Was SEO Done Correctly For Your Website?
Search Engine Optimization can go a long way for local businesses if done correctly. After all, about 70% of users on Google don’t go past the first three results. While the service can be valuable for many businesses, not all agencies deliver on the promise of ranking your business website on the top results.
In this post, I’m sharing 5 things that you could personally check to audit the agency’s work, especially if you have been with them for over 6 months without seeing any real result. A major caveat is that time required to rank terms is largely dependent on the competition of those keywords. If the agency is working to rank your business nationwide, it’s reasonable for it to take a year.
There is one tool that may be helpful called Ahrefs that many SEO agencies use that will let you see things under the hood. There is a free trial available. Although there is a limit on how much data you can get, it should be enough to get a gist of things.
We’ll start with the simple things and build into the more technical aspects as we go along.
- Keywords appear in the title and text of the home page
This is a very obvious point, but it is one of the powerful aspects that you can control. Google scans websites by reading the titles, text, and pictures and tries to generate an idea of what the website is about.
If you’re a dental clinic but don’t have the word dentist and your city anywhere on the home page, consider implementing this right away. Let’s say you’re a dentist in Bethesda. Your home page should include “dentist in Bethesda” in the title and at least once within the text.
One caveat is to not repeat the keywords multiple times on the home page. This was an archaic method of SEO in the earlier days, but it has no effect and could appear “spammy” to Google.
- Name, Address Phone numbers match on the website with the information available on Google
Another simple point, but it’s critical that these information match on Google. Let’s say it doesn’t match on Yelp. You can simply log in to Yelp and edit the information as necessary. Checking through every major business listings of your business can be tedious, but it is important that this is done correctly.
There are services available to take care of the edits for you. Bright Local is one that can do the job at an affordable price.
- Sitemap is available throughout the website.
Search for “sitemap” on your website by using the Ctrl+F function. Typically, this is found in the footer.
This is important for Google to see to understand how your website is structured. It helps Google read through the different pages of your website to create a better context.
If you don’t have this in place, instructions on how to do this vary depending on how your website was built. For WordPress users, you can follow this simple guide.
- Backlinks are relevant to your business and industry.
Now, we are getting into the technical aspects of SEO and our tool from Ahrefs will come in handy.
Backlinks, in short, can be described as the websites pointing to your business website. Google reads the context of each backlink, including the title, the text, images, and any other links associated to that source. This helps Google understand the context of your website and deliver to the appropriate search engine users.
Once you log in to Ahrefs, type in your website in the search bar.
On the left side, click “Backlinks” and it will show you all the ones that were detected by this tool.
Some questions you need to ask when auditing these backlinks include:
Are they relevant to my industry?
Are they relevant to my area or region of service?
Are they from reliable resources?
So if you’re a dental clinic, you should see several instances of “dentist” or “dental” throughout your list of backlink sources.
If you find that there are large numbers of websites that have no relevance to your business, that is a sign that proper SEO techniques are not being applied. Take a look at the dates to see if they happened during the time your agency started to service you.
While these may not necessarily be harmful and keep your site from ranking at the top, they definitely do not serve any good purpose.
Here is a great example of a dental clinic ranking well for their city, and we see that its backlinks are very much related to dentistry. This allows Google to understand that this is a dental related website located in Bethesda, MD.
- Anchor texts are relevant to your business and industry.
Using the same tool, click on Anchor Text on the left side of the website. Anchor texts are the words that are hyperlinked to point to your website. Similar to backlinks, they should be relevant to your business and the services you provide.
Here is a case of great anchor texts that are highly focused on a specific industry and location. Having a focused set of anchor texts allows Google to better understand the context of your website as well.
Another point to look out for is if there are any repeats that have no relation to your business. For example, “Nike Flynit Sale Sneaker” is seen repeatedly when your business serves auto repair services. These also don’t serve any good purpose for ranking your site to the top on Google.
One reason as to why this may have happened is that an archaic method of SEO is being implemented. The internet is growing every day, and Google changes its algorithm for the search engine to ensure it provides a quality experience for its users.
There are plenty of other aspects that need to be audited for a website to rank to the top, but these are the core pieces that I look for to help me built the best strategy going forward. Making your backlinks specific to your terms related to target keywords will do wonders in helping your site rank. If you are interested in receiving an SEO audit for your business website, sign up below!