– Hey so in today's video I'mgoing to show you my complete step by step SEO audit checklist.
In fact this is theexact SEO audit checklist I've used to grow thisclient's organic search traffic by 1, 337% and this client'straffic by 93%.
(upbeat music) So I'm actually going to performan SEO audit live for you.
I randomly selected a localbusiness for the target keyword personal injury lawyer Chicago, and the lucky business is, DeSalvo law.
So the first item you need to audit is your Backlink quality.
Okay so the first thing we're going to do, is we're going to audit the link profile to see if there's solid link quality and we're just gonna lookat the links in general.
So, I like to do is, go to ahrefs then click on the site Explorer option, then enter the target URL.
So all you need to do is, go under the backlink profile section and click on backlinks.
So in this section what we'relooking for are a few things first of all we're lookingfor, unnatural link patterns and we're also looking forlow quality artificial links.
So as we scroll down, we start to see you know maybe a couple artificiallinks here and there so we have a Wix link here, and this is just yourclassic web 2.
0 links linking with Chicago caraccidents which is actually a really bad anchor text to use because this isn't somethingthat a lawyer would probably even wanna to rank for 'cause this is an actual, it doesn't actually have good intense.
So, using this anchor text is actually not gonna be effective.
And more importantly it's ahuge footprint when you use geo targeted anchors, sothis is also pretty bad but beside that, this is justyour classic web 2.
And, this isn't gonna do much and in fact I've had to pullsome clients out of penalties for these types of link.
You can always tell it to web 2.
0 link because this will be on a subdomain, so you see it's Wix site, it's has the subdomain andthen it has a bunch of folders.
So it's so deep intowixes site architecture that it's practicallyworthless to even get and not only that if you just look at it it's very unnatural, it'snot gonna add any value and it's clearly builtjust to place this link.
So if we go through we'll continue to look for some other similar types of links and it looks like here's another one.
This is gonna be a web 2.
0 link placement.
Yeah so once again same type of thing scroll down looks likes more Wix site looks like we have anarticle directory here some more web 2.
0s more web 2.
0s, and you're starting to seea trend here that a lot of these are web 2.
0s you know? they're really easy to spot.
And the truth is, if Ican spot them this quickly Google's algorithm can spotthem even faster than I can.
So, it's just not a goodthing to be doing in general.
So we look at theseonce again ArticleCity, you know these websites are just built just a drive links to websites, they're not actually builtto add value in any way and you can tell right away.
So these are not the links you'dwant to be getting overall.
And once again another web 2.
0 link same type of situation youknow they're trying to send, some generic anchor text tothis page to try to dilute it, just not a good idea in general, here's another web 2.
0link same situation.
And then one more for goodmeasure just so you can see what these look like.
These are these are not greatlinks and I would avoid these altogether but you cantell just this link profile is filled with all thesedifferent web 2.
So this was clearly astrategy for whatever company was doing SEO for, this law firm, and it's not ideal.
But, it does look likethere has been an effort to try to dilute some of these bad links with some more, editorial links which is good so that's one way to offset, these lower quality links is to get more high quality links to decrease the total percentage of those, in the link profile as a whole.
That's kind of, the waythat I go about looking at link quality and of courseyou know, I've been doing this for a long time so ittakes me a few seconds to just identify these links but you can almostalways identify web 2.
0s by the, subdomain and theunnatural linking practices.
The second item you need to audit, is your anchor text distribution.
Okay so next thing we want to analyze, is the anchor text Profiles.
So all you need to do is go back to ahrefs then click on the anchor section.
And then right away we cansee some good stuff here, so we can see that the majorityof the top anchor texts here are branded anchor text, andso that's really really good.
But it's only good on the surface and so on the surfacelevel this looks great, but if we go ahead and examine, the links that are sendingthese brain and anchor text to the site, we'll probably see thatthey're not high quality links, based on our previous analysiswith the link profiles.
So and we can tell right away, it looks like the toplinks that they are getting are from web 2.
0 web sites so we can just go and click this, and you can see right awaythat these are coming from, the classic web 2.
0s that we talked about earlier in the link profile section.
So, yes branded anchor texts are good, but they don't mean much if they're coming from websites that, are totallyartificial and low-quality.
