Your SEO performance has a big impact on your bottom line. The higher you rank in search results, the better.
That’s because almost 95 percent of site traffic disappears on page two of Google search results.
An SEO report card can help you understand where your site stands in terms of searchability. Here are 5 reasons why your SEO report card really matters.
5 Reasons You Need to Keep Track of Your SEO Report Card
1. Learn Your SEO Rank
The most important piece of information on your report card is your SEO rank. This will tell you where you currently stand in search results.
Remember, if you don’t show up on the first page of results, you’ve got some work to do.
2. Identify Problems with User Experience
Slow pages, broken links, and confusing site navigation can all negatively impact your users’ experience and damage your SEO.
Your report card will identify any problem areas on your site so you can start planning how to fix them.
3. Track Your Social Success
Your report card can also track your social mentions, follows, and likes. While your standing on social media doesn’t directly impact your SEO rank, a healthy following usually indicates a solid engagement strategy and more web traffic.
4. Get Insight into Your Competitors
Your report card should also include some research into your top competitors.
It should detail what keywords they’re using, how fast their site loads, and how streamlined their user experience is. If you can excel in the areas where your competitors are lacking, you stand a good chance of grabbing some of their marketshare.
5. Establish a Plan of Action
The final component of an SEO report card is the future recommendations section at the end.
After you’ve identified your site’s shortcomings, you need a real, actionable plan on how to correct these problems and improve your site’s performance.
How to Check Your SEO Report Card
For a professional, complete SEO report card, you should consider working with a digital marketing firm. They’ll be able to comb through your site, identify any problems, and come up with custom, actionable strategies to improve your SEO performance.
There are also free tools available so you can track your performance yourself. If you opt for the bootstrapped method, check these key indicators.
Make Sure Your Site Is Crawlable
All major search engines utilize a crawler — or spider — to comb through the web’s infinite sites. These spiders crawl through and index each page of your site, saving key bits of information to a database that Google or Bing will later use to calculate your SEO rank.
Use a search engine spider simulator to view your website as Google would. Make note of any discrepancies between how you designed your site and how it looks to the spider.
If large portions of your website appear blank in the simulator, it’s time for a redesign.
Check Your Page Speed
A slow load time will not only discourage visitors from staying on your site, it will damage your SEO ranking. If your site takes an exorbitant amount of time to load or fails to load entirely, your rank will go down.
If you want to check your load time, Google offers a free tool called PageSpeed Insights for this very purpose.
Simply enter your URL and PageSpeed Insights will rank your site’s performance as Good, Needs Work, or Poor. You’ll also see suggested fixes for each problem with some very technical methods for optimizing your site for search.
Look for Broken Links
Broken links will damage the overall performance of your site.
Not only is it frustrating for your users to encounter errors on your site, broken links will also trip up spiders trying to crawl your pages. A link error is often enough to stop a spider from continuing to crawl your page, forcing it to move on to another one instead.
Ultimately, your site traffic will suffer if your users are routinely finding broken links.
You can utilize any number of free link-checking tools to get a heads up on any bad links on your site.
Check Your Keyword Strategy
For the best results, your keywords need to appear at the right density. If you incorporate too few, you’ll lose out on a higher ranking. If they appear too frequently, you may appear to be “stuffing.” That’s a major no-no in the world of SEO.
Check your keyword density to make sure you fall right in the sweet spot.
As always, be sure that your keywords are relevant to your products or services and specific enough that you won’t have to compete with tons of other sites to draw in web traffic.
Look at Your Analytics
Often times, your analytics reports can help you identify problems you may not have noticed otherwise.
Analytics can tip you off to a page with an unusually high bounce rate, for example. It could be that an irrelevant keyword has found its way into your copy, drawing in a higher number of users who were really searching for something else. It may also point to a slow load time or another issue with site appearance.
No matter what analytics tracking service you use, be sure to regularly read your reports and keep yourself informed of any changes.
Make Sure Your Site Works on Mobile
It’s official: More users browse the internet on mobile devices than desktop computers. Mobile optimization is no longer an optional feature for your website. It’s an absolute necessity.
It’s essential you find a mobile readiness checker that provides a full picture of your site’s performance. Look for a checker that will analyze your mobile speed, responsiveness, and viewport settings.
If your site doesn’t work on a handheld device, your SEO performance likely won’t improve.
Get the Latest SEO Tools and Improve Your Searchability Today
At webconfs.com, we offer a variety of SEO tools. Check everything from your online reputation, keyword ranking, and backlink quality–all for free. If you’re strapped for time, check out our 15-minute primer of best practices.