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Getting traffic to your website should always be a priority. One of the best ways to get targeted traffic to your website is through the search engines. People are typing in keywords related to what you do and some of these will have buying intent. You need to make sure that you fully optimize your website for search engines and a website audit will identify gaps.
Search engine optimization (SEO) takes a number of website factors into account. Things have changed over the years and now it is not as easy as it used to be to rank websites on Google and the others. SEO optimization has an on page and off page component. On page optimization includes such factors as:
- Keyword optimization in the content
- Use of header tags H1, H2, H3 etc
- Page titles
- Internal linking (links to other pages on your website)
- External linking (links to other websites)
- Page loading speed
- Mobile device compatibility
- Meta description
- Broken internal links
- URL structure
Off-page optimization is all about the external links from other websites that are pointing to your website. These are “backlinks” and there are a number of aspects that require checking here too including:
- The number of backlinks
- The domain authority of backlinks
- Good vs bad backlinks
- Patterns of backlinks
SEO is a complex subject and unless you know what you are doing it will be difficult for you to properly assess your website for on page and off page optimization. You will certainly need to use a number of tools to perform a proper analysis. A free website audit can take care of all of this for you.
Where are your SEO weaknesses?
If your pages are not currently ranking on the first page of Google or the other search engines then your website is likely to have some SEO optimization weaknesses. There are some exceptions to this, such as your website being new and the keywords that you are trying to rank for being too competitive.
A website audit will help you to identify where the weaknesses are with SEO optimization. A good audit will point out the on-page issues as well as the off-page problems. Usually, you will receive a report which will indicate clearly where the problem areas are.
The best audits will take these things into account:
- On page optimization
- Off-page optimization
- Website performance
- Usability for mobile devices
- Social media presence
The Audit will provide Recommendations
It is one thing to have a long list of the weaknesses of your website when it comes to SEO but if you are not an expert then you will probably not know what you need to do to fix the problems highlighted. In this situation, you could consult with an SEO expert who will be able to make recommendations and even carry out the work for you.
A good website audit will provide recommendations to you once everything has been analyzed. Usually, the area of optimization weakness will be specified and the priority of the issue. For instance, if your website is slow to load then this can have a negative impact on your search engine rankings. This is likely to have a “high priority” categorization.
If you don’t have a lot of SEO knowledge and do not want to hire an SEO expert then you need as much detail as possible. A lot of audit reports will provide specific recommendations such as:
- Broken internal links require fixing
- Images need optimizing to reduce page load speed
- Implement an SSL certificate
- Decrease your keyword density
- Obtain more high-quality backlinks
You do not require any SEO Knowledge
To a lot of people, the terminology used in SEO is confusing and they have no idea what most of it means. It takes a long time to become an expert in SEO and it can be tough just to understand the basics.
With a lot of free SEO audits all that you need to do is enter in the URL of your website and click the “Analyze” button. The software will do the rest and will look at the important aspects of your website. It’s like having an SEO expert in the room with you!
You need to understand that an automated website audit is not going to be a full audit. There are many automated SEO analysis services online and as you might expect some are better than others. When you find a good one it is a great place to start.
Some SEO experts will tell you that all of the online SEO analysis services provide no value. This is not true. The good ones will provide you with a quick overview of where the problem areas are.
A full website audit will examine all of the important pages on your website. An automated audit will only examine one page URL at a time. Usually, you can examine one page for free and have to pay to audit more pages.
A Free Website Audit is usually fast
When you use a free website audit service online it will normally be very fast. In a few minutes or even seconds, you will receive an overview of your website optimization and the problems detected. A manual SEO audit can take several days to complete.
It is important that you have some idea of how your website is performing. Most people do not have the time or knowledge to use several different tools to analyze optimization factors. Entering a page URL and clicking a button to obtain a reasonably accurate overview in a short amount of time is certainly a benefit of free website audits.
Search Engines are always changing
All search engines use computer code in the form of an “algorithm” to rank websites in their search results for specific keywords. These algorithms change often as the search engine companies refine them to provide a better search experience for their uses.
When these changes occur it can often have an impact on website optimization. The best free website auditing tools will be regularly updated to reflect any major changes in search engine algorithms that have an impact on website optimization.
A Free Website Audit can help you with Keyword Optimization
Keywords are the terms entered by search engine users when they are looking for something. There are billions of possible keyword search terms and all of them will have different levels of competition. Some keywords will be fairly easy to rank for and some will be almost impossible.
A good free website audit will show you what keywords are appearing most often on the page that you are analyzing. This is often broken down into single words and phrases. The phrases are important here. If the keyword term that you are trying to rank for does not appear in this list then you have a problem.
The audit should tell you:
- The single keyword or phrase
- If they appear in the title of your page
- If they appear in the meta description
- If they appear in heading tags
- The frequency of the word or phrase on the page
A Website Audit can help you to improve overall Design and Structure
If you have a poor website design then it is not likely you will rank in the search engines very highly. The structure of your website is very important to the search engines as they want to recommend pages to their users that will provide a good experience. If there is no clear navigation structure the search engines will flag this as a negative.
With modern website platforms such as WordPress, you will not normally have to worry about structure. One thing that a free website audit will normally detect is the friendliness of your individual page URL’s.
If you have an article on your website about saving money does the URL of the page contain a related keyword? It needs to as the search engines are looking for this. When people look at your URL they will also feel comfortable that there is a related keyword in it as well.
A Website Audit will analyze your Content
Your content will have a major bearing on how well you rank in search engines. A free website audit is not going to be able to measure the quality of the content that you publish, but it will look for on-page optimization factors.
Here are some of the major content factors that are important:
- The page title
- The use of header tags
- The use of keywords
- The total word count (search engines favor longer content these days)
- The use of “ALT” tags with images
An Audit will provide an overall Backlink analysis
This is off page optimization. Although the search engines will tell you that backlinks are not as important as they used to be this is not true. If you want to rank for a keyword that is competitive it is no use relying on the optimization of a page alone.
It used to be about the number of backlinks that a website had. Now it is more about quality. All websites have a “domain authority” rating. This is a measure of the importance of a website in the eyes of the search engines. The higher the rating the better. A backlink analysis should include:
- The number of external backlinks to the page
- The total number of backlinks to the page
- The overall domain authority
A Free Website Audit is FREE
With most free website audit tools online able to analyze a page in seconds or a couple of minutes, what have you got to lose? If you outsource the auditing of your website to an SEO expert you will pay a pretty high price for even a basic audit.
It doesn’t get any better than free. With a bit of research, you can find out which free website audit service is the best and then use this. Even if you use a poor service then all you will have spent is a little time.
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