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The 2018 Essential SEO Audit Checklist

The 2018 Essential SEO Audit Checklist

A DIY checklist of SEO best practices for self-auditing your own website. Use this checklist to help give your business a healthy presence on search engines.

In the ever-changing world of SEO, it is important to regularly audit your website to ensure it is following SEO best practices and adhering to the Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Doing so will increase the likelihood of maintaining a healthy presence in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and thus increasing organic traffic for your business.

QUICK FACT: Every year Google updates their algorithm several HUNDRED times, many with names like Penguin, Pigeon, or Panda – but even more with smaller changes that don’t have fun sounding “P” animal names. All of these changes take into effect how people are wrongly using the system, how technology is evolving, and how users are conducting searches.

Our Checklist to Ranking Better in Search in 2018

Below we’ve outlined the essential framework to take the guesswork out of your next audit. We’ve broken it down into 5 main categories:

1. On-Site SEO

Here are optimizations to check for your on-site SEO:

Keywords:

Content:

QUICK TIP: Aggregating content is a popular practice and one that has merit. To properly aggregate content, the general rule of thumb is that you have to provide something of value that is different than the original piece, which could include summarizing content, including original feedback in response to the content and so on.

Technical:

Meta:

Performance:

User Generated Metrics (UGMs):

QUICK TIP: Facebook responses on your site are great, but that content ownership is provided to Facebook, not to your website. The comments section just acts as a window to where the actual content exists on Facebook. Best practices include putting the comments directly on your website.

2. Off-Site SEO

Here are optimizations to check for your off-site SEO:

Back Link Profile:

Reputation:

Traffic:

3. Local Factors (For Local Businesses Only)

Here are optimizations to check for your local SEO efforts:

Local Directories:

QUICK TIP: Multi-location businesses should have a GMB page and landing page for each respective location – link each landing page to their respective GMB page.

4. Research

A long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away – there was once a guy that said something like this:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

– SUN TZO

I’m going to add a third layer to that and it’s know your surroundings, or in other words know your customers. The reason this is so important, is that SEO is an inbound marketing function and that it is only as good what’s going on in the industry. You may have the best rankings for a keyword no one searches and what benefit does that show for your company? Instead, you need to be aware of what people are searching and where you can best attract traffic, or customers.

Customer Research:

Competitive Research:

Internal Analysis:

5. Playing Defense

This is an all too often overlooked area of SEO. What most people don’t realize is the shady back dealings of the web. There are numerous negative SEO attempts competitors will try to make on your website and you need to be aware of it so that you can play defense.

The Dark-Side of the web is a scary place, but if webmasters stay vigilant they can get past most of these problems.

QUICK TIP: If you are using WordPress, Scurui is a great service to help assist you in keeping your website safe.

Continuous Learning

Based on the average number of times that Google updates its search algorithm each year, we are in store for somewhere in the ballpark of 300 additional changes this year. So, make sure that you are actively staying up-to-date on SEO best practices. Use the above checklist as your foundation, but feel free to add to it as needed.

Enjoy 2018 everyone!

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