Search engine optimization practices are changing all the time. Whenever Google updates its search algorithms, SEO changes – and SEO also changes as we gain a better understanding of the factors that drive traffic. With the world constantly changing, it’s a good idea to conduct an SEO audit of your site at least twice a year. This audit should include:
1. Are your pages optimized according to SEO best practices?
Best practices change. Is your site optimized based on current best practices? Are your title tags appropriately optimized and appealing? Are your meta descriptions optimized to appeal to viewers in search engine results? Does your site include high-quality, optimized content? Are your images optimized?
2. Are there dead pages or broken links?
Dead pages within your site and broken outbound links are a few of the quickest ways to hurt your search engine rankings. Your site – and all of its links – should be fully functional. Check links periodically to make sure everything works. If your site runs on a content management system, you may be able to use a tool to check this automatically – such as the WordPress Broken Link Checker plugin. Check to see if there’s anything available for your CMS or e-commerce platform.
3. Are search engines indexing your site?
You’ll have trouble with search engine ranking if search engines can’t properly index your site. Make sure your website code is properly functional and doesn’t prohibit robots from crawling your site. Some website templates and WordPress themes contain code that can interrupt a robot attempting to crawl your site, and if search engines aren’t indexing it, you’re missing out on search traffic.
4. Is your site loading quickly?
Google values speed in its search engine algorithms. Is your site loading quickly? Test the speed of your site, and consider making improvements to help your site load faster. These improvements may entail everything from optimizing images to changing code – and they may be changes you need help from a developer to make. Speed makes a difference, though, so if your site is painfully slow, you may be losing traffic and search engine rank.
Take a few minutes twice a year to conduct an SEO audit, or contact me to perform a comprehensive one. Most problems can be corrected with a small time investment, which can provide a big return in getting you more search traffic.