When it comes to building links, experienced SEO providers know that thorough page optimization should occur prior to starting link building activity. We here at Adult SEO Partners typically perform a technical SEO audit prior to launching any link building efforts to ensure that clients get the most out of the links we earn. Additionally, a technical SEO audit helps you clean up your site structure and gain an understanding of your page quality to help you optimize internal link placement.
SEO is an evolving discipline — as changes are made to the algorithms that determine which sites rank highest, SEO practices must change to keep up. Regularly performing a technical SEO audit helps you keep up with any changes that might affect your site’s ability to rank highly on Google.
A technical audit can be used to fix any flaws in your site and identify your best performing pages to help with internal linking before you begin any offsite SEO efforts.
The Importance of Link Building
While the factors Google’s algorithms use in ranking sites have changed over the years, one factor that has remained constant is the importance of link building, which refers to the various activities involved in trying to get links from other websites to your adult site.
Quality inbound links indicate to Google that your site is worth citing as an authority for the keywords most applicable to your market. As a result, sites with a plethora of quality backlinks will, generally speaking, be ranked higher than those with fewer such links.
While at one time it was possible to rank highly by focusing on the quantity of links on a page rather than the quality, taking such an approach now would harm the ranking of a page more than help it. Google has updated its algorithms to favor sites that attract high quality, non-spammy links. Sites can significantly boost their position in the SERPs by earning links from big adult websites with high traffic and Google rankings of their own.
Technical Audit Goals
A technical audit can do more than help maximize your link building efforts. A comprehensive audit should aim at achieving the following:
- Grow organic trafficAnalyze site architecture
- Evaluate your site’s current standing
- Reveal impediments to conversion
- Offer recommendations for improvement
- Create a performance baseline
The overall objective of such an audit is to bring your site into compliance with current industry best practices by identifying issues that are likely to limit the success of your future SEO activities. When this is accomplished, your site should be fully functional from a technical standpoint with content that search bots can efficiently crawl.
What to Look For in a Technical SEO Audit
A technical audit can be used to fix any flaws in your site and identify your best performing pages to help with internal linking before you begin any offsite SEO efforts. When performing a technical audit there are a variety of categories to analyze. It is helpful to draw up a checklist in advance of an audit to help organize your analysis and to record the results. In addition to recording your observations qualitatively, you can also use a quantitative score for each audit segment to help prioritize your review. The completed audit should contain a list of suggested steps to optimize the website.
At Adult SEO Partners, our current technical audit list contains over 75 different elements that can directly influence your organic search performance.
One way to do this is to use a checklist that is structured to provide a comprehensive view of the analysis and remediation process. This can be done by using the following categories for each item analyzed:
- Analysis result
- Cause (if an issue is discovered)
- Suggested fix
This is a useful approach when it comes to implementing the suggested fixes as it provides the necessary context for dealing with such issues by showing both the to-do items as well as the issue or issues involved. This approach also helps avoid performing overlapping or redundant actions when applying fixes by clearly linking issues to fixes.
The following are some of the items typically analyzed when performing a technical SEO audit:
High quality content, including video titles and descriptions, is a crucial component of building up your website’s rankings, both to attract organic traffic and backlinks. In addition to its quality, you should also check your site’s content, including meta descriptions, for keyword placement. Be careful not to overuse your keywords — this not only hurts the readability of your content but can also have a negative impact on your SERP position. Whether you create the content yourself or hire someone to do so, making a concerted effort to create quality content for your site can pay dividends when it comes to boosting your SEO efforts.
To help gauge content quality, locate your top performing pages. You can use a resource such as Google Search Console to identify these pages, using metrics such as low click-through rates. You can find these numbers by sorting by high clicks in the Search Analytics report in the tool. You can also look for top pages by checking bounce rate and average time on site in Google analytics.
The user experience (UX) factor is highly important to optimizing your site for SEO. Creating superb content for your site can be a wasted effort if your UX is lacking and visitors have difficulty finding or accessing your content. In SEO terms, this means that your site needs to be well designed from a technical standpoint, and free of any manual or algorithmic penalties.
Thus, auditing UX involves checking your sitemap’s accuracy and completeness, making sure redirects function properly, and checking canonical tags, among a number of other technical factors that apply. The end result should be a site that is intuitive to use while at the same time enabling easy web crawler access.
Given the importance of back-links to SERP rankings, evaluating the quality of the links your site has attracted is essential. Best is a wide variety of quality links from industry authorities and other relevant well-trafficked sites. If you have attracted spammy or otherwise low-quality links, you should take steps to remove them from your site or disavow them so they don’t negatively impact your site’s SEO score.
The following actions in regard to 404 pages can also be taken when analyzing links:
• Search for 404 Pages: You can find 404 errors by using a tool like Screaming Frog. Once you locate the 404 pages, you can use premium SEO tools to find out if any quality links point to these error pages.
• Search competitor 404 pages: You can use Screaming Frog to find competitor 404 pages and then analyze them in an SEO tool. If one of these pages has valuable links attached to it, you can use the Wayback Machine to view the content that was formerly on the page. If the content is of good quality, you can use it as inspiration to create your own content to present to the sites that link to the competitor’s 404 page.
Check your website’s social media accounts to ensure that they are current and provide eye-grabbing content, with unique comments to initiate more comments and shares. Whether you are active on Facebook, Twitter or other similar sites, proactively reaching out to and engaging with your followers can not only result in more direct traffic but can help improve your branding signals, which is a big ranking factor. If you’re struggling to compete on social or are just trying to keep up with your daily posts, we can help. We have adult social media down to a science and already work with many big companies in adult.
Analytics programs are a must for performing an audit of your site’s on-page SEO. Delving into the data provided by Google Analytics or similar programs helps you identify poorly designed or implemented portions of your site. It also helps you track trends and overall enables you to fine-tune your SEO approach. Analytics allow you to gauge the results of any changes you make to the site, making their use a crucial tool in the SEO process.
With searches increasingly performed on smartphones, your technical audit should test your website’s responsiveness to mobile devices. Responsive design enables a site to provide an optimized view to searchers whether they come from a desktop or a mobile environment. Alternatively, some adult sites will design separate desktop and mobile sites to optimize the experience for either type of user. Whichever approach you choose, use the audit to verify that the mobile visitor UX is a good one.
Implementing Audit Suggestions
Once you’ve performed a technical audit, the next step is to implement its suggestions. When the audit is finished, its recommendations must be put into effect, preferably in the order they were prioritized in in the report. If you use a checklist as described earlier, you should have a list of action items ready to go.
Adrian “Yo Adrian” DeGus is a 15-year adult industry veteran and founder of AdultSEOPartners.com, a professional adult SEO agency catering to large established adult sites. DeGus, who has provided advanced consulting services to many leading sites in the adult industry, also operates Adult SEO Training, a popular service that helps webmasters, program operators and affiliate managers to learn in-house SEO.