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#SEOChat Recap - Conducting SEO Site Audits - August 4, 2016

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This SlideShare is a recap of the Twitter #SEOChat hosted by Captivate Search Marketing President Chris J. Everett on August 4th, 2016. The SEOChat discussed various questions on the topic of Conducting SEO Site Audits. Topics range from favorite SEO site auditing tools, leveraging Schema markup and Google AMPs, and common factors influencing both on-page and off-page SEO.

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#SEOChat Recap - Conducting SEO Site Audits - August 4, 2016

  1. 1. Summary: Conducting SEO Site Audits on #SEOchat
  2. 2. In 2016, what are some shocking fundamental SEO mistakes you still find during SEO site audits? @EricLanderSEO The most prevalent issues are related to page titles, headings and URL composition. Simple but still SO effective. More shocking is that basics and fundamentals are nonexistent, but the client asks for help honing microdata. That’s happened. @ChrisJEverett It’s like hearing about a new gadget that’s come out and you have to have it! @EricLanderSEO It’s so true! This week, it’s all about AMP. And I’m just wondering when we can eliminate querystring URLs. @seanvanguilder Using keywords meta tag, no meta descriptions, redundant domains. list is too long for twitter. One more, using images for text. ugh! @EricLanderSEO Just wrapped a micro audit last week where I needed a 30 minute call to defend removal suggestion for KWs. Q1
  3. 3. @TylerTafelsky Blank/dupe titles and metas, for the obvi. No logical naming conventions. URLs that make you LOL. Part II. No fricken site map. @EricLanderSEO Same with this too. The fact that some sites can have upwards of ~35% of their URLs without titles astounds. @bravomedia1 Too Many to List, Duplicate Meta, Dirty Code, Poor Page Speed, Non-mobile Friendly, Bad User Exp, ETC! @ChrisJEverett All are issues we still deal with here with prospective clients. @MatthewAYoung Lack of robots.txt, sitemaps, clean URLs, muddled navigation structure. Face, meet palm. @iankeir1 Little understanding of why backlinks are useful, and how they can hurt. A colleague came across a site that had de-indexed the entire site in the robots.txt. In 2016, what are some shocking fundamental SEO mistakes you still find during SEO site audits? Q1
  4. 4. @MatthewAYoung That recently happened with a site im working. We were blamed for de-indexation, when they added NOINDEX tags. @EricLanderSEO 1st day on my current job 4 years ago, that happened. Task: Get site indexed. Fix? Remove the X-Robots tag. @iankeir1 Such a simple fix, but so basic to being found. Seems like my job is education very often @EricLanderSEO That’s a great point. My auditing is not “This bad, fix” but more “This can be better, here’s why and how.” @ChrisJEverett I recently saw a site that “needed improved visibility” … 10 seconds to identify the No Index, No Follow. @Tinu Not shocking but keyword stuffing, no robots.txt file or XML site map, crap content, sad site architecture. List is Long. In 2016, what are some shocking fundamental SEO mistakes you still find during SEO site audits? Q1
  5. 5. @MatthewAYoung I run into that a lot, where theyve taken a single page and optimized it with a single keyword. Old school SEO. @cjmonteblanco No Webmaster Tools setup for Google/Bing, plugins for adding metadata or redirects, and stock content. Very terrible. @Rob_Bonham Loads and loads of thin content that offer little to no value. @thompsonpaul Nine! different variations of the homepage indexed and diluting authority. For a major national site. @EricLanderSEO I’d worked on a similar client recently w/ a duplicative instance across www and non www and http and https. @Affil4you I find internal links are still frequently missed. In 2016, what are some shocking fundamental SEO mistakes you still find during SEO site audits? Q1
  6. 6. @EricLanderSEO Search console verification, titles, URL structure, XML Sitemaps, internal linking, META Desc, media optimization – in order. @thompsonpaul Yup, all that, plus upper/lower case, index.asp etc. @EricLanderSEO .aspx! That brought me back to managing ISAPI Rewrite in IIS, and now I feel… Old. Just really old. @thompsonpaul ISAPI Rewrite?? Dude… you ARE old! And that’s me right there in the rocking chair beside ya @seanvanguilder Ties into Q1, but refreshing evergreen content, de-duping titles/descriptions, internal link profile. @Rob_Bonham Cleaning up dup title tags, missing meta descriptions, redirecting internal broken links to relevant live content. What are some of the most common “low hanging fruit” opportunities you find during SEO Site Audits? Q2
