SEO Tips

How to Conduct a Comprehensive SEO Audit a Step-by-Step Guide?

Are you aware of how well your website works? For your website to rank well in search engines, you need to conduct regular SEO audits. Conducting an audit can be intimidating, especially if you only have a basic understanding of SEO. However, your skill and knowledge should also continue to develop as the marketing industry grows.

In this article, we’ll discuss what SEO audits are, why they’re essential, and how to conduct a comprehensive SEO audit step-by-step.

What Exactly is an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit examines your website’s overall health and identifies areas for optimization to improve search engine rankings. It is essential to conduct regular audits since search engines, like Google, frequently update their algorithms based on new technology and user search patterns.

A thorough SEO audit is a critical first step for any digital marketer, whether in-house or outsourced. It allows you to evaluate your current SEO efforts, regardless of their extent, and take necessary actions based on the insights obtained.

Why is an SEO Audit Significant?

Evaluating a website’s health and usability internally and externally is crucial. To accomplish this, you must internalize various factors, such as the sitemap, anchor text, and social media platforms. In addition, an in-depth audit can reveal red flag issues that require your attention, including load time and Google penalties resulting from unintentional SEO mistakes.

Undertaking an external audit is equally essential, as it provides detailed feedback on best practices for content and linking. While a complete SEO audit may be complicated and technical, it can significantly boost your revenue when done correctly.

It is essential to investigate your website’s overall performance regularly. Consider performing a monthly check using some tools and having an expert review your website annually. Although it may not sound exciting, it’s a critical step to ensure your website is functioning at its best.

6 Steps Guide to an SEO Audit

A comprehensive SEO audit will assist you in identifying areas for development and creating a road map for success. We’ll lead you through the essential steps to conducting a full SEO audit in this 7-step guide. It will cover everything from evaluating your website’s present status and assessing on-page and off-page optimization to reviewing your backlink profile and analyzing your analytics metrics.

Step 1: Analyze your websites status

Firstly, assess your website’s design and layout to ensure it’s visually appealing and easy to navigate. In the next step, check your website for any broken links or errors. Otherwise, it will have a negative impact on users, and they will most likely leave your website. You can use Google Analytics and Search Console to identify and fix those errors. Another major thing for SEO is site speed, don’t forget to test it. There are specific tools to do that, Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix.

As mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, over the years dominated web surfing, verifying their mobile compatibility is essential for SEO. Not only that, but apparently, search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their search results, and they would be most likely to rank higher than those who don’t have it. Additionally, research shows that customers prefer to stay longer on a site if it is mobile-friendly.

Step 2: Assessing on-page optimization

For those who need to become more familiar with the on-page optimization concept, it refers to optimizing individual web pages to rank higher on Google and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. It involves optimizing website page elements, such as title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, content, images, etc.

First thing first, you check title tags and meta descriptions that users see on search engine results pages (SERPs). Ensure title tags and meta descriptions are concise, unique, and accurately reflect the page’s content. Use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to analyze your website’s title tags and meta descriptions. They could identify any opportunity for improvement.

Secondly, analyze header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.); they help search engines, and users better understand the content’s structure. Essential to check if each page has only an H1 tag and if other titles go hierarchically. To make it easier for you to analyze header tags, you can use tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider.

Thirdly, as you may know, content is king and doesn’t differ regarding on-page optimization. You must ensure that your website content is high quality, up-to-date, meaningful, informative, and naturally includes the target keywords. Tools that will help improve your content are the same as for tag titles and meta descriptions SEMrush and Ahrefs.

And lastly, verify schema markup for engines better understand a website’s content. Did you know that Google offers better results to searchers when it knows entities on a deeper level? To verify that your website’s schema markup is correctly implemented, use Google’s Schema Markup Testing Tool.

Step 3: Examining off-page optimization

Off-page optimization refers to factors that impact your website’s ranking that are not directly related to your website’s content. It includes elements like backlinks, social media presence, and mentions on other websites.

