Start Your Campaign With An SEO Website Analysis

Start Your Campaign With An SEO Website Analysis

With the ever-changing goalposts and frameworks presented by search engine algorithms and the myriad of both off and on-page tasks required to improve and optimise website SEO, where do you begin?

There is a ‘right’ way to go about a successful SEO campaign and the most effective relies on certain steps being carried out before others. At Woya Digital SEO and search marketing experts, the first step we take to create a baseline for work forms the first element of our strategic SEO marketing success strategy: an SEO website analysis.

What Is An SEO Website Analysis?

SEO is the practice of optimising a website in order to best demonstrate to search engines its relevancy, authenticity and trustworthiness – all in the hope of ranking as high as possible on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), and outranking competitors.

SEO encompasses both on-site and off-site activities as well as organic and paid-for tasks that can be undertaken to help boost ranking and reputation and ultimately, gain competitive advantage.

A site analysis is an SEO website audit of a site’s current status in SEO-relevant terms – a kind of health check. This analysis will flag improvements that can be made, highlight factors that are already performing well, present opportunities arising from existing content, and outline any threats from existing internal or external factors. Usually, results data is visualised in charts and reports to make clear the impact of work required moving forward.

An SEO site analysis is best carried out by an independent SEO expert who is able to examine the data first-hand, but can be carried out by a piece of software known as a ‘crawler’. A crawler, similarly to the programming used by search engines themselves, works through the site’s data as an automated process and ranks its SEO factors through machine learning.

A detailed SEO audit should be completed before any SEO activity takes place, but can (and should) be carried out regularly to provide periodic check-ins on the status of the website.

Why An SEO Website Analysis Is The Optimum Starting Point for Any Campaign

Before embarking on any business project, it’s important to know the point from which work begins.

A comprehensive SEO website analysis allows for a baseline to be created and understood, and the effort of SEO-related issues to be enacted as efficiently as possible. Without an initial SEO website analysis having been completed, efforts may be duplicated or time spent on activities that will have little positive effect.

When carried out regularly, an SEO website analysis offers a moving picture of the success of SEO work and helps provide guidance in the face of ever-changing algorithm requirements.

The Importance of Analysing SEO Data

While Google and other search engines don’t share their exact algorithm changes and schedules for developments, it’s believed that changes are made as often as weekly. This means those striving for search engine rankings improvements will find the goalposts moving and the impacts of their efforts shift.

In taking the time to analyse SEO data, businesses are able to ensure that not only are they focusing their time and resources in the right areas, but that they’re able to adapt swiftly to any changes in direction and can often predict how and when shifts in algorithms are to be made.

Key SEO Metrics to Track

There are a variety of metrics that should be monitored on an ongoing basis in order to understand the impact of SEO work.

While these may vary by business and website dependent on project focus and/or industry, sector or competitive position, the following are generally considered the most important to measure:

The Best SEO Analysis Tools

There are a variety of tools, free SEO tools, and paid available to assist in SEO website analysis.

Google have their own, free-to-use, tool known as Google Search Console. The most popular software amongst those looking to rank on the world’s largest search engine, it integrates specifically with its own Google algorithm to enhance positioning where possible.

Using Search Console, webmasters are able to:

    • Submit a sitemap to Google
    • Check the crawl rate and view statistics on when a Google crawler has accessed the website
    • Write and check a robots.txt file to discover any inadvertently blocked pages
    • Check both internal linking and external links to and from the website
    • Receive a list of any pages that Google has struggled to crawl, alongside details of any errors presented
    • View site speed reports
    • View page experience reports (including information on core web vitals and HTTPS data)
    • Receive notifications from Google on any manual SEO penalties
    • Check and monitor security issues

SEO Website Analysis Focus Areas

Technical SEO Website Analysis

Technical SEO refers to factors for optimisation on a site that are known to impact on Google’s appetite for ranking.

