SEO check-up for 2018

Continuous updates in search engine filters require digital marketing agencies to evolve their client’s SEO strategy to maintain ‘optimisation’ for search engines.

Some digital marketers recommend a check-up every 6 months however it’s probably only necessary to do a review each year unless a major Google update (such as Google’s Panda, Penguin, Pigeon and Hummingbird) is announced. 

 A thorough review will highlight your client’s weaker performing and stronger performing parts of their SEO strategy so recommendations for improvement can be implemented.

How does an SEO check-up work?

It starts with studying visitor’s activity over a period of time on your or your client’s website (and any other online presence -social media, blog they may have) and building up a picture of user data and user’s movement which we analyse. This process results in providing you with information based on the historic data of what is working and what isn’t so improvements can be made. 

Quality and Relevance of Content.

All search engines are designed to reward (up rank) good quality and penalise (down rank) low quality content so it follows as part of the review process that you review all content that’s posted to ensure it’s of a good standard,  relevant to your topic calendar and engaging to the target audience. I good question to ask yourself is ‘ would i share this piece of content myself ?’

Why is it important to conduct an SEO checkup regularly? 

2 words ‘Trends’ + ‘Filters’ ; changing trends and constant updates to filters of the algorithms of search engines.

Every day (sometimes twice a day) Google make some kind of update to it’s filters and every few months some major changes are announced and explained to help SEO marketeers to prepare and optimise their SEO processes. Hero to zero if we never review our SEO strategy you and your client’s will quickly drop down the ranking position (SERP).

The results of the data analysis will quickly reveal what’s working, what isn’t and the areas that can be improved upon to align with current SEO best practices.

What to look for in an SEO review 

Before you start your review consider you or your current web presence, your target audience and marketing goals.

There are sample checklists you can find online for the SEO process which you can download to help your audit which should include the following 4 areas:

1#Keywords:  keyword (research, list and placement) strategy is an important part of digital marketing. The content should match the keywords (not the other way around) so make sure your content relates to your primary keyword(s) list and make it relevant to your target audience in terms of region, information and tone of voice. Also if you are researching keywords online using some of the popular research tools remember to note down some of the keywords that the software generates that you might not have considered before. These then need content to be created around them.

Use the keyword searches to research any keywords we might have missed off your list and whether there are any other keywords you want to target and create content for. Remember your content should match your keywords not the other way round, your keywords are also referred to as your ‘target keywords’.

SEMrush
Google’s Keyword Planner
Answer the Public
Moz Keyword Explorer

2#Site design: Search engines filters are programmed to understand user experience (UX) and associated page design that helps and  template design and backend database efficiency. In other words UX affects rankings more and more as search engines look at page layout  (such as text alignment, spacing, leading and typeface consistency)  they are set up to penalize those poorly designed and reward those that are well designed. To improve some basic elements try using Google’s Mobile-Friendly test tool to highlight issues regarding page load speed, unnatural links, and broken links and unsafe. Review where and how UX could improve across your website, including broken links that need fixing or any pages that should be re organized. 

3#Backlinks: Are links to you page from other sources that credit your page (via it’s link) as a source of reference. Search engines measure the reputation or authority of a website by assessing it’s backlinks, and calculate how many other pages cite the (your) same page as a source. So make sure any backlinks your site has received are from good reliable sources. You can use and ‘SEMRush’ for backlink-tracking functionality. 

4#User behaviour flow/movement: Once your updated and made improvements it’s time to check and re-test to look for improvements in activity. To understand where new visitor’s are coming from and which pages they linger on use Google’s Analytics to track this behaviour because this tool provides alot more that just page views. 

What online tools to use for an SEO audit. 

As a supplier offering this service to client’s you are well placed to offer an unbiased audit on a clients online presence and their strategy. 

To support your audit their are some useful tools to guide you through this process. 

Engage the use of Google’s Search Console which has a number of tools that look at analytics and can guides and support you through a successful check-up.  

Other online tools include ‘Screaming Frog’ which will not only help highlight issues, like broken links but will help provide a strategy or plan to create better UX experience for visitors and improve engagement with visitor’s who become potential customers.