Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the power engine behind attracting traffic and growing your online presence. It’s like securing visibility for a store for the busiest street in the city. Google is that busy street and you want to attract as much traffic as possible to your website. Incorporating that lead generation tool into your sales cycle – along with other tools such as social media, word of mouth, networking and events helps you keep several channels open between you and prospective customers.
We love to help our close business community in Lisburn and across Northern Ireland unlock the potential of SEO. In this article, let’s go through the concept of an SEO audit and the important role it plays before you set up you SEO strategy.
Are You Looking for ‘SEO Lisburn’?
ProfileTree – Expert SEO Specialists with a Local Flavour Serving Businesses in Lisburn, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
We are a self-made, family run agency based in Belfast and Monaghan. We’ve established ourselves in the Northern Irish market since 2010. We’ve grown the team, collected awards, and helped local and international businesses with their SEO performance. We’ve also helped hundreds of small and medium sized businesses with free SEO training through programmes funded by Northern Ireland’s Councils over the course of three years. Investing in SEO for your business in Lisburn means making sure your new SEO partnership is built on proven methods. We’re SEO specialists and a leading content marketing agency, meaning we can help that you’re not just seen but that the right traffic for you works hard for your business.
SEO Lisburn: What Is an SEO Audit
An SEO audit is a detailed analysis of your SEO performance. It takes everything into account; technical SEO, content related, on-page SEO, domain authority, and much more. It is basically a “health check” for a website. Through using paid or free tools, you can use analyse your website and find out where it falls short and where it does well. Before building up an SEO strategy, you must first start with that.
SEO Lisburn: How to Run an SEO Audit Yourself
The tools you can use are many, but we recommend those tools as they are free, and they offer valuable insights.
Using these tools, you can assess the performance of every point we’re going to talk about in a moment.
SEO Lisburn: Organic Traffic
That’s usually the number one metric every business looks at. How many traffic comes to the website every month through Google and other search engines? A tool like UberSuggest would give you that. The number of traffic is important, but you must also take note of the pages through which most of your traffic comes. That’ll give you some insights to what you’re doing right with those pages. The focus keywords of those pages invite you to understand your audience better.
SEO Lisburn: Examine Internal Links
Internal links play a huge role in building an interlinked network on your website where pages on your website strengthen each other. To understand how internal links work, you must know that Google doesn’t see your website as a whole unit. It sees every page on its own. Internal links tell Google the connection between those pages. Pages linked together become references to each other and they transfer equity and authority to each other, especially if they’re under an umbrella of related topics.
Whenever you perform an audit, you will find out the important pages that do not get enough internal links, so that you can point more internal links to them. On the other hand, you will identify strong pages that you can use to transfer equity to other relevant pages.
SEO Lisburn: Mobile Responsiveness
This is a mobile-first world now, no doubt about it. Most of the people navigate the Internet through mobile devices. Google knows that and promotes website which are suitable for mobile devices. Websites that are mobile-responsive are pages that have been reformatted to reproduce what you experience on the desktop. This means that instead of shrinking everything down, clickable items are enlarged, and pictures are resized and reformatted. This also safeguards the user experience when turning the mobile device from a vertical view to a horizontal view. Using PageSpeed Insights, a tool made by Google itself, you can find out how your website performs on mobile phones and how you can improve your mobile user experience.
SEO Lisburn: Site Loading Speed
We all get frustrated when we click on a page and it takes forever to load – we’ve all been there. But what is a good page load time exactly? According to a 2019 study by Portent, a 0-4 second load time is best for conversion rates, and the first five seconds of page-load time have the highest impact on conversion rates. You see how the bar is set very high.
Once again, Google favours pages that load fast. That’s why on PageSpeed Insights, you will see these metrics:
First Contentful Paint (FCP) is an important, user-centric metric for measuring perceived load speed because it marks the first point in the page load timeline where the user can see anything on the screen – a fast FCP helps reassure the user that something is happening.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures how long it takes to load the largest piece of the page.
First Input Delay (FID): measures the delay between the user’s first interaction with a page and the browser’s response to it.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures how much the layout of the page shifts for the user, as well as visual stability.
