We have just added a new service to for all new website builds, to help us stand out from the crowd. A free SEO checkup three-months after launch. This is not a health check as such, apologies if the featured image for this post misled you. We’d be reasonably confident that three month after launch your site will be in pretty good shape. This is an SEO checkup – a chance to take stock and look at the data gathered about how users have interacted with the site in that time.
There’s just enough data available in that time to provide an opportunity to assess trends and make calculated decisions. Also if you leave it any longer we believe you could miss out on valuable opportunities – or put out a fire!
There is some crossover with this post we wrote recently, 10 reasons why you should monitor your content on SERPS, however this new article differs in that it drills down to identify exactly where the value lies in the service.
So where is the value in this three-month SEO checkup…?
Checking content added since launch is optimised correctly
We provide a written handover with every website build – this is likely to detail how we have optimised any content for launch, so our clients can continue the process with any content they introduce after launch. Without wishing any disrespect, we’re likely to be more experienced in this practice and many of our clients appreciate the opportunity for us to review their work. We’ll highlight any issues and make recommendations as necessary.
Improving how your site is represented on the search engine results pages (SERPs)
Before we launch your site we always suggest you specify a site title (up to 55 characters) and meta description (up to 155 characters) to appear above and below the link to your homepage on the SERPs – for branded searches (as above for European Malt).
Once Google are aware of your website and content it should hopefully start to move towards the top of page one on the SERPS. Then you’ll be able to see the title and meta description you assigned. This can take time and it can involve more work.
In addition Google don’t always play ball – they may add a date in front of the meta description (as above) – or worse still on mobile a mobile-friendly disclaimer AND date (below) – which both reduce the number of characters available for your meta. It’s something you need to review regularly but take this opportunity to edit your meta description if required.
Understanding what organic traffic you are receiving and where improvements could be made
90 days of data from the Google Search Console, which we will have registered your site with on the day of launch, can provide valuable insight into how people arrive at your site organically – and much more. By that I mean we can see which search terms visitors have typed into Google and how many have clicked through to your site. We can also see how many times your content is returned on the SERPs for all search terms and what your average position for your content was on the SERPs. Hugely valuable stuff I’m sure you’ll agree.
One thing we always do is scan the whole search analytics report for keywords with a reasonable number of impressions – 50 plus ideally – and then check your clicks and average position. If the keyword is worth targeting and you’re not ranking well, then we can start thinking about how to improve the picture.
Analysing who may have linked to your website
You’ll probably be aware of the importance of backlinks – they are still recognised as the number one ranking factor. So influential they are it would probably be wise to keep a track of any links you have earned. There are various places to look for this information, the Search Console and Analytics reports will give you an idea – and ideally they’ll be linked – but you can use other tools such as Majestic who we’d argue have the market leading tool in this area.
Ensuring Google are aware of all the content you have published
The Search Console provides a report that shows how many pages of your site are indexed by Google, over time. Ideally the number of pages indexed here will match what’s returned when you add the following search into Google site:www.yourdomain.com (as above for Digital Davidson – 220 pages). You could go even further an enter your site into an independent crawler like Screaming Frog and check for the number of html pages indexed.
It’s worth keeping an eye on the Index Status report and if you notice significant dips in traffic you should investigate.
Whilst on this, if you do add new content you should let Google know. There are three simple ways to do this.
Use the Fetch as Google tool
It’s pretty straightforward, Search Engine Watch provided a detailed explanation recently.
Resubmit the sitemap
Click on Sitemap on the Search Console, assuming it’s been submitted previously, then hit the red Resubmit button top right
Identifying any issues with the content on your site
You should use the Search Console to check for Html and crawl errors from time-to-time. As we said in the intro we’d be reasonably confident that three months after launch all should be well!
Tracking how many people are coming to your site and what are they doing when they get there Google Analytics provides a vast amount of data about the people that visit your site (Audience data), how they got there (Acquisition data) and what they did when they arrived (Behaviour data).
At the very least you should be tracking the key Audience metrics, i.e. Sessions, Users, Pageviews, Average Session Duration etc – and if you’re creating new content or targeting visits to specific pages – the number of visits they receive.
You can drill down much further to understand more about the Demographics and Interests of your visitors, how they’re consuming your content and more, by accessing the individual reports in the Audience section.
You should be looking to edit or add to your content to improve each key metric, but really it’s not about quantity of traffic, but quality – and how that traffic is converting to your goals or objectives. But that’s another topic too huge in scope to get into here.
You should set up filters to filter out the spambots that are skewing your reports (as above).
If you’re interested in discussing a website build or a rebuild of an existing site then please do get in touch. We also provide monitoring and reporting services which may be of interest if you’re not looking to rebuild your site – but want to find out more about the traffic you’re receiving and how your content is performing.
Main image by Valelopardo