And so this is the right thing to do, but it's the wrong execution.
So it's better to geta brand new anchor text from a real website not a, artificially built website.
So if we go through thelink profile here you know, we're gonna see more and more of these.
It looks like there are someother ones sprinkled in, but for the most part you know, there's a lot of web 2.
0 links, that are sending thesebranded anchor text.
So as we scroll down we canstart to see some keyword rich anchor texts like, personal injury lawyer in Chicago Illinoi and it's not that keywordrich anchor text is always bad in fact you need to usekeyword rich anchor text, sometimes to be able to, perform well but you can look atthis anchor text profile and see that it doeslook a little unnatural, you know we're seeing, if wejust go ahead and do a search for Chicago you know we can start to see, it's really starting to look pretty bad.
Because this is just nota normal way for people to be linking to web sites.
And so when you see wherethe same anchor text repeated over and over, it's typically not great especially when it's fora transactional keyword.
It makes it look even more unnatural, it's more natural foran informational keyword to get a high volume ofexact match anchor text but for our transactional keyword, it looks extremely unnatural, so, one thing you could do onahrefs that's kind of nice, is you can actually justdo something like this once you know what thetarget, keywords are, and then you can just seeall of the anchor texts, there using geo targetedmodifiers like this.
So as you can tell, it'snot looking too good here this is very over optimized and so, this is somethingthat you just do not wanna do.
This just doesn't look good, you can tell like look at this strip of, anchor txt this is, this is not ideal.
And so let's look at the typesof links that are sending these anchor texts.
So if we go to the details section again it looks like some of theselinks have from directories like this one, and this is really not good.
You should never andI mean literally never link with an exact matchanchor text or keyword rich anchor text from a websitelike this a directory link.
And the reason is because, these are not editorial links and these are not high quality links because anyone can gohere and submit a link.
And then also, your link issurrounded by a bunch of other websites that are alsospamming keyword rich anchors, and using a natural link.
So you know, your websiteis now being associated with all these other websitesthat are also spamming.
And so general rule of thumb, just don't even get theselinks in the first place but if you decide to, use a branded anchor text.
just do not use keyword richanchor text with any of these link types, just not a good idea.
Let's go ahead and look through, some more it looks like weknow, once again another directory type of link.
And the problem with thesetypes of directory links is that, they're not evenrelevant to the client.
They're just general web directory links and these this is avery old school practice so maybe these links area bit a long time ago.
This stuff just doesn't work anymore, this isn't really somethingthat anyone should be doing.
I don't even know how theseweb directories are still around they're showing Page Rank as if, Google updates it but weknow Google has not updated Page Rank in several years.
So, yes so these are thelinks you just shouldn't get in general, but if you doget them for some odd reason just make sure you usea branded anchor text but like I said just avoidthem because they're probably not going to help you theymay actually hurt you, more than help you in most cases.
Now there are some caseswe're getting directory links is a good idea, number one if it's a actuallyhigh-quality directory with editorial standards, that's legitimate or if it's a business directory like, Yelp or the YellowPages or something like that that's very trusted, that's fine.
And then one other, actually two othertypes of directory links that are worth getting.
Are gonna be; nichedirectories and then also geo targeted directories.
So those are worth getting but if you do get any typeof directory base link, just make sure use a branded anchor text.
If we go through this entire link profile we would see pretty much thesame types of linking patterns it's gonna be you know artificial links, keyword rich anchor text, all the stuff do you reallyshouldn't be doing any more, this stuff just needs to be avoided.
The third item you need to audit, is keyword cannibalization.
So now we wanna lookfor instances of keyword cannibalization so myfavorite way to find, that particular issue, which means two pages aretargeting the same keyword phrase, is to use screaming frog.
So just put it the targetURL in the screaming frog and then start the analysis.
So the quickest way to findkeyword cannibalization is just to go to the page title section.
And then all you needto do is just search, a word that you're seeingfrequently in here, so in this case I'm gonna do accident and I'll see right away that, you know there's some there's some keywordcannibalization issues going on right away, so we can seeChicago accident lawyers, and then we have Chicagocar accident lawyer.
Which is a little morespecific than this one but we're starting to getinto some of the keyword cannibalization areas, but then as we go down, now we're starting to see the issues.
