JOHANNESBURG – Ever wondered how to ensure better search engine rankings? The answer is simple, by doing a regular SEO audit to determine the visibility and potential of a website's search engine performance.
It also helps businesses keep their websites up-to-date with the latest trends in search engine marketing and ahead of their competitors. The SEO environment is ever changing, what works today may not work tomorrow.
Google is constantly changing its ranking algorithm in accordance with new search patterns and an audit will therefore help businesses stay relevant. A comprehensive SEO audit is the fastest, most efficient way to determine why a website isn't ranking as highly as it should be.
It is a general health check that businesses should do at least twice a year to remain competitive in today's online business environment. The audit is also the first step when creating an online marketing strategy, it is an effective way to improve performance and if done properly, it allows one's website to rank better in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
It should also give businesses a better insight into their overall website traffic and also specific page traffic. The SEO audit provides an overview of a website's current search engine performance and identifies problem areas. It is essentially an evaluation to see how well the website is functioning in comparison to the market.
For example, a thorough check will analyse the landing page in relation to other pages, the menu structure, the user friendliness of the page and the use and effectiveness of ads and banners. It will also help one determine whether keywords are used accurately and positioned to bring in the optimal amount of traffic.
The SEO audit checks the URL structure to ensure all the URLs are unique, clean and simple. It checks whether the website’s structure is clear and easy to navigate and more importanly, that all content is original, informative, well-written and properly formatted.
SEO audits should also cover the following key areas and recommendations:
- Site performance issues
- Compatibility issues
- Content issues
- Security issues
- Code issues
- Indexation analysis
- Meta title, descriptions and keyword analysis
- URL structure analysis
- Internal linking analysis
- Mobile responsiveness analysis
- Speed test analysis
- Headings (H1, H2 etc.) structure analysis
- Image alt text analysis
- Backlinks analysis
- Technical analysis related to SEO and site performance issues
Businesses that are serious about internet business will make sure they do a SEO audit frequently. It can also help gain insight into one’s competition and ultimately help improve search engine rankings. However, it is a complex procedure and needs to be done by experts.
Nick Durrant is the chief executive Bluegrass Digital.
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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