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Optimize Your WordPress Site: How to do an SEO Audit by Bill Hartzer

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Bill Hartzer explores optimizing your WordPress website using search engine optimization best practices. He also discusses performing an SEO audit of your website, including on-page and off-page strategies. Originally presented at the DFW WordPress Meetup on January 27, 2017.

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Optimize Your WordPress Site: How to do an SEO Audit by Bill Hartzer

  1. 1. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Optimize Your WordPress Site: How to do an SEO Audit
  2. 2. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit About Me • Senior SEO Consultant, BillHartzer.com • Founder, DFWSEM Association (2004) • US Brand Ambassador, Majestic.com • Practicing Organic/Natural SEO since 1996 • Formerly Senior VP, Advice Interactive (Advice Local) • Senior SEO Strategist, Globe Runner • Director of SEO, Standing Dog
  3. 3. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Overview • Get Access • Optimize WordPress Settings • Gather Data • Analyze @bhartzer
  4. 4. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Before You Begin – Info to Gather • Access to WordPress admin section of site • Google Analytics, Search Console access • Bing Webmaster Tools access • Prior history: What SEO was done in past? • Prior history: Domain Names used • List of Domain Names owned, redirected • List of Competitors • Ask: anything else we need to know? @bhartzer
  5. 5. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Optimizing WordPress Phase • Access /wp-admin/ on the site • Let’s review settings first • Let’s make some tweaks, look at plugins @bhartzer
  6. 6. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Optimizing WordPress Settings • Permalinks end in / , news sites need no. in url • Use Categories or Tags • Move Site to HTTPs • No calendar, archives, or links to posts by date • WordPress notorious for duplicate content @bhartzer
  7. 7. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Recommended Plugins • Akismet • AMP • Cloudflare (if used) or WP Rocket • Imagify • Related Posts • Simple 301 Redirects • Wordfence Security • Yoast SEO Premium or All in One SEO Pack @bhartzer
  8. 8. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Move Site to HTTPs ASAP • Change address in settings • Search and replace plugin – http to https • Edit .htaccess for 301 redirect http to https @bhartzer
  9. 9. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Content – Optimize Content on Site • Google Search Analytics • SEMrush.com Keyword Research • Current Rankings @bhartzer
  10. 10. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit GSC Search Analytics Pages Trick @bhartzer
  11. 11. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Featured Snippets Keyword Research • http://seorave.com/find-featured-snippet-opportunities/ @bhartzer
  12. 12. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Current rankings, Focus on Pages Ranking 5th to 20th @bhartzer
  13. 13. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Gathering Phase • Gather the Data • Save the Data (MS Excel, MS Word) • Start making notes (Notepad) @bhartzer
  14. 14. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Google Searches • site:domain.com • site:domain.com –site:www.domain.com • Click last page of SERPs to get page count @bhartzer
  15. 15. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Screaming Frog Adjust memory to crawl large site over 100k pages @bhartzer
  16. 16. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Integrity (aka Scrutiny) What it does: • Crawls site, reports redirects, 404 errors • Mac only, finds more errors @bhartzer
  17. 17. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Siteliner.com @bhartzer
  18. 18. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Bing Webmaster Tools @bhartzer
  19. 19. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Bing Webmaster Tools • Spot issues to fix @bhartzer
  20. 20. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Google Search Console @bhartzer
  21. 21. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Google Search Console @bhartzer
  22. 22. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit SEMRush Site Audit @bhartzer
  23. 23. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Website Log Files • Weblog Storming, AwStats @bhartzer
  24. 24. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Audit Site Structure • Internal Link Structure • Manual Review of Site • URL Hierarchy • Grouping of Topics • GA: In-Page Analytics @bhartzer
  25. 25. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Gather Off-Site Data • It’s not all about on-site and on-page. @bhartzer
  26. 26. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Google Search Console Links @bhartzer
  27. 27. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Ahrefs Links @bhartzer
  28. 28. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Majestic.com Links @bhartzer
  29. 29. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Majestic.com Topic Review @bhartzer
  30. 30. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Majestic Trust Flow, Citation Flow • Trust Flow = Number of clicks from a seed set of trusted sites to a given URL, or Domain • Citation Flow = Number of citations to a given URL, or Domain @bhartzer
  31. 31. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Majestic Anchor Text Review @bhartzer
  32. 32. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit URIValet.com • Check Server Headers @bhartzer
  33. 33. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit WebPageTest.org • Page Performance @bhartzer
  34. 34. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Miscellaneous Data to Review • All sorts of extras @bhartzer
  35. 35. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Site Speed, DNS Health • Tools.Pingdom.com @bhartzer
  36. 36. Site Speed Review – Google Analytics Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit @bhartzer
