You may be an experienced digital marketer or a novice, but there are several ways to improve your auditing skills for Search Engine Optimization. I’ve been in this space for 16 years now and had to deal with over 1,000 website problems. Personally, I enjoy the auditing aspect of SEO, it is always changing and new issues arise over time. Your SEO auditing process should differ from platform to platform and campaign to campaign. For example, a local SEO and national SEO auditing process will be very different. Generally speaking I will provide you some of the key components of an SEO audit process. Let’s get started with these quick tips on how to improve your SEO auditing skills.
Start with an Auditing Tool
First, start with an auditing tool like SEMRush. There are several auditing tools out there to get you started. It is a simple process of getting initiated without any expert assistance. This will be able to crawl your entire website quickly without you missing thousands of issues. We’re constantly fixing website issues month over month, so make sure you provide your fixes in priority order during your audit process. An example of an SEO audit below is from SEMRush for one of our clients. As you can see there are false positives. We tackle items by priority starting with errors and work our way into warnings and notices over time.
Manually Inspect & Browse Your Website
There are several items we manually inspect while an SEO auditing tool is running in the background. Look for the XML sitemap. Find pages, posts and demo content that may have been left in there from the development of the website. Run through the website and see if you can find an HTML sitemap as well, is this website easily crawl-able? Are you having a hard time finding pages? If you are you will want to increase the crawl-ability of the website. Right-click on Google Chrome “inspect”, click on the console tab, do you see any errors or warnings? Fix them. We run into this problem and usually have issues with websites not being fully secure because they are calling http:// rather than https:// on an element on the website.
You could click on the not secure notice next to the website address, on top of your browser, and it will explain why the website is not fully secure. Example below:
Search Google for Your Main Keyword or Brand
During the SEO auditing process, we want to spot any inconsistencies or issues when websites are being crawled. Manually searching for a keyword you may rank for, or search your brand, and check if you see the intended meta description. If you do not, go and check your robots.txt file or see if there is a NoIndex tag implemented on the website.
Run Site: in Google Search
Sometimes our manual process or tools will not pick up some pages so running site: urlofyourwebsite.com in Google search could result in some other findings that can be holding back your website’s SEO.
SEO Auditing Process
Now I only covered only about 1/10th of the entire SEO auditing process, but our workflows and SEO auditing process shifts based on the website and platform. Auditing a website on Shopify versus WordPress can differ due to the structure. If you are interested in a free website audit you can contact us today, no catch! If you own an agency and want to start a white label SEO package with us, you can!
Recently we’ve been getting slammed with new inbound leads at SEO Locale. The team is still working through the shutdown. Sadly we have not seen our team members for almost a month now. As a company we had our setup prepared for a catastrophic event like this. Our team members were up and running immediately after we shut the offices down.
Luckily in our industry the internet is still turned on. Online shopping is increasing and businesses are starting to thrive more with our digital marketing product. We’ve had clients that had to shift their marketing and SEO to be geared towards the virus. The SEO Locale team is moving fast on these shifts for all of our clients.
Marc and myself sat down and evaluated some campaigns since the shutdown period. The statistics below are prime examples of how SEO still works during these stressful and tough times for business owners.
Results measured starting March 15, 2020 – April 2, 2020 vs March 15, 2019 – April 2, 2019
✔️ eCommerce Client +467.51% Increase in Revenue
✔️ Another eCommerce Client +2,298.77% Increase in Revenue
✔️ Local Franchise Gym +181.24% Increase in Leads
✔️ Service Industry Business (B2B) +492% Increase in New Users
✔️ Local Law Firm +389.62% Increase in New Users
✔️ B2C Client +129.57% Increase in New Users
🏆 Beat your competition with SEO. Our clients are seeing massive results during these tough times.
Here are a few marketing tips we compiled for a pandemic like this and how you can stay ahead of your competition:
- Is your product or service in high demand for your customers. If so look at your approach to see if you can make adjustments to increase your SEO visibility.
- Create a notification pop to alert your customers you are still operating.
- Start creating posts on social media that help your customers understand they can still use your services. Most people are bored at home and browsing the internet and social media.
- Increase your brand awareness. This is the perfect time to jump in front of your potential customers with your brand.
- Start a community involvement initiative. Provide help of those in need. Don’t use this as a sales tactic, but getting involved will help the community come together.
- Start increasing your conversion rate with new marketing tactics. Focus on your business during these times and beat your local competition.
