Just last week on Monday the 21st March, we Facebook Live-d Our Very first Video Casting, a step by step SEO audit dissection of the homepage of BedShed.com.au. If you missed out on this, we have now converted it to a YouTube video, with an accompanying video transcript.
A little information on Bedshed.com.au: Bedshed is a large mattress and bedroom retailer which is owned by the corporate http://joycecorp.com.au. They currently operate in several markets across Australia including WA, VIC, QLD and ACT.
Without further ado, please enjoy our very first SEO audit on BedShed.com.au!
Speaker 1: Welcome everybody, just a couple of minutes left until we can get started on this World First Live SEO Audit direct from Perth Australia. If you’re listening to this and you’re still waiting at the moment for the [unintelligible 00:11:21] to start, we appreciate if you can please like our Facebook page and give us a hello and Comment section. Please feel free to put in any question you want in the comments section. I’m going to have you to answer questions about SEO, about digital marketing in general.
Cheech: Okay, let’s get started. Its 10:00 AM. Hi, my name is Cheech from Ignite Search. Thank you so much for tuning in today. This is the world exclusive very first search engine optimization audit that we know that is happening. We’re very excited to be here to share our knowledge with you. Hopefully, you take away some massive learnings. Now, before I get into the details of the SEO audit and also to let you know the featured brand website in this case, I’m just going to have a bit of plug in, a bit an overview of the company.
Ignite search, we’re a digital marketing agency focusing on high-performance search engine optimization. It’s based in Mount Pleasant in Perth. In fact, this is just an office that we just moved in, so things are looking really good. There’s a lot of misconception out there that search engine optimization doesn’t work as well. That is not the case from our agency because we use world’s best practices. We’ve been able to achieve very good results which has allowed us to grow quite quickly especially in this economy.
If you’re looking for a cost effective solution for SEO or for digital marketing services, please come and chat to us. We’re more than happy to share everything. There is no such thing as secrets in this industry, just a lot of hard work. In front of you, you would have a picture of the website. The best preview experience for this is actually on a desktop. If you can get yourself to a desktop that will be great. Otherwise, if you’re on your mobile, just bear with us. This is our first time to try and work out the best viewing experience for both our mobile users as well as our desktop viewers as well.
If you want to follow up on any industry news, we post regularly on things that are happening in the world of SEO, in the world of digital marketing. For example, Google recently released a video giving advice on how to hire or engage with an SEO professional. It’s a great step forward for Google and for the industry itself. We’re very glad that everything that we do has actually resonated and married up perfectly with what all year the Google tech lead, who is actually part of the video, has been talking about.
If you look at our blog post on that on our website and our Ignite blog, what will happen is that you see I’ve included some additional points of reference that you can look to when you’re actually sifting through candidates for SEO agencies, especially when you have more than one excellent candidate and you really are stuck on which candidate you should go with. We add a few sophisticated more advanced points on that. Now, for all those, just a really quick showcase. As I said, we’re at Mount Pleasant. We’re just right off the Rilla both off Canning highway. So easy access.
For those who are maybe clients who are passing away who would like to visit us, we’re very close by. This session today is about the audit. It’s about a deliverable that usually happens at the first stage of an SEO project. Just to give you an example, the SEO audit, which is also called by various names like website analysis or site analysis, the SEO audit, it forms a part of our website audit. The SEO audit, pretty much, is a task where we go through and we find out deficiencies with a particular website from an SEO point of view.
Now, when we go through client websites we do what we call a website audit which not only looks at SEO, but it also looks at other aspects of the website including conversion, and also areas including e-commerce as well as other idiosyncrasies of the website itself, be it a publisher, be it a directory, and other areas as well. Today, what I’ll be walking through is actually what we call a top-line audit. A top-line audit means on the fly. This website that we’ve disclosed we have no connections with at all, it was chosen as a good example of what’s been done correctly.
We actually like to showcase that as well, but also some things that we can look at improving, from our point of view, that could help with it. Now, bear in mind that because it is on the fly and it is live, we will put a caveat on the fact that we would not understand the current company status. So, this information that we’re providing will be of a General nature and for specific advice. We would have to actually engage with the company itself for a more detailed analysis around their situation.
SEO audit forms a critical part. Usually, it comes after another major deliverable in SEO called the keyword research. With the keyword research, that’s when you actually go through and you discover the search terms that are relevant to the business, and actually extract any insights as well as patterns and behaviors and trends relating to the keywords that are relevant to your business. That’s pretty much the basis of it. By the way, you guys have any questions at all, please pop it in the comment section below. Our contact details, you can look at on the side there which is our contact details. If you want to get in touch with us, please do.
