Performing an SEO Audit
Search Engine Optimization is a foundational strategy for any marketing plan, and the primary way to drive traffic to a website. Given this landing page:
- Part 1: I performed on an on-site audit to evaluate both head and tail keywords with tools such as MOZ Keyword Explorer, and recommend blog topics related to the keywords that I felt had the most potential.
- Part 2: I performed an off-site SEO audit where I audited the backlinks to the site using tools such as MOZ Open Site Explorer and SEMRush and made recommendations for a link-building campaign.
- Part 3: Using Pingler's Google Indexed Pages Checker, Google Page Speed Insights, Think with Google, I conducted site performance tests to identify more areas of opportunity for the site.
And lastly, based on all of my evaluations, I made three additional recommendations to improve the website from an SEO perspective.
Part 1: on-site audit
Through the MOZ Keyword Explorer, I identified the following keywords with the greatest potential:
- Online courses in digital marketing
- How do I run a facebook ad?
- How do I run an adwords campaign?
- How do I get a job in digital marketing?
- How do I get a job in social media?
- Digital Marketing
- Content marketer
- Social media manager
- Online Marketing
For the page Metadata, I recommend leaving the title tag as-is, since it is an accurate description of the page's content, unique, and brief (no more than 75 characters). However, the description tag is blank, so I suggest adding the following text, "Earn your Nanodegree in Digital Marketing with Udacity."
All of the image alt tags for this landing page were blank, so I suggest adding the following text for each image:
The following are my blog post recommendations using the insights from above:
"5 Facts That Nobody Told You About Udacity's Digital Marketing Course"
A fun piece that give Udacity an opportunity to evoke a sense of curiosity in the reader; with the ability to showcase key benefits of the program.
"The Best Online Courses in Digital Marketing"
When a prospect has reached the "desire" stage of their journey, they might be seeking comparison information. Purchasing an online course can be a significant investment, so by providing a blog post that compares the higher ranking Digital Marketing programs out there in one easy to find location, gives Udacity the added advantage of reciprocity.
"A Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager"
An educational piece that answers a commonly asked question, written in the context of how the Udacity Digital Marketing program can meet that need.
Part 2: off-site audit
Part 3: Performance
Any page that you want to drive traffic to must be indexed by a search engine in order to receive search traffic. A low index result number could be the result of poor site structure or a lack of links. Or, in the case of this landing page, there is an injection in the source code that instructs a crawler not to read the page.
<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow" />
First and foremost, a web page that is slow to load negatively impacts the overall user experience. Since search engines, specifically Google, values a good user experience, Google altered their algorithm in 2010 to consider page speeds—slower web pages will be ranked lower on search engine results pages compared to higher performing pages.
Evaluating page speed on a consistent basis is essential to ensure that page load times are still within an acceptable range to maintain a good user experience and an optimal search ranking. These factors can also impact conversion rate.
In 2015 Google announced that it would be placing more ranking consideration on websites with mobile optimization. More people are using search engines more from a mobile device vs. a desktop too, so the way that a result displays must maintain a good user experience in that content is displayed correctly, and that page load times are optimal (faster than a desktop).
First, I recommend populating all of the image alt tags with descriptive text, and I’ve included some examples of this on the slides above. Second, while reviewing the page's source code, I noticed that all of the stylesheet attributes appeared within the HTML of the page. Perhaps moving those style definitions over to an external stylesheet might prevent some of the optimization hiccups occurring on both desktop and mobile versions of the site.
And lastly, I would encourage the production of consistent blog posts dedicated to the topics, keywords, and potential search queries with links to this page (and maybe vice versa?) Links in these blog posts should be referenced in other articles discussing the program on influencer websites (such as the ones listed). Not only will the link building help SEO, but the creation of consistent quality content will alert crawlers that this is a fresh, frequently updated website worthy of attention.