Welcome to the fourth video in our seven day series on getting the most out of Wordtracker's Keywords tool.
Every site has SEO errors. But finding and fixing them is easy - with Wordtracker's tools.
In this video you'll learn how to conduct a site audit on your own website to find errors and mistakes that could be interfering with your SEO efforts.
Here's what's coming up
In the 'Profit from Keywords' series, we're going to show you:
Day 1: Search engine success starts with keywords
Day 2: Keyword mapping and site structure
Day 3: Titles and Descriptions: Vital elements of your page
Day 5: Keyword Rankings: Monitor your progress
Day 6: Using keywords as linking text
Day 7: Expand into new markets and beat the competition
Once you've watched the tutorial, click here to sign up for a free 7-day trial of the new Keywords tool
Did you know we offer a risk-free guarantee? At any time during the first 30 days you can ask for your money back and we'll happily refund you.
Click here to learn more about the Keywords tool
Read the transcript
Hello again, and welcome to Day 4 of our seven day 'Profit from Keywords' video series.
We've covered a lot of keyword research ground in the past three days, and now it's time to step out of that for a while and look at how we can improve our websites.
It's not uncommon (in fact it's the norm) to have some mistakes on your website that might be hindering your SEO efforts.
To find and correct all of these errors could take you days, or even months, of dull, difficult work, but we've made it much easier for you to handle this - and here's how.
When you set up your campaign, you probably entered a web address - this is the site we'll look at. If you want to audit a different site, just set up a fresh Campaign for it.
Head to your Campaign dashboard ...
... and on the right you'll see the 'Site Audit' box. Click the + sign and name your report:
If you want to check a subsection of your site, just tell the tool which folder to look in. Otherwise, just leave it blank and we'll crawl up to 10,000 pages of your site looking for errors.
It can take a while for your site audit to complete (especially for a large site) but when it's ready, you'll see something on the report page that looks a bit like this:
There are several obstacle types that the Site Audit reports on: page titles, descriptions, headings, images, page links, broken links and server errors.
The graph at the top tells us how many of each type of error has been found on our site. Let's look at each one.
The tool will let you know if your title is missing, or if it's too long or too short. These are vital to have in place properly, as they’re a really important part of your page that search engines look to for establishing relevance. Miss these and you could be missing out on traffic from good search engine results. The good news is that errors with titles are generally easy to remedy, as are the next errors we'll look at.
These are treated in the same way. The Site Audit checks that your descriptions are in place, and that they’re not too long or short. Descriptions aren’t a part of Google’s ranking algorithm, but they are your first pitch to a potential customer, so from that point of view they're a key part of your web page.
The Headings section looks at how you use the h1 tag on each page. It's best practice to use a single h1 tag per page both from an SEO and an accessibility viewpoint. This allows the search engines to quickly assess the type of content that can be found on the page as well as helping people who require screen readers to understand the page. The header tags are used to summarize the content below them:
It's best to have a single h1 on your page, which should at least in part match the primary keyword in your title tag, as this helps to tell search engines exactly what your page is about. If there's not a match there, we'll let you know that your h1 is not optimized - and if you have more than one h1, we'll tell you that too. h2 and h3 tags are the most helpful if you want sub headings - but if you have no header tags at all, we'll let you know that.
Moving on to images, this is probably the simplest type of error to correct that we show and we’ll let you know if you have images on your site that don't have an alt tag - which lets search engines and visually impaired users know what the image is of. For example, if you're publishing an image of a juicy orange, it makes sense to have an alt tag that says 'juicy orange'. It’s not a huge factor in terms of ranking, but it can make a difference.
The Page Links tab ...
... looks at the number of links leading out from each page. If you have no links to other pages on your domain, pay particular attention. If you haven't designed this page to have no links to the rest of your site, then it's important to include them so that visitors to that page can navigate away from it when they're done. We'll also let you know if you have more than 20 followed links to other domains, as too many of these can dilute link power going to pages on your own domain.
Server errors are also noted in the Site Audit. These are messages that your web server generates when a page can't be shown to a visitor for some reason. These include, but aren't limited to; 404s, where the page can't be found; 403s, where the visitor isn't allowed to see the content for some reason (perhaps it's password protected); or an error in the 500s where there may be a problem with the server.
There's a very helpful Wikipedia article which lists http status codes including the errors you might see in the Site Audit.
Broken links speak for themselves. We'll tell you which page the link was found on, and which URL the link leads to so that you can amend the link so it points to the right page. This way your visitors will see more content and fewer 404 errors. Again, these are a high priority fix, as if you’re presenting 404 pages, you could be losing out on any link energy that’s being passed on by links to those pages from other sites.
Of course, this is just a single audit we’re looking at. When you do your next ones, you’ll see your original counts on the graph alongside your new results, so you can get a clear idea of how your remedial work is progressing.
Most of the obstacles discussed here are easy to correct, as they're often more publishing issues than technical problems - but if you're seeing more technical issues, then either your webmaster or hosting company should be able to help.
Once you've been through the report (which you can export into an Excel spreadsheet) and tidied up the issues which have been flagged up, your next Site Audit should show a much cleaner sheet.
That good news brings us to the end of today's video
The Day 5 Profit for Keywords video will be looking at how to set up and interpret a search engine ranking report so that you can see how you (and your competitors) are doing in Google for your target keywords.
More on Keyword Basics
For more on keywords have a look at our Keyword Basics articles
We'd love to know what you thought of this video. How useful was it? What did you learn?
And, if you've questions, please let us know below:
About Mal Darwen
Mal Darwen joined Wordtracker in 2008 as part of the Customer Service team, and now as well as running webinars in SEO and how to use the toolset is Product Manager. In the five years since starting with Wordtracker, Mal has also spoken about SEO and keywords at conferences, and has a healthy hand in Wordtracker's tweeting.
When not Wordtracking Mal plays with a band called Praying for the Rain. He also plays guitars and basses with a number of other UK and International artists. He lives in London with his family and two slightly insecure cats.