With the changing SEO landscape, it’s hard to stay on top of what’s new. So, if you want your Google rankings to go from unknown to the top, you must be aware of what’s going on and develop an SEO strategy accordingly. However, there is no point in developing an SEO strategy unless you can measure, evaluate, and track your results. SEO comprises multiple elements, and knowing what they are and how they work is key to understanding why SEO is so important.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search engine optimization. It is a set of guidelines designed to help your website rank higher in organic search results. To get more traffic to your website, you must follow this process.
There are two main objectives of SEO:
- The first is to learn what users search for to create content that matches their needs.
- The second objective is to ensure that search engine crawlers and algorithms can find, understand and index your website.
Furthermore, following good SEO practices increases a website’s quality by making it more accessible, faster, and user-friendly.
Following are the main types of SEO
- Technical SEO: By using technical SEO, you can ensure your website is indexed and crawled by search engines without causing problems.
- On-site SEO: The method to make sure your site and content are search engine friendly.
- Off-site SEO: Methods for promoting your website or blog to rank higher in search engines.
Why is SEO important?
Search engines provide answers to questions and solve problems for millions of users daily. With SEO, you can drive free traffic to your website, or blog, or online store.
There are several reasons why SEO is important:
- Increased visibility is one of the most important functions of SEO, which means that prospects can find you easier when searching for something you offer. Your ranking depends directly on your visibility.
- To increase the number of prospects who see your organic page ranking, you must rank higher on a search engine result page (SERP). And SEO plays an important role in improving your ranking and your visibility.
- An important goal of SEO is to increase web traffic, and you can increase traffic by increasing visibility and ranking. If you move up just one spot in search results, you can increase CTR by 30.8%. Consequently, if you want your website to rank in the top five positions and ideally number one, you should use SEO practices.
- In addition, SEO is crucial because it improves the usability of your website when you generate great content and optimize it on the page. It creates a positive and seamless customer experience.
- The implementation of SEO can lead to a higher conversion rate. You can gain an edge over your competitors through SEO. There is a good chance that if two websites are selling the same product, the search engine optimized website will have more customers and sell more items.
Why is SEO important when evaluating a website
SEO is important when evaluating a website because it allows you to determine whether your website is generating leads and converting visitors. So, you can identify any potential SEO lead generation opportunities that you may have overlooked, and you can optimize your landing pages to boost conversions by adding appropriate CTAs.
If your site isn’t optimized for search engines, it won’t get found. In fact, without regular updates, you could find yourself losing traffic as time goes on. Many factors go into the process of optimizing a website for search engines, including content quality, usability, navigation, and meta tags.
Watch more from Flippa’s Masterminds series on the value of SEO when buying and selling a website here.
What is an SEO audit?
By conducting SEO audits, you can analyze whether your online presence complies with a set of industry standards. It is a key step in creating a plan for achieving measurable results.
A thorough audit identifies a wide variety of foundational issues to improve organic search results. SEO audits reveal:
- Issues related to technical SEO
- Problems related to website structure
- Problems with onsite SEO
- Problems associated with off-site activities
- Issues related to user experience
- Opportunities and gaps in content
- A competitive market analysis
Why are SEO Audits Important?
There is no doubt that the SEO industry is constantly changing, which is why SEO audits are necessary.
- You might be able to write effectively today using current SEO optimization guidelines for a couple of weeks, but those methods can be outdated in just six months or less. So, your site must also change to keep up with the constantly changing algorithms.
- When you conduct a website audit, you will be able to compare the quality of your website to that of your competitors. It is important to be aware that your competitors will also be working to improve their rankings. If they keep doing so but you not, they may surpass you in search results. You will also need to keep your site up-to-date to stay competitive.
- Lastly, A website audit will reveal issues affecting conversions and SEO. Broken links, long page loading time, hidden content, or other issues might be the cause. Identifying and repairing these problems will divert traffic.
