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SEO Consultant - SEO Audits from Beginning to Advanced Auditing

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Bill Hartzer of Hartzer Consulting, an SEO Consultant and SEO audit expert, presented to the SearchHOU group. Have you ever performed a technical SEO audit of a website? And advanced technical SEO audit isn’t just running an SEO tool and thinking that you’re done–it’s a lot more than that. Bill Hartzer of Hartzer Consulting will go through all the steps required to perform an advanced technical SEO audit of any website. Whether you’ve never performed an SEO audit or you’re an Advanced SEO auditor, you’ll learn a lot from a real pro, who has performed hundreds of SEO audits in the past 10 years.

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SEO Consultant - SEO Audits from Beginning to Advanced Auditing

  1. 1. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing SEO Audits: From Beginning to Advanced Auditing
  2. 2. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing About Me • SEO Consultant, Hartzer Consulting • Blogger/Writer BillHartzer.com • Founder, DFWSEM Association (2004) • US Brand Ambassador, Majestic.com • Brand Ambassador, OnCrawl.com • Practicing Organic/Natural SEO since 1996 • Formerly Senior VP, Advice Interactive (Advice Local) • Senior SEO Strategist, Globe Runner • Director of SEO, Standing Dog
  3. 3. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing SEO Audit Experience • Started SEO auditing in 2008-ish • SEO Audit Services, agency level • SEO Audits as one-off projects • SEO Audits at start of ongoing monthly SEO • Full-time SEO Auditing started in 2016 • 100+ SEO Audits in past 2 years Official New Words in 2008: • Bitcoin • burner phone • dumpster fire • mainsplain • photobomb
  4. 4. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Overview – SEO Audits • Common SEO Mistakes I See • Choosing Which Recommendations to Provide • Overall SEO audit process • Presenting Results and Recommendations @bhartzer
  5. 5. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing What Isn’t an SEO Audit? • Lots of SEO Tools out there. Over 90+ on my list. • Audits are NOT just running some software or SaaS tool. • It’s NOT an audit if you just run software or crawl a site. @bhartzer
  6. 6. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing So What Is An SEO Audit? It’s a process… • It starts with crawling, gathering lots of data. • It’s knowing which SEO software or SaaS tool to run, when. • It’s Interpreting data and providing recommendations. @bhartzer
  7. 7. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing SEO Audits are only as good as the experience of the person doing the analysis. @bhartzer
  8. 8. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Recommendations must be implemented in order for you to get value from an SEO Audit. @bhartzer
  9. 9. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Common Mistakes Most Sites Make @bhartzer
  10. 10. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Common Mistake: Bad HTTP/HTTPs Migration @bhartzer
  11. 11. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Common Mistake: Duplicate Content Issues @bhartzer
  12. 12. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Common Mistake: Mega Menus @bhartzer Fix: • Internal Link Structure • Review Silos • Review Content clusters
  13. 13. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Common Mistake: Site Structure Issues @bhartzer Run Sitebulb • Internal Link Structure • Review Silos • Review Content clusters • Other SEO audit issues Award-Winning Sitebulb.com
  14. 14. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Common Mistake: Orphaned Content & Pages @bhartzer Analyze Log File Data • Find pages not in site structure • Combine log files, Google Search Console & Analytics Data in analysis OnCrawl.com
  15. 15. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Common Mistake: Link Issues, Bad & Low Quality Links @bhartzer
  16. 16. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Common Mistake: Over Optimization On-page and onsite over optimization • Keyword stuffing • Poorly written meta data • Not using proper heading tags, lists, etc. @bhartzer
  17. 17. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Common Mistake: Incorrect Usage of Code or Directives • Too much, or incorrect Schema markup (or not using it at all) • Incorrect implementation of code or conflicting directives - incorrect rel next/prev usage - incorrect canonical tag directives - incorrect robots.txt directives @bhartzer
  18. 18. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Choosing Which Recommendations to Provide • We run the SEO tools, gather the data. • We get information & data overload! • What do you recommend? What do you fix? • Focus on what will make an impact for the site, based on KPIs. @bhartzer
  19. 19. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing What Will Make an Impact? • Tools provide and show potential issues (Sitebulb, SEMrush, Screaming Frog) • Read and understand the issues. • Make decisions based on the site. • Size of site, type of site, content, current rankings, other issues, can all play a role. • It’s OK to ignore some issues! • Some analysis just comes with experience. @bhartzer
  20. 20. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing Overall SEO Audit Process • Before You Begin • Gather Data • Analyze • Present Results @bhartzer
