The Step by Step Guide to
SEO Website Audit
This is a complete guide & process of seo site audit by professionals in 2018
Overview of the Article:
What is SEO Website Audit1
Why SEO Audit is Needed2
SEO Audit Process-flow Guide3
4 Usability & Structural Audit
SEO Website Audit
All great SEO pros start their SEO with a rock solid SEO audit
and a complete analysis of factors that are affecting a websites
A solid SEO audit helps you future proof your SEO and helps
you rank faster than the competition. However, note that each of
the ranking factors play a different role on a niche to niche basis.
Put together this massive checklist and guide of things that go
into doing an SEO audit because I did not find any place online
that lists everything one needs to do an SEO audit and analysis.
Why do an SEO Audit?
Doing a thorough SEO audit will help you understand how a site stands
versus the competition. Gone are the days where you could just slap out
garbage content sites and throw links at them using automated SEO tools
to see results quickly. That does not work anymore. You need to understand
why your site stands where it does.
There is a lot more analytical work required in SEO now - and if you want to
get faster and more effective rankings for your target keywords - there is no
skipping a site audit.
The data from your high level SEO audit will be priceless as it will help you
rank the site faster.
Every action you take to play the SEO game - will be backed scientifically
and multiply the ranking gains the site gets. You'll also avoid wasting your
time and effort in doing things that don't matter and wont help.
What is your sites "Quality Score"?
The primary factor to rank sites is the "quality score" that Google assigns to
Every website has an "entity database" with Google and is assigned a kind of
"Quality Score" metric.
This metric is based on Google’s overall evaluation of your site.
The better your sites quality score, the easier it will be for you to rank it high.
Remember, again since the Google AI is tracking real user behavior and using
that as a quality signal - we are trying to avoid the scenario where the user visits
out page and then clicks the back button which effectively takes him back to
Google to search again or continue the search. If this happens, it indicates that
users did not find the information they are looking for on our site.
The elements I mention below all contribute to a better quality
score by aiding navigation and increasing engagement.
Before I list all the specific elements, here's a summary of what
Google AI is attempting to measure as a quality score signal...
On-Page Content :
How does your sites content lines up with the competition (semantical relations
of words using vector graphs) - AS COMPARED to the other ranking sites?
SERP User Metrics :
What are the Click Through Rate on your listing when you rank in the SERPs -
as compared to the other ranking sites?
On-Page User Metrics :
How are users interacting and behaving when they visit your site? What's their
well time, satisfying search intent and terminating search query, bounce rates
etc. again - as compared to the other ranking sites?
Traffic Metrics :
How much of actual traffic is flowing from your backlinks on the web,
including your social signals and incoming social traffic?
Link Building Metrics :
WHat is the quality of your backlinks? What is their relevancy? How
natural looking are they? What is their link velocity?
These are some of the top most ranking factors, however - you should
note that each niche has its own set of benchmarks and baselines for
each of these factors.
This is why you need to always closely examine what is happening with
the top ranking sites (your competitors) in your niche. You may also want
to compare the data with the sites ranking on or around spot 100 -
because sites way down the ranks tell you what you don't want to do.
That said, lets now go over a step by step
checklist of items that go into a thorough
SEO audit check.
Auditing Core Website Elements
These are items that need to be checked right at the start. They're
related to the overall larger site elements that will help you get a birds
eye view of the audit as you dig deeper into the other elements.
Site / Domain Age
Sites that have been registered (without letting them drop of expire) have more domain
age. Sites that have aged a lot have more established trust in the eyes of Google, IF and
only IF all other site metrics - including on-page and off-page are healthy, and they have
not been spammed or have any shady SEO links (black hat SEO etc) done on them.
Once a site is spammed, and gets into an algorithmic or manual penalty - no matter how
old or aged the site is - it can never gain its original level of trust back in the eyes of
Google. Age in this scenario does not matter and will not score you any advantage. A
spammed and penalized site, is useless to rank from an SEO perspective.
Also, a dropped domain (one for which the renewal is not done) loses its age when it is
re-registered. When you register it after it drops you gain its backlink power (if you set it
up correctly) but you lose its age trust signal. The domain can still be used as long as it
was not have have a historical record of spam or de-indexation.
Where does the site resolve to? Do both the www and non-www versions of
the site resolve to the same location (that is either www or non-www)?
