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SEO Scorecard – Download This Free SEO Checklist

Welcome to part two of our SEO guidelines collection that focuses on where to start out an SEO marketing campaign.

Conducting an internet site audit utilizing this SEO scorecard will assist you to measure the overall SEO well being of your website. Whether or not you’re an in-house skilled, an agency guru or an unbiased marketing consultant, creating a SEO scorecard will allow you to determine opportunities and threats to your on-line search presence.

The following classes are the primary sections of this SEO audit, which, after analysis, might be was a prioritized action plan.

  1. On-page content material optimization
  2. Website structure and navigation
  3. Accessibility
  4. Off-page optimization
  5. Competitive analysis

Download this Google spreadsheet and customize the SEO scorecard for yourself. The knowledge under will enable you to score each section.

1. On-page content material optimization

Distinctive, top quality and relevant content continues to be the main target of all search engine algorithms. Top quality content has a tendency to have greater phrase counts, comprehensive topic-related key phrases, and rich media like pictures and movies. Google’s objective is to guage and rank content material in order of high quality and relevancy to the search query.

In accordance with Searchmetrics’ 2014 Ranking Elements Research, there are 13 “on-page content factors” that have constructive correlations with greater positions in search results.1 It’s necessary to research each issue on a website and per-page degree.

A few of Searchmetrics’ on-page elements overlap, in order that they’re mixed for effectivity. As you fill out the scorecard, use these questions to help rank each part.

Key phrase concentrating on
  • Is the content related to the meant viewers?
  • Is the content spammy?
  • Are the correct phrases used?
  • The place are an important keywords?
Unique content material
  • Does your content material deliver worth to your audience?
  • Is the content material unique and written from a singular perspective?
Content length
  • Does the web page have enough length?
  • Do no less than 90 % of the pages have 400 words or more?
Title, H and picture tags
  • Does the web page title precisely and succinctly describe its content material?
  • Does the web page make the most of tags like H1, H2 and H3?
  • Does the web page utilize alt image textual content and strategic picture filename choice?
  • Are targeted keywords positioned at first of all tags?
Meta descriptions
  • Are there duplicate meta descriptions for pages?
  • Are the meta descriptions lower than 155 characters?
  • Will the copy inspire potential guests to seek more info?
Over-optimized key phrases
  • Are target keywords overused?
  • Does the copy look unnatural?
Rich media
  • Are there too many giant blocks of text?
  • Are there quite a lot of content varieties like photographs and movies?
URL conventions for SEO
  • Is the URL construction intuitive, brief and user-friendly?
  • Is the web site utilizing subfolders as an alternative of subdomains?
  • Are there too many URL parameters?
  • Is there URL-based duplicate content material (multiple URL’s for a similar page)?

Read more right here: SEO guidelines part 9: On-page optimization

2. Website architecture and navigation

A nicely organized web site is one that is user-friendly and intuitive for both serps and visitors to navigate. Planning out the website’s hierarchy takes careful consideration of all the content, features and objectives of a business or organization. Finally, website architecture units the boundaries for web site navigation including what number of levels it can have (vertical depth) and the way these levels are interconnected.

Search engines like google crawl web pages following the hyperlinks on every web page at super-sonic speeds, that are then indexed and referred to as ahead when a consumer searches for a term that the search engine algorithm deems related to the page. Every web site is given a certain “crawl budget” that limits the crawl time per day, which is why it’s necessary to have a nicely organized and appropriately labeled website so serps can index as many pages as potential.

The following diagram is a “site architecture for beginners” resource for understanding how an internet site could be organized.

Flat site architecture for SEO beginners

Website hierarchy
  • Is there a universal navigation bar?
  • Are an important pages one click on away?
  • Does the web page hierarchy make sense?
  • Are there vertical breadcrumb links?
Inner linking and anchor textual content
  • Do crucial pages obtain probably the most inner backlinks?
  • Is there horizontal linking (deep pages with hyperlinks to associated providers/products)?
  • Are blog posts interlinked when attainable?
  • Does the web site use descriptive anchor textual content in the hyperlinks?
Categories and tags
  • Does the web site use categories and tags to arrange products, providers and weblog subjects?
  • Are there too many classes and tags?
  • Do categories and tags overlap?
Responsive cellular design
  • Is the web site optimized for all units (cellular responsive)?
  • Is the cellular navigation structure just as intuitive because the desktop website structure?
Consumer expertise (UX)
  • Is the design easy and straightforward to make use of?
  • Are there helpful assets buried too deep within the website?
  • Is there a easy footer sitemap?
  • Is the web site’s bounce price too excessive?

