The session at Salon G looked at SEO site audits and the data that is present and what it is telling you. Site audits and listing audits have a very important role to play in the entire process and the speakers in this session stressed on it.
Ralf Schwoebel (@trabit): Founder & CEO, Tradebit Inc.
Alan Bleiweiss (@AlanBleiweiss): Forensic SEO Consultant, Alan Bleiweiss Consulting
Ben Cook (@Skitzzo): President, Direct Match Media
Mike Stewart (@dallasseoguru): Founder / Chief Strategic Officer, SMB SEO LLC
Alan's focus was on SEO Audits and the manner in which it is conducted, the impact of the updates as well as other factors such as the UX or user experience. Mike stressed on the aspect of local listing audits while Ben focused on the SEO audit and listing audits in deep ways.
Alan started out with how the audit experience is important and total audits performed. An audit experience cited by him focuses on:
- Largest site audited
- Site with most annual visits
- Top client annual revenue
At the end of it all, SEO is about user experience as seen through:
- Manual reviewers
- Search algorithms
Purpose of the SEO Audit
Alan said the purpose of the SEO Audit was to evaluate user experience and search engine evaluation.
Benefits of Improving UX Evaluation
Improving UX evaluation enhances, as per Alan's views:
- Higher conversion potential
- More relevant visibility
Bad SEO Audits
Bad SEO Audits are those which make people lapse into inaction or distract them, Alan said.
Strategic Site Audits
Strategic SEO audits are those which, according to Alan:
- Are not too granular
- Provide overview plus tasking recommendations
For instance, Alan explains how if the weakness is there in the keyword selection, the audit should:
- Show examples
- Suggest better phrase selection
- Display instances of better phrases
Poor Topical Organization
In the event of poor topical organization, Alan recommended that the following should be done during the audit:
- Show examples
- Suggest reorganization
- Show reorganized examples
SEO Signals And QUART
Alan said that every SEO signal must pass the QUART test which is the 5 signals for Super SEO namely:
Alan says that for any signal it is weak in, SEO audit must compensate in the other signals in one or more ways.
Time To Perform Strategic Audits
Alan has delineated that the time to perform strategic audits is when:
- Revenue is inexplicably down
- Traffic nose dives
- Unnatural links are coming from your site
- Site has spam
- Content has little/no value
- When you think everything is “okay”
- When you've gone as far as you can on your own
What Needs To Be Reviewed
Alan said the following needs to be reviewed:
- Main site
- Niche Sub Domains/Niche Domains
- Inbound link footprint
- Supportive social signals
- Processing speed
- Sub topical organization
- UX Intuitiveness
- Signal confusion/inconsistency
Data From Multiple Sources
Alan said data needs to be found from multiple sources namely:
- Screaming Frog
- Google Analytics
- Google/Bing Webmaster tools
- Search Metrics
- Raven Tool
- Open Site Explorer
- Penguin Tool
Alan stressed that certain issues require attention. These include:
- Missing title tags
- Duplicate title tags
- Odd data points
- Understand how different signals influence each other
- Canonical tags
- URL Parameters
- Meta Robots
- Internal Links
- Inbound Links
- Page titles
- Internal Anchors
- Content Seeding
- External Anchors
- URL Hierarchy (too flat or deep?)
This tends to lower the rate of conversion, Alan said. Server delays are another big no-no, he said.
Alan said that improving crawling efficiency can sometimes solve all the problems, especially the related ones.
Single Known Algorithm
A single known algorithm also works wonders, he said. This can serve as a useful tool for improving SEO.
Sometimes, more complexity is needed. Social and other channels matter to SEO, said Alan. SEO is not an island to itself, he explained taking factors such as assisted conversions, last click or direct conversions and so on.
Alan said that it was important to work for the best but set realistic expectations. Recovery may be accompanied by a 30 to 60 day rebound cycle, he said.
The Perfect SEO Audit
Alan said the perfect SEO audit should strive for perfect implementation yet comprehend fiscal and financial resources.
SEO Audits cannot save a business overnight, he cautioned. But It can save the business from going off the rails and ensure that it gets back on track, Alan stressed.
SEO Audits and Listing Audits
Ben spoke at length about:
- The importance of audits
- The value of audits
- The relevance of audits
He emphasized on the use of facts rather than brand building to improve click through rates.
Local Listing Audits
Mike spoke of how businesses can understand whether the presence they have is shown in actual search inquiries. Mike spoke with special reference to:
- Degree of visibility possessed by a company in its local searches
- Accuracy rate issues
- Ways to resolve the disconnects
Mike spoke specially on the importance of local listing audits.