Connect with us

SEO

SEO Audit Tips to Close More Deals

Published

on

In the SEO industry, it is common for businesses who are looking to acquire SEO services to request an audit of their website. I know from experience that SEO audits can make or break the deal. It shows potential partners the agency or freelancer’s level of competency and expertise. It also allows potential partners to set expectations and KPIs.

As the CEO of SEO Hacker and the lead business developer of the company, I have done and sent hundreds of SEO audits to businesses. In this blog post, I’m willing to share some of my best kept secrets that may seem simple at first but have allowed me to close more deals for our team.

Note: This post was originally published on May 13, 2021, and was updated on May 31, 2022 to include new tips and data.

Customize your reports

There are a lot of lead generation tools for SEO that offer automated SEO audits for leads and we at SEO Hacker even use them ourselves.

Advertisement

I would say that those are only part of the process.

SEO Audit Tips to Close More Deals

What matters more is the audit that you do when you are already in talks with your partners or during your sales pitch.

Important: SEO audits should be tailored to the client. There is no one-size-fits-all SEO audit because every website and business is unique. When tailoring an SEO audit, consider the client’s business goals, target market, and budget.

I do two things to create a fully customized report:

  1. Manually audit the website
  2. Use a tool to automate the SEO audit

SEO audits should be tailored to the client quote card

Manually audit the website

Here are some tips that may help you out in picking out the details you would want to include in your audit:

  • Try to get everything out of their homepage and point out every opportunity for optimization there.
  • Pick out important pages with unoptimized title tags. You don’t have to give them a full list. You just have to pick out those that could possibly be giving them more traffic and more sales.
  • Check their site structure and website indexability.
  • Critique their content. Many companies know that content is important in SEO but they don’t necessarily know how to write SEO-friendly articles. 
  • Use a backlink checker to analyze their backlinks. Link building is a hot topic for businesses looking for SEO services so if you can point out areas of improvement there you can get higher chances of closing the deal.
  • Show them screenshots and/or give a list of URLs you see that need to be optimized. Partners like to be very specific. Simply giving them a list of bullet points is not enough. 

Use a tool to automate the SEO audit

Next, use a trustworthy tool to fill in the gaps of your manual audit.

In this case, let’s use Netpeak Spider.

Advertisement
Netpeak Spider landing page

Note: Some of the features I’ll be discussing are under the PRO subscription.

One of the many things I absolutely love about this tool is just how simple it is to use and how easy the results are to understand.

So for a quick SEO audit that’s going to help me or the Accounts Manager take a cursory look at our prospect’s website, Netpeak Spider really takes the cake.

I’ll stress that last part: Even if your Accounts Manager doesn’t have direct experience with SEO (but at least understands terminologies—I mean, they need to be able to explain to your partners and prospects how things work, right?), you can ask them to run the tool and interpret the results on their own.

It’s that easy to understand.

My podcast’s—Leadership Stack—website can do better in terms of traffic, so let’s audit the website for our use case.

Advertisement

Step-by-step guide to using Netpeak Spider for an SEO audit

  • Go to the Netpeak Software website and download the launcher.
  • Open Netpeak Spider from the launcher. What you see below is the tool’s interface when you open it.

Netpeak Spider interface

Settings

  • Choose which settings are appropriate for your audit. In my case, I connected the GA/GSC accounts among other things.

GA and GSC

  • Check your Parameters. They’re on the right side of the interface. Again, what you check is up to your needs and what you want to see in the report.

Netpeak Spider Parameters

  • Input the website’s URL on the Enter URL bar. It’s at the top of the interface.

Netpeak Spider URL bar

  • Press Start.
  • After a few minutes (it can be pretty quick depending on the size of your website), the results will be displayed on the interface.

Leadership Stack Netpeak Spider results

  • Time to export the results. You can opt to click the SEO Audit PDF button at the top right of the interface…

SEO audit button

  • Or click Export and choose what parts of the audit you want to export.