Now, getting into the SEO audit, we’ll get straight into it. We’ve got a thirty minute gap now. There’s a lot of touch points that we go through in an SEO audit. In our company alone, we have more than 80 different touch points. Usually, they separate into two sections; it’s what we call onsite and offsite. When we say onsite optimization, onsite optimization are things that happen on the website page itself; the things on the homepage on internal pages, on key landing pages, on the Contact Us page. Anything that is actually within the website.
When we talk about offsite optimization, offsite is actually anything that happens externally. The bulk of the discussion when we talk about offsite, is about linking. Especially what we call external inbound links, or backlinks for short, that come from other websites into the website in question. In this session, given the short time frame, we’re going to be going through primarily the onsite factors. Things to look out for when you’re looking to optimize the website and on the website in turning text structure and all those things. Hopefully, that will make sense.
Again, any questions on clarification and anything else, just pop it down on the comment section. I am actually monitoring that right now as we speak. Without further ado, let’s just get straight into it. The featured brand case study for today is actually an e-commerce retailer that operates across many states, that is actually based in Perth up North. The brand is a big retailer around mattresses and beds. In fact, there’s one just right around the corner from where we are at the moment, the business in Moorabbin. The brand that we’re going to be focusing on today is– and drum roll, boom, bedshed.com.au.
Hopefully, some, or all of you, would have heard of the brand Bedshed before. I do think they operate in most states except for New South Wales. So, for all the Sydney people that are tuned in right now, you may or may not have heard of this brand. It’s similar to retailers like Forty Winks, Snooze and those kinds of businesses.
We’re going to be looking at Bedshed, and we’re going through– Again, just to be clear, we have no connection with Bedshed. But if there is someone that is actually connected to Bedshed, hopefully, you would leave away with this session with some great takeaways. Now, this website, although it’s an e-commerce website based in Perth, it really applies to any e-commerce in the world because the SEO best practice is always consistent. If you want to take notes, please do. Otherwise, we’re just going to get straight into it. I’m just going to bring up the laptop screen.
The first thing you do is, obviously, you bring up the website. This website is actually not too bad because they actually rank quite well at the moment. For example, if you want to have a look at, say, their current rankings. We just did a bit of research just before this and their top ranking would be beds Perth. If you look at beds Perth, obviously, you’ve got Snooze, Brosa, Matt Blatt, Sealy, and then you got all these brands, and then you got Gumtree, Furniture Bazaar, dom dom dom, and then you have Bedshed.
This is actually quite a good example. We picked this example because we are able to showcase both things that are done well and things that can actually improve as well. Let’s just keep going. This is the homepage of Bedshed.com.au. Just by looking at this page alone, there’s quite a few things that we can already pick up on. The very first thing that you notice is, you got to focus on the URL address. You can see here straight away that this website is not SSL enabled, meaning the connection, or any visitor connections to the website, is actually not secure. What does that mean in terms of SEO and, I guess, the wider digital marketing community?
Now, if this was something that we’ were talking about, say, two years ago, it may not have been such a large importance. What’s been happening is that in the past six months, Google amongst other players, but especially Google, had been encouraging online websites to adopt HTTPS, integrate that into the website. So much so, that there will come a time where- and I won’t be surprised if it’s already happening in some markets now- that Google Chrome will actually showcase that big warning triangle message that says that your site is not secure.
Obviously, that’s not perfect for user experience. The recommendation here for Bedshed is to actually get on to HTTPS as soon as possible. Depending on what class certificate that you are looking to get, they could start from less than a hundred dollars a year to maybe several hundred dollars year. It is not a large expense, but it does a whole lot of good especially for search engine optimization. Now, in terms of a ranking benefit, there’s a slight ranking benefit to it. But I would say, right now, the large proportion of the reason why people actually would go for HTTPS is for the user experience. Straight away, you can do that. So, that’s fine.
The other thing that you do straight away you look at, is actually the metadata for the website. We’ve actually built an internal tool for SEO and we’ve actually published it on the Google Chrome extension web store. The website is called Fenix, F-E-N-I-X SEO. Please download it. We use it very often. We’re going to be using it quite frequently in this video live cast from Facebook as well as further sessions down the track.
