How-SEO-Companies-In-Nigeria-Should-Perform-An-SEO-Audit

Last updated on December 4th, 2017 at 06:53 am

Introduction:

SEO Companies in Nigeria are on the rise now that digital marketing in Nigeria is beginning to find its footing. The good thing about this is that many small businesses that have been seeking ways to increase the visibility of their products and services now have SEO companies in Nigeria that can cater to them. The Nigerian economic ecosystem being the way it is, always requires using minimum resources to get awesome results and this post is putting that into consideration. Individuals often make up an SEO team so this post has been written in a personalized form so that even freelancers and business heads can see themselves performing SEO audits. Every company should see itself as an SEO company irrespective of what its core competence is. SEO companies in Nigeria in this context, therefore, refers to any company in any industry in Nigeria that wants to be found in the most suitable position on search engines. Sit tight and fasten your seat belt, it’s going to be a long ride

First things first, if we are going to perform an SEO audit, we need to know what that is at least.

What is an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit can be simply put as a way of finding out where your website stands in relation to how it can be found on search engines. This is usually done by evaluating a website, recording findings, segmenting findings as either good or bad, recommending fixes and then implementing the recommended fixes. The recommended fixes are usually from SEO guidelines that have been generated through in depth study of websites that perform well on search engines.

When Should SEO Companies in Nigeria Perform An SEO Audit?

An SEO audit is usually done for the first time after a website is up and running. Subsequent audits are then done when projected results from the first audit are not met or when a general improvement in the SEO status of a website is needed. Bottom line: SEO audits can be done anytime.

Why Does Your Website Need An SEO Audit?

Before answering the above question, another question needs to be answered firstSolopreneurs handling SEO for their websites can directly answer this question and actual SEO companies in Nigeria should ask each client to answer this question from an introspective point of view.

 What are the goals for my business and does SEO fit perfectly as a means to help achieve part or all of the goals?

If your answer to the second part of the question is yes, then you most probably know what SEO can do for your business but if you’re still wrestling for an answer, my quick advice may help you out.

Advice: If you know that having your business show up as a top result when people search for things that may trigger them becoming your customer or establishing a good relationship with your business is somewhat ingrained in your business plan, then SEO is for you.

How to Conduct an SEO Audit For SEO Companies in Nigeria

Conducting an SEO Audit isn’t a static action because the world of search engine optimization is ever growing and search engines currently tweak their algorithm to bring more value to searchers. This “how-to” information is definitely subject to change as search engines get better at filtering between high quality and low-quality content.  I have decided to divide this segment into two:

  • Technical SEO Audit
  • Non-Technical SEO Audit

 

Technical SEO Audit for SEO Companies in Nigeria

This refers to the areas of the audit that require adherence to strict search engine rules and a deep knowledge of how to use and interpret some SEO tools to better optimize a website or web page.

Without further ado, let’s get to business!

Index Status Of Website:

The first thing to do is find out how well your website is doing on search engines. Our focus search engine will be Google since it is the most widely used search engine.

Here’s how to know how well your site is doing:

Site: Command

Site: Command helps you:

  • Know the number of pages on your website that have been indexed by Google
  • Find out if the number of indexed pages corresponds to the actual number of web pages your website has.
  • See if you have duplicate content that has been indexed by search engines.

This is how to use Site: Command.

  • Type “site: yourwebsite.com” into the search bar and click the search icon. An example is when we type site:wakanow.com into Google’s search bar then click the search icon. We discover as at the time of this writing that wakanow.com has 4,230 results indexed by Google.SEO-companies-in-nigeria-SEO-Audit-Site-Command-Example
  • Navigate to the last page of search results to see if you have a message similar to the one shown in the next image below.SEO-companies-in-nigeria-Duplicate-Content-Omission-by-Google
  • If you do not see a message similar to the one in the image above then your web pages are doing quite well but if you do have a very similar message to the one displayed above, then you have duplicate content being indexed by the search engine and this is very bad for SEO.

