Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a continuous process. It’s not a one-off activity. The moment you start relaxing your SEO efforts, your competitors may outrank you in no time. That is why entrepreneurs and business owners must analyze their SEO performance continuously. This article will talk about the types of SEO analysis and why they are essential to your business.
More often than not, companies are too excited when they rank high on Google’s first page and get carried away in the process. Unfortunately, this can make them lose their position in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) over time.
Take a deep breath and think of some websites ranking on Google’s first page on almost every keyword.
At some point, these websites dominated every search keyword, and they massively produced content for their audience.
However, some of these websites are now in the bottomless pit of Google search result pages due to several algorithm updates.
What happened to these websites was that they focused so much on ranking their website, but paid little or no attention to SEO analysis.
Read Also: Google SEO 22 – SEO Guide for Beginners
What is SEO Analysis?
Before we discuss the types of SEO analysis, let’s take a quick look at its definition. SEO Analysis evaluates your website to understand its optimization better and what can be done to improve its ranking.
The main focus of SEO analysis is to review the organic search performance of every piece of content on your website. During such a review, you are likely to identify opportunities to grow your website further.
However, a detailed SEO analysis goes beyond your website’s content. It analyzes your code, structure, offsite authority and gives you an SEO score.
Your website SEO score is necessary when carrying out a competitive SEO analysis, as it compares your brand’s web presence to that of your competitors.
Ideally, you should conduct an extensive SEO analysis before developing new SEO strategies. When creating a new approach, you can uncover loopholes and improve on them from the analysis.
Types of SEO Analysis
SEO analysis is not as severe as it sounds. If you are tech-savvy, you can do it yourself. However, if you think it’s too complicated for you, the Tycoono SEO team can conduct a comprehensive SEO analysis for your website.
But basically, there are 4 types of SEO analysis – On page, Off page, Technical SEO, and Competitor analysis.
In the next few sections, we will discuss these 4 types of SEO analysis and how to implement them on your website.
#1. On-Page SEO Analysis
On-page SEO analysis is the process of reviewing page-specific elements like title tags, headings, content, and internal links with keywords.
During on-page SEO analysis, experts look at the extent to which your content targets the right keywords, how well the content satisfies the search intent, the recency of the content, its conversion rate, and the new opportunities you can take advantage of through the content.
Here are some of the page-specific elements to pay attention to during on-page SEO analysis;
Page-Specific Elements to Pay Attention to During On-Page SEO Analysis
Content analysis is one of the major elements of the on-page analysis. And when you are analyzing your content, pay attention to the following areas;
- Be religious about search intent.
- Ensure that you use the right blend of primary and secondary keywords.
- Ensure that your content answers the right questions.
- Pay attention to creating content about relevant topics.
- Try to make your content as readable as possible. When your content is highly readable, it gets you enough engagement.
If you have created enough content on your website, you can start reviewing the existing content.
You can start by identifying possible pages to review. For instance, you should pay attention to those pages that get the most organic traffic. Optimize and update these pages so that search engine algorithms see them as recent pages.
Does Your Content Convert Traffic?
When analyzing your website content, don’t only focus on the number of people visiting the page. You should also check if your content is converting traffic.
It’s not enough to write amazing, expertly researched, and easy-to-read content. Your content should generate enough revenue and ROI through conversions. Otherwise, the whole essence of creating the content will be defeated.
Conversion could mean different things to different businesses. But some of the standard conversion metrics are; a free trial sign up, an e-commerce purchase, a lead magnet download, an event registration, a contact form inquiry, etc.
Try to set up your conversion goals in Google Analytics to help you track the number of visitors your content has converted over time.
From your landing page report on Google Analytics, you will discover the number of people taking the desired actions.
During SEO analysis on your content, focus on pages with high traffic but low conversions. Determine what you can do differently to get more conversions from that page.
Check if Any of Your Older Content is Losing Traffic
Content marketers often tend to forget about their old content when they create new ones. But it’s not a good practice. It can make you lose a sizeable amount of traffic in the future.
