Basic online presence audit
Audit date: 8/19/15
Website: http://www.richdimare.com, a promotional Weebly website with 12 HTML pages.
The audit is here: https://goatcloud.com/basic-online-presence-audit-rich-dimare/. We created this URL (web address) just for you. Search engines have been directed to not index this page (so it shouldn’t show up in search results) and it is otherwise shielded on this site from others seeing it. You need the URL to find it. You can certainly share this URL with anyone you like, but we won’t be sharing it unless you tell us to.
You’ll see that this is a very basic audit. Why? Simply put, we would need to charge for anything more than a basic audit. Further, we use this template for all of our basic audits. Does that mean that this audit is not personalized for you? No! A real live human (Cliff Rohde, our Chief Executive Goat) looked at your website and reviewed your online presence and thought about it. Our observations are below. Before you read them, please know that no website is perfect. Every website, including GoatCloud’s, is always in need of some tweaking because the demands of being online change all the time. Know too that problems identified below can be fixed!
- The faster the site, the greater the reward from visitors and search engines alike.
- Audit: Below average, desktop and mobile. Optimize images, leverage browser caching, use gzip. Adding expires headers and leveraging a content delivery network (CDN) could also help.
- The world is turning increasingly to smaller devices for online activity. It’s imperative that a website look great and be completely functional on smaller devices (smartphones, tablets) and desktops alike.
- Audit: Site is not mobile friendly. Here’s what it looks like on a typical Android smartphone:
- Today’s web is interconnected. Facilitating the sharing of your content can bring additional visitors to your website.
- Audit: No social sharing elements found.
- Basic social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn) should be deployed, also those used by your customers or relevant to your industry. Getting the more likes, follows, etc. the better. Make sure to use your social assets if you have them, and to brand them consistently. Use them primarily to communicate, not overtly sell.
- Audit: Twitter account found on fan club page — as iframe and hard to find. No other social media accounts found.
Basic Onsite SEO
- Sites should be structured well and have basic settings in place to permit search engines to know what is on the site and where.
- Audit: Site not substantially optimized for search. Many page titles too short. Majority of page titles repeat name, which is unnecessary. Meta descriptions either entirely missing or too short. XML sitemap found. Good! No HTML sitemap. No favicon.
- Contact information must be easy to find. A consistent NAP (name, address and phone) across the web and online business directories is imperative. Especially critical for local businesses seeking local customers.
- Audit: Local business citations not substantially reviewed, though none were found. No Google+ page found.
3d party links to site
- The more links back to your site from relevant, well-trafficked sites, and other sites, the better.
- Audit: 24 referring domains linking with 42 total links (source: Majestic). More desirable. Domain spam rating 1 (of 17) (Open Site Explorer). OK, but more links on site could reduce it to zero.
- Sites are for users, but search engines pay attention to what type of experience you’re delivering. Linking to pages that no longer exist is a bummer for visitors.
- Audit: 1 broken link found, to: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/night-day/id488890975.
- It is essential to measure traffic so that you know what is working on your site and what isn’t. Google Analytics (GA) is the (free) gold standard.
- Audit: GA code found. Good! Are you reviewing traffic data? Code may not be current.
- Nothing helps to generate organic search traffic to your website like the regular creation of compelling, original content in your own words, images, videos or sounds.
- Audit: OK amount of informative content, but largely static. Blog exists on blogspot, but not updated regularly, and on site as a separate iframe. Good that you have videos! Forum page unused. Consider eliminating.
- Sites should have obvious Calls to Action (CTAs), whether it’s to call, sign up for email newsletter, schedule a speaker, or a white paper, or what have you.
- Audit: Newsletter signup on homepage found. Good. But what does one get for it?
- E-commerce sites should be secure and easy to use.
- Audit: Album purchase possible, though does not make clear that it’s on iTunes. First album link not working.
- Should be easy to navigate and easy to use.
- Audit: NA.
- Sites need to be secure, with updated software.
- Audit: No problems obvious. Good!
Thoughts on social media
Using social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and etc.) can be a very effective way to broadcast your message and engage in dialog with your target audience. Here are some basic tips:
- Always link back to your website on any social media outlet.
- Search engines favor websites that have connected and integrated social media accounts.
- Understand how the individual social media outlet works and how its users use it. For instance, you are limited to 140 characters of text on Twitter, but not on Facebook or Google+. Facebook tends to be “chattier” and permit more of a dialogue than does Twitter. Google+ has a reputation of appealing to more technology-oriented individuals. More women than men use Pinterest.
- Know what social media outlet(s) your target audience is more apt to use and establish a presence there.
- If you establish an account, you have to use it! Social media accounts that look empty and unused are shunned.
- Make sure that if you hire someone to manage your social media accounts that they know your voice. You do not want the wrong messages to be broadcast to your audience.
- Communicate. Be informational and entertaining; pitch goods and services infrequently.
- Remember that social media is about being social – permit, and respond to, communication back to you.
- Share your website content on social media outlets. “Repackage” it into the right format.
More thoughts, on online advertising
Organic or unpaid search results are commonly misperceived as “free”. Yet a successful organic search campaign can take months of hard work, whether it’s your own or your vendor’s. Whether it’s time or money spent, or both, that doesn’t seem so free to us. Online advertising, such as through Google’s or Bing’s ad systems, or via Facebook or Twitter (and other social media outlets) is a way to deliver traffic to your site immediately, though you also pay out of pocket immediately. But that does not mean it’s not cost effective. We develop strategic, targeted, effective online ad campaigns. Learn about our pay-per-click (PPC) (also known as SEM or search engine marketing) ad services here. And did you know that Google permits qualifying non-profits to advertise on their network for free?
Here are some online tools to help you to review and improve your own online presence:
- Open Site Explorer: http://opensiteexplorer.org
- Hubspot Marketing Grader: http://marketing.grader.com
- MXToolbox: http://mxtoolbox.com
- GTMetrix: http://gtmetrix.com
- Moz Local: http://moz.com/local
We hope you found this no-obligation audit of value. If so, please give us a positive rating/review on Google+: http://plus.google.com/+Goatcloud. It goes without saying that we work on all these issues. And more! You can learn more about what we can do for you to improve your online presence here. Please contact us at [email protected] or +1.518.557.7613 to discuss how GoatCloud can help you to thrive online. Thank you!