This includes mobile responsiveness, the creation of a sitemap, the improvement of loading times and page speeds, creating an easily ‘crawled’ site structure and the identification of any duplicate content.

Analysing technical SEO often identifies areas for ‘quick fixes’ for webmasters to implement changes that are vastly beneficial.

On-Page SEO Analysis

On-page SEO is the practice of optimising the content of a website in order to help it better rank within a search engine. This commonly includes optimising title tags, including keywords in headings and ensuring internal links are working.

The analysis of on-page SEO allows for webmasters to find changes that can be made on their site and to swiftly identify any improvements to be made, or worked into a workflow.

Off-Page SEO Analysis

Off-page optimisation is activity that takes place off of a website to increase its rankings. This includes the activity of building backlinks, encouraging branded searches, and increasing shares across third party social media channels.

Off-page SEO work often follows a relationship marketing approach and can form the foundation of solid strategic business partnerships. Off-page analysis presents businesses with a good indication of not just the status of their professional relationships but also the SEO positioning of others relevant to them.

Where another website has a high DA (Domain Authority) that proves positive for backlinks, it can be considered that that business is likely ranking well and their own SEO efforts are having a positive impact. The business can then decide how to proceed with the ongoing maintenance of any relationship with that organisation.

UX – User Experience

User Experience (UX) is still considered a relatively new aspect of SEO but has grown hugely in its impact on ranking in recent years.

Google and other search engines now hold great weight in the ability for a website to be easily navigable, well accessible and helpful to its users.

The analysis of UX provides not just guidance on how a website can be better structured or formatted in order to gain a good ranking online amongst searches, but also in opportunities for improvements to be made and conversions to be increased.

SEO Competitor Analysis

Competitors offline do not always translate directly to the online space, so it’s imperative that businesses understand who they’re up against in both markets.

While there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for industries or sectors, there are always benefits to be gained from understanding competitors’ strategies through a competitor analysis.

Understanding what others do well can help give insight not just to how to duplicate and imitate efforts for ranking gain, but also to find where others aren’t performing, and ensure your business is visible where others aren’t.

Local SEO Analysis

Local SEO refers to a geographically-localised online presence, managed through Google Business Profile which ranks organisations based on a variety of factors for those making relevant searches in or to a set physical area.

Generally speaking, local SEO offers a variety of search engine advantages that general SEO doesn’t – and it can be considerably easier to rank higher when localising efforts.

The analysis of local SEO can throw up a whole different picture compared to more general SEO initiatives, as well as provide a good overview of who and what the business should be focusing on.

SEO Content Analysis

Website content demonstrates to search engines its topic, relevancy and credentials in its field.

Long gone are the days of simply scanning for keywords and now a series of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) measures are used to help identify, understand and really work with the authentic ways in which users actually carry out searches.

Content needs to meet users’ needs and satisfy them, and ideally encourage them to carry out a conversion or share content further. Content analysis helps identify gaps and opportunities for further content creation, but also can help identify issues such as misspellings, broken links or duplicate material.

International SEO

International SEO is the practice of optimising an online presence to best demonstrate to search engines which countries a website is targeting as well as which languages in which products and services are offered.

Analysing international SEO can help identify those who really are competitors abroad but can also ensure that the correct audiences, in their correct languages, are being catered for through the business’s web presence.

Structured Data and Schema Markup

Structured data is that which populates a fixed field within a file.

This markup helps search engines understand how to display and interpret the content within it, and schema is widely agreed upon amongst all of the major search engines so that it remains consistent throughout.

While analysing markup and structured data holds SEO benefits, it also allows webmasters to be sure that their formatting is correct and easy to read by users.

Social Integration

Social media demands a vast amount of hours spent online by the general public, and a huge amount of marketing spend and effort by businesses.

Where content on websites is considered useful, relevant or entertaining, it can also be shared across third party social media channels, expanding its reach and creating link pathways by users back to a website.

