SEO semantic audit, step-by-step guide to a successful audit
In the fast-moving world of online SEO, it's vital to stay one step ahead of the competition. The goal of every site owner is to ensure optimal visibility. That's where the SEO semantic audit comes in. To do this, you need to ensure a good semantic optimization. In this guide, find out how you can improve your search engine rankings. And all the while taking into account SEO semantics.
How does Google gauge your site?
Google uses fairly complex processes to assess the relevance of your web pages. It relies on several factors to implement these analyses. In addition to semantic links, PageRank, latent semantic indexing and co-citation, algorithms are used.
There are 3 algorithms for evaluating the semantic quality of your content. These are: the Hummingbird algorithm, the RankBrain algorithm and the Panda algorithm.
What role does the Hummingbird algorithm play?
Hummingbird is an algorithm used by Google since 2013. Its role is to provide more user-friendly search results. It sorts pages not by analyzing keywords, but based on the context.
The RankBrain algorithm?
It's an AI system developed and used by Google since 2015. Its aim is to improve search results. Its effectiveness lies in machine learning, it adapts better to trendss and delivered appropriate results.
What is the Panda algorithm?
This rather unusual algorithm has been in use since 2011. Its aim is toimprove user experience. As a result, it filters and fights against poor-quality sites. It rates websites according to their content and originality. It takes into account the veracity of information, the presence of keywords and even the syntax of sentences. Since its launch, several updates have been made to the Panda algorithm.
What factors does Google take into account?
The key factors taken into account by Google to evaluate website content are as follows:
Google analyzes your site's keyword content to determine its relevance to a visitor's query. As such, keywords must be used in a natural, context-sensitive way.
Google favors content that is authentic, enriching and relevant. What's more, pages that meet these criteria tend to rank higher.
The right user experience
Google takes into account parameters such as frequency of user feedbackand the time spent on page. Pages offering the best user experience are then favored.
Authorities and links
Google evaluates inbound and outbound links to a page to determine its level of authority and reliability. The higher the quality of the links, the greater the page's credibility.
HTML structure and tags
A good HTML structure and the appropriate use of tags help Google to understand the content of a web page. So be sure to use title tags and semantic tags in the right way.
Social activity shows Google whether a page is well-founded or not. Shares, reactions and comments all work in the page's favor.
Since AI systems are now deployed, Google has the ability to check the context. It analyzes how keywords fit and integrate with content.
Mobile-friendly pages are favored by Google, as they guarantee the best user experience.
Google wants the visitor experience to be the best it can be. Visit fast, fluid pages are therefore better ranked.
All about SEO semantic audit
What is an SEO semantic audit?
It is a process of in-depth analysis that aims to evaluate the semantic suitability of a website for search engines.
Unlike a traditional SEO audit, it examines the context and semantic understanding of your website's content. The objectives of a semantic audit are manifold.
How does it differ from a traditional audit?
The traditional audit is based on technical elements such as fluidity, tag structures and links within the site. While these elements remain important, the semantic audit broadens its scope. It considers the semantic context in which content is presented.
It takes into account not only keywords, but also the way search engines understand content. In a sense, it aims to create a more natural search experience for users.
What are the objectives of a semantic audit?
- Optimizing content :
The semantic audit ensures that the website's content meets the expectations of search engines. Whether in terms of meaning or even context.
- Satisfying the web user:
It helps create content that responds to users' questions and requests.
- Increase relevance:
Among other things, it identifies all the possibilities for integrating elements that will increase the relevance of content.
- Reinforcing authority:
This type of audit is designed to reinforce the site's authority by demonstrating expertise on specific subjects.
Why is a semantic audit important for SEO?
Search algorithms evolve to understand the context and meaning of each visitor's query. Search engines then strive to provide adequate answers that go beyond simple keyword matching.
The semantic audit aims to ensure that website content meets search engine expectations.
In addition, it's typical for users to express their requests in the form of questions or complete sentences. This is where semantic auditing comes into play, enabling content to be improved in response to these specific questions.
It is therefore essential for understanding search intent to better target users with their content. This increases the chances of being better referenced and attracting more visitors.
When should a semantic audit be carried out?
A semantic audit can be carried out in a number of cases to improve the visibility of online content. You should therefore opt for a semantic audit in the following cases.
You want to launch a new website
Before launching a new website, it's important to carry out a semantic audit. This will ensure that the content is relevant to the target audience's searches. You'll also know if it's optimized for search engines.
