Website Audit

Below table shows a summary of the main SEO factors to looked at when auditing a website.

SEO Factor Best Practice Observed
Page Titles Include Keyword but make it appealing to click from SERP and keep within 60 characters
Meta description Have a unique meta description for each page with up to 160 characters. See other best practices below.
Meta Keywords 1. Select 5 to 8 keyphrases that reflect the theme or context of the page.2. Use different phrase variants including plurals, misspellings and synonyms.
Content Text Aim for 200 to 400 words with a keyword density of 5-10%.
Graphic alt text Include alt tag for any images.
Sitemap Google sitemaps can potentially help you include a higher proportion of your pages in the index and potentially enable you to notify Google of changes
Robots.txt file Use Robots.txt to control indexing of pages by search engines.

Best practice with Meta descriptions

 

1. Create a unique meta description for every page where practical or have meta description automatically generated to include the product keyword name plus a summary of the value proposition of the site.

2. Create a powerful meta description that combines a call-to-action and encourages click-through on SERPs.

3. Try to keep within 15-20 words (160 characters) which is what is visible within the SERPS of Google.

4. Limit to 2-4 keyphrases per page.

5. Do not use too many keywords or use too many irrelevant filler words within this meta tag since this will reduce keyword density.

6. Avoid undue repetition – 2 to 3 times maximum, otherwise may be assessed as spamming.

7. Incorporate phrase variants and synonyms within copy.

8. Vary words on all pages within site.

9. Make different from <title> tag since this may be a sign of keyword stuffing.

Content

Best practice for page content is:

  • Have 200-400 words with a keyword density of 5-10%.
  • Include a range of synonyms and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) as well as identical keyphrases and Vary use of keywords in target keyphrases- i.e.  They don’t have to be in a consecutive phrase.
  • Good practice is to include the phrase towards the top of the document and then regularly through the document and again towards end of the document with possible hyperlinks of where to go for more information.

The robots.txt file is used to exclude pages from being indexed and to reduce bandwidth of crawlers. Example pages to exclude are outdated pages, shopping cart and broken links.

Amendments Audit Trail & Monitoring

It is useful to have an audit trail and approval process of on-page amendments alongside monitoring to make sure the desired effect has taken place in ranking the site.

The bst method I have found is to set up a spreadsheet with a different sheet for each page to be amended as follows:

1)    Create a list of pages that need amending and agree which web pages it is worth spending time on- i.e. they are not discontinued product pages.

2)    Create a separate excel page for each website page that needs to be amended showing current content and new content to be uploaded as per below.

3)    Get sign off for amendments to be done and note date page amended.

4)    Add amended page to keywords watch list so that effects can be tracked

Google Analytics-top Q&A’s video

In an action-packed episode Avinash Kaushik and Nick Mihailovski discuss:

  • How you can see the top landing page report by keyword.
  • Calculating Avg Time to complete a goal.
  • The recommended way to do internal campaign tracking.
  • Creating funnel reports for different user types.
  • How page title and URL are used in unique pageview calculations.
  • Why you see google as a referral in Google Analytics.
  • Can you use GA to track social networking links without link shorteners?
  • Using canonical URLs to differentiate multiple links on a page.
  • Calculating bounce rate for AJAX sites.
  • Getting campaign data into Google Analytics without using URL parameters.
  • Google Analytics campaign attribution and direct traffic.
  • Working with Custom Variables in website templates.
  • Using Ecommerce tracking for tracking conversions.
  • Is there a way to see data broken down by day of the week?
  • How tabbed navigation effects funnel abandonment.
  • How to track various form selections.
  • Fnding Average number of items per order in Google Analytics.
Click below to see the answers:

Google Analytics Blog: Last Web Analytics TV For 2010 – Out With A Bang

SEO Strategy

In SEO strategy it is always useful to have look at on-page optimization for immediate impact.

On-Page optimization consists of following SEO guidelines for the these key elements:

1) Optimizing page titles, meta description tags, met keyword tags and page content.
2) Internal linking to pass on link juice to new or poorly ranked web pages.
3) Optimizing site structure for SEO.

Before beginning optimization it is good to agree on SEO objectives and  how they can be achieved and measured. An example of each is in the table below:

SEO OBJECTIVES HOW ACHIEVED MEASURABLES
Increase number of organic traffic. Increasing rankings of main & new keywords. Increase in number of keywords used to find site and gain more traffic.
Reduce reliance on PPC for driving traffic. Improve organic ranking of main keywords driving PPC traffic. Proportionate increase in SEO traffic compared to PPC in Analytics
Reduce reliance on affiliates New landing pages or blogs based on top affiliates niches. Increase in traffic to new landing pages or via blogs. Increase in sources of traffic from our own blogs and social media.