SEO Audits: No Pain, No Gain
Presentation 10/22 PubCon Vegas
Prepared by: Selena Narayanasamy
Me!
Foundation Digital
Technical and off-site audits for clients of all sizes, in both highly competitive/niche
industries...
Preparation
It All Starts with Onboarding Correctly
Create an organized onboarding process
•What do they think is the issu...
Preparation
Have a preset checklist of initial areas you look at prior to starting
•Pull at least 1 years worth of organic...
Preparation
Identify true problems. Ability to differentiate is highly important
Prioritize impact vs. capabilities
•What ...
Preparation
Set yourself up for success: Qs and As
“I lost rankings for x keywords”
Start with analytics, backlinks, phras...
Audit Mistakes

• Do not rely on one source: Make sure you’re using multiple tools to identify
trends
• Do not make decisi...
Tools
SEO Tools Make the World Go Round
Just don’t let the tool make decisions for you. Use critical thinking
•Screaming F...
Tools
SEO Tools Make the World Go Round
Just don’t let the tool make decisions for you. Use critical thinking
Ahrefs: anot...
Architecture
Screaming Frog
Strong architecture can make the difference between a website that performs
strongly with litt...
Architecture
Redirect Issues [Screaming Frog]
•Can cause incorrect/unwanted indexing
•Can create a roadblock when trying t...
Architecture
URL
http://clientdomain.com

Backlinks
1,961

Response Code Destination
302 temporary https://www.clientdomai...
Architecture

Ideal Scenario
http://clientdomain.com
http://www.clientdomain.com
https://www.clientdomain.com
https://www....
Content Performance
Just because a website has a lot of indexed pages does not mean it’s going to perform
better.
Large vo...
Backlink Audits
Percentages, percentages, percentages!
Anchor text percentages: Look at this in relation to your competito...
Content Performance
How do I do this?
Review organic analytics data from the past 6 months to a year.
If large, use unsamp...
Content Performance
SourceUrl
Third Party Site
Third Party Site
Third Party Site
Client Site
Third Party Site
Client Site
...
Deep Link Ratio
Percentage of links to the internal pages. Double digits preferred.
DLR = # of internal links / # of links...
Backlink Audits

High percentages

High percentages with low volume of referring
domains
Backlink Audits
Track the drop off of referring
domains
• Indicator of feed links
• Indicator of non-static links
• Only m...
Penalty Assessment

SEMrush, Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools
•
•
•
•
•
•

Over optimization of internal links?
Over opt...
Competitive & Brand Intel
Outreach/Link Building [Links still matter!!]
Tools: Majestic SEO, Link Research Tools, Open Sit...
Competitive Research
Pull logical conclusions from the raw data
•WHO: Who are their true organic competitors?
•WHAT: What ...
Keywords
• Keyword Cannibalization: Targeting the
same keywords for multiple pages
• Are there pages to capture longer tai...
So What Now?
Auditing = Focus, Organization & Critical Thinking
Find the Issue & Create a Strong Roadmap for Implementatio...
Thanks!
@selenavidya
selena@foundationdigital.com
gplus.to/selenavidya
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Performing an SEO Audit- Pubcon Vegas 2013

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For more information on SEO audit services from Orthris: http://orthris.com/consulting-services/seo-audits/

Walkthrough on high level items for SEO audits from onboarding to technical. From Pubcon Vegas 2013.

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  • I’ve worked on a lot of projects where you come in after having prior link builders. Having all that information ready from the start will help in the analysis instead of chasing it down throughout the course of the audit.
  • This has saved me numerous times from spending unnecessary time finding issues. It helps give you laser focus on what particular areas to start focusing on.
  • Cannot stress enough the importance of critical thinking.
  • Cannot stress enough the importance of critical thinking.
  • Its called CPR for a reason, it acts as kind of a heatbeat for your content.
  • Understanding where the engagement lies from multiple channels
  • This can help you understand if you need to have a stronger support system in place for interior pages.
  • Mention competitors & links.
    Ave cit and trust/ pa and da scores help you know when to scope out links of lesser value for potential removal
    There are also non technical aspects of auditing that involves gathering competitive intel
  • Understanding where there may be opportunity for improvement
  • Critical thinking- client thing
  • Performing an SEO Audit- Pubcon Vegas 2013

