DIY SEO Audits - Give Your Site a Check-Up


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Have your own site? Are you an online marketer that doesn't do SEO? This shows you how to do a high level SEO audit on your site, fix simple issues and tells you when to get a pro involved.

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  • Start with the home page as it will get the most links, traffic, etc.If you aren’t familiar with 301 redirects you (or your dev team) should be. Basically a signal a page has permanently moved.
  • Content and links can frequently be hidden via javascript and not accessible to the engines.
  • Prioritize fixing not found to high level pages and those with good external links. Find those by clicking URL above. Lots of 404s “can” be an issue, especially if the site has been through rebuilds w/o redirecting old URLs
  • Fix this as is has internal links. Don’t always fix all 404s. 404s on expired short term product URLs are OK. Often scrapers result in weird URLs that 404
  • Exceptions here can indicate issues. The other thing to look at is index status but I’ll come back to that.
  • Issues. Are your pages being indexed? Are too many being indexed?
  • If not there may be a problem. Now the problem could be your brand is too close to another but if not, there is an issue you need to track down.
  • May indicate duplicate content (different versions of the same page) or duplicate titles on different pages (which should be unique)
  • Note this is only for keywords you set up to track so it won’t give a site wide diagnosis but issues here can be extrapolated to other pages.
  • Made just for SEO. Let’s you do a ton of easy customization. Everything is exportable. Reports can be saved (paid version).
  • Used this to find out whether pages that should 301 are (vs. 302). Also found home page that went through 4 redirects. Good for double checking when you ask IT for redirects.
  • Speed is even more a conversion factor with mobile
  • This is the logo! I decreased it from 600K to 40K in about 10 seconds with a free graphics program
  • I can’t go in depth on recovery at this time but if you are trying to find the cause of a traffic drop… Used Panguintool for site told it was a Penguin update but the data says Panda and site rebuild
  • Alt is more for SEO, Titles for accessability
  • Filter by external, all links to domain. Look at variety of links (linking root domains) as well as total domains. Domain and page authority are link what used to be Page Rank. P.S. don’t use Google Page Rank for anything! It’s for entertainment purposes only.
  • Compare link metrics. What link power do your SERP competitors have. Remember this is for competition in the SERPS, not just in business. Also, take this with a grain of salt. This data is in isolation. Actually NONE of these sites ranks in the top 20 for “beer”.
  • Not just about the “power” of links but the quality, theme of the site, and naturalness, variety. This is natural.
  • This is not natural. All keyword specific no links to domain or brand.
  • First you are looking for link distribution. Are all your links pointed at the home page or to deep pages too? Number of “steps” or “levels” away from a page with links is a signal of a poor quality page. Other things to note: Coors has links pointed at URLs that 404. Those should be 301 redirected to recapture the link equity. The same holds for 302s. Unless those redirects are truly temporary and will go away, change those to 301 redirects (if the pages are gone for good or a very long time).
  • Note that if you uninstalled Java as per recent recommendations you will have to reinstall it for Screaming Frog
  • DIY SEO Audits - Give Your Site a Check-Up