  37. 37. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Robots.txt Issues • Default CMS file? • Disallowing wrong? • Using “allow”? • Not specifying sitemap.xml URL • Directives conflict with other signals @bhartzer
  38. 38. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Sitemap Issues • Google Search Console sitemaps • New pages not updated on sitemap • Issues with multiple sitemaps • No sitemap file? @bhartzer
  39. 39. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Subdomain Issues • Duplicate content? • Using subdomain rather than directory • Wildcard subdomains turned on? • www versus non-www issues @bhartzer
  40. 40. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Canonical Issues • Review canonical tags • Not using canonical correctly • Conflicting signals with canonical, others • Canonical tags to help with dupe content @bhartzer
  41. 41. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Use of Structured Data • Taking advantage of Schema.org • Not just for local addresses • Reviews and Events • Person, Place, Organization • Products and Offers @bhartzer
  42. 42. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Local Listings – Audit the listings • Google My Business • Bing Places for Business • Yahoo! Local @bhartzer
  43. 43. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Local Citations – Separate Audit • Are citations correct? • Same address, suite #, phone number? @bhartzer
  44. 44. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Analysis Phase • Analyze the Data • Make Assumptions & Recommendations • You’re Fat! • You need to exercise! • OK, well maybe not like that… @bhartzer
  45. 45. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Analysis Phase • Analyze gathered data • Look for Obvious Issues • Look for Odd Data Points • More notes! @bhartzer
  46. 46. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Analyze Google Analytics • Changes over time, year over year data • Conversion Data • Bounce Rates • Pages Per Session • Drops in Traffic: Panda or Penguin in past few years? @bhartzer
  47. 47. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Panda or Penguin Issues From Past? • Verify with SEMRush, Google Analytics • Moz Google Algorithm Change History moz.com/google-algorithm-change • Panguin Tool barracuda-digital.co.uk/panguin-tool/ @bhartzer
  48. 48. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Analyze Keyword Data, Rankings • Look for keyword opportunities Anything ranking on 2nd page? • Review SEMRush Keyword Data • Review GSC Search Analytics @bhartzer
  49. 49. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Analyze On-Site Data • Title Tags • Meta Descriptions • Headings H1, H2, etc. • Internal Anchor Text • External Links (outgoing links) • Google Pages Indexed vs. Crawled @bhartzer
  50. 50. Performing Technical Enterprise SEO Audit Analyze On-Site Data • Conflicting signals? Overall Topic focus • Conflicting signals? Robots.txt vs. Canonical vs. Meta Robots vs. Nofollow • Internal Duplicate Content • Not Enough Unique Content • Internal links within content present? • Review Navigation • Review Footer, footer links, copyright @bhartzer
  51. 51. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Analyze Off-Site Data • Link Velocity Matters (getting new links) • Review anchor text (over optimized?) • Diversity of anchor text • Look for Toxic, Low Quality Links • Run Link Risk, Link Detox report @bhartzer
  52. 52. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Presentation Phase • Present the Data • Show the Results • Make it look great! • Action Plan • Implementation Plan @bhartzer
  53. 53. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Present The Results • Use internal or formal doc needed? • Who will implement? • Implement changes in-house? Outsource? • MS Word doc, spreadsheets with data • PowerPoint needed for presentation? @bhartzer
  54. 54. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Present The Results - Document • Cover Page • Table of Contents • Overview (summary, positives, negatives) • Website Crawlability (404s, 301s, One-Page issues) • Content Optimization (site arch., keyword issues) • Linking (Internal links, externals links, link profile) • Overall Recommendations @bhartzer
  55. 55. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Finally – Additional Lists • List of Priority Issues • Present Action Plan for Implementing @bhartzer
  56. 56. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit SEO Audit Toolset • Google Page Speed Test • Mobile Friendly Test • Google Search Console - time downloading a page (if slower than 2 seconds to get the code, they'll abandon the crawl) • Webpagetest.org (diversity of testing environments is helpful... browser types, locations, connection speeds) @bhartzer
  57. 57. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit SEO Audit Toolset • WebPageTest • Google Search Console • Google Analytics • GPSi page speed insights • G Structured Data Test • GSC Disavow • GSC Fetch & Render • Marie Haynes' Disavow Blacklist @bhartzer
  58. 58. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit SEO Audit Toolset • Google Mobile Test • Google AMP Test • Bing Mobile Test • W3c mobileOK Checker • Deep Crawl • Google AW Keyword Planner • Moz Keyword Explorer • What is my IP @bhartzer
  59. 59. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit SEO Audit Toolset • Builtwith • Server Software Detection • SEO Server Header Checker Tool • SSL Server Test powered by Qualsys SSL Labs • Redirect Checker • Serpstat • semrush • GA Code Checker @bhartzer
  60. 60. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit SEO Audit Toolset • W3c CSS Validator • W3c Markup Validator • hreflang testing tool • tracker map • OSE, Majestic, A hrefs, Link Research Tools • Bing Webmaster Tools • Kerboo • Panguin tool @bhartzer
  61. 61. Optimizing Your WordPress Site: SEO Audit Contact Bill Hartzer Senior SEO Consultant Email: Bill@BillHartzer.com Phone: (214) 236-4378 Web: https://www.billhartzer.com Twitter: @bhartzer Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bhartzer @bhartzer

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