This week I’ve completed two SEO audits for clients. Both audits brought up some surprising insights into how these businesses could improve their SEO. These clients were as different as can be: one a major, national publisher and the other a boutique e-commerce store.

A full and thorough SEO report looks at the status of the competitors to see how you compare. And what you are missing out on or areas where you’re doing better. In both SEO audits, I was surprised at how common SEO mistakes were coming up for both my clients and their competitors.

If you can get these things right now before you have an unwieldy amount of content to deal with then you’ll be saving yourself time and effort in the future. And what is the point of producing kick-ass content that no one will ever read?

MOBILE RESPONSIVENESS

Many businesses are not getting their mobile sites on point. Traffic from mobiles is HUGE. Don’t believe me, go and look at your Google Analytics like right now. Yes, that’s right now as you’re reading this from your phone.

Websites that don’t look right on a phone screen are a big ol’ turn off for customers. This also includes text being too small, icons too close together (fat thumb syndrome is real, guys!) and most importantly, slow loading times.

Which leads me neatly onto…

IMAGE SIZE

The size of your images is going to massively slow down load time. Get them resized. You don’t need to upload 3000+ pixel images e. Take five minutes to adjust images to a website-happy size.

And while you are at it, don’t forget to fill out those alt attributes and descriptions.

SSL CERTIFICATE

Okay this one is becoming less common these days but if you have not got an SSL certificate on your website, just what are you doing? You need to let your customers know that you have a secure site EVEN IF you are not storing financial data on there. By the very nature of your website, you are still processing data in one way or another and an SSL certificate lets Google know you are serious about your site safety.

KEYWORDS

In my research this week, I noticed that the sites which performed the best were the ones with the widest range of keywords. Ones that had clearly invested time building up their keyword directories. You don’t need to spend weeks doing this, just take a few minutes every time you write a blog post to do a little keyword research and keep in in a file.

EXTERNAL LINKS

Getting others to link back to your site can be the difference between being found on a first page search result and a… oh who cares, hardly anyone looks past the first page of results. Go do some PR, offer yourself up as a guest blogger, guest podcaster, invite others to guest with you. This is a community that you are building.

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