Episode 198 | How to Perform an SEO Health Check on Your Website

Show Notes

Transcript

[00:00] Mike: In today’s episode, Rob and I are going to be talking about how to perform an SEO health check on your website. This is Startups For The Rest of Us, episode 198.

[00:07] Music

[00:16]Welcome to Startups For The Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers, designers and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching new software products. Whether you’re building your first project or just thinking about it. I’m Mike:.

[00:24] Rob:  And I’m Rob.

[00:25] Mike: And we’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made.  What’s the word this week Rob?

[00:28] Rob: So we got an e-mail from Paul Rudderman and he has asked several questions in the past. He actually asked us the question about which LEAN startup methodologies we didn’t find helpful a few months back in a pre-show recorded whole episode around that. So, he wrote in and said I wanted to comment slash respond to a recent episode and the topic you guys were focused on. It was episode 193 where you and I talked about solutions for managing remote teams. And he says you mentioned TRELO and some other approaches.

[00:56]My startup Update Zen is a very different solution but good for remote teams if you are not a micro-manager, but what we are calling a macro-manager.  So Paul is calling it light weight task management and he says we only allow for 250 character updates. It’s high level, simple status reporting for executives, entrepreneurs, business owners, etcetera. Thank you guys for everything. I really do appreciate the incredible insights, professional and personal, that you share on Startups For The Rest of Us. Be sure to checkout Update Zen and I’d like to thank Paul for writing in. How about you, what have you been up to the past couple of weeks?

[01:28] Mike: Over the past couple of days, I mean wasted the past couple of days, migrating from 1 server to another. But the purpose of it was to essentially document the server configurations so that in the future I can just like outsource management of it and the whole infrastructure to somebody else. But, it was just sort of a mess because everything kind of accumulates over time. It was kind of like a desktop when you’ve had a single server for so long things get messy after a while because you try something out and it doesn’t work. You try something else and maybe you change the way you’ve done things a couple of times. You’ve got 2 or 3 different pieces of software in there that are kind of doing the same thing and, unless you know what’s going on and have it documented, anyone who comes in after the fact is going to have no idea. And, they are going to look at it and say, what is going on? I have no idea how to work with this –

[02:10] Rob: I despise having to move servers.  I just feel like it such a waste of time.

[02:14] Mike: It’s my build server but I also use it as my web server.

[02:18] Rob: Okay.

[02:19] Mike: So it’s a RackSpace. Unfortunately it was their first generation web server, so because of that it wasn’t used in like the Openstack framer that just kind of came out in the past couple of years and I couldn’t just do an upgrade of it.  Because, with the new system that they have, you could bring a server down, do an upgrade of it and bring it back up, but all of your stuff would be there still. Unfortunately, because mine was a first generation server I couldn’t do that. There were lots of things that I couldn’t do with it so, I had to manually move stuff from one server to another. So I got two servers running at this point and I’m almost done moving everything over and documented everything but it’s been such a nightmare.

[02:57] Rob: Yeah, that’s tough. I don’t know if you’ve thought about using one of the build scripts like, there’s Puppet and Chef and there’s a few others. I haven’t actually used them but my team uses Puppet to configure our EC2 instances. The first one is painful because you script everything out and it’s so hard to get working. But from there, then you just click a button and Puppet will build your whole server and install your whatever, your database and install rails and install all that stuff. And, there’s got to be an equivalent for what you’re looking at.

[03:25] Mike:  There would be for certain things, so like the websites themselves but I have like, my build server. I was using FinalBuilder and I’m converting it over because it was FinalBuilder server and now I’m going to be using Continua CI which is their continuous integration product which is kind of like the next level up. It didn’t exist back when I first installed it. So, there’s just lots of stuff there that there’s no way I would be able to do that stuff.

