Custom SEO: Get 1st Page Rankings With a Custom SEO Strategy | Christine Maisel | Skillshare

Custom SEO: Get 1st Page Rankings With a Custom SEO Strategy

Christine Maisel, Designer, SEO & Founder of Portable Entrepreneur

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49 Lessons (1h 51m)
    • 1. What We're Going to Cover & What You'll Be Able to Do By The End of This Course

      1:04
    • 2. What is an SEO Audit?

      1:39
    • 3. Why Conduct an SEO Audit

      1:21
    • 4. How Often You Should Complete an SEO Audit

      0:41
    • 5. How You Can Perform Your Own SEO Audit

      1:05
    • 6. How Long It Takes to Complete an SEO Audit

      2:11
    • 7. Section 2 Overview: What We're Going to Cover

      0:25
    • 8. How to Track Your Findings

      0:51
    • 9. Questions to Ask Before Starting an SEO Audit

      2:08
    • 10. A Quick Look at The Real Website We'll Be Auditing in This Course

      2:59
    • 11. Getting a General SEO Overview of the Site You're Auditing

      4:45
    • 12. General Site Overview - Part 2

      5:13
    • 13. How search engines see your site lg

      2:07
    • 14. Research The Domain Before You Buy It Or Start SEO (See How and Why Here)

      4:41
    • 15. Section 3 Overview: What We're Going to Cover

      0:25
    • 16. What is On-Site SEO?

      0:53
    • 17. What Keywords Do You Want to Rank For?

      3:55
    • 18. Using a Keyword Density Analyzer

      2:43
    • 19. Titles & Descriptions

      4:28
    • 20. URL Structure

      2:25
    • 21. Correct Use of Text Formatting

      1:51
    • 22. Use of Canonical URLs

      3:04
    • 23. Correct Use of H1 & H2 Tags

      2:11
    • 24. Use of Quality and Unique Content & Other Content Factors

      4:26
    • 25. Image Files, Sizes & Tags

      2:08
    • 26. Use of 2 Internal Linking Factors

      1:58
    • 27. Broken Links

      1:12
    • 28. Page Speed for Better Rankings & Conversion

      4:10
    • 29. Is Your Website User-Friendly?

      3:08
    • 30. Section 4 Overview: What We're Going to Cover

      0:36
    • 31. Tracking Top Analytic Reports

      6:53
    • 32. Use of Website Analytic Tools

      1:25
    • 33. Using Google Webmaster Tools

      3:34
    • 34. Bing Webmaster tools

      2:03
    • 35. Robots.txt

      4:29
    • 36. XML Sitemap for Search Engines

      2:27
    • 37. Section 5 Overview: What We're Going to Cover

      0:17
    • 38. Incoming Link Analysis

      3:38
    • 39. What is Off Page SEO?

      0:37
    • 40. How to Use Your Link Analysis to Increase Your Rankings

      1:05
    • 41. Using Your Competition Analysis to Outrank Your Competition

      0:32
    • 42. Website Domain Authority

      1:41
    • 43. Section 6 Overview: What We're Going to Cover

      0:27
    • 44. What is a Competition Analysis & Why Is It Important

      0:44
    • 45. How to Perform a SEO Competitor Analysis

      2:08
    • 46. Using a Promotional Strategy

      3:05
    • 47. Identifying Your SEO Competitors

      0:45
    • 48. Using a Promotional Strategy

      3:05
    • 49. What to Do Once You Complete The SEO Audit & Where to Start

      1:23

About This Class

In this course we're going to walk through exactly how to create a custom SEO strategy for your website. General SEO tactics are not the most effective. Every website is different, so shouldn't your SEO plan be too? I'm guessing you not only want your website to rank highly in Google, but I'd bet you'd like to keep it ranked too. And that's what a custom SEO plan can do for you.

If you:

  1. Want to rank your website on the 1st page of search engines,
  2. Have tried to rank your website without success or
  3. If you want to sell SEO services but aren't sure where to start

then this course is for you!

To successfully rank your website on the first page of Google, you need to know:

  • exactly how search engines view your website
  • what search engines want you to do to make your website better
  • what SEO techniques your competitors are using
  • what specific steps you need to take to outrank and outperform your competitors

and that's exactly what you'll gain access to here.

