized from severe errors to recommendations. You can also access the historical and comparative sections, where you’ll see your website’s progress since previous audits.
- Google Search Console - a great resource for checking your website’s technical health. You’ll be able to identify crawl errors, structured data errors, etc.
- WooRank - scans your website and searches for indexation problems, missing metadata, duplicate content, backlink issues and so on.
- Zadro Web SEO Auditor - a great SEO audit tool that provides insights and easy to understand data to help you fix technical errors, with additional keyword data and more.
Accessibility and performance checkers:
Broken link checkers:
Duplicate content and plagiarism checkers:
Page speed checkers:
- PageSpeed Insights by Google
What Are the Most Common SEO Mistakes that Audits Reveal?
How Can Marketers Tell if Their SEO Agency is Doing a Good Job?
For the majority of business owners, working with an SEO agency is like stumbling through the dark. Even if you regularly receive a lot of fancy reports and graphs, you still might not know for sure if your SEO company is effectively doing what you’re paying them for.
An SEO agency won’t push your website to the first positions in couple of weeks as if by magic. But even if an agency cannot show you immediate results, it should still be able to regularly demonstrate exactly what it’s done.
You can already estimate how reliable your SEO agency is during the planning stage. How are they setting goals for your business and how are they going to measure the results?
An increasing flow of traffic and improvement in your rankings can be trustworthy signs that you’ve chosen the right agency. Consistently ranking for your targeted keywords, including the long tail ones, and getting on the first page of Google are indicators of success.
A good SEO agency will focus on metrics that are relevant for your business goals. And if you’re receiving monthly reports filled with confusing, meaningless numbers that have nothing to do with your real targets, something is probably wrong.
What SEO Audit Fix Has Had the Highest Impact on Your Search Rankings?
Our chat participants shared some practical advice on eliminating technical website issues to get better results:
Now it’s time to put theory into practice and check your website’s health. To make your job easier, we’ve prepared a checklist for an on-site SEO audit that includes an explanation of the most essential points you’ll need to consider. Download the checklist and an ebook with explanation of the most common issues now and find out if there are any mistakes on your site that you’ve missed!
Download our handy checklist to assess the most common website issues!
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