In order to grow your small business and maximize your return on investment, it’s important to ensure you’re maximizing your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. The best way to do this? Conducting an audit of your link profile, or the collection of links leading back to your website that act as references in search engine algorithms, which then help determine what pages will show up in SERPs. To conduct this audit yourself, check out this checklist of the most important things to look at when running a small business.
What is an SEO link audit?
An SEO link audit is a process of assessing the health and quality of the links pointing to your website. This helps you identify any potential issues that could be holding your site back from ranking higher on search engine results pages. A good place to start is with a competitor analysis, which can give you insights into their strategy. You may find some underperforming competitors who are low-hanging fruit ripe for poaching. If this is not an option, there are still ways to build up your linking profile by reaching out to people in your niche on social media or through guest blogging on other blogs relevant to your business.
Why conduct an audit?
As your website grows, so does the number of inbound links pointing to your site. Over time, some of these links may become broken or outdated. Additionally, you may have changed the structure of your website, which can result in 404 errors. Conducting an audit helps you keep track of your inbound links and identify any that need to be updated or removed.
What are the benefits of an audit?
An audit can help you understand your website’s link profile, including the quality and quantity of links pointing to your site. This understanding can then inform your link-building strategy, helping you focus on building the types of links that will be most valuable for your business. Additionally, an audit can help you identify any potential red flags that could be negatively impacting your website’s SEO performance. Addressing these issues can help improve your website’s ranking on search engine results pages.
What should you be looking out for?
1. Make sure that your website is well-linked internally. This means using keyword-rich anchor text and linking to other relevant pages on your site.
2. Check for broken links and 404 errors. These can hurt your SEO and frustrate visitors.
3. See if your site is being linked to high-quality websites. This indicates that your site is seen as a valuable resource.
4. Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly.
As a small business, you may not have the time or manpower to conduct a full-scale SEO audit. However, it’s important to periodically check your link profile to ensure that your site is not being penalized by Google. Here’s a quick and easy checklist to follow:
1) Remove all dead links from your website.
2) Ensure you are linking out to high-quality sites with content relevant to yours (i.e., be mindful of sites with irrelevant content).
3) Clean up any 404 errors on your website, which can negatively impact search engine crawlers (note: this might require hiring an expert).
4) Avoid excessive linking patterns on individual pages and across your entire website (again, this might require hiring an expert).
How can you get started?
Download your backlink profile from Google Search Console. This will give you a list of all the websites linking to your site. Review each link to ensure it comes from a high-quality, relevant website. If you find any links coming from low-quality or spammy websites, use Google’s disavow tool to remove them. Once you’ve cleaned up your backlink profile, start building new links from high-quality websites.
As a small business, you may not have the time or manpower to conduct a full-scale SEO audit. However, it’s important to periodically check your link profile to ensure that your site is not being penalized by Google. If you find spammy or broken links on your site, make sure to remove them as soon as possible. Remember, this checklist should be conducted monthly and only takes minutes to complete. It can help keep your website healthy and safe from penalties. Visit https://www.icea-group.ca/small-business-seo/ for more information.