9 Important Ranking Factors Evaluated In Our Free Website SEO Audit
A website audit can be a fast way to find problems with your site or reasons why your site is not ranking. If a problem can be identified with a Free SEO audit tool, you can save a significant amount of time and headache trying to figure out what’s going on with your site. Here are 9 important factors evaluated with the free website audit tool offered here.
One of the most important factors for your website, something Matt Cutts at Google has spoken about many times, is how fast your website loads. Sites that load faster provide a better user experience. If a site loads too slowly, it can affect your ranking in the search engines because of a higher than normal bounce rate. How fast is fast enough? A good target is less than one second. If you site takes more than three seconds to load, you have some work to do.
Even if you think you correctly set up the Settings in WordPress and correctly configured an SEO Plugin such as Yoast or All-In-One-SEO, it’s a good practice to check to see how it shows up to the search engines and how it looks on the results page. A website audit will show you how your Title tag looks to the search engines. While your URL may not contain your keyword, your Title should. Make sure each page has a unique Title because duplicates are frowned upon by Google… plus, Google ranks pages, not websites, so make each page is unique.
Title tags should be concise since anything over 55-60 characters may be truncated. And the search engines may display a different title than what you crafted in your website. Google sometimes rewrites Titles to match a brand, the user query, etc. to provide a better “user experience”. Moz.com has a nice title emulator tool at https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag
The description tag is also referred to as a “meta description”. Much of what was mentioned about the Title tag also applies to the Description tag, except it can be longer. The description should be 155 characters or less since anything longer will be truncated. The description should entice the user to click over to your website, so make it compelling. Include your keyword, but keyword stuffing won’t help SEO and may yield a lower click through rate.
Ensuring all images have alt tags is considered a “best practice” since it tells search engines what the image is about. Include your keyword in at least one alt tag and make sure all your images have tags.
The content of your website should be a minimum of 300 words. Copy, text and content are synonyms, although content also includes charts, infographics and images. It may not be practical to have 2000 words on every (or any) page on your website, but ensure you have enough copy on every page. It is important to check the reading grade level of your copy. If your copy is too difficult to read, you may want to consider making some changes depending on the purpose of the site and the subject matter.
There are lots of ways to check website code, and if you’re using an updated WordPress theme,the HTML is probably already W3C validated. Another important piece of code that is checked in a website audit is the Schema.org markup. This is really important. Google has a schema markup testing tool, and a website auditor should also check to ensure it is installed and rendered properly. Google uses the schema markup to enhance the searchers user experience. You can create HTML with schema.org microdata with this handy tool at http://schema-creator.org, then test it in Google webmaster tools. For WordPress sites, there are some plugins that will do this for you.
Do you have social sharing on your site? If so, do you know how many times a particular page has been Liked, Tweeted or given a Google+1? It is important to have social signals for all the pages you are trying to get ranked in the search engines, not just the home page, so get your content out there and make sure it gets liked and shared.
Since mobile searches are about 50% all searches, having a mobile optimized website (not just a responsive website) is critical to engaging users. Having a mobile sitemap can help search engines locate and render your site to users on mobile devices.
PAGE LINK ANALYSIS
Yes, links still matter. Content may be king, but inbound links to a page are still a ranking factor. Discover the total number of links to a page and links from unique domains. Lots of links from the same domain may not be very beneficial. Finding out how many inbound links there are to a given page can provide great insight into how popular a page is and why it may not be ranking. Finding out how many outbound links there are from a page is also helpful as you may want to make some of them no-follow links.
Do you need help getting your website to the top of the search engines? We’re here to help. Contact us today using our contact form or Call (770) 999-0647.
If you haven’t tried our FREE SEO Audit tool, go ahead and give it a try. After all, it’s free!