Look, we get it, SEO technical audits aren’t sexy. But if you plan on running any kind of an SEO campaign, an audit is essential to setting a foundation for success. Why?
SEO Audits Critical to Higher Rankings
SEO audits help people find your website; they make your link-building efforts more efficient, and they make sure the experience is a positive one once people are there.
You can expect three fundamental outcomes from an SEO audit:
1.Google will crawl (and understand) your site in an optimal way.
2.Visitors will have seamless, productive experiences on your site.
3.You’ll be able to qualify and quantify all activity related to your site and business.
Doesn’t sound like enough? Maybe you’re not sure if SEO audits are relevant to your current website? If so, please keep these two common scenarios in mind: some websites look great but have serious issues under the hood that disable Google from crawling and indexing them properly. And some sites load fast, have strong content on every page, but look archaic and turn off more prospects than they convert.
Ready to change the game? Here’s a list of five SEO audit tips:
1. Build an engine that gets you found.
A new piece of content may be great, but once it’s gone through a promotional cycle on your social media accounts and been emailed to your loyal readers, traffic to its page will fall off dramatically. You need to do is some heavy SEO lifting to bring visitors back to your content, month after month and year after year, via organic searches.
Developing infographics, guides, interactives and other types of shareable content that attracts links from other websites is very important. These links indicate to Google that your business is a significant player in their respective space, and, as a result, Google makes sure your website performs better across all relevant search results.
2. Create pages that target customer pain points.
Say you own a fitness center that specializes in group classes and training programs. A natural strategy to attract people looking for these services would be to create pages that target keywords like “strength training classes,” “endurance training programs,” and “crossfit classes.” Unfortunately, that won’t get the job done.
The best way to connect with potential customers is to build pages that answer questions those people search for, like “is crossfit safe?” or “what’s the best kind of endurance training for teenagers?” If you’re curious about what your particular customers are asking, and you’re not sure how to find out, try this tool.
3. Advance your keyword game.
This tip may seem a bit more advanced, but it’s actually quite simple once you understand how Google works. (It’s also very effective.) Google is a semantic search engine, which means the keyword phrase you use to establish a given page on your site is just one of many keyword combinations and phrases you can potentially rank for. The primary work for an SEO-savvy marketer is to provide context for Google,so it understands what you want to rank for.
Creating long tail versions of relevant, high-volume keywords is a great way to do this, and your blog is a great place to do it. Again, “what’s the best kind of endurance training for teenagers?” is a good example of a long tail keyword phrase that pivots off a popular (and highly competitive) keyword like “endurance training.”
4. Whip page load times into shape.
In inbound marketing, focusing acutely on what happens when a visitor lands on your website and how you can help them get the information they seek, facilitates converting them as swiftly as possible.
People are used to getting what they want very quickly these days. It’s crucial you don’t disappoint them with a slow site. You have about 15 seconds to make a good first impression, and if 7 of those seconds are spent waiting for the page to load, you’ve halved your opportunity before they ever see your content.
5. Get optimized for mobile.
If you don’t have a mobile-responsive website these days, you’re missing out on substantial search opportunities. In April of 2015, Google updated its algorithm for searches made on mobile devices and most of our clients with mobile-responsive websites saw a huge increase in search traffic.
The reason this is such a high-ranking factor is Google wants to provide great user experiences for its own customers (and you can bet your customers are among that crowd).
Litmus, an email analytics company, shares monthly updates on email marketing trends. Their latest survey states that mobile opens are still the majority of how people are opening and reading email at 54% as of June 2016.
So, if 54% of the people opening and reading your email clicked and landed on your website, would their experience be a good one, or a bad one? Look at how easy your forms are to submit from a mobile device. How many fields are you asking them to fill out? Can someone using only thumbs to navigate, scroll around and click through easily?
Before you leave:
These 5 tips cover many of the factors essential to executing successful inbound marketing campaigns, but there are others. As a marketer, it’s your job to delight visitors to your website, and to deliver on the promise of every curious click they make. It’s your job to make information easily accessible and consumable. And it’s your job to convert visitors into paying customers. But don’t sweat it--if that sounds like a lot of pressure, there are plenty of inbound marketing experts who can help you do the work.
For more from George Zlatin, Co-founder at Digital Third Coast, visit http://www.digitalthirdcoast.net/.