Transcripts

1. What We're Going to Cover & What You'll Be Able to Do By The End of This Course: welcome to this S e o. Audit course. I'm really excited to have you here. I have a lot of great information for you, and this is really gonna help your website in your online business. In this course, we're going to cover what an S E. O. Audit is this step by step process for doing it yourself, using either free or paid tools. Depending on your preference in your budget, not only are we going to cover how to do it, I recommend that you perform in S E o audit for your own website. As you go through this course, I also recommend that you complete this course in order. As I've laid it out in the order, you should complete an audit. By the end of this course, you'll know exactly how to complete all the steps necessary to better understand your website strengths and weaknesses and what you can do to improve its performance. If you offer or would like to offer s seo services, this course will also help you offer a better service to your customers as well. So let's get started 2. What is an SEO Audit?: before we actually jump in to how to conduct an S e o or search engine optimization audit. It's important that we take a minute to talk about what s CEO audit. Actually, it's and s e o. Audit is a way to evaluate your websites performance in several key areas. The audit is typically done before you start search engine optimization work on a website so that you can track what work needs to be done and tracked the results. That way, you're not just doing general tactics that everyone uses. You're actually doing the work that your website needs in order to rank higher. As every website is unique. As we'll get into in this course, a good s you audit will look at several key areas of your website, including on site optimization, off site optimization, social metrics, a competition analysis and even a promotional analysis. If these categories don't sound at all familiar to you just yet, don't worry. I'm going to cover each of these in detail, so you will feel very comfortable with them all soon the all makes sense, I'm gonna break him down. So they're easy to understand and easy to implement. after the audit has been completed, you will know the Web site strengths and weaknesses and where you should focus your efforts in order to increase the sites. Search engine rankings. It's like having a customized S e o roadmap to fix your site. 3. Why Conduct an SEO Audit: So now that you know what an S e o audit is, let's talk about why you would want to conduct one in the first place. There are a few reasons why you may want to do one first. You may have noticed a decrease in your traffic, and you want to know why it's happening and what you can do to get your numbers back up. Second, you may have been studying your competition and you say they are all moving up in the search engine rankings and you want to stay ahead of them. An S E O audit will tell you how to do that. Third, you may have hired someone to do s CEO work for you, and you want to make sure they're doing or have done what they said they were going to dio . And lastly, you may just want to increase your or your clients organic search rankings, and you want to know where you should start. Whatever your reason is, the first place you should start is with an S E o audit jumping right into applying General Seo techniques without first evaluating your websites. Health is going to be a waste of your time. If you really want to maximize your efforts by first spending time on evaluating your websites issues, you'll be able to better address it's individualized needs so it can rank higher and perform better for you. 4. How Often You Should Complete an SEO Audit: we just covered why you would want to conduct an S e o audit. But how often should you do? One, as I previously mentioned, an S e o Oughta is typically done just before s e o work is started. However, you'll want to routinely perform an audit to make sure your website stays up to date as overtime. Things in the search engine world will certainly change. I recommend you complete an S E O audit at least 2 to 3 times per year. This ensures that your website is still functioning highly in all of the key areas and is keeping up with the ever changing search engine developments as well as staying ahead of your competitors. 5. How You Can Perform Your Own SEO Audit: Now, I'm sure you're wondering just how you can perform your own s CEO audit. But there are actually three ways you can get an s u audit Done. The first is to do it yourself, and we'll cover exactly how to do that step by step. In this course, the second is to use an S e o audit tool. And lastly, you can hire an expert to do it for you. Now you'll notice. I mentioned using as you audit tool. There are so many all in one tools available that you can use to do the job for you. And while that sounds nice, I recommend the audit be done manually. If you are serious about fully understanding the health of your website now, don't get me wrong. There are certainly some great tools out there, and we will use some of them in this course that would give you a lot of good information. But it's important that you understand how to pull detailed information in each section yourself, and you also want to make sure that you cover the areas the tool misses out on so through this course will be using different tools to accomplish this. But don't worry. No technical skills are required. I'm gonna make this easy for you. I promise. 6. How Long It Takes to Complete an SEO Audit: As you go through this course and start to learn about everything that goes into an S U audit, you'll probably start to wonder just how long does it take to actually complete one? Well, the best answer I can give you is it depends as you audits can take anywhere from a few seconds to over 40 hours for large, complex websites. What? I know. Let me explain. If you use a generalized s CEO audit tool, your report will be furnished in under a minute. But if you're doing things correctly manually performing the audit, it's likely going to take you several hours. You might even be looking at anywhere from 2 to 4 hours for a smaller, less complex Web site. Well, I know that's probably not what you want to hear. Believe me, this is time well spent. Doing this work is what's going to make your online business take off. This is going to help you rank your website and beat out the competition. There is so much valuable information to be obtained from this evaluation. So back to how long does it take? There are several factors that go into how long it takes first. How large is the website? How many pages does it have? How much content is on each page? And you want to look at this because search engines look at individual website pages, they don't look at websites as a whole. How many factors will you be evaluating? And, of course, how efficiently do you work? How many times have you done an audit? Because every time that you do it, you'll get faster and faster because you'll know the tools you'll know what to look for. In this course, we're going to be looking at more basic yet comprehensive S CEO audits that take approximately 2 to 4 hours to complete now. One thing to know is, if you have not been tracking your website statistics, you'll want to start doing so immediately and do so for at least two weeks before starting your audit. Otherwise, you won't have much data to go off of when we specifically look at traffic in conversion. So you want to make sure that you have that set up so that you can go back and compare when your website has been optimized. 7. Section 2 Overview: What We're Going to Cover: in this section. We're going to gear up for starting your S E o audit before we actually begin the audit. We want to look at how to track your findings. What questions you need to ask yourself or your client before you begin. And how to get a quick overview of how the website you'll be auditing is actually performing. Once you've done this will start going step by step through the actual audit itself. 8. How to Track Your Findings: you're going to be pulling a lot of data and information, so it's best to track it as you go. So by the end of your audit, you'll have a fully completed website. Now. How detailed you track this depends on if you're doing this for your own personal or business website or if you're doing this for a client. But next you'll find a blank s your report that you can download and use for your audit, and I encourage you to use that for your website. As you go through this course, If you're doing the audit for yourself, you can input the details and make some quick notes. On the other hand, if you're doing this for a client, you'll want to write out your recommendation in present. This more professionally. Either way, remember that you will resort back to this document down the road. Once you had time to see how effective the changes you made have been. When you conduct your next audit, you'll want to compare the two 9. Questions to Ask Before Starting an SEO Audit: If you plan on offering S e o auditing services to your clients, there are several questions that you want to ask them before you get started. On the other hand, if you will just be doing this for your own personal or business websites, there's still some questions that you want to think about before you get started. The first is you want to know if any previous search engine optimization work has been done . And if there has been, are they able to furnish any reports from that previous work because you want to know where the other company focused their efforts and you want to see what work has actually been done. But you want to know whether this is for yourself or for your client. What are the goals for doing an S U audit? What do you hope to achieve? What do you hope to get out of it? You also want to look at what are the most important pages as well as products and services on the website, because not only do you want to drive traffic to your website, you want to convert those visitors, and we also want to know where We want to focus our efforts, especially if you're dealing with 100 page website. You want to start with the most important pages. What other advertising has the website use? What's their current marketing strategy? Do they use paper, click ads or they on social media? And are the website statistics currently being tracked? We want to be able to go in and look at what the current traffic looks like. We want to see how many visitors they're getting to their site. We want to see what are the most popular pages and so one. And lastly, if you're doing this for a client, you want to ask, Is there anything I missed that you think I should know? Because you never know if there's something else that may have happened with the website that you will not get from asking those initial questions, and by opening up to the customer, you're giving them an opportunity to share with you anything that may have happened or anything that they have noticed with their traffic or even competitors 10. A Quick Look at The Real Website We'll Be Auditing in This Course: All right, let's take a look at the website that we're actually going to be auditing in this course. This is from a client of mine who came to me and he already had his website set up. This is from a business that was established almost a year ago, and they want to rank more organically in search engines. We decided the best step would be to do an S E o audit to really get a good idea of how they are currently benefiting from search engines. How search engine friendly their website is so that we can figure out what are the best steps to take to get them right. As you can see, they have a basic website where they list their services and prices. Some samples of their work testimonials from their clients. As you can see, they're really trying to show off their work. They list their contact information. They show where they can be found on Facebook on Yelp. So they're really trying to get people to contact them and speaking with them, they said their top keywords are lawn mowing. Centreville, Virginia, which is where they're located. Landscaping, lawn care, lawn service and lawn maintenance, all with Centerville or Centreville, Virginia, attached as this is a local business. So now we're gonna look more at keywords to make sure these are the best keywords to target . But we'll get into that in a bit. They've listed several of their online competitors, however, in doing a quick search for their top keyword. I don't see any of their top online competitors listed when I scroll down. I do see them listed here in the local search results, but I don't see them listed here in the top search results. Now, if you'll notice they do appear here in the sponsored area. They are using Google AdWords, currently as part of their marketing plan, and they've also mentioned that they're trying to grow on Facebook. When I go to their Facebook page, I do have it nicely set up. I see that they've started to drive some people to their page there. Last post was almost two weeks ago, and it looks like most of their post here tend to be a bit promotional. I see that there's a gap between March in January and then again from January to November, so it looks like it's a little bit sporadic when they tend to post. They also said they really want to drive people directly to their services page and perhaps even their portfolio. But they really want to focus on their services of mowing, landscaping and leaf removal because those are their top services, their top selling services. Their ultimate goal is to be able to use this audit to figure out exactly what steps they need to take and what they can do both on their website and off their website to grow the organic traffic and grow their business. And that's exactly what we're gonna look at step by step in this course. So I encourage you as we go through an audit, the live long and prosper website, that you do the same for yours. 