In rare cases other sub-levels are used, but that is an advanced topic for now
. Simply access both the www and the non-www URLs and see if the site
resolves to one common URL in both cases (you can see if a common URL
in the browser tab finally shows up when the site appears in the browser).
You should also check if it shows up as http or https and if there is any issue
with the http vs https redirection.
How well structured is the robots.txt file? Does it exclude any important pages
from being indexed by mistake? Does it exclude pages that result in duplicate
content from being indexed (tags, category etc.)?
Duplicate pages may not harm you if they're not excessively done, but its
always better to keep the site clean of internal duplicate content pages.
You can excluding pages to crawl and index via your robots file, and or the
no-index meta tag inside the page itself.
The .htaccess file tell your server what to do with when your site is accessed
by browsers. You can define if certain urls on your site and if it should be
resolving them to other URL structures using complex or simple commands
that do the mapping.
You can also block certain files or folders with passwords to the public or
from certain bots. For example if you are still setting up a site and don't want
it accessed - you can block it. This is very useful when building your Private
Blog Network, because you can block tools like Ahrefs and Majestic from
crawling your PBN site and hence hide any backlinks to your main money
site from being discovered by your competitors (and therefore hide your PBN
Is the core URL structure safe from URL parameters.
For example, text in the URL of pages (address bar of browser) on the site
like - ?postid=23345
Proper implementation of permalinks structure is important, so Google can
understand the intent of the pages, and title and related keywords in the URL
help, but you need to exclude any strange looking URL parameters that
appear in them. Google may be thinking that people don't like them, so why
Your sitemap needs to be planned and structured properly. A sitemap tells the
Google bot which pages to get to, how and also the date they were created or
You can also indicate which pages don't need to be crawled or are not important.
You call the Googlebot to crawl and index your site from inside the Google Search
Console. However, do note that although Google "looks" at your sitemap - Google is
moreinterested in doing a raw crawl of your site - jumping from one link to another to
spider all the pages in its database. By doing that, it also forms a link map of your
site into its own index - which tell it which pages on your site are the most important
pages (they are the ones that have the most links - the most prominent links).
So, its very important to internally link to your most important pages the most from
other pages on your site - and to link to these pages from other pages that have the
most traffic, content metrics and user metrics.
Site in Google Index
Checking if your site is indexed properly is essential. You can do this inside
Search Console. You need to make sure that all your pages are crawled and
indexed and that you don't have any 404 errors or other page indexing issues -
which includes the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) indexing issues - should you
already have submitted your AMP powered site for the mobile index.
To check if the site is in the Google Index simply to a search like this...
If your site appears as the first result, it is indexed. If not, then it is not indexed
and has been manually penalized by Google and therefore "de-indexed".
Basic Penalty Check
Google has a manual webspam team and a complex automated spam checking
system and algorithm - that sends out notices to webmasters through the
Search Console warning them against issues it has found that are related to the
sites profile for ranking in their SERPS.
Checking if there is a penalty - algorithmic or manual on your site, if you haven't
done so, is essential.
You can do this by checking inside Search Console. You need to see if you
received any notices from Google.
The notices Google sends are of two kinds - "Action against Site" or "Action
If you have an "Action against Site" notice - then your site drops out totally from
the SERPs and you have essentially been de-indexed.
There will be a notice from the manual webspam team (real person) inside
Search Console messages. If this happens, you cannot do much other than
fix things and then send a plea and appeal to Google literally begging them to
put your site back in their index - because you have cleaned up everything
you do (or your SEO company did to your site).
If you get an "Action Against Links" notice - there is no plea you can send.
Your site or some pages of it - would basically have a lot of rankings. To fix
things you need to fix links and any other on-page and other issues and wait
for the re-crawl to happen. Since the Penguin algorithm is not real-time... you
will see ranking gains faster and you do not have to wait for a data-refresh to
happen to see any benefits of your link purge or SEO fixes.
Total No. of pages Indexed
Its very important that you check and compare the total number of pages that have
been indexed of your site. This is a key factor that needs to be seen, because if
there are pages that have not been indexed, but should be - then you need to
analyze why Google is not indexing them.
You can also use this data to check how many pages of content your have that
have a rich number of keywords as compared to the thin pages across your site.
