In the past, we’ve talked a lot about SEO for bloggers + how you can utilize this tool to boost the amount of eyes that reach your blog post. But let’s expand beyond that for a minute. Beyond the blog + dream a bit bigger...how do you get eyes on your website, especially if you aren’t a blogger? If you’re not producing a large amount of content that could be attracting new viewers to your site, how can people learn about your brand?
Let’s break it down into some super simple steps that can optimize your site + help you attract those dreamies!
Step 1: Do a Site Crawl
Start with a site index in Google to compare what is being indexed with your output from a crawl. Go to Google and in the search box type “Site:http://www.MyDomain.com” to review what Google has indexed (and remember it is estimated). I’ve used our domain, socialstudioshop.com, for example purposes. You can see that socialstudioshop.com has around 38,900 pages in Google’s index.
If you wanted to get really detailed with it you could download an “SEO Spider Tool” such as Screaming Frog, which will break down your results and help you find any broken links, duplicate content, or redirects that might be muddying your SEO search results. But, if you’re relatively new to your site or don’t have that many results, this won’t be necessary for you quite yet.
Step 2: Check your site speed
Have you ever landed on a website only to find it is the s l o w e s t loading site ever. Do you stick around + wait for your hair to turn gray or do you move on? Likely the latter, right? Site speed is a huge factor for visitor usability. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool allows you to check the speed of the site for both mobile and desktop. It also gives helpful suggestions on how to improve performance.
Step 3: Clean Up Your File Names
Many times you’ll see very specific page names and URL’s rewritten from software. Are these readable for the end-user? Would it serve as some type of breadcrumb for me to find my way? Are they logical and reference target keywords?
Example of Good URL: http://www.MyWebsite.com/about-us
Example of Bad URL: http://www.MyWebsite.com?navItemNumber=3421.
The more you can customize each aspect of your site and place in those keywords, the better! This applies to all your website pages, files, downloads, images, you name it!
#socialstudiotip - Other things SEO crawlers look for are capitalization versus lower case across the URL, filenames, and meta. A good rule of thumb is to always separate keywords with hyphens (not underscores) and make sure to carry the pattern throughout the site. Consistency is key!
Step 4: Optimize Your Keywords
Do you have a list of which ones are being targeted? You may know which ones you’d like to be targeting, but most people don’t know which keywords they’re actually being ranked for. A great place to start is Google Webmaster Tools > optimization > content keywords. Also, SEMrush.com, Raven Tools research central and SpyFu.com are some awesome tools for keyword insight.
Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool is a great, free place to start with this. And lucky you, we’ve broken down how to use it for all you SEO newbies out there! >> How to Use Google to Boost Your Blog Post’s SEO.
Keyword research tends to be amongst the most time-consuming when it comes to site audits, but it always reveals the most insight. Organization is key here. Get all the data you need from the above sources, export the info into a spreadsheet and start organizing, highlighting and prioritizing. Once you do, you’ll be surprised by how much you learn about not only your own website, but your industry + your competitors!
Step 5: Audit Your Content
Now that you have a good grasp on keywords, it is time to look at on-page saturation. Are the keywords in the content of each page? Use a tool like Internet Marketing Ninjas Optimization Tool and Moz on-page grader. Are your keywords reflected in the title tags? Is the content more geared towards search engines (overly optimized) or towards site visitors? Are there misspellings or poor grammar? These are all things you’ll want to take into consideration when crafting future content for your site
Step 6: Check Your Meta Tags
Are the page specific meta tags in place? Are there any identical, missing, short of long titles and meta-descriptions. Check the length: 70 characters for Title-Tag and 160 for description including spaces. Read through these descriptions: Are they properly descriptive? Are keywords targeted towards that page and content? Are the main keyword(s) included? Is there proper grammar and spelling? Remember that site crawl we talked about in the beginning of the audit? If you used Screaming Frog you’d have all this data.
Step 7: Audit Your Images
Lots of different factors come into play when using imagery on your site. Are the images the right size? Image sizes can really drag down load time. If the images are large that equals more downstream bandwidth and effects site speed. There are some awesome WordPress plugins for image compression on upload, like Smush.it that are extremely helpful for the non-Photoshop users.
Make sure you are using ALT tags on images! Alternative text is pretty important and should be a part of your best practices. Keywords injected into an informative alternative title for that image are helpful to users and search engines.
SEO is a beast of a tool, but this is more than enough to get you started. Armed with the above information, you’ve got some homework! This is not a complete, all-inclusive list -- there is so much more you can do and every bit of information leads to another discovery. But hopefully with these steps you can make some tweaks and changes that will boost your rankings + in turn help increase engagement and conversions for your brand or business! Happy auditing!