Simple answer: because your competition has done it and they’ll outrank you all day, every day.
It’s important to understand where your site stands versus the competition. I remember doing SEO 15 years ago on a multitude of websites where keyword stuffing and any old backlink would help rankings. Not so much anymore, and your competition has figured that out also.
SEO requires research and analytical work, and if you’re looking for positive rankings for your business website or lead generation website, you can’t overlook a site audit.
Through a detailed SEO audit, you’ll collect data that can be used to leverage your position in search engines and ultimately help rank your site faster. Every decision you make for your site will be backed up with statistical information and can multiply your ranking gains. Just as importantly, you won’t continue wasting your time and efforts doing SEO that doesn’t matter
What is your site’s “Quality Score”?
Your site is ranked based on one primary factor, and that’s Google’s quality score. Every website is assigned a type of quality score metric based on Google’s overall evaluation of your site. Th better your site’s quality score is, the easier it is for you to rank it high.
Google tracks user behavior based on its AI technology, so it’s able to understand when a user isn’t interested in your site simply by watching the back button or re-searching the same topic. Below is a list of elements that contribute to a better quality score. These aid navigation and increase engagement. But first, here is a list of what Google AI reading on your site to measure a quality score:
SERP User Metrics
On-Page User Metrics
Link Building Metrics
Each niche is going to have its own benchmarks that Google sets to determine quality vs. unuseful. This is why it’s always a good reason to monitor and examine the top ranking websites (your competition.) You can also examine websites low in rankings to see what not to do. With all that said, let’s take a look at Yroc’s SEO audit checklist.
Auditing Core Website Elements
Listed here are items that we always check right at the start. And you can too! Each of these items are related to the overall larger site elements that help gather a birds-eye view of the audit.
Site / Domain Age
Site in Google Index
Basic Penalty Check
Total No. of Pages Indexed
SEO Content Audit
Content is the king of SEO so long as its driving in natural links, mentions, social votes, and real clicks from others in your industry and niche. Oh, and it should make you an authority on the subject all while the technical SEO is in place and optimized correctly.
800+ words minimum (1250 to 3000 words recommended, depending on the intent of the page and competition)
5 to 7 pictures
1 video minimum
4+ Words In Title <title>
Headline (H1) Tag
Sub-headlines (H2, H3, H4) Tags
High-Quality Supplementary Content
Below is a detailed list of what we examine when going through our extensive SEO Content audit.
Title Tag with Keywords
Unique Title Tag
Internal Contextual Linking
Spammy Content on Page
Secondary Content (altshiftA)
Images hiding Content
Ads to Content Ratio
Local Site, Title with Location
OBLs to Authority sites
Content Layout and User Experience
Standing out in the SERPs
Google Evaluating A New Page
Usability & Structural Audit
Presence of Blog
Number of Posts
Quality of Posts
Click Depth to Main Pages
Presence of Categories
Overall Silo Structure
Audit Check of Essential Pages
Other Essential Pages
About Us / Our Company / Company
Terms of Service
If your site is an eCommerce Site (or selling anything) you need to have Shipping Information, Refund Policy, Refund Policy
Copyright Message in Footer with an updated date
OnSite Reviews / Testimonials
Auditing Site Analytics
Google Analytics and Search Console – they’re free. They reveal insights about the users and the SEO that you can’t get anywhere else. Understanding the data each of them reveals about your site and acting on any problem areas is part of good technical SEO.
You cannot use one without the other and they both show you a separate set of metrics. Doing a thorough audit of the following metrics and analytics of the site is essential in understanding where the site stands, where the problem areas are that need fixes and how things can be improved – for better rankings.
Below are some important items you absolutely need to look at, but this is not where it stops. Doing an ongoing analysis as you make new posts, go about doing SEO or making improvements to your site is essential and can help you boost SEO and identify problem areas early.
Bounce Rate and Time on Site
Notices from Google
Broken Links, 404 errors and/or Missing Pages
Current Keywords Ranking Health
Desktop and Mobile Speed Tests
Backinks Profile Audit
While doing a backlink audit you need to definitely check –
Type of backlinks the site has overall.
The Power and Quality of each Backlink which can be the Majestic Trust Flow vs Citation Flow, or Ahref Domain Rating or URL Rating of each backlink.
The ratio of each kind of backlink – guest posts, news releases, comments, article links, sitewide thin links, etc.
The anchors used for the backlinks and overall anchor cloud as well as the sequence of the appearance of each backlink and anchor text.
Link velocity of backlinks.
Spam signals in the Backlinks Profile
Do-Follow vs No-follow link ratio of backlinks
Social Media Audit
Social is already a very important factor when it comes to ranking. Having social channels that are active and have appropriate levels of user engagement will power up your rankings.
It’s important that you set up your social channels and interlink them and then engage with your users on social with the right content and drive traffic to your site through these channels. Racking up fake signals and fake followers who do not engage or visit your site through the channels, is easily detected by Google as false and it does not help your rankings.
Getting real users, who engage is important.
Local SEO Audit – NAP Data
Proper Name, Address with ZIP and Phone Number
Embedded Google Map
Too Many Bullet Points!
Yeah, we know. It moves faster than it seems though. If that’s a bit overwhelming, there’s always the option to hire an amazing SEO specialist company to analyze your websites for you. Either way, I hope this can be of some help, even if you can only grab nuggets here and there. SEO is not a step-by-step process that automatically provides winning results. All the elements and actions listed above are products of keyword research and analytics.