Website audit, checking and analysis or whatever you call it, this is one of the most important keys to make a website stand out in search results and to be discovered by search engine users and search engine crawlers. Yet, this is also the most disregarded factor to start off a successful online marketing campaign to help a website increase its:
- Happy customers
This is also one of the main factors why a website cannot rank well in search engines and not winning in the competition in its industry. So performing a website audit to make it search engine friendly is imperative which is will be discussed below in this post on how to perform it.
Meta Tags Data (Title tag, Meta Description Tag)
To help websites have a descriptive appearance in search results, having a title tag and meta description tag on each important page of your website is an important factor
- Title Tag – With a limit of 70 characters, this helps search engine define and identify what each pages of your website is about.
- Meta Description Tag – With a limit of 150 characters, this helps users and search engines have a short descriptive information on what a page of a website is a about.
To check your website if it provides title and meta description tags, you can use a tool like scrubtheweb.com meta check.
The most critical factors to figure out when performing a website audit is to identify if your website is accessible by search engine bots/crawlers/spiders. Why? Because all of your efforts in promoting a website will be ineffective if search engines cannot crawl and index your entire website for better indexing experience.
Also, search engine bots are limited in how they can crawl websites and understand its content. Since most crawlers are not able to interpret websites built in flash or java script; providing supplemented information text content is necessary.
- Images – Use Alt Attributes in HTML and provide text description of your image.
- Videos – Provide transcript of the video IF you only wanted your phrases to be indexed.
Be aware of robots.txt file and meta robots tag. Make sure that you know how to use these commands to tell bots which of the pages on your website should be indexed and should be ignored.
- Noindex/Nofollow – This command tells search engines not to index and follow by crawlers.
- Follow/Nofollow –This command tells search engine crawlers whether to follow or not follow the links on the page. Ex. <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW">
Website URL structure
URL structure helps both search users and bots figure out what a page of your website is about. This also plays an important role in giving the best user experience to your visitors to give them an idea on what a page is about through using descriptive/static URLs.
- Dynamic – This type of URL format can be hard to read and understand by search engines and users. Since this type of URL consist of characters and numbers that causing the hard time to be interpreted. Ex. http://www.rankingelite.com/forums/thread.php?threadid=13579&sort=date
- Static – This type of URL is the most commonly used by webmasters to help search engines and users understand what a page is about. Since search engine bots can easily read static URLs, it is what search engines recommend at all times. Ex. http://www.rankingelite.com/website-ranking.html
Static URLs can help you more with:
- Higher keyword relevancy
- Advantages of ranking and indexing
So if you want to give your audience a good user experience, give them URLs that are easy to remember, read and memorize for their future reference and revisit.
Finding duplicate content throughout your website is one of the crucial factors that search engine look at when ranking a website. Also, having duplicated content on your website can have negative impact to your SEO campaign which can lead to poor performance of your website in search rankings.
Rel=cannonical tag – This type of command tells search engines what preferred version of set of pages with highly similar content. So that bots will easily identify which page of your website you wanted to rank and appear in search for better search ranking performance.
Ex. of rel=cannonical tag:
- 301redirect – This command tells search engines and users that a particular page of your website is moved permanently to your preferred URL. If your homepage is accessible in different URL format such as:
This could cause duplicate content as well in search engine perspective and to smartly avoid this from happening, you can use permanent redirect.
Internal links are links that point to one page to another page within your website. This helps search engines and users find other pages within your website that are related to the page that they are visiting.
These are just the basics; the next post will be the advanced technical SEO audit to make your website become search engine friendly and be able to compete in your website marketing campaign.
Joseph Gojo Cruz is the author of RankingElite, a Philippine-based Online Marketing blog. Joseph has been working in SEO industry for over 3 years from website audit, link and content development, social media and search engine optimization. Connect with Joseph on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. Joseph is also a contributor on SEJ and Ahrefs.