Car accident lawyer Chicago, car accident lawyer and then we have car accident attorney, and then you see this repeated over and over and over and over.
And these all have their own unique URLs.
So this is just your classiccase of keyword cannibalization and so we would wanna go through and consolidate or deletesome of these pages so that only one page on the website target's car accident lawyer, which is a transactional keyword so it should have transactional intense.
So a lot of this stuff is probably not, in fact it's not going to rank at all.
And it's definitely not helping and so typically someSEO companies will build out these pages becausethey think it's gonna help with topical relevance, but it actually doesn'tit actually just causes keyword cannibalization, and it doesn't help at all.
Actually detracts from the primary page that you're trying to rank.
So it'd be much more effectiveto take some of the content on these pages, and add itto the transactional page and make that page way moredeep and way more authoritative that's a much better strategy.
So you can use screaming frogto quickly find all kinds of keyword cannibalization issues.
You see how quickly I was able to do it so just look for commonwords that you're seeing and then search in hear.
And then find pages thatare targeting the same exact keyword phrases and thengo through the process of fixing them and focusingone page on the site for that primary keyword phrase.
The fourth item you need toaudit, are low hanging fruits.
Trying to improve the rankingsfor your most important keywords should be the priority, but it's also good to find keywords where there's opportunity to rank for them and typically what I'm trying to do, is I'm trying to find keywordsthat have low competition and we'd be able to rankfor them very quickly, with just a few changes tothe page or architecture or other optimization techniques.
So what you need to dois go back to ahrefs and then go to the keywords, organic keywords section.
So then what we're gonna dois, sort this by position so we're gonna go to, 15 andthen we're gonna do from five.
So now this is gonna show us our keywords that they are in positions five through 15 and so that's typically whereI would call low hanging fruit because to 15 you have a fewkeywords that are right off the first page, so with justa little more optimization maybe a little more links.
You might be able to pushthose to the first page.
And then also the onesthat are in positions five you can push those up into the top three possibly which is gonnadramatically increase the organic CTR so itgets substantially more once you get into thosetop three positions.
Now of course one thingyou want to look for here if this was our client.
I would of course wannalook at these informational keywords and see if wecan improve for them, but in reality a lot ofthese informational keywords aren't gonna drive sales, andare not gonna drive leads.
So what we want to do is you wanna actually lookfor the transactional keywords to see if there's opportunities to improve with the transactional keywords.
So we know that this clientin particular is targeting Chicago for, personal injuryand keywords to relate to that.
Let's search Chicagoand see if there's any low hanging fruits that we can go after.
So based on what we see herethere there is definitely some opportunity, now youmay see this volume here and think that this is animportant or isn't good to target, but it actuallyis because I've said this many many times but not allkeywords are created equally.
So when we look at this one, Chicago's slip and fall lawyers it only gets 30 searches per month but all it takes is oneclient, to be a massive massive return on their investment.
So and that's why companies arewilling to pay $25 per click or $65 per click or even $75 per click because they know, thatgetting just one client for one of these keywordphrases is a substantial amount of money so thegetting the return is huge.
And so you gotta becareful not to chase volume because it's completelydependent on the keywords and the industry as well.
So in this case it looks like, you know there is some opportunityhere to to improve these pages and get them higher up, so he's sitting in position seven and so getting him to thetop three for this target keyword phrase would be huge for him, because that would immediatelyincreased the amount of clicks going to his site and of course possiblyincrease the amount of leads that he's getting.
Now looking at this pagewell of course have to see if it's built well for conversions, but getting more clicks to the site gets him more opportunities to get leads.
So I recommend when youstart a new campaign look for these low hanging fruits because, if this is yourclient you can get them some quick wins right out of the gate, they're gonna love you somuch more and then why you've already gotten in those quick wins.
You can then start to goafter those really competitive keywords that have more search volume and kind of the keywords that, probably all of hiscompares are focusing on putting all their resources into, so, one workaround to do that is is to go after theselow hanging fruits.
The fifth item you need toaudit, is the site architecture.
So while you're in screaming frog you can also examinethe site architecture.
So there are many ways youcan go about doing this you can of course do a manual analysis which is usually necessary.
