It’s simple – to be successful, a business has to be accessible to clients. Today, websites are a key way to get your business’s name out there to prospective clients, and SEO is an important practice for any advisor to increase online visibility and traffic to your site. If you have a website, you should be executing some SEO tactics. If you’re doing this, it’s now time to do regular SEO audits to see what’s working and what’s not working.
Even in the beginning stages of your SEO strategy, audits are extremely helpful and important. The earlier you start, the earlier you can begin to keep up with it. SEO audits are essentially a check-up on your site to see what’s working, and more importantly, what needs to be tweaked. Doing these audits regularly is a great habit to get into and can help take your SEO strategy to the next level. Here’s a checklist of what to look for and some of our favorite tools to keep audits nice and easy.
What to Check For in Your SEO Audit:
We put together a checklist that will ensure you look through everything that could affect your SEO strategy. Broken links, outdated statistics, and lacking social media presence can all ruin the effectiveness of your SEO and are all things that need to be checked in on a regular basis!
1. On-page elements
Pretty much everything on your website from the overall look of your site to navigation, titles, heading tags, and use of keywords can affect the success of your rankings in search engines. Make sure you look through every page on your site to update anything that’s fallen behind or looks outdated.
As for keywords, there are plenty of tools to help find the best keywords to include. Google’s Keyword Suggestion Tool can generate lists of keyword ideas that will maximize the number of visits. It will tell you how competitive a keyword is, how many times the word is searched globally, and how many times the word is searched in your country. For advisors, we always recommend first focusing on local searches rather than global searches, and make sure you stay away from super competitive words!
Twenty Over Ten client, HCP Wealth Planning uses strong keywords on their homepage in the heading and subheading, so visitors know that this firm works with healthcare professionals.
Ensure that any images on your pages also include ALT text in case the picture doesn’t load. Your ALT text should describe the picture and contain a keyword relevant to your website. By making sure all images are properly tagged, you will not only increase the rankings of those images, but you will also increase the likelihood of receiving traffic from places like Google image search results.
2. Traffic Overview
Look at your website statistics using a service like Google Analytics, or other tools like Google Search Console to find out your search volume and rankings. Increased hits are typically good signs for your SEO strategy, but if your site is decreasing in organic traffic visits, you may want to switch gears.
Watch our webinar replay below on Google Analytics to learn the most important things to look for and how to find out what’s working.
3. Linking Strategy
Broken pages and links can come out of the blue, but nothing is more frustrating than clicking on something that leads to an error page! Scanning for broken pages and links regularly can prevent people from being brought to dead-end pages. Both internal and external links can change, so be sure to check them all. If you are having issues with 404 error pages be sure to set up 301 redirects before search bots begin to deindex (or remove) that page from search results.
The more you link within your own site, the easier it will be for search engines to find your site and send prospective clients your way. Every page on your site should have at least 2-3 internal links, so make sure to keep these updated!
Additionally, when you work to build strong external links, make sure that you are linking to a trustworthy and legitimate source. When you have a strong link-building strategy, then it will help you to:
- Increase Relevance
- Improve the value of your site
- Encourage backlinking and form relationships with other sources.
Also, don’t get forget about your internal linking strategy as this is an important part of helping users to navigate easily throughout your website. Including these also help you to rank higher and allows for search engines to more easily crawl your site. Twenty Over Ten client Trisulu Financial Planning includes a hyperlink in “My Speciality in Taxes” that then takes the visitors to the services page.
4. Outdated content
Statistics and other information are basically guaranteed to change over time. Performing ongoing optimization will ensure that internal and external links, information, and statistics are still correct and relevant in your content. You don’t want to steer your audience wrong with your content, so make sure to double-check all information!
5. utilize Social Media
Do you have Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? We hope so! Having social media accounts and keeping them updated is a must for any advisor. It’s not only important to be on social media, but it’s just as important to monitor and update your accounts frequently to stay in touch with your audience and make a name for your business. Check out our article with our tips for success on social media and to download a free editorial calendar to keep organized!
Make it easy for people to find you on social media by including buttons or icons to your social media accounts on your website. Create content that is worthy of sharing on social media, and make it easy to share straight from your site! In the example below Twenty Over Ten client, Wealth Management Midwest uses social icons for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter on their website so that visitors can easily access those platforms.
SEO Audit Tools to Help
One audit is better than none, but a good advisor will perform SEO audits at least twice a year to keep everything performing in tip-top shape. Using our checklist above every six months will help keep your website fresh, but we know this can be time-consuming. Some businesses keep a Google Doc or spreadsheet listing what needs to be checked and updated and the dates they aim to have it finished. As part of Twenty Over Ten’s SEO Essentials package we conduct an initial audit. However, if you are more of a do-it-yourselfer we’ve put together a list of some of the top free tools to help keep audits fast and simple!
Simply pop in your website URL and the SEOptimizer tool will generate grades based on your SEO, usability, performance, social, and security. From broken links to backlinks, header tags to ALT tags – they cover it all.
This tool gives you access to data you need for better link building research, smarter content ideation, and link prospecting. Link building is one of the most essential SEO strategies, and this guide will set you up for success.
Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider Tool will scan your site to find SEO issues that need to be fixed. The tool can find broken links, analyze page titles, discover duplicate content, assess your site architecture, and more!
Creating a free account with SEMrush can help you easily perform an SEO audit for your website or blog. It can find the most profitable keywords to include on your site, compare your performance to your competitors, and looks at your paid traffic and social media efforts.
This tool tracks and connects your marketing data to help you improve website traffic. You can easily check reviews, competitors’ performance, marketing efforts, keywords, and technical issues on your site all in one place.