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Tips and Techniques for Performing an SEO Audit

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Bill Hartzer of Hartzer Consulting shares tips and techniques for performing an SEO audit of your website. Presented at the Pubcon Austin 2018 conference in Austin, Texas on February 21, 2018.

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Tips and Techniques for Performing an SEO Audit

  1. 1. Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits Tips and Techniques for an SEO Site Audit
  2. 2. Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits About Me • SEO Consultant, Hartzer Consulting • Blogger/Writer BillHartzer.com • Founder, DFWSEM Association (2004) • US Brand Ambassador, Majestic.com • The Brand Ambassador, OnCrawl.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. Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits Overview – SEO Audits • Before You Begin • Gather Data • Analyze • Present Results @bhartzer
  4. 4. Before You Begin – Info to Gather • Access to website (if possible), log file data • 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? Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  5. 5. Content – Review Content on Site & Rankings • Google Search Console - Search Analytics • SEMrush.com Keyword Research • Review Current Rankings • SimilarWeb Traffic and Data • SERPStat Data • Google Analytics Data Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  6. 6. Google Search Console > Search Analytics > Pages Analysis What does Google think? Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  7. 7. Current rankings, Focus on Pages Ranking 5th to 20th Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  8. 8. Gathering Phase • Gather the Data • Save the Data (MS Excel, MS Word) • Start making notes (Notepad) Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  9. 9. Google Searches • site:domain.com • site:domain.com –site:www.domain.com • Click last page of SERPs to get page count Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  10. 10. Screaming Frog SEO Spider Adjust memory to crawl large site over 100k pages Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  11. 11. Compare: Pages Crawled vs Pages Indexed SERPS Redux bookmarklet, compare lists of URLs in MS Excel Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  12. 12. Integrity (aka Scrutiny) What it does: • Crawls site, reports redirects, 404 errors • Mac only, can find more site errors Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  13. 13. Siteliner.com Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  14. 14. Bing Webmaster Tools Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  15. 15. Bing Webmaster Tools • Spot issues to fix Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  16. 16. Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer Google Search Console • Search Analytics • Structured Data • HTML Improvements • Search Traffic • Crawl Data
  17. 17. SEMRush Site Audit Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  18. 18. Website Log Files • Weblog Storming, AwStats Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  19. 19. Website Log Files, Crawl & Analytics • OnCrawl combines all three Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  20. 20. Website Log Files, Crawl & Analytics • Deep Crawl combines all three, as well Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  21. 21. Audit Site Structure • Internal Link Structure • Manual Review of Site • URL Hierarchy • Grouping of Topics • GA: In-Page Analytics Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  22. 22. Run Sitebulb • Internal Link Structure • Review Silos • Review Content clusters • Other SEO audit issues Sitebulb.com Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  23. 23. Run Cora SEO Software • Measures over 300 factors • Calculates which ones matter most • Run on site’s main keywords • See the most important factors for each keyword • On-site, on-page, and offsite factors included • Shows you what factors your site is missing based on correlation data of top 100 results for that keyword • https://www.hartzer.com/cora/ Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  24. 24. Sample Cora SEO Software Results • Roadmap for keyword Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  25. 25. Gather Off-Site Data • It’s not all about on-site and on-page. Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  26. 26. Google Search Console Links Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  27. 27. Ahrefs Links Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  28. 28. Majestic.com Links Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  29. 29. Majestic.com Topic Review Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  30. 30. Majestic Trust Flow, Citation Flow • Trust Flow = # of clicks from seed set of trusted sites to a URL or Domain • Citation Flow = Number of citations to a given URL, or Domain Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  31. 31. Majestic Anchor Text Review Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  32. 32. WebPageTest.org • Page Performance Check: • Time to first byte • Compress images • Caching • Use of CDN • Waterfall Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  33. 33. Miscellaneous Data to Review • All sorts of extras Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  34. 34. Site Speed, DNS Health • Tools.Pingdom.com Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  35. 35. Site Speed Review – Google Analytics Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  36. 36. Robots.txt Issues • Default CMS file? • Disallowing wrong? • Using “allow”? • Not specifying sitemap.xml URL • Directives conflict with other signals Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  37. 37. Sitemap Issues • New pages not updated on sitemap • Multiple sitemap issues • No sitemap file? Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  38. 38. Subdomain Issues • Duplicate content? • Using subdomain rather than directory • Wildcard subdomains turned on? • www versus non-www issues Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  39. 39. Canonical Issues • Review canonical tags • Not using canonical correctly • Conflicting signals with canonical, others • Canonical tags to help with dupe content Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  40. 40. Use of Structured Data • Taking advantage of Schema.org • Not just for local addresses • Reviews and Events • Person, Place, Organization • Products and Offers Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  41. 41. Local Listings – Audit the listings • Google My Business • Bing Places for Business • Yahoo! Local Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  42. 42. Local Citations – Separate Audit • Are citations correct? • Same address, suite #, phone number? Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  43. 43. Analysis Phase • Analyze the Data • Make Assumptions • Make Recommendations • Analyze the road • Analyze the conditions… Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  44. 44. Analysis Phase • Analyze gathered data • Look for Obvious Issues • Look for Odd Data Points • More notes! Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer@bhartzer
  45. 45. 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? Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  46. 46. Panda, Penguin, Search Engine Traffic Issues From Past? • Verify with SEMRush, Google Analytics, SimilarWeb • Moz Google Algorithm Change History moz.com/google-algorithm-change • Marie Haynes Google Algo Update History mariehaynes.com/algo-changes-and-more/ Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  47. 47. Analyze Keyword Data, Rankings • Look for keyword opportunities Anything ranking on 2nd page? • Review SEMRush Keyword Data • Review GSC Search Analytics Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  48. 48. Analyze On-Site Data • Title Tags • Meta Descriptions • Headings H1, H2, H3, H4, etc. • Internal Anchor Text • External Links (outgoing links) • Canonical Tags • Hreflang Issues • Google Pages Indexed vs. Crawled Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  49. 49. 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 Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  50. 50. 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 Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  51. 51. Presentation Phase • Present the Data • Show the Results • Make it look great! • Action Plan • Implementation Plan Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  52. 52. 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? Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  53. 53. 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 Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  54. 54. Finally – Additional Lists • List of Priority Issues • Present Action Plan for Implementing Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  55. 55. 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) Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  56. 56. 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 Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  57. 57. 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 Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  58. 58. 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 Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  59. 59. SEO Audit Toolset • W3c CSS Validator • W3c Markup Validator • hreflang testing tool • tracker map • OSE, Majestic, Ahrefs, Link Research Tools, Kerboo • Bing Webmaster Tools • Panguin tool • OnCrawl Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer
  60. 60. Contact Bill Hartzer SEO Consultant Email: Bill@BillHartzer.com Phone: (214) 236-4378 Web: https://www.hartzer.com Twitter: @bhartzer Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bhartzer Pubcon Austin 2018: SEO Audits @bhartzer

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