Performing an SEO Audit the Tools You Need
The SEO audit work can be done more quickly and effectively with the help of many tools. A complete SEO audit can benefit from the following SEO tools:
- Google Tools: Many aspects of SEO audit can be accomplished with the help of Google tools. A few of these tools are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, and Structured Data Testing Tool. A basic understanding of using them can be beneficial, even if you don’t use them all.
- Screaming Frog: This tool is often used by auditors to set up a test crawl of their website, which can help them determine if search engines easily and properly crawl the site.
- SEOmator: The SEOmator tool is considered to be one of the best tools for technical SEO auditing. Digital marketers use four different marketing tools for auditing their SEO performance, but SEOmator offers on-page, off-page, and technical SEO auditing in one place.
- Semrush: An integral part of Semrush’s SEO tool is its Site Audit feature, which analyzes the overall status of a website. Additionally, it offers an On-page SEO checker that provides actionable recommendations for improving website performance based on Google ranking factors.
- Ahrefs: It is another tool for SEO audits that can crawl sites, test their speeds, analyze keywords, and more. The tool is especially useful when it comes to detecting slow pages & problematic backlinks.
How to do an SEO Audit?
Following are the steps you can use to perform an SEO audit.
- Check website URL with a website audit tool.
To start, you’ll need an audit tool that can assist you with analyzing your website’s performance. By using site audit tools, you can assess the performance of your website and find out which changes need to be made.
- Check for technical errors.
Check your site for technical errors after you’ve run it through audit tools to check for errors. These issues might involve SEO, performance, mobile, security, or other factors. How well your site performs for visitors is directly related to your site’s technical layout and configuration.
- Analyze SEO Problems
The next step is to examine issues related to search engine optimization so that there will be an improvement in search engine ranking. It might mean looking at alt text for images, reviewing meta descriptions, etc.
- Analyze the design and user experience
When conducting the website’s audit, user experience is one of the things to consider. Are your customers satisfied with this design? With some software, it is possible to create heatmaps of where users are looking and what page they are reading on your website. By analyzing how your visitors experience your design and overall user experience, you will be able to find out how you can improve them.
- Review the content of the website
Performing a website audit allows you to evaluate the content of your website, such as blog posts, website pages, etc. It will be helpful to understand how your pages currently rank. In addition, you should avoid duplicate content on your website because search algorithms hate it! It can cause serious problems for your site, even if the content is just duplicated within your own webpage.
- Compile a Checklist for Fixing All Problems with the site
Last but not least, when performing the website audit, you should keep a record of all the results. Make a list of the problems with the site and recommend fixes so your team can handle them.
Here is what you should be looking for in the SEO audit checklist.
SEO Audit Basics: The Things must Check?
While performing an SEO audit, you need to pay attention to three main categories:
- Front-end: keywords, content, metadata
- Back-end: hosting and indexing
- Other: Quality of links
SEO audit checklist includes the following steps:
- Website crawling
- Check for any possible indexing errors
- Check for technical issues
- Rewriting or removing low-quality content
- Identifying speed problems
- Ensure that the mobile version of the page loads correctly and quickly
- Checking and testing meta-descriptions
- Identifying the source of organic traffic
- Improving on-page SEO
- Optimizing internal linking
- Optimizing off-site SEO and backlinks
SEO Audit Quick Wins
A quick win is a management technique. It involves implementing simple solutions that don’t require much time, effort, or money. In SEO, these solutions can be applied successfully: as an integral part of the SEO strategy that is useful not just at the beginning but also throughout the process. These fixes can be applied right away, boosting the efficiency of SEO activities.
Optimize for keywords that are already ranking: The process of ranking takes time, especially if you want to rank at the top of the page. Instead of starting from scratch, amplify the keywords you are already ranking for.
- Improve Internal Linking
SEO quick wins include internal linking, which is often overlooked when optimizing for search engines. You can achieve incredible results when you use proper anchor text and link pages on your site.