But you can get an overview ofthe site architecture pretty quickly just by using this tool alone.
So while you're in the internal tab just scroll over, and we're gonna look for acolumn called crawl depth this is how many clicks ittakes to get to whatever the target pages.
This one for example, thisis extremely deep into the architecture, so it'sprobably an older article so it would make senseif this was a really important article for the website you would wanna push thisfurther up the architecture because nine clicks deepis really really low in the architecture whichmeans it's a low priority for the crawlers, and so if you want a pageto be a high priority to the crawlers needs to behigher up in site architecture.
And as a general rule of thumb, you really don't want to gobeyond three to four clicks deep and so one of the thing youcan do, is you could to get an overview look at thesite architecture sector or the site structure section here.
And you'll actually see, overview of the crawl debt and so ideally you know, these bars should kinda be between one and four.
This should be the bulk of your pages now in this case they have a lot of pages, where they're four, five, six, seven even nine clicks deep.
So that's way too deep for an architecture so you wanna push these all forward, if they're important pages ifthey're not important pages then that's a different discussion, because you need to talk about, you know whether those pages shouldeven exist in the first place, if they're such a lowpriority in the architecture.
You can also see here toyou know how many URLs have this level of depth.
Looking at this thereare a lot of URLs that are really deep in the architecture so definitely a lot of work that can be done here and screaming frog is just amazing for giving you this high-level overview that you can then go deeper on and start to see you know why are these pages, so deep in the architecture and then you can decidewhat to do with them.
The sixth item you need toaudit, are linkable assets.
Okay so the next thingwe want to look for, is to see if this client hasany linkable assets that we can use for our link buildingand promotion for this website so if you've been followingme for a long time you know that the bestway to promote a website in my opinion, the safest wayto grow websites Authority is through creating linkable assets.
And so whenever I start anew campaign the first thing I look for is, does thisclient have anything that's worth linking to.
And a lot of the times they don't so we have to go through andcreate these linkable assets but in this case we'regonna see if maybe there are some linkable assets that we can leverage in our link building.
So, just looking at thissite you know we can see a few things here, we cansee there transactional pages we can see an FAQ sectionwhich could be useful for link acquisition.
See testimonials which aren'tusually good for links.
And then we see an injury blogand then guides and courses.
So these all might beinteresting linkable assets.
But typically for a linkableasset I do on a target a keyword phrase, sowe'll look at the blog and see if there'sanything worth linking to.
So looks like, this mightbe something interesting what to do after a carcrash and what not to do.
And so that's a really interesting topic and I think something likethis could be linked worthy.
This does look like something we could use for link acquisition andso, what you wanna do is just go through whateverthe site you're working on just find these different linkable assets, you don't need a time you only need, you know one to five and then just go use theseas your catalyst for growing the website's authority, and it'll make your life so much easier because then you don't have to build links in an unnatural way anduse a bunch of geo target, anchor text like, I showed you earlier.
So this is the most natural way to build any website's Authorityincluding local national or EECOM it's all the same strategy.
And the seventh item you need to audit, is your page level optimizations.
So you literally wanna go page by page and make sure that each ofhis most important keyword targeted pages, are optimized well.
And so this is definitely the longest and most time consuming process because you have to go through each, transactional page that they wanna rank.
And then we also wanna throughall the informational pages that they wanna rank as well and make sure that those are optimized well.
And once we've figured outif they're optimized all then we have to actuallygo through that process of optimizing them, but fornow let's just go through an audit of one of histransactional pages in this case.
So his home page is the primary target for the most importanttransactional phrase he's trying to rank for which is Chicago personal injury attorney, or variations of thatcould be of course personal injury attorney in Chicago or anything that's closely related and so, and a few things I noticed right away, if you wanna rank fora target keyword phrase it should be the very first heading that shows up on the page and so this is all greathere for sales purposes and lead gen purposes.
But it's not great for SEO purposes and in fact if you'retrying to drive organic search traffic it needsto be very very clear what this page is aboutright out of the gate.
And so basically what you're trying to do is you're trying toinstruct Google's crawlers about what this page is about and it needs to be abundantly clear, there needs to be no ambiguity and so right here, Googlemay be able to deduce what this page is about.
