When performing website SEO audits there are going to be certain specifics that are common to all of them and certain aspects that are unique. It is thus important to keep the needs of the specific business in mind when executing any SEO audit because the needs of any one business may be completely different from another. For example, if the website is for a B2B lead generation website with only a dozen or so pages the SEO needs and focus will be much different than if the website is for a large e-commerce site like Amazon. The different needs of both will have to be closely considered and the audit tailored to meet them. The 5 key considerations for any website are outlined below.
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Scalability and Flexibility of Information Architecture are 2 vital things to consider before beginning. How much new content will be added, when it will be added, and the time-sensitivity of that content all need to be analyzed so that SEO demand can be met. If a business adds several content items per week, including those that refer to imminent sales or promotions, the SEO will be vastly different than that of a business that adds 1 or 2 pieces of content a month and doesn’t use them for promotions but to brand and attract new customers.
What this means is that the content must be placed in an area of the website that will best use SEO. The more time-sensitive the closer (click-wise) it should be to the main page or sales page, keeping in mind that the aggregate of al the content will drive up the organic searches on the website.
Using Tags and Categories is another vital SEO audit consideration. In many cases neither of the 2 has been given much attention but the fact is that both are vital to better ranking. Questions that need to be asked are;
- Who in the organization id tagging the content?
- What criteria is being used to tag content?
- Are too many or too few tags being created?
- Is the category structure well thought out?
- Do the tags and categories offer value to the person who is using the website?
All of these need to be considered, most likely with the aid of the business owner.
Including Google News and optimizing the website for it is very important during an SEO audit. Many businesses won’t have this on their site at all and some will but won’t be using it correctly. Having Google News and using it correctly will enable a website to regularly have their content reviewed and published on Google News, increasing traffic and ranking and pushing SEO. If a business has unique and newsworthy content its vital that Google News be incorporated into their site to spread that news on the internet simply because the SEO and ranking benefits are so high. Some of the best are;
- Using the ‘standout’ tag. This allows a business to basically say ‘hey, this is really good stuff’ and get more attention for it than ‘thin’ or re-written content.
- Using Google authorship to increase a website’s click-through rate and increase their SERP.
- Using a free online tool to test performance like http://www.webpagetest.org/ and http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/.
Finally there’s Scalable Keyword Research to consider and devising and implementing a strategy that will support the different content that is being added from different sources. A large e-commerce website like Amazon will obviously be using thousands if not hundreds of thousands of keywords, both long and short tail. A smaller or very small business website may only be using a few dozen. Having a system in place to research, check and decide which are best, as well as being able to increase or decrease those tasks when necessary, is vital to any websites’ SEO.
In the end what you need to accomplish with all SEO Audits is to not only find the areas that are lacking and make valuable recommendations as to needed changes but also to leave the customer in a position that they can implement those changes and execute them in a manner that lends itself to the improvement of their SEO and an increase in their most important need, revenues.