11. Getting a General SEO Overview of the Site You're Auditing: before I jump right into starting the ASIO audit, I'd like to just get a general idea of what I'm working with. It just helps me wrap my mind around the actual website that I'm going to be looking at gives me a general idea of where they're starting from and then it helps me as I move forward. So I want to show you just a few things that I look at as I go, The very first thing I start with is of course, their website. No, we looked at their website in general. However, I wanna look at how well their website is set up to convert because part of doing an S e o oughta is yes. We want to be able to drive traffic to their website. We want to make sure that the website is search engine friendly. But really, if we drive all this traffic to a website and the website is not set up to convert, it's really not going to do this business owner any good. And so that's why I always start with their website. Some of the things I'm gonna look for are like social proof. I see. They have number one customer satisfaction. I don't know what lawn starter dot com is without something I may look into to see how that looks. But as a potential customer, that looks good. When you see number one customer satisfaction, I see that I can call or text the phone numbers very huge. I have email right there. Is he Facebook? I see yelp, which are very well known, and so that looks very legitimate. So that's really good. Now what I'm missing when I first looked at the website is a call to action. What is the visitors supposed to do? I see before and after pictures. That's great. I see the contact information, but when I scroll down a little bit, they are trying to drive potential customers to get a quote. That seems to be what they want them to do to either get a quote or up here to call them. The problem is that their call to action is below the fold, meaning I have to scroll down to see what it is that they want me to do as a visitor. So I would recommend that they move that called the action up even if that just means moving that get a quote button up here towards their slideshow, or even incorporating that into their slideshow. So I would encourage this business to think about what it is that they want visitors to do when they land on their page and drive them to do that. Don't make them guess. Tell them what it is that you want them to dio. So those are some of the things that I would look at initially on the website. I still want to look at things like their content. What is it that they're sharing here now? Many small businesses make the mistake of on their home page telling people about their business because they're excited about it and that's exactly what's happening here. They're saying this is a local family or a family owned business, which is a great thing, and it's also something that's really good to advertise. It makes people feel comfortable. However, this talks all about them. We want to talk about the customer on the website. How is it that this business can help the customer because as a visitor, I want to know how you can help me, Do you have the services that I need. Are you gonna take care of my issue? And then if you do and I want to know more about you, I'll go looking for an about page, So that would definitely be one of my recommendations to them as well is to talk less about them and more about the customer on the home page. Now I don't see anywhere. You look in the foot and I don't see anywhere here in about Page. So in about pages where they can put all of that information. Also look to see if they have information like a privacy policy or terms and conditions. I don't see that either. Now, since they listed Facebook and Yelp, I'm going to go take a quick look at those now. We looked at their Facebook page a little bit earlier. We see that they have a very nice header. Ah, we can look at their photos. They have taken time to upload a lot of before and after photos, so that's great. We can see if there's any about information. There's the contact information, a link to their website, some basic services. Let's see, they do have some information here. It looks like about them now. We'll go look at Yelp and I'm looking for the same thing. I want to make sure that wherever they are online, that their profiles are complete. So here they have one reviews. It looks like they said, This is something They're just getting started. They've uploaded a lot of images. They have their web site, their phone number, so it looks like they are complete here. 12. General Site Overview - Part 2: next. I like to do a General Google search for the business name to see what information pulls up on the business. You can see that the first website listed is their main domain. Next is their Facebook page. That's great. That that comes up their images come up there. Yelp profile comes up, Says they're on YouTube. Didn't mention that. So that's something that I'm gonna have to check out. Ah says they have a Google plus profile, which they didn't mention, so I'm gonna have to check that out as well. And we want to see how complete these profiles are. Let's go ahead and take a look at their YouTube. So it looks like they have one video that they just uploaded a week ago. The name is not going to help them, as you can see here. So that's something where I'm gonna have to look into a little bit more. But I'm not gonna do that right at the moment. So going back, let's see what else they have here. You can see there some other links that aren't necessarily related to them. Cafe press books and see what comes up on the next page. so really, all of their stuff is on the first page, right there were, should be so that looks good and it looks like there website is presenting well now. The next thing that I want to do is go back to Google and I want to type in site semi colon and then the website domain and I want to do a search because this is going to tell me for this particular site how many of their actual pages are indexed and how did they come up? How higher low do they come up? So you'll see before the actual website even comes up? We have yelp Facebook coming up, but then we have this third website here coming up before the clients actual domain. So that's not too good. But it does show that there contact home page and portfolio pages coming up on a couple other things that are not related here. So their services page, which they said is their most important to them, is not even coming up on the first page. Now there's another tool called a giraffes, and this is going to tell you how maney back links that they have to their sites. Aiken type in their domain and try it for free. And a back link is essentially any other website that includes the live long and prosper dot com link on their website, referring any of their visitors to this website. And it says there are only two domains that are currently referring to the website. So that's something that they're going to need to work on, and we'll talk more about that later. So although there's 11 links, there's only two domains that are referring traffic. So I'm gonna go down here and click on referring domains. I want to see what it is. So there's two websites here. I don't recognize either one of those. So those websites or just General Webb directors, that's not necessarily what we're looking for. I've also checked on a couple different mobile devices to see how well the website appears is save. It's mobile friendly. There is not a specific mobile version, however, it does resize appropriately. So now that just gives me a general idea of where we're standing. I'm gonna look at their Google analytics account. I see that they actually just started. That's why there's no traffic here for a while. They just started to track their website statistics and they're traffic and they are getting some hits, but not too much Here. They have a very high balance rate of 71% which is not good. But I want to go down here and get an overview of their traffic. Looks like most of it is referral, but the referral traffic is getting a 92% bounce rate, so that's not doing them much good. They're getting a lot of direct traffic. However, this may be tracking the actual business owner going to the website is while also have to see if he is excluding himself from these results. We saw that he has been doing some paid search, which has a much lower bounce rate, so that looks really good. He's driving some targeted traffic, but it doesn't look like he has set up any goals, so I don't know that he's actually tracking how well that's working right here. He is getting a little bit of organic search. Ah, that's getting a low bounce rate of 23% so we can take a look in here and see what keywords he's actually ranking for most of them are not provided by Google, and the other is live long and prosper landscaping. So that's not really organic because they already know about him. So as you can see, there's a lot of things that we can look at just to get a general idea of what we're dealing with. And if this is your own website, these air some things that you really want to think about and see how you are already doing before you start your audit before you start making improvements to your website so that you can compare how you were before and how you will be once all of your changes have been completed down the road. So now let's get more into how to start RSC audit. 13. How search engines see your site lg: and this is a pretty neat website. If you want to be able to see your website, how a search engine sees it and all you need to do is insert your particular website into this box here and we'll do a quick search. And as you can see, it's gonna layout your website and it's gonna be a little ugly looking. But that's okay. This is how search engine see it. We only need to be visually appealing for visitors as you can see, the images air kind of great out. And that's because search engines can't understand images unless we give them certain code and we'll talk about that later on. But what's really neat is over here on the right hand side. This gives you some general quick information about the website. You can see how many words on the page how maney internal links, and again we'll get into this and more details. I don't worry too much about this right now. You can also see here what title they've given the page, how many characters it has, how many, what keywords they're currently trying to write for. So although they gave me five keywords, I look here, and I see that they have a ton of keywords, and the key words that they gave me are not even the ones that are up top here. Listed as their primary key words, I also see that they're trying to rank for some keywords that are using their competitions name, so I don't know if that's necessarily the best idea. I can also see their description, how many characters it has. And then when you look below what's knee, as you can see? How does the title in the description actually show up if this appears in search results, which is really neat to see so you can edit your title in your description if you'd like to . If you want to get all of the information, you can click and download, and this will download an Excel file for you. So you have all this information, but I think this is just a neat way to see how search engine see your website so you can get an idea of what they think is most important 14. Research The Domain Before You Buy It Or Start SEO (See How and Why Here): if you're about to purchase a domain name or you have purchase a domain name and you are struggling, toe actually rank that website and despite all of your efforts, you're not sure why This is something you definitely want to pay attention to. This is a good example for you. I had someone recently come to me and present me with this website. From what they were saying, it sounded like they were moving in the right direction. But I started to take a closer look and I started to see why they were struggling to rank their website. And this is why I advise you to check on the domain you're going to buy before you do it, because it's very likely that the domain you're gonna purchase was used before you. And for the most part, it's probably going to be fine. It may or may not be related to what you're actually going to be doing with the Web site, but the issue comes into play when the domain was used for any malicious or spammy activity . And whatever the people before you did can come back to hurt you, especially with S E o. So there's a couple of things that you can do to research a domain. The first thing that you can do is go into Google and type in sight semi colon, followed by your domain name. Now, Right now, this website does not show any results, and despite them submitting site maps despite them putting links in many places, they're coming up with zero results. Now, in some instances, you may actually see a lot of links here, and you want to go and click through some of those see where this website or this domain rather is listed because if it is listed on a lot of Spammy sites, it looks like anything suspicious was going on. This is a domain you're going to want to stay away from. So what I can do since this is not pulling any results is I can go to what is called the way back machine. This is a website that allows you to view Web pages as they looked years ago, whether it's the same person who owned it or if it is a new person who owns the domain. This is where you can see what it used to look like. so I can go here and I can type in my domain name. And now I can see all the activity from 2000 and 14 and you'll see here highlighted below. There are several different dates and I can click on any one date and this is going to pull up a screen shot off what this website looked like So I can see here. This is something different. Obviously, this is a very pretty looking looks like It's a wordpress website. It has different links than what I had. They're going back toe 2000 early 2014 October 2013 and I can read through what they have. So it looks like they were also trying to rank this for criminal lawyer, but says defenses for the costs are usually a suitable region to discover an increase in early stages in the lawsuit procedure. What? Obviously, that is just gibberish. This is not a good quality site, so that's ah, little bit of an alarm for me right there. So I'm gonna go back. I can go back you into 2013. Select a date. So this looks like it may be the same site. I see some interesting articles over here. Now they're talking about hiring a San Antonio personal injury lawyer. Although this is a Denver site here they talk about a Chicago Miami, so that looks a little iffy as well. So when I go back even further several years back, I can see that this was a website for a specific attorney. So it looks like this is a much more legitimate site years and years ago. But it looks like after this person let the website go, somebody else picked it up, and everything else that I'm seeing is rather spammy. So this is a huge indicator that this website has been involved with a lot of spamming activity, and what the person can do is go through Google and cement a reconsideration request. But that could be a little bit involved. And so, depending on where you are in the sale process, how long you've had the domain, you'll want to think about whether or not you want to pursue a reconsideration request or if you would prefer just to start over on a new domain and be able to rank a lot quicker. That way, the best bet is, though. Check the domain before you buy it, so that you make sure something like this doesn't happen. 