Search engine optimization (SEO) is constantly evolving, and it can be challenging to keep up with the latest ranking factors that Google uses to determine search engine results page (SERP) rankings. In this ultimate guide to ranking factors for 2023, we'll explore the major categories of ranking factors and provide educational tips and strategies for each category that you can use to improve your own SEO strategy.

Be sure to download the free SEO checklist to make this work for your website or digital marketing agency to ensure maximum SEO success.

Technical SEO Ranking Factors

Technical SEO ranking factors include elements of your website's structure, coding, and performance that affect search engine crawling and indexing. Here are some key technical SEO ranking factors to consider:

Site Speed

Site speed is a critical technical SEO ranking factor that affects user experience, bounce rates, and search engine crawling and indexing. To improve your site speed, consider optimizing your images, using a content delivery network (CDN), and minimizing HTTP requests. Explore website metrics in more depth here.

After all, people are 5x more likely to leave a mobile website that loads slowly and isn’t mobile-friendly. Check the speed of your mobile page with the PageSpeed Insights tool, or run a quick RunningSEO audit which includes PageSpeed and more.


Mobile-friendliness, the precursor to mobile-first, is another important technical SEO ranking factor, as more and more users are accessing the web on mobile devices. To ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, consider using responsive design, optimizing your font sizes and buttons for mobile screens, and avoiding pop-ups or interstitials that can interrupt the user experience.

Looking for more tips and insights on ways to create a stronger mobile experience? Explore tips from Think With Google.

Site Architecture

Site architecture refers to the organization and structure of your website's pages and content. A clear and logical site architecture can improve user experience and make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. To improve your site architecture, consider using a clear hierarchy of pages, creating a sitemap, and using internal linking to connect related pages.

Content Ranking Factors

Content ranking factors include the quality, relevance, and uniqueness of your website's content. Here are some key content ranking factors to consider:

Quality Content

Quality content is one of the most important content ranking factors. Google's E-A-T guidelines were updated in late 2022 to include emphasis on "experience" turning it into E-E-A-T. Along with experience, the importance of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in creating high-quality content is critical to the searcher journey. To improve your content quality, consider using reliable sources, providing original insights and analysis, and using clear and concise language.

Explore Google's Search Quality Rater Guidelines: An Overview here or see the full guidelines here.


Relevance is another important content ranking factor, as search engines strive to provide users with the most relevant and useful results for their queries. To ensure that your content is relevant, consider using target keywords and phrases, creating content that aligns with your audience's interests and needs, and using internal linking to connect related content.

User Engagement

User engagement is a content ranking factor that measures how users interact with your website's content. Metrics like bounce rate, time on page, and click-through rate can indicate whether your content is engaging and valuable to users. To improve user engagement, consider using multimedia elements like images and videos, including calls to action and interactive elements, and analyzing user behavior to identify areas for improvement.

Backlink Ranking Factors

Backlink ranking factors include the quantity, quality, and relevance of external links pointing to your website. Here are some key backlink ranking factors to consider:

Quality and Relevance of Backlinks

The quality and relevance of backlinks are critical backlink ranking factors. Backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites can signal to search engines that your website is a valuable and trustworthy source of information. To improve the quality and relevance of your backlinks, consider reaching out to relevant websites and asking for links, creating high-quality content that other websites will want to link to, and avoiding paid or spammy backlinks.

Anchor Text

Anchor text refers to the clickable text that appears in a hyperlink. Anchor text can signal to search engines the relevance and importance of the linked page. To optimize your anchor text, consider using descriptive and relevant phrases, avoiding keyword stuffing or exact-match anchor text, and using a mix of branded and non-branded anchor text.

Diversity of Backlinks

The diversity of backlinks is another important backlink ranking factor. A diverse range of links from different types of websites can indicate to search engines that your website is a valuable and authoritative source of information. To improve the diversity of your backlinks, consider reaching out to a variety of websites and sources, creating content that appeals to different types of audiences and interests, and avoiding relying on a single source of backlinks.

Local SEO Ranking Factors

Local SEO ranking factors are particularly important for businesses that rely on local customers or foot traffic. Here are some key local SEO ranking factors to consider:

Google My Business Listing

Your Google My Business listing is a critical local SEO ranking factor, as it provides key information about your business to potential customers and signals to search engines that your business is relevant and trustworthy. To optimize your Google My Business listing, consider providing accurate and up-to-date information, using relevant categories and keywords, and encouraging customer reviews and feedback.