Examining off-page optimization might take time, but it’s vital to improving your website’s visibility and search engine ranks. Off-page optimization can be explored with the following tools and techniques:

Backlinks: The most important element of off-page optimization is backlink analysis. Using Ahrefs or SEMrush, you can determine your website’s backlink profile. Consider the number of backlinks, the connecting websites’ quality, and the linking content’s relevance.

Social media presence: Maintain an active and engaging social media presence. Why? Well, social media presence can provide valuable external links to a website, helping to increase its authority and visibility in search results. Use platforms like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to manage your social media presence for better results.

Local Listings: Local listings such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook Local might impact your site’s visibility in local search results. Review your local listings to ensure they are correct and thorough. Make sure the info is not outdated, and you are updating it regularly.

Brand references: Brand references are instances of your brand being mentioned on other websites. These mentions can have an effect on how well your website ranks in search engines. Tracking brand says with systems like Ahrefs or Google Alerts allows you to contact webmasters for backlinks or other opportunities for partnership. Building backlinks and collaborations can boost your website’s authority and visibility in search engines.

Analyze your competitors: Analyzing what your competitors are doing in terms of off-page optimization strategies may provide substantial insights and opportunities for advancement. Using tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs, examine your competitors’ backlink profiles, social media presence, and other off-page SEO features.

Step 4: Keywords research

In the world of SEO, the significance of keywords cannot be emphasized enough. Using the appropriate keywords can attract the right audience to your website. So, the first thing you need to do is to know your audience; what are they searching for? What questions are they searching for? Are they searching for problem solutions that your company may offer?

After you know your target audience, you have to pick the right keywords to match their needs. For keyword searching, you can always brainstorm ideas with colleagues. Share your ideas of potential keywords that you’re your target audience might search for to find your website on search. Some useful tools can help you generate ideas: Google Keywords Planner, Semrush, or Ahrefs.

You got your keywords; what’s next? You must research your keyword’s search volume and competition level. In order to rank highly on search engines, you should choose keywords with high search volumes and low competition, as these will be easier to rank for and more likely to generate organic traffic.

Analyzing your competitors’ websites can also be helpful for identifying potential keywords. You might consider targeting similar keywords in your own content based on what keywords your competitors rank for.

Finally, once you have done everything mentioned, you optimize your website and content according to those keywords and strategically place them in the meta description, title tags, or header tags.

Step 5: Reviewing the website’s backlink profile

Backlinks are links that point from one website to a page on another website using anchor text. They are also known as “inbound links,” “incoming links,” or “one-way links.” Search engines like Google view backlinks as “votes” for a specific page, indicating its relevance, quality, and authority. Pages that have a high number of relevant backlinks tend to rank higher in organic search engine results.

Here’s how you can review your website’s backlink profile:

Use backlink analysis tools: There are several backlink analysis tools available, such as Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, and Moz. These tools allow you to check the number and quality of backlinks to your website. Analyze your backlink profile and identify any low-quality or spammy backlinks that may harm your website’s ranking.

Check for broken links: Broken links can negatively impact your website’s user experience and search engine ranking. Use a broken link checker tool to identify and fix any broken links on your website.

Monitor competitor backlinks: Analyzing your competitor’s backlink profile can provide insights into potential link-building opportunities for your website. Use backlink analysis tools to check your competitors’ backlinks and identify any opportunities to acquire high-quality backlinks for your website.

Focus on quality over quantity: It’s essential to focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks rather than a large number of low-quality backlinks. High-quality backlinks come from reputable and relevant websites in your niche.

Disavow harmful backlinks: If you identify any toxic or spammy backlinks in your backlink profile, you can disavow them using Google’s disavow tool. This will help to ensure that these backlinks don’t harm your website’s ranking.

Step 6: Analyzing the website’s metrics

The final step is to analyze the metrics of the website, it can help you identify your most popular pages and content, discover areas you could improve, it will help you understand users’ behavior better for who they are most interested in. The main goal of this step is to understand your website performance, like the traffic you get, bounce rates, conversion rates, and session durations.