Then, go ahead and measure this up with your competition (the top ranking pages
in your niche that keep appearing for your selected keyword searches) as a key
An SSL certifcate is an absolute must. Even if you are not giving visitors a
login, for them to access certain areas of your site - getting an SSL is
essential now and does help in boosting your trust and help in ranking higher.
For ecommerce sites and other sites that provide login areas - its an absolute
must, or users of chrome will see a "red screen" while they access your site.
Doing an SEO Content Audit of the Site
The trick in wining the content game is to write amazing content
that drives in natural links, mentions, social votes and real
clicks from others in your industry and niche, and makes you an
authority on the subject - while ensuring that each piece of your
content is technically SEO optimized properly.
You should typically...
➢ Avoid Excessive Thin Pages (Sub-300 words, no images)
➢ Avoid External Duplicate Content (Content copied from other sites)
➢ Avoid Internal Duplicate Content (Content found on multiple pages.
Use ‘rel=canonical’ if necessary)
➢ Your overall site should have a topically consistent theme.
➢ Your titles should also be naturally written and substantially
different articles (Do not have 5 different articles covering different
combinations and keywords of the same topic.
Here's a quick checklist of quantity of some elements the sites content
pages you want to rank, absolutely must have -
➢ Original Content (First found on your site)
➢ Original Images (First found on your site)
➢ 800+ words minimum (1250 to 3000 words recommended, depending on
intent of the page and competition)
➢ 5 to 7 pictures
➢ 1 video minimum
➢ 4+ Words In Title <title>
➢ Headline (H1) Tag
➢ Sub-headlines (H2, H3, H4) Tags
➢ Proper Grammar (Basic / Intermediate / Advanced)
➢ Proper Spelling (Does Google recognize the word or auto-suggest a
➢ High Quality Supplementary Content (Sidebar/Relevant Information
➢ See Navigation)
Title Tag with Keywords
Having the primary keyword you wish to rank the page for in its Title Tag, without
keyword stuffing the title (repeating the keyword more than once) is essential.
However, while doing this you need to ensure that your title is appropriate to the
page content and catchy enough so it gets higher click-throughs when its appears
in the SERPs.
If you make your title catch and not boring - more people will click on it - and when
they come to your site and engage with the content - Google will see both of these
in combination and give you higher staying power and nudges in your rankings.
You cannot drive a "click bait". You cant fool Google because its using people
power and real human user metrics now. Google will see the decline in user
engagement and bounce back metrics and drop your from rankings.
Unique Title Tag :
Your Titles should not repeat across your pages, and they need to be different
than those of your competitors.
Spammy Titles :
You should never write spammy titles that have keywords repeating or that don't
make sense (are spun) and appear only to try and get the page to rank higher.
Google is using AI to catch Titles that deviate from the baseline of top ranking
sites and can quickly detect any spam in the titles.
You can add a Meta description for each page, using ready made plugins like
Yoast for your CMS like WordPress. Make sure that you insert catchy description
that quickly summarize the core intent of the page - and at the same time that
they are written well to drive a higher CTR in the SERPs when your page shows
Just like Title tags, don't spam the description or stuff it with the same keywords
appearing over and over again. Write like you would normally, and if its a product
page - tell users right off the bat what the page is about and even announce a
special price in the description or a sale - because they will increase your CTR.
However, always make sure to follow through with your promise - because if you
don't then its a practice of "click bait" and Google will catch it with the high bounce
back rates and low user engagement levels.
Every page must be optimized with proper H1, H2, H3, H4 tags. Have one H1
and then the rest of the page can be the other Heading tags. Your primary
keyword must appear in your H1 and then you can choose how to insert it in
your H2, H3 etc based on the number of words in your page.
Make sure you also insert semantically related keywords across your Heading tags.
If you are trying to rank at position zero (search snippet area) then your H2 tags
must have related questions that match up your search query for that page.
Having unique, high quality images is a must. Simply lifting images from other
sites or open Creative Commons or free stock photo sites is not the ideal
method. You need to image edit base images that you find - so that they are
eventually unique images.
You can check if your images are unique by going to images.google.com and in
putting or uploading your image or its URL location. If your site shows up on top
for the image (or if its the only image that shows up) - then its unique. Google
can also now "see" whats inside each images with its AI - so if you are a site
about dogs - make sure you put up dog images in your pages and not cats
Further, Google can read text inside images - so you could add some text too,
if you want to use some advanced optimization techniques.
