Do-it-yourself SEO audit

    In the photo - the checklist of the Cessna aircraft: in what positions do you need to set the switches before starting the engine, permissible flight parameters, and so on. This is not the first time the pilot has seen this list. Learn - just spit. But the brain can overwrite information, creating false memories, but at the same time, when “requested”, the data will be marked as “true”. But printed on paper does not change, so it can be trusted 100%. SEO is not about managing a plane with a hundred people on board. You can lose just a few tens of thousands of rubles (for example, if you start promoting with pages closed from indexing in robots.txt). But isn’t it easier to spend 5-10 minutes checking and make sure that everything is done correctly? ..

    Modern search engine ranking algorithms take into account thousands of factors, but among them the most important can be distinguished. SEO audit allows you to understand whether the site is ready for promotion, whether it meets these criteria. Not all developers understand that a resource can look and work fine, but have some critical flaws.

    All of the errors listed below are typical, we have summarized them from the experience of thousands of audits of real projects. You can also familiarize yourself with site checks and recommendations for improvement on our blog .

    1. Errors in Title, Description, Keywords

    • Titles of pages should be unique - if they are the same, which often happens when CMS automatically generates them, search engines can glue some of them, and gluing essentially excludes pages from the search results. Non-unique, automatically created Title can look like this: "domain - the first line of the page content / the content of the Keywords or Description meta tag." From the point of view of website promotion, this is unacceptable: the contents of the Title tag should not be literally repeated on different pages. The search system may well consider the same and glue the pages with the titles " - Sale of irons at low prices | iron, iron, iron - Tefal FV5378 "and" - Sale of irons at low prices | iron, iron, iron - Tefal FV5472 ”.
    • By the way, the same rule applies to the Keywords and Description meta tags.
    • Titles should not be too long - a maximum of 62 words is taken into account, but since the weight of the main key is stretched at this length, it is better to make them noticeably shorter.
    • You need to start the title with the key phrase on which the page is moving.
    • Do not use quotation marks.
    • The title should be readable, competent and clearly describe the content of the page. Yes, few people look at the window title, and Description is not displayed by the browser at all, but the content of these tags in most cases forms snippets (brief descriptions of sites) in the search results. And the attractiveness and clickability of the snippet is one of the most important parameters in promotion and, in fact, the starting point of conversion.

    2. Non-unique content

    We already wrote about the importance of uniqueness, we will not repeat ourselves. However, this is one of the most common errors that prevent the conclusion to the TOP. Check all pages using the Copyscape service .

    3. Dublin

    Many content management systems create duplicate pages open for indexing: printable versions, with and without a slash, with and without www, search results and so on. Living visitors will not notice anything, but search robots will not like such a mess. You need to paste duplicates to the main page using a 301 redirect, close indexing in robots.txt, use the canonical tag. Detailed information on duplicate search and elimination techniques can be found here .

    4. Lack of updates

    The site must be regularly updated - add new articles, news, products. At the same time, it is necessary to remain within the boundaries of the reasonable - if one fine day lay out several thousand new pages, you can fall under the filter "Many pages at once."

    5. Spam

    Wherever it is possible to leave a comment or message - whether it be a guest book, forums, feedback page - spammers will try to post their links and other garbage. You need to protect yourself from them (captcha, pre-moderation), and if they break through, delete them. Spam on the site is an important negative signal for search engines. Having cleared the pages of traces of intruders, do not become like them yourself: do not spam the content and Description and Keywords tags with repetitions of keywords, especially not related to the subject of a particular page. If you place on the pages too many repetitions of the keyword in an attempt to gain high positions, the search engine will notice this and reduce the position of the site when it is displayed. The ratio of the number of keywords to the total number of words on the page should be within 5-7%.

    6. Broken links

    Use Yandex or Google’s webmaster tools, or use a program such as Xenu's Link Sleuth to search for and remove links that lead to deleted or renamed pages.

    7. The ratio of the total number of pages and the number of indexed pages

    In the ideal case, the actual number of pages on a site should coincide with the number of pages in search engine indexes (minus those deliberately prohibited for indexing).

    If the site is large, the pages will go into indexes gradually, however, if the ratio is still far from 1: 1, you need to look for and eliminate the reason. Usually this is either extra bans in robots.txt, or duplicate content, or errors in the CMS settings. By the way, at this stage it is possible to check whether something that does not belong there is in the index.