  21. 21. Before You Begin – Info to Gather • Access to website (if possible), log file data • Google Analytics, Search Console access • Bing Webmaster Tools access • Prior history: What SEO was done in past? • Prior history: Domain Names used • List of Domain Names owned, redirected • List of Competitors • Ask: anything else we need to know? searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  22. 22. Content – Review Content on Site & Rankings • Google Search Console - Search Analytics • SEMrush.com Keyword Research • Review Current Rankings • SimilarWeb Traffic and Data • SERPStat Data • Google Analytics Data searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  23. 23. Google Search Console > Search Analytics > Pages Analysis What does Google think? searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  24. 24. Gathering Phase • Gather the Data • Save the Data (MS Excel, MS Word) • Start making notes (Notepad) searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  25. 25. Google Searches • site:domain.com • site:domain.com –site:www.domain.com • Click last page of SERPs to get page count searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  26. 26. Crawlers • OnCrawl • Screaming Frog • Sitebulb • Deep Crawl • Siteliner searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  27. 27. Screaming Frog SEO Spider Adjust to crawl large site over 100k pages searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  28. 28. Compare: Pages Crawled vs Pages Indexed SERPS Redux bookmarklet, compare lists of URLs in MS Excel searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  29. 29. Integrity (aka Scrutiny) What it does: • Crawls site, reports redirects, 404 errors • Mac only, can find more site errors searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  30. 30. Siteliner.com searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  31. 31. Bing Webmaster Tools searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  32. 32. Bing Webmaster Tools • Spot issues to fix searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  33. 33. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer Google Search Console • Search Analytics • Structured Data • HTML Improvements • Search Traffic • Crawl Data
  34. 34. SEMRush Site Audit searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  35. 35. Website Log Files • Weblog Storming, AwStats searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  36. 36. Website Log Files, Crawl & Analytics • OnCrawl combines all three searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  37. 37. Website Log Files, Crawl & Analytics • Deep Crawl combines all three, as well searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  38. 38. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer Search Engine Tools • Google Search Console • Bing Webmaster Tools • Other Google Tools
  39. 39. Audit Site Structure • Internal Link Structure • Manual Review of Site • URL Hierarchy • Grouping of Topics • GA: In-Page Analytics searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  40. 40. Run Sitebulb • Internal Link Structure • Review Silos • Review Content clusters • Other SEO audit issues Sitebulb.com searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  41. 41. Run Cora SEO Software • Measures over 300 factors • Calculates which ones matter most • Run on site’s main keywords • See the most important factors for each keyword • On-site, on-page, and offsite factors included • Shows you what factors your site is missing based on correlation data of top 100 results for that keyword • https://www.hartzer.com/cora/ searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  42. 42. Sample Cora SEO Software Results • Roadmap for keyword searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  43. 43. Gather Off-Site Data • It’s not all about on-site and on-page. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  44. 44. searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer Link Data • Google Search Console Links • Majestic • Ahrefs • Link Research Tools
  45. 45. Google Search Console Links searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  46. 46. Ahrefs Links searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  47. 47. Majestic.com Links searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  48. 48. Majestic.com Topic Review searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  49. 49. Majestic Trust Flow, Citation Flow • Trust Flow = # of clicks from seed set of trusted sites to a URL or Domain • Citation Flow = Number of citations to a given URL, or Domain searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  50. 50. Majestic Anchor Text Review searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  51. 51. Local Listings – Audit the listings • Google My Business • Bing Places for Business • Yahoo! Local searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  52. 52. Local Citations – Separate Audit • Are citations correct? • Same address, suite #, phone number? searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  53. 53. Miscellaneous Data to Review • All sorts of extras searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  54. 54. Site Speed, DNS Health • Tools.Pingdom.com searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  55. 55. Site Speed Review – Google Analytics searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  56. 56. Robots.txt Issues • Default CMS file? • Disallowing wrong? • Using “allow”? • Not specifying sitemap.xml URL • Directives conflict with other signals searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  57. 