Local Keywords

Local keywords are another important local SEO ranking factor, as they signal to search engines that your website and business are relevant to local searches. To optimize your local keywords, consider using location-specific phrases and keywords, creating content that addresses local interests and needs, and using local events and news to generate backlinks and social media engagement.

Behavioral Signals

Behavioral signals like website traffic, engagement, and social media activity can also influence local SEO rankings. To improve your behavioral signals, consider creating high-quality and engaging content, using social media to connect with your audience and promote your content, and using local events and promotions to drive traffic and engagement.

The Ultimate Checklist of Ranking Factors for Maximum SEO Success

Checklist breaking down Content Creation, Backlinks, User Experience, Technical SEO, Social Signals, Domain Authority (PageRank), and Behavioral Ranking Factors
The Ultimate SEO Checklist for Maximum SuccessDownload

What's next for your SEO strategy in 2023 and beyond?

SEO is complex and constantly evolving, but understanding the major ranking factors and implementing strategies to improve them can help you achieve higher search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your website. By optimizing your technical SEO, creating high-quality and relevant content, building high-quality backlinks, and focusing on local SEO, you can position your website for success in 2023 and beyond.

Need help? Find an expert SEO company to do the work for you →

Are you looking to boost the SEO growth of your website and get it on the first page of Google? Look no further! In this post, we'll cover 20 of the best ways to get your website ranking higher on Google, from conducting keyword research to optimizing your loading speed. Search engine optimization is essential for any website wanting to get traffic. After all, most users don’t go beyond the first page of Google when searching for something. That’s why it’s so important to get your website on that coveted first page.

Keep reading to learn all the tips and tricks you need to know to get your website on the first page with these 20 time-tested and proven ways.

1) Conducting keyword research is crucial to identify the most relevant and popular keywords for your website.

These keywords should be included in your title tags, meta descriptions, and throughout your content to improve your ranking on Google. You may also consider using them if you run Google Ad campaigns, or to conduct competitor and market research. For even more on this, see this guide on keyword research including identifying keyword intent.

2) Optimizing your website's title tags and meta descriptions is essential for attracting users to your site.

These elements should accurately and compellingly describe your content and include the targeted keywords to improve your ranking on Google. It is important to note that Google programmatically pulls in the title and description based on a user's search, so it is crucial to optimize these elements to ensure that your website appears prominently in the search results. By taking the time to carefully craft your title tags and meta descriptions, you can improve your website's visibility and attract more users to your site.

3) Incorporating targeted keywords into your content is crucial for improving your ranking on Google.

Use these keywords in your headings, subheadings, and body text to signal to search engines the relevance of your content to users' search queries. It is important to be mindful of the keyword density, or the number of times a keyword appears in relation to the total number of words on the page, when incorporating keywords into your content. Keyword stuffing, or the practice of excessively using keywords in an attempt to manipulate search rankings, is not only ineffective, but it can also harm your website's ranking and user experience. Instead, aim to create helpful, informative, and easy-to-read content that naturally incorporates your targeted keywords. By focusing on creating high-quality content that provides value to users, you can improve your ranking on Google and attract more visitors to your website.

4) High-quality, unique, and engaging content is essential for attracting and retaining users on your website.

It is important to provide value to users and address their needs and interests through your content to keep them engaged and interested in your site. Good content can also help to improve your ranking on Google. Search engines want to provide the best possible results to users, so they will rank websites with high-quality, relevant content higher in the search results. By consistently producing unique and valuable content, you can establish your website as an authority in your industry and improve your ranking on Google. Additionally, good content can help to attract links and social shares, which can also contribute to your ranking on the search engine. Overall, investing in high-quality, unique, and engaging content is a crucial element of a successful SEO strategy.

5) Internal linking helps to improve the navigation and flow of your website, making it easier for users and search engines to find and access your content.

By linking related pages on your site, you can improve your ranking on Google. This is because you build "link juice" internally, and point users to even more helpful content that they may be interested in that is relevant.

6) External linking is a way to establish credibility and authority for your website.