Export reports

  • In this example, I decided to simply export the PDF. Here’s what the cover page of the report looks like:

Leadership Stack SEO audit results PDF

If you’re on the PRO subscription, you can opt to add your details such as your company website and email to the report.

Once you’re done collating your data, you can list what you see on a simple Word document with your logo as the header. Then convert it to a PDF file and send it to the client. Sounds simple enough but it does work.

Most of the time, you don’t have to use flashy presentations. What you need is a clear, concise, and straight to the point website audit that is easy to digest for any potential client.

Further reading: An In-depth Crawl into Netpeak Spider

Show what you can do for them

Simply diagnosing the problems of a website and showing it to your potential client will not make the cut. They already know that their website has problems and it needs to be optimized. That’s the reason why they’re reaching out to you in the first place.

If they just wanted a simple audit using an SEO tool, they could have done it themselves (hence, the combination of manual and automated audits).

Advertisement

What partners are looking for in an SEO audit is how are you able to help them. You need to convince your potential partners that you are the SEO specialist for the job.

But before you add any solutions, you need to gauge your lead’s level of SEO knowledge.

If your lead is completely new to SEO, then you need to provide more details as to why the factors you listed need to be optimized and how important they are for ranking. Let’s say you’re working on an e-commerce website and you recommended that title tags of the product categories need to be changed.

Why did you recommend changing those title tags? Why is it important to optimize the title tag of a product category page? 

But for partners who are knowledgeable already with SEO, you may not need to discuss the importance of a product category page or of a title tag to them. But you still need to give your analysis on why their existing tags are not good.

You have to remember when businesses are shopping for SEO services, you are not the only one they are engaged with. They are most likely in talks with other service providers. What you are trying to do here is making them feel comfortable with you.

Advertisement

By crafting the right website audit, you can build trust, show your partners you’re competent and capable, and that they could give the project to you with no second thoughts.

Further reading: Learn SEO: The Complete Guide for Beginners and Technical SEO: The Complete Guide for Advanced Users (with Checklist)

Add competitor analyses in your SEO audit

Adding a competitor analysis in your SEO audits for potential partners can be a game-changer. Most businesses will usually ask for an audit of their website alone but I highly recommend that you go the extra mile and do a quick or short audit of their competitors.

What you would want to do here is to compare some of the problems on their website versus their competitors’. Show them how they’re faring against their competitors.

You don’t need a very detailed analysis. You can use Netpeak Spider on the competitors’ websites and just insert a few comments on your bullet points. Screenshots of data are also helpful especially on backlink data and rankings.

Don’t reveal all your cards

I know that I just said you should show what you can do for them but that doesn’t mean you completely reveal everything you’ll be doing for them. There are two purposes for this:

Advertisement
  1. First is that it keeps your leads on the edge of their seats.
  2. Second is to protect you or your company.

Using the sample I used earlier, let’s say you listed down the product category pages of your potential client and told them that their title tags are not good. You say why they are not good but you don’t have to say what you would replace them with.

What you’re trying to do here is keeping potential partners engaged and interested. On the business side of things, you’re trying to avoid giving potential partners free work.

Key takeaway

SEO audits are only one part of the overall sales process but they are a crucial part of it. It gives your potential partners a little sneak peak on what you can do for them after putting ink on the contract. It helps set expectations and KPIs. It can be the difference between them choosing you or a different company.

 

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

SEO

Google Limits News Links In California Over Proposed ‘Link Tax’ Law

Published

on

By

A brown cardboard price tag with a twine string and a black dollar sign symbol, influenced by the Link Tax Law, set against a dark gray background.

Google announced that it plans to reduce access to California news websites for a portion of users in the state.

The decision comes as Google prepares for the potential passage of the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), a bill requiring online platforms like Google to pay news publishers for linking to their content.

What Is The California Journalism Preservation Act?

The CJPA, introduced in the California State Legislature, aims to support local journalism by creating what Google refers to as a “link tax.”