    1. 1. SEO Audits: No Pain, No Gain Presentation 10/22 PubCon Vegas Prepared by: Selena Narayanasamy
    2. 2. Me! Foundation Digital Technical and off-site audits for clients of all sizes, in both highly competitive/niche industries and large e-commerce sites. Strategy creation, ranging from content marketing/strategy/execution, outreach strategy/execution, website restructuring or migration.
    3. 3. Preparation It All Starts with Onboarding Correctly Create an organized onboarding process •What do they think is the issue? •Have they worked with agencies in the past? •Are you going to be undoing the mess of multiple hands? •Is your POC trying to get support from you? •What are their push cycles for development work? •Get access to analytics, WMT, and any other accounts
    4. 4. Preparation Have a preset checklist of initial areas you look at prior to starting •Pull at least 1 years worth of organic data from analytics •% of branded phrases vs. non-branded phrases- These become your initial buckets to look at. •Do a quick review for potential over-optimization issues: Will this require cleanup work? If so, gather all relevant data before starting. •DO an initial crawl (Screaming Frog) for canonical/redirect issues, duplicate content, internal linking issues, etc.
    5. 5. Preparation Identify true problems. Ability to differentiate is highly important Prioritize impact vs. capabilities •What needs to be done in order to have an impact vs. what can their team actually implement. •Create strong written documentations (get all OCD about it)
    6. 6. Preparation Set yourself up for success: Qs and As “I lost rankings for x keywords” Start with analytics, backlinks, phrases both on-site and off-site “I can’t get these interior pages to rank or drive traffic” You: Look at overall crawlability of the site, structure, link support, keyword targeting, optimization of pages
    7. 7. Audit Mistakes • Do not rely on one source: Make sure you’re using multiple tools to identify trends • Do not make decisions from only one resource: Conclusions should be drawn after reviewing analytics, backlinks, site structure, etc. • Do not take tool data literally. • Letting the client’s or team’s perceived issue skew your critical thinking and problem solving. • On-site issues can cause more problems than off-site issues. Don’t neglect site structure.
    8. 8. Tools SEO Tools Make the World Go Round Just don’t let the tool make decisions for you. Use critical thinking •Screaming Frog- Overall structure, meta data, duplicate content (hash), sitemap crawling, internal linking structure •Majestic SEO- Backlink review, new links, deleted links, advanced report for more granular review •Open Site Explorer •SEMrush- Mainly ranking & ad related data •NerdyData- Great Post from Aleyda Solis [find sites with badges, sites mentioning competitors, sites with the same UA] •Google/Bing Webmaster Tools •GTMetrix: Site load time, timeline waterfall, optimization suggestions •Alchemy API- Semantic/Natural language
    9. 9. Tools SEO Tools Make the World Go Round Just don’t let the tool make decisions for you. Use critical thinking Ahrefs: another tool for link audits/site explorer Link Research Tools: Great for penalty cases. Helps identify batches of poor links, but still needs the human eye to determine whether they should be removed/disavowed Raven Tools: All inclusive suite for content, link/outreach tracking, rankings, site crawling, etc. Authority Labs: Great for rank tracking/charting/monitoring
    10. 10. Architecture Screaming Frog Strong architecture can make the difference between a website that performs strongly with little off-site work vs. performing OK with strong off-site work. •How are they segmenting data? Transactional vs. informational •Is there logical nesting? Are the main and sub directories related to each other? •What are they/aren’t they disallowing? [Robots.txt] •Are they internally linking related pages and topics? •How many pages are indexed? (WMT or site:) •Are they using parameters for tagging? Are these pages being indexed? •If they are, is Google ignoring canonicalization? •Is there pagination without rel=“prev” & rel=“next”
    11. 11. Architecture Redirect Issues [Screaming Frog] •Can cause incorrect/unwanted indexing •Can create a roadblock when trying to properly spread equity •# of 301/302/404s- WMT & Screaming Frog
    12. 12. Architecture URL http://clientdomain.com Backlinks 1,961 Response Code Destination 302 temporary https://www.clientdomain.com/ 301 permanent https://www.clientdomain.com/clientdomain 302 temporary https://www.clientdomain.com/clientdomain/errornot-found?aspxerrorpath=/clientdo 404 error http://www.clientdomain.com 1,753 302 temporary https://www.clientdomain.com/ 301 permanent https://www.clientdomain.com/clientdomain 302 temporary https://www.clientdomain.com/clientdomain/errornot-found?aspxerrorpath=/clientdo 404 error https://www.clientdomain.com 63 301 permanent https://www.clientdomain.com/clientdomain 302 temporary https://www.clientdomain.com/clientdomain/errornot-found?aspxerrorpath=/clientdo 404 error http://www.clientdomain.com/clientdomain 1 302 temporary https://www.clientdomain.com/clientdomain https://www.clientdomain.com/clientdomain/errornot-found? 302 temporary aspxerrorpath=/clientdomain 404 error