You're redesigning your website
If you're undertaking a major redesign of your website, a semantic audit can help. It will enable you to improve the relevance of existing content and migrate it. In addition, you can incorporate new semantic enhancements.
Your site is experiencing a drop in organic traffic
If your site's organic traffic is declining, a semantic audit can help. You'll be able to identify gaps in content as well as problems in semantic understanding of search queries.
If there are any algorithm changes
When search engine algorithms are updated, a semantic audit may be necessary. This will ensure that the content meets new requirements.
You want to expand your content
If you're planning to add new pages to your site, a semantic audit will help you ensure that the new content is appropriate. This will ensure that it is appropriate and meets the needs of your visitors.
After a competitive analysis
If you find that your rivals are getting ahead of you, a semantic audit can help. It will help you to identify their strategies and adapt your content to keep up.
Even if there are no major problems, a regular semantic audit is useful. This ensures that your content is always competitive and up-to-date.
Change your target audience
If you're expanding into new markets, a semantic audit will come in handy. You can then adapt your content to the specific needs of your new audience.
What are the steps involved in a semantic audit?
A detailed analysis of the site structure
Analyzing the site's structure is very important. It allows you to ensure that content is presented in the right way. fluid for users and search engines.
The key elements to consider at this stage are as follows:
- URL architecture Clear, structured URLs make it easier for search engines to find and understand your content. Also check that URLs are descriptive and contain the right keywords. A logical URL structure will help convey the semantic context of the page.
- Internal links and navigation structure Internal links play an important role in the relationship between pages on the site. Make sure these links are well organized. They facilitate navigation for both users and search engines. Create appropriate links between pages to improve overall semantic understanding of the site.
A good assessment of keyword compliance and semantics
Semantic embellishment depends on the choice and use of keywords. Here are a few ways to increase the semantic relevance of your content:
- Finding appropriate keywords : Use keyword research solutions to identify them. They'll help you generate more traffic. Choose mixtures of keywords with high search activity. Also choose long-tail words that answer users' specific questions.
- Using synonyms and related terms Search engines now understand the semantic relationships between words. Use synonyms and related terms to embellish the meaning of your content. This improves search engines' understanding of your content. What's more, it's designed to take into account the many ways in which users formulate their queries.
Verify the changes made
Auditing modified content is an important step in identifying small deficiencies and opportunities for improvement. You should pay particular attention to the following points:
- Visit content relevance Analyze each page to ensure that content is up to date. Remove or update obsolete articles. Ensure that content is of good quality, enriching and enjoyable for users.
- L'efficiency in relation to demand The content must correspond to the user's question or request. Determine the queries for which the page should rank and adapt the content accordingly. Create content that offers detailed solutions.
Monitor the impact of changes
Once the semantic adjustments and site refinement have been made, the results need to be monitored. This allows you to evaluate their effectiveness and make any necessary modifications. Here are a few ways of doing this:
- Measure performance with analysis solutions :
Analytics solutions are valuable resources for evaluating changes. As in the analysis phase, track data on organic traffic and time spent on the site. Then identify which pages are seeing an increase in traffic, and which may need further modification.
- Make adjustments based on results :
Performance monitoring enables you to identify important trends and understand the nature of problems. If you notice a significant improvement in the performance of a particular page, investigate the specific factors that led to this.
Similarly, if you don't see significant improvements on a particular page, consider making further adjustments. Consider adding more in-depth content, improving your internal linking or making better use of semantic tags.
Analysis solutions you can use
Google Search Console
This Google tool allows you toobserve your website's presence in search results.
It provides important information on search performance and queries. You'll be able to track Google's indexing of your website. It will provide you with data on search results, including registrations and click-through rates. It also alerts you to security and other technical problems. Even with all these benefits, this tool is totally free.
Google Analytics is another Google tool. It also enables you to track and study your website's position in the SERP rankings. This solution provides you with detailed information on traffic sources and user behavior.
It provides detailed tracking of traffic and popular pages. It also analyzes conversions and site objectives.
Google Analytics offers a free version for small sites. However, a paid version is available with advanced features for larger companies.
SEMrush offers a complete set of solutions for the keyword research, ranking tracking and competitor analysis. It's a powerful tool for in-depth analysis of your site and your competitors.
For competitive analysis, it compares performance with that of rivals in the market. At the same time, it tracks rankings to monitor position in search results.
This tool is available to individual users from 99 $ per month. However, prices may increase depending on site size and specific requirements.
