Isn’t it frustrating when you have had your website up and running for quite some time, you have been constantly updating it with relevant high quality content yet you don’t draw enough traffic.
If you are experiencing this it’s time for you to conduct a SEO site checkup — Conducting an SEO diagnosis of your website basically highlights the major issues your website has from a SEO standpoint and if these issues are addressed immediately it can prove to be a gamechanger towards your online presence and subsequently to the amount of traffic you draw on to your website.
So let’s get started, we have divided the SEO site checkup’s one needs to conduct to 3 broad categories namely, Technical Parameters, Content OR On-Page parameters and finally Off-page parameters.
Parameters to focus on–
SEO SITE CHECKUP — TECHNICAL PARAMETERS
A SSL OR a Secure sockets layer is a major ranking factor as per Google, and it is one of the 1st things you should look out for whilst conducting a SEO diagnosis of your website an easy way to tell whether you have an active SSL is to just look at your website URL–
Notice the missing “s” from the https in the 1st option? That tells you that your website does not have an active SSL certificate, so make sure that all the URLs on your website have a https prefix.
- PAGE LOAD SPEED
Google values user experience and if several web pages on your website take too long to load you will never be able to claim SERP spots for your webpages as Google considers a high page load time to be a major deterrent to the user experience . Hence, whilst conducting your SEO site analysis Page load speed is a major factor to look at– the ideal page load time as per Google should be below 3 seconds.
One way to verify the page load speed, is to login to your website’s Google search console and check for page load issues under core web vitals and mobile usability
An alternative and probably a better way of finding the page load speed would be through Google Analytics, Under behaviour and then Site speed you can find out exactly how long it takes for your webpages to load.
Also, more than 50% of Google searches take place on mobile devices so make sure that you optimize your page load speed for both mobile and laptops.
One can also use Google’s very own page speed checkup to verify a good page load speed
- SITE NAVIGATION
Isn’t it a major turn off when you enter a general store that’s filled with a wide variety of products has 100’s of aisles but it’s all arranged in a very chaotic manner making it impossible for you to tick-off the items on your shopping list, well similarly if your website visitors don’t understand how to easily navigate through your website in order to find exactly what they are looking for they are most likely to leave and never return.
Hence, make sure that you align your content with your target audience’s search intent and further ensure that its easy for users to navigate through your website,Here are a few basic check’s
1- Focus on your Header and Title tags — 90% of users will leave your website immediately if your tags don’t match with their search intent
2- Use the right Keywords — On the topic of search intent, ensure you use relevant keywords that complement a users search intent
3- Call to actions(CTA’s)— Make sure you use effective CTA’s across your website make it as easy as possible for your users to navigate to relevant web pages on your website
- INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL LINKS
Links both internal and external are extremely important from a SEO standpoint, not only do they help various web pages on your website get indexed faster they also give Google the impression that your content is well researched and if your links are relevant it also helps Google verify the topic you are talking about. All in all they help you stay on the right side of various SEO ranking factors.
- DATA ANALYSIS
No SEO diagnosis is complete without Data analysis, your Google search console(GSC) is like a Bible when it comes to technical SEO parameters so firstly make sure that you have the search console setup and running moreover integrate it with your Google analytics account so that all the necessary information is available on Analytics itself–
GSC provides you with a lot of useful information like your Sitemap status, Page load speed, mobile usability status etc. understanding and optimizing for these parameters can be a game changer for your web traffic provided that your content is engaging and easy to consume
- URL OPTIMIZATION
URL optimization is often overlooked whilst performing a SEO diagnosis for your website, but having the right URL for each individual webpage is really important, using the right words or should we say “Keywords” not only helps Google identify what the webpage is talking about it also helps Google ascertain the quality of content on your webpages.
The golden rule when it comes to URLs is to keep them short and include 1 or 2 words that have high search volume and also describe the page content perfectly.
The final and most important step for SEO inspection of your website from a technical standpoint is checking your sitemap status, put simply, an updated sitemap is really important from SEO standpoint as it helps Search engines like Google easily identify the URL structure of your website and also provides it with the details on various web pages that your website has– making it easier for them to index new webpages.
If you are extremely active and keep adding new web pages everyday to your website you might want to update your sitemap bi-weekly OR ELSE one should update/check the sitemap status of your website one a month
One can easily create a sitemap for his/her website using 3rd party websites
SEO SITE CHECKUP — CONTENT/ON PAGE PARAMETERS
Let’s say you open a online travel website like Booking.com with the intent of booking a flight, you enter your travel dates, select a destination, and have found the perfect flight that fits your budget but when it comes to making the transaction you just can’t find the CTA anywhere on the webpage — if this happens to your customers not only are they likely to leave immediately they might not be willing to visit your website again anytime soon.
Hence, always put yourself in your customers shoes think about the action they might want to take whilst on a particular webpage and ensure to use the right CTA’s that are easily accessible.
- CONTENT READABILITY
In today’s fast paced world PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR ESSAYS remember that, especially when you are trying to get your content to rank on Search engines like Google — Hence, whilst conducting your SEO inspection make sure that your content is easy to understand and consume.
