Semalt SEO Audit & Keyword Analysis: Analysis And Comparison
The positioning of a website is not a single action, but a continuous process. Just as every road starts with the first step, the website positioning process must start with its SEO audit and then the keyword analysis.
So, the purpose of this article is to draw your attention to the importance of an SEO audit and keyword analysis for your site.
What is an SEO audit?
Audit of a website is nothing more than a thorough review in search of possible obstacles to increase its visibility. It should be as comprehensive as possible, encompassing both on-site and off-site factors. The SEO audit should analyze all the factors influencing the positioning of the website, even the smallest and seemingly insignificant. The result of the website audit should be a document containing a list of all encountered problems, its possible consequences and ways of solving those problems. An SEO audit should also contain information about elements that affect positioning, but do not require improvement, so that the subsequent creation of the SEO strategy is not burdened with any doubts.
Is a website audit really necessary?
Definitely yes. Before taking any steps to increase the visibility of your website, check all factors that may affect it. If it turns out that the influence of certain elements of the website or its environment on positioning is negative, these factors should be changed or eliminated. Otherwise, the work undertaken to increase the visibility of the website may not produce any results, which will mean a waste of time and budget allocated for the promotion.
Is a website audit once performed enough?
Unfortunately, performing an SEO audit for a website at the beginning of its positioning process is not sufficient. Changing external factors, such as the actions of competitors, are changing the site environment, so you should re-analyze. The positioned page itself may also require changes. Even if it was optimized before, Google's expectations about the pages may have changed and some elements of the page's structure will have to be changed, perhaps the optimization will have to be omitted before.
A website audit: what change to expect?
An example of a situation that forced most websites on the Internet to change was the mobile revolution. The way the website is displayed on mobile devices was a marginalized issue, mobile traffic accounted for a very small share in total traffic. Along with the change of this (currently over 50% of queries to the Google search engines come from mobile devices), it was necessary to change the pages so that it would be displayed correctly on smartphones. This process was accelerated by the change in Google's approach to pages in the index, the so-called the "mobile first" principle.
The SEO audit should be repeated periodically at intervals of several months. It depends on the size of the website, the number of large changes in the Google algorithm during this time, the activities of competitors, trends among internet users and the effects of the changes based on the previous SEO audit.
Online SEO audit is not an alternative
There are tools available on the web to audit websites online. Those tools are useful to some extent in allowing non-specialist users to be alerted to some of the problems affecting the site. After all, it is not an alternative to a full-blown SEO audit. First of all, an online audit only evaluates one page at a time - usually the home page. However, ignoring the technical aspect of the analysis - the number of analyzed subpages or what elements are checked - the machine that performs such an audit cannot assess the sense of the keywords or create any abstract links between the page's elements.
On-site and off-site factors in an SEO audit
The audit, of the website makes it possible to analyze in terms of structure that is, on-site elements. However, in order to be able to decide on a positioning strategy - after all, an SEO audit should serve - you should also analyze the site's surroundings. By environment, we mean all the elements outside the website (off-site) that may affect its visibility.
The on-site, or "on-site" factors that are checked during the website audit include:
An important element that determines the visibility of a website is its structure (understood as relations between subpages). This includes the page's hierarchy (e.g., category-sub-category-product), the constructing method of url addresses, internal duplication, internal linking modules, navigation path and others.
Correctness of the code
Errors in the source of the page or those generated by the script operating the site can be a significant obstacle in positioning. During an SEO audit, factors such as correct HTTP header response codes, an error page or significant HTML validation errors should be checked.
Content and meta tags
Google prioritizes content as an information search engines. It should be substantive, unique and in large quantity. During the website audit, a specialist should check if it is so, search for websites with poor content, the so-called thin content or create recommendations for keywords that should be included in texts and meta tags - both in existing content and those that will be created in the future.
Not all content on the site should be available to Internet users through Google. The auditor should check the indexation of sensitive data (i.e. those that should be hidden for security reasons), search for thin-content pages, analyze the content of the robots.txt file, robots meta tags and X-robots-tag headers, verify the correctness of the sitemap or set canonical tags.
Mobile / responsive version of the website
Since more than half of the queries to the Google search engines come from phones and tablets, it is natural for the website to be displayed correctly on these devices. A website audit should analyze this aspect of the website's functioning and should contain separate instructions if necessary.
Other factors that could be taken into account by the SEO audit
Other elements important for website visibility include the presence of structured data, page speed.
READ MORE: The SEO vs. PPC skirmish: Is there a winner?
The off-site, or "off-site" factors analyzed in an SEO audit include:
The quality and number of links leading to a website is still one of the strongest ranking factors in positioning. To be able to position a website effectively, it is necessary to have as complete knowledge as possible about the profile of links to the website. If this knowledge is missing and some of the links are omitted in the analyzes (especially links of poor quality), the entire positioning process may be much slower than it should be, or it may be ineffective at all.
When positioning a website, you should always remember that it is not something suspended in a vacuum. For most industries and inquiries, you can find other, competitive websites that are the subject of positioning. When building a strategy on the basis of an SEO audit, they should also be analyzed and adapted to their activities. Although website positioning can be carried out correctly, the results may be unsatisfactory because of the competition... does it better. Competition analysis in an SEO audit can be a source of many ideas for solving possible problems and developing your website.