  7. 7. @bravomedia1 Add XML.Sitemap, Clean up Code, Condense Graphics, Alt Tag Images, H tags, Add G-Analytics, GSC, BingWMT. Just did a site audit client asks why does GSC show kw’s for viagra?? Um quick look -component injected bad rss feed into site! @MatthewAYoung Duplicate content has been a big one for me lately, esp with URLs and parameters. The canonical was invented for a reason. @ChrisJEverett So many development firms still don’t use canonical tags. @Tinu Rankings for long tail keywords that are converting. Hi! Can we just build from that? @thompsonpaul Fixing all the disastrous IIS default settings that ruin SEO – canonicalisation, single-case URLs, site speed. Fixing Google Analytics implementations for accurate data – can’t count # of sites w/ double tracking codes & no spam filtering. What are some of the most common “low hanging fruit” opportunities you find during SEO Site Audits? Q2
  8. 8. @EricLanderSEO Heh. In my audit questionnaire I often ask for IPs they use most and that opens up a similar can of worms. @beaupedraza Crawl depth/indexation issues via @screamingfrog and URL parameter woes. Can spot it a mile away now. @iankeir1 For me it’s been adding title/meta tags, compress images, and a quick search for orphan content. @Tinu Speed. So often a simple fix. @TylerTafelsky Getting text on the page. Implementing #schema (especially for local SEO.) Uniquifying/keyword optimizing titles n’ metas. @cjmonteblanco Titles and metas! Especially after the latest Google update in the SERPs. I wrote a blog on the topic. @cjmonteblanco Image/video optimization is another major one. It’s too comoon that they lack such content or don’t have tags/descriptions. What are some of the most common “low hanging fruit” opportunities you find during SEO Site Audits? Q2
  9. 9. @ChrisJEverett Great point! People still miss simple things like Image ALTs and optimized file names. @MatthewAYoung Pages rendering with and without trailing slashes. Love that one like Chewie likes to smash this guitar. @BerkleyBikes Cross domain tracking is implemented wrong (often across two CMSes), so site sessions are inflated & conversion rate drops. What are some of the most common “low hanging fruit” opportunities you find during SEO Site Audits? Q2
  10. 10. @seanvanguilder Backlink quality, NAP consistency, citaions. @cjmonteblanco How does their social presence look like on GMB, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Bing, and Yelp? @EricLanderSEO Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, & Google Analytics – then social accounts and link profile / velocity. Notion there being, get access to measure it all, then figure out where you’re at. Many audit buyers don’t have accounts. Honorable mention: The client as an off page factor. Was asked to improve rankings once for “(not provided)” once. @bravomedia1 @EricLanderSEO Nailed it – No Google Properties – zero benchmarks @beaupedraza This + I love to see how biz fits into a bigger plan. Auto SEOs – think Tier 2/3. Boon for social/links. @BerkleyBikes Backlinks, Google My Business profiles if Local is a thing for the client. What are the most critical OFF-site optimization factors you look for when conducting SEO Audits? Q3
  11. 11. @cjmonteblanco Is local ever not a thing? Lol. It should be their primary goal to rank in their area before getting ambitious @BerkleyBikes Yes, if the site’s focus is national and not specific to one area. Think e-commerce. @cjmonteblanco Still like to include their HQ or area where founded in the description. People like knowing they’re local. @BerkleyBikes I disagree. If strictly e-commerce, there’s no reason for their HQ to rank locally. No reason to set up GMB. @iankeir1 Looking at referrals in GA. Tells me a lot about a site. @MatthewAYoung Links and social footprint. I want to see the effectiveness of content. Visibility is often impacted by other marketing efforts, so I want to look at display, email campaigns, paid social, etc. @TylerTafelsky Pinpointing spam/unnatural backlinks as well as inaccurate and inconsistent citations. Proper tracking. @beaupedraza Esp when you have a major event w/ big social traction/shares. The uptick w links & imps = opp for fresh content visibility. What are the most critical OFF-site optimization factors you look for when conducting SEO Audits? Q3