[03:51] Rob: Alright, so we have several new comments in iTunes. In fact, too many for me to read, but I’ll read a couple of them. We have one from Adrenaline from in Austria and he says, “Changed my life, following the advice in this podcast I built a successful software business. I look forward to every new episode, thanks.” And then we have one from Daniel B Nelson, five star review and he says, “This review is long overdue. In fact, I previously typed up a review which iTunes didn’t save. I’ve since gone through and listened to almost all the episodes. Now I save episodes and listen when I really need a jolt of knowledge and inspiration.” And he goes on to talk about how he’s worked for VC backed startups, had his own startups  and just the difference our podcasts have made for him. So, thank you guys so much for the reviews and I really do hope you get value out of the podcasts so you can log into iTunes and give us a five star.

[04:38] Music

[04:41] Mike: Today we’re going to be talking about how to do a SEO health check on your website. I think the idea for this originally came from a blog post that was put out by Dave Collins of Software Promotions. He’s talked at a couple of different Microconfs in the past as well. He kind of sparked my interest in going out and doing a SEO health check and I kind of figured out what was going to go into it. What you should be looking for and Dave had some great ideas in his blog post, and I kind of took it a little bit further and went out and did some research and looked at a bunch of other stuff as well.

[05:09] Rob: Speaking of Dave, he’s actually gearing up to do what I think is going to be a really interesting talk on SEO and analytics at Microconf Europe and that will be in Prague. We do still have some tickets left and if you’re interested in seeing Dave and of course Mike and I, come to Microconfeurope.com and there’s a button right there you can click and buy a ticket.

[05:27] Mike: So there’s obviously a bunch of tools that need to be used in order to do a SEO health check of any kind. And the first one we’re going to start off with is Google Webmaster tools. And one of I think, the first things you’ll want to go look at, is go in and look under search traffic and there’s a section for manual actions. And what manual actions is is a place where Google goes in and puts updates in that say, hey we’ve taken a manual action against your website and degraded it for some reason in our search indexes. So if you’ve done any sort of black hat stuff or, even if it is gray hat and you didn’t know what you were doing and they flagged your site and removed it from their indexes – any of the messages that say they did those things would show up in that area.

[06:08] Rob: Yeah, you’ve screwed up pretty bad if you’re looking at manual actions because even back in the day I was doing more gray hat stuff. This is a couple of years ago before Panda and Penguin and when it was working really well still. Even when once that all came through I didn’t have anything that was manual actions or penalties. The algorithm itself obviously had an impact on ranking for some of my sites. But you need to seriously look at what you’re doing if you find yourself with manual actions in this area. It’s like the red alert zone.

[06:36] Mike: The next thing you do in Google Webmaster tools, go underneath the crawl and look at the crawl errors and essentially what these are, anything that is coming up from the Google robots that are saying that they’re having problems crawling your site. And they’ll list out any of the different errors. They don’t necessarily give you all the information that you need in order to fix them but they will give you kind of an indication of a broad statement that says these are the types of problems that we are running into. And can give you at least some clues as to how to go in and fix those problems. But the idea is that if Google’s, robots aren’t able to search your site and crawl it, then they’re not going to be able to index it either. So, there not going to show up in any of the searches.

[07:13] Rob: Yeah. I found this page quite helpful and Google will show you where you have 404s and where you have pages that are erroring out, 500 errors. I was using this a lot when I moved HitTail from the old servers and I moved both the HitTail marketing website and the blog, this is about three years ago, there were a ton of 404s. It allowed me to either put in 301 redirects to maintain that traffic or to actually replace the page and have multiple places where you could find it so that I wasn’t getting these 404s and wasn’t losing that traffic. So, crawl errors is something that I think you should be reviewing on a monthly or maybe on a quarterly basis for all of your sites. It’s just traffic that essentially will likely just go away. You’ve worked so hard to get the traffic to your site it’s a bummer to have people 404ing on your site.

