Success in organic search is dependent on search engines finding, reading and evaluating website content. If that content is hindered in any way, organic performance can be impacted significantly.
Once the obstacles are uncovered, Sandbad outlines the obstacles and provides customized recommendations for addressing the obstacles based on the information we know about your site, CMS and server.
Sandbad then prioritizes the order in which each should be addressed by providing the impact level each obstacle has on organic performance and the level of effort we estimate each will require within our On Page SEO services.
Just say no to shady SEO
Sandbad’ team of SEO experts are on-the-ground working with each customer to ensure their SEO success. We base our SEO campaigns on verifiable, results-driven thematic keywords so you outrank the competition and feel confident in partnering with Sandbad.
Our Battle SEO Audit® Process
Exhaustive and comprehensive…just the way it should be.
SEO Audits Explained
A full website SEO audit is a focused practice that includes the use of various SEO audit tools, checklists, and standards to examine a website and its optimization campaign. An SEO site audit can also be used to create lists of weak points and action items that can help overcome the observed weaknesses on the website. In addition to that, an on page audit is often used to gather specific information and details needed for a company to make adjustments to their SEO campaign and get better results.
What is Covered in the SEO Audit
Before we continue, you need to understand that there are actually two different ways to go about an SEO website audit. Both ways have their own advantages and disadvantages and they can be used for their specific purposes.
First, there’s the fast auditing for search engines, which is generally a 10 to 15-minute process for an experienced auditor, and maybe a little bit longer for those who are fairly new to the auditing process. A fast audit generally uses free online tools that look over the very basics: domain and page authority, tags, XML maps, meta & alt descriptions, organic traffic, signs of penalties, and other important but basic surface level considerations when it comes to optimization. It’s important to mention that most digital marketing agencies only sell this type of site audit services, which means that you need to be extra careful when you’re choosing the company that will audit your onpage SEO.
Then there’s the full SEO auditing – which is what you get with Victorious.
Our search engine audit service includes everything you are going to get from a fast audit, but it also dives in much deeper using more thorough tools. In other words, our search audit provides you with a deep analysis that consists of over 85 different sections. The precise number of sections varies from client to client, depending on their needs, but it rarely goes higher than 90 or lower than 80.
Although this might not seem like a huge difference, practice has shown us that it can significantly impact the results of an SEO campaign. That is because each of these sections affects your website’s ranking in the search engines in a specific (positive or negative) way. If they’re left unchecked or overlooked, you risk losing your ranking because of a poorly executed SEO auditing.
However, you don’t have to worry about that if you decide to work with us. Here at Victorious, we understand that the difference between a good and a bad search audit can come down to a single parameter. That is why we never rush this process and we carefully examine all sections before we reach back to our clients.
In case you’re wondering what these 80+ sections include, here’s a brief overview of the most common sections:
- Keyword analysis
- Analysis of your competition (and competitors)
- Technical analysis
- Page level analysis
- In-depth content quality analysis
- User experience analysis
- Link profile (backlink type, number, keyword anchors, neighborhoods, etc.)
Some of the Auditing Tools That We Use
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Beam Us Up SEO Crawler
- Pro Rank Tracker
- Screaming Frog
Before you dive into audit SEO parameters, you should always take time to make sure you understand what your main goals and targets are. You need to understand that SEO is a means to an end, not the end itself.
Are you looking to increase organic traffic by 50%? Improve rankings around a small, but crucial list of keywords? Recover from previous Google penalties? Or do you want to outsmart and outrank certain competitors?
While it’s easy to just say “I want to rank better” or “get more traffic,” these statements don’t represent clear goals and they don’t provide you with a clear direction. You need a more precise view of what your main goals are, because it’s your goals that will provide you with the perspective necessary to examine the data that comes out of a good, in-depth SEO audit. You can be given the best SEO audit service in the world, but if you don’t have a clear goal in front of you, you’re only wasting your time. As we mentioned earlier, search engine optimization is only a means that will hopefully get you closer to your intended goals.
Once you understand your main goals and focus, you can get into breaking down a full-length audit. However, you should also understand that you can’t expect instant results from any SEO campaign. SEO is a complicated process and it takes time to do it right. The larger and more complex your website, the longer it will take for the SEO audit to be completed and for your SEO strategy to be fully implemented and start yielding results.
