Time for Your Semi-Annual Website Audit

Dreading today’s trip to the dentist has lead me to thinking about one thing: what do dental appointments and website audits have in common? They’re both something you should get done at least twice a year! If it’s something that you’ve been putting off, it should be even more of a motivation to make things right. Here are a few reasons why:

One Thing at a Time
Whether it’s a tooth or a webpage, it’s important to set up a schedule for examining each element thoroughly every once in awhile. A good web page doesn’t stay good if it remains untouched and ignored for a long period of time. You might have content that’s outdated or no longer relevant or even pages that were written for the sake of SEO (pre-Panda and Penguin days).

Fresh content with social signals are crucial to showing that your website is relevant and authoritative. Examining your website in pieces is just as important as looking at things as a whole. And setting up a schedule makes it more manageable to analyze the content on your website.

Buildup is No Good
When examining portions of your website, you might find things that will surprise you: slow-loading images that were never optimized properly; unorganized code; bulky navigation; unnecessarily spammy lists of links and so on. Regular cleaning helps us get rid of the things that our website don’t need, so don’t feel like you need to hoard so much junk on your site.

This happens often on main landing pages and especially home pages. While it’s natural to feel like you want to show visitors everything at once, streamlining your content will enhance user experience. Keep it simple and avoid buildup that accumulate over the years.

Practice Good Techniques
Make sure to read Google’s official Webmaster Guidelines and to always think ‘white hat’. Remember, bad website practices are risky and don’t last in the long run. Best practices for online marketing don’t just apply to on-site SEO. It also includes: web design, social media, off-site SEO and any other type of relationship building that ties back to your brand!

Prevention is Key
Although it feels like it, checkups aren’t meant to torture you but to spare you the pain of something worse along the way. If you’re the kind of person with a ‘set it and forget it’ mentality, it’s time to be more aware of your website’s potential. Be consistent and work regularly to improve your website. It’s much better than rushing to get things done and then letting it sit for months or years. The nature of today’s SEO is active, continuous and never truly “done”.  There is always more work to be done and different (and creative ways) to make your website better.

Not feeling so great about the current state of your website’s health? Fill out your free website analysis and call (323) 340-4010 for a free consultation today.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What’s the Key to Keyword Density?

keyword density

Like many things in the world of SEO, keyword density is a highly debated topic – especially in the wake of these online Panda updates. With all the sites that have been hit with less traffic, people are scrambling for ways to better optimize their content.

The way I like to see it, keyword density is still an important part of copywriting but not in a way that it was say… 10 years ago. Instead of focusing on hitting an “ideal” percentage, keyword density should be a measure of how you shouldn’t over optimize your content. For example, if you have a 200 word blurb about dog shoes and the word “dog shoes” is mentioned 20 times… you’re going to have a problem with natural readability and you don’t need a percentage to tell you that.

SEObook’s free keyword density analyzer tool is a good place to start when looking at your own content, as well as your competitors’. You can view percentages for individual pages based on repeating keywords and even phrases up to 3 words long. But remember, even in Google’s own words, your keyword density percentage shouldn’t be a big deal if you’re doing what you should be doing in the first place – optimizing for the user.

Some common sense ways are to search and highlight keywords you’re optimizing for on a single page. If you feel there are too many highlights, you’re probably right. Depending on the length, you can cut back when necessary. If you have a good 5 paragraphs, is it really necessary to mention an exact match keyword more than 5 times? Are you stuffing with other keywords such as location terms? With effective writing for SEO content, variation and synonyms are more important than repeatedly matching the exact term on the same page (and throughout your site for that matter).

This is all about building a “natural” link profile, or at least what Google perceives to be natural. One thing is for sure though, when you are too focused on the technical aspects of your content, it will reflect in your writing. Customers can tell and search engines can also get a sense of this and your site will suffer. The key takeaway is to use keyword density as an informative tool, not as a guideline to measure or gauge your ranking success.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.