Understanding SEO can be a bit tricky for businesses and more than often businesses struggle to decide on what they should be monitoring on a regular basis.
So, we thought we would help these businesses out by putting together a small SEO checklist, which every business should be looking into on a monthly basis…
Expand Your Keyword List!
Before businesses start any SEO campaign, one of the most common practices carried out is keyword research.
Yes, you may have seen articles flying around online saying that keywords are dead!
That really isn’t the case – you may have seen one of Ricemedia team members speaking at Brighton SEO recently, explaining how keywords really aren’t dead. In fact, they are very much alive and more important than ever!
Of course it is really important to carry out the beginning of keyword research at the start of a SEO campaign, but more importantly your business needs expand your keyword horizon on a regular basis.
There are always new keyword opportunities for businesses. For example, if you are an ecommerce site selling a new product or an online provider who is now offering a new service to your customers, your aim will be to rank for that key term. There are many great SEO tools out there which can help you with keyword research such as; Google’s Keyword Planner, Sistrix and Searchmetrics. We strongly advise that you expand your list of keywords on a regular basis, in order to give your business a chance to rank against its competitors.
Check Your Competitor and Benchmark Rankings….
Ranking within Google’s search results is vitally important for businesses online. Rankings can fluctuate significantly on a daily basis, so it’s important to take note of where your business’s key terms and competitors key terms are ranking also.
There are a few ways you and your business can do this. The simplest, yet long winded method of benchmark rankings would be to manually check the rankings and input them in spreadsheet format.
But before you start this, you will need to compile a list of all of your business’s keywords, and the terms that your competitors are also ranking for. Once you’ve created a list of these terms, you will need to search for your terms “incognito” (this can be accessed on your keyboard by doing the following: Ctrl + Shift + N). This will open a new window and you should then manually check where your site is ranking in accordance to the keyword you’ve entered.
By doing all of this you can then begin to see how your competitors are performing, which can help you look into why and how your competitors are ranking above you. By doing this on a monthly basis you can see what SEO techniques have worked and have not worked for your business.
Check Backlinks to Your Site..
Personally, as an account manager, I check our clients backlinks on a very regular basis.
“Why would you do that?” I hear you ask… The reasoning behind this is down to the importance of a strong and healthy backlink profile for a website. From a link building and outreach perspective, it’s a way of monitoring whether the links you have obtained through your campaigns have in fact successfully linked to the targeted domain. One of the best tools your business can use to do this is Majestics SEO, and you can also track where your site is linking to within Google Search Console.
Google frequently crawls your site and looks at the backlink that are linking to your domain. If these links are spammy, not relevant and have a very low authority then you have a strong chance of being hit with a Google Penalty – which no-one wants to see.
That is why it is so important to monitor your site’s backlinks on a regular basis. By identifying the spammy links to your site, you can then carry out a backlink disavow on your site, where you can inform Google of all of the linking domains you wish for Google to ignore when they crawl your site.
Update the Internal Linking Throughout the Site
Yes, It’s important to build links to your site from other sites, but many businesses tend to ignore their own site. Here are some of the benefits of including internal links on your site:
- Aids in website navigation.
- Defines the architecture and hierarchy of a website.
- Distributes page authority and ranking power throughout the site.
If you feel your website has enough relevant anchor text, then it’s always worth checking if the internal links are balanced throughout the site.
How do I do that? Well, the best tool to see which pages need interlinks is to access your site through Search Console:
Once you have selected your property in Search Console, you then go to Search Traffic > Internal Links:
Once you’ve done that, you will be able to see the total number of internal links there are, in relation to the pages throughout the site:
From here you would then need to decide which pages you feel need improving. So, whether traffic is down on your blog post or key terms have dropped from your homepage, you can then decide which pages need more internal linking.
It’s important to do this on a regular basis; especially if you have a site which is constantly uploading new products, pages and blog posts.
Check Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions Frequently..
All businesses around the world want to be at the top of Google’s Search Results. But just because your website has bundles of great blog posts, fantastic reviews and has keywords throughout, doesn’t mean it will go straight to number one. Every single page on your website needs to be optimised well, and one of the key ranking factors are Meta Titles and Descriptions.
In order to climb up the rankings your business needs to be on top of their Meta Titles and Descriptions – so it’s extremely important to check and alter these titles and descriptions on a regular basis.
Why should I change them if I’m on page one? Well, you won’t be on there for ever if your titles and descriptions remain stagnant. As previously touched in this blog, rankings fluctuate very often.
One day you might be ranking #1 or #2 in Google’s search results and the next you’re on page 2 and your competitor has overtaken you for your most sought after key term… Not good right? You can prevent this from happening. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to monitor your competitors rankings on a regular basis. So, if you’ve noticed your competitor has started to climb the search results quickly, then it’s worth double checking what they have done to that particular page, as this could be down to meta titles being changed on the site.
So it’s crucial for your business’s website to manage these titles and descriptions on a regular basis!
Check for Crawl Errors on the Site…
Crawl errors on your site can be significantly damaging from a technical SEO point of view. The reason it’s important to consistently monitor your onsite errors is the impact they can have on your users and Google’s crawler.
We’ve seen on many occasions that websites have had tonnes of 404 errors – especially ones for URLs that are being indexed/ linked to by other pages. These types of 404 errors can pose a potentially poor user experience for your users, and this is something that no business wants for their users. For example, if your users are landing on multiple 404 pages during one session of your website, then you can fully expect their trust for your site will drop, which will result in frustration and increased bounce rate.
You can’t blame them really… So, you need to find the route of these errors and fix them, pronto!
Here are a few ways which not found errors and large 404 errors can occur on your site:
- You have a typo in an internal link on your site, which links to a page that doesn’t exist.
- Someone else from another site links to you but has a typo in their link.
- You migrate a site to a new domain and the sub folders do not match up exactly.
- If you delete a page on your site and do not 301 redirect it.
- You change the name of a page on your site and do not 301 redirect it.
So, how do you find out if these crawl errors have happened on your site? You can find these errors by using the likes of Google Search Console and the fantastic Screaming Frog tool. If you don’t have a great understanding of SEO, then it’s probably a good idea to get in touch with some SEO experts… (Hint – We are technical experts when it comes to crawl errors).
But if you do have some knowledge on how to fix these errors, then you should check your sites technical health on a regular basis and make sure you don’t see these errors.
So, there was a our monthly SEO checklist for your business. If you are not confident in carrying out these monthly checks for your business, then please feel free to contact us for more information about our SEO services.