If you have decided to do some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your own company or someone you’re working for, you'll need to know the basics of performing your first website audit. This is an important initial tool that will let you know where your website needs work. Like anything else, it is essential for you to understand how SEO works before you get auditing! In order to do this, we recommend you keep reading on and continue your journey into the depths of SEO. Here are some key points to address when you are performing your audit:
It is important to make sure that you are using important and relevant tolls when analyzing your website for SEO Toronto. There are many useful tools on the market today but if you don’t do your research properly you could end up wasting money on tools you actually don’t have a need for. On top of that, there are many free useful tools that can help you achieve your key goals. Google Search Console and Google Analytics are great places to start, but there are many more to explore! These are both free tools that will give you mountains of information at your fingertips. There’s an abundance of video tutorials to stream through on Youtube in order to learn how to work your way around these tools below.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that provides basic website and SEO data. It is important to make sure that this tool is correctly installed on every single page of your website. The great part about this tool is that you can set up your KPI’s to track your goals and their progress. Another great feature they have to offer is their reporting tools where you can set up custom dimensions and metrics to track on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. There is no limit when it comes to Google Analytics, you can use this tool to track events that occur on your website such as phone calls, form submissions, or even how many people watch a video. The most important thing for you to know is your goals before getting started so that you know what you want to track. Google Analytics lets you see how many people have viewed your website and which channels /mediums your users are coming from. For example, 60% of users can be coming from organic search results and 10% can be coming via your social media channels.
Google Search Console
Helping you measure your site’s search traffic and performance, Google Search Console is another great tool when it comes to optimizing your site for Google. In order to ensure that you are seeing the correct data in your console, everything must be set up correctly. The right URL and protocol must be in place and your sitemap must be properly listed. Page speed testing is also an extremely important aspect of SEO. This lead to our next tool…
Page Speed Testing
Use Google Pagespeed Insights to test the loading speed of your site. It is a simple concept really, people do not have the attention span to wait for a website to load therefore will close the browser before your business even stood a chance! Pagespeed Insights has a ranking process to follow; 0–49 = poor, 50–89
= average, 90–100 = excellent! Although it does take some work to optimize your site, it’s worth
it in the end. There are many factors at hand that can affect your website’s loading speed. To name a few: large file sizes, which hosting provider you are using, the type of plugins you’re using, and the list goes on.
When Google lists your site it uses your meta-description text so make sure that your written words are enticing visitors to click. This meta description is essentially a snippet of characters up to 155 which is meant to summarize a page’s overall content. This content is crucial for on-page SEO so make sure to some time to think about it. This description also must reflect your overall website content as Google knows everything! It is best to practice to test these to see what has a higher conversion rate (people actually clicking through to your site).
Make sure that your page titles are fully optimized and that the main keywords are included in your title. Depending on the type of site you're operating, your location should also be included in the title so that when people see your service or product they already have some important information. The ideal length of the title should be no longer than 60 characters. Some helpful tips are to use words such as how? why? what? and where? Make sure that your title is unique and true to your business so it makes users want to click into your website to learn more.
Technical SEO is, well, pretty technical… Here are some other aspects that must be checked to make sure your website is optimized include. Fair warning, technical SEO is best done at an intermediate or advanced level as some aspects are a bit harder to understand and even harder to execute. It is best to either hire an SEO expert or partner up with a digital marketing agency to help navigate your journey through the SEO trenches.
● Using HTTPS protocol
● Your XML site maps should reflect the URLs accurately
● Robots.txt shouldn't be blocking anything that is to be indexed and crawled
● A 404 status code should be appearing for any error pages.
To start, HTTPS protocol is when your site has an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. This is very important to have as it gives your users a sense of trust and ease knowing that your website is secure. As for the XML sitemap, you must make sure to submit your URLs so that Google is able to crawl your website properly. These sitemaps are simply text files that are able to identify different types of data.
Now onto Robots.txt, this is a part of technical SEO used to communicate with website crawlers and other robots. Robots.txt is applied to inform these robots what areas of the website should not be processed. Last but not least, a 404 status code, which functions as a protocol in response to the
Browser and server not being able to communicate. These are the basics of auditing your site for SEO purposes to make sure that everything is in working order.