As a general rule of thumb -
➢ You absolutely need to make sure that the filenames for your images are the
primary or secondary keyword you are ranking the page they are located in.
➢ Putting in an "image caption" is also an essential element now.
➢ So is adding proper ALT attributes to the image - which can be a slightly
longer combination of primary keywords in a sentence.
➢ A page that has around 1000 words should have at-least 5 to 7 images in it.
Inserting videos from your video channel on Youtube or popular videos in your
niche from non-competing sites will help you rank.
Currently around 1250 words of content are doing very well. However, you need
to check the competing pages for the specific keyword that you are trying to rank.
At times you need long form content that could well easily go over 5000 words.
Be prepared to position yourself as an expert in your niche. There is no room for
mediocrity any more. Look at what the top ranking sites and content pages are
Lower than 800 keywords is not advised for primary ranking pages.
Keyword density is the percentage of appearance of your primary keyword
against the total number of words on the page. This is one of the most important
factors when you optimize your pages for specific keywords.
Currently the only way to do this is to make sure that you look at the keyword
density of the competition. However, around 2% to 3% seems to work well for
1250 words per page.
There is another very important factor though. Just primary keywords density will
not do by itself. You need to ensure that you have semantically related keywords
(vector words) also sprinkled throughout your content in a natural manner.
All in all - you need to emulate the keyword distribution metrics of the top ranking
sites... because these sites have the ideal metrics.
Internal Contextual Linking
Internal contextual links are links that appear inside the body of your content - with
in the main content area of the page. These are not navigational links - which are
different and appear mostly sitewide - on the header, footer or sidebars.
Contextual links pass down more link juice - specially if the surrounding words
(5 to 7 words on either side) are related to them and if the page content is relevant
to the page your are linking to.
They also tell Google that the page you are linking to is important. Further, if
people actually click on the link and visit the page - then that is another positive
signal. Pages that get more traffic and dwell time - usually rank higher. The same
goes when your site competes with other pages within it.
Contextual links can be image links too. Make sure to ensure they are do-follow
Sitewide Links :
Sitewide links are mostly navigational links that appear sitewide on all of your
pages - and are located on the header, footer or sidebars.
Spammy Content on Page :
If you put spammy content on your site that is spun, copied, makes no sense and
is keyword stuffed etc - providing little or no value to the visitor your site will get
penalized quickly and will never rank for your keywords.
Spinning and putting garbage content on your money site or creating thousands
of crappy doorway pages using tools in the market - is a surefire way of getting hit.
Its a waste of time and effort - so don't do it, unless you are trying something
core blackhat and its on a throwaway site that your really don't care much about.
Duplicate Text :
Your site needs to have unique content mostly. If you copy content from
other places and 80% of your site has duplicate content - Google wont rank
you for the keywords you are trying to rank for.
However, you may curate content from different sources, cite them and give
your unique point of view to the content.
How much leeway you have for this, depends on your niche and type of site
etc. Just make sure that majority of your pages have thick content that has
depth and is unique.
Depending on your industry and niche, you need to keep adding fresh
content to your site or updating the key pages or the top ranking posts etc.
Make sure that you update content that needs to be updated if there is new
happenings on the topic.
Google rewards content freshness with an immediate ranking boost, that
may taper down over the weeks. But, there is definitely a strong co-relation
between content updates (freshness) and rankings.
Secondary Content (altshiftA)
Secondary content is content that cannot be seen initially in the browser or by
the Google bot. Things like accordion effects are an example, where the user
has to click to reveal the content.
However, it is interesting to note that Google is treating secondary content on
mobile devices as primary and since Google has moved to a mobile first index (
over desktop first index) - you could get away with hiding large amounts of
secondary content in accordion sliders - so Google sees it but at the same time
it is not an eyesore to users.
This is an amazing way to insert large amounts of content on pages that will
help boost your rankings - without breaking any user experience issues
(for example on category pages of ecommerce sites).
Images hiding Content
This is blackhat and should not be done - on purpose or by error. Make sure your
site does not have any areas where the images overlap the content due to CSS
issues or site design and layout issues. Google can see when this happens on your
site and they will flag your site for quality.