    8. Hotlinking

    Links and video players from large video hosting sites can be placed, but direct links to images from other sites are not recommended. It’s better to copy the pictures to your server. This raises the question of borrowing graphic content: yes, it’s better to take your own photos and illustrations, but if the image is not copyrighted (for example, if these are photos of goods from the manufacturer’s website), you can use it.

    9. Russian-speaking and ugly URLs

    • URLs must correspond to the domain: if it is written in Latin, they must also be written in Latin (in English or transliteration), if the domain is Cyrillic, the addresses of the pages should be Russian-speaking. Exceptions like “Wikipedia” for now let them remain exceptions.
    • You need to get rid of URLs like /? = 35wt4t and so on.
    • The page’s address must contain the key word combination that it is moving to. Optimal transliteration, i.e. writing Russian words in Latin letters.
    • Separate words in URLs with hyphens, not underscores. Google treats “-” as a word separation sign, and “_” as a connection sign.

    10. Curve layout

    • Tags must be private. If possible, you need to check how the pages look from the point of view of search robots (there are services for this in web tools).
    • No more than one H1 heading per page (must contain a keyword phrase, you cannot use links inside the tag). You should maintain a logical structure of the remaining levels, use header tags only for marking up content, and nothing else.
    • For pictures, you need to fill in Alt and Title with descriptions with keywords.
    • HTML is best maintained valid. This ensures trouble-free indexing and full display in all browsers. Check pages on .

    11. Slow loading pages

    Errors in setting up a web server or CMS can cost you not only a good attitude from visitors, but also places in the search results: both Yandex and Google really dislike slow sites. Download speed information is available from Google Analytics .

    12. Missing 404 error page

    You must configure the site so that when you request a non-existent page, the response code is 404 (page not found) or 410 (page deleted). In order not to lose visitors, page 404 should be clear: contain links (primarily to the main page), explaining the text and logo of the site.
    To find out what a 404 page looks like, type in the address bar the URL of a non-existent page on your domain.

    13. The robots.txt file

    A file with instructions for search engines should allow them to index everything that is needed and prohibit everything that is unnecessary, and also contain a path to the site map and an indication of the main site mirror (with or without www).

    14. Internal linking

    Using links within the site, you can transfer weight (credibility) from less important pages to more important ones - for example, to the main one. This helps improve the position of recipient pages in the search results for keywords that match their content. Links should not become circular, that is, the recipient page should not link back to the donor page or the page that transfers the weight to the donor.

    15. Expires Headers

    This meta tag tells the crawler when the page is expected to refresh - so that it can correctly set the reindexing period (that is, when to knock again and index the changed content). In the code of the loaded page, it looks like this:. In the Expires header for the main page, you must specify a period of not more than 5 days from the current date, for the section - no more than 2 weeks, for product / article pages - no more than 30 days. The search robot does not strictly obey these instructions, but there is no need to give it a reason to increase the reindexing period. Header parameters are configured using either the CMS or the web server configuration.

    16. The encoding indicated on the page and returned by the server

    The most popular standards are UTF-8 and Windows-1251. If the site uses several encodings at once (documents in one, and another is indicated on the web server), in some browsers or search engines the text will look like a set of obscure characters. The encoding of the site is indicated in a special meta tag in the page code:

    16. Affiliate Filter

    It is necessary to make sure that the contact details indicated on the site do not coincide with the data of other sites. Search engines can prevent a site from getting into the search results if they find a certain combination of signs: matching phone, e-mail, company name, similar domain names, company names, logos, similar website design or structure, copied or similar information on different sites, the same directory services or goods, one price list, combined data from different resources (for example, an address from one site and a phone from another); call forwarding from different numbers to one company (can be detected during manual verification).

    17. Contact Information

    Be sure to indicate the actual address, phone number and other contact information on the site. In addition to the usual mention of this data in the content, header of the site, etc., it is worth using the appropriate micro-marking to transmit it directly to search engines.

    The principle of the Liebig-Timiryazev tub is also applicable to promotion: if a site is missing something, it will rise in SERP as much as this limiting factor allows. Invest in links or content if the site is full of duplicates = pour nitrogen fertilizer on the cabbage if it lacks phosphorus. If you do not want to bother with the inspection yourself, order a detailed audit from our specialists .

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