If your site is flawless, but still not getting the traffic or ranking it deserves, running a quick onsite audit will give you some immediate gains that can be followed by off-site focus.
Tools I Love and Recommend
There are a million tools out there. The gold standard is Moz. Moz can tell you where your website ranks, how well it’s doing, and what sort of unlinked mentions are out there, but a lot of Moz’s tools are not free. Using an all-encompassing tool like Seo Site Checkup will give you more options, and is free to use. You are looking to make sure everything is labeled,has a buddy, and is working. There are a plethora of free services you can use to double check your site, whether is Screaming Frog or the ‘find broken links’ chrome plugin, your options are limitless.
To do an onsite audit, there are a few free tools that will help you determine your steps forward and some ways to use those tools to evaluate your steps forward. Whether you need to spend more time with an onsite audit, or just shell out some money for a writer, there are a plethora of ways you can improve your onsite.
Labels are Great
Yes. Labelled. Make sure every page has H-tags, it’s own meta-description that matches the content, and obviously a title tag. These labels give Google, and your readers, an idea of what is on each page. So while it might be convenient to label your pages numerically, it won’t help anyone determine what is on that page. Screaming Frog is a great tool if you are looking for just a base idea of what your site looks like, it will tell you if things are repeated too often, or the right length, or just straight up missing. Making sure everything is labelled is second only to functionality and speed in your site.
Evaluate for the Users
Your traffic and rankings will suffer if you do not maintain the speed and functionality of your site. If a site sucks, no one will stay on it. This could mean improving speed, functionality, or just improving your content (make your site an informative, great place to be on the internet). Look at your Google Analytics to see what your users are doing, and why they keep leaving. Sometimes fixes can be as easy as taking care of broken links or pages. Other times you may require a little more speed.
Getting a faster website is a little bit more complicated, and may require some technical help if your website won’t move. If you can’t afford technical help, the internet is full of tips and tricks like these that can really get your site moving. You can make your site more functional and informative, though, which offer just as many benefits. This means making sure your site works on all browsers and platforms, or just making sure it isn’t half broken. Making sure your site has no broken pages or organizing your website so no page is orphaned from the others. Double check so every page works and has a link to it and a link away from it. This will keep users engaged, onsite, and returning.
For more comprehensive analysis, or if you are in a competitive niche, consider hiring an SEO expert (like us!).
Onsite is vital, it tells the internet who you are, and what you do. It will keep people on your site and bring them back. But, offsite marketing will give you a solid base of users you need to grow from, it will bring your site up in the search engine results, and give you more authority. You can optimize your offsite results with expanded social media campaigns, and finding other sites in your niche that need you.
Up-to-date, open, on-brand social media will help your site gain traffic and gain a loyal audience. Get on social media with a name consistent with your company. I have seen too many small businesses who run their social media campaigns out of the owner’s personal accounts. Allow people to find your company on social media by labelling it as the company’s name, and not setting it to private as you might do with your personal accounts (sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t make their account public).
If your social media is open and on-brand, the first part of the battle is won. Identifying your audience through analytics, and directing your message towards those people is your next step. Looking into your target audience will increase the likelihood of people going to your website or using your service. Dark social (where people share your content between each other in a largely untraceable way) is one the most powerful forms of marketing, so get to know your audience well enough to share with them something that they will want to share.
Become a face in the online community. Write for other blogs in your niche, spread the love, spread the knowledge. It gives you authority and you can link back to your own blog in the process. Share the love and share some knowledge on other sites.
Where do You Fit?
Find a place to funnel people into your site by analyzing your current user. If a product is something people browse online, but don’t purchase online, listing your phone number prominently and updating your local listing might be the things for you. Look into who your customer is, and how they are getting to you. Use that information to put up links to yourself there. Find your customer, and what works for your business.
It sounds pretty basic, have a functional, informational site and share it where your customers are, but finding your customers can take some time and effort. If you are willing to put in the work, finding your consumer base is an ever-green marketing tools that will take you from small business to massive conglomerate.