Next thing on the agenda is to filter out and remove duplicate content. Let’s go!

Wait, Just before we dive into duplicate content. We still need to do a couple of things

Page Searches

Put the url to the website or web page you want to see get displayed on the search engine in the search box and hit enter on your keyboard or keypad to see if it actually gets displayed in a top position. If this happens then all things are well, if not, your website may be facing some penalties. We will talk about this later

Brand Searches

Search for the name of your website or the description given to some of its pages. If pages with these branding get put out as top results, you are on the right path but if no correct result appears or results are too far behind on search engines, then your website needs more optimization.

Now we can move on to duplicate content.

Duplicate Content:

Duplicate content can be caused by a variety of things:

  • Different URL versions of the same web page.

This majorly happens when you have put some sort of tracking code on your web page. Tracking codes usually append extra parameters to original URLs to have distinguishable links that make it easy for tracking but search engines see both original URLs and tracking codes generated URLs as the same because they primarily consist of the same content.

  • Http/Https and www/non-www versions of webpages.

It’s possible to have a website that has two versions of same content. It could be that your website has an http:// version and an https:// version. For example (http://yourwebsite.com ) and (https://yourwebsite.com). Same thing applies for www and non-www versions of a website. When this different links house the same content, there’s a case for duplicate content.

  • Copied posts and e-commerce product pages with the same description on same and or different websites.

But why are we so critical of duplicate content?

  • Duplicate content confuses search engines. They don’t know which page to rank above the other.
  • The value that a web page is meant to get through other websites linking to it will be devalued because the links will be shared among duplicated content.
  • Website visitors wouldn’t want to be bombarded with redundant content.

How do we know the exact pages that are duplicates without manual search?

  • Google Search Console

Login to your Google webmaster tool dashboard (Google webmaster tool is now categorized under Google Search Console). If you don’t have a Google Search Console account, you can learn how to do so here.

  • When you’re signed in, click on “search appearance” tab then click on “HTML Improvements”. Information letting you know if you have duplicate content or any other site description error on your website will be made known to you. URLs of duplicate content would be listed here if they exist.

Eliminating duplicate content from search engines

Duplicate content can be removed by:

  • Using a 301 redirect to send duplicate pages to the original page.

A 301 redirect is preferable to other redirects because it also redirects the value from the inbound links in the duplicate content to the original content or page.

  • Using a canonical tag.

A canonical tag helps search engines see duplicates as a reflection of the main web page that holds original content. This way, search engines don’t get confused.

Achieving this requires putting a canonical tag in the head tag of a duplicate web page.

Here is how to do so: For example, let’s say you have two versions of the same page. One has this url: http://arandomwebsite.com/bio

and the other has this url: http://arandomwebsite.com/me/bio

You choose the canonical version (the page you consider as original) of the two pages. Next is to put a canonical tag within the head tag of the page you consider as a duplicate. In our case, let’s take http://arandomwebsite.com/bio as the canonical web page. We then put the canonical tag in the head tag of our duplicate page, in this case:  http://arandomwebsite.com/me/bio. The Image below shows the canonical tag in use.seo companies in nigeria canonical tag for duplicate content

  • Specifying your preferred or canonical domain in Google search console.

To do this, log in to your Google search console account. Click on “All messages” by the left side of the page. Find the message that says “improve the search presence of {insert your website url here}.” Open the message and click on the “preferred version” button. You will then see an option to choose the version of your domain you want Google to take as your canonical page.seo companies in nigeria preffered website version

Before you do this, note that you need to have registered your website as a property in your search console.

Moving on from duplicate content, it’s time to talk about those penalties mentioned earlier.

Search Engine Penalties

Search engine penalties are usually caused by:

  • Cloaking:

This is when you hide some things in your code so that search engines can see something totally different from what your website users see.