By linking to reputable sources, you can show search engines the value of your content and improve your ranking on Google. Not just that, but in SEO, "followed" links are considered more valuable because they are the default behavior for links. "No-followed" links were introduced to combat spam, but they can cause problems if used too frequently. To encourage websites to link to other sites, Google rewards websites that use followed links. Pro tip: It is important to carefully manage your use of external links by creating a whitelist or blacklist of trusted or untrusted domains, rather than no-following every external link.

7) Optimizing images and videos is important for improving the user experience on your website and for ranking on Google.

Use descriptive and keyword-rich file names and alt text for your media to signal to search engines the relevance of these elements to your content. Alternative (alt) text is also important for user experience overall, and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) mandate using it to help folks who may have temporary or permanent disAbilities.

8) Social media can be a powerful tool for promoting your content and attracting links and social shares.

By actively using social media, you can indirectly improve your ranking on Google. This is because Google has shown to pull in popular Twitter posts in the past. Not just that, but it achieves a social viral coefficient greater than 1, meaning it is leveraging network effects, helping to share and even create user generated content (UGC).

9) Encouraging user engagement is a great way to improve the user experience on your website and signal to search engines the value of your content.

By providing opportunities for users to comment, share, and interact with your content, you can improve the user experience on your website and signal to search engines the value of your content. This can ultimately help to improve your ranking on Google. There are several ways to increase user engagement on your website, including:

10) Long-tail keywords are more specific and less competitive than short-tail keywords, making them a useful tool for targeting a specific audience.

These keywords are often more descriptive and contain more than one or two words, making them more closely aligned with the way users typically search for information. By incorporating long-tail keywords into your content, you can increase the chances of ranking for those keywords and improve your overall ranking on Google. By targeting a specific audience with long-tail keywords, you can also attract more qualified traffic to your website and potentially generate more leads or sales. It is important to note that while long-tail keywords may have lower search volume, they can still drive valuable traffic to your website and should be a key part of your overall SEO strategy.

11) Optimizing your website's loading speed and user experience is essential for improving its performance and ranking on Google.

A slow-loading website can be frustrating for users and may lead them to leave your site before they have a chance to engage with your content. According to Google research, "a one-second delay in mobile load times can impact conversion rates by up to 20%." On the other hand, a fast-loading website with a seamless user experience can keep users on your site longer and encourage them to explore more of your content. This can ultimately improve your ranking on Google, as search engines consider loading speed and user experience as ranking factors. There are several ways to optimize your website's loading speed and user experience, including optimizing images, minifying CSS and JavaScript, using a content delivery network (CDN), and reducing the number of redirects and external requests. By taking the time to optimize these elements, you can improve your website's performance and ranking on Google.

12) Local keywords and optimization for local search can be particularly effective for improving your ranking on Google for users in a specific location.

By incorporating local keywords and optimizing your website for local search, you can improve your visibility and ranking in the search results. For example, a Pennsylvania-based marketing firm may want to include the regions served, such as "Pennsylvania SEO Agency" on the homepage of your site.

13) Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing is a great way to improve your visibility and ranking in local search results.

By providing accurate and relevant information about your business, you can improve your ranking on Google. You can see how many views your listing gets, and even post updates and respond to positive or negative reviews for reputation management.

14) Schema markup is a way to provide additional information and context to search engines about your content.

It is a type of code that is added to the HTML of your website and helps search engines understand the meaning and structure of your content. By using schema markup, you can help search engines understand the content on your website and improve your ranking on Google. There are several types of schema markup, including product, event, recipe, and article schema. By using the appropriate schema markup for your content, you can help search engines understand the relevance and context of your content to users' search queries. This can improve the chances of your website appearing in rich results, such as rich snippets or featured snippets, which can increase its visibility and improve its ranking on Google. In addition to improving your ranking, schema markup can also help to increase the click-through rate (CTR) of your website by providing users with more information about your content in the search results.

15) Creating and submitting a sitemap is a way to help search engines crawl and index your website more efficiently.

A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages, posts, and other content on your website, along with their respective URLs. By providing a comprehensive and up-to-date sitemap, you can improve your ranking on Google. When search engines crawl your website, they use the sitemap as a roadmap to discover and index your content. This can help ensure that all of your pages and posts are being properly indexed and considered for ranking. It is important to note that sitemaps are not a ranking factor in and of themselves, but they can help search engines discover and index your content more efficiently, which can ultimately improve your ranking. In addition to creating a sitemap, you should also regularly update it to reflect any changes or additions to your website. This will help ensure that search engines have the most current and accurate information about your website.

