Algorithms and technology change at a rapid speed and your site's SEO score could be plummeting if you do not conduct regular site checks. An hour or two every month checking your site's health can make an impact and ensures you spot any significant errors that could be ruining your site's authority.
At Equinet I regularly check our client's site health (and our own) and every month there is always something new that needs addressing. We use SEMRush and Moz to perform site audits, there are other sites such as Screaming Frog and SEO Site Checkup which allow free access to some SEO checking tools.
The problem with site audits is that they give you so much information, it is hard to know how to use your time most effectively. An hour or two every month is enough to make a difference, but you need to make sure you are using that time efficiently.
Neil Patel has written an extensive blog post on 'How to Perform a Technical SEO Site Audit in Just One Hour', below I have taken the top tips from his blog and added a couple of my own insights, these are the areas I believe are worth addressing each month:
1. Broken Links
These are fairly quick and easy to address. You may have written a blog a while ago which has external links which are now pointing to a 404 page - an SEMRush site audit will give you a downloadable excel list of pages with broken links and their associated code. Start by addressing any with a 404 code as these can not only impact negatively on your SEO, they also provide a bad user experience.
2. Site Speed
Neil Patel points to this great Google tool in his article to check your site speed. As Nicola Risi pointed out in a previous blog "... if your site speed is not a priority you’re sabotaging not only your SEO but your opportunity for conversions". One simple thing to do to improve site speed is to make sure your images are compressed, if a page's load speed is slow - check the image sizes. There are plenty of plugins you can use on Wordpress such SmushIt which will compress all the images on your site, without affecting their quality.
3. Redirect chains and loops
You may have set up one redirect and then a while later set up another redirect, and then another, and then another - you get the idea! Eventually, you end up with a whole big redirect chain which needs addressing. Redirects are bad for your site as they prevent search engines crawling your site, affecting how well your pages are indexed. They also slow down load speed, leading to a poor user experience. Redirect chains can be easily fixed by examining the loop and cutting out the unnecessary redirects.
4. Page titles and title tags
A 'title tag' is HTML code which tells search engines what the title of a page is, this is then displayed on SERPS.
The optimal length for a title tag is under 60 characters, a site audit will pick up on any titles that are longer than this. You can then make an informed decision about how they appear in search and if you need to make amends. Pixel width also has an impact so using fewer capital letters in your title can help.
A monthly site audit will keep your SEO performance in check and make sure the user experience is smooth.
It’s 2018. You need to maximize your SEO efforts if you want to succeed online. Let’s face it. If you don’t, your business will be left behind. SEO is a top priority for marketers. In fact, 61% say it’s their main focus when it comes to inbound marketing. They’re all doing it. Why aren’t you? Ignoring it is basically ignoring sales. But where should you begin? Simple. Start by assessing your site’s current SEO. The easiest way to do this is with an SEO audit. See how your current site ranks and assess what you can do to improve it.