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SEO Audit Checklist For Startups: You're Failing Because You Didn't Read This!

Originally posted on ranky.co.

The SEO Audit Checklist Every Startup Should Own


Ineffective SEO for startups can be a real nightmare, and sometimes we refuse to recognize the warning signs as they unfold, that's why we decided to give you the ultimate SEO audit checklist/analysis report, for free ;)


Some people don't appreciate SEO Campaigns since they don't understand the process that goes into it. In comparison to other channels, the ROI is more complicated, but the advantages can be huge when executed correctly.


When you run an SEO campaign, it's easy to get lost in the conflicting numbers and heavy data. If the results are disappointing, you may feel agitated and begin to doubt your strategy. You may start pondering: "what am I missing","why isn't it working?", and "how come I don't see results?!".


What Is An SEO Audit & Why We Are Doing It Exactly


This SEO audit is going to help you determine precisely how to boost & optimize the search visibility of your startup and keep you up-to-date with the latest SEO developments.


SEO audit is a process for evaluating major factors influencing organic search engine rankings while identifying problematic areas and improving them to get better rankings.

Product hunt is going to give your startup a significant spike in traffic for a short while, that's really great but Google can multiply your traffic and continue to expand your organic sessions on a regular basis month by month.


We'll go over The best ways to perform a technical SEO audit on a website while keeping it simple at the same time.


 15 Quick Tips & Proven Techniques to Take Your SEO Audit To The Next Level


1. Your Content Is Irrelevant Or Too Thin

Google’s Panda 4.2 is still in play, it may benefit smaller websites with better content, leverage this chance to take your startup to the top results.


Before publishing any piece of content, you should do your homework. Make sure your content is nothing less than gold for your target audience.


Before publishing your content, you should ask yourself with certainty: are people 100% going to share/like/bookmark my content? If the answer is no, take a few steps back and make that statement true.


You should also establish if you are providing the right type of content to rank high in the search engines. Since different queries present different types of results & media, some posts are going to require video to appear high in the search results, though most of the time you'll see a combination of text and pictures.


Make sure you also fine tune your results to the specific topic you are writing about.

Additionally, before wondering why you are not getting enough traffic, make sure your content is not too thin. Google adores high quality pages with 1500 words or more, writing less than 750 words might hurt your SEO Campaign results.


Finally, analyze the first page of the search results on Google, compare your content with the competition... how does your content match?


2. People Are Not Searching For Your Content (Yet)


Startup's SEO results are driven directly from your content’s success. When dealing with an innovative startup, a unique strategy is needed. You first need to create the ideal content for your target audience.


When you encounter a situation in which you are offering something so unique that people are not even searching for it, the solution is simple: take a few steps back and start the engagement funnel from where your users are right now.


Understand their current situation, questions & needs and deliver the best direct answer, one step before you introduce your startup's product as the ultimate solution to their problem.


3. Ignoring The Search Volume On Google/Bing


So you think you have the best content in the world. While you may have covered the best on-page/off-page practices, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to bring relevant organic traffic, especially if the search volume on the search engines is too low.

After all, you can't rationally expect to get infinite numbers of organic visitors per day if the numbers don't back it up.


As you know, the keyword planner is imprecise, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it entirely. In the startup industry, we often don’t have search volumes to explain what our site or product does.


As a result, we focus on long tail keywords aimed at the right potential clients, while we build the rest of puzzle using inbound marketing and growth hacking techniques.


4. Not Setting The Right Goals In Google Analytics


Setting up the relevant KPIs to track is going to be different in each phase depending on the client. The rule of thumb is simple, any KPIs you track should provide an insight leading to an immediate task, if that's not the case, dump it.


5.Too Much Faith In Google's Good Will & You Don't a Defined SEO Strategy


So you've just created your best piece of content, optimized it for SEO, published it and..? If a lack of response is your problem, you need to actively place your content in front of your target audience on all relevant platforms. If that’s still not enough, outreach is a necessary step to ensure your content will receive the exposure it deserves.


Want to skip this step? Do you have another way to build quality backlinks? If you don't, ranking in the top positions might be impossible in your case.


6. You Forgot The SEO Basics!


When you perform an SEO audit, check everything: title, headings, URL, images, and most importantly take your time to create a killer title & meta description.


Though meta descriptions are often ignored, it separates the SEO leaders from the rest of the crowd. In essence, higher CTR is going to drive considerably more traffic to your site. Optimize everything for SEO, losing rankings over on-page optimization is negligence.


7. Your Website Is Not Mobile-Friendly


Mobilegeddon didn’t change the world, but the fact remains that mobile drives considerable amount of traffic especially to a new startup.


Therefore, optimizing your content for mobile results is always a good idea. Depending on the site that you have, most of your traffic might come from mobile devices. So make sure your website is completely optimized both in terms of speed & UX/UI in order to attract mobile users.


Here is The Short Mobile SEO Checklist 

* Pagespeed- Make sure your website is fast!

* Avoid blocking images, CSS,  and Javascript

* Use Structured data

* Use Responsive web design

* Optimize your content for the mobile user


8. You Have Duplicate Content


Duplicate content is going to kill your Startup's SEO very fast. Make sure you are using the canonical tag and don’t forget to be original and authentic. It's more work, but it is what ultimately drives results.


When comparing yourself to the competition, make sure your content is original so it stands out from the crowd.


9. Your Backlink Profile Is Shady


Any serious SEO audit should include comprehensive backlinks analysis report.

Have you checked your link profile lately? Though a few bad links are not going to hurt you, Google will begin adding it up on a scale.


After a certain tipping point, the scale is not going to be in your favor resulting in punishments, which is possibly the worst thing that can happen to you online. So avoid bad links at all cost by cleaning your link profile.


Simply put, if the visitor thinks the link on the page is good, so does Google.

So make sure your link profile is diverse and not spammy! Russia is great for brides not links ;)


10. You Lack Authority

Build an authority site, authority is built over time by performing the best SEO practices including user’s signals as well as on-page and off-page optimization & content. It can be difficult especially for a new startup, but building authority over time always pays off in the end.


11. Your Competitors Are Better 


So, SEO is not your only problem. Make sure you excel at something and emphasize it with your content. Then deliver your content/product to a micro niche before giving up on it completely.


12. Your Website Is Slow


Speed is a big deal when it comes to rankings, especially on mobile. Nobody has the patience for a slow loading website which is a key reason why your bounce rate is relatively high.


To ensure your site is up to speed, optimize your images, use cache, and consider using a CDN or upgrading your server.


13. Internal/External Linking