SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a process which affects the internet-based awareness of your website or webpage. This strategy can be better explained using an example. If you run a tailor shop in Lahore you know this business in the heart of Punjab is extremely competitive. Suppose you select the area of Defence to conduct your transactions. Seeing how Defence is one of the most popular marketplaces in the region, you’ll be facing stiff competition from similar firms. You’ll be wondering that even after a year, your products, though of high quality, are still selling less than your competitors. Then what distinguishes their service from yours?
If you log on to the internet, the first thing you’ll do is to search “Tailor Shop in Defence Lahore” on a popular search engine such as Google. You’ll notice that at least five of the tailor shops in your area are listed on the first page of the search results, whereas your website is nowhere to be seen. Imagine you’re a potential customer aiming to purchase an abaya. The first thing you’ll do is to search “Tailor Shop in Defence Lahore” and you’ll visit at least the initial three top search results. Thus, as your business is not listed even on the front page, then what probability does your company have of being recognized online?
No matter how frequently you post content on your business’s website, it should be SEO-friendly. This is done by implementing several SEO tactics comprising of, but not limited to, inbound and outbound linking, following a specified word count, and inputting proper keywords. Another SEO strategy is to check your SEO performance regularly. This tactic is known as an SEO Audit.
Why is an SEO Audit Required in 2021 especially for Small Businesses?
You must be aware that search engines rank your website in terms of many aspects using algorithms. This aspect include direct website visits, time on site, pages per session, content length, keyword in anchor, video on page, etc. Each webpage of yours gets assigned a different ranking. Nevertheless, SEO is an ever-changing process especially in 2019. You might face many challenges relating to SEO which cannot be solved as they used to be in the past (as by keyword stuffing). Google, Bing, Yahoo! Search, and all other search engines have their own algorithms, and these are in a constant change of flux. Add to this dilemma, your competitors gaining a higher ranking. Now, new updates must be implemented to make your old content relevant to modern times. An SEO Audit is mandatory in order to find out whether something on the site is broken, whether security is outdated, whether the site has been compromised, etc. Businesses usually conduct SEO Audits every six months while monthly and yearly SEO Audits are also popular.
An SEO Audit comprises of a triple of key points to keep in mind:
- Back-end factors (hosting and indexing)
- Front-end factors (metadata, keywords, and content)
- Outside references as well as link quality.
SEO Audit of Your Website in Less Than An Hour
- Begin with a crawl: A crawl is one of the most crucial elements of an SEO Audit. Besides pointing out simple errors such as broken links, bad keywords, poor images and page title issues, crawlers can point out redirects which are in excess, copied content, and pages which are unlinked. There are three ways to run a crawl of your website. One is to use a free or paid tool. Screaming Frog is one such tool. Simply download Screaming Frog, start the application, explore criteria for free and change criteria for payment, then add your website, and finally, click start to begin your crawl. The second technique is to run a manual test of how well your website is performing. You can gain answers to several questions such as whether or not your site shows up initially if you search it by name? Which amount of your pages show up in appropriate search results? At which point does your site appear in the results? Etc. By utilizing site:rootdomain, you can catch a glimpse of which of your pages are actually being crawled. You can identify your current SEO score by utilizing SEO SiteCheckup and it will reveal the number of broken links and recognize your most frequently utilized keywords among other fantastic functions.
- Only one version of your site should be searchable: Your website should not have various versions. This will lead to all sorts of problems relating to search engine rankings. Examples of multiple URL errors include mobile versus desktop versions, or non-https URLs versus duplicate https URLs. Concerning the latter category, remember to get your website SSL secured as quickly as possible, as Google deems non-https sites as Not Secure.
- Utilize on-page SEO checks: Duplicate content is a common problem regarding website content. To identify them more easily, use the Copyscape tool to help identify duplicate content which leads to SEO errors. Then you should analyze criteria which Google uses as ranking evaluators including, but not limited to, keyword placement, clear hierarchy, meta descriptions, and page titles and title tags.
- Monitor your internal and external links: As mentioned earlier in the article, inbound and outbound links are one of the most commonly utilized SEO tactics. However, sometimes we tend to input incorrect URLs as hyperlinks in our articles. Tension not, as you can use tools such as Xenu Sleuth and Integrity to find out about the broken links on your website.
- Optimize site speed: It has been researched that visitors tend to leave the search result URL they have clicked on if the site takes more than two to three seconds to load. Thus, site speed is an integral factor of the SEO Audit. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is one tool to examine your site speed.
- Use analytical tools: There are tons of analytical tools available with the most common one being Google Analytics. Your site’s bounce rate can also be analyzed using Google Analytics.
- Perform a backlink audit: Last but not least you should perform a backlink audit. There are many tools you can utilize to perform this action with one of the most common ones being Ahrefs.