Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more than just a buzzword these days.
Increasingly, companies are not only using SEO as a tool, but are also conducting SEO audits to discern whether and where they can improve their overall website strategy. This applies to websites for doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and veterinarians as well!
But what is an SEO audit? Well, to put it simply, it is a process for evaluating the search engine friendliness of a website in a number of areas. An SEO audit will help determine problem areas with your website that need fixing, as well as help create an action plan to fix them. It will also keeps your website up-to-date with the latest developments in search marketing and a way to evaluate the competition.
There are several ways you can conduct an SEO audit. You can either hire an SEO specialist to run the diagnostic tests or conduct an SEO audit yourself. Increasingly, companies are preferring to do the latter. It is important to conduct SEO audits of your website at least twice a year, as things change very quickly in the industry.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to conduct your own manual SEO audit of your website. A manual SEO audit is specific to your website and not generic like those produced using a tool. There are five main areas that you need to check a couple of times of year to conduct an effective SEO audit.
- Check on-page tag optimization: You should check to see if your headlines are written to appeal to both website visitors as well as search engine visitors. They should not be “keyword stuffed,” which means using keywords without logic or rationale. Your title tags should also contain relevant SEO keywords and brand mentions. Your title tags should be brief and no longer than 65 characters. Ensure that your meta description tags, which display a preview explanation of the page in search results, provide interesting content that will appeal to viewers of search engine results. You should also ensure that each page of your website contains original, high-quality content. You should also optimize your images using current SEO best practices.
- Check for broken links or dead pages: Avoid broken, outbound links from your website to pages that no longer exist. These are called “dead” pages that have been deleted from your website. If you do have such pages, they can be detrimental to the SEO performance of your website. If your website runs on a Content Management System (CMS) or an e-commerce platform, you can install a tool that will check for such links and pages automatically.
- Ensure that your site can be indexed by search engines: You should ensure that search engines can read your website content correctly and that they can find your website easily. Search engine robots should be able to access your site in the first place. Issues, such as improperly installed code files to hacked content can interfere with the search engines being able to access and read your website content correctly. To prevent this, you can use a tool such as WebConf’s free Search Engine Simulator and enter your site’s URL. If you can see your website content displaying correctly as text, you can be assured that the search engines will too!
- Examine your link profile and compare it with competitors: You should check the state of your site’s backlink profile. This means checking the number and quality of links pointing at your site. These play a major role in the performance of your content in search engine results. You should check for the types of links that your site has received, such as press release links, directory links, and social media links. You should also check whether or not the sites sending you the links are reputable. You should also check to see if the sites sending your links are related to your site’s content. Once you have done this for your website, you can run a similar audit for your competitor’s website.
- Test the speed of your site: Natural search algorithms of companies such as Google intend to prioritize site speed as a ranking factor. So, site speed can mean the difference between priority views and no views at all. In order to find out whether your site speed is slow, fast, or anything in between, use Google’s Page Insights tool and enter your URL. This tool will analyze your site’s load time and will make suggestions for improvement. You can then make the improvements on your own, or hire a developer to do so.
These are the steps you need to take to conduct an effective SEO audit of your website on your own. If you pay attention to these factors, they will help propel your website to the top of the search engine rankings. If all of this seems overwhelming, let me help. I work with a team of SEO experts that work with healthcare providers all day long to get their websites performing in peak condition!
For more information on how you can conduct an SEO audit yourself for your healthcare website, contact Kristine Grace DDS, MS, MBA at KristineG@IntellaHealth.net.
by Kristine Grace, Apr-20-2017