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In part 1 of this blog we talked about the importance of an SEO audit and walked you through the technical review, but we also mentioned content and content is king. Therefore, poor and/or unoptimized content for search engines can have a negative impact on your site’s performance.

We understand that an SEO campaign takes time to produce results, so we advise you to do an SEO audit once a year. A set of thorough content analyses can help you determine whether your site needs content or design changes.

  1. Content Analyses

    A critical factor of your SEO ranking is your content. When we say content we mean text, images and video, as well as keywords. So let’s go through the analysis step-by-step.

    First of all, you need to understand the purpose of your content. Whether it’s a product or service website, the content should have one of the following purposes: to convert, to inform, or to attract links and social signals. Determine the purpose of your site, identify the visitor personae, and then start planning your content around those determinations.

    Next, is keyword discovery—an essential step in the SEO process. It will help you target key pages and discover if there are additional terms or phrases which you may not have pages about. You can use Moz’s new Keyword Explorer to help you in the process. Find words and phrases which best correspond—and, more importantly, make sense—with your content and then work your content around them. Another set of items you need to consider are titles and their descriptions. It’s smart to include the keyword in your titles since the title tag is the single most important element on your page from direct and indirect SEO perspectives.

    Don’t forget to check for duplicate content or to investigate and optimize URL website structure. URLs represent unique gateways to your website. If two different URLs point to the same page (without the use of redirection), the search engine will interpret them as two distinct pages which will undermine your results.

    Once you eliminate duplicate URLs, you should analyze the content by viewing a text-only version of your website in Google’s cache memory. Other tools include using an SEO Browser or Browseo, all of which also give you additional information like the page title's meta description.

    Whichever tool you use, there are several questions which can help you through the process of content validation: Does the page contain fundamental content? (There’s no rule, but using minimum 300 words is fine.) Is the content valuable or spammy? Does it contain target keywords? Is it readable? Are there numerous grammatical and/or spelling errors? Can search engines read the content? Think like someone who visits your site for the first time: Do you understand the content being presented? Did it make you want to read more, browse more, or click somewhere? Are the links like something you would expect? If you answered “no” to any of these, think about rewriting or relinking your content.

    Don't forget your images. A picture is worth a thousand words so be sure to use appealing and relevant graphics. They can also be used for two purposes: to build relevancy for general organic searches and to rank on image searches. Your images need to be optimized correctly in order to accomplish this. You can use a website crawler like Screaming Frog to pull image information or you can audit images one-by-one as you go through your website.

    Repurposing the content is another SEO tactic you might want to consider. In order to do so, you must change the format of the content. For example, a long informative text can be turned into a fun infographic or a Slideshare presentation. This way the exact same content will rank for different phrases the audience could be searching for. This could also create an appeal for a different group and purpose entirely.

  2. Design Feedback and Analysis

    The website design assessment will provide you with valuable information regardless of your site’s age. Every visitor makes a split-second decision on whether or not they like your site based solely on its aesthetics. Ensure your site makes a great first impression with the look of your home screen and dedicated landing pages.

    To do this, think about your design. Is it attractive and appropriate for the target audience? Is the site's purpose clear? Think about the visual elements of the page such as images, sliding banners, and video. The usability of the page should be imperative when creating your design—meaning it should be easy to understand and navigate. The existence of a common-sense navigation at the top is always good. Each link should lead to the most important pages and be SEO friendly. Crucial information should be easy to find and get to from any page on the site. If visitors can’t find what they are looking for, they will leave and search elsewhere.

    As previously stated, your content is paramount. Think once more if the content of the site is aligned with its purpose and design. They should all be in sync, guide the visitor to desired areas of the website, and lead to the all-important subject for many businesses—conversion. A site with a consistently good design-content match will have call-to-action buttons displayed visibly and will lead visitors right to them.

    Last, but not least, is using social media to your advantage. Since social media visits are a big factor in your rankings, make sure to use them wisely and optimally. Don’t forget to include social media share buttons to your site, too.

  3. Analytics Reporting To Find Popular Content and Pages

    Using Google Analytics is a smart and simple way of monitoring your website traffic and performance. Site Content reports give detailed information and can be very useful.

    These reports give you analytics for 4 aspects of your site's visits:

    • All Pages: For detailed interaction data on all pages.

    • Content Drilldown: Data broken down by subfolder.

    • Landing Pages: Pages on which visitors entered the site.

    • Exit Pages: Pages which have been the final page of a session.

    This way you will get to know the number of clicks each page receives and what content visitors are most interested in viewing. Knowing the most visited place of your website can help you determine which SEO marketing campaigns were most successful and what your prospective customers liked most. Also, by learning the pages where your visitors leave the site will help you identify which pages need reworking and which campaigns need rethinking or cancelling.

There are numerous benefits of SEO: better rankings, more traffic, increased visibility and brand awareness, cost-effective marketing, higher sales, and so on. Even if the results may come slow at times, when done properly, SEO efforts are always worth it.

A good SEO audit will not only help you learn what’s working for your website (and business) and where opportunity lies, but it will also help you achieve your next marketing goal. Do not hesitate to contact the best SEO company in Sacramento and ask for a consult today. Don’t let bad SEO be in your way of success!

Tags: SEO, audit

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