When taking a look at your website SEO, it can be a little overwhelming, to say the least. Here at Poppy Seed, we give our clients the option for us to handle the SEO side of things, but if you’re looking to give it a shot yourself here is a comprehensive look at what auditing your site’s SEO looks like.
Firstly, what is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and impacts how your website ranks on Google. While SEO algorithms aren’t an exact science, experts have broken SEO down into key areas of focus so that you can improve the ranking of your site.
An SEO Audit is the process of evaluating how well your website is optimized for search engines, finding errors and issues that can prevent your site from ranking well, and opportunities to improve. It’s basically an overall “health check” for a website, and we’re going to cover the key areas to focus on to get you started on the right foot.
Check your website speed
Checking your website speed gets into the more technical side of SEO, but is made accessible through plugins and tools available online. Using a plugin or tool focusing on website speed such as Google Lighthouse will check a site's Core Web Vitals (CWV) and start you in the right direction.
Your website speed is simply put, how fast pages on your site load. If your site is too slow, visitors may opt to search elsewhere for their information. Website speed can be affected by many things, from outdated Java Scripts to broken images, and small changes can mean a big difference in your SEO.
Check for indexing issues
Pages that aren’t indexed aren’t in Google's database, and therefore won’t be ranked. Google Search Console is a great tool for checking indexing issues on your website. It identifies any pages that aren’t indexed, and what is causing the issue. Similarly to website speed, once identified you can take the appropriate steps to fix the problem.
You only need pages you want to appear on Google to be indexed, so pages such as redirects or admin pages don’t require indexing. Be sure to keep this in mind when completing your audit.
Check keyword usage
On any site, for any business, you should have specific keywords or keyword phrases you use throughout the site to target. These keywords make it easy for Google to recognise the relevance of your page, and rank it accordingly with what your consumers are searching for.
Keywords or keyword phrases for each page on your site can be different, as long as they are relevant to the content you’re posting. Keywords for each page should be featured in the site title, introduction or text, meta description, and alternative text on any image to ensure they’re consistent across the page.
Using an SEO plugin for your site is a great way to ensure you’re utilising keywords for your SEO score. These plugins enable you to set keywords or keyword phrases for each specific page on the site and then tell you if you use them enough.
Keep an eye on your organic traffic
Google is constantly releasing updates, if you notice a drop in traffic to your site the first step is to check to see if this drop coincides with an update. If it is, look into the update to see if this is a fixable issue, or if it requires further investigation.
Check your meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are short text that generally describes what is found on the page, appearing under the link to the page in a Google search. Each page on your site should have a different meta description, including the keyword you want to target on the corresponding page. Ensure each page first has a meta description, and that they are all unique. Try to keep them under 160 characters, and always relevant to the page's contents.
Internal linking is important for Google being able to crawl your pages, and consequently rank them for SEO purposes. Providing internal links helps both Google navigate, as well as visitors to your page.
Ensure each page on your site has multiple points of access from other pages, for example, if you’re doing a blog that mentions your FAQ, or contacting your business, add a link to those pages within the blog. Internal links build up the authority of your site and are an easy way to improve SEO.
Backlinks are links to your site from other sources. Check where your backlinks are coming from, and do some research to find out what other opportunities would be possible. A great way to build your backlinks is through writing guest blogs or providing infographics. Alternatively, you can analyse competitors to see where their backlinks are coming from or reach out to relevant businesses to see if a collaboration is possible to build your backlinks.
SEMrush takes the hassle out of SEO for businesses that want to focus on their business. It allows businesses to build, manage and measure marketing campaigns across all channels to improve their online visibility. With tools in place to track keywords, backlinks, organic traffic, and more, it’s the one-stop shop for SEO management.
Ahrefs is another strong contender for SEO management. Like SEMrush, you’re able to analyze your competitors and track compiled data specific to your websites to receive regular audits and opportunities for improvement. With a comprehensive collection of tools suitable for any level of SEO experience, their step-by-step approach takes you across everything you need to know about SEO.
Kitana Fernance is our in-house copywriter who is passionate about creating copy that brings brands to life!
After working freelance in the industry for the last 3 years, Kitana joined the Poppy Seed Media team to be able to work closely with businesses to help them market their brands. From caption writing to brand voices, a copywriter sets the tone for any business.
Kitana has worked with an array of clients, from big businesses to start-up individuals, helping them find their voice.