15. Section 3 Overview: What We're Going to Cover: in this section, we're going to cover the most important part of an S CEO audit That is on page optimization . Well, not only talk about what on page optimization is and all the factors that fall under it, but well off. So look at how to find out how your website scores in all of these areas. So get ready to take a lot of notes because you're about to start your own s CEO Audit now . 16. What is On-Site SEO?: Now we're ready to start looking at the on page s CEO factors. All of these factors affect how your website or your particular Web page will be listed in the organic search engine results. Remember when I mentioned the all in one s CEO audit tools? Many of these Onley cover on site SDO factors because they can access this information directly on your website. Now, we're gonna be looking at some of these tools, but I'm also going to take you step by step through each factor because even if you can pull this information up using these tools, you need to know what you're looking for so that you can implement the right changes. All of these own site factors will check to see how well optimize your website already is for search engines. So let's start breaking some of these factors down right now. 17. What Keywords Do You Want to Rank For?: before we start, we need to know what keywords the site is being optimized for and what keywords or key phrases you want to rank for this will be needed. When we look at some ranking factors throughout this course, if you've done any s you work at all before. You've probably already gathered a list of keywords you'd like to rank for, so you can use those in this audit. If not, there are two things you want to dio. First, just brainstorm a list of the keywords you believe a user would search for to find your website, and then we can go ahead and take a look at what the top keywords are that currently refer traffic to your site. One thing that you can do is go into the Google keyword planner. You'll need a free Google AdWords account. To do this, you can go ahead and paste in some of your keywords. Make sure that you select Onley your area in your language that you'll be looking at, and you can look to see how maney results there are Now again, this is first and paid ads, but this can give you a general idea and there really isn't much happening here, so these may not be the best keywords, but let's go back. You can also search for a new key word so I could type in, Let's say, lawn mowing in Centerville and I can see what pops up now here. This is really nice, because this can give me an idea of some other ways to phrase lawn mowing. I see here mowing services. I see lawn cutting those arson things, long business I could do lawn mowing companies. So this is already starting to generate some other ideas that I could search for. Another thing that you can do is go to a tool called ECM rush dot com, and this will give you a number of free searches so you don't have to pay for this right up front, and you can type in your website domain. I'm gonna go back to our website for a second and get the domain. I'll pop that in here, and this should tell us both the organic search paid search and what our competition is. Now. When I take a look here, it's saying it's not telling me anything about organic search, so Let's do this. I want to try to look at one of their competitors so we can get a better idea because oftentimes, if you want a list of keywords, you can go look at your competitors now. You cannot just take other people's keywords, but it might give you some ideas of ways that you can phrase things. Now, Here, you'll see this website is getting a lot of organic search traffic, and this is one that does come up as one of their competitors and somebody have been looking at, so we can look at this in more detail here. All of their top keywords seem to be for people who already know about them. So I think click here to get a full report to get a better idea of some other keywords. Now here there's things like brown patch. So there's different problems that people are typing in that they have with their lawn. So that maybe something that the business owner hasn't already thought of lawn care services, lawn weed control service, slugs in lawn. I don't even know what that means. I'm not a long expert, but that's something we can present to the client seeding and spring. So these are things that this particular website is pulling up from. This is going to give us some great ideas for key words. So once you have your keywords, you can always go back to the Google keyword planner. You can type them in there, and you can look for the search volume as well to see if those might be a better fit for you. But go ahead, take a moment now and do a search for your own keywords. 18. Using a Keyword Density Analyzer: now that we just talked about keywords, I want to take a look at how many times these keywords are included on each page again, I'm gonna look at the home page, but I'm also gonna go later and take a look at the services page to see how well that's doing. A swell. This is S E o books, keyword density analyzers, a free tool that you can use. And we're gonna look at how many times they use their keywords in their text. So I'm gonna do a quick search for their website and again is gonna give me the summary of the page titled The Key Words that Are in the website code. In their description, I see they mentioned landscaping, mowing, edging in their title. However, they on Leigh mention Northern Virginia, not center for what you're saying they want to rang for, so I'm gonna have to double check up for them. Centerville is within northern Virginia, but Northern Virginia covers several cities were. So we need to take a look at that. They have a lot of key words here. Some seem to be related. Some, not some they're saying simply, Northern Virginia, so we want to tidy up this list a bit, but I may be able to pull some other ideas from what they've listed here versus the list that they gave me a swell. Now, going down, I can look at 12 and three key word phrases. I'm gonna focus on the two and three key word phrases. Probably more so. The three word list as the first just one more list isn't going to do much for our ranking . Here. I see live lan and get six times on the home page long and prosper six times. Those aren't what they're looking to rank for. So now we have Centerville Lawn care to times Long care. Chantilly, which is nearby. Lawn care. Centerville. Tuas. Well, so a lot of thes it looks like as we go down the list, there are some mowing service. Centreville, Virginia Landscaping center role. The's air coming up just two times, so this may be something that we want to focus on. We don't necessarily need to list all of these keywords on the home page. We just want to target a couple per page, let's say, but we want to include them in the text now, whether you include them 123 times, what I'm going to tell you to focus on is doing it so that it's natural so that the content flows naturally for the reader. That's what you want to focus on. If you can keep that reader on the page, it's going to do better for your search engine rankings anyway. So let's focus on keeping things natural but making sure that at the same time you are including some of your key phrases or keywords in your content. So go through and do the search for your top pages that you're focusing on here in the keyword density analyzer. 19. Titles & Descriptions: titles are the most important part of your page for both S E O and social sharing purposes . They are what describe each page to both the search engines and your visitors. So you want to make sure that they're good and that they're good for both. The titles and descriptions are shown on browsers, search engine results and external sites like Facebook. So you want to make sure that they're going to grab people's attention. They should both be unique and accurately described the page that you're on. They should be unique for each page, so we want to make sure that they are not being duplicated. And we want to make sure that the description accurately describes the page And when entice a visitor to click on the link, we also want to make sure that the tight on descriptions are including the keywords, and we want to make sure that those keywords are listed towards the beginning so that they'll have more weight in getting ranked for those keywords and that will also encourage visitors to click through. Titles should have anywhere from about 50 to 60 characters and descriptions should have anywhere from about 150 to 160 characters at most. There's this really neat tool called snippet optimizer dot net, where you can paste in your link and it will tell you what your title is and what your description is here. You'll see they have to too many characters and in their title and three too many characters in the description, and you'll get a preview over here on the right hand side, and you can see where the title and the description both get cut off Now. My recommendation here is that if you have a big, huge brand, and that's what people are searching for, great, including your title, although you'll probably want to include it towards the end so your keywords can go towards the beginning. However, this company is small. Most people are not going to be searching for this particular name. I'd say Remove it and focus on a good, compelling title that people are going to click on. They do list several key words, but again, they mentioned Northern Virginia, not Centerville. So we're gonna have to take a look at that. They have a nice description, but again it starts out with their business name rather than having some more of their keywords towards the beginning. So that's something we could a Justus. Well, I also want to take a look at their services page and see how that looks, because again, we need to do this for each page. I see they do have a unique title and description. Again, they're using their name, the title services in pricing. That's not compelling. So we want toe do something a little bit different there. The description again, That sounds a little bit like it's written for search engines, not for people. So we want toe focus a little bit more and getting some keywords toward the beginning and making that so people would want to click on it. If you're having trouble with the title, let's say we're going to go back to this original title here. Landscaping, mowing, edging in northern Virginia. I'm gonna copy that, and we're going to go over here to this Coast Scheduler, Headline Analyzer and Aiken type in my headline. It's gonna analyze it for me, got a score of 55 I can go through and tells me it's a pretty common headline. It's OK tells me my headline is generic here. This is ni. It tells me what what length I should use how many words that I should use, and I can see how it actually comes up in search engines. If you're having trouble coming up with good titles, there's different tools that will come up with titles for you, so you can type in some keywords, and it will give you a whole list of some different ideas, and you can go through and you can add different keywords in, and you might be able to use that. What I'll do is I'm going to include a list here of some different tools that you can use. Another thing you want to think about is if you post your link or somebody else poster link on Facebook, for example. How is that going to appear? You can see it doesn't have the nicest image, but again, your title and description are gonna come up. So that is another reason why it's so important to have a compelling title and description . It's not just for search engines, it's for visitors to, and they are the reason why we're doing all of this So go ahead and take a moment to look at the titles in your descriptions for the most important pages that you're gonna be focusing on in this audit and determine if they're going to need additional work. 20. URL Structure: It's very important when setting up your website that you consider the U. R L structure that you will be using throughout your website because you want to make sure that every Earl, especially on the pages, that you will be optimizing our S e O in user friendly. We want search engines to be able to understand each girl so that they know what is on the page, and we also want users to be able to tell what is on the page based on the URL alone. It also makes it very easy for them to share with others, think about if they're posting it to Facebook or to Twitter the shorter and more condensed euro you and have the better. Ideally, your your l should be less than 255 characters, and that includes your domain name. That should, for the most part, for small business related websites, for example, be very easy to do. You should actually be able to create a much shorter you are L. Than that. However, when you get into some larger, let's say, e commerce websites that have lots of products and lots of categories that can get a little trickier, so you just want to pay attention to that character account. You can use online tools like characters count dot com, where you can paste in the oil, and it will tell you how many characters you're using. You do want to try and include your keywords within your URL, and you can separate the different keywords with the hyphen. But again, don't try to stuff it. Make sure it makes sense. That's your primary goal, that it's gonna make sense for your users. So to sum it up, don't overuse your keywords. So let's take a look at these two you earl structures, for example. This is based on looking for an LG G three mobile phone. Clearly, you can see which one is going to be more user and s e o friendly. So this is an example of being able to use your domain name, followed by a category and even a subcategory to using your primary key word. And that is really how you want to lay out your domain if you need to divide it into sub categories. So before setting up your website, think about the girl structure that you're going to use, especially if you'll have a blawg or you'll have a lot of categories and you'll need to break the world down into categories and sub categories. 