I know a couple of SEO writers who think that the Google Panda or Penguin updates have been a total nuisance. It involves a lot of work and, God forbid if your website ends up getting hit by the update, then you are in for long tireless weeks of work. In order to grow and keep evolving, these updates and audits are necessary. They help you brush things up and give them a fresher look.
Over time, I have devised a method which employs the use of a few tools to help me distinguish what I need to change in my sites in order to help it rank higher in the search engines. It helps me tackle the areas I think are lacking or in need of some improvement by reviewing them with the help of appropriate tools. I then make the changes likewise and derail any hits I may get through the audit.
There are several ways to go by about it. Firstly, identify the areas you think would need your attention and list them down. Most people have issues regarding the content available on their websites.
Analyzing the web content: Through a bird’s eye
To analyse your content critically you can use any of the tools from Screaming Frog or Copyscape. They will identify the redundant content, how easily accessible it is and if it has been copied from other websites. Next, you can manually try to reduce the number of errors by making sure your content is as user-friendly as it is SEO-friendly. For example, use clear and short titles which will clearly let the reader know what the article is about. Also, make sure you’ve added your keywords in the title too, so it is an immediate hit. Then, if you have added photos or animations, make sure you have given a small description beneath them with the keywords or added a transcript with a video. Search engines cannot understand multimedia so this step is crucial. Also, try to use different keywords and descriptions for your content so no two articles end up in the same search. This makes your page and content seem copied and redundant, which can greatly affect your audit. Keep in mind that pages with more than 2000 words have been reported to be more popular and fare better.
Web layout and site-responsiveness
It should be as easy to use and as user-friendly as possible. Take caution that there are no broken links or double links leading towards disjointed topics. There should be coherency in your website’s outlook and menus. Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer can help with filtering out these issues.
The second main problem that you can address now is how well your website is responsive to search engine queries. This can be determined by tools such as Meta Tag Analyzer, Google Webmaster Tools. They will go through the links on all your pages and see if they are easily accessible by search engines. There could be nothing worse than writing perfect articles and receiving no traffic because it somehow cannot be reached by search engines!
Also monitor your site’s performance by checking its browsing and loading speed. Use tools like Page Speed by Google or Yslow which will tell you if your pages take too much time to load. This is one reason that would make you lose out on traffic, in turn decreasing your popularity and thus affecting your Audit results. To improve loading speed you can try using smaller multimedia like decreasing size of images or using a slightly lower quality or compressed video. Both will convey your point through and at the same time decrease your webpage’s loading speed.
While these are only a few tools and ways to make better changes on your websites, there could be several more that shall be specialized to your needs. So do the most important task first which is identifying the issues your site faces and then fixing them likewise. Remember that an audit only wishes to improve your website so this bit of hard work is much better and welcomed more than having your entire site be hit by the audit!