But, if you're competingagainst other people Google's going to prefera page that is more clear than the ones that are not.
And so in this case, you knowthere are probably competitors who have placed theirprimary keyword targets above the fold in the right locations.
And so more than likely, this is a H1 tag.
And it actually isn't okayyeah so this is not a H1 tag the first heading on a pageshould always be an H1 tag and so right here this isn'tan H1 tag so this is not ideal and I don't actually know will go actually look at the page source, andsee if we can find an H1.
And there's actually notan H1 on this page at all and so that that's a problemright there so every page should have an H1 tag it'sit's the most critical tag on a page, so that's thefirst issue is that there is an H1 tag.
The second issue is thatthe primary keyword target, is in the primary headingwhich would be the H1.
So if we scroll down we'llsee that you know his primary keyword targethere is, in a heading tag and I believe this is anH2, so if we go and look yeah so there is an H2 tag here, which is good it has theprimary keyword in it.
But if we're gonna structurethis page in the right way, we would move this heading up here and it would become the H1 tag.
And then you can use someof this other copy around it but this needs to be the veryfirst thing that shows up on this page above the fold.
Pretty basic there but it'sreally really important now there is something thatI like here that's great.
I like that there's a contact form here right away that they can fill out, I like that there's a phonenumber here that makes it very easy to call on mobile.
So there's a lot of good stuffgoing on here that's great.
The only thing I would say about, and this is purely from a conversion rate optimization standpoint, this lead form is blendingin with the background so it doesn't really stand out a lead form should really stand out, when someone is on this pagebecause you want their eyes to be drawn to it, butwhen you look at this page everything's kinda blending in.
And more importantly, youdon't want your headings to be the same coloras your call to action and although it changes up, upon hovering.
There's still a lot ofthe same colors here and the problem is thatyou're not creating contrast.
And the key form really pop, and really making people wantto fill it out is creating contrast on the page.
So this is the most criticalelement of the page, so it should really have a lot of contrast and this actually will applyto the phone number as well which is also the samecolor as everything else.
So you know your twoprimary conversion points above the fold, need toreally have a lot of contrast so you can get drive moreconversions so not an SEO thing but it is a part of SEObecause there is maybe some possibility that Googlecan track goal completions.
And it's hard to reallyknow if that's true or not.
But you know Google isanalyzing how people interact websites all the time, so ifthey're looking at 10 pages competing for the same keyword, and five of those pages never get any conversions, then may say, you know maybe this page isn't thebest for the searchers.
so it's probably likelyhard to prove like I said but it's likely that theycan see if goal completions are happening, so thereforeconversion rate optimization may actually impact SEO.
So something to think about there.
But anyway that's the first part of this and then as we scroll down this is, probably not ideal for readability you know just havingthese huge blocks of text and then also the headingsare the same color as the call to actions not ideal.
So the way to fix thisis to fix the design so instead of making itthese huge blocks of text you could do a left rightformat which would have, you know text here and then an image and then text here and thenan image, and that helps break it up and make it easier to read.
And then another part ofthis, is if you're gonna have these sections here, on the home page you need to make each section needs to haveits own call to action because when you look at these, these are actually linked to other pages and these links you don'teven know that there are links in the first place.
And so, this isn't really built for users this is built to try tomanipulate Google's rankings and, it's not ideal.
And this stuff just it doesn't work.
It's much better to build apage that's built for users instead of building a page that's built to manipulate Google's algorithms.
So this needs to be restructuredthe internal linking strategies need to be changed, and Plus you know linkingwith these keyword rich internal anchors, isn'treally gonna do much because they're already in the navigation, with pretty much the sameanchor text so you're not really getting any benefit by doing this.
So just something to think about there, and then as we scroll downyou know once again hard, with the readability here.
Everything's all blendedtogether the phone number here isn't linked.
So that would force someoneto actually have to type the phone number into their phone.
Which is an ideal, so andthen as we scroll down you know the one thing I dolike is that there's a lot of content which is goodbecause that's gonna be really a big deciding factor between you know, multiple people competing.
But there's a lot of roomfor improvement here, as far as design and user experience.
So and then right herewe have some testimonials which is great I love putting testimonials on transactional pages, so this is excellent.
