If you’ve had a WordPress website for a while and it’s not performing in search engines as well as it used to, it may be time to consider a WordPress SEO audit.
Perhaps you’ve built the yourself, or got a cheaper starter package to get your business website up and running quickly? That’s fine, and a very common way for businesses to get online, but it can leave a less than desirable website for search engines.
1. Is your WordPress website hacked?
One thing we are seeing more of during WordPress website audits these days are spammy links to other websites hidden amongst natural content. These aren’t links the website owner has added themselves, and they’re hard to spot in WordPress – they’re a sign of WordPress being hacked, and spammy content being introduced.
If your website has seen a recent, sudden drop in rankings and traffic from search engines, this may well be the cause. There are a few things you will need to do if this is the case:
- Change your WordPress, FTP, database and other passwords to something secure immediately.
- Search your content for unusual links and remove them.
- Employ a WordPress web developer who knows what they’re doing to review your website for other signs of hacking.
- Consider redeploying your website on to a clean installation of WordPress.
2. How well built your WordPress website is?
One important factor in how search engines such as Google rank your website is the way in which your website is built. A website isn’t just the content and its design; the structure behind it (HTML) can help search engines better understand your content, and the hierarchy of your website. Well built websites can help you provide Google and other search engines with more information about your site, such as:
- How to search content using your website’s own search engine content
- Where a particular page sits in your website’s hierarchy
- Alternative names for your business
- How often specific pages are updated, on average
This is something that free WordPress themes typically do badly.
3. Is your website content well structured?
Following on from how well built your WordPress website is, the structure of your content is important in helping search engines understand your content, and how important one block of content is relative to another block of content.
Just because something looks like a title, doesn’t mean search engines see it as a title!
4. How fast your website performs
Our WordPress SEO audits also look at the performance of your WordPress website, including how fast your website pages load.
Speed is a critical factor in SEO – if your website loads noticeably more slowly than a competitor’s, you may well lose not just a sale, but future visitors. This is because search engines monitor the bounce rate from your site back to the results page. If your website is consistently slow, you may start to lose rankings for key phrases.
5. How you can strengthen your online reputation
If you Google your business’ name, does your website appear in search results? Are you appearing below directory listing websites for your own business? Does another website appear above yours?
Taking charge of your company’s online reputation is key, and there are many tips and tactics you can use to ensure that you’re appearing for your company name. Our SEO audits can help you understand what you need to change to ensure you can take control of your company’s digital reputation.
Is a WordPress SEO audit for you?
You will find a WordPress SEO audit useful if:
- Your website isn’t generating as much business as you thought it would
- You have lost existing search engine rankings
- You’ve had a new website built and it isn’t performing as well as the old website
- You want to improve your existing search engine rankings
Our in-depth WordPress website audits cover much more than these 5 items, and give website owners and marketing managers an actionable list of prioritised improvements they can make to their website. Peacock Carter also offer Introduction to SEO training courses for WordPress, designed to give website owners the fundamental knowledge they need to know about search engines when adding and editing content on their website.