December 2021

The sense and nonsense of an automated SEO check of your website

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Geerten Schollaart

You want to know all the sense and nonsense around an SEO scan! But, before we share that with you: if you do not know what you want to achieve, but do have an SEO scan carried out, it rarely leads to the desired result. So do not assume that you happen to score on the right search terms at the top of Google, but ask the following questions:

1. What is the reason we want to invest in SEO?
2. Which target group do we want to appeal to?
3. What search terms do we think the target group is looking for?
4. What should further growth cost us?
5. How will we measure the progress of the campaign?

The SEO scan

Once these questions have been answered, you can take the next step by analyzing your website for possible points for improvement. This can be done with an automated SEO scan. With such an SEO check, your website is screened when it comes to the aspects that are important to score at the top of Google. In concrete terms, this means:

1. Whether all links on the website work.
2. Whether redirects are set up correctly.
3. Page titles and metadata are checked.
4. It is checked to what extent the content is unique.
5. The robot file is checked.
6. The mobile-friendliness is put under a magnifying glass.
7. It is checked to what extent Google Analytics works properly.
8. The speed of the website is measured.
9. The number of external websites with a link is listed.

Such an automated SEO check is super-efficient. You enter your URL and you will see all the important factors in no time. And because it mainly focuses on the technique and content of a website, they are also factors that you can quite easily put down with your website developer or copywriter. And the results are independent and objective, so there is no question of a butcher inspecting his own meat.

Tools for an SEO scan

To help you get started, we have listed the 10 most used tools for SEO analysis. Many of these tools also offer opportunities to analyze your competition or to find new search terms. Make sure you have your strategy sharp every step of the way. The danger remains that you are tinkering a lot, but get little done.

1. SEMrush – Comprehensive tool for SEO scans, competitive analysis and much more.
2. UberSuggest - A tool that is particularly suitable for seeing which search terms have opportunities.
3. Screaming Frog – A more technical tool, especially interesting if you have a multilingual website.
4. Ahrefs - Very extensive SEO analysis tool, easy to use and interesting if you want to optimize for other search engines in addition to Google.
5. OnCrawl - A more innovative tool with an SEO scan that checks more than 1000 factors of your website.
6. PageSpeed Insights - An SEO scan that focuses mainly on the technique of your website. Important, because made by Google.
7. SE Ranking - Nice tool because of the extensive description when finding SEO issues.
8. DeepCrawl - Particularly interesting for companies with an internal marketing team.
9. SEO Site Checkup – The videos that can be viewed after analysis are informative. Especially for smaller companies a suitable tool.
10. Copyscape is a simple tool, but rock-solid at finding similar content on other websites. Should not be missing from this list.

After the SEO scan

A big disadvantage of automatic SEO analysis and the additional functions of the tools described above is that it mainly causes a lot of dust. There is often no or an incomplete interpretation of the muddle of things found. It is also very unsophisticated, while sometimes from a cost/benefit point of view it is more interesting to turn other knobs than the tool suggests. Because remember this: not everything has to be 100% good to be able to score on Google.

It is also good to be aware that the various tools always walk the well-trodden paths, so all your competitors have the same SEO check at their disposal. So you only get a head start if others decide to leave things behind. A real head start requires teamwork, creativity, knowledge, and experience.

As upMention, even before we start working together, we always make a concrete plan of the steps to be taken, including a prognosis of what the collaboration will yield for you. Then you decide whether you indeed want to do that together. And everything you can do yourself; we only guide as a process. And at the point where your knowledge or capacity is limited, we supplement.

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