Ahrefs is a popular tool for link and keyword research, ranking monitoring and competitive analysis. It provides detailed data on backlinks and rivals' SEO strategies.
It performs a detailed backlink analysis to track inbound and outbound links.
Its keyword research helps identify ranking opportunities. It also helps you compare your website with that of your rivals.
Ahrefs price plans start at 99 $ per month.
Moz offers a range of solutions, including Moz Pro for the ranking monitoring, link research and keyword analysis.
The tool also provides useful learning resources for improving SEO skills. The solution lets you search for links to check backlinks and site authority. It can audit your site to identify technical problems and opportunities for improvement.
Moz offers free solutions and corporate plans for large companies.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
This site audit tool enables you to study the technical aspects of your online platform in depth. In particular, it will help you analyze link structure, meta tags and redirects.
Screaming Frog performs a site traversal to identify technical problems and 404 errors. It will then provide you with detailed reports for in-depth technical audits.
Screaming Frog offers a free version with limited functionality; the paid version is recommended.
If you use WordPress, Yoast SEO is very popular for optimizing content for search engines. It provides you with detailed recommendations and analysis to improve content visibility. It also helps you create meta tags, titles and descriptions for the SERP. This unique tool also analyzes the structure of your content to make it easier to understand.
Yoast SEO offers a free version with basic functionality. The paid version is available from 89 euros per site per year.
Ubersuggest allows you toidentify the right keywords and get information about your rivals.
As a result, it helps you track keyword rankings. Its competitive analysis lets you compare your performance with that of rivals.
Ubersuggest offers a free version with limited functionality. But a premium version is available from 29 $ per month.
BuzzSumo helps you identify the topics that resonate with your target audience. It tracks content effectiveness to measure reach and engagement. What sets it apart from other solutions is that it identifies influencers and social shares. Packages for BuzzSumo start at 99 $ per month and increase according to features and usage.
SpyFu is a tool that allows you tostudy the keywords your rivals rank for. But its capabilities don't stop there. He can scrutinize the details of their paid advertising campaigns. All to help you plan your SEO strategies.
At the same time, this solution tracks the effectiveness of organic and paid content.
SpyFu offers a basic plan from 33 $ per month. However, companies will have to opt for other rates for more advanced tasks.
What should be avoided at all costs during a semantic audit?
When carrying out a semantic audit, certain practices should be avoided.
Ignoring the visitor experience
It's important to know that a semantic audit doesn't have to focus solely on search engine rankings. Ignoring the visitor experience can reduce the relevance of analysis concerning user visits. Time spent on the site and repeat visits may drop, with a negative impact on its evolution. For this reason, be sure to changes that improve user-friendliness, navigation and satisfaction.
Excessive use of keywords
Keywords are an important element in content enrichment. However, their excessive use, known as "keyword stuffing", makes the text bland and difficult to read. This discourages users from reading further, and can even lead to penalties. Instead of forcing yourself to use keywords, give priority to the writing relevant content that fits your audience.
Copy and paste content
Plagiarism adds no value to your site. Search engines prefer authentic and relevant content. Duplicate content can lead to a drop in SERP ranking and a loss of trust.
Neglecting content quality
If you focus solely on keywords, you're likely to end up with mediocre content. Internet users demand useful and captivating information. So create appropriate, well-written content. Focus on content that meets the requirements and interests of your target audience.
Ignoring trends and developments
The world of SEO is constantly evolving. New trends and updates are often noticed. Ignoring these trends could make your SEO efforts outdated. So keep an eye on the latest trends and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Ignore semantic markup
Semantic markup helps search engines understand the meaning and context of your content. Ignoring semantic markup can lead to limited content visibility. Whether in advanced search results or snippets.
Neglecting competitive analysis
Being able to study competitive activities gives you an edge over your rivals. If you neglect it, you'll miss opportunities to get ahead of them. Make sure you take the analyses into account to adjust your own strategies.
Neglecting the mobile aspect
Nowadays, mobile devices are essential tools. That's why making the site accessible to mobile users is so important. In addition, Google favorably rates mobile-friendly sites. In other words, don't neglect the mobile experience, at the risk of being ranked at the bottom of the SERP.
Forgetting to create internal links
Internal linking connects similar pages on a website. This technique facilitates navigation for users. At the same time, it improves contextual understanding for search engines. Neglecting in-house links can therefore lead to a poor visitor experience.