It’s natural for older content to become outdated and slip over time. It’s called content decay in SEO practice.
But if you are proactive enough, you can prevent it from affecting your website’s performance.
You can manually review your Google Analytics or Search Console data to manage your decayed content or use any SEO tools.
But I prefer Google Analytics data, it may take time, but it will give you better results.
Carrying out SEO analysis on your content also considers the keywords your website is not ranking for in Google and other search engines.
In other words, you can analyze less competitive but high-volume keywords in your niche that you are yet to create content around.
You can use a good keyword research tool to discover new search terms that people target in your niche. This should be an essential aspect of your SEO and content strategy.
You can use any of these tools like Google search console, Ahrefs, ClickFlow, Hemingway, and KWFinder for SEO content analysis.
Analyze Your Page Titles
Analyzing page titles is one of the areas people don’t take seriously. It’s one of the most important on-page SEO ranking factors.
Ensure that every page on your website has a unique and well-optimized page title (meta title).
The better your page title, the higher your SEO score. So, ensure that your page title meets the following SEO criteria;
- The meta title should be less than 60 characters.
- Ensure that the primary keyword appears first in the title.
- Don’t repeat too many words, but the secondary keywords should come after the primary keywords.
- Use persuasive language to increase your click-through rates (CTR) on Search Engine Result Pages.
Once your page title meets the criteria mentioned above, it will positively impact your website ranking.
Don’t be confused; we are still discussing one of the types of SEO analysis – On-page SEO.
Evaluate Your Meta Descriptions
You also need to perform analysis on your page meta description. There’s a difference between meta titles and meta descriptions.
While meta title or tags is very limited, a meta description enables you to tell your audience what your content is all about. It’s an opportunity to give search engine users compelling reasons to click through your page.
Although meta description is not a direct ranking factor for the Google algorithm, it impacts the number of people who click on your web page in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
Search engines will often bold your meta description content if it matches the user’s search query. And this could increase the click-through rate of your website.
So, try to include your primary keywords in your meta description. The best practice is to keep it below 160 characters; otherwise, SERPs will cut off part of the meta description’s content.
Analyze the H1 Website Headings
The H1 heading on your web page is one of the essential on-page SEO and ranking factors. Your page tends to get a ranking advantage on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) when you optimize the headings properly.
As a rule, ensure that your H1 tag adhere to the following best practices during SEO analysis;
- Try to include your primary keyword
- Keep your headings between 20 to 70 characters.
- Ensure that you use only one H1 tag per page.
Pay Attention to Your Images
You may not know this, but the image is one of the best ways to optimize your content for search engines.
For instance, if you include your target keywords in the image, it will improve the topical relevance of your webpage. It will also rank your image in Google Image Search, getting you more traffic.
Try to pay attention to the following elements whenever you carry out an SEO analysis on your image;
- Image ALT tag
- Image filename
- The Image title attribute
- Image metadata
When you optimize these locations for your images per keyword, it increases the SEO score for your content and ranks better for relevant search queries.
Analyze Your Internal Links
Internal linking is an important SEO factor that can improve your search engine rankings and user experience.
When you use internal links proactively, it makes people spend more time on your website. And this will make the search engine algorithm rank your page high on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).
When carrying out SEO analysis on your page internal links, ensure that they meet the following requirements;
- Every page receives at least one contextual internal link. It prevents all your pages from becoming orphans and not being discovered by search engine crawlers.
- Ensure that your most important pages get an average of 7 internal links from other related pages.
- If there’s any keyword you want your page to rank for, the anchor text for internal links in that page should include 3 to 4 different keywords you want the page to be discovered for.
- Ensure that the anchor text of every internal link is not a duplicate of the keywords.
When you pay attention to the following areas, you can avoid the likelihood of over-optimizing your page for internal links.
#2. Technical SEO Analysis
Technical SEO analysis is the process of reviewing the technical aspects of your website’s SEO. Generally, technical SEO analysis checks your website’s health and determines what you need to do to improve your website.
The goal of the technical SEO audit is to ensure that search engine bots or crawlers can efficiently crawl, index, and navigate your website.
