Amassing proper back-links for your site and content can be somewhat time consuming, although it is absolutely necessary to increase your SEO ranking and to help establish a reputable and respected on-line name. By linking to various blogs, social media platforms, and fellow writer’s pages, you’re increasing awareness of your own content and efforts as well as establishing more credibility and authority. This in turn will directly affect how your company ranks in the SERPs. Remember that the development of compelling content becomes even more important with link building because no one will want to send their visitors to mediocre material.
One word to the wise: Only link to sites that are both relevant to your industry and high quality. Links for the sake of links is one sure way to see your rankings drop. It’s a black hat tactic and it will get you in hot water eventually. Make every link count, and your results will reflect these efforts.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there is still an absurd amount of keyword-riddled content posted on-line that caters more to the bots that crawl the articles than to the people that actually read the pieces. Not only will this style of writing deter many potential prospects from reading your material or shopping with your brand, but this will actually damage your SEO efforts. Google has the ability to identify these types of posts and will purposefully downgrade a site’s ranking for posting such material.
Now, this is not to say that keywords are no longer critical, as they most definitely still are. The trick here is to weave these words into the piece in a natural and flowing way.
Instead of catering to Google-bots, ensure that the content generated is unique, relevant, and most of all, useful to the audience it is aimed at. In this digital era, there is a bounty of various tools and applications available on-line that can assist writers in creating outright great content. Tools like the Hemingway Editor are great for keeping content focused and precise for your audience.
Benefits of a professional SEO website audit include:
- A professional SEO expert to conduct the audit
- You’ll receive 30-100+ pages of findings and recommendations
- You’ll have a list of action items and instructions on how to fix potential issues
- The SEO expert is available for follow up consulting and to help fix issues if needed
But why not get started and just take a stab at it yourself? The below notes will give you some ideas and I’ll also share some tools that will help you facilitate this process.
1. Analyze the Technical Health of Your Website
Improving the technical performance of a website is one of the most important aspects to increase your site’s overall visibility in search engines. Potential technical aspects that you need to consider and analyze include:
- URL Canonicalization
- IP Canonicalization
- Default/Index Page
- Content Duplication
- Page Title Duplication
- Page Description Duplication
- Clean URL
- XML Sitemap
- 404 Page
- Page Speed
- Text Navigation
- 4XX Errors and 5XX Errors
After you’ve watched the OMI session I’m leading, you’ll understand how tools such as Google Webmaster Tools, Google PageSpeed Insights, Google Mobile-Friendly Analyzer, SEOquake, Woorank, and iwebchk will help you during this process.
2. Analyze Your Website’s Functionality
Google cares a lot about how people interact with your website. You’ll lose a ton of “SEO points” if you optimize your site for search, start to get increased website traffic, but then people immediately leave your site because they can’t find what they are looking for. This dramatically increases your site’s bounce rate and Google will naturally penalize your site in search results. Make sure to get access to Google Analytics so that you can analyze your website’s traffic. Also, you’ll definitely want to read and adhere to Google’s design and content guidelines.
3. Analyze the Content of Your Website
A professional SEO site audit usually includes the review of your website’s content and how it’s optimized for search. By creating materials that draw the visitor in and entice them to delve more deeply into the website’s pages, optimized content will create a welcoming and interesting environment for potential new clientele – and will reduce your site’s bounce rate. Get started by conducting keyword research using Google’s Keyword Planner tool, which is part of Google AdWords.
SEO and Inbound Marketing are not individual silos any more. They are indisputably linked and go hand in hand. Inbound Marketing focuses on attracting visitors to your website and then turning those website visitors into customers. Some of the key strategies used in Inbound Marketing include content creation, conversion optimization, social media and more. SEO focuses specifically on improving your visibility in search engine results and generating more qualified traffic to your website. It’s a key player because it’s the first stage of the Inbound Marketing process: attract the right people to your website. SEO, when done right, gets you ranked higher in the search engines and puts your website listing in front of people that are not only likely to visit, but convert on your website once they get there.
While it doesn’t happen as often as it used to, we still get solicitations from people wanting to build links by selling them or exchanging them. Unless it’s a legitimate exchange with a reputable website for a real business purpose, we tend to frown on this practice. And at the end of the day, all the links in the world won’t matter if the content being linked to is lacking in quality. If you’ve got the budget to invest in your website, don’t spend it on risky and often times black hat link purchases. Instead, invest it in your website’s content. When you invest in content, you get a higher return on investment because you can re-purpose it for Web pages, blog articles, content offers tied to lead generation campaigns and more. And high-quality content naturally generates more links over time.So natural links are the name of the game. Unnatural links will actually hurt you – so just don’t do it!