21. Correct Use of Text Formatting: similar to checking for header tags. We want to look for certain text formatting that is good for search engines and visitors. Because, remember, we're not just solely focusing on search engines because websites are created for visitors , so we need to make sure that they look good to them. There are three text formatting techniques that you can use, and those are creating lists, whether it's a bulleted list or a numbered list. Bolding text and italicize ing text bolding or italicize ing text Tell search engines what is important on the page what is included on this page. So if there are places within your content where you list keywords such as here, we have landscaping services, we may want to bold that or italicize it. Now. This does not mean go through and bold or italicize every single keyword. Highlight it where it's important, and you can do that a couple times in a page. If you're not sure which text formatting to use, think about your visitor first. What would be helpful to them people often scanning page quickly? They don't read long pages. So what do you want to jump out to them and then That's the text formatting that you should go with another thing. And looking at this Services page, visitors are not likely to read through all of this. So what they may be able to do is when they include their header tags to be able to summarize some of these into bullet points so that people can quickly jump to the service that they would like and then quickly see what would be involved with that particular service. So again, think about the three top text formatting techniques you can use, which is using list bolding text or Tallis sizing text. 22. Use of Canonical URLs: economical ization is something you absolutely need to think about for S E o purposes, and you may be wondering what in the world this is. This is your way of telling search engines which version of content they should show to searchers. When you have duplicate content on your website and you may be thinking, I know we don't have any duplicate content, but you probably do without even realizing it. Let's look at these four your l's, for example. They all go to the home page of the live long and prosper website, but you'll notice they're all slightly different. The first does not have Www. The 2nd 1 does. The 3rd 1 has H T T. P s, where the others do not, and the final one has a ford slash index dot html. At the end of the URL, these are actually seen as four separate pages by search engines. So it's very important that you correct this so that they know which version they should actually pulling up, and you are not penalized for having duplicate content on your website. This is whether relationship economical tag comes in by placing this in your page links As you can see right here, this tells Google or being, for example, that this pay should be seen as a duplicate, and the original page is the U. R L. That proceeds it. That way. Google will in turn, pull up that primary you earl. This often happens when you have created a blawg, and let's say you create a post that you add to multiple categories each time you add it to a category that is creating duplicate content, even though it's pulling from the same post toe. Correct this. You want to make sure that you set your preferred domain. If you're using WordPress, you can do this in the settings within WordPress. But you can also go to your Google Web Master Tools account, and when you're logged into the home page, you can click on the gear icon and go to site settings. There you'll see the preferred domain section, and you can select the option that you want now that will take care of the www and non W W versions of your domain. You can use the tools such a sight liner toe look to see if you have any duplicate content here It shows me that the home page as well as a board slash index, that each team l or duplicate just as we have looked at. So this is where I will need to go into my Google Web Master tools account. I need to specify which you are all I will be using, and I can also do what is called a 301 redirect for your ELs and I can point that index dot html page to the actual homepage. This way Google will send the traffic from one girl to the other, and Google will know which is the primary Earl they should be looking at. 23. Correct Use of H1 & H2 Tags: header tags are your way of telling Google what your page is all about. It tells him what is the most important on your page and header tags. Air represented by H one through H six tags, with H one being the largest size and H six making the text be the smallest size for a CEO purposes. You're going to be sticking with the H one tag for your main titles and the H two tags for any subheadings, so you really only want to use the H one tag once per page, but you can break up pages with multiple H two tags toe. Let Google know about different important sections throughout your page, especially if you have a longer page. So I want to go to the live long and prosper website, and I want to take a look to see if they have any header tags. I notice here that they have several larger headings that represent each of their services , but I want to see if those are included as H one tags and the easy way to see this without having to go into the code is to install a free chrome plug in called Mas bar, and when you're on the page that you want to take a look at, you can simply open the MAS bar. You can click on the page analysis button. You'll see if I scroll down here that it says there are no H one or H two tags found. That means, although they have several headings here that none of them were included in those tags. This means my recommendation is going to be that they place their services tag in an H one tag. But they may want to add a keyword in there, such as landscaping services and then all of the sub headings being lawn mowing, landscaping and maintenance leaf removal, etcetera. Those should be included as H two tags, so those will still show a large font. But that will show search engines what is most important on this page and what this page is all about. So go through each of your pages and make sure that you're including the H one and H two tags and make sure to include some of your keywords in those titles as well 24. Use of Quality and Unique Content & Other Content Factors: as you can probably guess without me having to tell you, having unique and high quality content on your website is going to be a huge factor in your success. Every single page on your website must have unique content. You do not want to have any duplicate content that is on any other website out there now, especially if somebody else has created your website. You allow others to submit content to your website or you had someone write content for you . You may want to use a tool like copy skate where you can paced in your URL, and you can search to see if there's any duplicate content. If you don't feel that your quality is quite up to par, I recommend that you start with your most viewed or your most popular pages and focus on those desert with and make sure they have excellent content. Make sure it's properly formatted and optimize as we've been talking about. If you're not sure which are your most viewed page is, you can go into your Google Analytics account. You can go down to behavior and select overview below. You will be able to see your top performing pages. The home page here is by far the most viewed page, followed by the services page. So those are the ones that we want to focus on first for this particular site. Depending on how larger site is, you may have a longer list of pages that you really want to focus on immediately. Now, what I said just doing is going back to the website, and we're gonna take a look at these pages. I would recommend to this website owner that they add additional content to their home page because they probably only have to 300 words here listed on their home page. It's really not enough for this home page to be able to rank and to beat out competition. And when I read through, they're intro. Here it's primarily focused on the business. It's all about the business on the home page. You want to give visitors what they came to the website for. You want to tell them what it is that you can do for them. If they want to know more about you, they'll go looking for an about page, so this is an opportunity to add more content, make it more about the visitor and show off what it is that you can do to help them. I can't given exact word count to the website owner. It's not just about how many words If if you have the most words, you automatically win again. It's about having high quality content. You want to have enough content that you are telling the user what it is that they want to know. You want to be able to have enough words that you can appropriately add in some of your keywords into the content and into title tags within the page. You also want to be ableto link out to some of your other pages, so the shorter your content is, the harder that is to do. You also want to make sure that you don't have any content that is out of date. If content starts to get old, you may want to consider removing it from your site. If it's no longer going to be useful, search engines do look at how much a page is updated, how often it is changed or updated. If you've added new pages or you add new post if you have a blawg or even if you've simply made important changes to a particular page without necessarily rewriting it. And they're more focused on the important parts of your website, such as the main body text area that's gonna hold more weight than if you just switch up the navigation a little bit or swath outs and advertisements. And lastly, what you can do whether you have a business website, you have a blawg you have online store. You can give users a way to share your content first. This means that you have to give them content that's worth sharing. But second, are you even asking them to share your content? You got to make it easy for them. You want to include some share buttons on your content so all your pages must have high quality and unique content. But go back. Start with your top two or three or even five pages that are the most popular and most viewed on your website and go from there 25. Image Files, Sizes & Tags: having excellent images on your website is great because it really makes the website a lot more attractive for your visitors. But the bad news is they aren't so great for search engines because it can slow down your sights low time as well. Talk about an upcoming lecture, but search engines also cannot read your images, so they have no idea what they're about. There's a couple of things that you can do to counter this. The first is that you can compress images to minimize their size, and the second is you can add image all tags that includes your keywords toe. Let search engines know what your image is about to compress images, you conduce that within tools like photo Shop. There is even some WordPress plug ins that you can use, but it's best to do it off of your website. There's also tools online, such as compressor dot io, where you can simply upload your image, and it will automatically reduce the size for you while still keeping a good quality looking image. You can use the S E O toole by feed the baht, and you can look at the image section here as well, and it is going to tell you whether or not you have used all tags for the images to you and simply scroll down. And it's going to show you all of the images on your website and you'll see here that it says, add all text. This means that on none of these images has a website owner added all text. That means for every single one of these images, we need to go back, and we need to add in this tag here into the image code. And we can include a descriptive title that also includes some of our key words, as long as it represents the image accurately. And when you upload your images, you also want to use descriptive file names because that is another opportunity for you to tell Google what your image is about. So use the feed the baht tool. Take a look at your images, see if they used all tags and make sure that you compress images and optimize them for the web before you upload them. 26. Use of 2 Internal Linking Factors: internal links point to another page on the same website. The's internal links help search engines navigate your website. And if you have pages that cannot be found through a menu or not linked to from another page, that means search engines cannot find them. So if those air pages that you want to rank, you have to link them from within your website somewhere. So in this instance, when I am working on ranking the Home Page and the Services Page, which are my most popular pages I need to look to see are those pages linked elsewhere within the site because the pages that you want to rank should be linked to the most from other pages on your website. You should link those pages directly from your home page AM from the sidebar if you can as well. So in looking at the home page, there is nowhere that links to the services page except by going to the menu. This is an opportunity when I rewrite the content on the home page to make sure that I include a link to the services page. I can also go into the portfolio and can include a link at the bottom, where it takes the user to see more of the services and linked back to the page. And I can also go through the testimonials and find a way to link there. Just keep the number of links reasonable. Anywhere from 2 to 5 internal links per page is appropriate. But again remember when we were talking about content? You need have enough content that adding those links and there is helpful to the users, and it makes sense. If you have a very small paragraph like we have here on the home page and you add in five links, that's going to be a bit excessive. It's not going to make much sense. Start out by selecting your most important pages the ones that you want to rank and go through your website and make sure that they have the most internal links compared to other pages on your website, 27. Broken Links: broken links are obviously a bad sign for search engines and visitors. Search engines who come across a broken link can't go any farther and the same for visitors . Do you want to check in your Web Google Webmaster Tools under crawl errors to see if you have any broken links. You can also use the tool like this W three c link checker to see if you have any broken links. It will process, and it will show you the results below. And here, if it says status 404 error, that means that is a broken link. So here I will see that live long and prosper dot com slash their phone number is a broken link. And if I go back to the website, I'll see that at the top of their website. This does in fact, come up as a link. So course if you click it, that means the search engines and visitors will go to this for oh for error page, which means they're likely going to close the website and their search. So it's a good idea to check your Google Webmaster tools on a regular basis or to check using broken link checkers online to see if you have any broken links and to correct those as quickly as possible. 