Jordan is an SEO Manager at Blue Array. He has worked across growing start-ups, global publishers and established household brands with a keen focus on affecting the bottom line. He has a particular interest in large-scale SEO and enjoys the technicalities and challenges that come hand in hand with larger websites.
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The process of auditing a website is one of the key SEO processes, regardless of whether you’re working for an agency, as a freelancer or in-house.
This practical and hands-on course really delves into detail on how to produce world class technical SEO audits. These are the kind of audits that deliver better results, that you can charge more for and that make the most of the search marketing opportunity for you or your client’s business.
With mobile first now well and truly upon us and Google’s algorithms seemingly favouring technically sound websites more and more with every update, the technical SEO auditing process has changed considerably over the years. This training course will ensure that you are up to speed with every aspect of auditing, and they will offer some handy tips on best process and documentation.
Throughout the day you’ll walk step-by-step through everything you should be looking for and including in your SEO audits. At the very least, we will cover:
Google Search Console Revealed
- Verify yourself as site owner
- Keep track of multiple users with access privileges
- Integrate with Google Analytics
- Crawl errors and what to do with them
- How to interpret crawl stats
- Search analytics. How to report and act on this data
- Upload and submit XML Sitemaps. Various types and how these should be formatted
- How to get this absolutely perfect
- Check for manual actions. What causes these?
- HTML improvements. How to utilise this
- Check for structured data errors and utilise rich cards
- Check for robots.txt errors
- International targeting – hreflang
- Fetch and render
- Blocked resources
- URL parameters
- Mobile optimisation
- Check for abnormalities with Googlebot crawling your site
- Review your backlinks and unnatural looking anchor text
- Check for mobile issues
- What can you do with the new Google Search Console (Beta). The new URL inspection tool. Year on year non brand analysis.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages
Interpreting Crawl Reports
- The Screaming Frog Interface – The main pane (incl right click options), right pane (overview, Site Structure, Response times), bottom pane (individual URL overview)
- Gather basic website data
- Internal Crawl Report (default report) – Meaning of each field, what to look for, how to filter and export
- Customise the crawl – Include/Exclude URLs, Spider (crawling canonicals, nofollows, robots.txt. etc); Crawl Speed; Choosing User-agent
- Alternate types of crawls – URL lists, SERPs, Sitemaps
- Analysing Reports (All pages Vs Indexable pages etc)
- Duplicate content – URL report filtered by duplicates, URLs, duplicate titles, canonicals, secure/non-secure dups
- Thin content
- Crawling and indexing control (canonical elements, meta robots, etc)
- Site speed – response times, page size (in bytes), image sizes
- Missing / Duplicate / Unoptimised page elements (title tags, meta descriptions)
- Exporting and editing titles and meta descriptions
- Analysing Images – sizes, missing alt, over 100kb
- Analysing site structure – organisation, hierarchy, internal linking (inlinks/outlinks). Adhering to a strict silo structure.
- Exporting bulk data (esp 404s or 302s, canonicalised URLs, images missing alt)
- Broken internal and external links
- Sitemaps – creating, exporting, non-200 pages, non-canonical URLs, blocked pages, orphaned pages (in sitemap)
- Exporting & Reports – Crawl Overview, Redirect Chains, Canonical Errors, SERP Summary
- Mobile vs Desktop Crawls
- How to complement this analysis with your server log analysis
- How to present this data to developers if required
- How to determine a bad link. Context and sector etc.
- Referring Domains Vs Total Link Count. What is the best ratio.
- The different types of links (sitewide, widget, embedded in content and editorially given, paid). Followed vs. NoFollowed
- Quality backlinks vs. links from spammy sites or article directories
- Why it pays to be careful with rich anchor text
- How to analyse your link data with Ahrefs, Search Console and other tools such as LinkResearchTools
- Google Penguin and Manual Penalties
- What to do with problem backlinks. Different scenarios
- Use Google Search Console Crawl Errors and Ahrefs reports to do broken link building
- How to measure SEO site authority (Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs)
- Looking at your competitors’ link metrics
- Looking at your competitors’ profiles to get ideas, find gaps & get intel on their strategy
- What keywords/anchor text are your competitors targeting?