[08:02] Mike: The next thing you want to look at under crawl is sitemaps. If you’re not familiar with what a sitemap is, it’s essentially an xml file that describes what your website looks like. My inclination on this is that if you don’t have a fairly extensive website, if you only have 10 or 15 web pages on your site, then sitemaps is not probably going to do a lot for you. But if you have a lot of them or you’re auto-generating pages of any kind, then a sitemap can really help you. It allows Google to just download that site map and they’ll know exactly where to go on that website for different types of content and it should all be listed inside of that sitemap. Otherwise, the robots need to crawl your entire site and there’s almost a limit to how much they are going to crawl your site. So, it’s like they crawl your site for a little while, but it almost times out. They don’t completely do the whole thing so they’ll get it in spurts and they won’t crawl your entire site all at once.

[08:54] Rob: Yeah, there are several sitemap generators. I think if you’re using a tool like WordPress and you get a good SEO sitemap generator, then it can look at all of your posts, all of your pages and spit out a decent sitemap. And I think with blogs it’s important because you can often have hundreds and hundreds of pages in that blog. So like you said, if you only have 15 pages of content, probably not as necessary. What I found interesting is there are sitemap generators that are just websites and you type in your website URL and it goes and crawls that and spits out a sitemap of your site. And this sitemap is an xml file that Google then can read. I’m not convinced that that is actually beneficial having that xml sitemap auto-generated. What I’ve always done is, if I have a site that isn’t WordPress and that I am going to need to create one manually, then I would go to these websites. I’ll enter in the domain name. I’ll have it crawl, I’ll go in and spot check or I’ll have like a virtual assistant spot check and try to find out if there are any files in my web tree. Like on my web server, any routes or any paths that are not in that sitemap and then add them in manually. Because, those are the ones, that if they are missed by this automated crawler, that you have the potential of Google missing it as well. And it’s only worth it on high value sites. If you have a little niche site with some adcents on it, it’s not worth doing. But if you have a site where getting every person into your funnel, a SaaS app or something that’s selling well and making you money, then that’s the only point at which that level of effort becomes warranted.

[10:23] Mike: Cool, thing the next thing that you’d look at is the Google index. And underneath the Google index you’re going to take a look at the index status. And here you want to make sure you click on the advance button. This is where you’re going to see any pages that are being blocked by a robot’s txt file or any pages where Google think it’s getting blocked. Underneath there you will see the number of pages that are being indexed and you want to make sure that index roughly matches the number of pages you expect to see on your site. So if you only got 10 or 15 pages it’s a lot easier to do this than if you have 300 or 500 pages on your website.

[10:59] Rob: Oh man, a friend of mine had a development version of the site, like a staging version they were working on. So they had the robot’s txt set block everything and they deployed this to production and they forgot to change it and Google –

[11:11] Mike: Oh no.

[11:12]Rob: – stopped indexing everything. In Analytics you can set up traffic alerts and if your traffic drops by more than x percent – and you can even specify. Like SEO traffic drops by more than X percent send me an email. I think he had one of those in and so he went in and removed it and Google re-indexed pretty quickly. But I’ve seen stuff like this happen. I’ve actually moderately done it, moved a staging or development robot txt in there. I haven’t blocked an entire set like that but I have blocked directories that should not have been.

[11:42] Mike: The next thing you want to review is any site messages that are coming up. Along with the site messages you’re going to want to take a look at security issues. And site messages and security issues, I’m going to kind of lump them together even though they are in different places, essentially places where Google could put in messages to you about your site so if they are having any sort of issues connecting or if they identify any security problems with your site so if you’re running specific software that they have been told about and they’ve added it into their crawlers to be able to recognize when there are security issues. Because there are people out there who will use Google to search for sites that are vulnerable to specific vulnerabilities. So whether it’s WordPress and they say, oh well if you’re using this version of a WordPress plug in, I want to know about it then I can go out and exploit it. And Google knows that people use their search engine for this kind of thing so they do put stuff in there that will try and identify that stuff. But it you don’t have Google Webmaster tools installed and running, it’s not going to be able to notify you of these types of things.

