Unsure why your SEO rankings have dropped off in 2018? This blog presents Clickthroughs’ five most important NZ SEO audit factors for 2018, based on what we see working through the New Zealand and Australian search industry.
For starters, don’t base your SEO strategy on a DIY or free SEO audit of your site’s SEO health. If you want to build a home that appreciates over time, then you invest in a professional architect and planner. Your SEO audit is the foundation upon which your organic search strategy is built. It needs to consider your client acquisition strategy holistically, ensuring content, design, technical, content marketing and local search optimisation efforts integrate to be stronger than their parts.
Why conduct an SEO audit?
Google NZ makes thousands of changes to the way it ranks websites every year! A proper SEO audit benchmarks your website against current SEO NZ factors and provides you with a prioritized road map of changes that need to be made to achieve top ranking positions.
Clickthroughs’ top 5 SEO audit factors, 2018
1. Speed thrills, friction kills!
Search engines want to rank sites that help people find answers to their queries fast, in particular, browsers on smart phones and tablets that use wireless networks. The first part of your SEO audit needs to assess if your website loads quickly, especially for browsers on mobile devices. Click here to read our recent blog on Google’s pending shift to its mobile first algorithm.
How quickly does your website load for desktop and mobile browsers? Start by submitting your website to Google’s mobile speed test to see how it fairs. Then email [email protected] to discuss your results and find out what improvements are required.
Ultimately, a quick website (mobile and desktop) creates a better user experience and will improve your website’s SEO rankings.
2. Technical SEO
Search engines need to crawl and index your website’s content, or the content simply won’t rank! Content is king, though bear in mind, technical SEO is the castle upon which your website SEO strategy is built.
A technical SEO audit involves bench marking your website against search engine requirements for making your web content easy to crawl and index. A technical SEO audit is quite complex to understand and requires SEO expertise to fix, though it is a key reason why most large websites under perform in organic search.
For more information, read our recent blog about technical SEO.
3. On-page SEO
An on-page SEO audit assesses the accuracy of your keywords targeting and how well the code and content on the pages of your site are optimized for their target keywords, as opposed to an off-page SEO audit, which audits your sites backlinks and other external signals (see point 5 below).
An on-page SEO audit also includes an assessment of your website’s content against quality factors such as quality, uniqueness, topicality, and its potential to help your target audience find answers to their search queries.
4. Local Search (Google My Business or GMB Maps optimisation)
Over 75% of us use a search engine to find a local business. That said, some businesses, such as eCommerce stores, don’t necessarily need to rank in the local search maps carousel.
A local search audit reviews factors such as your Google My Business profile, local directory listings (AKA business citations), and whether or not your site uses local modifiers (Auckland, Sydney, suburb name, etc), how your website displays your office location(s), getting reviews of your business and so on.
5. Backlink Authority
The quality and quantity of backlinks acquired naturally from other websites to your web pages remains a key ranking factor. Backlinks should be acquired naturally, by creating excellent web content that other websites want to link back to.
Unfortunately, this has spawned an industry of SEO companies and spammers that buy or create backlinks to manipulate a site’s rankings or to harm your website.
Note: low quality weblinks from an external website to yours, whether solicited or unsolicited, may well result in your website getting an SEO penalty. You can read more about Google’s war against backlink spammers here.
An SEO audit of your site’s backlink profile includes using tools such as Google Search Console and Majestic SEO to review which websites are linking back to yours and identify harmful links.
For more information on our 2018 SEO Audit service, contact one of our Search Engine Optimization specialists on 0508 254-258, click here to contact us online, email [email protected] or learn more about best practice SEO audit factors at one of our popular SEO training courses.