Typically most work will take place on a website in the first 3 months from the business decision to improve visibility and increase visitors.
Those wishing to be found nationally for competitive keywords would need to continue after the 3 months with a continuous plan delivering fresh content, link building and social media.
Just How Healthy Is Your Website
This is the first place to start, a full heath audit focusing on every aspect that can affect the trust and authority of your property. I will use the search console and other 3rd party software to ascertain anything that may be holding back your visibility. Sometimes this is referred to as technical SEO:
- • Ensuring there is only one set of URL's and no duplication is in place anywhere.
Are canonical URLs being used? I will apply canonicals to ensure that only the correct URL is used.
- • Indexation problems. Does every physical page that exists, actually indexed by Google?
What are the issues why certain pages are not indexed is this quality issue, or poor internal linking, or site structure?
- • Is the site now secure using SSL. HTTPS. Google has stated that a slight SEO advantage will be given to secure sites.
I will help set up to https, redirect within htacess and change internal links. Linux only.
- • Hreflang and country set up. Is the property set up for the correct country i.e.the UK.
Having a .co.uk domain is often not enough for Google to decide where impressions are made within search. A local website presented worldwide can reduce click through rates and engagement and affect rankings and visibility.
- • Are there any 404s (broken internal links) sapping page rank and reducing trust and visitor experience.
I will use software to scan the whole site and correct all broken links.
- • Is your site mobile friendly? Can it be used across various devices and how user friendly is it.
- • Is you website fast enough to satisfy users and Google, both in desktop and mobile versions.
A common mistake is a mobile versions being much slower than desktop.
- • Correct chosen www or non www version used throughout site.
- • Any sites with a Wordpress blog, I will look to ensure a complete SEO set up using add-ons such as Yoast.
Above is not a full comprehensive list, there could be other issues identified through the audit process. What is done above should be deemed as basic technical SEO and should be done, irrelevant of the strength of the completion and some aspects will be visited again in other areas of the 3 month plan.
Current Content Evaluation
The “content is king” statement is still bantered around every SEO training course or forum and should never be undervalued. Unfortunately not taking enough care to publish quality content in the correct way is one of the most common reasons for sites not ranking.
- • I look will look at the targeted keywords and relating phrases, do they match what your customers are searching for.
- • Are these keywords transferred into title tags, headers and content in a way that help Google understand the content, but do not spam or over optimise the property?
I Will do this with instruction of the business. What are the objectives of the website versus the intent of its visitors?
- • Check for no over of the H1 tag. Ensuring it is only used for SEO and not for design.
- • Are there multiple pages with pretty similar content? Again will check for indexation issues, to see if this is the reason why.
Will look to use the canonical tag or remove content.
- • Is content just based around a search terms or are there supporting phrases, words and paragraphs adding real value. Is the content is line with Google’s knowledge graph?
I will give feed back to why content may not be getting authority from Google.
- • Is the content thin and enough words on a page to justify its existence or give it any chance of ranking.
I will look through pages of content and give feedback, to whether addition content needs to be added, or the pages taken away.
- • How is the content structured, is it too far from the homepage, not within a sub folder?
I will look to see if a different structure of content can help with rankings.
- • Are images and media being used effectively? Are the images legal to use? Many clients have been hit with solicitor letters from images just borrowed off the internet.
- • Are images reduced in size to load quickly, do they work on mobile devices.
- • How fresh is the content on your blog website? How many blog posts have you done this week? Is the content still relevant?
- • Are add-ons such as Yoast being used within the Wordpress blog, to ensure a variation of title, h1 tags as well as URL names.
- • Are the correct named URL's being used to get the optimum search power?
- • Is the content or media designed to increase dwell time? Plenty of click able buttons, videos to watch etc.
- • Mobile First: All inspections will be done on the basis Google uses the mobile version of a website primarily.
This again is not the full list of issues that may arise whilst checking through all content. The time to do his will depend on the amount of pages to check and time to re-index by Google. Some of these challenges may raise their head again, with further checks. For example improving dwell time has a direct correlation with content.
Let’s Look At The Back Link Profile
Many digital agencies focus entirely on back links, because with the right profile it can add more trust and authority and compensate for other weaknesses in the website. Unfortunately there are only 2 ways to obtains links. You either buy them (indirectly or directly) or you create content that is so good, that links occur naturally.
