This article is a part two of the three-part series on conducting your own SEO site audit. You can read part one here.
Is Your Content Compelling?
Easily the most important of all on-page aspects, a site rich in compelling and unique content will win big in the search results and with conversion rates. A site audit is an excellent opportunity to identify any gaps in content your site may have. Do product descriptions need updating to reflect newer models? Are your recent business achievements such as big client wins, seminar presentations or industry recognition included on the site? If you’re recently launched new services, is there enough information on the site to do it justice?
As your site develops, so too does its intended audience. While reviewing the nuts and bolts of your site, cast a critical eye over the contained information. If the copy is too sales driven or reads more like a marketing drive than a great piece of content that you would want to share with others, it’s time to rethink our site’s content.
Consider yourself as a reporter rather than a sales figure and offer interesting pieces – a witty blog post, an insightful article or a detailed a white paper by your technical boffins will ensure your users drive other users to the site. Users enjoy content that is well-written so if your content comes up wanting, consider employing a local PR to refresh the look and feel of the text based information on your site.
When all of these needs are satisfied, it’s time to ask if your content is compelling to the search engines. This requires more in-depth keyword research as you’ll want to be sure your including the phrases search users will key in when looking for your product or service. Search trends change so keeping an eye on keywords proving popular will also help content appear relevant and up-to-date.
Keyword placement is also important in content so, check the titles and sub-heads used on each page of information. If newly discovered keywords or phrases that you have only recently begin to favor are not prominently positioned on the page, it’s time to get editing.
Have You Considered Anchor Text?
This point can be carried out in conjunction with the content revision detailed above. When revising and creating information for the site, look at how you have linked from one page to the other. This anchor text is just as important on-page as it is off-page. Descriptive anchor text guides search engines through a site in much the same way roadside signposts help guide a driver to their ultimate destination. What’s more, the better the anchor text is within a site, the easier it is for customers to find what they are looking for.
When creating anchor text, a short description of the page being linked to will usually suffice. For example, a simple ‘click here’ can be quickly improved by adding the name of the product featured on the target page; ‘click here for more information about search engine optimization packages’.
As with most aspects of SEO, the use of anchor text should be kept in check. If you find links for links sake within the site, consider removing them. Too much of a good thing can be just as harmful as not enough; if every other word on your page is an internal links, you risk sending your visitor round in circles. If this happens, they will get fed up and leave, potentially costing you a sale.
Are You Using H1, H2, H3 Tags Appropriately?
H1, H2 tags etc. are under used on many sites. These head tags create different size headlines on the page, from main title through to sub headings and cross headings. Particularly on text heavy pages, the H1, H2, H3 tags help anchor the reader within the page by cutting up large chunks of text into manageable segments. A good tip is to think of the page as a newspaper article. The H1 tag should be used for the headline, the H2 for the sub headline and then H3 or H4 tags for the cross headers that appear within the columns of the story.
Be wary of overdoing the H1, 2 etc tags, the ultimate aim should be to enhance the user experience by making it easy for them to pick up the most important messages of the text. If content editing isn’t your forte, pick up a couple of good newspapers and spend an hour or two focusing on their layout style – study when they are using smaller cross headers and how often. You’ll be a sub-editing whiz in no time!