  12. 12. @iankeir1 Screaming Frog, Open Site Explorer, Google Analytics/WBT. @EricLanderSEO Easy: @screamingfrog @ahrefs and webpagetest.org @EricLanderSEO This of course assumes you have Google Analytics, Search Console, Bing WMT and AdWords access headed in. @seanvanguilder Only 3? @screamingfrog, @semrush, @ahrefs. @MatthewAYoung I use @screamingfrog for heavy data collection, @ahrefs and @semrush. And a bunch of others. So many tools. @EricLanderSEO Good point. @semrush & @spyfu in comprehensive audits w/ competitive and industry analysis. @cjmonteblanco Google Search Console/Analytics, @ahrefs @screamingfrog. What are the 3 most essential tools you use for conducting #SEO Site Audits? Q4
  13. 13. @thompsonpaul Three tools – 1-BRAIN! 2-@ScreamingFrog, 3-@cognitiveseo. (Aside from GA & GSC/BWT) @bravomedia1 #1 The SEO Expert Mind, W3C, G-Analytics/GSC (if ur lucky), @screamingfrog @ChrisJEverett Great point on the #SEO Mind @bravomedia1! If you don’t know what you’re doing the tools are worthless! @beaupedraza Screaming Frog, Majestic, SEMRush. Hon mention: Interns. @TylerTafelsky Ahrefs, Raven Tools, Google Webmaster Tools, to name a few of the essentials. What are the 3 most essential tools you use for conducting #SEO Site Audits? Q4
  14. 14. @ChrisJEverett It still shocks me how many websites aren’t mobile friendly. @seanvanguilder a) none, b) about 75% @ChrisJEverett Not even Local Business Markup? @bravomedia1 Easy ? – None! @iankeir1 I would say for a: 40-45%, and for b: 75%. It amazes me more people don’t use schema. It’s becoming more essential to be found in the era of semantic search. @EricLanderSEO Schema: Use it? ~50%. Without warnings/errors? 0%; Mobile? I’d say ~75% are mobile friendly in my limited estimate sample. I’d say that SSL/HTTPS, Schema/Microdata & Mobile/PageSpeed are the most frequent issues beyond the basics. Approx what % of Websites you’ve done SEO audits on in 2016 a) use schema b) are mobile friendly? Q5
  15. 15. @Tinu Ahrefs, Moz & a purchased hour of another professional’s time to double check my findings. 2 heads, all that. @khepritech We need way more focus on mobile for most clients than SEO. @beaupedraza a) <1%, b) 85% in Seattle, 60% in Houston. Both rising. @TylerTafelsky a) 5% b) 65% @cjmonteblanco Almost no mobile friendly clients. A lot of selling opportunities though. @MatthewAYoung a) 50% and b)%100. I think a follow up question is how many clients are using AMP? Approx what % of Websites you’ve done SEO audits on in 2016 a) use schema b) are mobile friendly? Q5
  16. 16. @seanvanguilder That’s part of the competitive analysis portion and it weighs fairly heavy for me. Honestly can’t stand klout and could tell you why offline. mostly around SM engagement and strategy. @emily_C27 I check their social signals and make sure all sm profiles are linking to and from the primary domain. @EricLanderSEO Plenty! OpenGraph & TwitterCard support is a great primer for link profile development & increased velocity. Don’t overlook SEO for Facebook, Twitter & G+ profiles. That domain authority is vital! @ChrisJEverett Yet another set of meta data rarely used by development firms today… thank god for @yoast. @cjmonteblanco Did you notice that GMB removed the description field? Goodbye 100 DA exact match anchor text! @EricLanderSEO Yes! But beware that other sources (via Moz Local) have limitations still too (last time I checked) What, if any, consideration do you give to Social Media when conducting SEO Site Audits? Q6
  17. 17. @thompsonpaul Social Media review is a separate module client can add to an audit. Done properly, it’s a whole second audit. @EricLanderSEO Great point. For my SEO audits, the default offering is using social to augment links / off site SEO. @thompsonpaul Yup – I include rudimentary “is shit connected and working” but beyond that takes serious investigation for value. @EricLanderSEO That’s one of the primary differentiators between my Micro SEO Audits and my Comprehensive SEO Audits. @bravomedia1 A lot! Step 1) Connecting the properties on their site Step 2) Managing the social properties. @TylerTafelsky what @emily_C27 said. Social is a big deal for SEO, whether Google explicitly says so or not. @iankeir1 Checking the site for OpenGraph tags and Twitter cards and making sure social icons direct properly (you’d be surprised). What, if any, consideration do you give to Social Media when conducting SEO Site Audits? Q6
  18. 18. @MatthewAYoung I pay a lot of attention to it, social profile optimization can make or break ORM. Plus, metrics show efficacy of the content. @beaupedraza Competitive gap analysis, looking for social traction w/correlation via Majestic. Angles, angles, angles for days. What, if any, consideration do you give to Social Media when conducting SEO Site Audits? Q6
