Today you will learn how to analyze a website for SEO, without using a single tool!
In my opinion, there are four main pillars, on which every great website should step on:
1. Quality content;
2. User-friendly and well-organized website layout;
3. The strong online presence and established traffic strategies;
4. Search engine optimization, more famous among onlinepreneurs as SEO.
A four-leg table will fall without even one of its legs. The same will happen if a website misses one of the above pillars. Let’s say you create great content, visitors like how your site looks like, and you are trying to drive traffic towards it.
But if you don’t optimize your website for search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, you will not be able to rank well on their pages. Thus, you will lack visibility and lose the organic traffic, and your website will suffer.
Why is SEO so important?
Do you know how many visitors reach page 2 in Google, when they search for a specific keyword? Do you have a guess?
I will tell you – the “whopping” 5%! The basic math says that around 90 to 95% of the visitors never go to page 2 of Google!
This graph of Slingshot goes without saying, as on the horizontal line we have the respective position of the post on Google page 1, and on the vertical line we have the percentage of visitors clicking on it:
I hope it is crystal clear that if you want to see your website on page 1 or 2, you have to do SEO! This is extremely important if you’re going to develop online store or affiliate marketing blog.
There are different free and paid tools which will help you analyze your site. But in the next few minutes, you will learn how to do it without any external help, quickly and easy. All you need is to audit your pages and posts about a list of established SEO rules. Find below the list.
6 rules how to analyze a website for SEO
Rule #1 Your keyword should be in your title and the first paragraph
When you include the keyword, you want to rank on your title, and at the beginning of your text, you are telling search engines (SE) the topic you are focusing on your blog post.
For example, look at this post and see what is the keyword, I am chasing to rank?
Tip: Don’t stuff keywords in your text! If you do this, you will reach the opposite effect and SE will punish you. Leave the words falling naturally in the text. You don’t write to engines, but to live people!
Rule #2 You have to create meta title and meta description.
What do these two terms mean? You can also hear them as meta tags. Meta tags are HTML elements that submit information about a web page for SE and website visitors. Look at this example:
1. The upper arrow shows the meta title. This is the large blue link in Google. You will want to make it meaningful, short and attractive. It is imperative from SEO perspective, and you will want to include the keyword you want to rank. Don’t make it longer than 60 characters.
2. The middle arrow shows the URL of the specific post.
3. The bottom arrow indicates the meta description, which is a short message that describes the website content. This snippet appears under your page’s URL in the search results.
Translated into the language of the customer – the snippet and the meta title are the first two elements that a visitor will see from your website. You want to make a great first impression, aren’t you?
Write catchy, captivating sentences! And short, as well, as SE give us limited space. They sometimes change the length rules.
For example, at the moment of writing this post (March/2018), Google limits the search results snippets to a maximum character length of 320 characters.
It is good to check periodically for any changes, to meet the requirements.
Meta description not part of Google ranking algorithm, but still plays a significant role for your website success. The compelling message makes visitors more willing to click, open pages and spend time on your site, improving your metrics.
Search engines consider your content as relevant and reward you with better ranking.
Look at this short video about meta tags:
Rule #3 You have to include internal and external links in your blog post
1. When readers click on an internal link, they go to another page of your website;
2. When readers click on an external link, they go to another site.
Search engines love when you have links to your posts. Interrelated content is all about covering a specific niche. Internal links help your site building authority and relevancy.
The external links, leading to trustworthy sites like Wikipedia, reciprocally bring back trust to your website, as well.
Tip: Try to create at least one internal and one external link per post.
Rule #4 Insert Alt tags, in all images you upload in your blog post
Each image, uploaded in a post, has its SEO title. It is called Alternative text or Alt text, as shown in the picture below:
Did you know that search engines index not only text but images? That is why, you will want to fill in the alt text of each image, you upload, as SE will need it to index your media content.
Tip: You can include keywords in an alt text, but make it grammatically correct and logical, as readers will be able to see it when they hover over images. It has to be both SEO friendly and informative.
Rule #5 Embed a video in the post, if possible
Ideally, you will possess own video with relevant content to the core topic, which you can upload on YouTube first, and embed from there in your post. You engage more with the readers, who will spend more time on your posts.
The bounce rate will decrease, and this will send a message to search engines that your content is relevant.
Tip: If you don’t have your video content, search on YouTube for quality public material on your topic, and embed it. A typical length is 2-5 minutes, as you don’t want to bother your readers.
Pay attention the video doesn’t belong to a direct competitor of yours, as you risk sending them traffic and sales.
If there is no appropriate video, you better leave it like it is, instead of uploading content just for the sake of having a video.
Rule #6 Make call to action, engage with your audience and receive comments
When you create content for your website, you don’t do it aimlessly. You have set your goals in advance. You may want to inform, help someone, answer a question, share your opinion, sell something – it could be anything.
To achieve your goals, you have to interact with your audience and be clear. If your messages reach the readers, is more likely they will comment on your post.
Why are comments good? They are another indicator for search engines that your content is relevant and attractive. This will affect better ranking.
An excellent way to ensure more comments from readers is to ask them to do it. Some of them will respond.
The most successful tactic to ask the audience is with a call to action (CTA). You have seen it many times – “click here,” “read this,” etc. It works, and you have to use it in your blog posts.
Let’s see the on-page SEO checklist
Well, these are six simple rules, which you could very easily follow, to improve your SEO, or analyze anyone’s SEO performance. Let’s see the checklist:
- Keyword in the title and first paragraph
- Meta title & Meta description
- Internal and external links
- Alt tags on images
- Video embedded
Keep this list in your head, or on your desk. Try to stick to it, next time when you create a blog post. To master that skill, you could open a few other websites.
Try with a few ones ranking well and some other that don’t. Quickly scan through them to see which of them are on page SEO optimized and to what extent. This will help you “build the picture” in your head what works well.
Does it mean Google page one?
I hope now you know how to analyze a website for SEO, without any tools! With that said, I would like to add two notes:
1. If a site has good on page SEO, it doesn’t mean that SE page 1 is automatically achieved! Nothing is far from the truth!
You remember – SEO is only one of the “legs”. A lot of other factors play a substantial role:
- How old is a website?
- How much content it has?
- What is the quality and relevancy of the content?
- What is the average length of the posts?
- What is the site speed?
- What is the website usability?
- How established your brand is?
- What is the competition level?
All I am saying is if all else being equal, the six steps checklist is crucial to a website’s performance on the search engines.
2. When you analyze the performance, following the list, you may take it from there and enhance the analysis, using SEO tools.
But most important is to TAKE ACTION! Your website’s SEO is in your hands!
I would love to hear from you! What SEO tactic do you (plan) to use? Leave me a comment, and I will answer you!
To your better SEO!