[12:38] Rob: Last week Google announced that they are now going to be using SSL as a ranking factor and I’d imagine that would be added to Google Webmaster tools at some point. Whether you have SSL or how that’s impacting you. There’s a really good look at that on the Software Promotions blog. That’s softwarepromotions.com slash news. Dave has a blog post called SSL and SEO don’t panic. The nice part is that if you have SSL then you’re ahead of the game. The bummer part is, like I have SSL on HitTail and Drip but, it’s on the marketing site and everything but they want like 2048 bit SSL and I don’t have that industrial strength stuff in place so I’m going to have to buy new certs.

[13:18] Mike: Well 2048 bit SSL is going to be mandated but I think there is a date where they are cutting it off and after that they are only issuing the 2048 bit SSL search indicates.

[13:29] Rob: Yeah. Got it. So, VeriSign and GoDaddy and all those SSL cert vendors, I’ll bet they’re making a mint on this as everyone comes in and re-buys or buys new ones. And I do feel bad if you’re selling a WordPress blog and you have a SaaS website and you don’t have all your links set up to do this, it’s kind of a pain to retrofit a site and go through and make sure everything is relative.

[13:51] Mike: Yeah, most of the certificate vendors offer free re-issues of certificates. So if you have a certificate that doesn’t expire for another six months or a year or something like that, usually you can go back to them and re-issue the certificate and you should be able to get a higher level of encryption. But I think it might depend on the vendor and kind of how much of a discount vendor they are.

[14:09] Rob:  Yeah, well that’s good. I didn’t know that at all, I’ll have to look into that.

[14:12] Mike: Did you know there was a thing called Bing Webmaster tools?

[14:15] Rob: I did.

[14:16] Mike: So, apparently Bing has their own Bing Webmaster Tools. There’s a variety of information in there that you can get. The one thing to keep in mind when we’re talking through the Bing Webmaster tools piece of it is they only have about 15 percent of the searches as opposed to the 65 percent of the market that Google has. So they have significantly less data that they’re going off of but there’s still some key pieces in here that people can take away. So the first one is to use their SEO reports and using those you can automatically scan your website every two weeks. And, they will report back to you what they feel are the 15 SEO best practices for on page optimization. And these are the types of things you can get from MOZ  or a variety of other tools as well, but they will essentially do it every two weeks. And they’ll show you the severity of the problems that they identified, the number of errors, page counts, the pages themselves and it will even show you highlighted html snip-its of those problem pages – so it directs you to exactly where you need to go to fix any of the problems it finds.

[15:16]The second thing you can do in there is use there link explorer to find backlinks and if you’re not already paying for a tool like MOZ it will provide you up to one thousand backlinks. Paid tools offer you obviously a lot more than this but if you’re not quite to that level yet, then using something like link explorer can kind of get you to part of the way until you’re at the point where your site is making enough money that you can justify putting money in on a monthly basis to justify paying for a tool that starts tracking all your backlinks. The third thing that you can use it for is use the Bing key research tool and the main difference between this Google’s Keyword tool is that the Bing keyword tool gives you actual organic search queries, rather than just the number of queries that trigger the key word if it’s used in ad words –

[15:58] Rob: Can you imagine that? Actually giving us useful information? This is crazy. What is Bing doing?

[16:02] Mike: Well, they only got 15 percent of the market, they’ve got to do something.

[16:05] Rob: We’re number two, we try harder.

[16:07] Mike: That’s the big deal here, is that they give you the actual search queries in the Bing engine.  Obviously it’s not worldwide or anything but you can kind of extrapolate that and say well if it’s 15 percent here then multiply it by what, seven and a half, something like that to figure out what the worldwide traffic is for those things. So I think that is a reasonable extrapolation, I’m sure there are cases where it completely falls down based on certain markets or the types of people who use Bing versus Google etcetera. But it can at least get you in the ballpark.

[16:36]And then the last thing in the Bing Webmaster tools is compare what you’re seeing in Bing against Google for a quick sanity check. Because there is always going to be things that Bing sees that Google doesn’t or that Google sees but Bing doesn’t. In the cases where they are showing you similar information, you want to be able to get some sort of a sanity check between them to figure out kind of what direction you should be going in and what you should listen to. And, whether or not one of them is completely off base or not because they might show you wildly different numbers and you have to read between the lines a little bit to figure out why Google is saying one thing and Bing is saying something else.