What Type of Monthly Reporting Does Your SEO Company Offer? We Break Down Our Proprietary Reporting.
All of our clients at SEO Locale get monthly reports they can understand. We don’t send you hundreds of pages with numbers. We show you the growth or possible decrease in traffic, we don’t need to always tell you a good story. We’re pro-active in our approach and have the problem solved before your traffic takes a down fall. Learn more about our monthly reporting from Mark Rippons at SEO Locale.
- What is Monthly reporting? Monthly report is showing you data from month over month, quarter over quarter, and year over year if there is data to compare to.
- What is the client portal? The client portal is a new system that we developed from the ground up, put a lot of man hours in, to make it easier for you to understand where your keywords are ranking, and the highlights of your website traffic.
- Why does having this portal set you aside from other SEO companies? This portal is unlike anything else you will see from any other SEO company. Nick our COO took the time to build this system from the ground up. This is a one-off portal that no other SEO company has or is able to duplicate. It’s very simple to use and easy to understand.
- How do I know who will be working with my account? In the client portal at the top you see the team at SEO Locale that is dedicated to your account every day. Someone is in the account everyday checking where your ranking, checking goal completions and making sure that everything is on the up and up.
- I have an e-commerce website. Will this show data for that? Yes, we just need eCommerce data tracking set up in Google Analytics, we can show you how many transactions you had, the sources that the transactions are coming from. We can show if the sales are coming from direct traffic, Google Organic traffic, and Google PPC.
- What Platforms will this track? The portal will track all platforms, we can track Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. We can traffic all platforms that are bringing traffic to your website.
- Can I see how my keywords are ranking and which ones are successful? We have talked about the client portal, we also have the client dashboard that will allow you to see where specific keywords are ranking on Google Desktop, Google Mobile, Bing, and Local Map Pack.
- What do you do with this information to improve my website? We use this information to see how where we can push the campaign, one you have so many keywords rankings on the first page of Google we add more keywords to the campaign to keep the campaign moving forward. We don’t want the campaign to stall or get stale, this can turn into revamping on-page recs and adding more content.
- Will I get to visually see my position changes? You can see this on your client dashboard, you will be able to see how many positions your keywords increase or decrease. You can see how your keywords have increased since you have been with us.
- I’m already a client, is this the same as the dashboard? No, the client portal is brand new for 2020. The client portal is easier to understand and easier on the eyes. The dashboard gives you more detailed technical aspects for audits on the website, specific keyword rankings, backlinks profile. The portal is to tell you that you have this many keywords on the 1st page of Google, this many on the 2nd page of Google, and this many on the 3rd page of Google. The portal will also show you the traffic your website saw for the previous month and this breaks down direct traffic, organic traffic.
- How do I access my client portal? Once we have added our portal email to the analytics for each account as a read/analyze only access. You simply go to SEOLocaleReports.com and login with the provided username and password.
Backlinks are still one of the most popular ways to get traffic back to your website. If the site that publishes your guest post article is high-quality, is relevant to your own content and is already ranking in Google, then you could expect some targeted referral traffic from the guest post within the first week of publication. And if that guest post begins to rank higher in search results, then it will get more traffic and will push more of those readers to your site over time.
But the best part of guest posting is that the links themselves will help your website improve in Google rankings and get more search traffic in the long run.
Unfortunately, a lot of marketers end up getting penalized by Google and hurt their website traffic levels because they don’t do guest posts the right way.
Why Does Google Sometimes Penalize Guest Posts?
Google hates it when people use spam practices and black hat SEO to trick them into sending free, organic search traffic. Many bloggers and marketers plagiarize content or write content that is stuffed with awkward keywords just to fool search engines. But those types of articles don’t offer any real value to the readers.
Some content marketers will also publish guest posts on low-quality private blog networks and on sites that are not related to their own website. For example, they’ll put a guest article about weight loss on a blog that has nothing to do with health and fitness – and then they’ll link to a landing page that sells electronic dog collars. That’s ridiculous, and it offers no value to the readers. It also won’t convert very well.
If Google keeps ranking spam content like this, then nobody will want to use Google anymore when searching for high-quality content. That’s why Google penalizes these sites.
So, to do guest posting the right way and to avoid Google penalties, you don’t want to use these outdated, spammy black hat SEO tactics.
