Oftentimes when people approach SEO for the first time, it's all about link building. Everything is about outward changes and reaching outward to different industry leaders and trying to build links and relationships. While this is indeed a huge part of any SEO strategy, it's important that companies realize that your internal processes might need to change. You (or more likely your SEO agency) have to audit everything about your website and be prepared to change major components of your website if necessary.
When it comes to completing an SEO analysis, there are some things that an SEO agency will want to evaluate that could affect your website in ways you may not have anticipated. Some of these most popular aspects include:
- Domain Problems. In some cases, there might be domains and sub-domains out there that can be linked with the domain name you're used to using. For example, there could be a 301 redirect on something like "https://www.domain.com" that could be affecting your traffic. SEO agencies need to go through all of the different options and potentially get rid of these "extras."
- Check Sitemaps. An XML sitemap is a great way to make sure that all of your pages are cached quickly so that your visitors are seeing the most updated version of the page and so that SEO can begin to build for that page. This involves creating a list of your site's URLs to make it easier for the bots to access. You can learn more about creating a sitemap here.
- Collect Your Analytics. Your SEO agency is going to need to collect data for your website, and this involves checking the search traffic and keywords, referral traffic for each landing page, anchor text information and overall monthly traffic information.
- Analyze Targeted Keywords. Of course, keywords are what most clients focus on when going out to hire an SEO agency. You want to research keywords and use those in tags such as the title tag, meta tags, and description tags.
- Check for Indexed Pages. You can actually check to see which pages are indexed by typing "site:www.domain.com" into the Google search bar. This will show you all of the pages being indexed by Google, so it's definitely one of the first things an agency will want to do for your site.
In the end, understanding some of the most fundamental things that need to be assessed can help both an SEO agency and a company both become successful. This helps you see exactly why an SEO agency might need to change some of the processes that have worked for you in the past and why your site architecture may need a little bit of SEO TLC.