The tool will highlight your website’s performance in one of the three colours: red, amber, or green. If it’s red, then your website is being penalised by Google and will not rank highly for pages that should be ranking. Amber is okay – but could be improved. Green, of course, is the ideal speed your website should aim for.
SEO Lisburn: Watch Your Competitors
Although your SEO audit is entirely about identifying your website’s performance. Knowing where your competitors stand helps you benchmark against them. That’s the way to know the industry standards and where your website stands against it. Using any of the tools we mentioned, you can copy your competitor’s URL and check the same points you checked for your own websites. Speed, mobile responsiveness, traffic, keywords, backlinking, etc. You’ll be surprised to learn this about your competitors and some insights will be good pointers for you.
SEO Lisburn: Indexing Issues
Google is open about the fact that it doesn’t index all the pages it can find. Using the Google Search Console, you can see the pages on your website that are not indexed. It also provides you with useful information about the specific issue that prevented a page from being indexed so you can fix it. These issues include server errors, 404s, and hints that the page may have thin or duplicated content.
SEO Lisburn: Site Crawl
A site crawl is an imitation of how Google ‘crawls’ or indexes your website. Its purpose is to see all issues related to those pages the way Google might see them. UberSuggest is the right tool to do that. All you need to do is set up a project and add your website’s URL. Depending on the size of your website, it may take a while before you get the full report.
The main metric you should pay attention to is the Site Health score. It is an overall indicator of the SEO health of your website based on the number and seriousness of issues found. Other than that, you’ll find a list of issues that you can go through one by one and fix.
Here are some of the common issues we face with our clients.
Crawlability issues: some pages returned 5xx status code
Redirect issues: some of your redirects are looped
Sitemap issues: some incorrect pages were found in your sitemap
Issues with HTTPS: HTTPS pages link to HTTP pages
Internal links issues: you have broken (non-functional) internal links
On-page SEO issues: you don’t have title tags for some pages
Markup issues: some structured data markup doesn’t comply to Google’s guidelines
Performance issues: some pages load slowly
Do not be intimidated, many of those issues are ‘low hanging fruit’. You can easily fix them yourself like internal links issues and on-page SEO issues. Sometimes a page loads slowly because the media files you’re using are too large, so you can replace the images or compress their size using any of the free tools available online. If the issues are related to coding or security, you can get in touch with us and we can give you a quote for website optimisation.
SEO Lisburn: Manual Actions
The Internet, like any place, has its fair share of cheaters. These are websites who try to trick their way to the top of the results page. Google takes this seriously because it is bad for searchers as more relevant pages get buried under irrelevant results, and it’s bad for legitimate websites because these sites become harder to find.
To avoid that, Google issues a manual action against a site when a human reviewer at Google has determined that pages on the site are not compliant with Google’s guidelines. Most manual actions address attempts to manipulate the search index. If you have a manual action against your site, it will result in pages or sites being ranked lower or omitted from search results.
Using Google Search Console, you can be sure that none of the pages have that. You’ll see a count of manual actions against your site at the top of the report. If your site has no manual actions, you’ll see a green check mark and then you’re good to go.
SEO Lisburn: Choose a Local SEO Agency for Your Business
We help local companies to achieve their goals online. We’re local based search optimisation specialists with a difference: we’ve built our own company on SEO first, so we already know how to achieve business growth through great SEO. We’re also a leading content marketing agency, meaning we can help your business be found online and engage your potential customers in a way designed to help drive conversions.
We pair our technical know-how and creativity to bring sustainable SEO solutions to your business. We test all the tactics before we recommend new tactics to our clients on our own internal brands.
SEO Lisburn: How to Approach SEO as a Small Company
We’re often asked by companies – from Lisburn, across Northern Ireland and beyond – if we could ‘do SEO on a website’. It tends to go alongside the misunderstanding that SEO is like flicking a switch, a form of technical set-up, that can be accessed by bringing in SEO consultants. Worse, the company has listened to scraps of out-of-context advice in presentations and between business owner, a sure route to going nowhere fast! In a way, the technical set-up part is correct to some degree. But there’s much, much more to gain great results.
