Top 10 Items to Look for in a Website Analysis
The process is usually the same. You decide that you need to get more out of your website. Either this is your first attempt at internet marketing since the creation of the site, or, as is more often the case, you currently have an individual or company employed that is supposed to be updating your site, increasing your rankings, and maybe even overseeing a little social media. You’ve come to the conclusion that there has got to be someone out there that can do a better job, because other sites have consistently managed to outrank you with every keyword you are going for. So, naturally you begin your search online. Once you’ve spoken to a few companies and shown an interest in their services, you’re likely to get an influx of offers. So how do you determine which companies’ evaluation is best?
Here’s a general list of the items that should be covered in any kind of basic SEO analysis of your website. Notice that social media, pay-per-click, and search marketing have not been included on this list. We’re only focusing on the core search engine optimization principles a good website analysis should include. We’ve ranked the items from least important to most important, so make sure to read all the way to the end!
- 1. Domain Age & URL Structure: The age of the domain name, domain authority, the length of time the domain name is registered into the future, if any permanent re-directs (301) are needed, and if keywords are incorporated into the domain name. The longer a site has been around the more weight it will carry on Google. The page URL is the text after the domain name in the web page address. Proper URL page structure contains relevant keywords separated in the page URL. Additionally important is the amount and usage of sub pages and detail pages.
- 2. Inbound Links: The bigger and more popular the sites are that are linking to you, the more relevancy and authority is given to those links and consequently those web pages. If relevant websites are linking to yours, your ranking will go up. How other sites describe your links and what they use for the anchor texts tells Google how people are describing your content. Below are a few items that are often looked into by a full website analysis.
- Anchor text of inbound links
- Global link popularity of the site
- Site popularity in topical community
- Link popularity within the site’s internal link structure
- Competitive link analysis
- Linking root domains
- 3. On-Page Site Crawl: A general analysis of the indexed pages, the coding of the site, as well as the written content. An examination of errors, warnings, W3C errors, duplicate content and page titles, metadata, and the number of indexed pages. This will allow you to see exactly where the weaknesses are within your website, which often prevent you from increasing your rankings with search engines.
- 4. Keyword Research & Rankings: Everything revolves around understanding what words and terms your customers are searching for. An analysis of this includes the keywords themselves, where your website is ranking for these terms, what type of change is happening, up or down, with keywords, and how much traffic these keywords are producing to your domain. Usually only a more in-depth analysis of your site will be able to provide these items.
- 5. Title Tags: The title tags are the text within the <title>…</title> portion of the HTML code. It is important to have relevant keywords as well as the right amount of words in the title tags, as they are a major factor when search engines are trying to determine what your site is about and which keywords to rank your site for.
- 6. Traffic Data & Rank: There are a number of services that measure traffic for millions of sites on the internet. As well as ranking your website against other sites according to traffic, your sites traffic itself can be analyzed and measured to improve each page’s ranking and conversion. Google analytics and other similar services can track total organic search visits, page views, pages per visit, bounce rates, average time on site, and where on the web the visitors are coming from.
- 7. Content Marketing: Content marketing (e.g. info-graphics, blog posts, press releases, and articles) increases SEO through natural link building, establishes leadership in ideas, and makes companies more interesting on social media. It also drives traffic and leads. With proper content marketing, your website can effectively inform and convert visitors into customers.
- 8. Local Search Marketing: With 90 percent of shoppers searching Google before leaving their home to solicit a local business, local web marketing and Google Maps are an integral part of the local business market. As Lori Gilson, president of PRMarketing.com put it “If you’re not on Google maps, you may as well not exist.”
- 9. Keyword Use in Body Text: Are the keywords you are trying to rank for used often and used well throughout the body text? An analysis of your site’s pages and body text is helpful in determining if you need to adjust the current keywords. It can also help figure out if your site uses efficient H1 headline texts, bold copy use, and enticing writing. Use the search keywords and phrases you’re targeting throughout your web page or article, but avoid going overboard with keywords which is called keyword stuffing and can actually hurt your rankings.
- 10. Design for Conversion and SEO: The key structural and aesthetic elements of a web design that converts for SEO can be such things as a ‘Call to Action’, eye movement patterns in web design, navigational structure, and following simple tips like the ‘Inverted Triangle’ web design layout. If your site fails to follow basic SEO principles it will flounder.
Use these items as a scale to test the company and their evaluation of your site for several things. Then ask yourself some questions like: Is the company up to date in their understanding of good relevant search engine optimization? Additionally, do they effectively cover the areas and services that you are looking for?
The web marketing world is full of skillful web design companies that will list SEO as one of their services. However, the truth is that most are not specialized in this area and will often not evaluate the same items that a seasoned, valuable SEO and internet marketing company would.
To get a great website analysis from a Utah SEO company, contact Spyderwise here.