While there are plenty of consultants offering full SEO audits, that’s not always necessary. We recently talked to with Peter Handley, SEO Director at theMediaFlow to get some tips on conducting your own SEO audit. He walked us through some of the basics every gaming affiliate should know.
What Is An SEO Audit?
Before we get too far along it’s worth taking a moment to see what an SEO audit is, and what it isn’t. In general, an audit provides webmasters with a real-time overview of how their SEO strategies are working.
This process can be as detailed as you want to make it, but will generally move through a series of steps that assess the overall well-being of your site.
While high level tech skills are helpful in this process, Hadley says they’re not essential:
…there are plenty of basic factors as part of these audits that are relatively simple, once you are using the right tools and start to understand what you are looking for.
At its most basic level, conducting an SEO audit starts with crawling tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider for getting a high level view of your site. Handley recommends the following steps for getting started:
- Use the crawler to make certain nothing is standing in the way of Google’s webcrawlers. Handley says to pay special attention to noindex tags and robots txting out the site.
- He also suggests taking a close look at titles, descriptions and content to make certain they’re targeted at the correct keywords.
- Links, linking domains and anchor text should also be checked out in the early stages of the audit.
According to Handley, these basic steps can really add up over the long haul:
Things like using tools to crawl sites and hunt for titles and duplicate descriptions are really easy to find and fix…this can have a huge impact on traffic levels to a website – particularly from longer tail phrases.
For more information about conducting your own SEO audit, check out How to Perform the World’s Greatest SEO Audit on SEOmoz.
How Often Should Audits Take Place?
For do-it-youself SEO auditors, certain elements of the process can be done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
- Check Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools for recent messages.
- Look for broken links and focus on 301 and 302 redirects.
- Page Rankings – You don’t need to obsess over them but you need to know where you’re at on any given day. Handley suggests using analytic tools rather than focusing on specific keywords.
- Indexation levels – Search your domain to see how many results its returning. Look on Webmaster Tools for spikes and other anomalies.
- Run an indexability check using a tool like Screaming Frog spider to check for general issues. Use this info to help improve titles and descriptions.
- Link Profile Reviews – Unless you’re deep in a link-building campaign Hadley suggests a monthly check, but visit it more often if you suspect negative SEO.
Handley’s final suggestion is to research and experiment because SEO is far from an exact science:
By all means read stuff that is pumped out online – but try things out for yourself – don’t take everything you read at face value.
Peter Handley is SEO director at theMediaFlow and is responsible for all client campaigns, strategy and delivery.
Have you had any experience conducting your own SEO audit? Share your experiences in the comments section below.