3 Simple Steps to Kickoff Your Annual SEO Audit
6 min read
After countless hardships and personal turmoil, you did it. We did it. We all managed to survive 2020! It may technically be too early to begin the process of Spring cleaning, but we have to admit that this is the perfect time for a palette cleanser.
As we venture trepidatiously into 2021, you may be looking through your website’s analytics in search of where to begin. Should you run another A/B test? Update the shop? Contact the clients that haven’t ordered in six months?
As you attempt to narrow it all down, these many necessities will eventually point to the obvious: an SEO audit.
Time for the Dreaded SEO Audit
If an essential worker continues to push their body to its limits, they should probably make a point to see a doctor before their symptoms get worse. Similarly, it’s best not to wait until your stats drop to optimize your website.
This is precisely what SEO Audits were designed for! To provide the option of a “health check,” which can identify any foundational issues that could adversely affect your organic search results.
No matter how long some people think they can go without one, this process is absolutely essential to digital marketing.
Whether you are a business owner or an independent contractor, if you are paying for the domain of a website, it would be a waste of money not to invest in a thoroughly detailed SEO Audit.
It is a known fact that Google (still the world’s most popular search engine) frequently updates and changes their search algorithm. Without a way to navigate these changes and update your content accordingly, you will lose your coveted place in the search engine results page as your web content continues to fall farther and farther down Google’s list of relevant searches.
What Are My Options?
Now that we have addressed the need to invest in this much-needed palette cleanser, where exactly do we begin? While there are several different options for apps and tools you might consider, the best approach would be one of the following:
- Hire an expert team of marketers to do it for you; or
- Start the process yourself!
As much as we would love to help you by taking charge of this painstaking process ourselves, we understand that there are many new business owners out there who would prefer to save a little money by doing it themselves.
If you happen to be one of those fiercely independent types, no worries! We would very much like to support you through the process, which is why this article exists in the first place.
What Do We Look For?
A professional SEO Audit can easily take 2-6 weeks to complete in full. This is an incredibly in-depth process, so it wouldn’t make sense to list them all on a single blog post.
Instead of bombarding you with intimidatingly long lists of rules and procedures, we like to encourage our readers with bite-sized bits of information that they can apply from the get-go.
And every quality SEO Audit begins with these 3 Simple Steps:
1. Locate and Identify New Link Building Opportunities
No matter which links you have already made use of, building new links is a crucial part of establishing trust with your audience. Creating internal and external links to different websites establishes a sense of security in your readers because they can see very clearly that your work connects to those in the rest of the virtual world.
When you create a new piece of content to post to your website, perform a site search for older content which easily correlates to the new. You need to anchor the text within the old content to link to the new content, and vice versa.
Internal links will help guide your audience through the many pages of your website. External links work in much the same way, except that external links provide an authoritative quality to your public content.
Once you’ve finished identifying your internal links, use your search engine to find any external mentions of your website and your brand. If you cannot locate the URLs to link these external mentions to your website, reach out to the content managers of those posts and use them to link back to your homepage.
2. Identify and Eliminate “Thin” Content and Duplicate Content
If you have made it this far, chances are you love your website. You may not be in love with all the content currently posted up on it, but that feeling is perfectly normal. As you peruse through your many pages, pictures and words, you will begin to notice something. Your content will not be taken seriously if your web presence contains only thin content.
What exactly is “thin” content? This occurs when the content you have posted fails to meet the expectations of your readers. Do you have a 200-word blog post on your website briefly explaining a topic that deserves further detail? You have thin content.
Do you have a 2000-word post that runs-on and fails to meet the standards of any professional article format? You have thin content.
If you want to correct this, you will need to eliminate all unsatisfactory posts by replacing them with more fitting, varied, and professionally formatted content. There is no way to shortcut your way around this one, but it’s a critical step that you can manage on your own quite effectively.
What about duplicates? These are so much easier to solve! We include them in this step because duplicates are just as easy to find while you are in the process of searching your website for thin content.
As luck may have it, Google is programmed to recognize most duplicates and ignore them, so they will not clog up the SERPs during a search. But this is not guaranteed to work for every piece of duplicate content. When you are ready to resolve this, simply go through each page of your website, locate those accidental duplicates, and delete them.
3. Optimize Your Speed Analytics
Everyone knows that speed is vital! In a day and age where websites are expected to look flashy, one of the greatest failures of a new website is a slow-loading web page. This became an even bigger problem than usual when Google eliminated the option for automatic speed updates, so you will have to keep a better eye open on this one.
Due to the drastic increase in mobile searches, anyone who looks up your website using their mobile device isn’t going to wait more than a couple of seconds for your site to load. The faster you programmed your pages to be, the more likely that Google’s algorithm will raise the ranking of your website so that relevant searches will locate your website more efficiently.
There are many factors that contribute to the loading speed of a website, but you can stop worrying about that by accessing Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
This tool can quickly identify common hiccups that contribute to common loading issues and offers regular suggestions for site optimization in general. PageSpeed does this by scanning and subsequently scoring your website on a scale of 0 to 100, with a rating of 85+ indicating healthy page-loading speeds.
You Can Do This!
As mentioned before, a professional SEO Audit is incredibly in-depth and can typically take 2-6 weeks to complete in full. Two Trees PPC is here to provide those services when you are ready.
Not quite ready for that? No worries! We understand that when a visit to the doctor may be too expensive, sometimes a home-remedy can be just what you needed. This is what we are offering by providing you with the knowledge of these 3 Simple Steps. A comparative home-remedy that you yourself can put into action.
By creating new links, deleting thin content, and optimizing the loading-speed of your website, you will successfully eliminate some of the most annoying foundational issues often found in web management.
By correcting these issues, we can assure you that you will see improvements in your SEO visibility almost instantly. Considering all the madness we endured in 2020, this will allow you to breathe a significant sigh of relief as we continue to walk freely into the unknown of this new year.