Here’s a conundrum: How do you know if your SEO is where it needs to be? How do you make sure you’re getting ranked, not penalized, in the SERPs (search engine results pages)?
The First Steps for Optimizing Your SEO with an Audit
This “deep dive forensic analysis” gives you the ultimate look at how you’re doing with SEO, outlines errors, and shows you opportunities for SEO improvement.
1. Identify and Address Your Biggest Weakness
What’s your biggest SEO weakness? Where do you know you could improve? What have you neglected in favor of other areas? Is it your links? Your content? Your HTML or behind-the-scenes elements? Start there, and identify easy fixes to help ease you into the process of auditing.
2. Move to the Top of the SEO Funnel
If you don’t have an obvious weakness, start at the top of the SEO funnel with the broadest issues. Stephan says this is your site’s “crawl-ability” – is it easy for web crawlers to scan and index your pages?
There are a few different factors that affect accessibility and indexability:
- Your page URLs – If they’re too long and complicated, you’ll confuse web crawlers
- Your link structure and hierarchy, including menus and links between pages – For instance, your most important pages should not be “tucked away” in your site hierarchy. You should make them one click away from your homepage.
- Duplicate content – If you have pages that are similar in content, you need to tell Google which is most important. Otherwise, the page authority will get spread out and won’t count for much.
3. Get Some Help Along the Way
An SEO audit is a big task with lots of steps. In order to do it the right way and get the best results, you need to stay on top of trends, best practices, and good tools that will help you.
Stephan recommends the following to help get you started.