57. Sitemap Issues • New pages not updated on sitemap • Multiple sitemap issues • No sitemap file? searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  58. 58. Subdomain Issues • Duplicate content? • Using subdomain rather than directory • Wildcard subdomains turned on? • www versus non-www issues searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  59. 59. Canonical Issues • Review canonical tags • Not using canonical correctly • Conflicting signals with canonical, others • Canonical tags to help with dupe content searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  60. 60. Use of Structured Data • Taking advantage of Schema.org • Not just for local addresses • Reviews and Events • Person, Place, Organization • Products and Offers searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  61. 61. Analysis Phase • Analyze the Data • Make Assumptions • Make Recommendations • Analyze the road • Analyze the conditions… searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  62. 62. Analysis Phase • Analyze gathered data • Look for Obvious Issues • Look for Odd Data Points • More notes! searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer@bhartzer
  63. 63. Analyze Google Analytics • Changes over time, year over year data • Conversion Data • Bounce Rates • Pages Per Session • Drops in Traffic: Panda or Penguin in past few years? searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  64. 64. Panda, Penguin, Search Engine Traffic Issues From Past? • Verify with SEMRush, Google Analytics, SimilarWeb • Moz Google Algorithm Change History moz.com/google-algorithm-change • Marie Haynes Google Algo Update History mariehaynes.com/algo-changes-and-more/ searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  65. 65. Analyze Keyword Data, Rankings • Look for keyword opportunities Anything ranking on 2nd page? • Review SEMRush Keyword Data • Review GSC Search Analytics searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  66. 66. Analyze On-Site Data • Title Tags • Meta Descriptions • Headings H1, H2, H3, H4, etc. • Internal Anchor Text • External Links (outgoing links) • Canonical Tags • Hreflang Issues • Google Pages Indexed vs. Crawled searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  67. 67. Analyze On-Site Data • Conflicting signals? Overall Topic focus • Conflicting signals? Robots.txt vs. Canonical vs. Meta Robots vs. Nofollow • Internal Duplicate Content • Not Enough Unique Content • Internal links within content present? • Review Navigation • Review Footer, footer links, copyright searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  68. 68. Analyze Off-Site Data • Link Velocity Matters (getting new links) • Review anchor text (over optimized?) • Diversity of anchor text • Look for Toxic, Low Quality Links • Run Link Risk, Link Detox report searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  69. 69. Presentation Phase • Present the Data • Show the Results • Make it look great! • Action Plan • Implementation Plan searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  70. 70. Present The Results • Use internal or formal doc needed? • Who will implement? • Implement changes in-house? Outsource? • MS Word doc, spreadsheets with data • PowerPoint needed for presentation? searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  71. 71. Present The Results - Document • Cover Page • Table of Contents • Overview (summary, positives, negatives) • Website Crawlability (404s, 301s, One-Page issues) • Content Optimization (site arch., keyword issues) • Linking (Internal links, externals links, link profile) • Overall Recommendations searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  72. 72. Finally – Additional Lists • List of Priority Issues • Present Action Plan for Implementing searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  73. 73. SEO Audit Toolset • Google Page Speed Test • Mobile Friendly Test • Google Search Console - time downloading a page (if slower than 2 seconds to get the code, they'll abandon the crawl) • Webpagetest.org (diversity of testing environments is helpful... browser types, locations, connection speeds) searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  74. 74. SEO Audit Toolset • WebPageTest • Google Search Console • Google Analytics • GPSi page speed insights • G Structured Data Test • GSC Disavow • GSC Fetch & Render • Marie Haynes' Disavow Blacklist searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  75. 75. SEO Audit Toolset • Google Mobile Test • Google AMP Test • Bing Mobile Test • W3c mobileOK Checker • Deep Crawl • Google AW Keyword Planner • Moz Keyword Explorer • What is my IP searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  76. 76. SEO Audit Toolset • Builtwith • Server Software Detection • SEO Server Header Checker Tool • SSL Server Test powered by Qualsys SSL Labs • Redirect Checker • Serpstat • semrush • GA Code Checker searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  77. 77. SEO Audit Toolset • W3c CSS Validator • W3c Markup Validator • hreflang testing tool • tracker map • OSE, Majestic, Ahrefs, Link Research Tools, Kerboo • Bing Webmaster Tools • Panguin tool • OnCrawl searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer
  78. 78. Contact Bill Hartzer Hartzer Consulting Email: Bill@BillHartzer.com Phone: (214) 236-4378 Web: https://www.hartzer.com Twitter: @bhartzer Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bhartzer searchHOU 2019: Beginning to Advanced Auditing @bhartzer

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