This is the first entry in our 8 Steps to Powerful Search Engine Optimization series.
Is your website kinda … bleh? Don’t be embarrassed, it’s a common problem for many companies. If you’re basing it only on looks, you’d be surprised how many beautiful websites have terrible Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
As a business owner, it’s not your job to know how to build a solid website. But you should embrace the value of working with a digital marketing company that knows its stuff and can help you.
Most of the time, marketing companies will start the process with an SEO audit. This will reveal what’s good about your website and what’s broken, which will make it easier to create custom solutions.
We can’t speak on any other company’s behalf, but our digital marketing team uses these four tools when creating an SEO audit:
These programs spit out a lot of data, which we analyze to build a well-defined strategy and road map. Once that part’s done, we gather it into two lovely documents for the client to review.
Each client receives a local SEO audit and a technical SEO audit. Here’s some more info on those…
The Big Cheese — Local SEO Audit
To kick things off, the local SEO audit report presents seven categories and a rating for each one, as demonstrated in this helpful visual example:
From this point on, the report goes into a deep dive for each category. Remember, all of these categories work together to determine SEO.
Links & Website Authority
This section compares the client to their competitors in these areas:
- Google Index Count: Total number of pages a website has indexed on Google.
- Link Count: Number of links a client has pointing to their website from other websites.
- Linking Domains: Number of domains those links are coming from.
- Majestic C-Flow: Citation accuracy.
- Domain Authority: A measuring tool created by MOZ that predicts the probability of a website ranking.
- Website Age: The number of years a website has been active.
Search Engine Rankings
We gather a list of keywords the client wants to rank for and check their status before we make any updates. The report displays the list of keywords, along with the client’s ranking for Google, Google Mobile, Google Maps, Bing, Bing Local, and more.
Local Business Listings
Listings are super important for local businesses. The more your Name, Address and Phone (NAP) information is listed across the web consistently, the better your web presence will be. While citation accuracy is no longer a ranking factor, it’s still important.
Listings can include:
- BBB.com (Better Business Bureau)
- Apple Maps
- Yellow Book
- And more
Our audit shows our clients how many listings are available, how many are claimed, and how many errors those listings have and more.
Ratings & Reviews
Amazon, Yelp, and other websites have made ratings and reviews a mandatory part of the shopping experience. When customers are researching products and services, quality ratings and good reviews help steer their business.
We review the following websites and calculate how many reviews and ratings our clients have for each channel:
- Yellow Pages
With small businesses, it’s very common to have very few ratings and reviews. That’s okay! There are white-hat ways to get them, like customer outreach campaigns and more.
Google My Business (GMB)
Your GMB needs to be set up correctly to help you rank for local searches. For example, “near me” is a common search now. Donuts near me. Mechanics near me. We could keep going, but you get the point.
The more relevant information you add to your GMB listing, the more likely you’ll be to show up in those “near me” searches. That’s why we include it as part of any website optimization.
GMB optimization can include:
- Profile set up and verification
- Choosing the appropriate top category for your business
- Uploading photos and posts
- Responding to reviews and ratings
- Updating and implementing categories, products and services
- Adding contact information, hours of operation, links to the website, and more
To simplify it, this means we analyze everyone on your web pages (including things that aren’t visible to users). When it comes to SEO, there’s isn’t just one thing that pulls all the weight — but all of the little elements add up!
Our on-site SEO audits examine the following aspects of web pages:
- Technical (Page load speeds, robots.txt, XML sitemaps, errors, links, and SSL)
- Content (Meta titles and descriptions, image alt tags, header tags, schema markup, keywords, and more)
- Mobile-friendliness (Responsiveness, load speeds, rendering, and more)
Social Media Channels
How popular are you? That’s what this portion of the audit finds out! Well, at least in the social media realm. We take a look at our clients’ social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and review things like:
- How well they’re set up (Accurate contact information, company overviews, images, etc.)
- Followers count
- Engagement on posts
- What kind of website traffic they get from social channels
- And more
Feelin’ Nerdy? You’re Gonna Love a Technical SEO Audit
Some business owners like to keep things at a general overview, but some really like getting into the nitty-gritty when it comes to data.
If you’re the latter, you’ll love a technical SEO audit. Here are a few things we examine:
Website URLs — Our crawler identifies how many of the website URLs were:
- Not Found
Content Types — This section points out how the website content is divided by:
But this is only a small look into how a technical audit works. There are plenty more areas that get examined, and our developer and team make sure to take a deep dive into each website.
The bottom line? It’s imperative that you have a technically sound site. Just like a house, a website with cracks in the foundation will be at a greater risk of future problems.
The dilemma with technical issues is they’re often invisible unless you’re looking for errors manually or with a technical audit tool. For this reason, it’s important to work with a marketing team you can trust.
We Can Help You
CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.
To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.