You can see here, this is the metadata text of the homepage. Bed mattresses and bedding, bedroom furniture stores, Bedshed. Not too bad at all. Look at the description tag, da da da da. Sealy, Beautyrest, Bedshed, cool, so it has some comparative text, that’s great. Keyword tag; we got beds, mattresses, bedroom furniture, da da da da. Okay, that’s good. Just a quick overview in terms of ranking benefits; title tags do influence the relevance of ranking in the servers. Description tags don’t, but they do serve as a great area of messaging and including what we call call to actions or CTAs.
Keyword tags, they’ve done well in the fact that they have actually included keyword tags, and actually optimized it. This essentially does not have any ranking benefit at all, but as best practices, it’s always good to put keywords into keywords tag. Now, in terms of what we think will be able to be improved on this.
First of all, with the title tag, it’s great that you have what we call product type keywords, which is the bed mattresses and bedding. What they’re missing here are two also crucial points of keywords that can be added. One is what we call descriptive keywords. Descriptive keywords are keywords that are related to the business itself. If we look at Bedshed and we say, we go to single kind of bed. Let’s have a look at that. Let’s say the website loads up and we go to single Daisy bed. It’s pretty clear that they actually promote their products online. But actually, they do not fully sell the website. This is interesting.
Actually, this is actually not fully e-commerce website, I apologize. We can switch to another one afterwards as well. What happens is that with a Bedshed website like this, you want to be including words like– intentional words as well. Like buy- B-U-Y, or deliver or send, if you’re an e-commerce website. What happens is if you look at Beds Sydney, what you see is a lot of guys like Snooze and Forty Winks then use words like beds online. Store and beds online and sale as well. A lot of CTA keywords that are not being used at the moment can be used as well.
Once you’ve done that the next thing as well is location. In this title tag, there are no use of location. As far as I know, Bedshed is an Australian retailer, so they operate across Australia. What they should be doing is including the word Australia in the title tag. It’s very simple, it can be done. For example, if you work cross Australia and New Zealand, just put in the word Australia and New-Zealand inside. That would help with locational relevance as well.
There are a few things that you have to look out for when you’re actually crafting the metadata for a website, especially if it’s a homepage, because for a site like this, a big site and one which have arguably quite a bit of backlinks profile as well, high domain authority, it will be important that you make sure that this is done correctly.
Now, let’s go down here. One of the things that we always look at straight away is something called the h1 tag, the heading one tags. At the moment, if we look at the website now there actually is no heading one tags on the homepage itself. Heading one tags are like sub chapters in a book in the fact that if you actually would look at a book and look at the sub chapter, the heading would actually just summarize what’s going to be talked about in that entire chapter. That is what Google uses to determine relevance on a website.
The rule of thumb is to say that every landing page, especially a key landing page relating to search relevance- so, product pages, services pages- should have a h1 heading tag showing at the moment. Our recommendation is to actually put a– or modify tags around some of this texts to become a h1 tag. In the h1 tag itself, the h1 text, it should include keywords or search terms that they would like to rank for. A quick example off the top of my head would be bed and mattress retailer in Australia, or Australia’s leading bed and mattress retailer. Obviously, don’t just put the keyword itself, actually also craft into a sentence as well.
Now, another thing that we will talk about just really quickly before we have a look at in-text as well, is actually the page speed of the site. If we go to the tool, go to General tab and go to PageSpeed Insights, what this tools does it actually brings up the Speed insights. What this tool does is it actually brings up speed of the website and actually gives a score for the mobile page speed experience and a desktop page speed experience. This is actually an official tool from Google itself. Now, if you look at here, first of all, anything that’s read should be attended to as soon as possible. With mobile, here it says 46 out of a 100. That’s low.
Usually, what you try to get is you want to try to aim for about 80 and 100 upwards. This will help with user experience because user experience, in particular page load speed itself, is a ranking algorithm factor as well. Some of the things here that need to be fixed up is optimizing images. Some of these images can be smaller. So, definitely look to improve the images that are actually on the website, making them smaller where possible.
Going on, and as you can see, I’ve been talking on this now for about 10, 15 minutes and we barely started. We only just started from the top and we only got through half way through the page. That goes to show that there is a lot of moving parts and elements when it comes to SEO, especially when it comes to SEO at this level, because as an agency, we service the medium to large businesses as well as the funded startups and also online focused businesses. So, ones like e-commerce, publishers and directories.