16) Technical errors or issues, such as broken links or crawl errors, can negatively affect your ranking on Google.

These types of issues can create a poor user experience and make it more difficult for search engines to crawl and index your website, which can ultimately harm your ranking. By regularly monitoring and addressing any such issues, you can improve your ranking on the search engine. There are several tools and resources available to help you monitor and address technical errors and issues on your website, including Google Search Console and SEO audit tools. By using these tools to identify and fix issues, you can ensure that your website is running smoothly and performing optimally. In addition to monitoring and addressing technical errors and issues, it is also important to regularly update and maintain your website to prevent such issues from occurring in the first place. By taking proactive measures to maintain your website, you can improve your ranking on Google and provide a better user experience for your visitors.

17) Google Search Console is a useful tool for tracking and analyzing your website's performance on Google.

It is a free service provided by Google that allows you to monitor and maintain your website's presence in search results. By using Search Console, you can identify areas for improvement and optimize your website to improve your ranking on the search engine. Some of the key features and benefits of Search Console include:

18) User reviews and ratings can have a significant impact on your ranking on Google.

By regularly monitoring and responding to these reviews, you can improve your reputation and ranking on the search engine. This is especially true with the latest Google algorithm update released in August 2022 called the Helpful Content Update. With this update, Google is prioritizing websites that provide helpful and relevant information to users, as well as those with high-quality and engaging content. By responding to user reviews and ratings, you can demonstrate to Google that your website is valuable and useful to users. This can help improve your reputation and ranking on the search engine. It is important to note that it is not just the number of reviews and ratings that matters, but also the quality and relevance of those reviews, as well as any response from you. By actively encouraging users to leave reviews and ratings and responding to them in a timely and helpful manner, you can improve your reputation and ranking on Google.

19) To improve your ranking on Google, it is often best to use a combination of on-page and off-page SEO strategies.

On-page strategies involve optimizing the content and structure of your own website, such as using targeted keywords in your content and optimizing your website's loading speed. Off-page strategies involve building links and citations from external websites, such as by promoting your content on social media or getting mentioned in news articles. By using a combination of both types of strategies, you can improve your overall ranking on Google. On-page and off-page SEO strategies work together to help search engines understand the relevance and value of your website to users. By optimizing both the content and structure of your website and building links and citations from external sources, you can demonstrate to search engines that your website is a valuable and useful resource for users. This can help improve your ranking on Google and increase the visibility and traffic to your website.

20) Keeping up-to-date with the latest Google algorithms and ranking factors is crucial for optimizing your website to rank well on the search engine.

Google frequently updates its algorithms to improve the quality and relevance of the search results it delivers to users. By staying informed about these updates and how they may affect your website's ranking, you can make the necessary changes to optimize your website and improve your ranking on Google. There are several resources available to help you stay up-to-date with the latest algorithms and ranking factors, such as industry blogs, newsletters, and webinars. It is also important to regularly update and optimize your website to align with these factors. This may include creating high-quality and engaging content, optimizing your website's structure and navigation, and building links and citations from external sources. By regularly updating and optimizing your website, you can improve your ranking on Google and stay ahead of the competition.

By following these strategies, you can improve your website's ranking on Google and drive growth for your business.

To improve your website's ranking on Google, it is important to follow these proven 20 SEO strategies and tips listed. These strategies will help you increase your website's visibility and attract more users. Some of these strategies mentioned above include conducting keyword research, optimizing your website's title tags and meta descriptions, creating high-quality and engaging content, using internal and external linking, optimizing images and videos, promoting your content on social media, encouraging user engagement, optimizing for local search, claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing, using schema markup, creating and submitting a sitemap, monitoring and addressing technical errors, using Google Search Console, responding to user reviews, using a combination of on-page and off-page SEO strategies, and staying up-to-date with the latest ranking factors.

Stuck or need help with getting your SEO to the next level? Get affordable, expert SEO services.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to take your website and SEO to the next level! Key Medium is here to help you achieve your online growth goals with expert SEO support. Don't just take our word for it, see for yourself with a free website and SEO consultation or check out our SEO service packages.

And if you're feeling confident in your SEO skills, give our SEO audit tool a try and see where you can improve.