 

[17:09] Rob: Right and the idea here is that there are paid tools that can do some of this stuff but having two free tools that are actually pretty powerful and can give you insights to your website’s health is kind of nice to have. If you’re super limited on time then yes, only use Google’s. But if SEO is a huge part of your strategy then having both a Google and Bing Webmaster tools account and making it a point, putting even a 30 minute calendar reminder even if it’s once a month or once a quarter, for you to log into both of these skim through everything. I would say, if SEO is a critical part of your business then this should be a once a month thing. It may only take you five minutes for each of these webmaster tools accounts to zip through if nothing is wrong. But when you find something that is wrong, you’re going to be able to preemptively fight it and if you just have that recurring thing on your calendar it is going to save you time at some point and you’re going to be thankful that you are investing that time.

[18:01] Mike: So let’s move on to the next one. The next one is Google Analytics and what you want to use Google Analytics for at the very least to review your landing pages traffic levels. One thing I found is pretty helpful is that if you compare last week to the last month. And essentially what it does is it allows you to identify some sort of trends within the traffic levels and whether or not your landing pages are gaining traffic or losing traffic. Within the last week it will help you gauge whether or not you’re getting any kind of traffic spikes or when those traffic spikes were based on some of the different marketing campaigns that you’ve done. And if you don’t have landing pages, you need to make some. Because this is where you can get a lot of your targeted leads. Landing pages are where you typically capture an email address from people and then use it to follow up on them either with a newsletter or direct email campaigns and things like that.

[18:49] Rob: But landing pages in analytics is different. It’s actually just saying these are the pages that people first landed on in your website. So sometimes it may just be a blog post. However someone first found you during this time period.

[19:03] Mike:  Yeah, that’s true. You could use it for that too.  But I was referring specifically to looking at the traffic levels for the landing pages that you set up and whether  or not you’re driving traffic to those. Obviously if you’re doing paid adwords campaign or paid advertising of any kind and driving traffic to those pages, it may very well be that you decided to stop doing something like that and maybe something got turned on and you didn’t realize it and you’re still paying for something that you wanted to turn off. So, at least by reviewing the landing pages that you are actively trying to push people to then you get more of that information and you get a bigger picture of what’s going on. And as Rob said earlier you can also set up custom alerts inside Google analytics to notify you of traffic spikes or traffic nose dives because it looks at the data and keeps an eye on it notifies you when it recognizes things that match certain criteria that you set up.

[19:54] Rob: Yeah, I have these on several of my sites. You have to tweak with them a bit because you’d be surprised how much your traffic goes up and down. And so I think I set a threshold of ten percent when I first started but then every week or every day I was getting this email when it was down. So if you’re getting it every day then you start to ignore it, then I had to move it up to 25 percent swing week over week. You have to find out what number works for you. You don’t want to make it too big because then you lose too much traffic before you get notified. But if you make it too small you kind of become numb to the number of emails they send you.

[20:24] Mike: The other thing you can do is you can set it up so that those are small enough so they are riding on the edge and have those emails go to a VA who logs in an looks at them for you and then if it’s really out of whack they notify you – kind of like an escalation.

[20:38]The fourth item on our list is to disavow shady inbound links and both Google and Bing support this ability. So if there are websites that are linking to you which are collectively shady websites they might be linking to you and bringing down your page ranks. If that’s the case or there are things that you’ve done in the past where they were definitely black hat and you’re trying to right the ship, so to speak. You can go in and you can disavow those links. I’ve never had to do this, Rob have you ever had to do this before?

[21:07] Rob: No, I haven’t either.

[21:08] Mike: Okay.