Local Site, Title with Location
If you are a site or business targeting local visitors with a local presence in the area
you want to rank for - you need to ensure that your site Title Tag has the location /
region mentioned in it.
This will help you rank organically and also in the Google Local "snack pack". Rank
in the Local Snack pack rankings have a ton of other items you have to cover - but
having you location appear in your main page titles - is absolutely essential.
Ads to Content Ratio
The ads to content ratio is important when you have advertisements on your
site. Google does not want to penalize you for ads - but if you break the user
experience with excessive ads throughout your pages - it is a big red flag.
Inserting too many ads above the fold of your web pages can result in ranking
drops - and some people say the recent 2017 update called "Fred Update"
(the very first of Fred updates) was specifically targeting sites with heavy
Under no circumstance should your site have thin content spotted with
excessive ads. That will demote you very quickly.
OBLs to Authority sites
The pages on your site that are long form content or are the key pages -
must have Outbound Links to other "authority Sites" and pages in your
industry or niche. By no means should you link to your competitors pages -
but Google is rewarding pages that understand which other authority pages
exist in its niche - and pull them into a "link cluster". back in the days we
were all scared to link out to ther sites - fearing that our link juice will leak out
. However, this is not the case and Google is rewarding people for sharing
other authority and relevant content online.
Content Layout and User Experience
Every page of your site must perform a specific function. Weather its a lead
capture page or a long form content page. It must be appealing and perform
what it is supposed to do.
When users visit your page and interact with it the way they should - the appropriat
e signal is passed down to Google which helps you rank higher or solidifies your
rankings (in the event Google is testing you with the Google dance process).
Your pages must have appropriate sub-headings, images, videos, links, and proper
formatting and written in a way so people can digest and consume your information
easily. Every element on the content of the page must lead to the next. You must
draw your visitors in and get them engaged so your bounce rates are low (lower
than the competition).
You can do this for example, by having an engaging title that piques the curiousity
of the user and draws them in. Then have a great opening line and a paragraph
and insert a visually appealing relevant image right up high - that may be cut off
by the above the fold mark - so the user is enticed to scroll further.
Then once they scroll, you draw them on to the next element - which could be a
fancy table with some data or charts etc. or neatly laid out elements etc.
Code Quality and Valid HTML and CSS :
Your site must have valid HTML and CSS code and it must be mobile friendly.
Google has clearly said that mobile is now a more significant channel for them an
d they are now a mobile first index.
This means your site has to be responsive design that shows up without any
technical or user experience issues on mobile. If mobile visitors to your site
bounce back or don't stick or cannot perform an action they intend to - then your
engagement levels will drop that will hurt your overall rankings.
Further if your site suffers from mobile technical issues - then Google will also
penalize your site directly for it.
You should make sure that your pages do not have -
➢ Broken code (HTML errors, PHP Errors)
➢ Broken code (Broken <div> tags)
➢ Broken links (404 pages, missing images)
➢ Deprecated Code. Infinite loop pages
➢ No overlapping text
➢ No images exploding outside of <div> tags
➢ No hidden text (Turn off CSS to see)
Proper Grammar :
Writing content on your pages with proper grammar and without spelling mistakes
etc. does play an important role.
Standing out in the SERPs :
Build a high-value Call To Action in your SERP description
Use Power words like - you, free [best], no [today], new. because ["reason"]
For example -
Wow! Get the Best Fish!You can get the best fish for low prices. Free Delviery.
*** Visit Today ***
While this may look excessive in many niches and a bit overdone, its always
good to see how your listing in the SERPs stands out from the other results.
Usability & Structural Audit
A site has navigational issues, when it does not channel down traffic to relevant
pages in a transparent and obvious manner. This can happen when your
messages are not clean enough and you do not drive the click. It also happens
if you are attempting to rank a content page for a keyword and don't lead the
user to the conversion page where they terminate their search intent.
Too many sub-menus or a heavily cluttered menu with excessive drop down
choices that are not separated in a clean manner and cause confusion can also
Your site must have these basic navigational units which include
• Dynamic Navigation specific to each category
• Breadcrumbs navigation
• Internal links within the content
• Related links (Relevant to the content)External Links (Relevant to the
• Wide Categories Navigation
• User Sitemap
Supplementary content is content that is does not appear with the main
content area of the page, but appears in other secondary areas. This can
be as widgets or as additional description in ecommerce product pages. If
your supplementary content is not relevant to the primary content on the
page, it could be a quality issue in the eyes of Google.
