Businesses being able to be found on Google is going to be a crucial element in future success, especially as there is likely to be reduced footfall for some time to come. Reviewing your website, both the content and the technical aspects could identify issues which may be affecting your website performance.
Website and SEO Audit
The first step in identifying any issues with your website is to undertake an audit. A website audit would be undertaken in stages to look at different parts of your website.
Initially, a technical audit looks at what is going on behind the scenes to make sure there is nothing which is harming you from an SEO perspective technically. Broken links, slow page loading speeds, crawl errors, mobile friendliness, duplicated content and missing meta data can all have a negative impact on how your website is viewed by Google and will therefore impact ranking. According to a SEMrush study, more than 80% of websites checked had broken link errors and over 65% of sites had some duplicated content. Once identified, these types of errors are pretty easy to fix – left unchecked they will have a detrimental impact which will worsen over time – for more information on a free website audit – visit our resources page.
Keywords and content
Arguably, the most crucial element of your website from a user perspective is the content. It is the content on your site which will lead people to it. It will also decide whether or not they stay, and ultimately, whether they want to buy what you are selling. Whether the purpose of your website is raising awareness, lead generation or physical product sales – the content is all important. At the most basic level, how well your content is optimised is what will determine whether your website ranks well on Google. The quality of that content is what will determine whether or not those visitors turn into customers – whatever that means for you.
When undertaking a content audit, it is important to try to look at your site with an outside perspective. This can be difficult when you are too close to it - looking at your own content objectively can be difficult. A third-party content review can reveal gaps in your content and highlight areas where information or required action is not clear enough for someone who is new to your website. Our blog post ‘How to write SEO friendly web copy’ has more information and advice.
Keywords are the cornerstone of your SEO and should be at the heart of your online content. Performing a keyword audit on your website can help to identify those keywords which are working well, those which are under used and perhaps those which you are missing out on completely. As well as looking at the keywords which are driving traffic to your site, you can also analyse the keywords which are proving successful for your main competitors. Identifying longer tail search phrases or low competition keywords can be a good strategy, especially where competition is stiff or you are up against companies with a much larger web presence than you. There are a number of tools you can use which will help to discover which keywords will be difficult to rank for (SEMrush is an example of one) enabling you to focus on those keywords which are more likely to get you a result. Your content can then be optimised around them. Further reading:
Keyword Research and why it’s important
How do you write SEO friendly web copy?
What are long tail keywords and why should you be focussing on them?
In recent years, Google has been moving away from simple keyword matching in terms of search results to trying to match the results they provide with the search intent. The days of stuffing your website content with as many keywords as possible and hoping are gone. This means that Google now looks at the quality of the content you are offering in terms of relevance to the search undertaken as a ranking factor. Whilst we don’t know the precise details of Google’s search algorithm, there are several factors which are known to be indicators of quality.
- Dwell time – the length of time a visitor spends on a particular page of your website indicates how useful/relevant that page was to their search.
- Bounce rate – a high bounce rate could indicate that the search intent was not fulfilled by the search result. A low bounce rate shows that the information on the page is relevant and what the searcher was looking for.
- Site authority – The number of referring links to a page is an indicator of the quality of the information provided. Generally, the higher the number of sites linking to your content the better.
- Word Count – whilst length, in itself, is not an indicator of quality in all cases, we do know that Google penalises ‘thin content’. In-depth pieces, pillar pages and long form content are all thought to be positive ranking factors. For more information – read our blog post ‘The Benefits of Long-Form Content for SEO’
- Multi-media content – image and video content on pages is engaging and Google uses the presence of visual content as a measure of quality. Making sure your pages are engaging with a variety of visual media like images, video and infographics helps to ensure your content is considered to be high quality.
Reviewing your website content with reference to the above criteria will help you to create better, more useful content which matches the search intent of potential customers.
Spring clean your website and review your content
Business Blogging – an essential component of any inbound strategy
For more information on receiving a free website or content audit for your business – visit our resources page.