Technical SEO is one of the fundamental ranking factors. Frequent technical SEO audits on your website help give your audience an excellent page experience.
Check out: 6 Industries that Benefits From SEO the Most
How to Conduct a Technical SEO Analysis on Your Website?
There are specific steps you need to take when you decide to conduct a technical SEO audit on your websites. Here is a step by step process to conduct a thorough SEO audit on your website;
Start by Crawling Your Website
The first step in technical SEO analysis is to crawl your website. You can use specialized SEO tools like Semrush, Spyfu, or Deepcrawl.
Once you crawl your website, do the following;
Remove Duplicate Content
If there are duplicate pages on your website, try to remove them. Otherwise, they will waste your crawl budget.
You can use several tools to find duplicate pages on your website. But I recommend Screaming Frog.
How do you know if there are duplicate pages? Don’t worry; you can easily spot them. They usually have similar title and meta description tags.
So, try to remove as many duplicate pages as possible. But if you think it’s necessary to use them, block them from search engine bots.
Try to disallow these pages from being indexed. This will help you to save on the crawl budget.
Provide URL Parameters
Providing URL parameters is important when search engines crawl your website. Sometimes, search engines may crawl the same page on your website twice.
But when you add URL parameters to the Google search console, it notifies Google crawlers that they are crawling the same page, not two of them.
Not fixing redirects on your web pages could exhaust your crawl budget. That is because every redirect Google crawler follows is a waste of your crawl budget.
Furthermore, if you have several 301 and 302 redirects on your website, Google crawlers may stop following them. And this is not good for SEO.
So, to better optimize your crawl budget, try to reduce the number of redirects on your website during technical SEO analysis.
Search for Your Website Manually on Google
You can also search for your website manually on Google to see if it appears on search results. So, visit www.google.com and type “site:domain name,” and search to see the result.
This will help you know your website pages appearing in research results. Sometimes, when your pages are not showing on Google search results, it doesn’t mean that your website is not crawlable.
But it will give you an idea of what is possibly wrong and what you can do to fix it. That is the whole essence of technical SEO analysis.
It’s also important to check your website’s overall SEO score. The score is rated 100, and it shows what you are doing wrong and areas that need improvement on your website SEO.
You can use SEO Site Checkup to determine your SEO score. It’s easy, just put in your website URL, and the process will complete itself.
When you check your SEO score, you will know which content is performing in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
You can identify broken links and coding errors during your SEO score check. You can also determine whether sitemap and robots.txt are available for your website.
#2. Review Sitemap
Your website sitemap is a file that contains information about your website pages, videos, and other files on your website. It shows the relationship between all the pages, content, and files on your website.
Google bots read your sitemap so that they can crawl your website more efficiently. So, it’s essential to review your sitemap during technical SEO analysis.
When reviewing your sitemap, ensure that it meets the following criteria;
A good sitemap should be free of errors. Check for redirects and URLs that could prevent indexing and remove them.
Search engines may ignore your sitemap if you fail to remove these redirects and URLs. And this isn’t good for your SEO.
As a rule, your sitemap should be concise. The more concise your sitemap is, the more likely Google will crawl it. There’s no way Google will crawl your sitemap if it has more than 50,000 URLs.
So, try to keep your sitemap short and ensure that you include all the essential pages on your website.
Again, you need to add your most recent content to your sitemap. It makes the search engine bots discover your new content faster.
Register Your Sitemap on Google Search Console
It’s essential to register your sitemap on Google as it helps the search engine giant to be aware of your sitemap.
You can either do it manually or specify its location in the robots.txt file.
#3. Check the Browseable Versions of Your Website
This is an essential aspect of your technical SEO analysis. As a rule, ensure that only one version of your website can be browseable.
When your website has a different version, it’s bad for SEO. It tends to send mixed signals to search engines. And this will confuse crawlers because they don’t know the correct version.
If your website has many versions, search engines won’t know the version to show people. Unfortunately, this could really affect your search engine ranking.
So, during technical SEO analysis, try to check the different browseable versions of your website.
