If you have an online presence, you are probably already familiar with SEO. The key to a successful SEO campaign is to monitor the strategies you implement and evaluate what is working and what is causing a fall in the rankings.
A website SEO analysis is similar to getting your car serviced from time to time. Your mechanic would check its working condition, air pressure, change the fluids, repair or remove the non-functioning parts. Despite the fact that it is a painstaking process, you have to do it because you know it’s important for extending the life of your car and ensures its good working condition.
Similarly, performing an SEO analysis would reveal the currents status of your website (rankings, traffic, link score etc), identify the loopholes that affect user experience and offer scope for improvements.
Since this analysis would reveal the minute details of the website, it will help you assess the reason for the fluctuations in your rankings.
Also, analyzing your website status and keyword strategies will help you understand your current ranking. This will ultimately help you get an advantage over your competitors.
There can be plenty of reasons for you to avoid an SEO analysis e.g. you are just about to close a sale or you are expanding your team. Whatever may be the reason, your website analysis often gets postponed. Also, I have seen some companies follow the “doing it once and forgetting” approach. But, if you want long-term success, you need to keep reviewing your website on a regular basis.
In this post, I’ll be walking you through the reasons why you need to perform SEO analysis, what you need to take into consideration in the process and which tools can help you in the process.
Let’s get started.
Why does your website need SEO Analysis?
To put it simply, an SEO analysis is a health checkup for your business. It involves getting a complete overview of your website and SEO strategies, measuring the results, figuring out what has to be fixed and how.
Here are 3 reasons why your website needs a constant SEO analysis:
Constantly evolving Google Algorithms and Webmaster guidelines
Google is always coming up with new algorithmic updates and guidelines. All these updates and guidelines aim to improve the user experience for all types of queries. Hence, with each update, the websites which do not comply with Google’s guidelines are weeded out from the search results. When Google rolled out its major updates – Panda and Penguin, a lot of websites took a nose-dive as their rankings and traffic fell.
For example, not many websites were bothered with mobile optimization before the rolling out of the MobileGeddon Update, but today it is one of the most important ranking factors.
Given the pace at which Google rolls out its algorithmic updates, a frequent analysis of your website is very important. What may seem to be good for your website today might not be the same 6 months down the line.
Therefore, it is important that you stay updated with Google’s algorithms to ensure that your website is prepared for them.
Links are one of the most important ranking factors. These help the search engines discover new pages and get an idea of the authoritativeness of your website. We are passed those days, where webmasters could dump all kinds of links on their websites and still manage to rank.
Google has been very strict regarding link building lately. With the rolling out of the Penguin update, sites with spammy links started getting penalties. Thus, reaffirming the importance of quality link building.
Therefore, you need to make sure that your backlinks have a good Pagerank, appropriate anchor text and do not form a link neighbourhood. You need to have only trusted domains linking to you.
Also, one important thing that SEO analysis reveals is the number of toxic links you have on your domain (which should be immediately removed). These links reduce the Pagerank of your website, decrease your search engine rankings and eventually lead to de-indexing of your website.
People will only link to you if you have great content. Also, search engine rankings are based on trusted content. An SEO analysis will help reveal whether your site has quality and up-to-date content.
Also, it will show you the performance of your content – which content category is working best for you, which content is visited most frequently and so on. These details will guide you in terms of which content needs to be updated.
Fresh, unique and updated content not only helps with SEO but also brings traffic to your website.
Apart from all the reasons mentioned above, an SEO Analysis sets a benchmark for the performance of your website. It also provides a track record of what works for your website and what needs to be improved.
I would like to share some of the basic aspects which you should check while conducting a website analysis:
- Is there a robots.txt file? A robots.txt file informs the search engines which pages to crawl and index and which pages to ignore. If there is any robots.txt file on your website, you need to ensure that it is properly coded and kept in the root file.
- Is there a canonical issue? You need to make sure that your website is redirecting to the same page with or without www.
- Is there any duplicate content on your site? If there is, you might end up getting penalized.
- Check if your Meta tags, alt tags, heading tags, title tags are in place? You need to ensure that they are in accordance with Google’s guidelines.
- Does your website have a Sitemap? It is very important for every website to have a sitemap as it is a way of telling Google about all the pages on your website. Additionally, if you have videos, you should go for a separate video sitemap.
- Investigate the link profile of your website. Analyze the PageRank of the website where your backlinks are coming from. Backlinks from poor websites would have a negative impact on your rankings too.
- Is your site mobile-friendly? Given the increased number of smartphone users, it’s very important for a site to be mobile-friendly.
- What is the loading time of your website? It’s very important for a website to load within 3 seconds or else, it might lose its potential customers. You need to analyze what is causing the website slow load time.
- Is any page of your website showing 404 error? If this is happening, you need to solve it as soon as you can.
- How much traffic is your website getting? Which page getting you most conversions? Which page is getting the maximum bounce rate? You need to know the answers to all these questions.
It’s a tedious task to check all these aspects one-by-one manually. That is why analytics tools exist.
RankWatch Website Analyzer is one amazing tool that will analyze your website and provide valuable insights.
The Website Analyser tool is divided into 6 broad categories, including :
- SEO: This section gives a comprehensive analysis of the current status of your website’s SEO. It gives a bird’s eye view of all the aspects including checking your meta descriptions, title tags, keyword density, robots.txt, image alt tags, inbound links, outbound links and a lot more.
- Mobile: This feature will test your website for mobile-friendliness and thus, tests the Mobile rendering, CSS, Flash content etc.
- Social: This section displays information about all your social activities across different platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, etc.
- Speed: This feature alerts you about the website loading speed and time. It will also provide the reasons for the slow speed and recommend a solution. Additionally, it checks for any unnecessary requests made on a specific URL.
- Visitors: Using various tools like Google trends and Global Alexa ranking, this feature provides you with information on bounce rate, country-specific Alexa rank, traffic on your site, which country gets you the maximum traffic, etc.
- Technology: This feature helps you test your server details, location and the hosting provider. Thus, it helps you keep the technology you use up-to-date.
The best way to ensure that your website is growing in terms of traffic and rankings is by analysing its performance from time to time. A comprehensive SEO analysis reveals your areas for improvement and aspects which are hindering your growth. I think this is the best way to keep improving your Return on Investment (ROI).
Also, this is not a one-time thing. You need to constantly monitor and measure the results in order to have a sustained long-term benefit.
What are your thoughts on the topic? How often do you perform website analysis?
How has it helped you? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Author Name: Sahil Kakkar
Sahil is the CEO and Founder of RankWatch – a platform, which helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape.