Are Link Audits Missing From Your SEO Reports?
Every Tom and Nancy who works with search engine optimization will have their own different ways of putting SEO reports together. It’s that simple. But at the same time, the elements for what works in SEO are basically the same, even between the two opposing perspectives (aka, black hat and white hat.). In fact, the viewpoints on how to approach those elements are really the only thing that separates black hat SEO from white hat SEO. In any case, that’s neither here nor there. What matters is that if you’re paying somebody to optimize your website for higher positioning in targeted search engine results; you should be getting an SEO report every month (or at least every quarter). SEO reports show that you’re getting something tangible for your money, because it might take some time before you’ll actually see your website where you want it in search results. At least with an SEO report, you can monitor progress while getting a deeper understanding of what works (and, what does not work.). Likewise, if you are an SEO specialist… you should be giving your clients a routine SEO report.
The average SEO Report typically includes:
- Keyword Research– Identifying the target keywords and value based on local search volume and competition
- Keyword Position– Showing where a website currently displays in search results on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing search engines for each target keyword.
- On Site Data– A variety of key points may include the top landing pages, traffic reporting, top exit pages, information about Meta data. This section generally provides an update towards prior goals and also suggests improvement for further growth.
- Off Site Data– This section also provides an update towards prior goals and also suggestions for advancement, only it focuses on external search engine optimization efforts including link building, social media, online brand management,
- Competition Analysis– This element can be used to measure your success against some of the most direct competition, and also understand what’s working for competitors who continue to rank in a higher position.
The average SEO Report will often miss some important elements though…
Let’s be honest… there are too many elements to include in an SEO report. It’s simply not possible (nor is it practical) to cover all the bases. So we’re not going to list every single thing that is not usually included… but let’s talk about one in particular that the average web marketer may neglect to include.
Don’t Forget Link Auditing for SEO!
Sure, sure… there may be a section about back links in your report. (If you are an SEO specialist and you leave that part out, it might be time to look for another day job!) Link building is a very big part of SEO, and that’s why even the simplest report should always look at the number of incoming links and contribute to your Page Rank. Link audits are more complex, and won’t need to be done monthly but they should be done at least once a year. (Preferably on a quarterly basis, but the frequency depends on how seriously you take your Page Rank.) Here are some things that a link audit will include:
- The number of incoming links
- The Page Rank of websites (and pages) that contain each back link
- The relevance of each individual back link. (Note- links that are not relevant and used under appropriate context do not offer any real value.)
- Anchor text, showing how others describe your website or target pages when linking.
- Link health- how many links are live.
- Top referrers- find out which back links are bringing you the most referral traffic
- Ineffective links- identifying resources which can be avoided in future link building campaigns
You see, those details all add up to a greater understanding of the link element, and the information is so much more valuable than a general overview showing general quantity of links. Most SEO tools won’t even show the real value of each link, so it may require extra time and manual effort to complete a link audit.
Now take that tip, rinse, and repeat with every element you cover by delivering a tool-based overview. If you really want to make something work; sometimes you have to take it apart and thoroughly inspect and polish every little piece.