Don't let this opportunity pass you by, contact us today and let's get started on your journey to SEO and website success!

When you observe the “golden arches”, you know that that’s a brand! Whether positive or negative, McDonald’s logo is instantly recognizable. It is the same when you see Google’s G, Apple’s apple, or Coca-Cola’s signature writing and colors. Some companies manage to create a brand that elicits feelings and creates memories. There’s always one commercial from childhood that you never forget! 

Let’s look at the relationship between SEO and branding and why it matters. 

What is Branding?

A brand is a name, “logo”, or symbol that distinguishes one company's products from another's. It produces an image in a person's mind when they think about that company and elicits an emotional response. Many companies can have an identical product, but a brand is always unique.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO as it is more commonly known, is a way to improve your website to increase traffic. This is done by increasing your website's recognizable keywords. When people search on Google or other search engines for products or services your business provides, your company is more visible when it ranks for keywords. The more visible your business is, the more likely you will attract new customers or retain old ones. As more people shop online, especially due to the circumstances of the last couple of years, the more important SEO is for the success of a business.

SEO includes both on-page and off-page SEO. Every bit of your website has crawlable keywords, including your title tags, meta descriptions, website copy, landing page copy, and blog or newsletter copy.

So, what do keywords and SEO have to do with my brand imagery, you might ask?

How Does Branding Relate to Search Engine Optimization?

To create a successful marketing strategy for a company, both SEO and branding need to be considered to attract new customers and gain their loyalty. Developing a solid brand takes time, but if a business optimizes its website for good keywords and content, it is more likely to be found when searching on Google or other search engines. 

Famous brands have a better organic Google ranking, showing that branding is an influential tool to help businesses build their reputation and increase their SEO ranking. But that doesn’t mean that smaller brands can’t rank well. The Importance of Branding in Web Design and SEO – Key Medium. A higher search engine ranking can help your business grow. 

Branding for Social Shares and Links

Google uses links to calculate the search engine ranking. If people already know about and recognize a brand, they are more likely to visit your website and link to it, thus increasing the website's ranking. Shares on social media, such as Instagram and Twitter, can also influence a business's search engine ranking. The more shares a website gets, the more potential for attracting new customers and increasing the brand's reputation. The more Google reviews a company receives, the higher they rank because Google favors its products.

Improving Click-Through Rates

A well-known, trusted brand is more likely to be clicked on even if it is not at the top of the search engine's page. People will scroll past other websites to click on yours. This automatically improves the ranking of your website, even if the other websites have more backlinks! However, links are essential for improving search engine ranking, so getting links from trustworthy websites is vital. You can do this by connecting with publishers and bloggers to get your business’ website content more press.

Building Reputation Through Branding

Branding helps to build a reputation for your company. Highly ranked websites have good quality content but also a good reputation. People discussing your business online or writing blogs about your services or products make your company perform better in search engine rankings. Every brand mention is rewarded by improving your search engine ranking. Having your brand mentioned on news websites is one of the easiest ways to get rewarded. 

Boost Your SEO Through Building a Brand Strategy

Search engine optimization and branding are so thoroughly linked that branding needs to be used well in order to increase search engine rankings. Your business needs to create a brand strategy that focuses on its best points, improves the brand “value”, and increases traffic to its website.

Key Medium are SEO and website design experts and can help you come up with a keyword strategy that will work for your business. Get in touch today.

There is no denying that the internet plays a central role in our lives and in modern-day business. It's truly a cornerstone of our daily activities.

The challenge of the internet, however, is figuring out how to use it to your advantage, especially for recruiting new employees and building or bolstering your organization's employer brand. It is critical to build a great employer brand and have good discoverability through search engine optimization (SEO).

This short read goes into the benefits of SEO for human resources recruiting leaders. It will help you understand how important it is for your recruiting or HR website pages to be on top of the Google search results, and how to make that happen.

Human Resources SEO

When using SEO for human resources, there are multiple benefits. Human resource recruitments require visibility from qualified job seekers. By using search engine optimization, HR professionals will be able to create relevant listings that rise to the top of the search results page.

SEO for human resources enables HR professionals to create job listings that have clear information the candidate needs, ensure listings are formatted for readability, and to choose the right keywords for each listing.

With these opportunities, each listing will provide more qualified candidates and have top-notch results. Hiring great candidates is simplified through HR SEO efforts.