How to Avoid Google Penalties on Guest Post Articles
- Post guest articles on high-quality websites and blogs
- Make sure content and links are relevant to your landing page content
- Use a variety of anchor texts with long-tail keywords
- Write original, high-quality guest articles that people will want to read
- Make sure your landing pages are also of high quality
- Use white hat SEO techniques as much as possible
Some SEO bloggers out there will tell you that guest posting is dead and isn’t worth doing anymore. But they are just wrong. Many marketers today use guest posts to drive tons of traffic to their landing pages and blogs. When done the right way, guest post articles provide value to their readers, and they help your site rank higher as the months roll by.
Thanks to the incredible dynamic advancement of the internet we are experiencing! Today, social media marketing has become one of the most seamless strategies for boosting an organization’s sales trend. It’s only requiring an active social media account with sizable number potential client’s followers.
In recent times, Instagram has become the most sort social media platform by major brands as it has attracted massive users. Hence, you can use Instagram for your SEO marketing through:
- Hashtag Optimization – In most instances, Instagram recommends online sellers to research trending hashtags before bulking their content with irrelevant hashtags. Thus, for your case, once you have created a list of trending hashtags, it’s commendable you choose the ones matching with your content. Then after that, you can use them to optimize your content freely. The relevance of your content trending hashtags is that they attract traffic, by creating brand awareness.
- Engage Your Audience – Instagram followers enjoy having real-time responses. Thus, active participation in comments, contests, and hashtag threads is not an option if you are desirous of boosting your sales on Instagram. It’s recommendable you showcase creativity and smartness by posting appealing photos of your product. Sooner than later, you will realize Instagram followers are gracious enough to return the favor by tagging you along with relevant opportunities.
- Always Add Stories About Your Product– Instagram has a stories feature that allows posting short videos and photos for 24 hours. Therefore, it’s always recommendable to use it in promoting your products and upcoming launches. An upside of using this feature is allowing your audiences to visit your web page by swiping up the stories. You can promptly respond to messages directly from the story, thus reducing response delays. Besides, from the stories, you can get real-time feedback from potential clients by creating polls.
- Regulate Posting Frequency – Posting too much content within short duration, for example, after every few minutes, looks spammy. If you want to show your creativity, we recommend you use reasonable intervals to make your product posts. Instagram followers get bored quickly, especially when they get the same content from the same person frequently. They love some space to navigate other works. To increase your product relevance, always schedule you’re posting frequency. Each time you post, make it phenomenal for your audience to always look forward to the next post.
- Use Local Optimization – Instagram users search products using locations since they love buying them within their localities. Hence, you can take advantage of this by using location tags. Correctly tag the location you are selling the products for audience to reach your business easily. Correct use of Instagram for SEO marketing is promising as it provides you with real customer conversion rates. However, if you cannot utilize this social media space effectively, it can be time-wasting and disappointing. Ensure you have relevant hacks before using this valuable tool for your business SEO marketing.
As a leader in national SEO and digital marketing we leverage the Google Search Console for data within our future strategy for our clients. The Google Search Console is a combination of Google SEO tools. Google Search Console has different data and configuration controls that help boost your website. There are also multiple visitor metrics. The Search Console gives you an insight into Google’s opinion of your website. You can check your site for any errors or broken pages. You can also receive messages from Google concerning your website. You’ll be notified if there is a potential security issues or malware outbreak. You can also use Google Search Console to add deep linking features to your app. Here is a look at some of the additional ways that Google Search Console can assist your digital marketing efforts.
Site Links help people browse your website. The Site Links are automatically generated by Google. They are considered shortcuts to direct pages.
The Search Traffic feature gives you access to important information such as the number of impressions, the keyword search phrases Google served your site and your average search engine rankings for a specific keyword. You can also view your hidden link structure.
You can view analytics that show how your website is performing based on the organic search traffic generated through Google. You’ll receive access to the most popular devices, pages, and queries. Google Search Console also allows you to segment traffic through using different filters. You can segment your organic traffic based on your business objectives. You can use the analytics feature to view new opportunities and trends.
View the Internal Links breakdown to look at the pages with the most links from inside of your website. If the impressions are consistent, but you are noticing a lack of clicks, that is a sign that something is wrong. Test out some new description tags.
The Content Keyword feature lets you view the most popular keywords founds on your website. This helps you ensure that the vision of your website content according to Google aligns with your small business objectives.
The Crawl Stats feature allows you to view the number of pages during the allowable reporting period of around 3 months. Analyze the Crawl Stats to identify website performance issues.