The above lists of factors checked during the SEO audit are not closed lists; present some of the tasks facing a person who wants to perform an SEO audit, which shows the level of complexity of this task.
On-site or only off-site SEO audit?
It is allowed to perform separate audits of on-site and off-site elements. This may be due to budget constraints and the need to spread the activities over time, or the willingness to outsource both parts to different contractors. On-site and off-site audits can also be carried out separately if the person responsible for website positioning is sure that any problems with increasing visibility arise only from one group of factors.
Common mistakes in the implementation of audit results
The result of the website audit is a document. Any positive impact of such an audit on the visibility of a website can only be said when it is fully or partially implemented. Unfortunately, when implementing SEO audit guidelines' mistakes occur due to misinterpretation of the recommendations; the necessary solutions for the positioning process are very often invisible to users, so many web developers do not know it. And that can lead to further errors. In such a situation, it seems necessary to find an agency specialized in SEO in order to conduct a well-structured audit for the implementation of the changes.
Therefore, after the audit, a pertinent and strategic analysis of the key words follows.
How to choose keywords?
Well-done keyword analysis is largely a factor in the success of subsequent SEO efforts. If we do not conduct a thorough analysis beforehand, it may turn out that despite the fact that certain keywords are high in the search results, it does not bring us any tangible benefits.
So, here you will find out how to search for relevant keywords for the good positioning of your site.
List your services and products
The basic and most effective way to create a keyword list for SEO. It is worth remembering the area in which we conduct our business. This will help you to know the categories in which you can put your keywords.
Use the suggestions of Google search engines
By entering the category of your domain in the search engine, Google prompts us to try to search for information that interests us also under other terms. Such hints can be found in 2 places:
- under the search results list
- idea for keywords
- in the keywords field
These suggestions are not only a good hint for searchers, but also for those who want to choose keywords for website positioning. The hints include search terms similar to the ones we entered, which are often searched by Internet users.
Use the Ubersuggest Tool
Ubersuggest is a tool similar to Google Search suggestions. On the basis of one keyword, we will get suggestions for others - similar keywords that are worth positioning for, because those keywords are also searched by Internet users. Using the tool is very simple.
Ubersuggest - Keyword Tool
In field (1), you enter the basic keyword, in field (2), you select your language; then click on "Suggest". In the results you will get a list of relevant keywords to be searched by internet users. With Ubersuggest, this action is automatically performed for you.
Use the Keyword Tool
Keyword Tool is a similar tool. It works pretty much the same, but it returns even more predefined keyword suggestions. The way you use Keyword Tool is also very intuitive.
Keyword Tool - keyword tool
Enter the basic keyword on the basis of which you want to generate suggestions for other words in the field (1) and select the button (2).
You will have a list of keywords useful for the positioning of your site.
Use GoogleAdWords Keywords Planner
Another tool that will help us to choose the right keywords for positioning is Google AdWords Keyword Tool. To use it, you must be logged in to your Google account and enter the following address in the browser: https://adwords.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/.
You will be able to get a list of keyword's ideas by selecting "Search for new keyword and add group ideas".
How to analyze keywords in terms of potential traffic?
Now you have a complete list of keywords, developed using the methods mentioned above, it remains to check how often a given keyword is searched for by users of the Google search engines. It is also possible using the previously mentioned Google AdWords Keyword Tool program. However, this time, after entering the KeywordPlanner website, select the Get search operations list for a keyword list option (...) and paste the list of keywords whose number of searches you want to check in the field shown below.
How to choose keywords - adwords
After entering the word list, select the Show the number of search operations option. The sample results (located in the Keyword Suggestions tab) can help you recognize the relevance of the keyword.
In the Avg. monthly number of searches contains information about how many times (on average) a given keyword per month is entered into the search engine by Internet users. Additionally, when you hover over the chart icon on the left side of this number, you will get information about how often this word is searched in a specific month (the data is based on the last 12 months).
What influences the competitiveness of keywords?
The last and very important issue when choosing keywords for positioning is their competitiveness. It depends on it, what will be the cost of positioning the website for a given keyword and how long it may take? Keyword competitiveness assessment is a topic that requires SEO expertise and some experience. Therefore, we will only list the factors that affect the competitiveness of keywords:
- Industry - the most competitive are keywords related to the business branches that allow for the highest profits. The leading sectors are certainly finance, banking and insurance.
- The number of competitors - the more websites on similar topics, companies conducting similar activities, the harder it is to achieve a better result than the competitors.
- SEO optimization of competitors' websites - the more pages optimized for SEO in the search results for a given keyword; the harder it will be to break through to the next website.
- The number of links and the quality of links leading to competitors' websites - the more valuable links our competitors have, the harder it will be to fight them for high positions in the search results.
A website SEO audit is a necessary basic element when creating an SEO strategy. So, this must be done by a qualifying SEO agency. Can that without a thorough analysis of the site, its positioning will be ineffective. So, any action taken on this site for its positioning should be decisions not based on fact. In addition, a well-done keyword analysis is also an important part; and becomes a factor in the success of subsequent SEO efforts.