Social integration of content can be analysed in order to identify what really works when it comes to creating value for an audience, and will help success be repeated in future content creation.

Penalty and Traffic Drop Analysis

Where traffic drops suddenly from a website or page within it, it is likely that some kind of issue or error has occurred – or even that a search engine penalty has been incurred by the website that has resulted in less traffic being funnelled to it.

It is critical that marketers and webmasters stay on top of any changes in traffic activity as they are likely to indicate a problem. The ongoing analysis of issues provides an immediate indication for change to be made and any errors fixed. Without the identification of this kind of fault, users simply won’t be shown the website, even where other significant SEO work is being carried out.

SEO Keyword Analysis

The way in which engine users actually complete their searches changes all the time as technology develops and language and linguistics change. This means that not only do the keywords and phrases change over time as people’s searches do, but businesses need to amend their own content to meet these needs accordingly.

Keyword analysis can throw up some promising direction to be taken by those creating content in their quest to meet the needs of their audience and also help identify trends in searches that marketers can cater their messaging toward.

Do you require an SEO website analysis to begin putting together the steps of your SEO campaign? Or perhaps you are an agency and require white label SEO support for your customers? The Woya Digital team can help and guide you by following our SEO marketing success strategy. Book an SEO call with us today!



Why We Start an SEO Campaign with a Website Audit

Why We Start an SEO Campaign with a Website Audit

With the prevalence and reliance on the internet that society now holds, SEO is very much a critical business practice in order to gain competitive advantage as well as the necessary visibility and exposure required to gain brand awareness and positive brand perception.

At Woya Digital, we plan and operate SEO campaigns for businesses of all types, shapes and sizes – and one of the first steps in doing this is to carry out a full website audit. But what is a website audit and how does it contribute to a brand’s SEO? Let us explain…

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation; the practice in which a business aims to improve their organic (not paid-for) ranking on search engines. This is done through the improvement of sources from which search engine algorithms judge the relevancy, accuracy and quality of the data on any website and therefore determines when and where it is appropriate to position it in search engine results.

For the most part, SEO guidance and practice focuses on appealing to Google’s algorithm but there are slightly different approaches to be taken in order to meet the needs of smaller search engines too.

In order to improve organic search ranking on search engines, there are several practices businesses can undertake. This includes:

    • ‘On-Page SEO’ – the creation and publication of relevant and shareable content that helps demonstrate to search engines what the brand is about and who its appropriate for
    • ‘Off-Page SEO’ – mentions of and links from high-authority websites or channels to reiterate the authenticity and reliability of the brand to search engines
    • Technical SEO – the user experience and safety of a website to ensure that’s easy to access and safe for users
    • Local SEO – the marking of a physical business with a geographical location so that it ranks higher in results to those looking for a brand/product/service in that area or in the language used in that area
    • App Store Optimisation – the practice of ensuring that the brand is ranked highly in the results pages of app stores when a potential user searches for a related term.

An SEO strategy is a plan of ongoing effort to boost the rankings of a business’ digital presence above that of its competitors and to keep it as high as possible. It is not a ‘one-and-done’ job but rather something a brand must work at continuously to meet the ever-developing needs of consumers and of changing algorithms.

It is not known exactly how often search engines update their algorithms and programming but it’s estimated that Google do so almost daily; and so it is not enough for businesses to update everything and then sit on their laurels as the ranking will only deteriorate over time.

Why is a Website Audit carried out?

Carrying out a website audit is the first stage in any SEO strategy planning. This audit analyses the existing site for any initial areas for concern or improvement, providing a baseline foundation from which SEO work can be planned and implemented. Should there be any areas on the website that are believed to be hindering SEO efforts, these can be tackled as a priority before further work begins.

If a business website has been created professionally and in line with best practice SEO standards, it may be that the work to be done may not be too comprehensive or complex.

Regardless of the status of the website, an SEO website audit allows for a picture to be built up of what work needs to be done; avoiding any unnecessary work or duplication of work carried out.

