In my line of work I get to see all types of SEO practices; some very impressive indeed; others not so good, and of course some which are really pitiful. I come across websites almost daily which aren’t properly optimized. In fact, I would even go as far as saying that most sites are not optimized.
Many of these sites are actually owned or managed by SEO professionals, so one would naturally assume that they would be perfectly optimized, but they aren’t. However, there is actually a reason for this, and it’s not because those SEO experts don’t know how to optimize their sites.
Many SEO professionals are so busy optimizing other people’s sites that they don’t really have much time to spend working on their own sites. Additionally, SEO experts know only too well that search engine rankings are driven largely by link building.
While they are right about link building driving search engine rankings, I must just point out that “on-page” elements account for approximately 40% of a search engine algorithm. If you are brushing this aside and only focusing on link building, you are quite literally limiting your site’s true potential.
Auditing a Site for Optimization
An SEO audit of blog posts is the only real way to determine whether or not your site is properly optimized. Now, there are two ways you can do this: you can do an audit yourself, or you can hire a professional SEO agency, but if you choose this option, make sure they are familiar with SEO audits. Okay, let’s take a look how you can do your own audit.
Get Started with the Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is a free web crawler application that crawls through your site looking for specific elements. All search engines also use crawlers to check the contents of your site, so it just makes sense to use one yourself as well.
What you do is, you enter your site’s URL into an address box, and then the crawler will go through each and every page on your site looking for the following:
- External links
- Duplicate pages
- Page title tags
- Meta description tags
- Meta keywords tag
- Meta robots
- Rel canonical
- File size
- Page depth level
- Internal links
- Anchor text
- Follow and nofollow
- Bot crawling
Google Webmaster Tools
If you haven’t been using Google Webmaster Tools, you really need to start using it as a matter of urgency. In fact, , I would even go as far as saying you should go and register with Google Webmaster Tools right this minute.
There are of course other similar tools out there, but I’ve always found Google Webmaster Tools to be very reliable and also very user friendly. With these tools you will be able to find out everything there is to know about your site, so again, if you have not yet registered, you need to do so now.
Mastering the Use of Keywords
Data that you get from a Screaming Frog crawl will give you a really good idea of what a site is trying to rank for. Now when you combine this data with your Google Webmaster Tools data, you will see exactly which search terms are driving traffic to your site.
Once you’ve done this, you can enter these keywords and keyword phrases into the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool, and you’ll be given a list of alternative words and phrases. This tool will also tell you what sort of competition there is.
In this article I’ve only really touched on getting your keywords optimized, but in order to get your entire site optimized, you will need to address all of the elements covered by the Screaming Frog, including things like URLs, meta descriptions and etc.
If you feel you need assistance to carry out an SEO audit of blog posts, you can click here, or if you would like to read another interesting article about generating traffic to your site, then click here.