A routine check-up at the doctor’s office is something you need to do regularly. You feel healthy but you want to be absolutely sure your body is functioning as it should. Getting a site audit is just like going for a doctor’s check-up. A site audit needs to be conducted frequently to ensure your website’s health and check that everything is working properly.
On April 5th, SEJ Think Tank hosted a site audit webinar, which consisted of our team evaluating selected sites and giving out recommendations on SEO, content, and social media strategy. The live site audit was moderated by SEJ’s Chief Social Media Strategist Brent Csutoras and the panel included the expertise of our Founder, Loren Baker, Social Producer Caitlin Rulien, and Features Writer Anna Crowe.
Audited Sites and Recommendations
During the webinar, the panel gave their feedback on sites submitted for review then took questions live from the audience. To get the most out of the presentation, I highly recommend watching the full video.
This site ranks on top for grammar-related search terms. Our panelists identified a few issues and gave out recommended solutions:
- Parts of the site are secure (using HTTPS) but others are not (still using HTTP), particularly the internal links in the footer. This results in unnecessary 301 redirects. Changing these redirects to secure links can lead to less drain on the server, faster page and site loading time, and a uniformly secure website.
- Cross pollination of social media outlets is good but capitalizing on a variety of posts is even better. It’s occasionally good to have the same posts and images across all platforms, but don’t do this all the time. If people get the same information on all social media platforms, then they’d rather follow only one platform where they can get all the details they need.
- Don’t have a post go out just for the sake of having something to post. Make sure it’s applicable and relevant.
- Don’t publish related posts or posts with similar images too close to each other. Spread them out to avoid duplicate content.
This company dominates the kids’ labels space. Suggestions by our panelists include:
- Switching to HTTPS
- Checking for redirect chains
- Cleaning up meta titles and meta descriptions which cause duplicates and trailing slash URLs
- Creating the (missing) robots.txt file
- Social media icons should be above the fold, in the bottom footer, or somewhere on the home page so they can be found immediately.
- Don’t let your social media presence become a ghost town. Remove social media platforms (or links to it) if you don’t have the resources to keep it updated or if you find that your target audience isn’t using it.
- Create versatility in posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Crowdsource images or stories from customers then share these on your social media platforms to create trust in the community and encourage followers to interact with your posts.
GTM Payroll Services
This company provides payroll, tax, and other related services to household and business employers. Our panelists had these recommendations:
- Investing in content and tools that will lead to incoming links, social sharing, and value is great but hosting them on a sub-domain (which appears to be a secure set up for customers to log in) generates traffic to that sub-domain. Move the content and tools over to the main site to add more diverse link equity to it.
- Blog content is great but no pagination can be a sticky problem for search engines because of crawling inefficiencies and excessive duplicate content.
- Use page caching to reduce page load time and help high-traffic landing pages.
- Diversify your link portfolio and content marketing efforts by reaching out to mom blogs, family sites, early entrepreneur-style blogs, and work-from-home blogs.
- Retweet or reshare posts about or by clients to vary up the types of posts going out on social media platforms.
Yellow Pages Canada
Our panelists noted a few issues with this site:
- Most of this site’s ranking pages are on a sub-domain called nexthome. When searching for nexthome.yp.ca, a notice that the site has been hacked appears in the search results. It seems that the site’s corporate blog has been hacked since posts on the blog are spam content aiming to build black hat links. This may be caused by a WordPress installation that hasn’t been updated or a plugin that’s been compromised.
- In terms of on-page SEO, there are duplicate descriptions and meta titles. A lot of uppercase letters are also used in URLs.
- Social media links are tucked away
- About description on Facebook page is too long
- Need to share more from the hashtag used to create more awareness of this hashtag
- Integrate crowdsourced stories from Twitter to Facebook to make feed more humanized instead of just outbound links
Mint State Gold
Our panelists identified some major issues with this site:
- Site appears too busy and cluttered
- Most pages are duplicate content
- Some images are hosted on a separate website which creates broken pages or URLs
- Font size for content is too small
- Content needs to be positioned and formatted in a way that it can be shared
- The footer is almost the same color as the background which makes it look like hidden content.
- The site’s Facebook page hasn’t been updated since 2012 so people might think the site isn’t active anymore
Tools of the Trade
Here are some tools mentioned by our panelists which can be used by site owners to check on different aspects of their website.
Editor Note: The SEJ team is not affiliated with any of these tools.
- SEMrush: Does a basic crawl of your website and gives you an idea of what you’re ranking for in the overall competitive landscape
- Majestic: Tool for link tracking and bringing in topical suggestions
- Pingdom: Page speed tester that identifies individual files slowing down your site
- GTmetrix: Tool to analyze page speed performance
- Deep Crawl: Helps identify technical website issues and improve performance
- Screaming Frog: Website crawler that evaluates on-site SEO
- jpcache: Lightweight, full-page caching app
Watch the Full Video
Watch the Video Recap