When performing an SEO audit, you need to look at some elements of your website at the page level.
Here are nine page-level factors that need to be reviewed and evaluated.
1. Crawl your site
Scrawl your site with Screaming Frog.
For this crawling example, I used Screaming Frog SEO Spider 7.2.
I also used CNN.com as a sample page for all of these little things.
- Turn off the screaming frog.
- For most basic audits, you can use the following settings by going to Configuration> Spider.
Screaming Frog basic settings:
Screaming Frog Advanced Settings:
What to check
You should check the following to ensure that all of these elements are up to date and implemented according to your SEO strategy.
If not, you have identified corrections that you must make after this check:
- Keyword in the title tag.
- The title tag begins with the keyword.
- Keyword in the description tag.
- The keyword is displayed in the H1 tag.
- Keyword is the most common phrase in the document.
2. E-A-T: expertise, authority, trustworthiness
Every year, Google updates its quality assessors' guidelines so the world can see them.
This has nothing to do with the search algorithms, but rather with Google reviewers (who are human readers) and how they rate the strength and quality of a website.
This framework they use is E-A-T or expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
This means that you have to be an expert in the field you have chosen. Seoinc.com mentions the fact that:
"You have to be an expert in your field. Expertise means that you have to show the skills of the creator for the main content or (MC) and mention it in your content. Expertise is less important for humor or gossip websites, but critical for medical, financial, or legal websites. The good news is that any website can show expertise if the content is truthful and useful to users. "
“You have to show that you are an authority or the authority of the creator for the MC. And you can get this from the expertise of your authors or yourself. If your site is a community or forum discussion, the quality of the conversation determines the authority. Registration information is required, but also personal experience such as reviews. "
“You have to show users that they can trust the main content creator or company, the MC itself, and the website. Trustworthiness is particularly important for e-commerce websites where users are asked for their credit card information. Everything about your website should make users feel safe while visiting. As a starting point, you should immediately implement an SSL certificate on your website, since at least 70% of the results on the first page use SSL (this is one of many rating signals from Google). "
However, it is important to note (SEO professionals like Marie Haynes mention this) that not all SEO professionals believe that E-A-T is really a ranking factor.
Most SEO professionals have speculated that websites that were badly affected by the August 2018 core algorithm update also had significant technical SEO problems that they had to overcome. This is one of the most important SEO factors that you cannot ignore if you want to regain your website's performance.
Marie also mentions that:
“Google says E-A-T is very important
E-A-T is extremely important for your money or your life (YMYL)
If your website is a medical, legal, or financial website, good E-A-T is vital. Your website can also be considered a YMYL if your website provides advice that will help people make an important decision. You are probably also YMYL if you sell products from your website.
We personally think that most websites on the web are considered YMYL. You could argue that your website selling pens doesn't help people make important decisions in life. However, if you do credit card transactions on your website, users must be able to trust you, and as such, you are almost certainly YMYL.
The QRG (https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/guidelines.raterhub.com/de//searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf) tells us that a YMYL site that is missing E-A-T can be considered as a low quality site.
Again, we believe that many websites are considered YMYL. Almost every subject area has people who are known as experts on the subject. Even if your topic is not an obvious YMYL topic, we still recommend that you pay attention to Google E-A-T. "
Manish Dudharejia also offers several ways to improve your E-A-T.
E-A-T has become even more important in the latest Google algorithms.
However, it is also important to make sure that all of your technical SEO factors are up to date. If you lack technical SEO and your website is easily crawlable and indexable, the entire EAT of the world will not contribute to your website's performance.
How to check
Checking for E-A-T- on your website is not exactly a scientific, but rather a creative process.
These points should help your exam process to find E-A-T problems on a website:
- Does your website have personalized author information and is personalization activated?
- This means: author biography, author page and contact information for the author.
- Does your website have personalized, authoritative content that is trustworthy?
- That means: fact-checked, high-quality articles. Articles must contain factually correct information on the topics they are discussing.
- Articles should also be trustworthy as they discuss the topic. If your writing is of poor quality and is randomly structured, you don't have a good E-A-T score for your articles. DO NOT save on item quality.
- Does your website have a unique view of things and does it address the issue in a way that gives Google an incentive to put it on the first page of its results?
- You can do SEO and optimize your content for technology all day long. You can create links all day long. However, if your content is weak on your topic, this can be a factor in the performance of your website.
- Your meta descriptions and title tags should all be of super high quality, while targeting keywords and keyword phrases that are covered in your article topics. They shouldn't be written as thought.
Writing SEO headlines is a very different beast.
You should integrate keywords for SEO.
However, you also need to tailor your headlines to social and website visitors, and these should also serve the SEO page while integrating these keywords.
It's not a simple "write five minutes and you're done" scenario.
Here are three points you can check on each page to make sure your content headings are spelled correctly:
- Are your headlines written naturally and talkative?
