So you want to start generating tons of traffic to your website? It’s every website owner’s dream, whether you own a coffee shop, a blog, or any other type of physical or virtual business.
And everyone knows that search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way to focus on long-term traffic generation. And even though SEO can be highly competitive, it’s still possible to start ranking for relevant keywords in as little as a few weeks or months.
And the best part? No more throwing away money on ads.
To get started, you’ll want to perform a technical SEO audit, which sounds harder than it actually is. There are many tools and resources available to help you understand your website’s current level of optimization and what you can do to reach the next level.
Ready to get started? Follow along below to being your smart SEO journey today.
The Importance of an SEO Audit
Sure, you can probably start writing articles and looking for link-building opportunities right away. But that’s not going to get you as far as you want to be.
To be successful in the SEO marketing industry, you first need to understand the basic SEO best practices that will position your website, and individual pages, for higher rankings.
After all, there’s no use building links to a page that isn’t properly optimized for your keyword, or you’re never going to rank no matter how nay links you get.
Instead, start with an audit, which will analyze your site and its effectiveness according to your main keywords. When it comes to SEO, you need to go one step at a time. Each step builds on the last, and it all starts with your website.
Your site needs to be free from errors that could cause Google to either penalize or ignore your website. And it needs to follow Google’s preferences regarding information architecture in order to compete with other websites.
So in essence, smart marketing starts with an SEO audit, which will tell you what’s wrong with your website, so you can fix it and start climbing the rankings.
Performing Your First Technical SEO Audit
Audits aren’t difficult to perform, thanks to modern, fast, SEO audit tools. Simply plug in your website’s URL, and you’ll learn a ton of information about your website or individual page.
Different tools will provide different information, so it might be a good idea to test out multiple SEO audit tools. But in general, you can expect to learn about your website’s speed and security, page rankings, keyword optimization per page, broken or toxic links, duplicate pages, and much more.
You should also look up your website on Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google PageSpeed Insights.
Thanks to these powerful tools, the information is easy to acquire. However, it’s what you do with this information that matters. Here’s what to do when you encounter some of the common SEO issues discovered during an audit.
One of the most important things you can do to improve your SEO is to ensure mobile-friendliness on your website. Considering that most people are browsing the internet using their smartphones these days, if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you are going to lose every time.
Luckily, most modern website builders offer automatic mobile-device compatibility. That means everything will be designed to work on mobile, even if you only built a desktop version of your site. Oftentimes, as is the case with certain WordPress themes, you just need to enable this feature in your backend.
When users click through to your website from a Google search, they expect the page to load quickly. If it doesn’t, users will leave and look for another website.
But Google doesn’t like this, as it creates a negative experience and will penalize slow websites by moving them down in the rankings. There are many things you can do to improve page speed.
One is the disabling and deleting of plugins and widgets that either aren’t being used or aren’t that important. You can also use smaller image files, as oversized image files are one of the main reason pages take too long to load.
Your website needs to be secure, and user information needs to be encrypted when they visit your site. To do this, make sure your URL shows HTTPS:// before your actual URL.
This lets users know their information is safe and that hackers aren’t trying to steal their information. This is easy to do and is often free on many website-building platforms. It’s known as an SSL certificate.
Anything that ruins a user’s experience will earn you penalty points from Google, which sends its robots to crawl web pages every day. A broken link is one that no longer leads to a working page.
Finding these is easy to do with internal plugins or external SEO tools. Simply replace these links with working links to reputable sites and you’re good to go.
Stay Up to Date With Regular SEO Audits
If you start your SEO campaign on the right foot, by fixing errors and optimizing your entire website to best practices, you’ll be headed in the right direction. However, website maintenance and SEO are not one-and-done tasks.
To keep your site in good standing with search engines, you need to continually monitor your website. Sometimes outgoing links can break or duplicate pages can be made by accident.
That’s why it’s best to perform an SEO audit at least once per year. If you put a huge emphasis on your SEO campaign and are constantly publishing on your website, a quarterly or even monthly audit wouldn’t be a bad idea.
If problems slip in, you want to find them sooner rather than later, before they are able to hurt your rankings, causing you to lose traffic and revenue.
Start With Your Foundation
If you plan on implementing an SEO campaign, you have to first build your foundation. Your website needs to be healthy and optimized, and in order to do that, you need to perform a technical SEO audit.
It isn’t hard, and it will provide you with a vast amount of information on how you can set your website up for success.
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