Employer Brand

SEO helps increase the visibility of the employer brand and job postings alike. Building the employer brand is important for attracting the right candidates. When people are searching for a job, they typically check out the employer brand on job search websites where former and current employees share their experiences and opinions on the company.

If you want to have multiple high-quality candidates, you will need to ensure your employer brand is optimized. Not only will that make sure your listings are showing up, it will also help you shape the information making up your employer brand.

When your listings show up for job seekers, it’s essential that they see positive information that makes them want to apply. By focusing on building and optimizing your employer brand, you are helping create a company that great people want to work for.

SEO for Job Boards and Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Portals

SEO helps increase the visibility of job postings. Just as regular search engines use SEO to determine ranking, job boards and ATS portals do the same. Job listings are ranked due to optimization, which means that if you’re not intentional about your listings, there’s a good chance they won’t be seen by the right people.

By using SEO strategies on your job listings, you will be able to attract top-notch, targeted candidates. It helps to reduce the number of applications you get, narrowing them down to the best. The right people will be searching for a company just like yours and will find what they need in your listing.

Instead of having an enormous pool of unqualified people to choose from, you’ll find that you have a handful of incredible, top candidates. Not a bad problem to have.

Create an account at CO.CAREERS for a free Job Board and ATS

How to Use SEO for Human Resources

Now that you understand the importance of using SEO for hiring, you’ll want to know the best practices for doing so. Here’s what you need to do when you are creating job listings for your company:

This concludes the special post in our new Branding category in the SEO Academy! Please be sure to also measure and track your HR metrics for employer brand, and to ensure your goals are being, from everything from time-to-fill, time-hire, time to productivity (when you fill an open position), and consider using an HR dashboard to track all your analytics and metrics for actionable HR insights.

Are you making this common mistake and losing valuable traffic? 

As you may know, 404 is the standard response that is returned by a server when a webpage was successfully requested but the server was unable to locate it. Most companies opt to automatically redirect these pesky error pages back to their homepage, which at first glance makes sense: it maintains link juice passed by backlinks, allows users to avoid unsightly and potentially offputting 404 errors, and keeps them out of Google’s way, avoiding potential negative impact on SEO. 

However, evidence shows that while redirecting these broken links to your homepage may save time in the short term, it could be costing you in clicks. In fact, even Google advises against this practice! Instead, a proven way to gain greater SEO traffic is to redirect these links to equivalent or similar content pages. 

Why Not Send 404s Back to the Homepage?

One of the biggest issues with redirecting 404s automatically to your homepage is that it’s confusing for users and webmasters alike. Users searching for a specific link become frustrated when erroneously landing back to the homepage, and are more likely to give up altogether and bring their clicks elsewhere than to stay on your site. It may be better to simply allow the 404 to exist so that your customers understand there is an issue that you are working to address, not just maintaining with a less convenient stop-gap solution, which places the burden back on them to find what they were looking for.

Redirecting Broken 404s to Equivalent Links to Increase Traffic

It’s common for companies to take an extra step to customize their inevitable 404s slightly by including a humorous picture or drawing even but not go much further than offering to reroute back to the home page. Mainly this is because manually redirecting to a unique page for every broken link can be time consuming, depending on the number of links you’re working with.

However, there are a number of ways to automate this process to save yourself or your client time while increasing traffic.

Automating 404 Redirection

Should you choose the do-it-yourself approach to automate this technique, there are a number of online resources at your disposal to make the process easier. One useful tool to assist with the process is Ahref’s broken backlink tool, which shows you all the referring pages that link to 404 pages along with their anchor and surrounding texts. It also filters 404s to pages with external links, and as an added bonus, you are able to use the tool to see your competitors broken links as well, should that be useful for your marketing. Once you’ve got this list, step by step tutorials can walk you through the mapping of 404s at scale using sentence embeddings.        

Let Us Help You

If automating the process seems too daunting a task, let Key Medium/Running SEO take care of it for you! Using our proven system, we can:

For more information for help with fixing your broken links and mapping old pages paths to new ones to retain maximum SEO value, please contact us today. 

This SEO audit guide was written to help for creatives, webmasters, SEO specialists, and business owners alike. 

It lays out exactly what you need to know. The process for an SEO audit, the specific steps and data points to look to improve your website's organic traffic and ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Most SEO audits are too technical and hard to decipher, we get it. Sometimes they are manually created and compiled- that would only make sense if there wasn't an SEO checker like Running SEO around.

