We might be getting keyword data back, according to Google.
Site owners have been opening up their Analytics accounts only to see not provided data since 2011, a move which has been hugely unpopular.
Not provided’s introduction was a response to search privacy queries. Not provided means that people and businesses can’t see the keywords that people have used to find their site on Google.
Google changed the way it delivered search data to site owners. Most hurt, though, have been online marketers who were optimising for certain keywords whose livelihood took a serious dent with the introduction.
Their response? To verbally attack Google instead of adapting and moving onto more effective and creative search methods.
Prepare your spam filter…
Keyword data coming back is still early days, of course.
The idea was brought up during the recent SMX West conference when Google’s search chief Amit Singhal confirmed that his team is “looking at the issue.”
I doubt things will go back to the way they were in regard keyword optimisation; rather I feel the practice will come back in some form or another.
If that’s the case then you can expect an increase of spam in your junk folder offering keyword audits. Jeez, even I still get them, and I work in the industry!
But as I’ve mentioned time and time again good search marketing practice isn’t about keywords and rankings (though the latter does indeed help).
It’s about creativity, imagination, and the ability to spread word of a brand to a wider audience than ever before via the gift of the internet.
Do you think Google should bring keyword data back? Would you jump for joy or have you moved on from anchor text optimisation? Let me know in the comments below.
Why you need to perform an SEO audit
Audits are an industry staple, though. Investing in the right SEO company is a cost that’s worth its weight in gold.
Even Google has set out some guidelines on how to choose the best company for your needs and some potential danger signs to watch out for if one approaches you.
Site audits for search are more important than ever these days, especially after Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have made removing link spam more crucial than ever before.
There are different types of site audits, and you may need more than one. On the other hand you may only need a short check-up.
You may just need an AdWords audit, for example, and have an expert glance over your PPC keywords. Or you may have been stung in the past by a rogue SEO and need full breakdown of how your site’s performing.
Below are what I feel are the most important things to look out for when you’re getting a site audit done, whether for the very first time or if you’re changing your SEO practitioner:
1: An overall health check
The first place to start is to do an overview of all aspects of your site. Are your pages clean, are your meta tags descriptive, does your site’s server allow pages to load as quickly as possible, have there been any significant drops in traffic at certain points in time?
It should be the first point of call for any SEO to get an overview of a site’s standing on the World Wide Web and to discover areas that need the most attention. Once the SEO has decided the areas that need most attention they can shift their focus accordingly.
2: A comprehensive backlink audit
Since the Penguin algorithm was let loose link building has been an area of optimisation severely under the microscope. If you’ve been following Google’s guidelines to the letter then you shouldn’t have much to worry about, but still better to be safe than sorry…
A good backlink audit will check to see whether your site is in danger of being penalised by Google – if it hasn’t been already because of a poor link profile. An audit will also help identify links on irrelevant sites, poor anchor-text backlinks, and other areas that may need treating.
What do you look for when auditing a website? What features do you concentrate on and how do you approach them? Let me know below!
3: A deep competitor check
Your site may look incredible, but why is your main competition ranking way above you for your search terms despite an average site design and poor content? The open nature of the internet combined with ethical industry-standard tools can help uncover the mystery.
As well as assessing your site a good audit will take an in-depth look into your main competitors and their current web rankings, backlinks, content, and more. Why? To try and exploit areas they may have missed to help you grow (think of the lessons proposed by blue ocean strategy).
4: A full-blown content audit
Though creative content marketing is currently in vogue it’s a method that has allowed brands to grow their consumer base for years. Creating great content to attract new traffic isn’t a new, spellbinding tactic. A good audit will be like an editor combing through your content.
Have you been creating relevant content that speaks to your audience and, more importantly, can be shared with people over social media? A deep audit will take into account your existing content strategy (if any) and work towards creating an expansive, intelligent strategy.
5: A major conversion check
Have all the organic rankings you need but still aren’t selling products as well as you’d like? How about your AdWords spend – are you investing heavily in PPC but not seeing a good return? Your product pages may not be optimised to turn that traffic into cold hard cash.
Issues may be as complex as your site not being responsive to mobile devices, or payment gateways being obtrusive and hard to navigate. Or it may be something as simple as cleaning up your product pages, reworking descriptions, and optimising images.
If you’d like to know more about SEO and how we can help to audit your site contact us today to find out more!