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How to perform website analysis for better SEO results

The key to being successful in SEO is to monitor your activities and evaluate the results. The theory is simple - if it’s going right, keep doing it. If not, STOP then and there.

To put it simply, a website audit is like a minuscule health check which looks into all the aspects  of your website. This audit will essentially reveal all the loopholes on your website and give you recommendations about what needs to be sorted and how.


You know how Google’s algorithm keeps changing. Something that is deemed correct at this point of time, might not be 1 year down the line. It is, therefore, necessary to conduct your website audit, at least, twice a year to ensure that your website is up-to-date according to the latest developments.

I made a list of some points to cover during an SEO audit:

  • Titles and Meta descriptions:
The importance of title tags as an element of on-page SEO cannot be underestimated. This is the first thing that the user would notice on our website. This first impression has a sizeable effect on your Click-through-rates. So, make sure your title tags are unique and have at least one powerful keyword in them. They should induce the users to click on your website. Title tags should be kept under 512 pixels.

The meta description is a small description of your webpage situated under the title in the SERP. This should be descriptive, concise and should relate to what your website. Avoid keyword stuffing in both the title and meta description.
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  •  URL structure:
There might be several URLs to your home page like www.mysite.com,  http://mysite.com, www.mysite/home, www1.mysite.com, or just mysite.com. You need to make sure that each of these variations are 301 redirected to a single URL. If you don’t do this, Google may perceive them as different websites and you could be penalized for duplicate content.
In addition to this, make sure that you keep the URLs static instead of dynamic and avoid parameters as much as you can.

Keep it simple like: http://example.com/product/category-1

  • Text formatting:
Plain text all over the web page is the last thing that the users and the Search Engines would like to see. Make use of the H1 tags for your important headings, H2 for the second most important and so on. Technically, you can use as many <h2>, <h3>, etc, but make sure that the text is well-structured and readable.

  • Content:
Content needs to be unique and up-to-date. Duplicate content is a big NO. Use Copyscape to discover duplicate content on your website. Then, remove or de-index it immediately. Use Google Analytics to find the golden pages (best-performing pages), i.e landing pages and the most visited pages. Make sure these are properly formatted and optimized in terms of social media promotion, zero grammatical error etc.

If you have pages with little/no content/similar content, merge them using 301 redirects.

  • Internal linking:
This is also one of the most important elements of on-page SEO. It is useful to both the users and the Search Engines. Keep a few things in mind:

  1. Have 2-10 internal links per page.
  2. If you want a page to rank well make sure it has a greater number of internal links.
  3. If you want a page to rank well make sure it is  linked with your home page

  • Images:
Images have the power to attract users and make the page look interactive. But this strategy can backfire if it slows down your page speed. Make sure all of your images have a defined ALT tag and are compressed to a minimum size.

  • Page speed:
Your website should preferably load with the speed of lightening. To increase your page loading speed, optimize your images or use a CDN, minimize HTTP calls through browser caching, remove unnecessary plugins, minimize CSS and HTML to reduce their size etc.

  • Website structure:
To analyse your website structure, answer the following questions:
  1. Is the content of your website grouped into relevant categories and pages?
  2. Does your website have a contact, a disclaimer, a private policy, and an about me page?
  3. Do all the internal pages have breadcrumb?

  • A check on robots.txt:
Search Engines crawl your website and look at all its element. They go through pages and visit the links they come across.

Robots.txt file and robot meta files are tools which inform the search engines to ignore some element or content. You need to use this tag with utmost care as I have come across cases where the webmasters had carelessly blocked the entire site from the Search Engines.
To check which part of your site you have blocked with robots.txt., type your home page and put robots.txt at the end (www.example.com robots.txt).

  • Sitemaps:
If you are not a techie then even an HTML sitemap would do, but usually, an XML Sitemap is preferred. The sitemap helps Search Engines check the pages which have added to your site at one single place. Having an XML sitemap is a must for every website as it tells the Search Engines which pages have to be crawled and indexed, and gives you an assurance that your pages are found faster.

  • Avoid CSS as much as you can:
Identify the areas of your site that are completely Flash or Javascript and remove them because it is difficult for the Search Engines to crawl such pages. This increases the chances of your page not getting crawled and indexed at all. From a user perspective it is also better to avoid these because for example, Apple does not display it on its phones and Ipads.

Does this process seem like too much effort? Or do you simply lack the time? Don’t worry, RankWatch Website Analyzer provides automated reports on all of the above.
Its suite of features will analyse your site - checking its optimization for SEO, mobile, social, local, speed, visitors, and technology.

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SEO: Under the SEO tab you will see all the positive and negative aspects through a comprehensive audit.

Mobile: This feature highlights the degree of mobile friendliness of your website and tests its Rendering, Flash Content, Mobile CSS etc.rankwatch mobile tab details

Social: Your entire social media activity is reflected here. It provides a platform for comparing the various channels you are active on.

rankwatch social tab details

Local: This feature checks your citations across all local directories such as yelp, Bing maps etc.

rankwatch local tab details

Speed: This shows your website loading speed, grades it, highlights where the issues are coming from and suggests recommendations to fix them. rankwatch speed tab details
Visitors: RankWatch provides additional information to gauge your traffic in terms of bounce rate, country-specific Alexa Rank as well as the country that brings you the most traffic.

rankwatch visistors tab details

Technology: This feature tests your server details, its location and the hosting provider.
technology of rankwatch

Conclusion


A quick analysis of your website gives you important insights and better understanding of the factors that affects your rankings. It also sheds light on the components that are hampering your website’s performance or rankings. This way you can ensure that you stay ahead of your competition.  

Such reports offer information that can help you create effective online marketing strategies to drive more sales, conversions, and leads.  With all the aspects covered, SEO analysis is an ongoing activity. I recommend you conduct this audit at least twice in a year.  

Article Courtesy : Ankita Awasthi
Author Bio: Sahil Kakkar is the CEO and Founder of RankWatch - a platform, which helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape.
Sahil likes making creative products that can help in automation of mundane tasks and he can spend endless nights implementing new technologies and ideas. You can connect with him and the Rankwatch team on Facebook or Twitter

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