Here’s How Proper SEO Audit Can Help You Beat Competitors
Let’s skip the part where we convince you how important search engine optimization (SEO) is. You already know that. With a great SEO strategy, you can rank higher than your competitors in Google search results. This means more people will come to your website, and the visits will bring you more money.
Now, the only problem is: how do you develop a SEO strategy? Do you just start posting articles stuffed with keywords and expect the boom in traffic? It’s a bit more complicated than that. An SEO audit is an essential part of the process. How do you know you’re ahead of your competitors thanks to this strategy? You check. You measure. We’ll tell you how to do that.
In the continuation, you’ll find a checklist for proper SEO auditing, which will take your strategy to a whole new level.
1. Master Google Analytics
Google Analytics gives you the data you need about people visiting your website. When you see improvement in this data, you know your SEO strategy is working.
Pay attention to these stats:
- How many people are visiting your site on a daily basis?
- Where is that traffic coming from?
- What pages of your website get the most traffic?
- How much time are visitors spending on particular pages?
Knowing these details will help you find out what works and what doesn’t. It’s easy to setup Google Analytics to your website, even if you’re a complete beginner.
2. Master Google Search Console
Most online business owners are aware of the importance of Google Analytics, so they quickly learn how to use that tool for auditing. Google Analytics is crucial because it helps you understand how visitors interact with your website. However, Google Search Console ads another aspect to auditing that you cannot neglect. It helps you understand how your site is interacting with Google and its spiders.
To get that information, you’ll need to verify the ownership of your site. Once you do that, you might get messages from google, warning you about critical issues to fix. Thanks to Google Search Console, you’ll be able to:
- Minimize the disruptions in search performance
- Identify the keywords that got your website in the results, as well as the ones that brought you the highest number of visits
- Identify inbound links
- Decide what content you want crawled
- Identify malware or spam issues and keep your site clean of them
3. Don’t Limit Yourself to Google; Bing Webmaster Tools Are Also Important
Mario Roberts from BestEssays explains that not everyone knows how useful Bing Webmaster Tools are:
“Most webmasters prefer Google Analytics, and there are good reasons for that. However, Bing also has great tools that will help you beat the rankings of your competitors. The Disavow Links feature, in particular, is awesome. If you don’t want to be associated with certain websites, you just automate link rejection to them and that’s it.”
Here are few of the tools Bing has to offer:
- SEO Reports – they help you identify problem areas and monitor on-page optimization;
- Keyword Research – it gives you the number of search queries a keyword or phrase gets, and it suggests associated keywords you can include in your content;
- Link Explorer – it helps you figure out where your competitors are getting their backlinks from;
If you already know how to use Google Analytics, you won’t have a problem with Bing Webmaster Tools.
4. Meta Data
The abuse of keyword meta tags led to Google disregarding them. The search engine used index meta data – the text in the code that describes the contents of the page. These tags may no longer be necessary, but they sure won’t hurt your ranks. In some situations, Google still uses the meta description tag as part of the snippet displayed in the search result.
5. Get Your SSL Certificate
If your website is not secure, that fact will definitely affect the SEO efforts. Google prefers listing sites with SSL certificates, which are usually marked by the https (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) in the URL.
Although installing your SSL certificate with boost the ranking just a bit, it’s very important for the reputation of your website. It gives the assurance of security that all Internet users need, and it makes you a safe choice among the competitive websites that rank for the same keywords.
6. Make Robots.txt Files
You probably know this, but it’s worth mentioning it just in case: Google and other search engines send bots to crawl your site. They get information that they report to the search engine. That’s how they know where and when to include your site in search results. If your robots.txt file tells the bot not to crawl a particular page, it will listen to the command.
You can use that “disallow” command when you need to hide a duplicate page, private files, or pages that are available only after the visitor takes some action. Thanks to this file, you’ll make sure a particular page doesn’t affect your rankings in a negative way.
7. Make XML Sitemaps
When a search engine wants to identify your content, it looks at the sitemap. This is like a table of context in a book. The XML (Extensible Markup Language) sitemap enables the search engine to find new or updated content on your site and rank it as the original publisher of that content.
If someone duplicates your content (that’s a common black-hat practice of competitors who want to hijack your rankings), the XML sitemap will save you from being removed from the results.
This map is a simple text file that contains precise codes. It describes non-HTML content, such as flash, image, and video files. You can create it manually, but it’s easier to use a sitemap generator. Then, you’ll add the sitemap on the Search Console.
Search engine optimization is a complex, long-term endeavor. It’s a top priority for every website owner, since it determines the project’s success. If you want to beat your competitors in the rankings, visits, and conversions, you have to do things right. Hopefully, the tips above gave you a nice starting point.
Please pass on any additional hints you feel will be helpful to readers, or comment in any way you feel moved.
Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_limbi007‘ / 123RF Stock Photo
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