    13. 13. Architecture Ideal Scenario http://clientdomain.com http://www.clientdomain.com https://www.clientdomain.com https://www.clientdomain.com /clientdomain http://www.clientdomain.com/ clientdomain Response Code 200 301 301 Backlinks 1,961 1,753 63 Destination http://clientdomain.com http://clientdomain.com 301 445 http://clientdomain.com 301 1 http://clientdomain.com
    14. 14. Content Performance Just because a website has a lot of indexed pages does not mean it’s going to perform better. Large volumes of pages that are indexed yet receiving low amounts of engagement signals (links, organic traffic, commenting) can send negative signals •Ecommerce Websites  Can be painstaking to clean up. •UGC Websites (Blogs, videos) CPR (content performance ratio) CPR = # Pages Receiving Organic Traffic / # of Indexed Pages (site:) Website with 1,000,000 pages indexed & 25,000 receiving organic traffic = 2.5% CPR
    15. 15. Backlink Audits Percentages, percentages, percentages! Anchor text percentages: Look at this in relation to your competitors. Double digits can cause issues. If you see high percentages: •Is there brute force linking? •Links per domain- Are referring domains near the volume of backlinks? •Sitewide links? Blog rolls, sidebar links, footer links. •Are these percentages exact match & higher than branded? Industry thresholds? The more volatile, the higher the threshold. •Payday loan industry •Flight industry •Adult industry •Pharma Industry •Gambling Industry Short term tactics, not sustainable for the long term.
    16. 16. Content Performance How do I do this? Review organic analytics data from the past 6 months to a year. If large, use unsampled data. Review only landing pages that are receiving organic traffic Compute that number into the content performance ratio Audit the remaining content! •Aggregate organic, KWD Volume and social data for remaining pages •Separate buckets for types of content that are performing that can be spruced up or updated •Create specific recommendations for culling content that have minimal link/social support with no organic traffic
    17. 17. Content Performance SourceUrl Third Party Site Third Party Site Third Party Site Client Site Third Party Site Client Site Client Site Third Party Site Client Site Client Site Client Site Client Site Client Site Third Party Site Client Site KW VOL 0 0 0 0 0 730 56,678 0 661 19 0 3,262 492 39 12 Status Found Found Found Found Found Found Found Found Found Found Found Found Found Found Found Total Social 1,380 941 423 54 7 1,673 288 161 84 584 142 6,699 1,463 341 0 RefDomains 84 84 54 38 29 25 20 18 15 14 14 12 12 11 11 EXTBacklinks 668 668 86 45 209 91 81 43 24 103 33 64 28 54 64 Citation Flow 38 38 37 19 16 27 35 12 19 22 25 25 24 20 26 Trust Flow 25 25 33 10 16 14 23 7 11 14 14 14 15 3 21
    18. 18. Deep Link Ratio Percentage of links to the internal pages. Double digits preferred. DLR = # of internal links / # of links to the site Old school link building typically targeted the homepage What’s the website’s internal link support in comparison to competitors? What types of pages are being linked to? Informational? Transactional?
    19. 19. Backlink Audits High percentages High percentages with low volume of referring domains
    20. 20. Backlink Audits Track the drop off of referring domains • Indicator of feed links • Indicator of non-static links • Only momentary value
    21. 21. Penalty Assessment SEMrush, Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools • • • • • • Over optimization of internal links? Over optimization with exact match keywords Thin or duplicate content? [copyscape, “sentences”, syndication] Major technical or website structure changes? Was it a page level drop? SEMRush is great for identifying drop trends Enter domain >> charts >> search traffic
    22. 22. Competitive & Brand Intel Outreach/Link Building [Links still matter!!] Tools: Majestic SEO, Link Research Tools, Open Site Explorer Where are the links being obtained from? Are they quality over quantity? Average citation and trust flow scores of the backlinks? [Majestic] Average page & domain authority of backlinks [Open Site Explorer] What kinds of content are being created for link generation? •Infographics •Microsites with pre/post campaigns •Guest blogging: Is it done properly and mutually beneficial •Working directly with publishers: Who do they have relationships with? •Sponsorships? •Partnerships? •Events IRL?
    23. 23. Competitive Research Pull logical conclusions from the raw data •WHO: Who are their true organic competitors? •WHAT: What are their tactics? Outreach? Sponsorships? Content Marketing? What are their core issues? •WHERE: Where are they obtaining links? Publications? Governmental sites? Educational institutions? New website? •WHEN: Are they seasonal? When do they start pushing their seasonal content? •WHY: What’s their motive? Are they looking for sharing? Links? Coverage for their brand?
    24. 24. Keywords • Keyword Cannibalization: Targeting the same keywords for multiple pages • Are there pages to capture longer tail traffic? • Are there related phrases being targeted? What percentage of volume does each topic/category/bucket have? • Break out subdomains or directories • Pull overall volume from SEMrush
    25. 25. So What Now? Auditing = Focus, Organization & Critical Thinking Find the Issue & Create a Strong Roadmap for Implementation DON’T FALL DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE.
    26. 26. Thanks! @selenavidya selena@foundationdigital.com gplus.to/selenavidya
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