Once again you know maybeformatting could be improved a little bit, and also when you have testimonials it's best to try to get pictures of the individuals, people buy from people so we want to have a lot offaces here that's important.
looks like we have somesort of lead magnet or something of that nature, but then we have two of them so if we really want to probably improve the conversion rates on one or the other, we probably want to focus onone instead of having both 'cause now we're creatingsome decision fatigue here, and I like this a sectionthat where you can basically explain why they shouldwork with this attorney.
That's something that Ido recommend with the law transactional pages toadd more content so it's definitely a good thing.
So yeah this is good for the most part I think the formatting can be improved for readability reasonswe always wanna focus on that left right formatwe're using sections to break up the contentso it's easier to read because, people when they read online they skim they don't readword for word and typically what they'll do is they'll read headlines, and then they'll goback and read the rest, but that's only if it'sreadable and it seems like it's worth reading.
Now when you look at this it's so, there's so many different formats going on so many so much bolding and underlining and different colors it needs to be refined a little bit more.
And once again you knowsome contrast issues here you have you haveheadlines that are orange and then you have call toactions that are also orange so the contrast is going to create issues, and then these this is not linked again and this is notlinked down here as well.
So yeah those are some things that, you know this this page hasa lot of room for improvement but it definitely has youknow, a good foundation for good on page optimization.
Now we can look at some otherthings like we'll go down here in the footer and itlooks like the address is in the footer which is good so this will help certainlywith keeping the NAP or name address and phonenumber information consistent, once again, the phonenumber is not linked here in the footer so I'massuming what happened here, is that you know they assumed, because this was linked here in the navigation that, youknow, they wouldn't even do the others but if you'regonna have a phone number on the page then it should be linked.
And then you know one otherthing we can look for, is if we examine thiswe can see if they have schema markup, and it doesn'tlook like this has any schema markup, and Icould of course run this through a schema markuptool and see if they have it but it doesn't look like they do.
So one other thing to takethis page to another level, is to add some schema markup to this some structured data.
I would consider addinga video to this page you can put it above the foldwhich would then help you increase dwell time, help youbuild a relationship quicker with prospects, and it helpsyou differentiate yourself from other attorneys because, most of them probably not going to have videos.
So having a really high quality video that explains your unique valueproposition and the results that you've gotten for yourclients, is a pretty big deal.
So I mean, it helps froman SEO perspective to.
So that's one thing and thenif we look at just the general keyword placement and density, we'll look at Chicago there, there's some challenges here.
So first of all puttingChicago car accident lawyer and then putting Chicago fall down lawyer.
You're starting tocannibalize the primary key, we're targeted of this pagewhich is just personal injury so you wanna keep thisvery very structured and very specific to whateverthat primary target is, so I would avoid talkingabout these other things especially using a geotargeted modifier like that.
So you'd want to useChicago fall down lawyer or Chicago car accidentwhere on those pages instead of starting to place them here 'cause now we're starting to get into some murky water, with that.
so we wanna keep everythingextremely targeted that's really important.
And then this is just kind of, it's just stuffing keywords really and it's not necessary youreally only need to have your primary keyword target in the H1 tag, maybe in the first you know H2 tag and then just sprinkle in a couple times, but you don't you don't needto be this over optimized to rank and instead what youwant to do is focus on building an incredibly userexperience on this page, everything else will work out, and then of course youneed to acquire links the right way, so yeah justmaking a really great page for users and then placingyour keywords in the most important positions, is farmore important than just stuffing the same keywordmultiple times on the page.
So those are just a fewthings that I noticed right off the bat, now ofcourse you'd want to go page by page and you gothrough this same analysis of every single one but, as you can tell your own pageoptimization is much more than just placing keywordsin fact a lot of good on-page optimization is actually, restructuring pages andmaking them better for users and most importantly makingthem better for conversions.
So those are the sevenhigh impact SEO audit items you need to tackle ifyou want better rankings and more traffic foryour company's website or your clients websites.
So if you enjoyed thisvideo please like it hit the bell notificationand subscribe to my channel because you'll get first accesswhen I publish a new video just like this one.
and also if you haveany questions whatsoever please leave it below, thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in the next video.