Most business owners well know that successful sales are highly dependent on the successful SEO strategy. In this article, you will find a list of practical tips on how to make an SEO audit of your website, which will help you attract more potential buyers.
If you want to successfully audit your webpage, you should use a complex approach. The audit usually includes three vital steps, where SEO is only 30% of success:
- A technical audit allows you to identify errors associated with the hosting and program code of the platform. Solving technical problems is the foundation for the subsequent successful promotion of the project.
- SEO audit is performed after a technical audit and is aimed at identifying and eliminating internal optimization errors.
- Usability audit allows you to detect problems that impact the effective interaction of users with the content and is aimed at increasing conversion.
As you may see, SEO is not always the source of the problem, and only understanding the whole picture can give you positive results. Now, let’s consider the important points of an SEO audit.
1) Robots.txt File Configuration
Robots.txt is a file that contains indexing options for search robots. It hides from indexation the concrete pages that you wish to close for search robots. To create a robots.txt file you have to:
- Make a file called robots.txt in a text editor;
- Fill in the file under your individual indexing requirements;
- Upload the file to the root directory of the platform.
2) Canonical URLs
Sometimes one page of a site can be available at several addresses. It may happen due to the following:
- The material is relevant for several categories at once;
- Incorrect CMS configuration.
Search engines recognize these addresses as separate web documents with the same content, so they can lower duplicate content in the results. To detect the problem, you can check the Chrome view source code. Configuring the canonical URLs, you indicate the main version of the document to the search engine. This is necessary to:
- Ensure that the link weight is correctly transferred to the desired webpage;
- The content accessible on multiple URLs is indexed and ranked correctly;
- Avoid the sanctions of search engines.
If you have a product of different colors with the same descriptions on separate pages, you can choose the most popular option as the canonical version. Other colors will continue to be available to users, but the weight from external links to them will be redirected to the canonical URL.
3) Sitemap XML
Sitemap.xml is a file with data about the pages to be indexed. The file tells the search robots:
- What pages on the platform need to be indexed;
- How often the info on the pages is updated;
- What pages are the most important.
The search robot may not find some pages or incorrectly determine their importance. The sitemap solves these problems.
4) Optimization of the Title and Descriptions
The Title tag contains a description of the webpage and makes it clear to the search engines what is on the page. If the title text does not match the content of the page, the site may fall under the sanctions of search engines. The title may include keywords, but no more than 2-3. It should be also easy to read and unique. You can increase the uniqueness of the title among competitors by adding the name of your organization or brand.
The description tag is a short review of the page. Here work the same rules as for the title, except for two points: keywords and length.
The text of the description should contain more keywords. This will not affect the position in the SERP but may affect the user’s decision to go to your site. The description text should be meaningful, therefore thoughtless spamming by keywords is unacceptable. This tag should describe the content of the page in more detail. Therefore, it can be longer — from 100 to 200 characters.
5) Optimization of the Headlines H1 — H6
The heading tag H1 and subheadings H2-H6 form the hierarchical structure of the document. It is easier to perceive the text and find the necessary material if the text is divided into sections and subsections. So, headlines should meet the following requirements:
- The page should contain only one H1;
- Follow the heading hierarchy;
- The title H1 must not match the page title;
- The heading text should not be too long (10 to 50 characters);
- H1 must not contain hyperlinks.
6) External Links
These are links that lead to another site. External links are considered by search robots as a recommendation to visit the webpage. The more resources link to your site and the more weight these links transmit, the higher it is ranked in search results.
An increase in reference also aims at the following:
- Traffic boost;
- Webpage promotion among the target audience;
- Search and assessment of the potential audience.
7) Quality Content
Modern SEO algorithms allow you to determine the quality of content using user behavioral factors. Therefore, the basic content requirements are the following:
- Uniqueness: copying texts from other sites is unacceptable if this is not a quote;
- Semantic load: clean the texts from unnecessary introductory constructions, clericalism, and complex terms. The text should be useful to the reader, and the info should be easy to find;
- Content Design: break texts into chapters and paragraphs, add images;
- SEO Compliance: modern search robots determine the relevance of content not just by the number of keywords, but by the semantic relationships between words in content blocks.
Regardless of which site you need to promote, you have to regularly make an SEO audit to improve its efficiency. At the same time, you have to perform it correctly, otherwise, this process will simply be a waste of time. Now you know at least 7 points to pay attention to. Good luck!