Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hands-on SEO Audit

Website audits are a great way to figure out what might be keeping your site from ranking well in search engines for a given keyword.

This post is not comprehensive, but definitely it will help you quickly identify major problems and also tell you what the current state of the website’s health is.

Here are some three basic steps to conduct website SEO audit analysis:

1. Check Google indexed/cached pages:

To do this open http://www.Google.com/ and enters site specific search “site:example.com” and clicks the search button.

By using above specific site search command you can see how many pages have been indexed in Google. My suggestion would be to check the cached page’s text only version and see how Googlebot is crawling and affecting the site. See how Googlebot crawls and indexes your site which will assist to identify issues like website homepage isn’t showing up as the first result.

2. Website Homepage Analysis:

This approach will help you critique your site and improve the performance of the site. Your home page is one of your most valuable assets. Below homepage analysis checklist will cover mostly every area that can impact your site’s online success.








• Does the homepage have enough content, at least one paragraph? 
• Does the page have good magnetic headlines which grab attention and draw users in? 
• Does the page have proper targeted keywords
  1. Keywords that you think can drive traffic to your business?
• Does the page have heading tags (H1, H2 etc) used? 
• Does the page have images, if yes does they have alt text and image title? 
• Does the page have title tags used?
• The best practice format for title tags is one of the following
  • Primary Keyword - Secondary Keywords Brand
  • Brand Name Primary Keyword and Secondary Keywords
• Does the page have meta description used? 
• Run a quick check on the URL change or URL is canonical (e.g. from your-domain.com/ to www. your-domain.com or from www. your-domain.com to www. your-domain.com/lame-keyword-in-URL-trick.html etc.) 
• Check domain, sub-domain and microsite for duplicate content.  
  1. To conduct that, search the engines for title tag (in quotes) or the first sentence of the content page (also in quotes). If there is more than one result from the given domain, sub-domain and microsite, then there is a duplicate content problem.
• Has the entire site, or important content being blocked via the robots.txt file?

• Check for XML Sitemap.
  1. Sitemap: www. your-domain.com/sitemap.xml
  2. You can examine the content of a sitemap.xml file by http://validator.w3.org/
• Check for Broken links.
  1. Are 301’s being used for all redirects?
  2. Custom 404 error page.
  3. Call to action button. 
3. Website Statistical Analysis

This is an important phase, analyzing the data from your website is very important. According to a book “Measuring the Success of your Website” by Hurol Inan. There are four phases of customer engagement. These phases are 1. Reach, 2. Acquire, 3. Convert, and 4. Retain.

I do statistical analysis to determine the amount of visits to each web page. This helps me to understand where the traffic comes in and what keywords or phrases used to find web pages. There are several steps, some of the ways that I use to analysis includes:
  1. How many visitors are coming to the website?
  2. What are the top paths that users use to navigate site?
  3. What are the traffic sources and where do visitors come from?
  4. If search engines, what keywords and phrases they are using to find website?
  5. How long do visitors stay on website?
  6. What is the bounce rate?
  7. What referral websites are sending the high visitors traffic?
The next step what I perform is to assess what changes are required in terms of visitors behaviour, time spent on various pages, most requested content and most requested keyphrases to improve conversions. This analysis helps me to build better digital marketing strategies to drive more traffic to increase conversion ratio.

There are lots of powerful, flexible and easy-to-use tools to analyze your traffic data in an entirely new way. Every aspect of a website and website marketing campaign can be measured and analyzed to ensure that maximum efficiency can be attained.
 
As a web strategist I help businesses and organization to be success online. I would highly recommend you to create a document that says what needs to be done. Instead, create a document that says what’s wrong with the website.

Happy Auditing!!

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10 comments:

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