Every company wants to figure out the SEO game and get its name at the head of every search. Whether you’re selling a completely unique product or simply trying to make a mark with what you consider to be the best version of something popular, we all want to hit that top spot on the Google lists.
If you’ve got a particular keyword that you want to stand out, staying on top of the trends in SEO will definitely give you an edge in the optimization game.
In order to get there, you should first familiarize yourself with the SEO world in general and how it works. Following the right steps can help put you in the right position to get yourself recognized every time.
If you’re looking to present your results in a particular manner, you might look into one of the software options for SEO reports that have gained popularity recently. After all, you’re not only looking to get your results, but you want them to be organized, capable of being utilized at a later date, and presentable, when necessary, to others.
Learn the basics first
The first thing to keep in mind is that the SEO world is an ever-changing one. In order to stay on top of the game, you’ll need to check for innovations and updates on a regular basis.
Nonetheless, there are certain essential components to maintaining good rankings that will always play an essential role. If you are diligent and consistent in your efforts, you’ll continue to find your name at the top of the rankings. And you can stay on top of the game by using a keyword rank tracker to see how you fare vis a vis other companies.
Beyond Google, you might also think more broadly about improving your rankings in other places. For example, if you have promotional videos there are SEO tools for YouTube that can help you improve your video rankings, as well.
The first thing you’ll need to do – and on a regular basis, if you hope to stay on top of things – is get an audit. There are two types of audits, technical and content, and both are important to your overall outcome for different reasons.
You should expect the audit to take a month or more if it is done properly. In addition, there are shorter, more superficial checks that you can perform on a more regular basis to help you stay on top.
The technical audit, as the name suggests, will run through your entire site and determine which specific aspects of it are affecting your potential optimization ratings. If you have one or more particular things that are slowing down your site or otherwise preventing it from functioning optimally, the technical audit will identify them.
Before you undergo your technical audit, you’ll want to make sure that your pages are public, your device accessibility is up to date, and you have checked for canonicalization. This refers to the process of standardizing data that may be repeated throughout your site.
Major components of the technical audit include, but are not limited to:
- Identifying indexing and “crawlability”. Crawlability is defined as a link that can be “crawled” – that is, tracked – by Google, primarily (and other search engines, although Google is, of course, the biggest). If your site cannot be crawled, that means you have a sub-standard URL and should invest in a better one.
- An analysis of your sitemap. Sitemaps are subdivided into two groups: HTML, which defines a site’s overall construction; and XML, which determines search engine/crawling potential. It could be that additional browser extensions are called for as these could help to analyze and determine where your pages stand vis a vis the competition.
- Subdomain analysis. This component of the analysis will tell you the number of subdomains – already indexed or not – that exist in your site and whether or not those that are indexed correctly match what is indicated on your sitemap.
The other major component of your overall SEO audit has to do with its content. The content audit will cover a number of major features:
- Your overall content structure. You could have a great site in terms of the information you provide, but it could be laid out in an illogical or confusing manner. If your content structure isn’t clear and user-friendly, you will drive away potential traffic.
- Specific schema analysis. A schema analysis looks into the underlying meaning of a particular schema, or statement, on your site. If your site involves language that could have multiple meanings, you’ll want to be sure that your intended message is being conveyed correctly.
- Traffic relevance. You could be getting a lot of traffic on your site, but is it really the traffic you want? Having a site with splashy graphics that gets noticed by teenagers won’t help you if you’re selling services for retired people. You want to be sure that the message you convey is appropriate for your target audience, and a proper audit is a good way to quantify this.
Perhaps the most critical single component of your site’s viability for your business is its keyword strength. This is, of course, the main way that people search for what they want, so if you are selling a product or service, you want your use of the appropriate keywords to be as accurate and effective as possible.
If you’re not sure of your keywords or their degree of strength, get an expert to determine them.
Regardless of whether or not you’ve got a unique name for your product that you’d like to share with the world, it pays to have your site screened professionally to see which keywords stand out and at what volume.
How does this work?
Before undergoing your keyword audit, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the standard components involved so that you can be sure you’ll get a comprehensive and accurate report. Keep the following points in mind when you’re getting started:
- Total data gathering is essential. You’ll want to find a service with thorough, trusted analytics mechanisms so that you know nothing is being left out.
- Sorting/categorization mechanisms are also critical. You can have all the data in the world, but if you don’t have sophisticated means of sorting and categorizing it, your outcomes will be incomplete. These are two distinct phases of the keyword audit and should be treated as such.
- Once your data is properly categorized, it will be time to analyze it. Again, you will want to find a highly-rated service to do the analysis for you so that you know you’re getting a thorough, complete job.
Results to expect
The results of your technical and content analysis will tell you both where you stand currently, where your strengths lie, and what you might need to do in order to improve your standings.
Specific suggestions that you might be given upon completion of your audit include the following:
- Suggestions on how to standardize/fill out areas of your site that might be weaker than others. It’s possible that you might have neglected certain back pages in favor of beefing up your home page. Remember that having a well-rounded site is critical to your overall appearance and ultimately, success.
- Similarly, your technical and content audits could indicate major structural changes that you might want to make. It’s possible that you made your site some time ago, before you added new services or certain trends in your industry became popular. Having an expert third party examine your whole site for keyword strength can be an excellent way to rethink your overall design/purpose, as well as how you want to present your company to the public.
- Just as you might want to beef up certain aspects of your site, you may also find that certain pages become repetitive. It is not uncommon for people to be so in love with their product that they neglect to realize how often they repeat the same point (sometimes at the expense of others).
- In order to build up your keyword strength, your analysis will tell you where you can most effectively add links, improve your meta tags, and make other changes vital to optimizing your potential.
There are also rank trackers that you can utilize on a more regular basis to keep track of your search engine ranking. In addition to the full-scale audit, you might look into one of these to help you stay on top all the time.
After the audit, a more general estimation
Once your audit is complete, you will not only have a greater understanding of where your site stands in terms of its overall strength, and the strength of your keywords in particular.
You’ll also be able to look at the competition with a keener eye. Learning the components of a successful site will better equip you to look at any site – yours or others – and be able to discern where its strengths and weaknesses lie.
See your business grow as a result
Putting all these results together will, in turn, will allow you to more effectively plan your overall business plan. In looking at sites related to yours, you may find not only places where you stand out, but also potential areas for improvement.