- These are usually very powerful on social networks, and integrating your SEO keywords just adds a nice sound and increases the quality of your headings.
- Write your headings to target user engagement and brand reputation.
- Write your headlines to generate social debate and riddles.
- Using the AIDA sales principle (attention – interest – decision – action) you can determine whether your headings meet this standard or not to be of sufficient quality to be included on your website.
Rand Fishkin notes in his Whiteboard Friday that there are some notable conflicts that can arise with this approach:
"1. Keywords for SEO can be very boring on social media websites. When you try to create certain keywords or use keywords, your social performance is usually terrible.
2. Creating a mystery on a social level, essentially not saying what the piece is really about, but just having an idea of what it might be, hurts the clarity you need to find a good one Achieve rank and distribute those clicks using a search engine. It also hurts your ability to target keywords.
3. The need for engagement and brand awareness you have for your website visitors will really hurt you if you try to develop clickbait-style pieces that work so well on social networks.
4. When searching, the ranking for keywords with low relevance leads to very unhappy visitors. People who don't care just because you happen to be ranking for it doesn't necessarily mean that you should do it because you didn't serve visitor intent with the actual content. "
Of course, some fields will not always have every single quality as part of their headings.
Let's be realistic here.
Dry topics and other types of topics that are not very interesting should take a different approach.
They may not be everything for everyone, but there are always creative approaches to make content exceptional in dry, boring industries.
You can use the points above to check your website for headlines that stand the test of time and that you can improve in the future.
4. SEO writing
SEO copywriting is so important to the SEO process that some people forget to write their content to include SEO.
They believe that just writing content is enough and that "if you publish it, it will come."
Unfortunately, writing is only half the battle.
The other half of the struggle involves SEO – the tangible SEO properties of content that should be integrated so you don't have a problem with Google finding your content high enough.
Don't forget the freshness of the content! Freshness has its place in search engine optimization, but was mainly developed for time-critical searches and not for every single content.
Let's take a look at some of the common SEO writing factors that should be considered in a website audit:
The structure of your text is as important as your optimization.
By default, your text should attack the structure on two fronts: informative and from a coding perspective.
From a coding perspective, you should use standard semantic HTML to define headings and sections of content, namely (H1 tags, H2 tags, H3 tags for headings, and P tags for paragraphs).
For information, your content should follow a logical structure that matches the topic.
Don't just throw three unrelated topics into your content discussion unless they are of some relevance in some way.
The integration of keywords is important, but not keywords.
Don't add six hundred variations of your keywords and expect it to be a high quality item. It will never happen.
Concentrate on naturally including your keywords and keyword phrases where they make sense.
Images are another important part of the text structure, but are explained elsewhere in this exam guide.
If you can strategically use an image in your content to support it, feel free to do so. This point should also be discussed in your website audits.
Don't forget to include points for image optimization and their impact on the speed of the website.
High quality writing
High quality writing is an essential part of any SEO page. High-quality writing makes every SEO content easy to understand, clear to the reader and communicates points in a nutshell.
Don't expect readers to understand your topic the way you do. That doesn't help at all.
Always make sure that the writing in your audit is clear to the reader.
Make sure your writing clearly explains every topic, every bullet, every heading.
Go in 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or more paragraphs if you have to. This builds on the previous points discussed in this section – keyword integration, text structure and images should all contribute to this quality.
Lists, bullets, bold key words and emphasis text
Checklists, bullets, bold key words and emphasis text should be part of a well-optimized content.
Lists provide a clear hierarchy of elements that explain each topic in more detail. They are easy to understand for the reader (depending on the structure) and provide good information in a concise manner.
However, don't just include lists to include lists. That doesn't help anyone.
Make sure that all of the lists in your exam improve the content of the website instead of affecting it.
Outgoing and internal links
Each content should include outgoing links to external resources as well as internal links to other related page content.
This provides a better understanding of the topic when done correctly and includes significant resources for other authors in the industry.
When you link, you also increase your linkability through other authors who may be using Google Alerts to alert them of new articles that are posted on their topic.
5. Cannibalization of keywords
This can be a bigger problem than you might think.
If you have more than one page targeting the same keyword, the keywords can be cannibalized.
This is the case when two pages try to rank for the same keyword and Google is forced to choose between pages.
This means that your optimization efforts won't give you much, if any, SEO value if your keywords are too similar.
You can also introduce other keyword cannibalization issues. OnCrawl talks about this:
- Conversion Rate: Why waste your time on different pages with the same goal when one converts better? You should focus on one of these sites instead of spending energy on lower conversion versions that target the same traffic.
- Content quality: If you address multiple pages with the same keyword, they should also refer to the same topic. What you risk is duplicate content, poor quality content, or replicas, and you reduce your chances of getting referrals and links.
- Internal anchor text: If you target different pages with the same topic, you miss the opportunity to focus the value of internal anchor texts on one page.