    1. 1. SEMPO Canada SearchSummit 2013DIY SEO Audits - Give Your Site a Check-UpRob Woods
    2. 2. Who Am I? 13 years of online marketing and product merchandizingexperience in e-commerce and affiliate marketing Worked in all facets of online marketing with a focus on SEO,Social, and Content 2 years with Reinvent an in-house incubator for one of thelargest domainers in the world ( Technical Editor of two upcoming search books from O’Reilly Run my own SEO consulting business (3 years)
    3. 3. Why Do Your Own SEOAudit? Diagnose issues that might be holding you back Professional audits from great auditors can have a wait list Professional audits can be expensive (esp. if they aregood) - $1,500 to $35,000 Uncover simple to correct problems Tell you when to get a pro involved
    4. 4. Limits of DIY Audits Problems may be very complex Indicate problems but not solutions Solutions may be complex It takes experience to prioritize problems and solutions Generally limited to on-site issues
    5. 5. Getting Started – HomePage Duplicate versions of home page (50% of small sites) Try clicking on your logo. Does it link to the “right” version? Remove (or add) www. Does site resolve to “right” version? .Net tends to have duplicate at /default.aspx Can be a pain to fix with some CMS Creates dupe content and dilutes link equity Fix and 301 redirect
    6. 6. Getting Started – HomePage
    7. 7. Getting Started – HighLevel Pages Home, Major Sections, Major Categories Navigation (Where and how much) Number of outgoing links Copy and internal links View Google Cache / Text Cache View without Java and Images
    8. 8. View Google Cache / TextCache Does the saved version of the page look right? When was it last cached?
    9. 9. View Google Cache / TextCache
    10. 10. View Google Cache / TextCache
    11. 11. View Bing Cache
    12. 12. View Bing Cache
    13. 13. Cached Pages Shortcut SEOBook Toolbar
    14. 14. View without Javascript andImages This is how the bots will generally see your pages Do they still make sense? Can link be followed? Can youget to all the content Easiest way to set this is using SEOMoz Toolbar
    15. 15. View without Javascript andImages
    16. 16. Getting Started – Titlesand Meta Descriptions Check your title tags and meta descriptions for top pages Titles affect SEO Meta Descriptions only affect CTR from SERPs Lots of tools (below) for getting titles Quick check: Look at your SERP listings or in the top bar ofyour browser Titles, keyword1, keword2, keyword3, keyword4, keyword5 from are not optimal
    17. 17. Title Tag Best Practices◦ Use your brand name at the end of every title tag, if at all,although it should be tested.◦ Place most important keywords prominently – at the beginningof the tag◦ Limit length – should be somewhere around 60-70 characters◦ Be focused on appropriate keyword targets – “every keywordpossibly related to the page” approach won’t work.◦ Limit superfluous text – use a divider to separate terms◦ Incorporate keywords and phrases◦ Try to make them compelling with a call to action◦ Every tag on the site should be unique
    18. 18. Meta Description Tag BestPractices◦ Each page should use a unique meta description thatreflects the theme of the page and ideally, conveys avalue proposition.◦ Meta description tags have limits. Currently Googledisplays up to 156 characters, Yahoo! up to 161 and Bingup to 150+◦ Keywords in the description do not affect rankings butcan affect CTR as they get bolded
    19. 19. Webmaster Tools Bing Webmaster Tools Google Webmaster Tools Set these up and wait a few days File upload, Meta tags, DNS, WordPress Plugins
    20. 20. Google Webmaster Tools
    21. 21. Google Webmaster Tools -Health Crawl Errors
    22. 22. Google Webmaster Tools -Health
    23. 23. Google Webmaster Tools -Health
    24. 24. Google Webmaster Tools -Health Crawl Stats
    25. 25. Google Webmaster Tools –Optimization Sitemaps
    26. 26. Google Webmaster Tools –Optimization Go back and check – Index Status
    27. 27. Index Status and DuplicateContent 156, 938 pages in sitemaps (how many you think youhave) 3,012,391 indexed by Google (how many they think youhave) Possible duplicate content issue The reverse indicates crawling access issues To see which pages are indexed search inGoogle Tip you can exclude via –
    28. 28. Google Webmaster Tools –HTML Improvements
    29. 29. Bing Webmaster Tools –Configure My Site
    30. 30. Bing Webmaster Tools –Reports & Data
    31. 31. Bing Webmaster Tools –Diagnostics & Tools
    32. 32. The Search Engines Search for your brand. Are you ranking #1?
    33. 33. SEOMOZ Pro Dashboard Free for 30 days then $99 / mo for 5 sites Lots of good tools for diagnosing problems Other good tools included – Site Explorer (links), FollowerWonk, Rank Tracking, Social tracking One caveat is SEOMoz will crawl pages the search enginebots don’t Limit ourselves to the Crawl Diagnostic tool
    34. 34. SEOMOZ CrawlDiagnostics
    35. 35. SEOMOZ CrawlDiagnostics
    36. 36. SEOMOZ – Duplicate Titles
    37. 37. SEOMOZ – Duplicate Titles
    38. 38. SEOMOZ – On Page Links
    39. 39. SEOMOZ – On Page Links
    40. 40. SEOMOZ – On PageOptimization
    41. 41. Screaming Frog Crawls your site from an SEO perspective Up to 500 pages is free (over that 99 pounds / year)Errors | Redirects | External Links | URI Issue | Duplicate Pages | MetaDescription | H1 / H2 |Meta Robots | Canonical link element & canonicalHTTP headers | File Size | Page Depth Level | Inlinks – All pages linking toa URI | Outlinks – All pages a URI links out to | Anchor Text | Follow &Nofollow | Images – Images over 100kb, missing alt text, alt text over100 characters
    42. 42. Screaming Frog
    43. 43. Great for testing redirects / server codes (301, 404) Overview of meta tags and title tag Direct link to W3C HTML Validation tool Good for diagnosing page speed issues
    44. 44.
    45. 45.
    46. 46.
    47. 47. HTML Validation Doesn’t always affect ranking but it could Can affect browser compatibility and accessibility Facebook markup is not valid
    48. 48. Page Speed Page speed IS now a ranking factor Page speed has ALWAYS been a conversion factor
    49. 49. Page Speed
    50. 50. Page Speed Firebug Yslow Google Analytics: Content > Site Speed Most page speed issues are not DIY fixes
    51. 51. Penalties and Algo Updates Lots of talk about penalties lately Understand the difference between a penalty and anupdate Penalties can be recovered from by specific actions Algo updates usually take sitewide changes and a longtime
    52. 52. Panda First appeared Feb 2011 Built in to constant updates now Affects sites with thin content, lots of pages, few deeplinks
    53. 53. Penguin First appeared Apr 2012 Caused by off-site factors Affects sites with obvious link building
    54. 54. Penalties Usually Google based Manual penalties “usually” also get a WMT message Good source of diagnosing
    55. 55. Images Can be a good source of organic traffic Optimize your alt attributes and title attributes Make them as small a file as still looks good Don’t resize big pics, shrink before you use them Include width and height attributes if possible For lots of pics create and upload an image site map
    56. 56. Link Audit Lots of good backlink tools incl. SEOMoz Site Explorer,Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, Google WMT, Bing WMT If doing SEOMoz anyway, use it Top reports to run: Inbound Links, Compare Domains,Anchor Text, Top Pages
    57. 57. Next Steps Don’t Panic! Start with easy steps Check your home page for duplicates Configure Bing and Google Webmaster Tools Download Screaming Frog Sign up for free month of SEOMoz If necessary, consult a specialist
    58. 58. Educational Resources Bing BlogsGoogle Webmaster Central SEOMoz Blog Webmaster World SEMPO Learning Center Search Engine Land
    59. 59. Thank You!Rob WoodsFollow Me on Twitter: @robdwoodsEmail me for this deck: rob@robwoods.orgSkype: rob.d.woods604.374.5312