This is where tools like Google’s Webmaster Tools and Pro Rank Tracker come in handy. When you’re looking at the keywords there are a few main places to focus:
- What keywords are generating most of your traffic (current wins)
- What keywords are you aiming for but failing at, and can you realistically rank for them?
- What keywords can you find that could act as “easy victories” to boost traffic right now?
Most keywords should be able to break down into one of these categories. Often times when you find the keywords that are generating most of your traffic you’ll not only see ones you were aiming for but others that maybe were completely unexpected or are bringing in traffic because of a single blog post that wasn’t heavily marketed. These are keywords you want to push to get more traffic.
Aside from unexpected wins, look for those longtail keywords that might have a lot less traffic, but also much less competition. 100 people might not seem like much traffic, but if you rank for 100 easy keywords that each bring that in, you have 10,000 more website visitors a month. Not too shabby. You want more of these.
Finally, if you were aiming for keywords that you’re just not making progress with, it’s time to take a realistic look at if you can rank for them or not, and whether they are worth the effort or if it is time to pour those resources into more likely wins.
Between Moz and Ahrefs tools you will be able to see what keywords your competition is ranking for, who they are getting links from, and how they are beating you. Analyzing those you’re competing with is crucial. This can help you see what keywords are realistically out of reach, what keywords your competitors are feasting on (and these could easily be attainable ones that you missed), and who you might be able to get links from, helping you get past your competition.
This analyzing the competition should affect every single decision you make moving forward with your campaigns because this information is absolute gold.
Technical analysis is extremely important because the user experience of a website makes a major difference when it comes to SEO. Is your website mobile friendly? Is the SSL correctly installed? Are there missing pages or re-direct issues? These just scratch the surface of technical based questions that are really important.
Test your website’s loading speed (it should be under 2 seconds), check to see that Google is getting your site’s XML Sitemap and watch out for duplicate content (this includes meta tags!). Technical issues might seem small in comparison to the books being written on on-site and off-site SEO, but it is a part of the program that you do not want to screw up!
Page Level Analysis
This analysis is all about making sure everything is properly optimized. Great content is important, but it still needs to be optimized the right way to be effective for SEO. This means the keyword being in the title, in the meta description, in the first few sentences, and in the last sentence.
In addition to this, the URL needs to be clean and optimized, and the photos must have alt tags. Finally, take advantage of internal linking but make sure it is done properly (see the linking section for more on this).
Content Quality Analysis
First cover the basics: your content should be original, written at a native level of proficiency, and be useful & informative. Figuring out what makes content quality can be difficult, and if you’re not a professional writer or editor, consider hiring one for an honest audit. Judging your own writing can be extremely difficult, and this is why in the publishing world writers have editors at every level. While this can seem like an excessive expense, it is a great way to make sure that some fresh eyes check out the content, compare it to the competition’s, and can give you an honest answer on whether it is really high quality or if it doesn’t hold up as much as you think it does.
On top of this nebulous idea of quality, the posts should be easy to read, entertaining in style, and longer is better. These should all be parts of your content analysis.
User Experience Analysis
You need to rely on Google Analytics to know this for sure. Two main stats you want to look at bounce rate and average time on site. Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people who leave the website after visiting just one page. Ideally, you want this to be lower, though it doesn’t have to be overly low – if you’re at 98% then that’s a problem.
Average time on site is a big one. This is exactly what it sounds like, and more engaged visitors are obviously going to stay longer. This is seen as a particularly important stat for SEO and is an obvious way to measure the experience that users are having with your website. The better the experience, the better your overall situation when it comes to SEO.
Full Link Profile Analysis
There’s no question that links are one of the most important factors when it comes to search engine optimization. The tools you use should look at backlink type, the number of links, their relevance to your website’s niche, keyword anchors used, and more. Backlinks from other websites are important, but there is no denying that some are much more important than others.
Some main points you want to look at:
- How many backlinks come from relevant websites in similar niches?
- How many authority websites link to your website?
- What is the % breakdown of keyword anchors? (You generally want 80% URL or brand/website name, 10% keywords, and 10% other)
- Diversity of link types
- Trust flow
Note on internal links: This is the one time when all links should be direct anchor keywords. Don’t get fancy, don’t mix it up. If you’re linking internally to a post about Keyword A, an internal link from another post should be labeled Keyword A.
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