SEO Lisburn: ProfileTree’s Advice to Clients
Start With a Clean Slate
How to ‘do’ SEO? Any good SEO consultants will want to start at the beginning, that would be to take your marketing goals – with real, clear targets – and improve your website for Google’s latest algorithm. That should be done before linking in with engaging, purposeful, and relevant content with a well-performing call-to-action. Anything less is purely traffic for the sake of traffic. Your business deserves better.
Take a Step Back
Investing in SEO, which not only puts you in front of people searching for your services, but also links with great content designed to convert (this part is often forgotten) – is a great time to take a step back with your team and really examine your business. What are your business goals? Your marketing goals? What audience will you target with search ranking? How will you keep them within a sales funnel? ProfileTree can help shape your digital strategy for success.
Little and Often
Ticking the SEO box will achieve little when search algorithms start to change, and your customers switch to new types of devices. Making digital strategy something you regularly revisit, assess, and refine means you’ll be ahead of change in that ‘sweet spot’ of when it happens rather than wasting budget on catching up. Ultimately, SEO isn’t a product. A professional SEO firm in Lisburn, or anywhere in Northern Ireland, will show that SEO is an ongoing way of thinking about web set-up, content, and customer journey. In other words, a best practice and a foundation for your digital word.
Most of all, ProfileTree built its own company on SEO and content marketing, so we understand how to incorporate great SEO into the very roots of the online presence where your customer interacts with your brand. Moreover, the fact that we have a team of experts in SEO, content writing, social marketing, video production, web design and web development, as well as training means that we offer a personal service for Lisburn businesses. You’ll get the flexibility of a freelance SEO consultant with the benefits of a varied, specialist team.
SEO Lisburn: SEO with Strategy
SEO Lisburn: Your Marketing Goals
Knowing what you want to gain from investing in SEO means knowing what you aim to achieve from marketing. Real, specific goals like ’15 enquiries per week and five sales’ will give a clear, uncompromising measure to check your investment against, and adapt as needs be. We’ll show you how because we love helping local companies to shape their SEO for online success.
SEO Lisburn: Your Business Goals
If you haven’t looked at how your business goals and marketing goals overlap, and even support each other, the planning of an SEO project with ProfileTree is a great time to take stock. We’ll even help you with this, to make sure every part of your online world is working towards the results you need to achieve.
SEO Lisburn: Your Team Goals
Understanding your audience, potential buyers, new markets, and new messages will all form part of your ProfileTree SEO plan. But take time to listen to a vital resource: your team. Their ideas, challenges, suggestions and more can help form the structure of a strategy built around success. We’ll take your needs and help make results happen online for your business.
SEO Lisburn: Your Changing Goals
If you aren’t planning for your business to change and your customers to change, you are – unfortunately – planning to fail. Cheap ‘off the shelf’ SEO options won’t take account of many factors, including the need to adapt to your changing business needs and continually tying in with content as your audiences switches to new types of searching and more. We will design-in change to make sure you benefit from the newest developments.
SEO Lisburn: How Much Is SEO Services
Working with so many different businesses over the years taught us to work with different budgets and requirements. We tailor all our packages according to your needs and it doesn’t matter whether the budget you have is big or small – we work with KPIs. In other words, you set the budget, we tailor a package optimised for your requirements and within the limits of your spending. We have packages starting from 500£ per month covering SEO audit, content writing, imagery, keyword analysis, and reporting. For technical SEO and website optimisation, please contact us for an accurate budget as it varies from one website to the other.
SEO Lisburn: Ready to Book a Free SEO Audit?
You fully understand now what an SEO audit is, and we can do it for you as part of your project at no extra cost! One of our expert team members will go through your website and analyse the content and technical SEO performance to give you a brief report of your brand’s digital well-being and how you can utilise SEO to your advantage.
Fill the form and send us your questions, we will be happy to answer all of them. Please do let us know if your business is registered in Lisburn. Alternatively, you can book a chat with one of our team members to audit your SEO performance and find out how we can help you grow your website traffic organically in Lisburn, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
More services: Social Media Marketing Lisburn, Content Marketing Lisburn, Digital Training Lisburn, Digital Marketing Lisburn, Web Design Lisburn
23rd March 2023
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