Here is the transcription from Episode 51 Quick SEO Wins With Free Online Audit Tools For Your Website;
Jesse: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics. I am your host Jesse Dolan here again this week, flying solo without Bob Brennan, and this week we’re going to talk to you about a lot of the free resources and tools that are out there to quickly audit and score your website.
If you’d just do a quick Google search, there’s tons of options you’re going to bump into. We’re going to run you through a few of our favorites and some of the key ones that are going to be free, and are going to give you some pretty powerful insights to the SEO score, and the various factors of your website that are going to make it really easy for you to develop a quick punch list to make things better. Before we get into that though, I want to mention the new section of our website that we launched to hear from you about the questions, and the pain points that you’re having with your own website and your own SEO.
If you’re having a problem with that, odds are everybody else is. Although we address topics on the show each week, we’d love to have it from you in your words so everybody can hear that, and then go ahead and talk about it and answer it on the show. If we do use you on the show, we’re going to give you one of these snazzy Intrycks logo tee shirts, which carry a ton of value. Trust me, your family’s going to be set up for life if you put the sucker on eBay, there’s no doubt about that.
Let’s jump into it, all sarcasm aside. We got some really good tips for you here this week. The first thing we want to talk about is a comprehensive SEO audit for your website. And of course, my favorite tool of choice is our own free instant SEO audit.
I’m going to cover some of the main features that it does, and why it’s a good value for you, and why you should at least run it through your website once if you haven’t. Although we’re promoting our own tool because it is our own tool, just do a Google search. If you don’t like our tool, or if you want to compare it to something else, just go to Google, website SEO, check, options like that, you’re going to bump into dozens of tools.
Most of them are going to be pretty good, especially on that first page of Google. The further down you get, you’re still going to have some great options. But if you’re having to sign up for things, and pay money for things, or jump through some hoops, or if it just looks kind of shady with a lot of ads on the page, don’t go there. There’s plenty of other options, plenty of reputable tools including ours that can give you what you’re looking for. Don’t dig too deep. This shouldn’t be something you have to really explore too hard for.
Our tool, like I said, it’s my favorite personally, it’s something that we’ve kind, kind of curated and have a very effective tool and it’s going to give you a very comprehensive audit. If you have never run your website through our audit tool, take advantage now. It is completely free. You can use this as many times as you want. What a lot of people do, will run their website through it and you in a keyword too, I should mention. When you’re doing this for most of these tools, what we’re talking about for an SEO audit on your site is auditing your site against the specific keyword. We’re not talking about, there’s a product out there in the industry, called an SEO audit on your website, or a technical SEO audit. That’s a much more comprehensive audit. That’s going to be hundreds, more than likely thousands of dollars, not something that’s free.
This free tool that I’m talking about, it’s going to be something where you’re scoring your website against a certain keyword, right? So keep that in mind. There’s definitely a big difference there. Even though the terminology is the same. So use this, and like I said, a lot of people will plug their keyword in, run the tool, make some changes. It’s going to give you a great punch list of stuff we’re going to go through, and then come back and run it again and see what your grade is. And you can do that as many times as you want.
A very handy way to chip away, and do it yourself, these various SEO improvements. I’m going out there, LocalSEOTactics.com, top right corner, yellow button, free, instant SEO audit, and a plug your information in there and it’s going to spit you back a PDF with a very detailed report here, a stoplight, what’s bad, what’s medium, and what’s what’s low priority.
Naturally, you’re going to want to work from the top priority down from the warnings and errors, and then going down. Some of the key things you’re going to look for, even if you’re not going to use our tool, are these issues here. I’m going to read through a list.
Domain and URL issues, whether it be security, like having an SSL certificate, which would mean is your website HTTPS or is it just HTTP, and then your domain? Is your keyword in the URL. Whether that be the domain name, the.com or the slash whatever your page name is. You’re going to want to make sure your tool checks out some things like that.
Also that it’s going to be looking at your meta description and meta title information. And generally, those are the things, when you go to Google and do a search, and you’ll land on the other syrup, the search engine results page, the meta title, and meta description are going to be what you see for each of the websites listed.
The meta title is going to be the big text at the top, the blue text, and the meta description usually is what you’re going to see under that. That little snippet paragraph, preview text for the page. Now it’s pretty important that whatever tool you choose uses this and its analysis because not only are those the two things users are going to see where they are in their Google search engine results page. Usually, if the keyword that the user is searching for is in your title or in your description, it’s going to show up in bold on Google, so making sure that the tool you choose incorporates these two areas into your audit is going to ensure that you’re making your keyword in those areas. Thus ensuring, even if you’re not ranked first and Google, if you’re showing up on that first page or the top three results if your page has those keywords in there and they’re bold, and the people above you don’t, there’s a good chance that you still might steal some clicks from that top spot.