If this exists at a high density then Google may penalize the page for the
keyword it is trying to rank for. Low quality and unrelated supplementary
content causes topic dilution and distracts the main focus of the topic of the
Presence of Blog
Most sites doing SEO need to have a blog. Almost every niche needs one
these days. The blog needs to provide relevant content on the topic and
establish the authority of the site for that topic.
Content > Traffic > and Commerce are deeply intertwined.
However, the strategy that goes behind each of the blogs would definitely be
different across the different niches.
Number of Posts
The number of blog posts in the blog area of site and its frequency is
an important factor. In an information hungry niche the new posts on
various related topics need to be pushed out frequently and in
Again always study what your competitors who are dominating the
SERPs are doing and try and beat them at it with better metrics. How
ever, be careful that you don't put out low quality content that does
not engage users.
Quality of Posts
By quality of the post we are basically talking about the overall
authority and ability to engage. A post with low quality will eventually
get lower engagement levels by users and that signal will be passed
down to Google eventually - that will result in loss of overall quality
score of the site. Churning out content that is put out for the sake of
driving blog post numbers and not the users - is a failing strategy.
Rich snippets are basically schematic tags that do different things
on the pages of your site in a structured data format that Google
can understand what the page is about better - and therefore
categorize the page and make it visually appear better or rank
better in the right clusters in the SERPs with the right group of sites
Audit Check of Essential Pages
Knowing which are your core pages is essential. You may have a page that lists
your core product for sale or a page that is your opt-in page for a new lead.
Always understand and identify these pages so you can channel appropriate
actions to them in a proper flow - from blog content, social media, advertisements
Other Essential Pages :
Having the following pages is a must for every site. It builds trust with the user
and abides by certain laws in each area and tells Google that you care for your
users rights and are keeping them informed.
Every site absolutely needs to have the following pages if they need to build
proper trust with Google (and site visitors).
➢ About Us / Our Company / Company
➢ Terms of Service
➢ If your site is an Ecommerce Site (or selling anything) you need to have
Shipping Information, Refund Policy, Refund Policy
➢ In addition you should have the following pages and elements updated
Auditing Site Analytics
Google Analytics and Search Console data - both reveal insights about users
and your SEO that you cannot get elsewhere. Understanding the data each of
them reveals about your site and acting on any problem areas is part of good
You cannot use one without the other and they both show you a separate set
Doing a thorough audit of the the following metrics and analytics of the site is
essential in understanding where the site stands, where the problem areas
are that need fixes and how how things can be improved - for better rankings.
Below are some important items you absolutely need to look at, but this is not
where it stops. Doing an ongoing analysis as you make new posts, go about
doing SEO or making improvements to your site is essential and can help you
boost SEO and identify problem areas early.
Bounce Rate and Time on Site
Measuring the bounce rate of users to your site is one of the first user behavior
analytics you should be measuring. You can see this inside Google Analytics
Bounce rates that are more than 55% could be harming your rankings and you
need to bring them down as much as you can. Look at possible reasons why
people are entering and leaving your site - and also look at where this traffic is
If its coming from non-relevant pages that could be an issue. Improving this this
factor alone will increase user "dwell times" and give you a solid on-page metric.
The lower the bounce rate the better.
Here are some metrics you should match in general at the very least -
➢ Below 55% Bounce Rate
➢ Below 55% 0-10 Second Engagement Time
➢ 2+ Pageviews/Per visitor
➢ Time On Site 2+ Minutes
Broken Links, 404 errors and/or Missing Pages
You can find broken internal links from within the Search Console. You need
to attend to each warning appropriately telling Google that you have fixed it.
Having excessive 404s will hurt your site if they are really 404s, because
anyone could escalate the 404s by pointing randomly to pages that don't
exist from external places, which is why this is not that big of a deal - but
should be looked at.
Desktop and Mobile Speed Tests
Testing the appearance and speed of your website ensures that visitors
are served your site quickly and don't click away. Google wants you to
have a fast site as it wants users to access information quickly.