  • Keyword Stuffing:

Choking your content with keywords that you want your page to rank for is keyword stuffing. Search engines don’t like situations like this.

  • Ads Overshadowing Content:

Some websites are set up in such a way that you struggle to differentiate content from ads. Don’t let that be your site.

  • Spam:

Of course, spam can’t be lurking around your website and search engines like Google would leave you alone. Stay away from spammy links, content, and codes in every way possible.

What you notice when a website has been penalized by search engines:

  • The website and all its pages rank low on search engines.
  • The website may have the “This site may be hacked” tag on its search engine results. This is common if there is so much spam on a website.

How to apply for reconsideration if your website has been penalized

  • Make sure you’re signed in to Google search console.
  • Visit this link.
  • Click on the “check manual actions” button.
  • Fill out the form and apply for reconsideration.

Next…

Sitemap and Robots.txt:

A sitemap is a listing of all the pages on your website. All the URLs on your website are put in your sitemap and saved in .xml extension. Sitemaps are usually referred to as XML Sitemaps and they help search engines know the pages you want to be indexed. Websites that have Sitemaps usually get indexed faster than those that don’t. You can use this free tool to generate a sitemap, upload it to the home directory of your website and then submit it to Google. Good practice requires having an updated sitemap as one’s website grow bigger.

Here’s how to submit your Sitemap to Google:

  • Sign in to your Google search console account
  • Click on the “manage property” button of the website you wish to add its sitemap
  • By the left panel, click on “Crawl” then select “Sitemaps” from the drop-down.
  • Click on the “Add/Test Sitemap button at the top right side of your dashboard.SEO Audit Sitemap Submission

Moving on to robots.txt.

Robots.txt specifies what page shouldn’t be crawled by search engines. This way, pages you don’t want to appear in search results are taken care of. This free tool can be used to generate a robots.txt file.  A robots.txt file is usually in this format.

User-agent: *

Disallow:

Sitemap: http://www.mysite.com/sitemap.xml

The above means that any robot can access all the content on the website and that the sitemap is located at http://www.mysite.com/sitemap.xml. Disallow: is used to indicate the files or folders that are not allowed to be crawled by robots. It is left bank if access is granted for all content. The (*) symbol after user agent is there to indicate that all robots can crawl the website. Replacing * with robot names limits the robots that can crawl the website to the ones specified. After generating a robots.txt file, it should be upload in the home directory of the website’s domain. Robots.txt tester can be used to test the validity of one’s robots.txt file by following the steps described earlier in regards to submitting a sitemap but choosing the robots tester option under the “Crawl” drop-down.

This extensive read on robots.txt is highly recommended.

Next up under Technical SEO Audit for SEO companies in Nigeria is…

Website Performance

What website performance entails:

  • Web page loading speed optimization

Web visitors are used to very fast loading web pages. Having a slow website reduces your website’s visitor retention rate and you surely don’t want that. There are many tools you can use to check your website’s performance as it relates to speed and other similar factors.

Make sure you optimize your website as recommended after you take tests using these tools.

Google Page Speed Insights 

GTmetrix

Pingdom

  • User interface/User experience

Having a good looking website that both humans and search engines can understand and easily navigate can help boost the relevance of your website. Let’s briefly dive into navigation and website architecture.

Website architecture has to do with the way information is arranged on your website. Information in this context refers to the content of the website while navigation refers to resources that help you move from one web page to another. Information architecture should be done in such a way that end users get the most value from content in the best way possible. Check out this comprehensive read on website architecture to know more.  One thing not to forget about navigation is to use flash and JavaScript navigation sparingly as they are not very good for boosting SEO.

Next

HTML Markup

This has to do with the proper use of HTML tags to boost SEO. Let’s go!

  • Title:

This is what is displayed first in your search engine result page. Here are important factors in a page’s title that helps SEO:

  • Having a Keyword in your page Title. More on keywords later.
  • Having the keyword appear early on in the title.
  • Having the characters in the title not exceeding 70 characters.