I will look at your back link profile to see is if looks natural enough to gain authority. Or are there signals showing unethical practices. Or is it just a case, no link building has occurred at all?
- • I will use 3rd party software such as hrefs or majestic to get a detailed view of your back links?
- • How many are dofollow v Nofollow?
- • Are keywords used within anchor text, has it been overdone or not all at.
- • How much linking is related to brand rather than search terms?
- • Are links from a related subject?
- • Are links from undesirable places such as article sites or low quality blogs?
- • Are there any site wide links without “nofollow” tag?
- • Do links cover a quantity of IP addresses and URLS?
- • Are there any deep links, are all focused on homepage?
- • Is there any Google Penguin ban history?
- • Are there any back link opportunities that can be quickly attained?
A poor or bad back link profile can be the single most destructive reasons to not ranking with Google. It is also fair to say, there are niches that cannot rank without good back links, the finance sector for instance.
As other sections, this list is not comprehensive, other link issues could appear during the audit.
Lets Use Analytics To See The Engagement
Google analytics is a useful tool, which shows how visitors engage with the website.
- • I will look at the dwell times to see of where they can be improved.
I will look at solutions, to improve dwell time.
- • Identify the landing pages, what is being found and being used and what pages are pretty much dormant and need improving.
- • Measure bounce rates, which pages hold the visitor and which pages do customers, leave quickly.
Does the content match the search term? Is the content interesting enough to stay?
- • What technology is primarily being used to view the site, how do bounce rather vary across the platforms?
- • Are your visitors from the UK or India, Brazil etc.
Is the site set up for the correct countries?
- • Social Media engagement.
- • What pages are the most common to leave by?
Sometimes there are natural pages to leave the site, where there isn’t I will repost and find solutions.
- • How many pages do your visitors visit before leaving?
Engagement is measured by Google as Ranking Factor, so understanding the issues can really make a difference.
It Is Now Time To Analyze The Competition
What is not often said is that, “SEO is a competition” and everything is relevant to what is around you. If your site has 10 pages of poor content and your competitor has 100 pages of better content with better links, who is going to rank higher? It is not complicated to figure out whom.
But it is also true, that if your website is in a unique niche with little competition, it will be easier to rank, even with a low quality website.
So to understand what is required to rank, time has to be taken out to analyze the competition to identify the negatives that need addresses but also identify the opportunities to capitalise on.
I will do an audit on your competitors with whatever information is available, normally using 3rd party software.
- • I will look through the quality of the competitors content, is it well written in line with Google’s knowledge graph, or just winged.
- • I will identify how fresh the competitors content is and how often they update it.
- • How much written content there is V commerce.
- • I will look at social media engagement. (more on this later).
- • How engaging is the content, do you feel you want to stay there to learn more?
- • I will used 3rd party software to look at the back link profile. Hrefs or Majestic.
- • Anything else that shows strength or weaknesses to help understand the work needed.
This may not be the market leaders, but competition at a position we feel is achievable.
Now It Is time To Work Out Strategies
With a health audit and an understanding of the content and back link profile. Strategies can be now put together to deal with what is left.
The needs to be understand of what the objective of the site is What Is the Purpose Of The Property
Match it with the Search Intent. What is the searchers intent?
- • Build Brand
- • Considered Purchases at base
- • Considered Purchases online
- • Instant purchases Online
- • Lead Generation
- • Informative
A daily or weekly plan can be now put together, know the website has a good foundation to move forward.
What About Conversion?
Using certain software we can get a feel to why your visitor completes a form but a product stay engaged or click away.
- • I will use certain type software that will record visitor click to see firsthand what happens when they visit.
- • Identify areas where conversion can be improved
- • Call to action buttons, do they work
Most conversion improvement occurs by testing and re-testing. I can apply some testing for better results.
Social media can in some cases be more effective for improved branding and sales than a searchable website.
- • Set out a plan to improve banding and visibility across, several social platforms.
Regular interaction between social media and a website can improve rankings.
Citations Are They In Place
Your brand name being mentioned on online maps (without a link) and certain website's can help with local ranking
- • I will look for evidence of citations
- • Look for NAP citations Names Phone and Address
All this above will take 3 months either to complete or to find data to allow a strategy to go forward. The website will be fitter and in a better place to rank.