If you are spending time and money on a website, you want to see results and probably take your business to the next level. It can be quite devastating to work so hard on your website and still fail to get the traffic you were hoping for.  It can even be more frustrating if your competitors are ranking higher than you despite having a poorly designed user interface and lower authority. If you’ve been struggling with SEO, you need to conduct an SEO audit to find the answers you need. You can seek the help of a local seo company or check out this complete guide for an SEO audit below.

An SEO audit can be defined as an evaluation of factors that grade a website for its ability to rank in search engine results pages (commonly abbreviated as SERPs).  To complete such an audit, you need to go step-by-step through your audit list to identify any issues that could be hurting your SEO so that you can strategize on repairing these issues to boost your page’s SEO ranking and performance. An SEO audit can be viewed as your site’s SEO performance or report card. Scoring high marks on one subject and performing poorly on others can significantly affect your mean score. For instance, having a well-designed website with pages that search engines find hard to read will overshadow your hard work. so, here’s how to conduct an SEO audit.

Technical analysis

This involves checking if the site is working properly and everything is in the best condition. Technical analysis includes accessibility and indexability. When it comes to accessibility, you’re checking to see whether users can reach the site that you have created. Some of the things you should pay attention to include robots meta tags and robots.txt. These restrict access to specific areas of your website. Checking manually will assure you that everything is working properly or tell you that something needs to be changed. You should also pay attention to your XML sitemaps, which allow site owners to inform search engines about the pages that are on their site. So, format your XML sitemap before sending it to the webmaster tools account to ensure better accessibility.

On indexability, you’ll focus on the crawlers’ ability to find your site’s pages. Ensure your site is not on the wrong side of Google and you’re not penalized for an offense. If you find out that you got penalized for a mistake, make the necessary changes and return to Google’s good books.

On-page analysis

Here you’ll be interested in issues like duplicate content and keyword cannibalization. Creating and publishing duplicate content confuses Google and results in indexation issues. Similarly, keyword cannibalization is where you focus on ranking for a single keyword from many different pages. Google can only focus on the one it considers the best and fails to access the rest.

Off-page analysis

You’ll now look at the popularity of your website in cyberspace. Examine your trust factor to determine whether your site has earned the Google search engine’s trust, which can be earned by avoiding unethical, black hat SEO methods.

Competitive analysis

Competitive analysis is just keyword research to identify high-performing keywords that can beat the competition. Using the right keywords can boost your traffic.

An SEO audit is essential if you want to achieve long-term success and take your site to another level. But what steps do you take after completing the audit?  Below are simple SEO tips for complete beginners.

Being a novice at something can be challenging and hard, but “hard” doesn’t mean impossible. Think about the time when you first started to walk—it all started with crawling, holding on to something, and then a few little steps, until you can finally walk and even run! Later in life, you realized that most things work that way. True, starting from scratch is always difficult. Remember when you first entered the university and experienced the first few years of college life? Far from high school, you needed to learn things the hard way. Well, in this dynamic and always evolving digital-age, the same principle still applies.

Aside from finding experts to help you, patience and hard work are a must especially when you are a beginner in this field. Thus, to help beginners who aspire to be successful in this industry, here are a few tips:

  • Set-up Google My Business. Google by far has been crowned as the king of the search engine industry. And rightfully so, since around the world, it is the most used and widely known means by people to search for things. With that being said, have you ever tried searching the name of a famous barbershop or mall nearest you? If you have, most likely, you have noticed that aside from the search results, there appears a business profile at the left side of the screen which shows the location, contact number, complete address, ratings and reviews, photos, business hours and even the directions to that business shop. That is Google My Business Profile. And since it is that significant, it is just appropriate that you fill up any information asked from you by Google and you’re good to go. Doing this, your business will be at the top of the list and visible to internet users.
  • Know what keywords to use. This is how internet users can find your website. Basically, there are two types of keywords: short-tail and long-tail. These two vary according to the number of words they are made in which short-tail ranges from one to two words and long-tail ranges from three to four words. To make this easier to understand, let’s have an example. An example of a short-tail keyword is “NBA” while a long-tail keyword could be “NBA games today.” For starters, it is more effective to use long-tail keywords since others prefer to use short-tail and thus there are fewer competitors which will eventually give your website a ranking.
  • Make useful content. Let’s say your attention was caught by a very beautiful building because of its architecture, design, and colors. But when you went inside, it’s utterly empty! A website without useful content is pretty much the same—it can be disappointing for internet users and search engines as well. To aid this issue, do not get too absorbed to get to the top of the search engine results at first, but focus on the content that you’re putting on the website. This will help you analyze what keywords to use and also which websites to link.

If you search on the internet, there can be dozens and even hundreds of tips for SEO beginners but this will give you a very good start.