- Run through of Ahrefs
- SEMRush, Sistrix etc
Classic Tech SEO Mistakes and How to Fix Them
- Page Titles – Not descriptive, ie. setting the home page title to “Welcome”
- Page Titles – Putting the Brand or Domain Name as the prefix in every page title on the site
- Having the same meta description or page title for multiple pages
- Not setting the page title or meta description
- Duplicate header tags
- Not heeding recommended lengths for your page title and meta description tags
- Keyword stuffing your tags, including the meta keywords tag
- Not setting the alt tags on your images
- Not renaming your images to a descriptive filename before uploading them to your site
- Not implementing a top level canonical redirect
- Having non indexable pages in your XML sitemap
- Hreflang tags reciprocated and pointing at 200 pages
- Canonicals pointing at 200 pages
- High external linking
- Redirect loops
- Mixed content issues (http resources after https migration)
- Having very similar pages in the search engine index (cannibalisation)
- Having thin pages in the search engine index
- Natural keyword placement (wary of Panda) and anchor text
- Avoiding doorway pages (some analysis of “Fred Update”)
- Pagination issues
- Not returning a HTTP status code 404 or 410 on pages that are meant to be errors. Soft 404’s
- Classic migration or website redesign mistakes (redirects, URL structure changes etc)
- Spammy structured data
- Having pages that are too many clicks away from the home page
- Crawl bloat and resulting index bloat
- Not having your internal links set up as text links
- URL & silo structure issues
- OpenGraph data etc
Page Speed and Mobile Optimisation
- Why Page Speed is important for SEO. Recent update from Google on what sites will be impacted
- Most common page speed issues (Image size, compression, external JS calls)
- Measuring page speed with Page Speed Insights (Mobile and Desktop)
- Measuring page speed with Pingdom
- Measuring page speed with Webpagetest (load time, first byte time, compress images, cache static content, bytes in). Content Breakdown Report, Waterfall View, Request Details.
- Inspecting element. Check the console and the render
- Compare crawls of various user agents. Is linking sound on all devices (mobile first)
- Chrome Developer Tools (Lighthouse) Run through of new report and how to do batch audits (shout out to Builtvisible)
- Google Analytics (Site Speed, Page Timings, Speed Suggestions)
- Types of Mobile sites: Responsive Design, Dynamic Serving, Separate Mobile Site
- Common Mobile Errors
- Google Search Console (Search Analytics – Devices, Mobile Usability, Mobile Device Errors)
- Chrome developer tools (mobile device emulator)
- AMP – what is AMP, should you implement it?
- Keyword research essentials
- Information keyword tools provide
- Keyword metrics
- How Google processes keywords today (RankBrain, conversational queries)
- Brainstorming a seed list
- Google Suggest & Related Searches
- Youtube Suggest
- Ahrefs Keyword Research
- Answer The Public
- Bing Keyword Tool
- Google Trends
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner
- Hittail Keyword Ideas
- Keyword difficulty
- Sistrix keyword tools
- SEMRush (competitor keywords, SEO Keyword Magic, featured snippets)
- Keyword mapping
- Putting your keyword plan into action
- Tracking rankings (AWR, Moz and other tools)
- How to use all these keywords naturally
Using Server Logs for Additional Insight
- Crawl errors from all search engines
- Events – learning which pages are crawled the most and actions
- Mobile Vs Desktop (seeing if your site is mobile first)
- Search engines
- User agents
- Effective use of crawl budget
- Establishing pages that aren’t being crawled
- Page speed insight (direct from server)
- Canonical URLs missing from XML Sitemap
What you’ll gain from this course
We’ll take a walk step-by-step through everything you should be looking for and including in your SEO audits.
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Why Train with BrightonSEO
Experts, not Trainers
We won’t waste your time sitting you in front of full time trainers who haven’t got their hands dirty for god knows how long; we get experts from different fields of the industry on board to give you the information they know works, not just the theory of what’s supposed to.
Specific, Detailed and Unique
Most training providers are looking for a course they can run month after month, week after week, so they end up being general and catch-all. Not our courses … they’re more detailed and in-depth than you’ll find anywhere else.
You Drive the Agenda
We don’t drive the agenda, you do. Before each training course, we ask what you want to be taught, and we actually listen. All the workshops we run have been selected because they’re the most commonly requested training subjects useful to you.
The group sizes are ideal, more than a handful to offer a bit of diversity and substance to the day, but small enough that the training can remain hands-on and personal, making sure all questions are directly answered.
The Perfect Duration
The day runs from 9.30-4.00 to keep it punchy. Any longer than that and it starts to drag, any shorter and you’re not able to properly sink your teeth into what you’re covering. Don’t worry, you’ll also get plenty of breaks to network.
Proper Food & Drink
There’s a couple of coffee breaks, morning and afternoon, and we also provide a proper lunch. That’s right, we’re talking real food with beer and wine rather than soggy sandwiches or mush slopped from a tray.