A successful SEO program doesn’t just bring traffic to your website. It will bring the right type of visitors, ones that are interested and willing to invest in your products or services. The goal of an SEO program is to increase your brand’s online visibility within specific topics to expand brand recognition and reach new customers. You likely already have some sort of SEO strategy in place, but if you don’t and do decide to use an SEO program, keep in mind that it can take anywhere from 6 months up to a year to actually see developments in online visibility. But the good news is you do not have to wait a year to understand if your SEO program is succeeding or failing. Continuous efforts will help bring perpetual results and checking the health of your SEO program will help you stay ahead of problems that could have been prevented.
How do you know if your efforts are paying off? Here are some quick ways to check if the health of your SEO is in tiptop shape!
Check for Broken Links
There are many tools that will check to see if there are any broken links on your website. A broken link, whether internal or external, can actually hurt your SEO. If one week a particular link is working fine, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be broken the next. Sometimes you can’t control this, so it’s best to check every month to be sure everything is working. Sites like Broken Link Check and Dead Link Checker can do this for free, making it an easy one to quickly check and fix.
Pay Attention to Site Speed
Paying close attention to site speed is something to be aware of because it may be a ranking factor and a potential annoyance for visitors. Google Page Speed Insights can be very helpful with tracking your score. Combine that with the site speed data from Google Analytics to see if your website is getting faster. Also, use Pingdom Tools to check loading times on specific pages. These simple tasks could help you realize what any problems might be with your SEO score.
Check Your Robots.txt
This might seem intimidating, especially if you don’t have experience in coding. But it’s actually easier than you think to make sure your website has robots.txt setup properly. A robots.txt file is something that every website should have for good SEO. There should be no major disallows, meaning that the Google bots might not be able to index certain pages on your website. All you have to do is type in “robots.txt” after your domain name.
For example: yourdomain/robots.txt
After you type your website name, followed by robots.txt into the Google search bar, you will likely see a list of areas where crawlers are not allowed to index. You would then have to make sure you don’t have any SEO problems, which means making sure there is nothing you want crawled that isn’t being crawled.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
Sometimes a large percent of the traffic to your website might be coming from mobile phones. So it’s important to make sure your users have a good mobile experience. Searchmetrics and SEMRush both give you an excellent overview of mobile traffic and Google Analytics can segment data by device. Whether your website gets a small number of mobile users or not, it’s always important for your site to be mobile-friendly. So make sure to keep an eye on the pages that drive the most mobile traffic and monitor ranking.
Check for Crawl Errors
Checking to see if search engines can crawl your website is simple to do with Google Search Console. If search engines cannot crawl your website, you will get no organic traffic. Most people assume that if you didn’t have a crawl error to begin with then your website is safe, but this is not always true. If, for example, someone changed something on the backend of your website or you had a minor hack, there might be errors you didn’t know existed and this could cause your ranking to decrease.
Measure Organic and Referral Traffic
It’s important to measure organic and referral traffic in your Analytics platform monthly and look for an upward trend in your search traffic. If your direct traffic is over 30 percent, then you have a problem with traffic attribution. You can use Google Search Console to generate a list of links to your site and it will show you the pages with the most links. You can also use Majestic, which will generate a list of links to your site but will group links by topic. Majestic will also track link velocity. Increasing a number of inbound links to specific pages will show you which content is unique and useful. Remember, the more links to more pages, the better your linking strategy is and the more links from similar topical websites, the more relevant your site is to that topic.