Browseable versions could be desktop versus mobile or HTTP versus HTTPS version. During your technical SEO audit, ensure that you harmonize every version of your website into one.
#4. Test Your Website Speed
Your website speed is an important aspect of your website SEO. When your website is too slow, people won’t be patient enough to load. This will lead to a high bounce rate, hurting your search engine ranking.
So, try to conduct a speed test on your website during your technical SEO analysis. The faster your website speed, the lower the bounce rate.
Google now considers your website speed as a ranking factor. So, it’s essential to check your site speed and ensure that it loads faster. You can use the Google PageSpeed Insights to test your website speed.
Google PageSpeed Insights shows you how fast your website is loading compared to other websites. And if the speed is below expectation, the tool will show you how to improve it.
#5. Check HTTPS Content
A 2018 report by RankRanger revealed that about 70% of results on Google’s first page are all HTTPS. So, it’s important to use HTTPS on your website, and if you already have it, your technical SEO analysis should consider some of the common HTTP issues.
Some of the common SEO issues to pay attention to are
- Links, canonicals, and redirects
- Mixed content
#6. Use Google Analytics to Compare Your Site Metrics
Ensure that your Google Analytics report captures accurate live data. Most times, you won’t get an accurate report if the code is installed incorrectly. And such issues will be revealed during the technical SEO audit.
So, check for the tracker code for Google analytics and ensure that it’s placed above the header of each web page.
Once this service is up, you can easily check the data against the results you get when using the command “site:domain name” on Google search.
The number of pages you get from the search results should be similar to what you have on Google analytics reports.
If the number isn’t the same, it indicates that some of your web pages are not accepting crawl requests properly.
At all times, it’s crucial to work towards reducing your bounce rate. When the bounce rate on your website is too high, it gives search engines the impression that people aren’t finding what they are looking for on your website.
It can actually affect your ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
#7. Do a Backlink Audit
Backlinks are essential SEO ranking factors. They give search engines the impression that your website is valuable.
During backlink audits, you need to look beyond hyperlinks in offsite SEO. Try to know what’s happening on and off your website because search engine bots also check your website for brand mentions.
#8. Recrawl Your Website
After fixing all the issues identified during the technical SEO analysis, you can ask Google and other search engines to recrawl your website.
This step helps you ensure that the technical changes you made on your website have been implemented.
So, visit Google Search Console, go to crawl, and click “Fetch as Google.” Ensure that you enter the URL you want to recrawl before clicking on Fetch.
Once Google crawlers fetch your page, click on submit to index. This action will request Google to recrawl your page.
#3. Backlink Profile Analysis
Backlink analysis is one of the most critical SEO analyses. It focuses on reviewing all the links from other websites pointing to your website.
The objective of backlink profile analysis is to understand the following;
- If harmful links are affecting your website SEO.
- When and why people link to your content.
- Where you might find new link-building opportunities.
You can’t carry out a successful backlink profile analysis without software. So, you can use tools like MOZ SEO or Ahrefs to find your website’s backlinks.
Generally, here are four things to analyze during backlink profile analysis;
During backlink profile analysis on your website, you should pay attention to anchor texts. Anchor texts help your backlinks to appear very natural in your content.
For instance, if you are targeting a keyword like – SEO Agency in New York, and every backlink anchor on your website is an SEO agency in New York, it may raise a red flag and make Google penalize your website.
As a rule, take a careful look at your websites’ top pages, their top links, and anchor texts; ensure that they vary and appear naturally on your web pages.
You can use branded anchors, generic anchors, or Naked URLs.
The more relevant a backlink is to your website, the more value it will give. According to John Mueller from Google, backlinks relevant to your niche are superior to the volume of backlinks.
In other words, focus on quality backlinks, not quantity. One powerful and highly relevant link is better than 100 irrelevant links in the algorithm’s weighting.
Funnily, it’s a bit tricky to measure backlink relevance. But check the keywords the website is ranking for before getting a backlink from them.
For instance, if you build links to a digital marketing page and the linking domain ranks for several digital marketing-related keywords, such a backlink is highly relevant.