When you go to the Search Traffic section, you’ll be able to view the top linked pages. Check to see if the listed content is trending. If the content is currently in demand, use it to connect with bloggers and other influencers.
At this point, having a solid digital marketing strategy is a must for business owners. Your digital marketing strategy is what you will leverage to attract and retain more customers. Often times though, many business owners find that the strategy they spent so much time creating doesn’t work as effectively as they thought it would.
With that said, it’s not always that your strategy is wrong but that you don’t understand SEO and the impact it has on your digital marketing strategy overall. For this reason, we’re going to explain what SEO is and why it’s important in improving your digital marketing efforts.
What is SEO?
Simply put, SEO stands for search engine optimization and is a process that involves gaining new traffic to your website from organic search results. Search engine sites such as Google have primary search results that show up when someone needs an answer to a query.
Google focuses on delivering accurate results to its audience and is therefore constantly ranking content for relevancy. With that said, in order for your business to rank high and land on the primary page, your content needs to not only be relevant but is actually useful to the audience.
Even more, all of your content needs to be optimized for the search engine so that sites like Google can actually find it. Doing your SEO effectively will help Google determine the usefulness of your content and give your content rank.
SEO and Digital Marketing
In reality, you’ll never be able to maximize your digital marketing efforts without incorporating SEO. SEO is what helps you bring in organic traffic outside of paid ads and helps you foster real relationships. In addition, this leads to increased visibility and brand authority, which ultimately leads to brand loyalty.
SEO is comprised of so many fractions that help drive traffic to your website. For instance, SEO focuses on keywords, optimizing content, off-page SEO such as backlinking, and local SEO. All of these things work together to ensure that your digital marketing efforts are strengthened and you can garner real traffic.
While paid search is always good and should be a part of your digital marketing strategy, SEO plays a huge role in how successful your business is. SEO helps your business remain searchable in an over-saturated digital world.
Businesses that are focused on their digital marketing strategy should not ignore SEO in the process. There is always going to be a new marketing strategy that businesses find useful. However, one thing that will remain the same is that SEO plays a central role in how well businesses garner new customers.
The relationship between social media and SEO is quite complicated. Thus, if you wish to comprehend this relationship, then you need to become mindful of many advanced multidisciplinary concepts in the world of SEO. First and foremost, social media is about creating content on social media networks that invites the reader to find the information they need.
However, you should do this in such a way that you’re not interfering in their choices, and you should also give them time to digest this new information. By improving and optimizing your use of social media networks, you would directly increase the traffic of your website, your SEO, your visibility, and your revenues. To enhance the quality of the ranking of your site, you must also share your content on social networks.
You should also avoid spelling mistakes, post articles that are long enough, and publish regularly. At the same time, posting on social media networks is not suitable if your site content is not relevant. Hence, you will need to work on the layout of your website while you’re making useful posts on a wide variety of different social media networks.
Search engines are no longer being fooled today by the strategies that used to work in the past. With the advanced modern technology presently utilized by search engines, website owners need to take advantage of new tactics like using social media to boost the search engine ranking of a website. Thus, social media is an essential tool that modern site owners will need to make use of if they wish to improve their search engine rankings.
Remember, the more a search engine believes that your site is relevant to the interests of internet users, the more it will be likely that your website will appear in the first few results. On the other hand, if your site is tedious, then users will spend less time on your website, and Google will perceive your pages as uninteresting. Also, the use of bold letters, pictograms, links, illustrations, symbols, photos, italics, capital letters, and subtitles can all make your social media posts more interesting to read.
These are just a few of the many tips that you may wish to utilize to make the content you post to social media networks more pleasant to read and more attractive. At the same time, the ultimate goal for many website owners is to make more money. Therefore, you should understand that all these tips will help you to get more social media network users clicking on your links and thereby to earn you more money.
Indeed, having additional subscribers shows that you are publishing compelling content, which will both encourage more people to follow you and improve your Google ranking.
When you are shopping around for a digital marketing agency you may search for “lawyer seo company”. When doing searches like this you will find yourself looking at SEO companies that target just one industry only.
Below are some of the problems you will encounter by moving forward with an SEO company that specializes in only one vertical:
- Possibilities of working with your competition.
- You are just a number to them.
- No custom strategy is created.
- You’ll be given a template for your marketing strategy which they created for a competitor of yours.
SEO Locale has a different approach when it comes to bringing on new clients. We will not work with your competition and we provide you a true custom strategy that is aligned with your expectations and goals. As a smaller agency, we can provide the attention you deserve without any type of the limitation.
