Small Business SEO: Questions on completing your own audit

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As an SEO agency working with broad range of small and medium sized businesses in close proximity with business owners, Keith Hodges, Head of Search at POLARIS often gets asked about the long-term benefits of campaigns vs. instant results through other channels and what business owners can  do to help their results progress. Hodges advises that carrying out a few simple tasks, auditing performance and sharing data with your agency or SEO partner will aid the long-term success of your business.

How to Audit Your Website?

Start simple by looking directly at your website layout and content and whether or not you feel this is relevant and provides your customers with what is needed. Successful SEO is based around over 200 ranking factors, but each of these factors will start with the relevance of a website for your customer.

Questions to ask of your website:

  • Does your homepage introduce your company and your services?
  • Do your product or service pages give enough detail on what is offered?
  • Are all of your accreditations and qualifications listed on your website?
  • Is it easy to get in contact with your business through email, phone and contact forms?
  • Is it easy to make an enquiry or buy a product/service?

Put together a list of areas you feel would improve your website and you’ll be well on your way to making improvements to an SEO campaign.

How Can I Get Google to Find My Website?

From here we will outline more direct SEO elements which will aid your website – starting with Google Search Console.

Google Search Console is a free platform provided by Google that helps monitor the health of a website – including the amount of pages found, average number of times a website shows in results for certain keywords and average positions.

The system is set out with a left hand menu and then an area within this to audit, with different data in each. Within this article we have picked three core areas for business owners with and these will be laid out as:

Left hand menu -> Title of Area to Audit: Data to consider

To audit your website performance in Google Search Console:

  • Performance -> Total Clicks / Total Impressions: Data will show you based on the chosen date range (default is last three months) average trends for website traffic (visits to your website) and impressions (how many times your website shows in results). At the top, there is a + NEW button which will allow you to add filters for target products. Looking at this data will show progress over time in terms of the amount of exposure your website is getting.
  • Coverage -> Error: Data will show you any pages on your website that Google cannot visit and rank for target keywords. Checking this regularly will highlight any areas of your site which may not be working.
  • Mobile Usability -> Error: Data will tell you similar to the point on looking at your website layout, but from a technical mobile perspective. This would include the data on whether a site is able to be seen on mobile and will highlight issues not necessarily visible to the naked eye.

How Do You Make Web Page SEO Friendly?

Making a page SEO friendly is an extension of understanding whether your website is positioned well enough to meet customer needs.

There are some core areas to look at when considering this will all start with the content of the page in different forms. So, this means considering the use of images through to calls to actions. An SEO agency will work to a clear set of keywords for your business and these keywords should be used as the basis for your audit.

To audit your on-page content:

  • Meta Data – This is the blue links which show up when carrying out a search on Google. This should have keywords included.
  • Headlines and Headings – Placed at the top of the page, this should introduce your service in a few words, again based around keywords. These can also be placed within content to break up the page
  • Content – A minimum of 500 words, including keywords and supporting keywords (for example and SEO agency might also use the term digital marketing agency).
  • Images – Should be related directly to your service/product and titled as such
  • Speed – Use Google Pagespeed Insights to test the load time of your page – this will give you a score out of 100 and options to improve the page
  • Internal Links – Links within the page that go to other pages on the site, this would be related products/services, blogs or other pages in the site (about us, contact etc.)

Think About Conversions and Leads

Generally if an SEO campaign is successful you will feel it in your business as enquiries or sales will increase, but to understand if an SEO campaign is working well from a data perspective, keep track of three key areas.

  • Keyword Rankings – these will be the position of your target keywords in Google. Search in Incognito mode and look for your website – this will give the impression of a first-time searcher to Google so is more realistic in terms of results.
  • Traffic – Use Google Analytics and visit Acquisition -> Overview – this will allow you to see ‘Organic’ traffic – this is traffic from where SEO is targeted.
  • Conversions – when starting a campaign conversion on the site should be agreed and setup by your agency in Google Analytics. Once setup you will be able to visit Conversions -> Overview to see progress on these.

Utilising all of the above audit options and simple techniques will allow you to see enough detail yourself to ensure your SEO campaigns are moving forward (or a change of agency/partner is needed).