Learn extra right here: SEO checklist half 5: Website structure

3. Accessibility

If Google, Bing and Yahoo can’t entry your web site, it may well’t be listed. And if it isn’t indexed it’d as nicely not even exist. There are some technical features to verify to ensure your web site is search engine-friendly.

Robots.txt file and SEO
  • Is the robots.txt file proscribing search engine crawlers to pages you need to be indexed?
  • Are there any robots meta tags which are inadvertently blocking search engines like google and yahoo from specific pages?
HTTP standing code crawl errors
  • Are any URLs returning HTTP status code errors (4xx and 5xx)?
  • Are there any 404 errors (i.e. broken or lacking pages)?
  • Are there any 302 HTTP redirects, once they might be 301 redirects?
Duplicate web page content
  • Are there a number of inner pages with equivalent or near-identical content?
  • Are there external pages with duplicate content material (web sites that republished your content)?
  • Do pages appropriately use rel=”canonical” to keep away from unintentional duplicate content?
XML sitemap
  • Is there an XML sitemap document that follows the best sitemap protocols?
  • Has the sitemap been submitted to Google by way of a Google Webmasters account?
  • Does the sitemap include all up-to-date pages?
Website velocity and SEO
  • What is the website’s Google PageSpeed grade? (See image under)
  • Can pictures and JavaScript be optimized?
  • Can browser caching be optimized?

Screenshot of the Google PageSpeed SEO test

Keep away from Flash
  • Is essential info and content material hidden from serps as a result of it’s housed in Flash?
  • Does the web site look totally different when seen with a search engine spider simulator?
Index status
  • Do all pages seem whenever you Google search “site:example.com”?
  • Do crucial pages appear once you Google search “http://www.example.com”?
  • Is the website appearing for all model searches?

four. Off-page optimization

On-page elements like content, website architecture and accessibility are essential, however off-page elements like backlinks are simply as essential, if not more. Google’s famous PageRank algorithm has all the time been heavily oriented in the direction of an internet site’s backlink profile. In simple phrases, Google can get an in depth picture of the standard of your web site, based mostly on the quantity and quality of different sites that link to yours. There are tons of subfactors that go into off-page SEO analysis, however these are crucial:

Organic visitors and CTR
  • Is there an upward development of latest visitors to your web site?
  • What’s the click on via fee (clicks/impressions) of your website on Google?
Backlink profile
  • What number of root area backlinks does the website have?
  • What is the high quality of the backlinks? (Use Moz’s Domain Authority and Web page Authority)
  • Is there a variety of previous and new backlinks?
  • What is the homepage to deep link backlink proportion? (Extra deep links are higher.)
  • Are the backlinks coming from relevant web sites?
Link anchor text
  • Does the anchor textual content seem pure (i.e. are keywords being over optimized)?
Nofollow links
  • Are any of the hyperlinks using rel=”nofollow” attributes?
Trustworthiness and authority
  • Does the location have low third-party SEO trust and authority ranks (i.e. MozTrust and Domain Authority)?
  • Is your website being penalized for keyword stuffing or hidden textual content?
Social elements
  • Are social media profiles linked to the website?
  • Do the profiles have low retweet and Fb publish like rates?
  • Is there a low price of social shares on posts?

Read more: SEO guidelines half 10: Hyperlink building

5. Aggressive analysis

Competitive SEO research is a needed a part of any SEO audit because even when your web site is doing every part proper, you still may be outranked by rivals. Luckily, you possibly can uncover their weaknesses and strengths and turn them into opportunities.

SERP rankings (Advocate AuthorityLabs or SEMrush)
  • What’s the web site’s Google rank for target key phrases compared to the highest rivals?
  • Is the website not ranking for essential search phrases?
  • Which phrases do rivals rank highest for?
Key phrase problem (Advocate Google AdWords Key phrase Planner)
  • How competitive are the chosen target keywords?
  • What direct and indirect rivals are presently rating for target key phrases?
Link alternatives (Advocate Majestic or Open Website Explorer)
  • Are you able to replicate prime competitor backlinks?
  • Are many outstanding business sites at present linking to rivals?
Native SEO
  • Do chosen target keywords set off native search results? (See image under.)
  • How aggressive is the local area of interest?
  • Is the business listed in all related native directories?
  • Has the business verified the Google Local enterprise outcome?

Read more: SEO checklist half four: Competitive Analysis

Now, prioritize into motion gadgets

Once you’ve completed the SEO scorecard and gone by means of the rest of this SEO guidelines, you’ll be able to prioritize which areas of SEO to give attention to first. The subsequent elements of this collection dive into detailed techniques, actionable optimization processes and instruments to fix any SEO drawback areas you could have discovered.