A Checklist For Analysing Your Website's SEO
Understanding your website performance is important to enhance the areas it is performing well and improving on the areas where it is not doing so well. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analysis gives you deep insights into the areas that may need some improvement. It is important to perform an SEO analysis on a regular basis as the industry keeps evolving quickly. And it will help you stay ahead of your competition. This post provides an insight into what changes can be made to keep your website up-to-date in respect of its SEO status.
Now that the importance of an SEO analysis has been established, let us look at what it is and how you can master it. It involves analyzing your website based on a checklist and then finding out what needs to be fixed. An SEO audit tells you more about the current state of your website. It also gives you a list of actions to be taken.
Let’s look at what needs to be done to perform an SEO analysis.
1. Check your visibility on Google
This is one very important thing to check when starting off with your SEO analysis. You should check your website’s rankings and position on Google. You can also check out how many pages of your website are ranked in the search engine. The simplest way to find this out is by typing “site:example.com” in the search bar. Please replace example.com with your actual domain name.
2. Analyze your page URLs and meta descriptions
Your URLs should consist of four or five words that describe the content of the page. If your URLs are not optimized, edit them so that the search engine bots can identify them better. Similarly, the meta descriptions must have correct keyword usage and should be attractive. A well-written meta description helps drive users to your website.
3. Analyze your website titles and headings
All of the titles and headings of your website should contain matching keywords. Check for the keywords that are being used in your headers and titles. If they are high search volume keywords, try to frame a new SEO campaign. High search volume keywords usually have high competition, so it’s difficult to rank for them. You should also make the titles look attractive so that users are prompted to click on them.
3.1 Why Title Tags Matter
Google’s goal is to deliver results that are relevant to the searches people make. For the search engine to do that, it has to recognize what different pages on the web are about. Google discovers this information by looking at the words used on the page, but it also gives certain parts of the page more weight than others in determining the page’s content.
The title tag is one part of the page that’s given a lot of weight by search engine algorithms in determining what a page is about, since it’s a short and simple way for website creators to signal what’s on the page that follows. For that reason, title tags are one of the most important on-page ranking factors.
But beyond the role they play in ranking, they’re also extremely important for getting people to click on the link once it shows up in the search results. The title is the first and most obvious part of the listing they see – it’s big, it’s blue, and people expect it to provide the main information they need about what’s on the page behind that link.
Ultimately, title tags aren’t just about improving rankings, they’re about getting people to click once your webpage does show up in the search engine – which what you care about the most.
And they do make a difference in that. In one case study, Ahrefs found that improving the title tag of a webpage led to a 37% increase in web traffic to that page. If you aren’t optimizing your title tags, you’re missing a big opportunity.
3.2: Tips to help you write better Page Titles
Now let’s look at how to go about writing good Page Titles, here are the top nine Tips to help you write better Page Titles;
- The Length Of Page Titles
A good Page Title needs to be long enough that you can fully describe the page and at the same time you don’t want to exceed the optimal lenght for Google’s (and other Search Engines) Titles in the results. You don’t want your Page Title being cut in half on the results page, it would look bad and less people would want to click on it. Also sure Google don’t like listing pages that have a Page Title that is too long and they have to cut them. You also have to think about your visitors, no one likes reading a 3 line page title.
A good length to aim for would be up towards the 70 character mark, that is about the max length that search engines will show. It’s okay to have less then this (even less than half) if your title still describes your page well.
- Targeted Keywords Towards Your Content
To make your Page Title add a strong SEO effect to your Web Page you will want to make sure you have Keywords within your Page Title. Not just any keywords related to your website, make sure the Keywords in the Page Title are well targeted and matched to the content on your page. This will make the page title look better in the eyes of Search Engines, if the keywords in the page title match what the search engines scanned out of your content that has to be good.
- Important Part Of The Titles Should Go First
This is for both Search Engines and human visitors. Some people believe (no one can really be sure though) that Search Engines place more value on the words that appear closer to the start of a Page Title then the words towards the end. Now even if that is not true it is still a good idea to make the starting of your Page Title contain the more important information. This is because of the way people read, people read from the start of a sentence.
What is meant by important stuff first is that things like the strongest keyword should come closer to the start of the Page Title rather than the end. For example a bad page title would be “If You Want More Visitors To Your Website Learn Search Engine Optimization”. A better Page Title for this would be “Search Engine Optimization – Get More Website Visitors”. That's just a quick example and there would be many other ways to write a good Page Title for that.
- Unique Titles
There is a huge volume of content on the internet and there is so much more being added every day. This is where making your Page Titles unique can help you a lot. Try to stay away from common Titles. If you have an article on say SEO you don’t want to give it a title that most other articles have, like “Learn Search Engine Optimization”. Common Page Titles means that you will be competing with many other page to get ranked, be unique and lead the rankings.
- Avoid Keyword Spamming
Don’t think that if you stuff your page title full of multiple keywords that you will rank high for all these different keywords. In fact all this will do is ruin your chance for ranking with any of the keywords. Search Engines won’t know what to rank you for and search engines are very smart they will see what you are trying to do, dedicate each page to a small amount of targeted keywords.
Also read: Google Exact Match Keyword Penalty Explained
- Writing For Your Visitors and not the search engines
Yes, it is good to consider the search engines but remember that you main goal here is to offer good information to real people. Don’t get caught up focusing just on search engines, you need to make sure that your Page Titles are easily read and understood by real people. After all it is your visitors that you want to please, you website wouldn’t really exist without people to read it.
