Factors To Consider For Quick DIY SEO Audit Of A Small Business Website
For a small business owner who is busy with a high number of business related issues, a task such as an SEO audit takes a backseat due to time and resources constraints. But your site needs an SEO audit, and not just one, but consistent audits between designated time periods.
But, why your small business website needs an SEO audit? Who should perform it? How often you need to do it and what factors should be taken into consideration? Which tools can you use for it (apart from WooRank, of course)?
1. Busting Common Myths Around SEO Audits
Let’s first bust some common myth with regards to a small business website SEO audit, shall we?
It is not a one-time analysis.
You don’t necessarily need a SEO company or to be an SEO expert to do it (this would be the ideal but sometimes it’s not possible and it’s still viable to do it. I’m going to tell you how in this post).
A recurring SEO audit is a must for your business website and if your site is small it might not necessarily take as much time or technical resources and efforts as you may think.
1.1. How Often Does Your Site Need An SEO Audit?
It will depend on your site optimization status, the changes that you implement over time and the type of activity that there’s in your industry.
Nonetheless, it would be reasonable to have an SEO audit when you start an SEO process, after you do changes to your site, to revise that everything is ok and then after that, every couple of months is good enough to keep your site up-to-date and in-line with the frequently changing SEO trends.
1.2. Do You Really Need An SEO Expert For Performing SEO Audits On Your Site?
It would be ideal but if it’s not possible, you can still develop a basic SEO audit on your small site, which will be actually very handy for you to have a much better understanding of your Web status.
In order to do it you will need a bit of time, some technical Web along Web marketing understanding, follow some guidelines and good practices and use a set of freely available tools online.
If you are reading this blog, you probably already know our own tool, WooRank Website Review, which can be really handy for SEO audit, but of course, there are other free tools that you can use and we will also share with you.
1.3. Why Does Your Small Business Website Require A Regular SEO Audit?
A regular SEO audit for your small business website will definitely help its performance, since:
- It will Keep It Updated With Constantly Changing SEO Trends
Google is changing its search algorithm more frequently than ever, demanding quality in every aspect of on-page and off-page elements of your website. During the last couple of years Google performed major search updates known as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird. Also, the search engine keeps constantly updating its Google Webmaster Guidelines. It’s a must for your site to keep up with all these changes.
- It Will Keep You Warned Of Any Unnatural Link Warnings
One of Google’s priorities is detecting link spam on web sites. Google has been issuing unnatural link warnings to Webmasters much more frequently now. To avoid this issue, a regular SEO audit of your site’s backlinks will reveal if there are suspicious linking patterns on your site.
- It Will Allow You To Easily Track Changes
Performing frequent SEO audits will allow you to identify the reasons for a possible ranking or traffic drop on your site. Tracking down every couple of months the changes you made on the site is easier than tracking back on a year or two years long list of changes you’ve made and fixing the potential issues that could have been raised between them.
- It Will Let You Identify Site Errors Or Broken Links
An SEO audit will allow you to find certain elements of your site that might be not working as expected. For instance, external broken links or a page that has been moved but is still internally linked and gives a 404 error or a social plug-in that is not working anymore. These issues can cause not only a poor usability but problems with the site crawling by search engines, which in turn affects your site’s SEO.
- It Will Give You Opportunity To Update Your Content
It’s important to not only provide relevant but also fresh content to search engines, and give them a reason to come back and index more information from your site. Search engines love fresh content and your users love it too, which will also benefit your site, since you will likely earn links and shares from the useful, compelling new content that you create.
2. Factors To Consider For A Quick SEO Audit
Finally, we get to the big question – what factors need to be considered for a quick small business website SEO audit?
2.1. On Page SEO Factors
The On page SEO factors are the most fundamental elements on your website from an SEO perspective, those aspects that search engines take into consideration from your site whether from a technical or content perspective. They are the ones giving information to the search engines bots when they crawl and index your site. These elements will be indexed and finally shown in the search engine results page.
Here you have the key on page SEO factors with resources that will allow you to optimize them:
- Meta Title
- Meta Description
- Heading Structure
- Site Content
- URL Structure
- Page Layout
- Internal Links
- Navigational Structure
- XML Sitemaps
- Clean Code
- Mobile Compatibility With Proper Redirects
- Site Architecture
- Page Speed
2.2. Off Page Factors
The signs of the search popularity and authority of your website are provided by your incoming external links, which are seen as endorsements by search engines.
What makes a good link? Which type of links you should create and what type of characteristics you should verify they have when you do an SEO audit? Here are the most important ones:
- Editorial links: That are included on the page main content (not in the sidebar or in the footer).
- Links with branded anchor text: Not only including keywords.
- Links with authority: Popularity and trust, coming from established websites, that have also brand signals (with social mentions).
- Relevant links: Coming from pages and sites that talk about the same topic than your site, in the same language, targeting your audience.
- Links from a diversity of sources: From a variety of domains and all type of sites, from blogs to news sites to local communities, etc.
- Links that are permanent: That are not deleted after a while, which are consistent and gradual in growth.
- Links that are followed: That pass link popularity and have not been nofollowed.
Although social mentions are still not considered an off page factor by search engines, social networks will allow your content and actions to earn links to have a higher and broader visibility and that’s why social media marketing is also key for your SEO efforts.
3. Free SEO Audit Tools
Besides WooRank, you can perform an SEO audit by yourself and using free tools. Let’s see which are these:
Use it to detect who links to you, the anchor texts used to link, popular pages on your site, internal links, crawl errors, sitemap status, content keywords, index status, structured data, duplicate content, keywords and pages providing you organic search visibility and clicks. Which have a high number of impressions but low clicks? Identify opportunities to improve them!
Use it to have a deep look at the organic search traffic behavior on your site. To get familiar with all the features you can start here. Identify which are those pages receiving the highest organic search traffic, which ones convert better and which don’t. What’s the percentage of your traffic coming from mobile devices and which type of devices are more popular among your audience. Which are those pages that are not attracting organic search traffic? How you can optimize them?
This tool shows any webpage in the way search engine bots see it. Use it to make sure that the most important content and Web related elements of your most important pages are shown to search engines as expected.
Explore your site to identify content duplication issues among internal pages, internal broken links, your pages size, the amount of words per pages and your pages power, a metric based on the internal incoming links that each page has.
Get information about your site’s external incoming links for free. Obtain the number, anchor text, popularity of your external incoming links to identify the level of authority of your site and opportunities to improve it. You can download up to 100,000 backlinks not only from your site, but also from your competitors, to develop an effective SEO competitive analysis.
Crawl up to 500 URLs for free and simulate the behavior of search bots on your site. Identify redirects, page errors, broken links, no-followed links, duplicated titles and meta descriptions, canonical annotation usage and configuration, among many other technical SEO issues.
Do you already have a plan for SEO audits on your site? Let us know in comments the number of times you have performed an SEO audit on your site and how you have improved your sites thanks to them.