Calling all digital marketers, web developers and website owners! Learn how to correctly evaluate your (or your client's) website for SEO (search engine optimization). SEO is more than just placing keywords on your site, you could have overlooked major problems that are hurting your SEO performance.
In this course you will learn to do a step by step SEO audit of a website to uncover those problems as well as find opportunities to grow your organic traffic. I go beyond just teaching the concepts of SEO that you can read about, this is a hands on course that walks through an audit of a real ecommerce site. If you don't know much about SEO, don't worry, I tell you WHY I'm doing the check and then show you HOW to do the check, using only FREE tools.
In the 60 lectures in this course, we'll check the accessibility, on page factors such as meta tags, engagement metrics and authority of the site. You'll get a good grounding in Technical SEO, and you will also learn and apply concepts like domain authority and content quality.
You will be able to download a checklist and a list of tools needed for the SEO audit.
Students have said:
"This was a relatively new course when I took it, with few reviews, but I took a chance. Glad I did because it was a very informative course."
"Out of 8 courses I have done on Udemy on this subject matter, this course is by far the best on all scores"
Overview of the Course Agenda
While it's important to keep an open mind while you go through a SEO Site Audit, understanding why you are doing the audit is key.
There's a lot of misinformation about search engine optimization. SEO has also evolved tremendously. I show you my framework on how to understand SEO.
What you need to get started. Make sure to download the checklist and the list of tools from the Resources.
Tips on how to set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console
We cover search engine basics so we can then dive into our initial technical checks.
How many pages of your web site has Google indexed? We get an answer in this lecture.
The HTTP status code that a web server sends back to your browser is hidden to you, but very important for SEO.
I demo how to check the HTTP status code that requesting a URL returns.
Some of the more common HTTP status codes.
A canonical redirect is when you redirect a site's URLs so they either resolve all as "www" URLs or as "non-www" URLs.
In this video I cover two ways to implement a redirect from one domain to another. And I share why GoDaddy redirects are not my preference.
Examples of Canonical Redirects using mod_rewrite code in .htaccess
A misconfigured robots.txt file can play havoc with your site's SEO.
Mobile friendliness is a ranking factor. We review the three ways a site can be made mobile friendly.
On January 10, 2017 Google implemented a new penalty for sites that show annoying popovers on mobile devices. We also have learned that Google plans to transition to mobile first indexing.
List of resources mentioned in the previous lecture.
How to test whether your site is mobile friendly
Recap of the problems we found with our initial technical checkjs for our example site.
We learn more about search spiders and why we need tools to see the website from a search spider's perspective.
We find broken links and 302 redirects on our example site.
What I recommended for the 302 redirects I found.
How does Google and the other search engines put together the snippets that show in the search engine results pages? We learn about the important metadata on your site for SEO.
We examine the site's page titles and meta description tags.
We use Screaming Frog to take a look at the H1 and H2 tags of our site.
We look at linkdepth, download time and take a closer look at image optimization.
Crawlers gather information about a site, but to do a comprehensive audit it's necessary to look at individual pages as a search bot would.
I show how to use a free tool to browse a site like a search spider would
Here's how to check that the site's HTML is valid. Doing this check led me to uncover a problem with the site's OpenGraph tags.
A recap of the results of the checks for this section.
Traffic to your website comes from different channels, we cover an explanation of each.
How to use an organic traffic segment and set up a year over year comparison. We also take a look at the top landing pages and engagement metrics.
Recap of our review of Google Analytics: Traffic, Top Landing Pages, and Engagement Metrics
Site speed is a ranking factor so we need to review the Page Speed Insights section in Google Analytics to see if the site needs to be optimized to be faster.
Quick demo of a tool that gives you a snapshot of the website's performance.
Recap of how our site performs.
Google Search Console is Google's communication channel to site owners and has a wealth of information on Google's perspective of your site. The lecture includes an overview of the different components/sections in GSC plus we cover an introduction to Structured Data
Structured Data is additional markup that helps Google and other search engines understand the context of your site.
Google Search Console provides feedback on your title tags and meta descriptions.
A very useful feature of Google Search Console, Search Analytics tells you which keywords your site is ranking for currently.
We review the remaining features of the Google Search Console Search Traffic Section: Links to Your Site, Manual Actions, International Targeting and Mobile Usability.
Google's report on site indexation and whether any resources are blocked.
In this section we can find Google's crawl report and whether a XML sitemap has been submitted.
Recap of the Google Search Console Review for our site.
You want your best and only unique pages to be in the Google index. We have three tags: rel canonical, meta robots noindex and rel prev/rel next that help us control what gets indexed of our site.
The rel canonical tag helps manage duplicate content.
The meta robots noindex tag tells Google to not index the page. We look at reasons why we might want this and a comparison of the noindex tag with robots.txt.
The rel prev and rel next tags help Google understand your paginated pages.
Recap of the opportunities we found in our example site to control indexation
We change gears and discuss two advanced accessibility topics.
Let's look beyond the accessibility and on page factors of a site and evaluate its authority and engagement
We define Domain Authority.
We use a browser plugin to check the Domain Authority so that we can do a competitive review for the sites that rank for two completely different queries.
We take a look at the top keywords for the site.
Why backlinks are important for SEO.
I demo two tools you can use to look at a site's backlinks.
Evaluating Content Quality and User Experience.
We check for freshness of content, and whether the content has been scraped (and find something surprising)
Another way to check for scraping and plagiarism
Social Media is an amplification channel that can supercharge marketing and SEO campaigns. Learn the 3 things I check when reviewing the social media presence of a site.
Recap of the results of our Authority Checks
Local SEO is SEO plus some special considerations. If your site targets a local audience, here's the additional checks you need to do.
Considerations for a SEO audit of a WordPress site
We cover the 5 elements you need to optimize on a page, plus additional factors you need to consider in today's SEO landscape when optimizing your page for SEO.
Thank you for taking this course! In case you didn't download them earlier, I've attached all the resources for the course to this lecture.
Kathy Alice Brown has been a SEO Consultant for over seven years, consulting with both large brands and with small businesses. She has been in the web space for well over a decade and has managed websites for Sun Microsystems as well as built QA and support teams.
Even though her background is mainly technical, Kathy loves to write and has ghost written ebooks for clients and blogs.