[21:09] Rob: When I acquire HitTail and then Panda and Penquin came out, there were links that were built under Google’s guidelines that suddenly became, quote, unquote bad links. People used to have contests back in the days and they would say put our badge on your website, right? And so from every page of your site you get all these backlinks and that created value for you. And HitTail had something like that like a badge or widget that people could visually put on. And once Panda and Penguin came out, that started negatively impacting it.  But they didn’t offer the disavowed shady inbound links at that point. It was another 6 months or 12 months before you could do it. I would have gone in an disavowed a bunch of them but what I did is, I talked to a SEO guy and then I tried to find places that were linking to me and I thought were negatively impacting the signal and we manually contacted them and asked them to remove the widget. And enough people did and I guess I built enough healthy links or authority links after that that it just kind of went away. There was a warning for a little while, it wasn’t a manual action but it was basically saying, in webmaster tools that you have too many links from these multi-page blogs that were negatively impacting stuff. So while I haven’t disavowed anything I would have at that point were it available.

[22:20]Now I also heard anecdotally that you really want to use this with caution. I think it’s easy to over do it and panic and think that every link is bad and then disavow a bunch of links that can have a real negative impact on your ranking so I would use this with caution. Probably consult with someone who knows what they are doing before doing this.

[22:36] Mike: So the fifth item in our list is to review the MOZ ranking factors. And what those are, every 2 years MOZ will go out and they survey 120 leading search marketers and they provide their opinions on what the different ranking factors are that are used by search engines. So they essentially come up with this list and compile it and kind of aggregate between the different people about what their opinions are and what Google and Bing and other search engines are using as the ranking factors for people’s websites.

[23:06]And if you go out to the MOZ.com/search/ranking/factors you’ll see this list and it’s a list of about 80 different things and they are weighted as well. So the very first one is the page authority followed by number of Google plus ones and the number of unique C blocks that are linking to the page etcetera. And you just go down this list and start looking at the first 20 to 30 things to see if you’re concentrating on the wrong things in your marketing effort, because really you want to concentrate on the things that are going to give you the most value, the biggest boost for your page rank. If you’re not concentrating on the top 20 or 30 things then obviously you can go down to the bottom of the list and there are some things that will negatively impact your website. For example the response time of the web page in seconds. If it’s too low then Google will actually start dinging you for those types of things. So you do want to be careful about what sorts of things you are paying attention to and which ranking factors you’re not.

[24:00] Rob: Did you notice the URL length in characters can also have a negative impact. And, total length of your full domain can have a negative impact. Pretty crazy stuff. And this is stuff that Google never talks about and in fact, when people have brought it up specifically because they will look at the MOZ list which is from MOz’s own research, people will bring this up and Google will say no, that’s not true or that doesn’t work, but that’s how the stats are showing. So, I don’t know what to make of that.

[24:27] Mike: Yeah, I do wonder about that, because I have a lot of auto-generated content where the page URLs tend to be fairly lengthy and I’ve actually gotten into some trouble here and there just because I’ve run into cases where the URL length ends up being 250 characters long and it got too big and the application crashed and said windows barfed on it and we’re not going to allow you to create a file more than this number of characters long, it’s like whoops. So I can see how Google would go in and say we’re not going to pay as much attention to these web pages that have a URL that’s too long.

[25:02] Rob: Right. You have to take this list with a grain of salt because it’s all correlation rather than causation, it’s hard to prove that but MOZ has been doing this for a lot of years and they have more data than anybody I know of on this. So it’s definitely useful to see the factors that impact both positive and negative aspects of ranking.

[25:21] Mike: And the last thing on our list is check your domain authority using something like Moz’s open site explorer. It used to be at opensiteexplorer.org but I think they moved it on to the moz.com domain. So using the opensiteexplorer it’ll give you an idea of what your domain authority is. You can even plug it in and have it go to specific pages and tell you what the page authority is all this information is also embedded inside of Moz, so if you have a Moz account you can get a lot more information on it. But they also link back to things like social metrics, like Facebook, Twitter and Google plus information that is linked back to your website. There’s a lot of good information that is embedded in there, obviously this informations free its an attempt to get you to buy in to a Moz subscription which I have one, Rob, I think you have one as well. They do have a lot of good information that is freely available on the opensiteexplorer, but you do get a heck of a lot more once you subscribe to Moz.

