Wondering why your prospects don’t find you on Google, or why your website doesn’t generate traffic and leads like you thought it would? How about why your competitors seem to show up for coveted keywords above you in search results? These are good questions that you should have the answers to.
If you own or do marketing for a business, having the answers to those types of questions can drastically help to improve your presence online, and to get these answers, you need to conduct a comprehensive total online presence audit, and if you don’t have the time, hire somebody to do it for you.
Create a detailed report that shows you the highest priority issues for your business that you need to work on in order to boost your rankings and get found easier online.
Now, audits may vary depending on your business and industry, but generally, I recommend including the following areas within your report:
- Comprehensive Website Review
- Editorial content review
- SEO factors – on page and off page
- Social profile review
- Google My Business review
- Directory and citation review
- Online reputation review
- Competitive landscape
Once you conduct the audit, you’ll have a much better understanding of what efforts you need to focus on. From there, you can create a clear roadmap for yourself of top priority items moving forward.
This process may be intimidating to some, so to help get you on the right track, I’ve included what I look for in the audits I develop for clients, as well as some helpful tools I use to get to my conclusions.
On-page SEO analysis
When it comes to SEO, on-page ranking factors simply can’t be ignored. While conducting your audit:
- Start with the homepage – If you find issues on your homepage, odds are you’ll find issues throughout the rest of your website as well.
- Review your title tag, alt text, meta description, H1 tags, schema – Are they all keyword optimized and within their unique character limits?
- Identify local attributes when necessary – We’ll dive further into local SEO below, but if you have a local business, be sure to include your city or area you serve within your on-page attributes.
- Ensure your site is mobile optimized – Google penalizes businesses for not having mobile-optimized websites because they don’t provide good user experiences.
- Woorank  – Helps you to address SEO issues on your site and identify opportunities.
- Website Grader  – A free online tool that grades your site against key metrics like performance, mobile readiness, SEO, and security.
- METASEO Inspector  – Useful to inspect the meta data found inside web pages, usually not visible while browsing.
Local SEO – When relevant
If you’re primarily after local clients, make note of the following important local elements. If something is particularly bad or absent you might want to make it a priority.
- Google My Business listing – Having an optimized listing is a must for local search results.
- How many listings does the business have? People are often unaware that they have more than one listing, but it’s not uncommon due to some confusion around Google changes over the years. Ensure you only have one listing and that it’s the one Google thinks is yours.
- Is the category accurate? Be descriptive with the category. If you’re a lawyer, for example, instead of simply saying “law office,” explain the type of legal services you provide.
- Is the NAP accurate and consistent? Make sure your name, address, and phone number are accurate and match what’s listed on your website as well as other online citations and directories.
- Are there reviews? People trust reviews and the more 5-star reviews you have, the more likely people will be to click through to your website.
- Are there photos, posts, or videos? Humans are visual beings. Consider adding images of your products, services, staff, and basically anything else that would make prospects want to learn more.
- Citation profiles and inbound links – Make sure your business is listed across not only directories, such as Yelp, but also on local directories, like those that belong to your chamber of commerce and tourism associations.
- Local content – In addition to your regular content, be sure to include content that revolves around your area, events, local happenings, and so on, so that your audience is aware that you care about the community (this is also another way to alert Google where you operate).
Content and structure
Scan the homepage and main pages of your website and make note of any absence of the elements below. It’s not important that all exist, but most should.
- Does the homepage address a problem? Addressing a problem your audience experiences makes them feel like you understand what they’re going through and helps to build trust with them.
- Is the target audience identified? Your target audience should be clear so that they know they’ve landed on the right site.
- Are there trust, proof, and authoritative elements? These elements include quotes, client logos, association badges, testimonials, case studies, awards, and so on.
- Are there 300-400 words of copy on the homepage? Having substantial content on your homepage is good for SEO.
- Is there a blog? This is also good for SEO and educating your personas, which helps to establish you as an authority in your field.
- Do you use video on your site? There’s a reason YouTube is the second most visited search engine in the world (second to Google), and it’s because people love video and engage with it. If you don’t have it, consider adding it to your site.
- Do you use content upgrades and CTAs? It is imperative that you have lead generation opportunities throughout your website.
By using the tools mentioned below, you can get a good understanding of your backlink profile. These elements relate to off-page SEO ranking factors and will help you see where you lie on the digital landscape.
- What is your domain authority?
- How many inbound links do you have?
- How many linking root domains do you have?
- What are high priority keyword opportunities?
- How many indexed pages do you have?
- How much traffic do you have and where is it coming from?
- Ahrefs  – Ahrefs is a toolset for SEO & marketing running on Big Data. They cover backlink checking, competitor analysis, keyword research and more.
- SimilarWeb  – See website traffic and key metrics for any website, including engagement rate, traffic ranking, keyword ranking and traffic source.
- QuickSEO  – Fast & light weight SEO tool to analyze PageRank, Backlinks, Alexa Rank and other SEO metrics.
This section may not be as robust as other sections in this post, but it is just as important as the other areas of the audit, if not more so. It is so important to have a good understanding of what your top competitors are up to so that you can see how you compare, as well as identify areas you may be able to do better than they are.
- RivalIQ  – Social media marketing analytics with advanced competitive analysis, SEO, social reporting and content marketing tools.
Over the past decade, social media has become an important part of a business’s total online presence. Keep in mind, you don’t need to be on every social platform “just because.” You just need to be where your target audience hangs out online. In the audit, have answers to:
- What is the status of your [page on social media platform] branding, activity, and engagement?
- Are you present on all relevant social channels?
- Are social icons featured on your website?
- Facebook Pixel Helper  –The Facebook Pixel Helper is a troubleshooting tool that helps you validate your pixel implementation.
Managing your reputation online has never been more important. Be sure to develop a good understanding of the answers to the questions below:
- What is your reputation across Google, Yelp, and other relevant industry platforms?
- Does a search for your business name turn up an optimized snippet?
- Conduct a citation profile scan, especially of Google, Yahoo, and Bing
- Grade.us  – Grade.us is a robust review management software solution that will make your job SO much easier.
- AdviceLocal  – Help businesses show up in local search results with Advice Local’s business listing management software and solutions.
- Yext  – Check how your business appears online.
- Wappalyzer  – A cross-platform utility that uncovers the technologies used on websites.
- Loom Instant Video  – Quick videos, faster than typing.
- Zoom  – This is great too for presenting to client
- Google Analytics  – Google Analytics lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.
- ^ Woorank (woorank.com)
- ^ Website Grader (websitegrader.com)
- ^ METASEO Inspector (chrome.google.com)
- ^ Yext (yext.com)
- ^ BuzzSumo (buzzsumo.com)
- ^ Ahrefs (ahrefs.com)
- ^ SimilarWeb (chrome.google.com)
- ^ QuickSEO (chrome.google.com)
- ^ RivalIQ (rivaliq.com)
- ^ Facebook Pixel Helper (chrome.google.com)
- ^ Grade.us (Grade.us)
- ^ AdviceLocal (advicelocal.com)
- ^ Yext (yext.com)
- ^ Wappalyzer (wappalyzer.com)
- ^ Loom Instant Video (www.useloom.com)
- ^ Zoom (zoom.us)
- ^ Google Analytics (analytics.google.com)
- ^ Total Online Presence Audit (www.ducttapemarketing.com)