What does an SEO analysis cover?
Verifying your website with Search Consoles such as Google’s can help uncover any potential SEO issues you have.
Reviewing your Search Console can help discover manual penalties, broken links and also bad backlinks that could be damaging your website’s SEO value.
Google’s Search Console also helps show which keywords your website is ranking for, allows you to submit sitemaps and also gives you an indication on how you appear in search.
Reviewing & submitting sitemaps
Sitemaps are maps of your website that tell search engines the structure of your website pages. If you’ve got a WordPress website with an SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO, you should already have a sitemap generated. However, you’d still need to manually submit these to search engines such as Google and Bing, etc.
Before these have been submitted, you’d need to manually review them to ensure that there’s nothing irrelevant being submitted into search engines such as Google for example.
For example, on WordPress websites, when using Yoast SEO an author-sitemap is generated. Whilst this might make sense if your website has a dedicated individual author’s page, it’s not needed if the only author is the website admin. Meaning if it was to be submitted, Google would index this page, which may be poorly designed. Not only that but Google’s crawler could have been indexing another page — therefore, it would be negatively impacting your website’s crawlability if there were multiple instances of this scenario.
Generating robots.txt files
A robots.txt file is something that is often obeyed by most search engines. It’s the file a search engine crawler may read to understand which areas to index and not-index.
For example, if you’re using a website which has a content management system such as WordPress, you need to ensure that the admin directory is not being indexed by disallowing it in the robots.txt file.
Furthermore, you’re able to tell search engines where your sitemap is located too. However, submitting sitemaps into a search engine’s webmaster’s console is also something you should do.
If your website has been redesigned in the past, your web-developers may not have been able to maintain the old URL structures.
Google, along with other websites that link to your domain wouldn’t know of this. So if an old URL link is clicked, it may result in a 404-page-not-found error. Something that Google would not further index — therefore, losing your link’s listing. By using Google’s search console, you’re able to find these 404-error response code listings over time.
Finding searched keywords
Google’s search console can also tell you which keywords are triggering your listing. This can be good to understand as it would give you insights on which keywords are most relevant for your keyword research — as you already may hold good rankings for them.
Accessibility is something Google also looks at, a few questions you should ask are;
- If your website screen-reader friendly, does it include relevant alt-text for people that can’t see images?
- Is the content of your website grammatically correct?
- Is the website mobile friendly?
- Is it fast for users to access?
- Does your website use multiple languages, if so, does your website’s code reference these?
All of these may play a part of Google’s algorithm, helping to increase your ranking position if optimised.
If your website isn’t mobile friendly — it’s time for a website re-design.
If your website uses a mobile version, it’s important that you reference this in your code. Your main website should still be responsive at least to ensure you’ve covered all non-mobile devices too.
Site speed is a big one when it comes to SEO. Not only would it hinder on your visitors dropping-off before even visiting your website due to its speed. It may also damage the search crawler’s ability to index your website efficiently.
If you’re using a template-based website, your code is not bespoke for your website — meaning it’ll be slower as it has multiple files to cater to everybody’s website. Therefore, the best thing you could do is get a new bespoke and SEO-friendly website.
If you’ve already got a bespoke website and site speeds are still slow, we’d recommend looking into upgrading your hosting to a better provider or package.
Finally, if your website is primarily used on mobile phones and site speeds are becoming an issue, we’d recommend you look into accelerated mobile pages.
Multilingual websites aren’t necessary for everyone, however, good for those who have international businesses.
If your business is at this scale and your website does use multiple languages, you should try to ensure that you’ve got the correct HTML lang, hreflang and canonical variants on all of your URLs.
If you are beginning to learn or getting interested in search engine optimisation, chances are you are trying to beat your competitor’s ranking and in the process take over their spot. Whatever your motive is, in the SEO world, analysing your competitor’s backlinks is something that can help your website’s SEO strategy.