- Page Titles Need Description
On top of everything else your Page Titles should describe what your page is actually going to be about. You need to make sure that if someone reads your page title it explains to them exactly what the rest of the page is about. Don’t make any false or misleading Page Titles, this will just annoy your visitors and you will be less likely to have returning visitors, your goal is to increase your traffic.
- Question Page Titles
Don’t be afraid to make your page title look like a question, if people are looking for answers and see the question similar to what they are asking then they are likely to click on it. Also question Page Titles seem to intrigue people in some way so give it a try, try a few pages with normal Page Titles and then try similar content pages with a question Title and see what the results are.
- Quality is imortant
If you are writing for your blog or even your website and you have a very small amount of traffic don’t lower the quality of your Page Titles (or content). Some people seem to have the thought pattern that I am only writing for few people at the moment so I don’t have to try as hard. You couldn’t be more wrong, your early content is what actually builds your website. The better your content is in the beginning the faster your website will grow and the better for your reputation.
4. Check your website rankings
You should check your website’s global and national rankings as well as the number of users visiting it. This can give you great insights into your website’s position with respect to all other websites. And you can get insights into the bounce rate and average time spent by visitors on your site. You can even see the top five keywords that are sending traffic to your website.
5. Analyze your incoming links
You should also check the inbound links to your website and even those of your competitors’ websites. This can give you an idea of how much work needs to be done to improve your rankings. You can check the inbound links by using the “link:command example.com” on Google. Similarly, on Yahoo, you can use “linkdomain:example.com” to see all of your links.
6. Check your spam score
Your spam score matters a lot when it comes to your website’s rankings and domain authority. If your website has a lot of inbound links from low authority websites, it can increase your spam score. You can find your spam score and then eliminate all of the bad inbound links accordingly. This is important as bad links can undermine your site’s authority.
Spam score tool was developed by Moz to determine which websites are “spammy” and which are trustworthy. Sites receive a grade of 0 to 17, with 0 being most trustworthy and 17 being the least trustworthy.
Sites that score high could be websites that are built in a manner intended to deceive search engines and users, called black hat SEO. These are usually sites geared toward making a quick buck off e-commerce rather than making a long-term investment. Black hat SEO tactics include keyword stuffing, building fake pages to trick search engines, and creating hidden text or links as another means of fooling search engine spiders.
High scorers could also be poorly developed and maintained sites, i.e., sites with irrelevant or redundant copy, sites that have broken links and missing pages, and sites with links to other “spammy” sites.
You can check your website’s score and the score of individual pages by plugging in your website address into Moz’s Open Site Explorer. A score of 0 to 4 is considered low risk. A score of 8 or higher is high risk. Open Site Explorer will also highlight problem areas, like a low number of internal links or too little content, that you can then address to lower your score.
Like page authority, your spam score will impact your overall domain authority: a high spam score will bring your domain authority score down.
Also, any savvy digital marketer will check your site’s spam score before pursuing any type of collaboration with you. If your score indicates your site is not trustworthy, it’s going to be a challenge to establish quality links and share content.
7. Check for broken links
Broken links can cause a terrible experience for users visiting your website. And they can prove to be detrimental to your site’s SEO, so they should be taken care of quickly.
You can use Google webmaster tools to find broken links on your website and then fix them. Fixing them can be done by either correcting the links or by doing 301 redirects to other valid URLs. Removing broken links can help make your website more user-friendly.
8. Audit your images
Images make your website more attractive and easier to consume. However, images are data-heavy and can work against your SEO if not optimized. Search engine crawlers can’t crawl images, so you have to give them an appropriate title. The titles should best describe what the image contains. The ALT tag should include keywords, if appropriate. And you must also compress the images to reduce their size to improve website loading speed.
9. Check your internal links
Internal linking on your website is a great practice and can help improve your search engine rankings. It can also help improve the user experience and helps users easily find different pages on your site. You can create internal links by using appropriate keywords as anchor text and then linking to the desired page.
10. Analyze your content
Content is one of the most important factors you need to consider when checking the SEO of your website. There are a few important things to remember when writing posts on your website. Your content must be unique. If you find any duplicate content, you should de-index or remove it.
Using Google Analytics, you can find the most popular pages on your website. Then you should check the content on those pages. The content should be free from errors and be high quality. You should also pay attention to your content’s length and its freshness.
11. Page speed analysis
Analyzing the loading speed of your website is an important factor that has to be taken into account. A light web page that loads quickly enhances the overall user experience. Not only does it affect the user experience but is also one of the factors that influence the site’s SEO. You can test your page speed from the PageSpeed Insights tool by Google.
Tools to help with your SEO analysis
While these methods are useful when carrying out your website’s SEO analysis, there are tools out there that can help you with these tasks as well. These tools can make your SEO analysis easier as they do all (or most) of the work for you.
Here are a percentage of the simple to-utilize instruments to test your site speed.
1. Gtmetrix Website Speed Test
2.. Google Mobile Speed Checker. This tool is recently launched by Google and will test the speed of your website on mobile devices.
3. Google page Speed
5. Website page test - This tool is probably one of the main free online instrument giving broad investigation reports and points of interest of webpage performance. In advance settings the apparatus gives you a chance to pick connection speed to test the site and also allows you to overlook SSL mistakes or even block advertisements.
6. Websiteoptimization.com speed testing tool
It would not be wrong to say that Yslow and Google page speed command the power on the subject and are the highest referenced assets for site speed test. For learners, Gtmetrix and Pingdom instruments ought to be sufficiently adequate to know the status of your sites.
This post was updated on November 22, 2021.