So a very important factor, again, whatever tool you’re using, make sure that the title and description, the meta title, meta description is part of the audit. Also, you’re going to want to make sure you’re looking at the header tags. That’s your H1, H2, H3, and things like that down the page. You’re going to want to be looking for things like multiple H1 tags, what kind of proportion do you have on H1 versus H2, H3. Are your keywords in there? Maybe over-optimization, are you stuffing your keywords and all of these? Are they duplicate? Things like that. Make sure your header analysis, a header tag analysis is in there. Likewise, content analysis, which is the main body of your website. What phrases and keywords are on there, how many words are on there, what kind of texts is in there? Is there any errors? Those things are very important as well. It’s the main body of your page. You’re going to want to make sure that’s incorporated.
Then we talked in an earlier episode, which I’ll link to in the show notes here, image analysis. How fast are your images loading? Are they huge files or not? Are they optimized for the web? Things like that. Are you including your alt tags descriptors? How are you naming your images? Are there duplicate images? Things like that are also very important. Make sure those are part of the audit as well. Another element to your website is the schema. We haven’t personally on our show here, gotten into it too many schema episodes yet. We’re going to here in the near future. It’s a little bit more advanced than some of this basic block and tackle that we like to cover, but it is something that’s very relevant to websites, and some tools are going to have this in there.
It’s pretty rare that these SEO audit tools like our tool does not either, have a specific schema section in their website, but lucky for all of us Google has a great tool out there, a structured data testing tool. We’ll put a link to this in the show notes, but let me pull it up here. search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool You don’t have to worry about writing that down. Just go out to LocalSEOTactics.com, check out this episode and it’ll be in the show notes, but what you’re going to want to do there is pull up that tool and you can paste in your website or even one of your competitors. I should say web page. This is a page by page analysis slash audit from Google, and you’re going to paste in your webpage and it’s just going to analyze the page for any a schema markup, or structured data that is on that page and then report it back to you.
Now it’s going to report that back to you in two ways. One, it’s going to show you that there is schema on there or not, and then two, it’s actually going to break that down. There’s different types of schema. For most of us here, we gear the show towards local service businesses, that need a local SEO. There’s lots of, it’s schema.org S-C-H-E-M-A.org, if you really want to do a deep dive and nerd out into what schema is and how to use it. There’s lots of different types of schema. In the context of what we’re talking about here. I’m going to go through a couple of types of schema that you’re going to look for and implement on your website. And you can also use the same tool, the Google structured data markup tool, testing tool, sorry, you can use that on your competitor’s site as well. You can use it on any website, any web page, just plug it in.
If somebody is outranking you, you can go ahead and copy that URL, paste it into this tool, run the test and see are they using schema on their website. Let’s just say you’re in the fourth position, and of course, you want to be number one, check the three they’re ahead of you. If they’re all using schema and they’re all using, let’s say, local business schema which we’ll get into in a second, guess what? You’re probably going to want to put that on your website, assuming it’s not already there. So go on out, check your website, see if you’ve got schema, if you do have schema, and if you know how to implement the schema, you can play with your configurations and what stuff you want to put in there.
Then always make sure you run this tool and test it afterwards to make sure there’s no errors. Because if there’s errors, they’re not going to read it, they be in Google, they’re not going to read it and recognize it. You want to use it as not only a research tool, but also as a quality control tool when you make changes to your website. Now rolling back to the types of schema that we’re interested in here, one is local business schema. That is basically you are communicating to Google when you have this on your page that you are a local business. If you just think about the mass amount of webpages and websites that are out there, a structured data markup allows us to tell Google what this page is about. Thus, local business schema is telling Google this as a local business. It’s not a news agency. It’s not a review website or a directory like Yelp. It’s not a food and recipe website. It’s not an event. It’s not a school. It’s not a government organization. This is a local business.
Now, within that local business schema, you’re also able to communicate information like, here’s my business hours. This is my website, this is my logo, this is my company name. This is where my GPS coordinates are. This is my Facebook page. This is my Yelp profile, they call it the same as references within the schema. You’re really able to communicate a lot of information about your business to Google, and this is information that the public is not going to see. This is basically code, for lack of a better way to put it, in the background that’s there for Google and other search engines and entities to see. This isn’t something that’s going to ruin the user experience for your end-users out there.
Another, and I should say the other main type of schema that you’re going to want to see in your page, assuming you’re a service business, is service schema. That is similar to the local business, just a way for you to communicate to Google that you provide a service, what the service is, maybe the brands, the options and things like that. It’s also very, very important. This is an overview, and if you’re not familiar with what schema is, this may not make sense, but if you go to the tool, and if you plug in some of these competitor pages that we’re talking about, you’re probably going to see them using schema. Looking at the results that Google is going to show you if you click around a little bit, you’ll see some of these words and phrases that I’m mentioning here, and hopefully, the dots start to connect for you on what schema is, and how it matters.
Just like with everything else, if you don’t know how to implement this and put this on your website, we’re here to help. I believe I mentioned it in the last episode, we don’t just do free podcasts for the world. We do have an agency doing website design and SEO. If you need help implementing the schema, figuring this out for your site, we’re here for you. LocalSEOTactics.com, just drop us a line or a question and we’ll help you out.
