23 Sep A Super Quick SEO Audit
We talk with a lot of clients who paid a lot of money to have a website built by another firm. But yet it isn’t producing leads for their business. We are the bad guys that come in and tell these business owners there are a few very basic elements of SEO that were not considered as part of their web design. Insert outrage. We are quick to clarify that while you hired a web designer to create a nice page, web designers are not SEO strategists. This just means that clients don’t know what they want – and rely on experts to tell them. However, roles do not cross even if they are under the marketing umbrella. For example, a professional web designer does not work in SEO. While it appears that SEO is a major part of web design, and we agree with that, web designers are technically not well versed in the specialized world of SEO. This is why you need to work with a digital marketing agency that has core competencies in marketing strategy.
So how do you know if your web design company has strong SEO capabilities? You might want to check out these tips.
- Meta titles / descriptions. Use Yoast SEO plugin – you can set your meta title and description on every page. Without it, you are not telling Google what’s important on that page and why/how it should be ranked. Again, I see this with web companies that don’t understand how metadata ties into SEO.
- H tags – huge issue that is far too common. Right click a page and select “view source” then control F to search for “h1”, etc. Web designers tend to use H tags as a sizing structure – so an H1 has the biggest font, on down to H6. However, they fail to understand this is critical for SEO and the H1 is the “most important” tag on any given page. You should only have one and it should be what your company does and your name. You might have 2-3 h2’s, 3-4 h3’s, and any number of h4-h6 tags. They are not to be used for size, they are an order of importance relative to the content they encapsulate. Rookie mistake there.
- Ask for a keyword ranking report. What’s that you ask? No need to read further, your existing company has already failed you. If you are curious, a keyword ranking report is produced by a third party and shows how your website is performing based on queries the public performs when trying to find services such as yours. Yes, this does exist. We roll out ranking reports for all clients as we have no other way to know if the changes we create in a website (and bill you for) are producing desired results. We track the changes and if we are seeing an upward trend, then we are on the right track. Rinse, revise, repeat.
- Google Analytics – check our in page preview and see where people are clicking (and not clicking), bounce rates on pages higher than 50% could indicate a problem, time on site, pages per visit, and an upward trend year on year for all metrics.
- Google Webmaster Tools – most clients don’t have this set up already. I don’t know why though as you create a sitemap.xml of your website and submit that to GWT and then you can track if you have broken pages (404’s), blogging errors, what queries are linking back to your website, density of words, and lots of crawl issues are identified here. Like the keyword ranking reports, this isn’t in the interest of a firm to show you this as it exposes their errors that they should have addressed.
- Sitemap.xml – if I can’t find this, you are in big trouble. I recently evaluated a site that while they had the robots.txt file, it was coded to blog sitemap.xml from being indexed. Don’t understand the significance? That company (a web design firm not an SEO firm) was telling Google to NOT index pages. It’s huge. To find if you have one, type this www.yourdomainname.com/sitemap.xml. If it’s not there, you don’t have one.
- What’s your preferred domain? Is it www or non-www? You set this in WMT. You should have one or the other – otherwise, you are competing against yourself for rankings.
Contact Hundred Rubys
Hunded Rubys is a boutique digital marketing agency help clients in the US with strategy, web design, internet marketing, SEO, paid advertising, content development, social media, and more. Contact us for a free evaluation and see where there’s room for improvement.