Think about using engaging content types like videos, Graphics, infographics etc.
Also, do not beat around the bush if you know exactly what your customer is looking for, make it easily available for them.
- USER’S INTENT
One of the most crucial steps on SEO analysis is to ensure that your content matches the users intent the easiest way to do so is to check the bounce rate on each of your webpages, if you have taken care of basic SEO parameters like page load speed, SSL, Content readability etc. the only reason people are bouncing off your webpages is probably because your content doesn’t contain what they are looking for.
Google Analytics provides you with detailed information on the bounce rate your website is experiencing through various different acquisition channels—
Ideally your bounce rate should be below 40%, anything above 70% is a huge cause of concern and necessary steps should be taken to ensure that the same is brought down.
Also, in order to further ascertain if search intent is the real reason for a high bounce rate you can access your Google search console account, under the performance tab you can see exactly what query people input on Google in order to be redirected to a particular webpage on your website. If the majority of search intents align with the content on your webpage you are good or else you one can change the content accordingly.
- KEYWORD USAGE
The data you just looked up is really helpful in ensuring that you rank for the right search terms–
Case-1 the search terms align with your users search intent and the user will find useful information that they might be looking for, in this case just make sure that the information is readily available and include the search terms in your H1 Tags
Case-2 Although you do rank for the search term the content does not align with the users search intent IE they most likely will not find what they are looking for, in this case remove such keywords from your content OR else widen the scope so as to cater to the user’s intent
- GRAPHICS, INFOGRAPHICS AND VIDEOS
No On-Page SEO site checkup is complete without evaluating the opportunities to improve content, evaluate opportunities to convert complicated content to Infographics and videos– if these do the job perfectly no one wants to read written content.
Also, use data initially focus on webpages that have a high bounce rate then slowly improve the content across the website
- START A CONVERSATION
Most people despite making all the SEO checks an optimizing for the same overlook or forget the importance of starting a conversation with their customers, make it easy for your readers to reach out to you listen to them, take feedback, address their doubts and concerns– doing this adds to your brand perception in a large way and also helps build a cult following for your content and you company.
A few easy ways to do this include introducing a chat window, adding a comment section to your blog pages and constantly responding to people’s queries on your social media handles.
- CONTENT LOOP
SEO SITE CHECKUP — OFF-PAGE PARAMETERS
- GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PAGE
Usually SEO professionals recommend the Google business pages especially for Brick and mortar stores, but with Google’s growing prominence having an updated Business page for all company’s has become extremely important.
Users not only trust the reviews left on these business listings, they also rely on the content for useful information on the business.
Think of it as a live brochure to your company and its brand reputation — a constantly updated Google Business Page helps keep your customers engaged and ensures a good brand perception.
- SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
When conducting SEO analysis keep an eye out for the amount of traffic you draw from various social media channels and also on how these people behave once on your website, the trick to be successful is to ensure that you link the right pages with the right social media platforms for instance if someone is on Instagram they are definitely not in the mood to read a 1000 word Blog, whilst someone on Facebook or twitter might just spend some time navigating through this webpage.
Hence, Customize your content according to the nature and algorithm of the concerned platform, It’s not necessary for you to have a resounding presence across all platforms if your content caters to Pinterest or Instagram perfectly focus on them, grow your audience there and then shift your focus to other platforms.
The heart of Off page SEO is the Backlinks, Firstly, evaluate data and identify the pages that need backlinks secondly, do not indulge in unethical link building — like buying links, exchanging unnecessary links etc. sooner or later if your content is not good enough you wont rank no matter how many backlinks you have– Hence, focus on the content if you get that right organic high quality Backlinks will follow.
In order to find the number of backlinks each of your webpages drive login to your Google search console here under Links you get a comprehensive page-wise breakdown on both the volume of incoming links and also on the number of linking sites
- WIKIPEDIA PAGE
Google, and other search engines trust content on established platforms with a high domain authority like wikipedia — target such platforms and make sure you have a company page on them, not only will you be able to cultivate some quality backlinks you will also manage to create a robust brand perception.
Some other platforms to consider — Medium, Quora etc. stay active on such platforms and also any other platforms that have a high domain authority, you can check the domain authority for any web platform HERE
- PRESENCE ON BUSINESS LISTING PLATFORMS
Business listing platforms are another great way to create backlinks and expose your company to a wider audience a few platforms to consider are–
|Sr. No.||Business Listing Website||DA||PA||Moz Rank|
- YOUTUBE PRESENCE
Whilst conducting the SEO checkup for your website if you discover video content or if you have given any interviews etc. that might be available on the internet make sure to add them to your Youtube channel, Youtube by itself is the 2nd biggest search engine after google targeting a robust presence on youtube is bound to accelerate your SEO efforts.
By Focusing on Technical, On-Page and Off PAge SEO parameters whilst conducting your website SEO diagnosis and by efficiently interpreting data through Google’s Webmaster tools you can easily develop a robust strategy to ensure SERP spots for various web pages on your website.