Ahrefs ir Semrushor Google Analytics are useful tools for maintaining high performance. It will help you to optimize your website’s search engine visibility and enhance user experience.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, conducting a comprehensive SEO audit is critical for any website owner or digital marketer who wants to improve their website’s search engine ranking and visibility. By following the 7-step guide outlined in this article, you can assess the current status of your website, evaluate on-page and off-page optimization, review your backlink profile, and analyze your analytics metrics to identify areas for improvement.

Regularly conducting SEO audits can help you stay ahead of your competitors, adapt to changes in search engine algorithms, and ensure that your website is functioning at its best. So, don’t hesitate to start your SEO audit today and take the necessary actions to achieve online success.

The Fortis Media team can help you develop an effective SEO strategy that leads to online success and growth. Just contact us and get a free audit.

SEO Tips

How To Rank On The First Page of Google

It is a well-known fact that if it exists it’s on the first page of your Google search. Actually, 75% of the users don’t go past the first page of Google to find the answers they were looking for.

So, how can you rank in the first page of Google today? Well, to appear on the first page of Google for competitive keywords related to your business niche is a complex and ongoing process. In fact, you will need to invest time and effort.

Besides having patience, the most important attitude is to be consistent with your SEO efforts. Eventually you will see the results.

Throughout the years, Fortis Media has improved its processes, testing different tools and approaches until finding the right one for each specific case. Thus, here are 10 tips that might be useful if you want to know how to rank in the first page of Google.

1) Perfect your user experience

Think about it. If you own a restaurant or a cafe and you want your clients to come back and spread the word about your business, you need to provide a good customer experience, right? From the moment they walk through the door to the moment they leave, every detail matters.

Have you ever been to a restaurant where you loved the food, but the table service was disappointing? Or perhaps it took so much time for you to get your meal that when it arrives you are more angry than hungry.

Well, a website is similar. It might have good content, but maybe the navigation is so difficult, and the loading time is so high that eventually you decide to look in another place. And the truth is that the world wide web is an endless chain of restaurants: if your client is not satisfied with what they find on your page, they will go elsewhere immediately to satisfy their hunger.

Latest stats show that a 2-second delay in the load time of a website results in abandonment rates of up to 87%.

To make sure your users have a 5-star experience when visiting your website make sure your images have defined dimensions and are in the right format. Google developers recommend WebP.

Also, you can identify the problems of your website on Google’s PageSpeed Insights. You should perform a Core Web Vitals evaluation too.

Besides the technical details, your website should be optimized for mobile devices and your content should have satisfying readability.

2) Create valuable content

Customer service is important in a restaurant, but the quality of your meal is what will make you come back, right? In a website, your meal is content. The better and more unique your content is, the more likely you are to have returning visitors.

Plus, if you create enjoyable content and get returning visitors, Google will take notice, and your website will climb up the rankings.

Nowadays, it is easier than ever to create content. With the rise of AI tools, like Chat GPT, anyone can populate their website with content without too much effort. So, how to make your content stand out among the competition?

Storytelling is your answer. One thing that AI is (for now) unable to mimic is empathy. Nobody knows your target audience better than you. Tell a story to your target audience that they find relatable. The key for optimized marketing storytelling is defining the exposition, conflict and solution.

First you will want to expose a problem that your target audience often faces. Identifying it might involve keyword research to know what the most searched questions from your intended public are.

Secondly, you want to develop the problem into a conflict, illustrating it with quotes, examples, statistics.

And finally, you want to end up in a solution, demonstrating how your brand and/or products can assist in the resolution of the conflict.

Ideally your content should end in a call to action, inviting your audience to buy a specific product, download an app or make a change in their lifestyle.

3) Setup your Google My Business profile

To certify yourself that your content is optimized for the Google algorithm you must set up a Google My Business profile. Why is that?

Google My Business will give details of your business to your customers. It allows you to provide details and photos of your company, which includes your location, services and products.

After doing it, check regularly if you need to update it. You don’t want your business to look outdated and give the wrong impression to your current or potential new clients.

Be aware that this feature is only useful for businesses that have a physical location. If your business is online only you should stick with Google Ads and Google Analytics.

Setup your Google My Business profile

4) Dominate long-tail keywords

SEO involves a lot of keyword research and optimization, to find the best low hanging fruits: these are the easiest opportunities for your business to get in the front page of Google searches.

Imagine there are two relevant keywords for your niche, both with 4K of users per month. However, in one of them you will have to compete with high authority websites, while the other has a lower keyword difficulty. It is easy to know which one is the quickest road you should take, right?

Very often the low hanging fruits are long-tail keywords. There are three types of keywords: the head keywords, the middle ones and long-tails. For example, you are trying to promote your sports shoes business. A ‘head’ keyword would be “sneakers”, which is the most obvious one, but as you would expect there is already a lot of competition there.

So, let’s try something more specific? Something like “white NIKE sneakers”. This is a middle keyword, it is more specific, but it is still likely that you will find plenty of competition, especially if you are just launching your online business.

You need to dig deeper into keywords that are even more specific. For example: “best white nike sneakers for volleyball players”. This long-tailed keyword targets a specific audience (volleyball players) and includes the product you are trying to promote.

Even though it obviously gets less searches per month than head or middle keywords, long-tailed keywords are easier to rank for. If you add a few of these together your organic traffic will rise, slowly but steadily.

5) Create next-level content

We already mentioned the importance of creating quality valuable content, to stand out among the competition. Still, if you want to take it to the next level you must make your content as versatile as possible.

What does it mean to create next level content? It means you should adapt your content to different platforms, making it available in social media, in video format, infographics, etc. You can repurpose the articles that are more popular on your website, turning them into a top 10 video and publish it on your YouTube channel. Or instead convert it into an Instagram story or a TikTok.

Perhaps, your content is a thorough case study or business analysis that highlights the success of your company’s processes or the latest industry trends? Turn your data into an infographic and publish it in Linkedin.

The more you repurpose your content for different platforms the more likely you are to create a faithful target audience and increase your brand awareness.

6) Competitor analysis

One of the most crucial parts of any SEO strategy is competitor analysis. Analyzing the competition will help you to understand what the best practices in your industry are and also spot your competitor’s weaknesses, where you can outperform them.

To do a proper competitor analysis start by making a list of your main competitors. You can either use keyword research tools, such as SEMRush or AhRefs, or you can simply do research for the most important keywords in your niche and take note of who is currently on the first page of Google.

After listing your main competitors and doing some analysis of them, you should check what their targeted customers are and how they address them.

Then try to see what media they are using to promote their brand and services. Are they active in social media? Do they have paid traffic? Do they produce only written content, or do they also have videos, infographics and other creative forms of content?

Following this you should make a comparison between their strengths and flaws and your own. Try to be as impartial as possible: it’s important you are able to see what your limitations are and how you can improve.

Finally, to conclude the competitor analysis, research into the market. How is the industry you are trying to rank currently performing? Are the projections for the future optimistic?

Competitor analysis

7) Earn & Build high quality backlinks

The main path for increasing your website’s organic traffic is backlinks. And for that there is no other way around: you will need the assistance of an experienced SEO marketing agency.

Why is that? Why can’t you simply get backlinks on your own? Backlinks are guest posts in high-authority websites that are relevant to your website’s niche, which will include a link to your website, inserted in a contextual manner. There are a lot of websites that accept guest posts, even from newly created websites, but they often ask you for a publication fee.

So, in order to decrease the cost and the time spent searching for websites that have high metrics and that are appropriate for your target audience, your best solution is to request the services of an experienced SEO agency.

They will have already a list of links that they can provide, and they can also act as intermediaries between you (the target URL) and the webmaster (the guest website owner).

Backlinks are the second most important Google ranking factor, just behind content. These links will point to your website, increasing your authority and gradually raising your position in Google pages for relevant queries.

8) Use Search Analytics To Stay On Top

You might be asking what search analytics is and why do you need it? We already mentioned before that one of the most useful tools for your website is Google Analytics.