[26:15]And I think the last thing I wanted to bring up is, I wasn’t going to mention this because it is listed as the very last thing on the Moz ranking factors but I did realize it’s listed there as a negative. If you have a low website speed they will actually ding you for it, it’s not as if it’s slow they are going to give you a zero. They are actually going to take away points from your website ranking for this. If you have a slow website, it’s definitely something you want to take a look at. There’s a free tool out there. You can go to tools.pingdom.com, plug in your website and it will show you all of the different things that are on your website that are loading and it will tell you the time that it takes to request that from the server. It’ll tell you the time it takes to download it and then display it. It’s got a very lengthy graph if you’ve got a lot of elements on your website. Take a look at it, it’s free, it allows you to drill in and figure out what sorts of things are taking the most time on your website and give you at least an idea of how to fix those things.

[27:10] Rob: Yeah and be careful when you’re going through and fixing based on their suggestions. I did this about a year ago, based on some advice from my SEO guy and some of the compression and stuff that they ask you to do can break things. They asked for some gzip compression and there was some Javascript that worked fine but there was CSS compression and things started looking quirky but only in a weird mobile browser. Suddenly we started having issues so I had to back a bunch of it out – it was kind of a pain. You just can’t take this advice that they give you whether it’s from Pingdom or from any tool telling you how to speed up your website. Sometimes it’s not without cost. All the tools that are improving time are not necessarily being aware of not breaking your site in some UIs.

[27:57] Mike: There’s definitely a difference between something that’s more of an optimization than something else that is fixing an error or some kind. So if you’re getting 404 errors for elements that are on your page because it’s requesting CSS files that don’t exist, or anything like that, obviously those things will make it easier for that site to be pulled down to the client, but then there’s are other things like you said the Gzip stuff that could out right break your site just because it’s not able to pull that in. So if you listen to all this and you’re still a little bit strapped for time. If you don’t want to go through a lot of these steps – for the truly lazy there are 2 websites you can go to. There’s SEOsitecheckup.com and quicksprout.com. And both of those you can plug in your website and get a free SEO check up report. And they give you a lot of helpful information that tells you the sorts of things that you should pay attention to. If you haven’t really done very much website optimization and you’re looking for a very quick checkup to give you some ideas of what areas you should focus on go to both of those tools. Try to match up between them what things overlap and those are probably the things you should pay attention to first and then you can go back and take a look at the other things they recommend and decide if they whether or not they make sense for your site or not.

[29:06] Rob: The nice part about  running a bunch of these tools, especially the free ones, is there’s always something new you don’t know about and that’s the nice part and not nice part. Because the nice part is you can then go fix it but of course it’s adding something else to your to do list. And you have to weigh all this stuff. If you’re not getting much traffic from SEO or organic traffic doesn’t convert very well for you, then you’re going to want to spend a lot less time doing this. And you’re going to want to do the 80 20 of the stuff, right. Cause you can go off forever and kill hours, weeks of time on this. But taking the low hanging fruit out is going to accomplish the majority of your goals and seriously help improve your rankings. Not just for your head keywords and your home page but your overall – if you put out a lot of content it kind of lifts your entire domain authority if you can improve some of these issues.

[29:55]And that wraps us up for today. If you have a question for us, call our voicemail number at 888 801 9690. Or, email us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com. Our theme music is an excerpt from We’re Out of Control by MoOt used under Creative Commons. Subscribe to us in iTunes by searching for startups or by our RSS startupsfortherestofus.com where you’ll also find a full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening, we’ll see you next time.

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2 Responses to “Episode 198 | How to Perform an SEO Health Check on Your Website”

  1. Awesome episode, guys. Many thanks!

  2. My friend’s startup (which is doing better than mine, not that I’m jealous… he deserves it… ok… I am a bit jealous) is a service to help with disavowing shady inbound links (and other tasks).

    Worth checking out if you have a large site or collection of sites that you want to monitor the link health of.

    http://linkrisk.com