Before you can start seriously applying SEO to help grow your traffic and your business, you need to be able to interpret an SEO crawl.
It’s important you know what an SEO crawl is, how to interpret one and most of all, how to use one and apply it to your SEO strategy.
In this week’s Friday Facebook Session, Rachel, Hannah and Dalley discuss how to interpret an SEO crawl and what you need to be mindful of when you do.
1. Understand Why You Are Running Them and What You Are Going To Do With It Afterwards?
An SEO crawl can help show you what you need to be focusing on to help your website, but you need to understand how to use them.
Don’t just use it as a tick list. An SEO crawl will rate your website and content and give it a score, but just because you have a high score or nothing has changed doesn’t mean you can just ignore all the useful information it’s telling you.
Don’t run them for the sake of running them. before you run an SEO crawl have a reason to run or some questions you want answered.
2. Don’t Run Them Too Often Unless You Have a Really Good Reason To
How often is too often? It depends!
There are a lot of really good SE crawl websites out there and it can be really easy to run crawls very frequently.
If you have run a crawl, noticed something, and then gone and changed it, it can be beneficial to run a second crawl to make sure the change has made a positive difference. Just be mindful that you don’t run a crawl after every little change. if you run crawls too frequently you might struggle to see any major improvement or miss something important.
On the other hand, be careful you don’t run crawls too infrequently. Very rarely, google can make changes to its algorithms and other things you need to factor into your website. If you aren’t running crawls they might not discover this until later and your computers may have already made the necessary changes.
Generally, you want to be running SEO crawls on your website around once a month. Of course, this can vary depending on the size of your website or if you have been making changes to your website, but once every 1-2 months should be fine.
3. Use a Reputable Crawling tool and Find The One That’s Right For You
There is a range of different crawling tools and sights out there and all have little difference. Some are free to use whereas some are services you can pay for and which one you choose can make a difference.
Some sites will crawl the front of the page and others might crawl the back, so be sure to know what aspect of your website you are crawling. Some sites, like screaming frog, will do both.
Some sights aren’t very technical and will focus on the content and the keywords. Some are very technical and will give you very in-depth results and error codes.
You’re probably not going to find a site that does everything. SEranking is very good for an in-depth crawl that covers most things, but it isn’t free. you might find you need to use more than one site to get a good measure for your website.
4. Understand What You Need To Fix and What You Don’t
If you are a small business, you can’t afford to lose time fixing every little thing on your website. You need to work out what is a priority and will waste time with no returns. It’s all about the cost time benefit.
Archive pages or certain tags and categories might not be relevant, and you don’t really need them to be taken into account when it comes to SEO. You don’t need to prioritise these when it comes to digesting your SEO crawl and if you like you can deindex them in the future.
Look at what needs fixing and prioritise the most important things. It’s a good idea to prioritise things that make your website run better and faster. Meta description and alt text are incredibly important, so these are always a good thing to start with you don’t already have them.
We understand that knowing how to interpret an SEO crawl and how to prioritise issues highlighted in the crawl can be tough. If you are struggling to interpret your SEO crawl, GrowTraffic offers a free SEO crawl service where we can help you understand and prioritise your SEO crawl.
5. Don’t Constantly Fiddle With It
“If you are constantly tinkering you don’t know what you’ve done that’s had an impact. If you’re constantly messing and your traffic goes up, you’ve no idea what’s happened or what you’ve done.”
Fix what needs fixing then leave it alone. You don’t need to constantly be optimising it. You can run the risk of over optimisation, which isn’t helpful to your website and Google doesn’t like it so it can hurt your ranking.
If you think your company is ready for SEO, Growtraffic can help. We offer a wide range of marketing services, but we specialise in SEO and content marketing. If you would like expert help making a success of your long term marketing strategy, get in touch with our team.