SEO audit

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Conduct an SEO Audit with Lexie Kimball of Netvantage Marketing

Have you ever conducted an SEO audit for your website? If not, you should! However, if you’ve never done one before, you might be wondering how to get started… If you’re in that boat, there’s no need to worry! That’s exactly what we talked about in this week’s #ContentWritingChat.

And as always, our participants had some amazing advice to share. If you’re ready to turn your website into one that Google loves, keep reading for the valuable tips!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Conduct an SEO Audit for Your Website with Lexie Kimball of Netvantage Marketing

Our guest host this week was Lexie Kimball of Netvantage Marketing. Lexie is their account manager and she really knows her stuff when it comes to SEO! As a frequent #ContentWritingChat participant, it was great having her step into a guest hosting role.

Q1: Share the basic process you go through for an on-site SEO audit.

If you’ve never conducted an SEO audit before, you’ll need to know where to begin. To help you out, our chat participants shared some essential steps the process includes. Here’s what you need to know:

Lexie’s first step in conducting an SEO audit is keyword research. As she mentioned, the chosen keyword for a piece of content goes in page titles, meta descriptions, and body copy. The team at Netvantage also does a technical audit of the website to locate any red flags.

Michael, also from the Netvantage team, knows that chatting with your client first is a must. It’s important to understand their business and needs. He then suggestions moving on to keyword research, on-site recommendations, and implementation of changes.

Mallie starts by Googling the site, using analytics to identify keywords, and then she looks at specific pages.

Sarah and the team at ThinkSEM start by running the site through Screaming Frog before moving forward with other key steps.

SEMrush is a go-to tool for Sarah! She takes the tool’s suggestions into consideration.

It’s also important to have an understanding of your goals/your client’s goals and who the target audience is. From there, you can create an effective plan.

For Julia, she feels talking to the client is the first step. This allows you to outline solid KPIs you’re judging content by when auditing. From there, she also likes to use Screaming Frog to grab all site links.

Q2: Where do you start with keyword research?

When it comes time to conduct keyword research, where do you begin? Check out this great advice from Tuesday’s chat:

To get started with keyword research, Lexie knows it’s important to talk to the client before beginning. Because the client has plenty of knowledge on their business, they’re able to provide some great suggestions for keywords. She also suggests looking at competitors to see which keywords they’re using and ranking for.

A consultation with the client is a must for Sarah! Sarah and her teammates use that opportunity to question the client on their ideal audience, products, and services.

Michael knows it’s helpful to ask the client to provide a list of keywords that are high priority. After all, they likely have a good idea of which ones are best for their business.

For Ray, it all starts with interviewing the client. Then, he moves onto tools like Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner.

Dennis knows it’s important to define which keywords you want your site to rank for. You can then record your current ranking for each one and watch it grow.

Mallie relies on Google AdWords and Google Analytics to get started.

Abbey, another Netvantage team member, also agrees that asking your clients for keyword suggestions is a great way to begin. From there, she likes to look at queries in Google Search Console.

Adam’s advice is to review popular forms and sites where customers are spending their time online. It’s a great way to see what they’re talking about and to determine the right keywords and topics to use.

Cheval recommends checking out Twitter chats for content topics. This can help a lot when it comes to your keyword research.

Q3: What tools do you use for keyword research?

Fortunately, there are a plethora of tools at our disposal that can help with keyword research. If you’re looking for some great ones to use, check out these suggestions:

Lexie said the Netvantage team turns to Google’s Keyword Planner first. They also rely on SEMrush and Grep Words.

Michael said the multiplier function in Google’s Keyword Planner is a huge help for finding the right keyword for your content.

Even the Flying Cork team says Google’s Keyword Planner is a great place to get started.

Sarah provided a list of amazing tools that are worth checking out! As she said, there’s no shortage of tools so you have plenty of options to find the ones that work best for you.

Google’s tools and the Moz Keyword Explorer are great options!

The team at Base Creative also love Google’s Keyword Planner and the Moz Keyword Explorer.

SEO PowerSuit and Google’s Keyword Planner are go-to tools for Kyle.

Julia’s favorite tools for conducting an SEO audit include SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Mangools.

Don’t forget you’ll need a place to keep all of your data organized! An Excel spreadsheet is a great way to do that.

