Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Ben Norman's SEO Course: Day 3 - Website Analysis & Competition

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7 Day Search Engine Optimisation Course

Day 3 - Website Analysis & Competition Analysis.
It is important to analyse your website before you begin changing things as you need to ensure you are going in the right direction. All too often people jump in and start changing different parts of their websites without really understanding what they are doing and why.
There are many different factors that contribute to the overall optimisation of a website including:
  • Site structure
  • Domain age and even name
  • Page Title and Meta tags
  • Header Tags
  • Keyword weighting and prominence
  • Alt tags
  • File names and page names
  • Website validation and technology used
  • Internal linking structure
I would always suggest using a tool like IBP or Web Ceo (special deals linked from my seo software page) to run the main pages of your website through to ensure that you are on the right track as they will flash up any issues effecting your website. I would suggest using IBP as currently there is an issue with Web Ceo's ability to check your rankings but I will update as soon as this changes.
It is important to not let these software tools take over as you need to ensure that the look and feel and more importantly the read of your page is natural and for the end user not written for the search engines (after all it doesn't matter how high up the search engines your website is if it won't convert people).
Once you have one of the above pieces of SEO software you need to navigate to the website optimisation part where you will be able to run it against pages of your website and even your competitors web pages. To start with I would suggest taking the home page and running it for that to see what type of issues its report brings up. These tools will take the keywords in your Meta keywords tag to analyse for so you will need to over write these for this process as you will need to replace them with the ones you identified yesterday in the keywords part. Once replaced run the report and see what it says.
Now chances are a lot is wrong but don't panic as we will be focusing on fixing it in the next section. For now I suggest printing or saving the results for reference and looking at your competition. Run the report against a few you know of and now go to Google and enter in one of your keywords as a search phrase and see which sites come up top. These are your real competitors and people you are really up against. Hopefully they match the people on your list; if not, amend your list.
Analyse the new websites you have found and compare their reports to yours and look at the differences, chances are they have got more right than you at this stage but we will be changing that tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will be looking at on the page optimisation so be sure to check your inbox.