You can improve your site speed by a ton of methods, but the overall
goal should be to test your site from different geo-locations using a tool
like pingdom and then attend to issues. You could go for a CDN
provider like Cloudflare or install caching plugins that speed up your
site by reducing database queries and therefore the server load.
Choosing the right hosting company for you is a critical decision and is
based on many factors including your CMS, expected site traffic, and
what your goals are for the site amongst others.
Backinks Profile Audit
It is always important to understand what kind of backlinks your site already has,
and how fast (link velocity) they were built etc.
Having too many thin backlinks can hurt you if you trip the backlink threshold
values in your niche - just like you would trip any other threshold variable.
Getting powerful links from authority sites is just as important as getting links from
relevant sites in your niche. You cannot build one without the other. Always have a
good mix of the different types of backlinks one can get.
The backlinks you get should also be getting you real traffic - and this is a factor
that is being measured now. Having a large number of backlinks that actually
produce no real clicks or traffic raises a flag with Google and trips the algorithm to
mark your backlinks as low quality.
While doing a backlink audit you need to definitely check -
➢ Type of backlinks the site has overall.
➢ The Power and Quality of each Backlink which can be the Majestic Trust
Flow vs Citation Flow, or Ahref Domain Rating or URL Rating of each backlink.
➢ The ratio of each kind of backlink - guest posts, news release, comments,
article links, sitewide thin links, etc.
➢ The anchors used for the backlinks and overall anchor cloud as well as the
sequence of the appearance of each backlink and anchor text.
➢ Link velocity of backlinks.
➢ Spam signals in the Backlinks Profile
➢ Do-Follow vs No-follow link ratio of backlinks
All these need to be looked at individually and then compared to the current top
ranking competitors. A site which as excessive amounts of backlinks as compared
to the competition and that is not ranking, indicates that the backlinks are too
spammy or the site content and user experience is very poor or there has been
spamor a penalty associated with the site.
Social Media Audit
Social is already a very important factor when it comes to ranking. Having social
channels that are active and have appropriate levels of user engagement will
power up your rankings.
Its important that you setup your social channels and interlink them and then
engage with your users on social with the right content and drive traffic to your site
through these channels. Racking up fake signals and fake followers who do not
engage or visit your site through the channels, is easily detected by Google as
false and it does not help your rankings.
Getting real users, who engage is important.
Getting your posts recycled or mentioned by other authority figures in your niche
can help you boost traffic, rankings and take your site viral - thereby pushing the
traffic levels further.Your Social Links and channels must be clearly specific
sitewide on your main site.
Your Social Accounts must stay active and healthy with new content being
added to them regularly. You could announce things you post on your blog or
a new product line you released on social.
Ensuring that one social channel interlinks and mentions your other social
channels so your followers and users may engage with you on multiple
channels are preferred channels is key. This is why you must interlink and
interconnect all your social profiles.
When you go about doing your content marketing and spreading your content
online, you must post the right content in the appropriate social channel - for
example video on Youtube about new product line vs business anniversary on
Twitter or Linkedin. This also ensures that people engage at higher levels with
your content and are not spammed with content they do not want.
Local SEO Audit
Local SEO helps you rank in the Google+ Local area which includes
the "Snack Pack" of top 3 spots for geo specific search queries that
relate to local businesses.
To qualify to appear in the snack pack or the resulting local search
pages, your business needs to be verified by the Google My Business
service, which involves registering, getting a physical post card from
Google with a code, validating the code and setting up perfect NAP (
Name, Address, Phone Number) data across your site, Google Maps,
and other citation services and directory listings.
NAP acronym sands for Name Address Phone. You need to ensure
that your are consistent in the way you list your Name, Address an
Phone data on your site and on other citation and directory sites.
Discrepancies in the way you are listed across various properties in
cluding your own site and on Google+Local, Google Maps, Yelp,
and all the other directory and citation sites - can result in the
Google Local engine to not give you ranking points for the citations.
Contact Us Page / Footer Insertion :
Your NAP data should be prefect and consistent in the footer sitewide
section of your site as well as on your Contact Us pages. Google looks at
this very closely for consistency. Your Contact Us page should also
include the following
➢ Proper Name, Address with ZIP and Phone Number
➢ Embedded Google Map
➢ Business Hours
That's it for now! Thanks for sticking with me
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