Conduct Your Own SEO Site Audit – Part 3

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This article is a part three of the three-part series on conducting your own SEO site audit. You can read part two here.

Have Your Images Been Overlooked? No matter how large or small your site, you’ll have at least one or two images on show to your visitors. However, there is a lot more to including a photo on your site than simply uploading with a relevant caption. As a file based addition, an image will have a file name and (hopefully) alt text.

File names and alt tags should be straightforward. Alt tags in particular should describe the image as succinctly as possible, so visitors unable to see the image still get an idea of what should fill that space. In the case of an image being used as a link through to another page within the site, the filename will perform much the same function as anchor text, making keyword inclusion and relevant information essential.

While basic points, these are easy to overlook as a site develops over a period of time so should be routinely checked to make sure the most is being made of the limited optimization possibilities afforded by pictures.

Do You Route The Search Engine Robots Well?
A Robots.TXT file is an essential component of any site’s root as it tells the search engine web crawlers where they should and shouldn’t be looking as they roam around your web pages. If there are pages within the site that you do not want the search engine’s to reference in their results pages, you can use the Robot.TXT file to signify this.

While a file would usually be set up when the site is created, you should check this listing sporadically to ensure all pages you wish to be excluded are present on the list. If you’ve recently incorporated a search function to your site for example, you may wish to exclude the results pages using the Robots.txt function to avoid passing visitors referred from a search engine from one results page to another.

Be Aware Of The Value Of No Follow

The ‘No Follow’ attribute can be leveraged to great effect if you have recently introduced a blog to your site or forum which allows others to post. Including the ‘No follow’ tag will prevent your PageRank ‘goodwill’ being passed on to sites being linked to from within your site. This simple procedure will ensure your site does not become open to link abuse while still allowing visitors to participate in community based activities within the site.

Have You Checked Your Web Stats?

Web analytics are an invaluable tool and if you’re not already using them with your web site, should be included with your first site audit. Google offers its own free Google Analytics package although there are a number of other solutions which are just as easy to incorporate. Simply follow the instructions to paste the relevant code in to the site’s HTML.

Once installed, checking usage stats and analytical data should become a force of habit. Analytics will give you a door into soul of your site, collating information on how users reach and then use each of your pages along with proving a valuable testing ground for changes made.

By highlighting popular areas of the site and indicating the success of controlled changes, Analytics will help you become more switched on to the behavioral habits of your users. This insight makes you better placed to develop more of the right kinds of content and address areas within the site proving unpopular with viewers.

About the Author

Rebecca is the managing director of search engine optimization agency Dakota Digital a full-service agency offering SEO, online PR, web copywriting, media relationship management, and social media strategy. Rebecca works directly with each client to increase online visibility, brand profile, and search engine rankings. She has headed a number of international campaigns for large brands.

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  1. What do you recommend for the priority weighting in the sitemap file? Thanks, Rob