Marc Brookland and Nick Quirk discuss with Neil Howe at Business Innovators Radio about how Google is always changing. Local Service Ads by Google will be expanding to more local small businesses. Local Service Ads, if available in your city and industry, will appear on the top of Google Search with the Google Guarantee badge. Consumers looking for “movers near me” can trigger Google Local Service Ads and businesses will appear in that position.
Applying for Local Service Ads
If you are a small business you can apply on the Local Service Ads platform by going through the process of background checks, licenses and business information. This process can take up to 2 weeks. Once you get approved you will be able to select your geographic area and budget. Google will then determine the cost per acquisition for you. With this model, you pay per lead versus the pay per click model. For our clients we see a higher percentage of closed leads compared to other directories.
Google Local Service Ads vs Pay Per Click
Google Local Service Ads can cost around $15 per lead and in traditional pay per click, with a typical conversion rate of 1-3%, you will find it tough to get an ROI. In 2020 the cost of Google Local Service Ads could increase when it starts to expand. Jumping on this as early as you can be a good start for your small business if it is open in your industry and area. Google Local Service Ads have minimal maintenance per month compared to traditional pay per click. All you really need to worry about is your targeting and keywords.
What is Google Guarantee?
Protecting the consumer with a guarantee of the service. In Google’s terms of service with Google Local Service Ads, they will protect the consumer up to $2,000. This is an important factor for consumers and the local small businesses to provide the highest quality of service. Google is creating a comfort level for consumers so they know they are protected while hiring a business to perform a service.
Optimize Your Google My Business
Optimizing your Google My Business by setting up the categories your business is in and making sure information is accurate on the platform. Keeping consistency with your Google My Business is key to the success. Posting on Google My Business can easily help you get a promotion out or a service you provide. Sending triggers to Google that you are relevant for your service and/or products by connecting everything. Customers want the engagement of your business so make sure you have a GMB post strategy in place. Search Engine Land showed a correlation between images and the number of calls a local business receives. Marc discusses how difficult it can be to get images for businesses, so posting images can help optimize your GMB.
Websites Are Still Relevant
The strategy between websites and Google My Businesses still need to be strong. Ignoring your website can be detrimental to your digital marketing strategy as a whole. Beating out the big directories can be difficult, but you need to come up with a strategy that will overtake the competition by targeting easy wins with long-tail keywords. Creating enough authority to start beating directories and competition can be accomplished with a full online marketing strategy.
Obtaining Conversions From Your Website
Make sure your website has a great user experience with great page speed and an easily accessible contact form. Don’t force your users to find what their search intent was so you can answer their questions without them exiting. Remarketing & Retargeting are important pieces to bring back users and obtain that conversion. Touchpoints these days can take up to 20 times when years ago it could have just been a handful. The market is becoming busy and there is a lot of information that is accessible through the internet. Look at your data points for assisted conversions. Remarketing won’t make a direct impact but will assist your brand awareness and help to convert into another lead source.
Creating a Successful Remarketing Campaign
When your users exit your website this could be a result of a user not finding what they are looking for or shopping around. With a successful remarketing campaign it is important to be everywhere from social media to Google Partner websites. Send the users to a new landing page that may answer their questions or bring them back with an incentive.
How Will Video & Voice Search Expand?
With 5G on the horizon for most cell phone services, and allowing technology to be leveraged with faster speeds, creating a strategy with voice search and answering people’s questions with long-tail keywords. The increased speed will start allowing people to leverage video more on all types of websites. Many people currently fear having videos on their websites as they believe it will slow their site speed. The growth of mobile traffic will continue to increase in 2020.
SEO Tactics in 2020
Google Local Map Pack is starting to become more of a trusted area in search results. In November of 2019, there was an update to nullify people who tried to manipulate the Local Map Pack. We will start to see a shift in the map pack for more quality in 2020. Businesses will find it more difficult to rank for certain areas and keywords with this quality shift.
Link building will still be an important piece for an SEO strategy – this is a key factor for Search Engine Bots to determine what keywords you should be found relevant for.
ADA Compliance will work hand-in-hand with SEO, as there are compliance items like image alt tags for your on-page SEO strategy.
Address technical issues on your website for the user’s experience and the search engine bot’s crawl-ability.
Moving forward keep doing everything well and do not focus on just one item of your strategy. With Google making ~8 updates a day to their search algorithm you will need to keep up and maintain your strategy regularly.