But back to the topic at hand. Schema is very important now, and it’s going to be even more important going forward. This really feeds Google’s artificial intelligence and machine learning, and quite frankly like we always say, if Google has a conduit for you to communicate information about your business or your website to them, you’d definitely want to take advantage.
We talk about Google My Business, the GMB, all the time. Very important. In the same vein, here is a thing that you can put on your website to communicate to Google more about who you are and what you do. You should definitely be taking advantage of this.
The last main area I want to jump into here, and again, what we’re talking about here is free online tools to audit your website and to score your website for primary SEO areas. The first one was just a comprehensive SEO audit. We recommend our tool, LocalSEOTactics.com, top right corner, yellow button-free instant SEO audit. Second one being schema, checking the markup on your page using the Google structured data testing tool. The last one here is the speed of your page, so with that, there’s a lot of tools out there. If you did a Google search for webpage speed tests, things like that, you’re going to get a lot of different options.
The one that’s my favorite, which maybe isn’t the most user-friendly to look at, but it is bar none giving you the exact details you need is Webpagetest.org. We’ve mentioned it in previous episodes. It’s going to give you what we call a waterfall where it’ll show you all these different coatings and content on your website, how they load when they load, when they trigger, when it starts loading, when it stops loading, how big each file size is, how long from front to back in seconds. Hopefully seconds. If you’re in minutes, you’re in big trouble. How long it takes front to back in seconds for your website to load, from the very first bites to the very end where it’s fully rendered, a lot of great information. Webpagetest.org, run your website through that. And again here I should say you’re running your web page, it’s a page by page test.
If your homepage is radically different than one of your main service landing pages, or one of your location pages, you’re going to want to test those individually as well. Some of the main things you want to look for here is what chunks of information coding, if you will, on your website take the longest to load. If you can, if you have the ability, you’re going to want to go in there and optimize that, and just make everything load faster. And this is going to give you a real good layout of what the biggest things are to tackle. Some of the things you want to look for is page speed optimization overall, could be some of your HTML loading, some of your scripting. If you’re using WordPress, maybe you have a lot of plugins installed. Those all have to load each time, and it’ll give you on this webpage, speedtest.org, a layout of all those in the order that they’re loading and how long they all take, so you can identify those.
You’re also going to pay attention to the image optimizations, and the image loading times, which is usually going to be a big part of what’s downloaded on every webpage. And again, we talked in a previous episode about how to optimize that. Definitely an area you’re going to want to focus on. And then the last main area, there’s lots of stuff on this report, but the last main area is your use of page caching, and a content delivery network. Otherwise, call it a CDN. Those two areas, if you’re not using those on your website, you can deploy those. There’s some free options out there that work just fine for 99% of the websites out there.
Using those will dramatically speed up your website in most cases as well. Again, with all that, if you need us to hold your hand or provide any guidance or counsel on that, or even do it for you, obviously I want to mention that we’re here to help. That about does it for those topics. There’s lots of other tools that get really granular into the nitty gritty of your website, but a lot of us don’t have time to really do that deep dive into those. The main three that we’re worried about here is overall web SEO, schema markup on my page, is that implemented and is it implemented with no errors, and then my page speed loading time. If you can focus on those three areas, you’re going to be making some pretty good improvements on your website, and helping your rankings. Hopefully, that helps you guys and gals out.
I’m going to jump in here to our five-star review the week, and this week we’ve got a five-star review from Shamex or ShameX. I hope I’m saying it right, five-star review says, “these guys know their SEO. I’ve listened to tons of SEO podcasts, and the Local SEO Tactics is one of the best. Each episode contains something practical and actionable to immediately apply. They do a good job of going from basic to quite in-depth, so there’s something here for everyone. Frankly, if you’re a business owner and not following advice laid out on these pithy podcasts, I’m not sure if that’s a compliment, or what you’re saying there ShameX, just kidding, if you’re not following the advice laid out in these pithy podcasts, you’re just leaving money on the table. Thanks and keep up the good work.”
All kidding aside, awesome review. Exactly what we’re trying to do, give you stuff from front to back. Hopefully, no matter where your level is, unless you’re crazy advanced and you got your own SEO podcast, hopefully we’re giving you something in each episode you can latch on to. We try to do good short episodes, to the point, give you something each week that you can chip away at on your website and make progress on. Appreciate that five-star review. It makes me feel good because it’s confirming that we’re doing what we’re setting out to do, really appreciate that.
We’d love to hear from everybody else out there. If you haven’t left us a review, preach us every week, lets us know we’re doing a good job, helps us spread the word to everybody else, and love reading on the show. LocalSEOTactics.com go on down to the area for the… Sorry, got a frog in my throat, man. Go down to the area for reviews. You can read all these reviews. You can also leave one yourself, and we’ll read it on the show. We really appreciate it, and thanks again ShameX for that awesome review. That about does it for this week, appreciate you guys and gals tuning in. See you next week.