Q4: Once you have your keywords, how do you decide where they go and where they’re used?

You’ve got your keywords… Now what? You need to figure out how they’ll be used. Here’s some helpful advice to get you started:

Lexie said they typically select two or three keywords per page. As she also pointed out, they need to go on the most relevant page.

Those keywords are then used in a few essential places. Keywords should be used in the page title, meta description, and throughout the body copy.

Sarah said the client conversation is an opportunity to lay out a sitemap of pages and sections. You can then get chosen keywords to fit into that structure.

Julia’s advice is to focus on one long-tail, high-opportunity keyword per long-form post. She suggests using synonymous keywords.

Kyle knows that long-tail keywords are where it’s at! He makes sure they’re integrated into titles and content of blog posts.

Dennis suggests finding long-tail variants of your keyword and then writing authoritative and comprehensive blog posts on the topic.

As Abbey said, make sure keywords are placed on the most relevant pages. And of course, no keyword stuffing! Keywords should always be used in a natural way.

Q5: Do you create the content the keywords go in on the website?

Are you the one who creates the content that includes your chosen keywords? Or does someone else have this task? Check out what some of our chat participants said:

Lexie said the team at Netvantage will work off existing content if possible.

On the flip side, sometimes they add a paragraph or two to what’s already on the site. This helps increase content length. In some cases, they’ll recommend new pages for the website when doing the SEO audit. The Netvantage team will then create the content for those pages.

Here are Express Writers, Julia writes a lot of the keyword-focused content on our site. We also have a team of 40 writers that help out!

For Sarah, she isn’t the one doing the content writing. There are other team members at ThinkSEM that step into that role.

As for this Sarah, she’s definitely creating the content!

The Sandbox team creates new content, but they also rework the existing content for maximum results.

Jade also writes the keyword-focused content, as working directly with the clients is very important.

When doing an SEO audit, sometimes you’re lucky to create the content and other times you have to optimize what’s already been published. It just depends on the client!

Q6: What technical aspects do you look at for a website when doing an audit?

Don’t forget that it’s not just about the website’s content. There’s a technical side of things to check on as well. Here’s what else you need to look for:

As Lexie said, Google definitely puts an emphasis on speed these days. The Netvantage team uses Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom for this.

She also said they use Google Analytics as another tool. This allows you to check Average Page Load Time and Average Page Download Time.

You can’t forget to also check for canonical errors when conducting an SEO audit.

Abbey seconds that by encouraged you to check for canonical errors on a website, as well as site speed. Make sure you’re also looking at whether or not it’s mobile-friendly and if there’s duplicate content.

As Michael said, you’ll want to check for sitemap errors and others. They’ll need to be fixed!

Dennis knows that page speed and mobile-friendliness are two important factors to consider these days.

Jade relies on Google’s Speed Page Insights to test page speed. Google also has a test to check and see if your site is mobile-friendly.

Debi knows there’s no shortage of technical aspects to look at. She provided a great list of things to review.

Q7: What metrics do you look at to evaluate a website?

Which metrics are important to keep an eye on when evaluating a website? These are some of the top ones to watch:

The Netvantage tame uses Majestic to with a few key metrics during an SEO audit. They look at the number of linking domains to the root domain, as well as citation flow and trust flow of the homepage of the website.

Moz Open Site Explorer allows you to check domain authority and homepage authority.

As Lexie said, looking at domain authority helps determine if the site has bad links that need to be disavowed.

Michael suggests looking at URLs submitted vs URLs indexed.

Dennis recommends tracking metrics from organic search.

Julia shared the seven KPIs she always focuses on. Check it out!

Q8: How do you stay up-to-date on the latest SEO changes?

When changes occur, how do you stay updated? These are great resources to check out:

Lexie’s go-to sources are worth checking out.

These are some more great suggestions from the Netvantage team.

Ray follows some SEO blogs, but he also watches expert YouTube channels to stay updated.

Cheval turns to SEMrush for their blog content, but he also learns a lot from Twitter chats.

As Jade said, you just might learn a think or two from joining #ContentWritingChat!

Natasha suggests a wide array of ideas such as blogs, forums, social media, seminars, and more.

Ready to join the fun? #ContentWritingChat takes place every Tuesday at 10 AM Central! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to join in!

julias free facebook group cta

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