Nevertheless, sometimes Google Analytics isn’t enough. Search analytics examine if you are capitalizing on your existing traffic. So, using different search analytics tools, with different metrics and analysis factors, you can create a whole view of your buying persona: your current customers/visitors and your potential future customers/visitors.

Search analytics gives you a window into the products your target audience searches for, what are the search terms they use, which of these search terms convert in sales and what are the products they can’t find through search.

It allows you to follow the interactions of your users according to your search suggestions and see the behavior of your site search, like oscillations in revenue.

9) Track your website’s performance metrics

So, you have a website fully SEO optimized, you created numerous pieces of content, you have made your competitor analysis. Now it’s time to track the progress.

Like we said in the beginning SEO is an ongoing process, which means that you need to track your performance in order to keep improving. Checking constantly for important metrics that define your website’s success will be fundamental to not only find weaknesses, but also to bolster your strongest assets.

Imagine you notice one of your pieces of content is having higher traffic than all the remaining ones. Perhaps you can update it with new information, optimize it with additional keywords, add internal links, promote it in your social media pages or repurpose it in video format.

Though, organic traffic is only one of many metrics you should track. Page speed, for example, is one of the patterns you must track, since as we revealed before, most people leave the page if it takes more than 2 seconds to load a website. Bounce rate is another important metric, as it shows the number of non-returning visitors: so you want to have the lowest bounce rate possible.

There are hundreds of important metrics and it is arguable which ones are more important. They depend on your niche and demographic target audience. You can check our case study about SEO ranking factors here.

10) Do everything 4 times more (more & longer blog articles, more backlinks, more research)

After following all these 9 steps you have to do it again. And again. And again. SEO is a never-ending process, you should not stop even if you achieve the first page of Google, otherwise your competitors will see the opportunity. Once you take the foot of the gas, someone else will steal your spotlight.

Continuous production of original quality content and constant updating your old articles that perform well is imperative. Investing in finding quality backlinks in authority websites that quote your website is indispensable.

Finally, you should keep track of your metrics, fixing your weak spots and investing in new opportunities to grow and expand your online footprint.

If you need assistance in creating a valuable SEO strategy that can put you on the first page of Google book a free audit with Fortis Media today.

SEO Tips

Will OpenAI ChatGPT Replace SEO Writers?

At the end of 2022 a new trend had swept the Internet. AI tools started getting trendy, providing quick access to new ways of generating art and content which obviously left both artists and content creators on the verge of a breakdown.

Platforms such as Lensa and Midjourney allowed people to create pieces of art in a few minutes and suddenly everyone was asking AI to generate a sort of self-portrait of themselves. You definitely used it, or you saw someone among your social circles to do that.

What seemed to be a fun gimmick ended up stirring controversy, as artists accused these tools of simply blending other artworks found online to make their own.

Ugly Man AI
AI generated painting.
Author: Cameron Butler, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Well, for SEO writers the topic is not much different. With the rise of platforms such as OpenAI ChatGPT original content creators are seeing their work being replaced by these tools. In the end the process is not much different than what Lensa is doing: ChatGPT browses the web, recycles content that already exists and finds answers to prompts.

So, is this content really original? Will search engines be aware when this kind of content outranks original pieces? And should content creators be worried about the uprise of AI tools?

What Is OpenAI ChatGPT?

Launched as a prototype on November 30, 2022, ChatGPT gathered immediate attention. AI content generation tools already existed but they were either too expensive for the average Joe to use it or they were too inaccurate and made too many mistakes.

ChatGPT changed this by using something called a Large Learning Model. This means that the artificial intelligence tool is trained on wide amounts of data which can anticipate what the next sentence will be.

So far, the tool is pretty basic: it allows you to come up with anything, from a letter to your boss, to a poem or even a song. You just need to write a prompt or ask a question. Therefore, the tool can be used to answer queries, which is the prime source of content for SEO marketing specialists.

Nonetheless, the current version of the platform still has a couple of flaws. It is quite outdated, only finding data up to 2019 and often engaging in repeated sentences when the prompt is too challenging.

