Conducting an SEO review can be an excellent way to spur the efficiency of your SEO campaign. It is done in order to identify and fix its inherent weaknesses that can ultimately hamper your SEO performance if left untreated. This procedure consists of several elements that need to be put under a magnifying glass in at least two contexts: launching of a new SEO campaign or upon expiry of a designated period for regular reviews, say quarterly or biannually. Yet, SEO review is hardly a static process in which you simply point fingers at its weak spots – its even more important task is coming up with a proactive list of recommended measures for fixing issues and ensuring the smooth running of the cogs of your SEO engine. Read on to learn more about what constitutes a quality SEO review, with recommendations about its crucial features.
Let’s Get Technical: Accessibility
You can start your SEO review by examining the technical side of things, which involves looking into the ticking heart of your website. In any case, you’ll find out that it beats in double-stroke rhythm, which consists of accessibility and indexability.
Accessibility is closely related to what is fashionably termed “user experience” (UX) and it refers to the capacity of your website to be accessed by either Google or your audience. If your website offers accessibility at the level of a high-security prison, there is no point in putting content behind its bars in the first place, right? Therefore, you’ll need to check if everything is fine with your website’s robots.txt files and meta tags, together with your XML sitemaps that need to be properly formatted and rendered functional.
These are key elements that Google’s famed crawlers interact with and you surely want your website to be on their good side. This is achieved by thorough checking of the overall functionality of your site’s architecture, as well as using traffic checkers to monitor your site’s overall health. You have to know Google’s crawly little helpers love it when they can reach your destination page from the homepage with as few clicks as possible, and they will award this accessibility with better SEO ranking. At the same time, they are not fond of ghostly redirects, which come about as a result of deletion or moving of content. Check if they have easy access to pages that moved via bridging redirects and implement those wherever necessary.
Is it User and Indexing Friendly?
Checking the site’s accessibility for an SEO review has another less covert facet in form of its impact on the audience as a non-technical yet vital judge of your site’s performance. Thus, your SEO audit will have to include checking if your website can offer excellent performance on your audience’s mobile devices, paired with stellar loading speeds. The mobile-friendliness of your site is best appraised by means of mobile validator tools and SEO crawlers with supported Smart Googlebot options and log analyzers. Considering that your website will be increasingly accessed via this devices in the future, the importance of this aspect of an SEO review cannot be overstated.
At the same time, your website’s loading speed is another vital component of both its SEO performance and UX. The level of optimization of its loading times, the progress bars and signup forms will also need to be checked against the best industry standards in the field of SEO.
Indexability acts as a complement to the accessibility metrics and together they form a “face” that you present both to SEO evaluators and your visitors. This parameter needs to be checked against the most recent Google penalties, which, if handed, can severely undermine your ranking. Make sure to check any messages dealing with these issues and identify the reasons for them as part of the review in order to correct them as soon as possible.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
Once you are done with the technical segment of your SEO review, it’s time to get to the issues related to the site’s content or problematic individual pages. In case of the former, having a website that is not organized around a unified theme and guiding principle that drives content generation, it will hardly earn you points in terms of SEO performance. Your audit will need to include evaluation of the overall thematic consistency of your website, together with identification of issues such as content duplication or keyword cannibalization that can degrade your SEO ranking.
In case you, for example, have blog posts featuring more or less same content, Google’s crawlers can give you a lower indexation score as this phenomenon confuses them. The same goes for keyword cannibalization, which entails search engine’s penalties for trying to rank for a single keyword from different pages. At the same time, your SEO review will need to include checking the optimization of your website’s titles and descriptions, URL, internal linking structure as well as user sitemaps. Do not let these slip from your SEO review checklist if you want to spare yourself further troubles in the future.
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A Speck in the Webosphere?
Off-site SEO is another obligatory feature of SEO reviews. This activity comprises evaluation of the holistic activities you undertake to improve your rankings with search engine results pages (SERPs). For example, this can refer to building backlinks that search engines use as measures of quality of the content which is linked to. Thus, you’ll need to check if you have built enough quality external links to your website, allowing it to achieve better rankings.
At the same time, off-site SEO does not revolve solely around links, and its review needs to include the evaluation of your site’s social media performance, instances of brand mentions, guest blogging etc. Quality websites will be referenced and shared more frequently both on social media and among the users within various communities.
Finding the Golden Keyword
Keyword audit is an indispensable part of every SEO review. Evaluation of keyword demand relevant to your market means that you can learn what key phrases can be targeted with SEO, together with familiarizing yourself with your audience. Tools such as Moz and Google Keyword Planner can help you determine the ranking of keywords used by you and your competitors. You need to check historical data to assess your keywords’ performance over time. At the same time, you will do well to compare your approach to using a particular keyword with that utilized by your competitors, once you clearly identify those.
Think of SEO review as an equivalent of a medical check-up which will show you how your web asset performs in relation with various SEO parameters, such as accessibility, indexing, keyword audit and evaluation of the website’s on-site and off-site SEO. Prior to proceeding with SEO audit, you’ll need to go over as many features of your general marketing strategy and make sure you have a clear understanding of its role on your key business goal checklist.