Digital Marketing seems to be getting more and more complicated with new tools and statistics popping up every other week that all purportedly help you make your site more SEO friendly. Whilst digital marketing and Search Engine Optimisation is getting more complicated there are still checks that you can do yourself to ensure you are getting the most out of your website.
I have included some checks you can do yourself using free tools to give you an idea on how your site is performing from an SEO point of view.
Check Your Links
If you have signed up to online directories in the past or have a significant number of links pointing to you from a site that Google considers spammy then the chances are this is hurting your visibility and authority. In order to decide whether a page that is posting hundreds of links to your site is spam you should firstly do a check by eye – you may be able to tell just from looking at it. If not, you can use the free tool Majestic and they will guide you as to the Trust/Citation flow for this page. Here is an example of how Majestic layout this information. The more dots on or above the line the better. Trust Flow is a number predicting the trustworthiness of a page based on the links to other trustworthy sites. Citation flow predicts how influential the URL might be based on the number of sites that link to this site. This helps you gauge the value of the link as the more equal trust and citation are the better.
Check for Crawl Errors
Using Google Search Console you are able to check for any crawl errors that may arise whilst Google is crawling your site. Crawl Errors are usually broken links or server errors which Googlebot has not been able to crawl. You should check these links and if they have a location from which they have been linked externally you should create a redirect to the most relevant page that is live. If it shows it as internally linked, update the link on the site or remove it. This will help Google crawl your site more efficiently.
Check your Content
The better content that you have on each page of your site the likelihood is the better you will rank on Google. By better content I mean have you got at LEAST 400 words on each page? Is it relevant to your target audience for that page or your website as a whole? If you answer yes to both of these great! However, you will also need to ensure that your content isn’t thin. Google will consider content thin if most of it is in bullet points or has little depth to it. Taking into account all of these things – have you got a few ideas to change your content now?
Check your Title & Meta Descriptions
Each page that you have on your website should have a Title and Meta Description. The title of your page should be no longer that 75 characters, or 512 pixels. This is because after 512 pixels of content the Title may be changed or cut short. The same can be said of Meta Descriptions longer than 165 characters. Whilst these will not necessarily negatively impact your site in terms of search engine visibility, it has been demonstrated to have a negative effect on how often your site is clicked from the results. So to optimize for when any of your pages are displayed on a search engine ensure you have a title and meta description the right length.
The final check I would recommend is a site search check. If you type ‘site:’ before your sites URL it will show the pages that are indexed on Google. You should check through these and ensure that there aren’t any pages that you don’t want displayed on Google. For example, if you found an empty page that was indexed you should either no index that page on the platform that your website is run or ask your developer to do it for you. Once you have done that you can also copy that link and use Google Search Console to remove from their index.
If you have done all these checks and still want further advice on how to best optimise your site, please get in touch!
If you’ve done all these checks and think there may be a few hidden issues or elements that are holding you back get in touch. Any questions, feel free to add them in the comments section.