A content audit may be carried out as part of a wider website audit and this looks to analyse the types of content on the site and how well it performs for and is received by its audience. This is enacted in order to influence the future direction of relevant content to improve its chances of success.

What is a Website Audit?

A website audit is a general analysis of a business website to review its performance, areas for concern and/or improvement, and user experience. All businesses should have a website audit in order to continuously improve their online presence. Every page is analysed alongside the full navigation and overall experience the site delivers.

There are several software programs and online services offering automated website audits, we even have a free instant audit on our home page, check it out.

But for in depth analysis we would recommend that an audit is done manually by a professional with expertise in both user experience and SEO. At Woya Digital, our staff carry out comprehensive website audits routinely and regularly on sites of all types, sizes and functionality.

What is analysed as part of a Website Audit?

An extensive and complete website audit should begin with a general overview of first-hand site experience, before the following areas are analysed:

    • Website Performance Assessment – a brief navigation assessment of the function users experience as they attempt to navigate the website. How fast do pages load? Do all internal links work? Is it easy to find what you’re looking for? Does navigation appear intuitive; are things where you’d expect them to be? Is the site up when you try to access it?

This will identify areas that could be laid out more easily and increase the navigation of the site in order to increase conversion rates.

    • Content Assessment – an analysis of the content that’s on the site to judge its relevancy and appropriateness for the target audience.

Is the content relevant to the brand’s niche or theme? Is it easily shareable? Is it easy to consume with relevant headings and sub-headings? Does it load fast enough? What are the bounce rates from the site on content pages – and where do users go to afterward? Is the content tailored to the buyer personas/target audience? Does it contain call to actions related to the brand? Is the keyword performance as expected?

This will help focus the types and direction of future content published by the brand to ensure its maximum efficiency and optimisation.

    • Conversion Rate Assessment – websites should function not just to inform and educate customers on the brand and its product/s and service/s but also to drive users to complete a desired action – be that make a purchase, give details or get in contact with a business representative.

Does every page have easy-to-find contact details or direction for where to find further information? Where specific calls to action exist are they being used? Is the language used on calls to action clear and concise? Is there a variety of calls to action available to appeal to different buyer personas?

This will help improve conversion rates and ideally, overall sales volumes.

    • Technical Assessment – a developer, IT expert or SEO consultant should undertake a technical assessment. This does overlap with some previously analysed areas – performance, SEO and conversion rates – but takes into account the technical input and performance of these elements to assess where they can be improved from a development angle.

Has the site been built with responsive design to allow for it to adapt to the device on which it’s been viewed? Is the site free of error messages? Do additional accessibility tools work on the site where they may be needed? Are URLs optimised? Is there unnecessary code? Is the route for web page crawling and indexing well defined? Are public and XML sitemaps in place? Has the canonicalisation of content been defined?

This will identify technical improvements that can be made to better raise the site’s visibility in search engines that may go unnoticed by those without specific technical knowhow.

The Benefits of Competitor Analysis

It is prudent for businesses to undertake a basic SEO website audit of their competitors sites as well as their own. There are various benefits to this, including:

    • Understanding where and how competitors may rank above the business in order to optimise their site to feature alongside, if not above, them.
    • To understand key words and phrases which may be relevant for the business that they too could produce content to cater for.
    • To understand how competitive key words and phrases may be better utilised to gain competitive advantage organically – and reduce the need for spending on key word targeting.
    • To understand what kind of content the target audience is sharing, engaging with and benefiting from – and replicating such an approach.

Although not all aspects of a competitor’s website can be easily analysed, it is worth gaining an overview to best position the brand against them and learn from them.

Where to Begin with a Website Audit

Woya Digital offer a full SEO website audit as the very first element of all our SEO packages, with expert SEO consultants carrying out work to the highest possible standard before making recommendations for tangible improvement.

Sounds like something your business would benefit from? Get in touch!