Before I jump on a call with a potential new client, I like to do a quick website check to figure out the overall SEO health of their website.
It’s nice to have some info on how much work the site will require before I get on the phone with the client. This is the website health check process that I go through for every client. The process is very straightforward and can be done in less than 10 minutes.
Step 1: Determine the number of keywords the site ranks for
One of my very favorite SEO Tools is SEMrush. This is my go-to website ranking tool, I literally have it open all day long.
I have the paid plan, but the free version is very handy and full-featured for one person/website. The free version of SEMrush allows you to do 10 complete searches with the tool before you buy it. The goal of this first step is to determine how many keywords Google ranks a site for.
The more keywords that a site has the more opportunities to be found. So head on over to SEMrush and in the All Reports Input box, type your domain name. There is a lot on this screen to look at, but I focus on the Organic Search column on the left (look for the red square). There is a lot of fantastic info here in this little box.
I used MindBodyGreen.com as my example. Take a look and see the total number of keywords is 1.1M and the Growth is +4%. Claps for that!
Now, 1.1M keywords are quite a lot. Probably waaaaaay more than most sites. MBG has so many because they continually produce great content, they have influencers write for them and a ton of quality sites link to them. So. that said.
Please don’t be discouraged if you are ranking for 100 or 500 words. At this point, the number is interesting but not very significant. Next, I click on View Full Report under the Top Organic Keywords. At the top of the page, I focus on the Keyword Rank Trend chart at the top of the page. The default is to display the last year of monthly keyword totals.
From this graph, I can get a very clear picture of the keyword health.
Is it consistent? Is it growing each month? Is it dipping? Was there a big decline in keywords or a huge spike?
I am looking for consistency here. If there is a big spike or dip, I want to figure out why that was (could be a new site, new host, new theme, stopped blogging, had a malware attack….) MBG keyword ranking is very healthy. The trend is positive and very consistent. So far, so good for this health check.
Step 2: Check your Backlinks (quickly)
Okay so once we have established that the keywords are growing consistently, then I hop down to Backlinks.
So just like keywords the more you have the more love? Google will throw your way.
Now there are some nuances to backlinks, the site that is linking to your site does matter. A more authoritative site (think NY Times or The Every Girl) will provide more SEO juice than a site that has very little authority and traffic. But since we are just doing a quick SEO Health Check, I want to see if the site does in fact have backlinks and are they growing.
If this true, then that tells me that the site has authority and trust since other sites are actively linking to them.
At this point based on keywords and backlinks, my initial impression of the site is coming into focus. MBG is a very healthy site. For the final step, I go to the website.
Step 3: Oogle at Your Actual Website
The big idea here is to go to the homepage and see if I can easily figure out what the site is all about —as quickly as possible. I want to learn the purpose of the site within the first few seconds.
Pro Tip: if I can’t figure out the point of a site quickly, then Google won’t either. So make your big brand statement easy to understand and very easy to find.
Annnnd that is all folks! This simple 3 step process is one that I go through for each and every potential client. Determining the keyword rankings, the backlinks, and assessing the blog content are all great indicators of the site’s overall SEO Health.