As SEO becomes more accessible for the everyday business owner, understanding how to use all of the tools at your disposal can create a so-called “paradox of choice.”
One of those tools, the SEO audit, helps website owners understand site performance and SERP ranking issues, but doesn’t necessarily give them actionable steps.
In this article, we’ll lay out real-world measures that business owners, online sellers, and entrepreneurs can take in response to their SEO results, with a focus on:
- Prioritizing your actions based on the impact they have on your site rankings
- Optimizing your content
- Finding opportunities for backlinks
3 Ways You Can Implement Your SEO Audit Improvements
- Set priorities based on impact
- Optimize content for readers
- Establish authority with backlinks
1. Set Priorities Based on Impact
Once your audit is complete, you’ll have a list of improvements that you can use. Don’t be overwhelmed. Rank these items in order of impact. Some improvements are going to boost your SEO rankings more than others.
Google ranks over 200 different factors when it’s deciding where your website falls on its SERPs.
According to HubSpot, a world leader in inbound marketing and sales, “Is every ranking factor equal in importance? Nope. Although this criterion is all relevant to where you end up ranking on Google, there are a handful of universal best practices that publishers should focus on first before solving for the rest.”
That’s why prioritizing your list is a critical first step. Working on website architecture is incredibly important for rankings, but not as crucial as inserting backlinks to authorities on the topic.
2. Optimize Content for Readers
Google’s purpose is to provide resources for searchers. Those resources need to be easily accessible to the everyday person seeking information about a particular product or topic.
Create more user-friendly, readable content to increase your organic traffic.
Start by partitioning off your top-performing pages. Choose 10-15 that have drawn in the most traffic by using Google Analytics.
We’ll use Nativ3, top Minneapolis web developer, for some use case examples. Nativ3’s most visited pages over the last 90 days, according to Google Analytics, are:
As you optimize your site, start with pages that are already popular. This gives you a firm foundation to start on.
Once you have decided which pages you are optimizing, start looking at top-ranking competitor sites to learn what they are doing right. Ask yourself:
- How is their content different from mine?
- How are their titles and headers different from mine?
- How is their media, including videos and images, different from mine?
- What can I do to make my content more like theirs?
Using on-page SEO tools like Yoast is an easy way to check your work when you are optimizing your content, titles, and meta descriptions. These factors make it easier for Google to crawl and index your pages.
If done correctly, your website content appears more trustworthy, and thus, more likely to end up on the first page.
There are online checklists of actionable steps for optimizing the content available, but a good place to start is with headers, titles, and media.
In a recent study done by Moz:
- Increasing the length of the articles and adding relevant subtitles (H2s, H3s, and H4s) to help organize the content gives an average boost to organic traffic of 14%.
- Improving the title or H1 of the URLs yields a 9% increase on average
- Including a relevant video increases the organic traffic by 4% on average, while putting an image up increases it by 5% on average.
If you begin with these steps in mind, the overwhelming task of optimizing your content is much more digestible.
3. Establish Authority With Backlinks
Backlinks, sometimes called inbound links, are simply links that direct to your website from other sites. They have perhaps the most significant impact on your rankings because they show Google that you are a trusted authority on the topic.
Google also uses these links to crawl between other sites and your site.
Having many inbound links creates a so-called trail that search engines can follow back to your site. The more links out there, the broader and more apparent this trail becomes. These links tell search engines that you need to be noticed because you have something important to say.
Start seeking out opportunities for backlinks by writing content that clarifies complicated parts of your industry or participating in link-exchange programs with other websites in your field.
Don’t be afraid to send DMs and emails offering your expertise in exchange for another’s.
Link building creates relationships, brings in more referral traffic, and can help you establish your brand.
MonitorBacklinks is especially useful for monitoring the number of backlinks that currently exist for your website, as shown in the figure above. Nativ3 currently has 15 backlinks on other sites that Google is ranking as a decisive factor for our SEO.
Link building is difficult. It requires a level of networking and content creation that is sometimes beyond the means of someone not in the digital marketing industry.
But, if you can do it well, you’ll find yourself quickly clawing your way to the top SERPs.
Set Up Recurring Audits and Continue to Improve
Running and improving upon SEO audits is not a one-and-done task. It must be done at regular intervals to truly have the impact that is going to help you rise through the search engine ranks.
Make it a regular part of your monthly or bi-monthly procedures.
Doing so is a slow-but-sure way of becoming a trusted online resource if done correctly. According to SearchEngine Journal, 91.3% of all traffic share for a particular search term comes from the first Google results page.
Missing out on your place at the top means a lot of lost traffic and a lot of lost sales.
If you find the process of completing SEO audits overwhelming, working with industry leaders in digital marketing and SEO can unlock the results you’re looking for.
Work with someone that has a transparent process and proof of success, so you don’t miss out on invaluable ranking positions.