June 02, 2015

Bulletproof Site Audit

Site audits have gotten super technical. Updating old checklists, incorporating innovative solutions and hitting every section is important. International, mobile and technical sections are a must, and modern trends require up-to-speed websites capable of delivering time-efficient browsing and effective performance.

Big changes aside, some mundane steps should still be taken to lock down your site audit. Conducting the perfect audit isn’t hard, and your site’s organic performance can be unleashed when organized steps are taken to ensure optimization. Before you jump in, read the following audit “must do’s”. Prioritizing clarity is very important—as your content and development teams will need up-to-date site insight.

Step One: Examine Indexed Pages

Conduct a website search, and record returned pages. While the exact number needn’t be recorded, your homepage should appear on the search engine’s first page. More than ever, dynamic content requires constant visibility. Big-league hitters are raising the bar, and dynamic content is capturing the consumer in unparalleled ways.

If your homepage isn’t on the first page of the SERP’s, you’ll need to dig into your site’s internal linking, architecture and code. Sometimes, a site’s construction eludes a search engine’s priorities. Reviewing your organic landing page number in Google Analytics is a great way to grasp your site’s search engine integrity, too. Often, comparing your Google Analytics results with site search results indicates any imbalances.

Step Two: Tweak Your “Search Value”

Next, you’ll need to enhance your site’s search visibility. You’ll need to strengthen any weak areas.

Modern marketing is contingent upon immediate page linking. As Internet users become increasingly speed-oriented, so, too will your visibility need to be “clear-cut”. If your terms aren’t appearing, you’ll need to check each term’s viability within the system. Check for penalties, too.

Next, check for any cached key pages here. Make sure your content is showing up, and ensure navigation link visibility. Any problems should be remedied as, again, your site’s accessibility is your audit’s most important value. Users won’t bother exploring if they can’t navigate.

Make sure your text-only cached page is checked, and then examine Page Speed Insights for your brand’s mobile accessibility. Key pages, landing pages and accessibility should be taken care of. Particularly on mobile, site navigation should be streamlined. Mobile markets are infamous for needing ease-of-use. Swiping, tapping and mobile glitches all deter consumers.

Step Three: Move to the Webpage

Now, it’s time to optimize your title tags, brand name, menus and click-through optimization. Remember title tags should be approximately 55 to 60 characters, or 512 pixels in length. Additionally, you’ll want to run a click-through report to see rates rates and Screaming Frog for needed SEO optimizations.

Above all, the name of the game is “organic traffic”. Your ranking will help, but your page’s optimization generates independent traffic, and it won’t fall apart if your ranking does. SERP Turkey is a great tool for this portion, and it’ll assist you with meta descriptions and any missing page titles.

Where keywords are considered, make sure you’ve got enough unique content. We’ve said this before, but stale, keyword-stuffed content is going by the wayside—and for good reason. Modern audiences require close relationships. They don’t want to be blinded by hype words. Make sure each primary keyword is different, dynamic and logical.

Your primary keyword should contain an H1 tag, images, file names and alternative texts should also include your needed keyword phrases.

Step Four: Optimize your URL

Get rid of any excessive parameters. Get rid of excessive session IDs. Your search-engine-exposed URL should be static, and it should be under 115 characters. Like your search engine description, brevity is better. Online visitors are wary of long addresses containing illegible number strings, anyway.

Step Five: Dig Into the Content

Your content is your site’s lifeblood. Again, modern marketing needs dynamic, “real” content. While your site probably won’t have a live representative for every visitor, it can still be damn charming.

Your homepage should have at least one paragraph, and each page should contain enough content to appease search engines. We really hate putting a number on content, but for the sake of having a number to shoot for, you should have a minimum of 500 words per page. Again, don’t keyword stuff. Keep everything natural, flowing and unique.

That said, keyword targeting is important, and each keyword’s intent should match the landing page’s intent. Don’t place counterintuitive keywords in irrelevant places. Long-tail keywords, mid-tail keywords and head terms should all be included.

Try Siteliner to examine duplicate content and cut it out. This is an audit, remember? Kill anything irrelevant or excessive. Your website needs to be tight. Remember: Above everything else, content should educate and inspire the consumer. Your products and services need representation. Don’t sacrifice valuable content for keywords.

Step Six: Pick Up the Loose Ends

Is your content well-formatted? Is it easily readable? Make sure you’ve got enough images to attract the eye. Make sure you’re using H tags. Break down any bulky paragraphs for easy reading, and double-check your headlines.

Above all, protect your site’s natural feel. Evaluating ad-space is always important, and keeping unique content above the fold—similarly so. Don’t sacrifice unique content for advertisements, and, as always, make sure the consumer comes first.

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