- External links: External links can increase the SEO value of a page that targets a keyword. However, if you have different pages that target the same keyword, your external links will be split across these different landing pages. So you share the value of external links on different pages instead of focusing on one.
How to check
In Screaming Frog, after we crawl our website, we can check the title and meta descriptions on our pages to see if more than one page is targeting the same keyword.
After finding these pages on Google, check whether pages for these keywords are displayed.
If you have more than one result for your website that is displayed for these keywords, you may need to troubleshoot keyword cannibalization issues.
6. User intervention and user experience
In today's search engine optimization, user interaction is an important factor for the quality of your page and includes attributes that are very important for correctness.
It affects SEO, as Anna Crowe writes:
“User Experience (UX) has an impact on search engine optimization.
If you don't think of UX, your website will end up in the trash alongside the TV dinner and pea porridge.
In fact, 38% of people stop using a website when the content and layout are unattractive.
Main Street Host, a digital marketing agency, saw a 66 percent increase in pageviews on their lawyer profile pages by updating content and optimizing call-to-action buttons.
And Ezoic saw a 186% increase in earnings per 1,000 visitors after creating a better UX. "
While this may not be a direct ranking factor, creating a website with a high quality design and creating higher quality content offers indirect but not tangible benefits that lead to an even better user experience and better user interaction.
They are not tangible because they cannot be linked to a direct ranking factor on Google.
So we can't say we changed the keyword here. This led to an immediate improvement in the click rates on the button next to this keyword.
It is not final, and this is a mystery to user engagement that many SEO experts face in their reporting.
How can you reliably link various user engagement metrics to your SEO efforts to develop the right strategy to get results?
It is important to note that different levels of website quality can affect user interaction.
Quality refers to many things: the quality of your website design. The quality of your content.
All of these can be important indirect factors that can affect people buying your product or signing up for your service.
Different levels of quality can affect user engagement.
Example: If you have a unique landing page that is a wall of textual content, you can only expect two metrics for user interaction: dwell time and a click on the button to call actions at the end.
If you have a more complex website that contains many different types of call button, e.g. B. Live chat, a phone number, call us for our newsletter, listen to our podcasts, watch our videos and other calls for action. You need to inventory and review them to ensure that you are viewing your website properly Created user interaction.
Did you know that you can create custom URLs to track all of these specific user interventions and more? It's true.
In addition, there are many different metrics for user interaction in Google Analytics, with which you can interpret the processes on your website more effectively.
Fortunately, there are many ways to review your user interaction metrics to ensure that your activity is having a positive impact on your website.
7. Identify any custom URLs that have been created for tracking
How to check
This is a simple review using Screaming Frog.
You can simply check all of the main URLs that Screaming Frog crawled. Use the search function in the program to search for URLs that contain "utm".
If they are linked on your website, they should appear in a screaming frog crawl.
UTM parameters are unique identifiers. UTM parameters allow SEO experts to create unique URLs for each campaign conversion component that a website owner may want to track.
You can also search for UTM pages in Google Analytics, as these are moved to main GA traffic for landing page URLs.
Simply click Collection> All Accesses> Source / Medium.
All of the UTM URLs you created should appear here.
This guide to SEJ, written by Amelia Willson, provides tips on using UTM codes for conversion tracking.
If you read this and don't know how to create UTM URLs, the Google Campaign URL Builder may be following the doctor's instructions exactly.
8. Check Google Analytics for unusually high bounce rates
If your bounce rate is abnormally high (around 65% and above), it may indicate something else (slow page speed), poor quality design, poor quality content, or other issues that cause low engagement.
This can also mean that your topics do not encourage user interaction.
Maddy Osman wrote a fantastic section in her book chapter in the Search Engine Journal about how you can track metrics about user interaction in Google Analytics. There are many more metrics to check in your manual.
9. Check the user ratings
User reviews are another user interaction metric that you can use to review the effectiveness of your SEO strategies.
If your website gets a lot of user interaction, they will likely buy your products and services.
If users are deeply committed to your business, they will most likely leave positive reviews.
How to check
Just check your review sites like Yelp, BBB and other review sites.
Keep an overview of the measurement data on these websites every month.
You can use this information to assess whether your website's engagement is working properly.
Yes it is a indirectly Factor.
However, this can be a critical factor in the performance of your website.
Users also leave website feedback in ratings and can be a good indicator of how well your website is working (or not).
It is important to note that this is not a direct, determining factor.
There are always exceptions.
I was on a website where someone was hired as a reputation hit man to track the company and leave negative reviews.
Yes, these people exist.
While disgruntled customers and past employees can sometimes be the culprits, there are cases where reputable men are looking for businesses and that's all they do all day.
Pay attention to reviews and make sure that you are not interested in something like that.
For this reason, audits are important in this part of your company, because reviews can also give you a good insight into the performance of your website, regardless of whether users are engaged or not.
Selected picture: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots made by the author