Next week I’ll be at the PeSA Conference where amongst other things, I’ll be conducting SEO audits in 15 min blocks. Here is how I quickly assess a site for SEO.
This is probably the best SEO tool out there. Like most good SEO tools, it brings everything together so you can quickly see all the SEO elements easily. One of the most basic things it does is quickly, is identifying broken links. Beyond that though it makes it easy to see duplicate page titles, noindex tags, canonical tags and use of heading tags. I start this running on a site first and then come back and look for problems it may have found.
A quick search of site:webaddress will immediately tell you how many pages Google has crawled. If you have an ecommerce site and know that you have 500 SKUs and this search brings back 5000 results then you have a problem. It means you have 10 times as many pages as you have products. Unless you have been blogging three times a day over a number of years, it is unlikely that this number is an accurate representation of your site. It typically means Google is crawling and indexing things you don’t want it to.
One of the most basic things you need to do is use your keywords in places where Google needs to see them to understand what a page is about. For instance if I wanted to rank for “A 15 minute SEO audit” I have it in the URL. it’s in the page title and it is the H1 at the top of the page. It is also the name of the image below.
I do a backlink check for two reasons. Firstly I want to see how many bad or spammy backlinks a site has. This could indicate bad SEO practices or a competitor having a try at negative SEO. Secondly I like to see has any work been done on sharing content of the site or promoting it elsewhere.
Quite often ecommerce sites use the same manufacturers descriptions or a merchant might duplicate their catalogue on ebay. I usually will grab say a 20 word block of text off the home page and Google it. This will quickly reveal other pages that Google has crawled with the same content. If your page is not no.1 in this search it usually means Google has not found your page first and is ranking who they think the originator of the content.
If you are going to PeSA don’t forget to come and see us and get your free SEO audit. You can book yours here.