But it’s an irrelevant backlink if you build links to a digital marketing page, and the linking domain ranks for several keywords relating to roofing maintenance.
Authority and Traffic
The linking domain authority and traffic can also impact the strength of your website backlinks. Domain authority is your overall domain score ranging from 0 to 100.
While 0 is the weakest, 100 is the strongest. Again, links from lower domain authority and fewer traffic websites aren’t harmful to your website, just that the links are weak.
#4. Competitor SEO Analysis
Competitor SEO analysis is an essential aspect of SEO audit. It involves checking your competitive landscape online, evaluating your SEO competition, and using the information you get to boost your website SEO and improve your rankings.
When you do your SEO competitor analysis correctly, you can create more relevant, targeted, and better content that will rank high on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
But before you can outrank the SEO competition in your niche, you need to first know your real search competitors and the keywords they are ranking for.
How to Find Your SEO Competitors?
Before you conduct a competitor SEO analysis, you need to find your competitors. And your SEO competitors may not necessarily be the same players as your business competitors.
SEO competitors are websites that rank for the same organic search queries you are competing for. Therefore, you may have several SEO competitors because they differ from topic to topic.
But before you publish or optimize any page on your website, it’s vital to know who you are competing with and what you are competing for.
You must be very thorough in this aspect of your competitor’s SEO analysis. There’s no room for guesswork. Use a good SEO tool to know your competitors.
When Should You Conduct a Competitor SEO Analysis?
Your SEO performance doesn’t work in isolation, and it’s not static either. Whatever data you get from your website SEO is relative to your competition.
Unfortunately, SEO generally is very competitive these days. The search engine algorithms are changing, and the competition is getting more intense daily.
And there’s somebody out there working tirelessly to outperform or outrank your website in search results.
When it comes to SEO, you can’t take your foot off the gas. Otherwise, you will find your website in the bottomless pit of Google search results.
But when you analyze your competitors regularly, you will know your website performance and what you can do to improve your ranking on search engines.
The following events and situations will always make you conduct a competitor SEO analysis;
Ideally, you should conduct a competitor SEO audit before writing any content on your website. It will guide you to write high-quality content that answers users’ search intent better than your competitors.
Before you plan your website content, it’s essential to check out what your competitors are doing.
Once you understand what your competitors are doing, you can put your unique spin on it and develop great content that will gain relevance and visibility on search engines.
You can determine what you need to do to outrank your competitors for a particular keyword from your competitor SEO analysis.
After a Sudden Ranking Drop
When you notice that some of your competitors suddenly outrank you in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP), you need to conduct a competitor SEO analysis to determine what they are doing differently.
If Your Page is Stagnating in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)
There are instances when some of your pages will stagnate in the Search Engine Result Pages. A good competitor SEO analysis will help you unravel the reason for such stagnation and optimize the pages accordingly.
In a nutshell, a competitor SEO audit helps you know the kind of content your competitors are publishing, the keywords that drive the most traffic to them, how they are building their backlinks and where they are getting them, and how you can compete with them.
A thorough competitor SEO analysis is a perfect opportunity for new ideas. But if you already know your competitors, here are some of the areas you should focus on in your analysis;
Top Organic Keywords
When conducting a competitor SEO audit, you need to analyze their top organic keywords. To do this, you will need SEO tools like MOZ SEO or Ahrefs.
These tools will help you uncover the keywords that drive the most organic traffic to your competitors’ websites.
From this analysis, you can tell how valuable their traffic is and how easy or difficult it will be to compete with them.
A content gap analysis will help you spot search queries where your competitors have a presence in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP), but you don’t have a presence yet.
With this analysis, you can develop several content ideas to compete favorably with your competitors in SERPs.
SEO analysis is as important as your website SEO itself. And when you decide to conduct it, ensure that it’s comprehensive. It should include content, technical, backlinks, and competitor’s SEO analysis.
But if you think the whole SEO analysis stuff is too complicated for you to handle, the Tycoono SEO team can help you conduct a comprehensive SEO analysis on your website.