Every little thing counts and they all add up. That is why we always have a very stringent process too when we’re actually auditing and providing recommendations on a website. Now, if you look at here, this is what we call the homepage text. It’s great that they have links to Sealy, Beautyrest, Sleepmaker, Tempur, Dreamsense and Insignia. What they really want, if they wish to do well and rank for, say, they key tag like beds and mattresses and also what is called hero products, in every website, in every product and service range, there’s going to be a set of hero products that you’ll be looking to target.
These websites will have either positive business implications if more of them were sold or they would actually attract more search volume and search interest. So, they just tend to be more popular in terms of their product types. So, what you should be doing as a recommendation, is to consider putting internal links on the homepage to drive page rank onto those pages. Again, this is a general recommendation but it’s one that can be very powerful. We’ve seen cases where just by adding internal links on to the homepage, it has actually boosted the visibility of the product category or the service category pages.
Let’s go down, that’s fine. You’ve got Browse Beds, Browse Mattresses, Find a Store. All these, that’s good. We’re not going to comment too much about conversion at this point and stage. The other thing that we’ll look at the moment when we land in homepage, is also the sitemap. By the way, all these recommendations that I’m going through right now are in no particular order. Look at sitemap. This is great. It has a sitemap of the pages on the website.
What it does not have is, by first impressions anyway, is all the links included here. Ideally, what you would like is to actually include every single page on this site, including the product pages. Just use accordions or drop downs and just make sure that you include every single product page possible within each of the different beds and sizes.
If it becomes a pack that– let’s say for example you have 5,000 products, or a large amount of products, and you feel as if you cannot fit every single one into the HTML sitemap on the homepage, then you can create what we call stepped HTML sitemaps or you can actually break down the HTML sitemaps. For example, if you go to, say, the Beds page, then you’ll have a beds focused HTML sitemap. That’s another example or recommendation.
Now, another thing that we’ll look at very closely or very quickly is the robots.txt. Robots.txt is just a little file that the search engines read. What they do is the spiders, before actually crawling your site, they will actually view the robots.txt and they will view the direct to what we call the declarations on this and make sure that they will follow it as much as possible. Now, robots.txt is great in helping the search engines identify what part of the websites are most important. Do be careful when you’re modifying the robots.txt because one change could actually prevent a large portion of website being crawled.
If it’s not crawled, then it’s not indexed. If it’s not indexed, it will not show up in the SERPs if it’s a new page. If it’s already been indexed before, then it’s great, but it means also that that page will have only old content stored in the SERPs. Any changes done on those pages will not show up. If you look at here, there’s nothing glaring that stands out except for one thing and the fact is there is no XML sitemap declaration on the page.
There are two types of sitemaps: one is called the HTML sitemap, which resides on the website itself and is visible to the users or to the visitors. The other one is what we call an XML sitemap. With an XML sitemap, It is a file mainly for the search engines. It helps with the indexing process, meaning helping with the spiders to locate all the pages of the website that you want shown in the search engine results pages. At the moment, there is no declaration of XML sitemaps. One would ask, “What is the reason for that?” We would actually look at the XML sitemap. The default file path for XML sitemaps is sitemap.xml. So, you just bring that up.
So far, nothing has shown. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have an XML sitemap, it only indicates that there is no XML sitemap on sitemap.xml. We recommend a look into this deeper. Find out if there is an XML sitemap. If not, create one. Create a declaration in the robost.txt and then also submit it to Google Search Console, which is a tool provided by Google. Again, it’s free to go in and actually submit the sitemap to Google. That would also help with the indexing process.
It’s 10:29 now, we’ve got one more minute to go. Again, any questions you have, feel to free to put in the comments and we’ll answer them. Also, feel free to reach out to us on our number 9467-9883 on our email firstname.lastname@example.org, or again, you can come in and visit us if you’re in town, if you’re in Perth. We actually do a lot of e-commerce website work. It’s actually one of our specialties as well. So, if you do run an e-commerce website, please get in touch with us.
Now, through the homepage, there’s nothing much all. If you look at the homepage itself, it has a lot of text, which is great. Let me just wait for this to load. That’s good. A lot of what we’ve covered up were the main things that we recommend optimizing for Bedshed at this point in time. That’s actually 10:30 thirty on the dot. We’ll close out now.
Thank you so much for listening to us on this live Facebook page and SEO audit. It’s our very first time, so we apologize for any clinks in this. Look forward to hearing from you. We are more likely to do more streaming sessions down the track, so hope to see you again. Thank you, bye.
[00:43:30] [END OF AUDIO]