The concern is that ChatGPT opened a precedent, and it seems likely that it will overcome its weaknesses in upcoming updates, as Stanford University explains:

“GPT-3 has 175 billion parameters and was trained on 570 gigabytes of text. For comparison, its predecessor, GPT-2, was over 100 times smaller at 1.5 billion parameters. This increase in scale drastically changes the behavior of the model — GPT-3 is able to perform tasks it was not explicitly trained on, like translating sentences from English to French, with few to no training examples. This behavior was mostly absent in GPT-2. Furthermore, for some tasks, GPT-3 outperforms models that were explicitly trained to solve those tasks, although in other tasks it falls short.”

Alex Tamkin and Deep Ganguli, Stanford University

Open AI, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

How Can SEO Content Writers Adapt To This New Trend?

By now content writers especially might already be sweating at the prospect of seeing AI tools taking away their jobs. However, do not immediately hand in your resignation letter and start looking for new careers. There are still a lot of things that AI cannot do, compared to human writers.

To start with AI has a time-limit. Even if the developers try to make it as updated as possible to scan the internet, humans still have the high ground of being able to communicate with each other. They can get original quotes and find the most up to date information possible.

If you are a sportswriter for example AI will be capable of making simple comparisons based on stats. Still, not the actual essence of a football or basketball game.

To sum up, AI content creation is an alternative for the ones who are looking for cheap recycled content. However, not for the ones who are looking for high quality informative content that drives traffic and generates sales.

AI Findings Infographic Report

Instead, AI can be used by both SEO content writers and on-site specialists for the following:

Paragraph Generation

As mentioned before, ChatGPT is very useful to answer prompts. So, even if it shows some flaws when you attempt to generate a longer article, it can guide you when you struggle with writer’s block.

We all know that starting an article is always the most difficult part. So, how to launch the introduction? And how to conclude properly? These are two of the habitual struggles for content creators.

Using ChatGPT or other AI content generation tools will allow you to get the early boost you need. A few answers to a simple question and you can take over from there. It is always important to put your own words into it. Shift into the writing tone that your target audience is used to.

Especially if you already have a target audience in a blog and suddenly you shift into a fully generated AI article – your readers will notice.

Keyword Research

Long before ChatGPT came along there were already a lot of AI tools designed to help SEO specialists to find the highest-ranking keywords and the latest search trends. Platforms such as AhRefs and SEMRush are a good example of these.

Content creators can also use these tools to find out what to write about at a specific moment. Everyone wants to create content that attracts traffic, so it is important to find what your target audience is searching for.

AI crawls the internet for data on the most searched queries and you can use that data to answer your current and potential clients’ questions.

Finding problems and giving solutions through blog articles on your or your client’s website is one of the most effective ways of generating visits. It also creates empathy and trust with your target audience.

Video Content

Another way that AI can assist content writers is through the transformation of human-written articles into video. Pictory and Synthesia are already providing this kind of service.

The best part about it is that although the AI tools themselves can create content based on prompts, similar to ChatGPT, they are more effective if they are used with accurate inputs of a human.

This means that if you have a top 10 article, for example, the AI video tool will create a short, animated video with the 10 topics.

Through this tool you can share your content in YouTube shorts, Instagram stories or TikTok, thus allowing more audiences to engage with it. There are also AI tools that transform your content into infographics, something that will only help improve its shareability.

Other SEO Tools

SEO specialists and content writers have already been using AI tools such as Yoast SEO for several years. Yoast, which can be installed as a plugin in WordPress, can help writers detect if their content is optimized for search engines.

It detects keyword density, number of paragraphs, lack of headings and gives you recommendations, such as the ideal size of meta-description or main title.

Tools like this one are only a helping hand for anyone writing or uploading content online and they are likely to become more and more precise in the future. Plus, they also analyze SEO trends and update according to the most recent recommendations.

How Effective Is AI Written Content With Search Engines?

By now you must be wondering how Google and its competitors will tackle the AI written content. Will they penalize websites and articles who have AI generated material? Is there even an effective way for SERPs to find out whether content is produced by humans or machines?