The 7-step SEO audit process involves:

  1. Preparing for an SEO Audit
  2. Identify your strategic website goals
  3. Conduct a representative audit of your website with an automated SEO checker
  4. Determine issues Google knows about (and likely dings you on)
  5. Compile an issue log
  6. Create your tactical SEO action plan- with identified issues that are weighed by priority – according to your strategic website goals
  7. Explore your website index

Once complete– you’ll be in a much better place to kickstart your growth  and conduct important next steps.

1. Prepare. Here's what you'll need for your SEO Audit:

- A website that is publicly-accessible

- Google Sheets, Excel, or another spreadsheet tool (for tracking errors)

- Search Console (for seeing if Google has identified issues for you)

- Running SEO (for running a representative crawl of your pages and identifying issues automatically)

2. Do you know what your website objectives are?

- The goal here is to know what your goals are for long-term growth that will be achievable through SEO for your business.

- SEO is something that you use to get to growing your business, and you should think of it as a road to growth and not a means to an end.

- Your strategic goals, if you don't know what they are, can be identified by following the S.M.A.R.T. framework.

Are your business and website goals Specific?

Are they Measurable?

Are they Relevant?

Are they Time-bound?

To add an additional layer on top of the SMART framework, the expert web design and SEO experts at Key Medium have added additional steps to the framework to make it SMARTER. These are:

A solid optimization plan requires constant tending to through a nonlinear, agile-like process. If you need help with this or any strategic process, we urge you to connect an SEO expert to ensure maximum likeness of success.

Let’s move on to the nitty-gritty part of your audit to optimize your site to gain rank and organic traffic.

3. How exactly do you perform an SEO audit?

We created the Running SEO checker to help here, for free. We were bothered by the expensive tools on the market and this led to the creation of this site and optimization resource. Simply run our automated analysis tool to get started.

The first piece of this would be to have your publicly-accessible website link handy.

Then, use crawl your site and take a representative sample of interior pages, not just your homepage.

4. Check Google Search Console to determine technical website issues Google knows about (and probably dings you on)

You want to check the Google Index status in Index > Coverage for errors such as usability issues and crawl errors. (opens in a new tab)">Google Search Console > Index > Coverage for errors such as usability issues and crawl errors.

Google Search Console SEO Audit
Source: Google Search Console

If you couldn't find that in Google Search Console, don't fret. There's another method you can use.

Simply navigate to and type in to see what google sees in your index.

This is also pulled as a data point in your Running SEO Audit report, so you can skip this part if you'd like.

Not seeing your website crawled in Google's inde? Not showing up in the search results? Your site may not yet have been crawled and indexed if it's new. If it's been around for over a month, then the issue is likely that your website is not crawlable.

Is your site not crawlable? You can start by identifying opening up the robots.txt in your root folder (if it exits) and also check your website to see if a robots meta tag exists. Then, determine whether or note you're telling google not to index your site.

5. Start an issue log for your websites audit

Compile a list of issues in a website issue log. If you don't have one yet, go ahead and create your first website issue log with the following columns:

6. Create your tactical SEO action plan

In your newly created website issue tracker, also include the following critical and strategic pieces of information and weigh them by priority for maximum results and efficacy:

7. How to Improve Your Website SEO

If your SEO score was disappointing, don’t fret. In fact, it’s a common problem. So many businesses with top-rated products and services have difficulty gaining new customers online simply because their website isn’t primed for people to find them.

The best way to boost your search rankings? Hire a professional to conduct an SEO audit and spend your time and effort being awesome at your running your business and engaging with clientele.

Next steps involve more tactical SEO and business activities such as keyword research, an in-depth content audit/inventory, and competitor analysis, and preparation of an action plan that will help you gain more organic traffic for your site.

This SEO audit guide was written by Ali Jaffar, Founder and Lead Developer at Key Medium - a Premier Philadelphia SEO Agency. 

You can hire a professional SEO firm to conduct an SEO audit at any time and in any capacity. For the best results, the more love your website SEO needs, the more you should consider investing in a website redesign or a whole new website built with SEO in mind from the start. Key Medium can conduct a thorough technical website and SEO audit and walk you through recommendations to develop an action plan customized to your business goals, needs, and budget.

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