  19. 19. @seanvanguilder We’re an agency, but yes we bill potential clients for a full audit. I’ll do a mini-audit to lure them in. @EricLanderSEO Charge for it, but that’s because I’m often brought in as the white labeled audit provider for SEO shops. In either case, audits tend to pave the road for ongoing SEO campaigns and management / consulting. Auditing is 90% of my SEO consulting, but this is why a major component is prioritizing all recommendations. @ChrisJEverett To do it right, you have to invest the time. Free audits get you automated reports with no insight. @bravomedia1 The audit is the benchmark to moving forward. @EricLanderSEO Which is why education is so important. My audits are now more than 70 pages long! @thompsonpaul My audit reports tend to hit about 75 pages too – plus exec summary, prioritisation roadmap & data appendix. SEO Consultants: do you charge potential clients to conduct an audit, or do you do it to build trust? Q7
  20. 20. @bravomedia1 BILLABLE!!!! @beaupedraza Pre-audit, contract, then full audit. How can you win hearts & minds and close the deal if you can’t speak to the decay. @ChrisJEverett Good point. If you can’t tell them why they should hire you, how will they know? @iankeir1 We charge for a full audit, however, use a quick, high level audit to get people in the door. @emily_C27 Good one! I take a shallow dive during an initial client presentation and then charge for a full in-depth audit. @cjmonteblanco @In2itiveDigital offers prospects with a complimentary audit. It helps give them the bigger picture of the value of our work. @bensmith130 I’ve work with agencies and manage in-house and an audit should always be free. Builds trust and an easy job. SEO Consultants: do you charge potential clients to conduct an audit, or do you do it to build trust? Q7
  21. 21. @thompsonpaul Many clients coming/sent to me already know they have issues – that’s why they approach. The audit IS the job. @DaljeetkKaur no, we don’t charge as Seo audit is the thing that showcase our potential to clients & make them trust on us. SEO Consultants: do you charge potential clients to conduct an audit, or do you do it to build trust? Q7
  22. 22. @seanvanguilder Already is for myself. @EricLanderSEO Given yesterday’s news, it’s “one day ago.” AMP is here to stay, and infecting PPC as well. @seanvanguilder Absolutely. I’ve been recommending it to our existing clients and in audits for about 6 months now. @iankeir1 We are already recommending it for clients in audits. @thompsonpaul AMP is already a standard check – which pretty well all fail to meet at this point – some for good reason, others not. @bravomedia1 AMP is still in it’s infancy -but important to keep eyes on it. Right now works 4 news 1 graphic 1 video. How much longer before Accelerated Mobile Pages will be- come a standard check for #SEO Site Audits? Q8
  23. 23. @TylerTafelsky I still think it’s a bit too early to tell. But it does look promising in the coming months (maybe weeks.) @beaupedraza Now. Soon. Until they’re rendered redundant by tech innovations re: request/response, but I wouldn’t hold breath. @seanvanguilder Being that it is integrated into GSC, can count on it being a ranking factor for all. How much longer before Accelerated Mobile Pages will be- come a standard check for #SEO Site Audits? Q8
  24. 24. @EricLanderSEO HTTP/2 support and deeper reviews into PageSpeed Insights. @bravomedia1 HTTPS, Mobile & Page Speed. @iankeir1 increased focus on speed, http2, and necessity of schema @ChrisJEverett Saw a stat in a tweet today that said only 30 percent of pages indexed are SSL. @thompsonpaul Yea, AMP, retargeting/conversion tracking pixels, voice search applicability, new schemas, https/TLS/http2. @ChrisJEverett Love the point on voice search applicability. Definitely headed that direction @cjmonteblanco Mobile friendly navigation menus! Check out my blog on restructing and optimizing your menu. Looking into the future, what optimization factors do you see gaining importance for #SEO Site Audits? Q9
  25. 25. @beaupedraza Protocol, speed (Site/Page/AMP), user engagement via Big Data. Last one is the challenge. Take Stats/ SQL/R classes & dive. @TylerTafelsky Proper use of schema markup. Secure site. Mobile optimization. The connection of social media. Looking into the future, what optimization factors do you see gaining importance for #SEO Site Audits? Q9

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