The answer is yes, Google has its ways of battling against the uprise of AI. One of the mechanisms they can implement is the Turing test. Alan Turing, one of the most brilliant minds in the last century, was a mathematician and computation scientist, who came up already in 1950 with an important dilemma:

“According to Turing, the question whether machines can think is itself “too meaningless” to deserve discussion (442). However, if we consider the more precise—and somehow related—question whether a digital computer can do well in a certain kind of game that Turing describes (“The Imitation Game”), then—at least in Turing’s eyes—we do have a question that admits of precise discussion.”

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Although the Turing test itself is useful, as the article quoted shows it has some flaws and is quite narrow and outdated considering how much machines have increased their capabilities in the recent decades.

So, the other method which search engines can use to detect AI generated content is… AI. Yes, fight fire with fire. Google already uses plenty of algorithms to track trends, keywords and to target audiences with ads suitable to their recent searches.

Then, it is not too out of reach that they can use algorithms to track content that is AI generated. Google can use these to track patterns based on the repetitive sentences that ChatGPT and similar platforms provide.

Probably we will be witness to a Tom & Jerry kind of situation in the following years. Google will update its algorithms to catch patterns that AI tools use and AI tools will keep updating to escape these patterns. Rinse and repeat. Which one will eventually concede? We will eventually find out.

ChatGPT What Offers
Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

Final Thoughts

SEO content creators and marketing specialists have reasons to be concerned about AI. Not because they will steal their jobs. It’s because they will bring new challenges which need to be addressed by marketing agencies.

Sleeping on it is a mistake. Eventually you might find that your competitors are ahead of you in this game.

However, it is also not a reason for panicking: AI tools will not replace human input, creativity and originality.

They will only encourage marketers to innovate even more. Find more original directions of creating engagement and finding more and more accurate means of building empathy towards their audience.

Finally, AI tools will also be a helping hand as they have been for years. Instead of seeing them as potential enemies, we ought to accept that there are mechanisms out there that can save us time and assist us in avoiding errors in our content.

You want to define a content strategy for your brand that will help you achieve long-term results? Contact Fortis Media today and we will be eager to help you!

SEO Tips

Top 10 SEO Tips for Sports Websites And Blogs in 2023

Updated: 1/18/2021

If you own a sports business – either a news platform, a sports betting website, or a sports merchandise online store – you surely know that it is a very competitive niche. Therefore, investing in a strong sports site SEO strategy is essential and you don’t need to become an SEO expert for that. The focus should be on optimizing your sports team website​ to improve your sports site SEO​.

Let’s start with the basics: it’s fundamental to diagnose why your page is not ranking as it should. You produce quality content on a daily or weekly basis and/or you sell quality products, so why are you not ranking higher on search engines?

It is highly likely that thousands of people search for products related to your niche every day. According to InternetLiveStats, Google processes 84.000 search queries every second!

To sum up, paraphrasing the iconic song Sweet Dreams, by Europhonics: ‘Everybody’s looking for something’!

Sports are no exception. People play sports, watch sports and bet on sports. Football, soccer, and basketball teams get thousands of retweets every time they make a new post. It’s a bubbly exciting world: perhaps too overcrowded with competitors, we’d say?

It is not easy to create a sports team website that is successful, mostly due to heavy competition. Most media sources around the globe have their own sports section and they dominate the first page of Google queries on general broad sports keywords.

Why is it so important for your sports website to rank high on Search Engines?

You want to attract people to read your articles and check your website’s products. Generating traffic will bring sponsors, clients, subscribers, and other opportunities that allow your business to grow.

However, just like in any sport: you have to define goals that you are looking to target. Are you looking to improve your sales? Lower the bounce rate so you have more returning visitors? Overtake a competitor’s first place in the sports SEO ranks for a specific keyword?

Defining goals is crucial because if you aim for a specific target you are more likely to score than if you shoot randomly. You might be lucky and get a breakthrough, but the wisest choice is to know exactly what you are looking for.

So, without further ado, here are Fortis Media top 10 tips for you to improve your sports website SEO rankings:

1. Find your niche

One of the most important reasons why we ask you what are your goals is that they are directly correlated to your niche. If you have a broad sports website and you just try to rank for the keyword: sports or sports betting, that quest will be nearly impossible.