- Eliminate duplicates
Duplication is not handled well by Google. When multiple pages on one domain often have the same or almost the same content, neither page does well. Ahrefs, for example, lets you check the content quality by going to Site Audit > Project > Internal pages. If you filter the data here, you can find duplicate pages. You can also use Screaming Frog to identify and fix duplicate content.
- Remove Structured Data Problems
The structure data markup allows you to embed certain types of information into your content to make SERP results more appealing, for example, by adding images. However, your page could look broken or spammy if the structured data isn’t input correctly.
You can use Google’s testing tool to test any page’s markup. You can fix errors if there are any with the tool.
- HTML Improvements
There may be a large gap in your HTML practices that you need to address on your website. Meta-tags, titles, and subheadings need to be correctly crafted if you want your pages to be indexed by Google more effectively and positively.
Many SEO tools can reveal HTML issues when you do a site crawl. The Internal Pages menu in Ahrefs allows you to check these. Using the menu, you can quickly find missing titles and metatags.
- Check out the navigation in the footer.
The bottom navigation of your site is the last thing to look at. For SEO, one of the most important locations to review is the top navigation of a site, but a less known location is the footer, which can typically be done more quickly. Make your footer stand out! Incorporate copy, links, and location markers. The bottom navigation is a great place to add SEO-relevant links.
What SEO factors do buyers need to assess when buying a website?
- Perform a background check
Make sure that the history of a pre-existing website is not suspicious before you buy it. You can, for instance, look at what a site looked like at various points in time using online tools. Additionally, before purchasing, you should check the site’s ownership history (or WHOIS data). Sometimes, a site doesn’t get handed down legally, and you could lose money. You can also get a feel for the site’s reputation by reading reviews.
- SEO comparison
You should also consider whether the domain will work with your existing SEO strategy. If their keywords fit your vision, ensure they have long-term pull so you won’t need to update the site constantly.
To help with this, different companies provide SEO analyses that break down the success of digital businesses’ SEO strategies and how their SEO can handle new trends or changes with search engines.
- Usage of platforms and programs
Make sure you understand what platform and programs the website you buy is built on to ensure it’s up to standard. It generally depends on your preference, but certain web browsers may not work with certain site builds. Doing this research saves time and money later if you need to edit the site to meet requirements you didn’t predict.
- Audiences should match
Do you think the domain’s target audience matches your desired target audience? Your site won’t have to be flipped around to match your target audience if it does.
- Take a look at the finances.
Look at the financial records to see how your target domain makes money. Choose domains with a clear financial plan with a steady income from multiple sources (such as ad revenue or product sales).
- Make Sure Your Finances Are In The Right Context
Take a moment to analyze how you think these business trends will continue after reviewing the records. Are domains with massive influxes of cash based on trends that will last only a short time, or do they have the stamina to last forever? Have any weird fluctuations in the finances since the domain was listed? Answer these questions concretely to avoid investing in a money trap.
- Time Investment
When buying a site, you will also have to consider how much time you will devote to fixing and maintaining it. A domain that needs constant maintenance must-have commercial potential or results that justify spending this kind of time on it. Otherwise, it will become a black hole of ineffective effort.
- Analyze the quality of traffic
Additionally, you should consider the quality of traffic to the domain. It’s true that large numbers still carry a lot of weight, but some product audiences are less influential than others.
- Too Much Information
Choosing a domain should be done with caution when sellers provide too much information in advance. Scammers commonly use these sites to create fake imitations of popular domains. Sellers who provide information about their sites make it easier for these scammers to bring fake imitations to market.
- Have a look at the stats? Check them twice
Lastly, ensure you verify all the marketing and SEO stats you receive to ensure they are accurate. Don’t buy a domain from someone who manipulates numbers to get rid of it, or you’ll waste money.
What are the next steps after an SEO Audit?
After the audit, paying attention to other SEO aspects is important to stay competitive. After all, SEO success doesn’t end with technical aspects. Keep track of your competitors’ SEO activity, and stay up-to-date on the latest SEO best practices. As part of your audit and ongoing SEO maintenance, you should take into account all these factors.