28. Page Speed for Better Rankings & Conversion: your Web pages load time and page speed is one of the most, if not the most important element as it affects. S CEO results in conversion. Search engines like to see websites that load very quickly, but then again, so do visitors. I'm sure at some point you visited a website and you sat there What loaded and loaded And what you probably did was click the back button, and we want to make sure that that does not happen to you. So there are a number of ways that you can check your websites speed and determine what it is that you need to do to make it even faster. You could go to a Web page test dot organ type in your URL, and you'll see that it will grade you in a number of areas. What's most helpful on this page is going down to the bottom, where it has a content breakdown, and it shows you what is taking the longest under request and bites. So you'll see here that in purple, it's images. This is what is taking the most amount of time. That means the images on this website are too big and we need to compress them. We can also go back to page speed by feed the baht, and we can go to the page speed by feed the bots section. We can type in our girl, and this is going to tell us what is slowing down our website and how we can fix it, which is great. So here says that we have a 70 out of 100 so our Web page is slow, so we scroll down. This is this tells me the issues that were found. It says that I need to enable compression browser cashing and then it talks about a number of scripts. CSS html JavaScript. That means it's trying to pull a lot of code from different files that are not available directly on that page. Since search engines can only read so much code as they go through your website, developers often take that code and place it in external files, and then simply place one line of code in the website that tells the Web page to look to that external file in order to load. However, once you start getting too many of those external files, it can really slow down your site. So here you'll see below that there are three CSS files, three external scripts like JavaScript files and 13 images. And that is really what slowing down the site to enable compression. We can click on the link there, and it's gonna actually tell you what it means in how to actually enable compression on your website. This is actually done in a dot H T access file, which you confined with all of your other website files. It's simply a text file. What you need to do is copied the text that you see here, add it to your HD access file, save it and refresh your Web page, and then you want to retest it again. Here it says that there's a Jesup compression tool that is where you can go toe. Actually, check to make sure the changes you made are working. Now you can do the same thing for browser cache in, which is also going to give you additional code to put in your dot h T access file. Now, this is another tool that I really like. The Google Developers Page speed insights. This is gonna tell you how fast your Web page loads on mobile and desktop devices. You'll see here that it's not looking very good on mobile devices, and I go over to desktop. They're performing a little better but still needs some work. Now, when you go between these two, you're going to see that they have a lot of the same issues. So making the one fix is going to fix it for both mobile and desktop devices. But you'll see I want to focus here on the red. Now, these are some of the things we just talked about from reducing the number of JavaScript and CSS files. Ah, the browser cashing and enabling compression going town toe optimizing images so you'll see . Those are the things that we talked about. So this is what will go in and fix for this particular website, and it should dramatically increase the speed of this website 29. Is Your Website User-Friendly?: now you might think having a user friendly website doesn't have much to do with search engine optimization. But it really does, because the longer visitor stays on your website, the better. If you've looked at all through your Google Analytics account, you may have seen what's called bounce rate and bounce rate is what percentage of the visitors that come to your site immediately hit the back button and leave. So clearly the higher the number, the worse off it is. You want to have a slow of the bounce rate as possible because that means the visitors that are coming to your website are finding it useful and it matches what they were looking for . So when I look at the website, I want to make sure that there is very easy to follow navigation. Now this is a simple website. They have a very clear navigation system. It's listed in the order with the home page me and first the contact being last. A lot of websites will list the about page as the second menu item that typically comes directly before the contact page because visitors come to a website looking for services, products or information and that is what should be listed first if they want to find out more about a company or contact them. They know to go toward the end of the menu because that's typically where it's at. So I'm looking to make sure that visitors find information quickly. They can easily do that on this website. I also want to go page by page and see if the website has a consistent look and feel hear. The background of the body area has changed the portfolio. It flows. It's a little bit different, but again we have these green bosses here, so it's clear that this is the same website. But for some reason, the services and pricing has a different background, but it's still flows. It's still obvious, so this isn't a huge fix, but something that they may want to take into consideration. There is also no sidebar, which would give visitors away to jump through the site toe access information that they may be interested in as well. Many times, people have a blawg and that looks different than the actual Web site, so you want to make sure that no matter what you have on your website that you have a consistent layout and look, if you will be having advertisements on your site, you don't want to have too many ads above the fold. This could be Google AdSense. This could be other affiliate offers that you have, for example, and if you're not sure what's appropriate, I suggest that you look at the Google AdSense recommendations. And, like I said, even if you're not using Google AdSense, looking at what Google AdSense tells you to do is a good indicator of what Google itself thinks is an appropriate amount of ads above the fold. So it's good to follow Google's guidelines, and I'll attach the documentation to that in this lecture as well, so you can access if you will be offering ads. 30. Section 4 Overview: What We're Going to Cover: in this section. We're going to make sure you are using all of the necessary tools to monitor your website search engine friendliness so you can be alerted. If any problems arise, these tools will help insure search engine bots can access an index your website correctly , as well as ensure you are monitoring the right analytics So you know what's working and what's not working on your website. It's important that you take care of on site optimization, as we discussed in the last section before moving on to future sections so you can maximize your offsite promotional efforts. 31. Tracking Top Analytic Reports: Google analytics can be very overwhelming. So I want to take a look at what are the top reports that you should focus on so you know where to find them so you can make use of all of this valuable information. Let's start with the most obvious. You want to know how much traffic you're getting on a daily basis and where that traffic is coming from. You can obviously get a quick just of that from your dashboard. But to break that down a little more, let's go toe acquisition and under all traffic, we're going to click on channels. Now you'll see the same graph up here where we can see we got two visits in the 21st up to 32 on the 23rd back down to six, and here were up to 81 so you can see by the day, week or month how much traffic you're getting. If you scroll down, you can see how many other websites are referring traffic to you. How many people are typing in your domain name directly? How many people are coming to your website from paid search? We know that they're doing pay per click ads, and what we're focusing here on is organic search. How many people are coming directly from search engines? And then how many people are coming from social media type sites you can click through on any of these if you want to get more detailed information. So if I click on Social, for example, I can see what particular days the visitors came to the website on. So if I am doing a particular campaign, I said now a newsletter, I haven't ad out somewhere. This can help you see how much traffic you're getting from that campaign, and you can set up a goal to see how much of that traffic is actually converting for you. If I scroll down, I'll see that the social source is yelp, which sent me to visitors, and I have a 0% bounce rate, which is really good. So that means I really want to work on Yelp. Although only two visits isn't a lot of information. That's showing me that these people are interested in my service. They are actually taking the time to visit 2.5 pages per visit, and they stand the sight for an average of 25 seconds, which we could increase so you can go through each of those sources and see where people are coming from. If you want to see which keywords people are using to get to your site, you want to go back and you can click on organic search. And this is going to give you the key words here below now, since this site is not receiving a lot of traffic, most of them are not provided. You will see some of that regardless of how much traffic you are receiving and you'll see the other People already know about this particular business, so they are not actually receiving any search engine traffic for other keywords. Now, you also want to pay attention to what you're most popular. Pages are because that way you know which pages you should focus on first and you can set them up to convert. To do that, you can click on behavior, scroll down to site pages and click on all pages. Now, if we scroll down to the list here, we're going to see that the top pages are the homepage, which is this Ford slash by far receiving 52% of the visits, followed by the services page, which gets 15% of the visits. So those are the two pages that the customer wanted me to focus on, which works out. Those are the two pages that are the most popular on his website. So that is where we should start focusing all of our efforts because that is what people want to see. But in addition to what are your most popular pages, you also want to know which pages are your top landing pages, meaning when a visitor first comes to your website, What page are they landing on? First? It's very easy to think. Oh, everybody comes in through the home page. But often times that's not true, especially if you're optimizing multiple pages. Depending on what a user searches for, they may come to a different page, so you want to make sure that that page is set up to convert as well. To do that again under behavior site content, you can click on landing pages and we'll scroll down here and we'll see that again. By far, most of the traffic is landing on the home page, but what's interesting here is that people are also leaning on the portfolio page and the services page. So I want to go up here to their website, and I want to click on their portfolio page. Now I want to think about if I were a visitor and I'm looking for lawn care services if I came to this page based on what I see, what I contact them, I don't know. I see a lot of contact information I may scroll through, but there is nothing on here that is set up to convert. Yes, there's a contact information that is good. That is a way that they can convert. But there's no sidebar they're not giving anybody any information about their services is just purely pictures here. There's no links below here to the contact form, so there's a lot that they could do with this portfolio page to set it up to convert better . So that's where that gives you a lot of good information. Lastly, you want to know what do people click on when they come to your website? And that's what you can do with in page analytics. So you want to scroll down again under the Behavior Menu Square all the way down. You'll see this in page Analytics button. Now, this is really neat. There is a chrome extension that you can download and install, which is great if you don't have that installed. Typically, it will show your page here below. Otherwise it will pop it up in a new window. So let's see what happens here. All right, we're gonna load this in full view. Now, What this is going to do is pop up a little bubble in all these different areas of the website to show you where people are actually clicking. So you'll see here the services menu gets 44% of the clicks, followed by the portfolio at 16. Over here, the contact gets 9%. Let's scroll down. We see the the get a quote form on. Lee gets 9% of click, so that tells us that's why we need to bump that up and make that more accessible. So let's go into the services page. Now we see here they have their quote form at the top, now gets 18% of the clicks. It's amount of people that they're getting to click on this quote form is already doubling just because they moved it up. So that is very valuable information. So this can really help you see what visitors do when they come to your site. So this is just a quick intro into the top analytics that you want to pay attention to on your Google analytics account. 