If passed, the Act would force companies like Google to pay media outlets when sending readers to news articles.

However, Google believes this approach needs to be revised and could harm rather than help the news industry.

Advertisement

Jaffer Zaidi, Google’s VP of Global News Partnerships, stated in a blog post:

“It would favor media conglomerates and hedge funds—who’ve been lobbying for this bill—and could use funds from CJPA to continue to buy up local California newspapers, strip them of journalists, and create more ghost papers that operate with a skeleton crew to produce only low-cost, and often low-quality, content.”

Google’s Response

To assess the potential impact of the CJPA on its services, Google is running a test with a percentage of California users.

During this test, Google will remove links to California news websites that the proposed legislation could cover.

Zaidi states:

“To prepare for possible CJPA implications, we are beginning a short-term test for a small percentage of California users. The testing process involves removing links to California news websites, potentially covered by CJPA, to measure the impact of the legislation on our product experience.”

Google Claims Only 2% of Search Queries Are News-Related

Zaidi highlighted peoples’ changing news consumption habits and its effect on Google search queries (emphasis mine):

“It’s well known that people are getting news from sources like short-form videos, topical newsletters, social media, and curated podcasts, and many are avoiding the news entirely. In line with those trends, just 2% of queries on Google Search are news-related.”

Despite the low percentage of news queries, Google wants to continue helping news publishers gain visibility on its platforms.

Advertisement

However, the “CJPA as currently constructed would end these investments,” Zaidi says.

A Call For A Different Approach

In its current form, Google maintains that the CJPA undermines news in California and could leave all parties worse off.

The company urges lawmakers to consider alternative approaches supporting the news industry without harming smaller local outlets.

Google argues that, over the past two decades, it’s done plenty to help news publishers innovate:

“We’ve rolled out Google News Showcase, which operates in 26 countries, including the U.S., and has more than 2,500 participating publications. Through the Google News Initiative we’ve partnered with more than 7,000 news publishers around the world, including 200 news organizations and 6,000 journalists in California alone.”

Zaidi suggested that a healthy news industry in California requires support from the state government and a broad base of private companies.

As the legislative process continues, Google is willing to cooperate with California publishers and lawmakers to explore alternative paths that would allow it to continue linking to news.

Advertisement

Featured Image:Ismael Juan/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

The Best of Ahrefs’ Digest: March 2024

Published

on

The Best of Ahrefs’ Digest: March 2024

Every week, we share hot SEO news, interesting reads, and new posts in our newsletter, Ahrefs’ Digest.

If you’re not one of our 280,000 subscribers, you’ve missed out on some great reads!

Here’s a quick summary of my personal favorites from the last month:

Best of March 2024

How 16 Companies are Dominating the World’s Google Search Results

Author: Glen Allsopp

tl;dr

Glen’s research reveals that just 16 companies representing 588 brands get 3.5 billion (yes, billion!) monthly clicks from Google.

My takeaway

Glen pointed out some really actionable ideas in this report, such as the fact that many of the brands dominating search are adding mini-author bios.

Advertisement
Example of mini-author bios on The VergeExample of mini-author bios on The Verge

This idea makes so much sense in terms of both UX and E-E-A-T. I’ve already pitched it to the team and we’re going to implement it on our blog.

How Google is Killing Independent Sites Like Ours

Authors: Gisele Navarro, Danny Ashton

tl;dr

Big publications have gotten into the affiliate game, publishing “best of” lists about everything under the sun. And despite often not testing products thoroughly, they’re dominating Google rankings. The result, Gisele and Danny argue, is that genuine review sites suffer and Google is fast losing content diversity.

My takeaway

I have a lot of sympathy for independent sites. Some of them are trying their best, but unfortunately, they’re lumped in with thousands of others who are more than happy to spam.

Estimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele's site fell off a cliff after Google's March updatesEstimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele's site fell off a cliff after Google's March updates
Estimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele’s site fell off a cliff after Google’s March updates 🙁 

I know it’s hard to hear, but the truth is Google benefits more from having big sites in the SERPs than from having diversity. That’s because results from big brands are likely what users actually want. By and large, people would rather shop at Walmart or ALDI than at a local store or farmer’s market.

That said, I agree with most people that Forbes (with its dubious contributor model contributing to scams and poor journalism) should not be rewarded so handsomely.

The Discussion Forums Dominating 10,000 Product Review Search Results

Author: Glen Allsopp

Tl;dr

Glen analyzed 10,000 “product review” keywords and found that:

Advertisement

My takeaway

After Google’s heavy promotion of Reddit from last year’s Core Update, to no one’s surprise, unscrupulous SEOs and marketers have already started spamming Reddit. And as you may know, Reddit’s moderation is done by volunteers, and obviously, they can’t keep up.

I’m not sure how this second-order effect completely escaped the smart minds at Google, but from the outside, it feels like Google has capitulated to some extent.

John Mueller seemingly having too much faith in Reddit...John Mueller seemingly having too much faith in Reddit...

I’m not one to make predictions and I have no idea what will happen next, but I agree with Glen: Google’s results are the worst I’ve seen them. We can only hope Google sorts itself out.

Who Sends Traffic on the Web and How Much? New Research from Datos & SparkToro

Author: Rand Fishkin

tl;dr

63.41% of all U.S. web traffic referrals from the top 170 sites are initiated on Google.com.

Data from SparktoroData from Sparktoro

My takeaway

Despite all of our complaints, Google is still the main platform to acquire traffic from. That’s why we all want Google to sort itself out and do well.

But it would also be a mistake to look at this post and think Google is the only channel you should drive traffic from. As Rand’s later blog post clarifies, “be careful not to ascribe attribution or credit to Google when other investments drove the real value.”

I think many affiliate marketers learned this lesson well from the past few Core Updates: Relying on one single channel to drive all of your traffic is not a good idea. You should be using other platforms to build brand awareness, interest, and demand.

Want more?

Each week, our team handpicks the best SEO and marketing content from around the web for our newsletter. Sign up to get them directly in your inbox.

Advertisement



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

Google Unplugs “Notes on Search” Experiment

Published

on

By

Google unplugs Notes On Search Experiment

Google is shutting down it’s Google Notes Search Labs experiment that allowed users to see and leave notes on Google’s search results and many in the search community aren’t too surprised.

Google Search Notes

Availability of the feature was limited to Android and Apple devices and there was never a clearly defined practical purpose or usefulness of the Notes experiment. Search marketers reaction throughout has consistently been that would become a spam-magnet.

The Search Labs page for the experiment touts it as mode of self-expression, to help other users and as a way for users to collect their own notes within their Google profiles.

The official Notes page in Search Labs has a simple notice:

Notes on Search Ends May 2024

That’s it.

Advertisement

Screenshot Of Notice

Reaction From Search Community

Kevin Indig tweeted his thoughts that anything Google makes with a user generated content aspect was doomed to attract spam.

He tweeted:

“I’m gonna assume Google retires notes because of spam.

It’s crazy how spammy the web has become. Google can’t launch anything UGC without being bombarded.”

Cindy Krum (@Suzzicks) tweeted that it was author Purna Virji (LinkedIn profile) who predicted that it would be shut down once Google received enough data.

She shared:

Advertisement

“It was actually @purnavirji who predicted it when we were at @BarbadosSeo – while I was talking. Everyone agreed that it would be spammed, but she said it would just be a test to collect a certain type of information until they got what they needed, and then it would be retired.”

Purna herself responded with a tweet:

“My personal (non-employer) opinion is that everyone wants all the UGC to train the AI models. Eg Reddit deal also could potentially help with that.”

Google’s Notes for Search seemed destined to never take off, it was met with skepticism and a shrug when it came out and nobody’s really mourning that it’s on the way out, either.

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Jamesbin



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending

Follow by Email
RSS