 

  • Meta description:

Meta descriptions may not affect your website’s ranking but contain what you consider as a prelude to what your website or page is about. This can help in your click-through rate and ultimately help you get customers.

  • A good meta description is usually between 120-160 characters.

 

  • Head Tag:

The head tag contains fundamental data about an HTML page. Data such as title, meta descriptions, styling, external linking and so on. Optimizing data contained in the head tag for better search engine readability is paramount to having a page that ranks well.

  • Body Tag:

This is where the main content of a web page resides. Here are some ways to optimize the body of a web page

  • Have more actual content than ads in your web page body.
  • Use H1, H2 and H3 tags and include keywords in them.
  • Avoid the use of iframes.

 

  • Images:

Images should:

  • Have alternate text that contains keywords relevant to a page.
  • Be compressed in such a way that they can load faster and still be beautiful to behold
  • Have a filename that contains relevant keywords too.

Links

  • Internal Links:

The links that point to other pages, images or any other media from within your website shouldn’t be scanty or in excess.

  • Outbound Links:

These are links that point from your website to other websites. It is good to have a fair number of links on your website and it is great if the links are transmitted using an anchor text.

Analytics

After having Google analytics set up for your website, there are 2 very basic metrics you should pay attention to.

  • Click-through rate :

This is simply the number of clicks a page receives compared to the number of impressions. Impressions refer to the number of times an ad is served or viewed.  Pages that have low click-through rates should be investigated and optimized. Quality page titles and content promotion is a good way to increase click-through rates.

  • Bounce rate:

This is simply the percentage of visitors that leave a website after viewing just one page rather than viewing other pages. The lower the bounce rate, the better for a website.

Mobile Optimization

The number of smartphone users in Africa has been on the rise so more people access web pages on mobile. Optimizing your website for mobile is a must if you want to attract more website users.

Semantic Search Optimization

Semantics has to do with understanding the intent for something. In the SEO world, that would mean understanding the context in which searchers use words to search. Semantic search optimization usually involves:

  • Creating quality content that aims to answer questions searchers usually ask.
  • Link to pages that address topics similar to the one you’re linking from
  • Using conversational keywords used in voice search such as “restaurants near ilupeju”

How glad are you to know that we’re moving over to the non-technical SEO section of this article

 

Non-Technical SEO Audit for SEO Companies in Nigeria

These SEO activities while involving a few technicalities, do not require total or strict rules to follow. Let’s dive in.

Backlinks

Backlinks are one of the most important factors in SEO. The more relevant backlinks pointing to a website, the more Google increases the visibility of a page because Google as a search engine sees these backlinks as a form of certification or recommendation that a website is valuable. While backlinks play a vital role in a web page’s ranking, the quality and relevance of backlinks beat the quantity of backlinks. Having a reputable domain link to your content is more valuable than having a spammy directory listing your web page. Other than that, being linked from a page that is highly relevant to your page’s topic is also of the essence. There’s so much to say about backlinks but let’s save that for another post. These few tips should do for now:

  • Use tools such as Moz site explorer and small SEO tools backlink checker to find websites linking to you or any other website
  • Download the “Check My Links” add-on for Chrome browser. Install it and run it when you want to locate broken links on your web page. Find broken links and fix them.
  • Create quality content worth linking to.
  • Reach out to authority websites in your niche to link back to your website.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is extremely important if you want to create content that ranks well. Keyword research helps you know what people are searching for on Google and other search engines as it pertains to your niche. After getting keywords ready, make sure you create thorough content that actually gives value to visitors or consumers.

If you don’t know how to do keyword research, you’re in luck?