32. Use of Website Analytic Tools: before you start working really hard to send a lot of traffic to your website, you want to take just a quick minute to set up some website analytics to make sure that you're tracking all of your traffic so you can see what's working. So you can do this by setting up a free Google Analytics account. When you go to sign up, you'll enter just your basic website information. Google analytics will give you a short code to place on your website. If you understand website code, then you can certainly place it on your website if you do not. If you're using a content management system like WordPress, for example, there are tons of plug ins that you can install so that you can copy and paste the code within the plug in without having to know any code. Google analytics is a very powerful tool. You'll be able to see how much traffic is coming to your site, where the traffic is coming from which of your campaigns or performing the best. What keywords visitors air using to find your site where your most popular pages are, and you can even create goals such as having a customer complete a form or make a purchase , for example, And see how many people actually complete that goal and how many people started. But don't quite finish that goal. There are so many more things that you confined within Google analytics. And the next lecture, we're gonna go into a Google Analytics account and I'm gonna show you what are the reports that you want to focus on? 33. Using Google Webmaster Tools: Now that we've looked at Google analytics, I want to talk about Google Web master tools, which is another very useful tool that you absolutely should set up. This is another free Google tool, and it helps you see your website. As Google sees it, it increases your chances of being fully indexed and helping it to rank well if you think about it. If Google is giving you a tool to help you with ranking in their search engine, you should probably use it. And that's why we're gonna set it up. To set it up. You simply have to add your site. It's going to give you a few options to verify that you own it. And once you do that, it's going to start populating the data for you within 24 to 48 hours. We can use this tool to see what's getting index, what's getting linked to what's receiving traffic and, most importantly, any crawl errors that Google experiences while attempting to access your site. So let's take a look here. Some of those if we go to search traffic, we can click on search queries, and this is going to break down what people are searching for to get to your website and on the right hand side, it's gonna tell you what position you are in Google and how Maney impressions you're getting in. How many clicks, which is very valuable information now. Also, under search traffic, you can go to international targeting. And if you are only targeting visitors from a particular country, you can do that. Here you can select the country and you can click Save, so this is a local business. So they are Onley worried about people in the United States because they cannot serve people in other countries, so this can help you rank better. So, for instance, if you are in the UK, you can select that from the drop down menu, and that can help you rank better in google dot com dot UK, Another important tools on her Google Index. You can go down to your index status and you can see how many pages have actually been indexed by Google here. We'll see. Part of the problem is that we have no pages indexed by Google and if you saw on the dashboard they have not added a site map which we're gonna talk more about later, and that is going to help Google index pages. But right now, Google has none of these pages on their radar. Also, under search traffic, you can look at links to your sites. There's no data available because this page has not been indexed, and I also know that there's no links. This will help give you a list. If you have anybody who is referring traffic to your site, they have your link on their site. This is where that will show up. Now. Another very important one is under crawl. You want to look at crawl errors here. Good news is says that there's no errors. However, I don't know how accurate that information is because they don't have any pages indexed yet , so we'll see what happens once they actually crawl it. But this is one of the most important features of Google Webmaster tools, because again it's going to show you how Google sees your site and if anything blocks them from seeing it correctly, this is where you're going to find that out. So take a quick minute, set up your Google Webmaster tools, give it about 24 to 48 hours to start populating the data and then regularly log in and take a look at these top areas here to see how your website is performing, what you may need to tweet. 34. Bing Webmaster tools: just like with Google, the search engine Bing also has a Web master tools account that you can set up if you are interested in really performing well on the being search engine. Everyone should sign up for Google Webmaster tools, but you can choose whether or not you want to sign up for being one master tools. I say it doesn't hurt. It only takes a minute to set up, but I do think your primary focus should be with Google Webmaster tools. So, just like with Google Webmaster tools, you can add your site, you can verify it, and it has many of the same features that Google Webmaster Tools has. But obviously the focus is on being and how you're performing in that particular search engine. One neat tool that it does have is the disavow links, which means if other people are linking to your website and you don't like those links because you feel that their poor quality let's say you've hired somebody to do some SDO work for you and they've used some black hat methods, which means they're not doing high quality work. This is where you can go and disavow link, so that it bumps down. It's important so that the search engine knows. Okay, you probably didn't want that link. We're not going to give that as much credit. We won't hold that against your site. Basically, you can also connect your other social media pages. Like if you have a you tube page of Google plus account, you can add that in, and it will incorporate that data as well. You'll also be able to take a look at the S e o reports that it has and use there s CEO analyzer. That way you can see specifically what they recommend that you do to rank your site higher . And it will also tell you what work needs to be done on a specific page. So that is very, very helpful. It's like having your own personal S e O toole available that says, Do this task. It will help you rank, and you can go step by step and make those changes on your site. So that's pretty neat. So if you're interested, go ahead and sign up for being Webmaster tools 35. Robots.txt: Let's talk about what robots dot txt is. And if you even need that on your website, robots dot txt is simply a file that tells search engine robots how to crawl your website in which pages to index. So now we talked about submitting an XML site map so that search engines can find all of your pages. However, there may be some directories or particular pages that you do not want search engines to index. And if that's the case, that is when you would use a robot's dot txt file. But let's say you decide you don't need one. The thing is, you may actually already have one, and you just don't realize it. So you want to make sure that it is set up correctly because if you have perfectly optimized your website but have a robot start TXT file that tells search engines not to index any part of your website, you will not receive traffic. So this is important to take a look at, and it really only takes a couple minutes. So let's look at this example this txt file. It will look something like this. If it has this ford slash right here. This means this file. So in search engines not to index anything on your website if you simply remove that forward slash it means they are free to index any page in any directory on your website so you can see how something so small can make a huge difference. The user agent specifies which robot this information is for, So if you only want Google to read this or you only want being to take this into consideration, this is where you can specify that. However, just leaving this as is that means any search but can use this information. So like I mentioned, you may not even need a robots txt file. So don't panic if you don't have one, but you may want to have one. If you have some of that content that I talked about, that you don't want anybody to index, let's say you have a log in form or registration form. Those aren't things you really need indexed in Google, and this is where you can tell Google not to index those particular pages. If you are setting up a website for a client, for example, and you're developing the site, live but you don't want to indexed until it's fully completed. This is where you can tell search engines not to index that site. But of course, once it's up, you want to make sure you go back and change that. Now there are two ways to determine if you have a robot start. Txt FAO. The first is you can simply go to your website domain name and type in slash robots dot txt And here it says the files not found, so that means they don't have one. Another thing that you can do is his. Grab your domain name and you can go back to this. Feed the baht tool. This is the robot stop txt file Tester. What's neat about this page is it's going to go into a little bit more detail about what this file is when you should use it. If you go down about halfway, it says, let's determine if you even have one so you can enter your domain name. Select Go! And it says no. The robots dot txt file is not found, so I'm gonna try typing in another domain here and seeing if they have an XML file. It says they do have an XML file and then it's going to display all of the content here, so use. So you see that this is for any search pot. They have disallowed several directories on their website. They don't want search bots to go into WP admin, which is where you would log in tow Award press website. They have a directory called Investigation WordPress includes their work area, which may be where they test out some different things on their website that they don't want live so you can see anything within these directories will not be indexed. And those are all areas from what I can see and having worked on lots of WordPress sites that you do not need to index any of those. So make sure that you take 1 to 2 minutes to check to see if you already have a robot step . Txt file. If you do, make sure that it is allowing search engines to appropriately crawl your website. If there's anything that you do not want, index, make sure that is included here. Using this set up 36. XML Sitemap for Search Engines: an XML site map assembly, a file that lists all of the pages on your website that helps a search engine Web crawlers . Find all of the pages on your site and see how your website is organized, and it helps them to better crawl your website. Ideally, if you've set up your site pages properly, Web crawlers are usually going to be able to discover all of your pages. But even so, a site map is going to be particularly helpful because it it can prove how they crawl your site, and especially if you have a very large site. This is something that is very important to Dio. If you have pages that you have not linked to other pages, they will not be found unless you have submitted a site map. So that's one of the reasons as well why it's so important to do that on this XML site. Map search engines are also gonna find out when you have last updated your website, how often you update your website and that is information that they use to rank. So it's very important within your Google Webmaster Tools account. This is where you can actually submit a site map simply by clicking on site maps, it's going to allow you to add a site map. If you don't know how to create a site map, there is a tool called XML Dash site maps dot com, which is a site map generator. It's really neat because all you need to do is go down. You can fill out this form. You can simply enter your URL here. You can say how often your website is updated and click start, and it is automatically going to generate an XML file for you. You can download that you'll need to upload the XML file to your website files, and here you can click add test. You can enter the URL and click submit site map, and that's all you have to do to upload it. And this can really, really help Google and the other search bots. Find all of the pages on your website and you have a much better chance of them getting indexed a swell. So for this particular website, we've seen that they don't have any pages index yet. This is definitely something that would be on the high priority list to do to make sure that their website gets indexed. Also attached to this lecture some WordPress plug ins that you can use to create an XML site map as well that can help your site. 37. Section 5 Overview: What We're Going to Cover: in this section, we're going to cover what offsite optimization is why it is so important to your websites. Long term search engine ranking success, what strategies are available and how you can begin implementing them for your own website . 38. Incoming Link Analysis: link building is often where you hear about people getting into trouble. They've either hired someone to do s CEO work for them that focused on getting the website ranked by any means possible or by trying to cheat the system. Here. We're going to talk about the correct way to do link building so that you achieve long term success before you do anything. The first step is to take a look at how you're offsite Seo is currently performing. We can do this by seeing how maney incoming links your website currently has. And to do this, we're going to use a free tool called open site explore by Maas. You can also do this by logging into your Google Web master tools account and clicking on links to your site under the search traffic menu. If you have an established website, you will see this information here taking a look at open side export. You can type in your domain name for this website. I'm going to use another competitors website since I know the website that I'm ah, knitting does not have any incoming links. You'll notice when I type in the domain immediately below. You'll see a list of incoming links. It is going to give me a lot of useful information. It will show me the title of the page. It will show me the actual page of my website that it's linking Teoh. It will show me the anchor text that is being used, and this is the text that people actually click on to be taken to the website. It will show me if the Web site that is linking to me has a high spam score and you'll see this by the color, starting to turn to yellow or to read if you need to be alerted. The right hand column. You have domain authority and without getting too much into this as well get into it later . The higher the number, the better quality the website so you'll see this particular website has ah listing in YouTube. It looks like they potentially have some press. They have been listed in the de mas directory, the Better Business Bureau. All of these are high quality sites that are linking to them. So once you've taken a look at this information, there are a few things you want to look at off the domains that are linking to your site. How many are unique domains? Meaning If one website has linked to you five different times, that's one unique domain. So we want to see how Maney unique domains we have. We also want to know how many are trusted domains again. That's where we can look at the domain authority. We also want to know what are the total number of links that are pointing to each page on your website. So are they all going to your home page all to the services page or they're a variety? You can find that by going to top pages and you can scroll down here. They do not have titles on their pages, which would be important. And here in this column, you can go down by page, and then you can see in this column how maney incoming links they actually have. We also want to take a look at what anchor text is used, and you can do that by clicking on anchor text in the left hand menu. Now scrolling down, you'll be able to see the text that people have to click on in order to be taken to the website, so this will give you a better idea if they are using key words or if they're using a variety of text to get to your website. Now that you've taken a look at that information, let's talk about how to use this information to increase your search engine rankings. 