Auditing your Website: Rookie SEO Mistakes
One of the most important SEO tasks you can do for you to audit your website to avoid SEO Mistakes. With the Art of SEO being such a new field, many limitations of search engines are not intuitive to the average user. Some people choose not to dive into the subject to learn and maximize their efforts in the online space. In this article we will review a few of the key points of an SEO audit and how to avoid many of the common SEO pitfalls.
Page Load Time
Page load time is key to any Websites success! The faster your website loads, the more chances that search engines will crawl your site and index it for search results in the future. Having a website that is too slow will virtually eliminate your site from being competitive in the mobile search space.
Fast! That is the key to the mobile search space. If your website is slow you can basically kiss your search targets goodbye. Make sure you are optimizing your site for both computer and mobile results.
Accessibility and Spiderability
Make sure your site is accessible to the spiders of search engines to crawl. There are many online tools to check search ability and how often spiders visit. One tool we like to use is a browser plugin from SEOQuake. This tool gives you many key SEO metrics to help see where you rank.
Search Engine Health Check
Performing a search engine health check will give you inside information on what your site looks like to search engines. Follow the following steps below.
Perform a site:<yourdomain.com> search in the search engine of your choice to check how many of you pages are being indexed by that search engine and compare it to how many pages you actually have.
Check your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts for index numbers as well. Google and Bing offer site validation and domain verification as well. The validation lets you look at how the search engine views your site.
Check Google cache to confirm their cached site looks like your live version.
Test your brand in search. If your brand isn’t coming up in search results the search engine may be penalizing you. Again, refer to your search console and webmaster tools to see any identifiable tools.
Keyword Health Check
Keywords help users target the correct website. Use a keyword health check to make sure you are using the correct keywords to hit your target audience. If you have multiple pages using the same keyword you may be cannibalizing your own results. This makes duplication content errors happen and will lower your search presence.
The key here is to have a clean, short and descriptive URL. While you want it to be a descriptive URL, you don’t want to have multiple keywords in it. This is overkill and will lessen its effectiveness. You want to have a short simple URL for users and search engines alike. Search Engines don’t like going through a long and wordy URL as much as the users don’t.
There are multiple SEO Mistakes in content. Content is key! Do you have enough text content to satisfy users? Do you have header tags for users and search engines alike to know what the page is about? Do you have many pages without content, just to make your site look bigger to the search engine? Search engines are smart and will see right through this trick. Make sure each page has a header tag, worthwhile content, is easily reviewable and non repetitive.
Meta Tag Review
While meta tags are very useful, overuse can be detrimental. Make sure you do a meta tag review on you site. Some meta tags aren’t even crawled by search engines anymore. Make sure you are using relevant and useful tags in your meta data. Duplication of content is also factored in here by search engines so repetition for repetitions sake isn’t going to be useful.
While this is a good starter list for your SEO audit, it is in no way a comprehensive list. There are plenty of SEO Mistakes not mentioned above. If you are looking for more details on an SEO audit or any other SEO related information, I suggest reading The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization. There is a wealth of knowledge in The Art of SEO that we have just began to scratch the surface.