  • Using Google search console to find keywords
  • First, create a Google Adwords account.
  • Log in to your account.
  • Click on the “Tools” menu on the top menu bar.SEO companies in Nigeria Keyword Planner

 

  • Click on the option to search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.SEO companies in Nigeria Find Keyword
  • Fill the form. This example focuses on getting “hotels” related keywords. Hotels.ng has been used as the landing page. Nigeria is set as target country, keyword category also specified and the option to search for keywords typed into Google without considering its audience network has been selected.seo companies in nigeria Keyword search ideas
  • Click on the “Get Ideas” button. A similar page close to that displayed on the lower image gets displayed. You get to see the search traffic and competition level for the inputted keyword. The period of time for which the search traffic was amassed is displayed and can be adjusted. Keywords similar or related to “hotels” are also displayed.seo companies in nigeria keyword traffic search hotelsng

 

  • Using Moz Keyword Explorer to find keywords
  • Go to the Moz Keyword Explorer page.
  • Enter the keyword you wish to find search traffic for in the box. Football is being used in this case.SEO companies in nigeria moz keyword explorer

 

  • Choose Nigeria as your search country and click on the search icon to the right of the search box.SEO companies in nigeria moz keyword planner

 

  • You get keyword suggestions, search traffic for keywords, search engine result pages analysis and much more. SEO companies in Nigeria moz football keyword search nigeria
  • Using Quora to find keywords

Yes, Quora! Search for keywords you want to rank for on Quora. Questions asked on the Quora platform having keywords you are in search of will be listed and you can then filter the popular ones from others. Popular questions tend to have a higher search traffic on search engines because most people land on Quora by searching for questions having keywords close to the ones you want to rank for. Creating content to better answer these questions on your website or blog and then having a strong strategy to obtain backlinks will help your website’s SEO.

 

  • Using Buzzsumo to find keywords

Buzzsumo helps you discover most shared content on social media in your specified industry. This knowledge goes a long way in helping you create content that is shareable and evergreen.  It also offers an opportunity to discover how keywords are stringed together to make the content get attention.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis helps you know the SEO status of those you may consider as competitors in your industry. Studying companies or businesses that are performing better than you when it comes to SEO is a very good way of improving your own SEO. Study what competitors are doing well then do it better than them. If you can’t, find out what they aren’t doing well but should be doing and exploit it.

These are the basic steps to competitive analysis:

  • Keyword Research:

This has been addressed.

  • Track and Analyze Competitors:

Use SEMrush to search for keywords you want to rank for and make a list of websites currently ranking for those keywords. Analyze the backlink profile of these sites.

  • Create a strategy and Implement:

Come up with a strategy to overcome your competitors. For example, if the keyword you want to rank for is dominated by giants of industries that have millions to spend on marketing and SEO, you may want to try to rank for long tail keywords (keywords with low competition) that are still relevant in your industry. If you have millions to spend like industry leaders and want to go head to head with them, develop a strategy for that. Mazel tov!

Domain and Page Authority

Domain authority and page authority was first developed by Moz to attach a form of weight to domains and pages that have meant many SEO criteria including backlinks, link structures and a host of other factors. The more a page or domain authority is, the better.

Website Reputation

The more trusted your brand is, the more people search for your brand name in search engines, the more people cite and link to your content. More people share your content on social media and search engines give you more priority. Yes!

This piece is coming to a close.

Conclusion

This post may be seen as broad but it still doesn’t cover a lot of other things in the SEO world. Of course, there are more tools, techniques and new developments to help SEO companies in Nigeria perform SEO better. This article will constantly be updated based on new developments. If you are overwhelmed by this piece or maybe you don’t remotely see your business as of the SEO companies in Nigeria but still, want to perform an SEO audit, you can contact Firebrick Digital to offer SEO services and more for your business.

Summary
How SEO Companies In Nigeria Should Perform An SEO Audit
Article Name
How SEO Companies In Nigeria Should Perform An SEO Audit
Description
SEO Companies in Nigeria can follow this guide to help analyze websites they are to perform SEO audits on. Solopreneurs and Freelancers can do the same.
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Firebrick Digital
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