10 Essential Elements of an SEO Audit

By July 19, 2016SEO Audit

What Do We Look for in an SEO Audit?seo audit brisbane

If you’ve had one of our SEO video audits, there’s a good chance that some of the terminology will be unfamiliar. If you haven’t had an audit on your website, you can get one here.

In this post, I’ll run through what these audits look at and explain in more detail what it all means and why we focus on certain areas over others.

The SEO audit is broken into 10 main parts. These are:

  1. What is SEO and why is SEO important for you.
  2. Your Keyword rankings
  3. How does your brand name look in Google?
  4. Crawl Errors
  5. On page SEO
  6. Backlinks
  7. Google Penalties
  8. Site speed
  9. Mobile Friendliness
  10. Content

1. What is SEO and why is it important for you?

SEO or search engine optimisation is the process helping your website to be more visible in search engines. The higher a website ranks for particular keywords, the more traffic that the site should get.

SEO is broken up into ‘on page’ (internal technical items which allow Google to see your site) and ‘off page’ (external factors which are helping or hindering your site rank such as backlinks and content marketing).

2. Keyword Rankings

Keyword are the words that people write into google to search for something.

For each industry, there are valuable keywords where if your website ranks on page 1, you will get a lot more traffic than if you were ranking on page 2.

There are 10 organic listings on each page. A #1 position will get around 30-40% of the traffic for that search where as a #10 ranking will get around 5%.

ranking

3. Brand Name Search

A good first test of your site’s SEO is typing your brand name into google and seeing how it looks. Here we look for the following:

  • Is your site in Google (indexed)?
  • Is it ranking number 1 for your brand (it should be).
  • Are there sitelinks there and are they appropriate.
  • Are there other listings for your brand e.g. reviews, social media sites etc.

4. Crawl Errors

Google ‘crawls’ the web frequently and updates it’s index to included all relevant websites. Sometimes it can’t find a site or it can’t find all the pages within a site.

This is called a crawl error – not good for you if you want Google to find all your hard earned content.

5. On page SEO

These are items on and in the backend of your website that enhance it’s ‘Google friendliness’. These include:

  • Title tags
    • The title of each page, viewed in the browser tab. The words in your title are a very important ranking factor and will show in Google search results.
    • Make sure the main keyword of the page is in the title tag and make it interesting so people want to click through to the page from Google.
  • H1, H2, H3 etc tags
    • In the content of your page, Google want to see a structured article with headings and sub headings. Your H1 tag is your heading – similar to a title tag so put some good keywords in there.
    • H2’s will be your subheadings and as we go deeper into the topic, you may want to use H3’s and so on.
    • But be careful not to put the same keyword into every tag – this is known as keyword stuffing and can negatively affect rankings. Just write naturally, and it should work out fine…
  • Use plenty of relevant images and optimise them with alt tags.
  • Make your URL’s descriptive e.g. wilmullins.com/contact is a more SEO friendly URL than willmullins.com/p342
  • Link out to relevant resources.
  • Link to other relevant pages on your site.
  • Optimise page speed.
  • Use related LSI keywords.
  • Have your social buttons on the page.
  • Make your site mobile friendly.
  • Post long content (not for the sake of it, but you just need enough detail to cover the topic fully). 

6. Backlinks

The more and higher quality links you have coming into your website, the better you will rank. A backlink is clickable text hyperlink from another website. Like this.

Google is a bit like a popularity contest. If a lot of sites link to one site, Google sees this site as being popular and ranks it better. A lot of people link to wikipedia – and it ranks very well.

But remember, 1 great link to your site from a well known website will always be better than 1000 bad links that you bought from a shady dealer. Shady backlinks can get you penalised and even booted out of Google so best idea is to play nice.

7. Google Penalties

Google are constantly updating their algorithm. Back in the day, it was very easy to manipulate rankings. Stuff a few keywords all over your site, get some dodgy backlinks and you were ranking number 1.

panda

Effect on traffic from a Google Panda Penalty

But it didn’t last long. Google can penalise your site automatically (e.g. if you go over a certain threshold) or manually. Many businesses approach us because they can’t understand why they are on page 5 and not moving.

As part of the audit, we’ll check if you’re under a penalty. Getting out of a penalty can take months or at worst it may be better to start on a new domain. In some instances, it may be worthwhile putting in a reconsideration request to Google. 

8. Site Speed

Google wants their users to have a good experience. They will  deliver search results of websites that are fast. If your site loads slowly, it won’t rank well.

A slow site can be caused by a number of things – hosting, large images, videos, code etc. 

9. Mobile Friendliness

Mobile usage is increasing and google want people to have a good experience while browsing the web on mobile. You need a mobile responsive site (i.e. one that responds to all screen sizes). 

10. Content

The core of good SEO. Do you have good content? Is it easy to read? Does it solve your customers problems or entertain them? Are you sharing and promoting the content to your market, to your industry?

5 great pieces of content is better than 100 pieces of mediocre content. But content just sitting there on your site won’t do much. You need to tell the world, tell your customers and tell the people in your industry. 

Now What?

Would you like an SEO audit of your website? Just fill in this form here.

About Will Mullins

If you need more traffic from Google, then you need an specialised SEO person in your team.Feel free to contact me any time on issues such as:"We rank OK but want to rank better". "We don't show up anywhere in Google!" "We used to get enquiries from Google but haven't been for a while". "We've had a website built and we need it to show up in the search results”.My services include keyword and competitor research, on page SEO, off page link building, local SEO and content strategy. If you'd like me to have a look at your website and rankings, please contact me on 1300 303 810 or email will@willmullins.com.au.