39. What is Off Page SEO?: let's start off talking about what off site optimization is simply put off site optimization or seo refers to anything that occurs from other sources that help your search engine rankings. If you want your website to rank while in search engines, especially in the long term, you absolutely have to put some effort into offsite optimization. This is typically done through link building, which means you want high quality websites linking to your website and in the next couple of lectures. That's exactly what we're going to explore. 40. How to Use Your Link Analysis to Increase Your Rankings: Based on the information you find, you can develop an action plan. If, for example, you have little to no websites linking to you, you'll want to start creating a lit of websites you may be able to get a link from. You can build your links by seven in your website to other websites, guest blogging or even reaching out to the website owner and asking for them to link to your page. Next, take a look at the anchor text. If all the websites linked to you are using the key words you are trying to rank for, you'll want to change that urgently and use a variety of anchor text, including your full your l The words Click here or simply the title of your page or post. Many people make the mistake of going out and trying to build a Szmyd. Any links as possible. You'll be better off getting fewer high quality links, so keep that in mind. Focus on building a high quality website with high quality content and doing the other things we discuss in this course 41. Using Your Competition Analysis to Outrank Your Competition: with a completed competition analysis. Now was the time to start prioritizing tasks and identify what you will need to do toe outrank your competitors. Like other parts of an S E O audit, it is important to routinely perform a competition analysis to identify any new competitors . See what your current competitors air doing and if anything has changed and, of course, to see how you are performing against them so that you can change your tactics if needed. 42. Website Domain Authority: domain authority is a term mas dot com uses to predict how likely a domain will rank in search engine results. Based on a number of metrics, it is based off of a 0 to 100 scale, with the higher number being better. As you can probably guess. Domain authority looks at your entire domain, whereas page authority looks at the strength of one particular page. The good news is you can find out your domain authority score for free using open site explore. And you can also find out the domain authority of other websites that you want to get a link from to make sure that they are high quality site. So let's take a look going back to open side Explorer typing in your domain name, you can immediately see the domain authority here. You can also see the page authority if you want to go page by page as well, which is a good idea Now the lower the number, although it's not better, it does mean that there's a lot of room for improvement, so it's going to be easier for you to go from a domain authority of 20 to 30 or domain authority of 30 to 40 for example, than it is for you to be able to jump from 60 to 70. Let's say, because the higher number, the better you're doing, there's not as much room for improvement. So domain authority is something that you will want to keep in mind. You want to know what your domain authority is so that you can see how it continues to improve as you make changes to your on an off site optimization. 43. Section 6 Overview: What We're Going to Cover: in this section, we're going to cover what a competition analysis is. Why you need to do one to get ahead. How to actually go about doing a competition analysis and, most importantly, how to use the information you find to increase your search engine rankings. A competition analysis is exciting because it gives you a sneak peek into how your competitors are ranking their websites, so let's take a look. 44. What is a Competition Analysis & Why Is It Important: as I mentioned, the competition analysis is exciting because it gives you a sneak peek into how your competitors are ranking their websites so you can do it even better. A competition analysis is basically looking at a competitors website, just like you just looked at your own in this course, so it can be a lot of work. But by looking at what your competitors are doing to rank in search engines, it's easier to figure out what you need to do and be able to take advantage of what they're not doing well. You may also be able to identify some new keywords that you may not have thought of. There is really a lot of benefit to performing an S e o competition analysis. 45. How to Perform a SEO Competitor Analysis: There are several things you can do to do a good competition analysis first and probably the least attractive option. But the most thorough is to start your s CEO audit completely over again, except this time, complete it for your competitors to see what they're doing and not doing well. You can also use open side Explorer to see what back links the competitors has toe. Identify what opportunities exist for you so you can simply type in their domain name, and it's going to give you the list of incoming links just like you see here. You can also use open side explorers. Compare link metrics feature to get a side by side comparison of your website with your competitors websites. Here you can compare specific pages and the root domain as well. And lastly, ECM Rush is a great tool for learning about your competition. They have a free option that gives you some limited searches, and if you want a more advanced report or more searches, you can register for a paid account. I like to do a search for my different competitors and get a good overview of what they're up to. So let's take a quick look we saw here how to see our competitors. Now we can go under the back links category and click on back Ling's comparison. This is going to allow us to enter up to five domains that we can compare now. As you can see here, this is going to show you how maney back links they have. How many are referring domains? Although they have over 1000 links, there are 249 unique domains that are referring to them, and it breaks it down by the different types of domains if their educational domains or dot com domains. So this is a great way to get a very quick overview of all of your online competitors. In the next section will look at the type of information you should be reviewing when looking at your competitors data 46. Using a Promotional Strategy: now want to take a minute to talk about something that goes a little beyond S CEO. But im including it here because it is very important to your overall seo strategy and that is developing a promotional strategy for the website you're working on. This will help you be found in more places which will bring him or traffic, and more traffic will increase. Your Web page is important in the eyes of search engines, which of course, can lead you to even more traffic. So there are many things that you can dio even starting with something as simple as making sure that you have a mobile version of your website. Because over 30% of purchases thes days are made on mobile devices. So you don't want to lose out on that traffic. And even more importantly, you don't want to lose out on that revenue. And as I'm sure you can already imagine, over 85% of consumers time on their mobile devices is spent on APS. So does your website have an app? If not, can you create a simple app that you can add to the app store that can be a huge source of traffic and bring in, ah, lot more people to your website and a lot more buyers for you. Do you have any presence on social media? If you do, that's great. But is there another website that you might be able to leverage? If you sell products on your website, you can add products to the Google Merchant Center, for example. That way that can help your products be found a swell. It's owned by Google. You really can't go wrong there. If you're selling products, you can also create product coupon codes and submit those two coupon sites so that you can be found by new buyers who will come to your website. You can up sell them and convert them to be on your subscriber list. Hopefully, you can also get press. You can write a press release, for example, about your business, or even better, You can focus on one specific product or service that your website is promoting and get the word out there about that so there are many ways to promote your website. In addition, TOE CEO and these methods will only help to improve your overall traffic and s e o efforts , but they also give you additional traffic funnels so you don't solely rely on S e. O. This is not fun to think about. But what if you wake up one day to find Google has de indexed your website completely and all your income is tied to your top rankings. Now what the's promotional efforts are what can save you while you figure out what happened . Now, if you're following the strategies in this course you're setting things up correctly. You're dramatically going to reduce the chance of something like that happening to you, but at the same time, it just makes good business sense to rely on a number of traffic sources and not just one. 47. Identifying Your SEO Competitors: By now you know which keywords you will be trying to rank for. So to identify your online competitors, simply type each of your keywords into Google to see which websites come up in the first and second position. Those air going to be your competitors, really not that complex, right, but it will give you the information you're looking for. Your next option is to go back to ECM Rush and type in your domain name simply scrolling down. It's going to tell you who your competitors are in search, just like it's going to tell you who your competitors are in ads. If you're doing paper, click adds. So this is a great way to very quickly find who your top competitors are. Now that you know how to find your competitors, let's see what they're up to. 48. Using a Promotional Strategy: now want to take a minute to talk about something that goes a little beyond S CEO. But im including it here because it is very important to your overall seo strategy and that is developing a promotional strategy for the website you're working on. This will help you be found in more places which will bring him or traffic, and more traffic will increase. Your Web page is important in the eyes of search engines, which of course, can lead you to even more traffic. So there are many things that you can dio even starting with something as simple as making sure that you have a mobile version of your website. Because over 30% of purchases thes days are made on mobile devices. So you don't want to lose out on that traffic. And even more importantly, you don't want to lose out on that revenue. And as I'm sure you can already imagine, over 85% of consumers time on their mobile devices is spent on APS. So does your website have an app? If not, can you create a simple app that you can add to the app store that can be a huge source of traffic and bring in, ah, lot more people to your website and a lot more buyers for you. Do you have any presence on social media? If you do, that's great. But is there another website that you might be able to leverage? If you sell products on your website, you can add products to the Google Merchant Center, for example. That way that can help your products be found a swell. It's owned by Google. You really can't go wrong there. If you're selling products, you can also create product coupon codes and submit those two coupon sites so that you can be found by new buyers who will come to your website. You can up sell them and convert them to be on your subscriber list. Hopefully, you can also get press. You can write a press release, for example, about your business, or even better, You can focus on one specific product or service that your website is promoting and get the word out there about that so there are many ways to promote your website. In addition, TOE CEO and these methods will only help to improve your overall traffic and s e o efforts , but they also give you additional traffic funnels so you don't solely rely on S e. O. This is not fun to think about. But what if you wake up one day to find Google has de indexed your website completely and all your income is tied to your top rankings. Now what the's promotional efforts are what can save you while you figure out what happened . Now, if you're following the strategies in this course you're setting things up correctly. You're dramatically going to reduce the chance of something like that happening to you, but at the same time, it just makes good business sense to rely on a number of traffic sources and not just one. 49. What to Do Once You Complete The SEO Audit & Where to Start: Congratulations on completing your s CEO audit. Isn't it great to know so much information about your website? I know. After I complete an S e o audit, I feel so much better about my chances of ranking a website as I know exactly how to go about it. I hope you were feeling the same way right now to as I stated in the beginning of this course, I recommend you complete this course in order to use the action steps I gave you to do your own s you audit. But if you haven't started your audit yet, I recommend that you go back to the beginning and start with on page optimization. Don't skip this step or even do it. Second, it's important your website is fully prepared before you move on. I've included a full list of the action steps you need to take to complete your S U audit in this section. I encourage you to download it and use it as you get started. This will help you stay on track and complete the audit in the right order. You'll also want to download the Blank s CEO audit template. If you haven't already so you can keep track of your findings as you go. And if you get stuck or have any questions, please start a new discussion so I can help. Don't put this off. The only way to see results is to take action, so get started right now.