Checking Your Site’s Current Optimization Level

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Learn how to check your site's current optimization level in order to set proper benchmarks for your SEO campaign to measure against in the future.

# Full Post

In this article, I’d like to talk about the steps to check your website’s current optimization level. Our goal is to see if your website’s SEO is up to par or not? Knowing the lay of the land can help you understand how to achieve success in SEO.

Understanding how well (or how poorly) you current website is optimized is a very important step towards making an future SEO decisions. While some site owners may do this check and find out that their site is pretty well optimized, others may find out that their site’s current SEO stinks.

If the latter is the case, then it’s time to put your pride aside and admit you have a problem. I’m not saying that this is anything like intervention, but you’d be surprised how many site owners refuse to admit that they have a problem.

As we go through the assessment, if you find that your site is already well-optimized, then expecting huge increases in conversions or traffic through SEO alone may be a bit unrealistic. However, if you site is missing even the most basic SEO fundamentals, then you should be able to expect better overall performance after the site is properly optimized. Identify where your site has some SEO deficiencies, as well as help you set (or reset) expectations for future site performance.

On-Site SEO Assessment

I’d recommend opening up an Excel Spreadsheet for the assessment. Set it up so that you can indicate either yes/no for the following statements, and it would be wise to leave a column for additional notes. Now, lets run through some questions:

  1. Does each page on your site have a unique page title?
  2. Do you page titles contain target keywords?
  3. Does your site use meta tags?
  4. Do your meta tags use target keywords?
  5. Does each page on your site have at least 200 or more words of HTML text?
  6. Does you site’s HTML text contain your target keywords?
  7. Can every page of your site be reached by following HTML text-links (no drop-downs, login screens, pop-ups)?
  8. Do your site’s text-links contain target keywords?
  9. Do you use alt tags on your site’s images?
  10. If your site is based in Flash, do you utilize <noscript> text?

If you answered “no” to any of the following, then it is an SEO issue that should be addressed.

Off-Site SEO Assessment

Next, let’s set up a section to examine your site’s off-site SEO factors:

  1. How old is your domain? Check domain age here.
  2. How many of your site’s pages are indexed in the Search Engines? Check indexed pages here.
  3. How many inbound links does your site have? Check inbound links here.

The general rule of thumb here is A) The older the domain the better, B) The more indexed pages you have the better, C) The more inbound links you have the better (if they are quality links).

Now that you’ve gone through a short-but-sweet site optimization assessment, you should be able to make an educated guess about your site’s current SEO standing. From here, you should be able to set your expectations going forward, and just keep this in mind. If you scored low on this SEO test, you have tons of room to grow and improve!

Photo Credit: CappiT on Flickr

Jacob Stoops

Jacob Stoops

Long-time SEO and podcast host. Senior Manager at Search Discovery. Husband. Dad. Mob movie aficionado. @jacobstoops