Mainstream media and gambling pages are way ahead of you on that game and it is unlikely you can compete on that league.

Check our whitepaper that analyzes the most popular online betting brands and their SEO strategies.

However, if you offer products for specific sports or teams, you can target the fans of those niches. For example, check out the keyword related to the English soccer team Manchester United:

ahrefs manchester united transfers news
List of relevant keywords for Manchester United Credits:

By using Ahrefs Keywords Explorer tool, you can search the relevant niche you are targetting and look for keyword opportunities where you can rank higher easily. In the image above you can see that ‘man utd transfer news‘ has 30k traffic volume, which means 17.000 people search for it monthly. Meanwhile, ‘manchester united news’ has a higher traffic volume, but the keyword difficulty is substantially higher.

So, if you are a starting business trying to rank on a specific niche you should look into keywords that fall under our first example: a medium or high traffic volume with low keyword difficulty is exactly what you should aim for.

2. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Do you know that during the first quarter of 2020, 51.92% of the internet’s traffic worldwide came from mobile devices? On Google, the numbers are even higher, with 60% of all internet searches coming from mobile gadgets.

If your website is not compatible with all smartphones or its design is just not mobile-friendly, you are likely to lose half of your potential clients.

That’s why it is fundamental to make sure that you are using a mobile compatible theme on your page and that all your website functionalities are available on the mobile version. This is not only a SEO tip for sports blogs, but for all kinds of websites who have the intention to increase their ranks.

mobile friendly traffic worldwide
Growth of mobile traffic worldwide from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2020.

3. Optimize your page speed

As important as improving your sports site SEO, optimizing your page’s speed is crucial to obtain better results. 40% of the users abandon the web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

With the eagerly competitive online sports market, you can’t allow yourself to lose such a high number of potential clients due to slow loading.

If you are a developer or you have developers working for you, make sure to put on the first order of business the decrease of loading time.

Also, small things like JPEG images instead of PNG or larger formats, help to increase the website speed. The heavier the media on your page (images, videos, etc), the more time it will take to load.

loading speed
SOASTA Research (2017) found out that the bounce rate probability increases by 32% for every loading second that passes. This means 32% of your audience does not intend to return a second or third time to your website.

4. Use Structured Data on Your Sports Website

Title tags are very important, as they are clickable headlines on the Search Engines. So, before you make a new piece of content, think about structuring it in a way that contains a hierarchy of titles.

H1 title should be the main title of your article or piece of content. It should contain the keyword you are trying to rank for, as it will give SERPS (Search Engines) the information on the most relevant subject of your page.

Inside the article, you should define topics to create a hierarchy of subtitles. They should be numbered as h2, h3, h4, h5, etc. A useful tool to help you do this task successfully is Yoast SEO, a plugin that you can install in WordPress and easily manage your content’s structure.

H1 tags hierarchy
H1 is the main tag, while the others represent subtitles.

5. Publish High-Quality Content

You probably think that in order to get better rankings and increase your audience you need to make a new article post every day. This is actually wrong.

In fact, there is no correlation between both factors, and overflowing your website with content is useless if your content is too short and poorly written.

So, invest instead on improving the content you already have and that is already ranking. Every time you refresh your content with new pieces of information or new hyperlinks, Google and other SERPs receive the information that your content is new.

SEO expert Neil Patel has recently said how he produces 10 pieces of content per month but refreshes 90 of his old articles per day.

Besides updating your old sports website blogposts daily, you should also make sure your content is authentic, original, and informative. Avoid plagiarizing other pages, as that IS NOT a good strategy to improve the SEO for sports blogs. Your content should also have the proper hierarchy and structure as we mentioned.

Finally, you might be wondering what is the average number of words your content should have. There is not a specific answer, as it depends on what kind of content you are producing. Although Google says that word count is not a ranking factor, long content (2500 words on average) seems to rank higher than short posts.

Just think about this: you can insert more links on long posts than short ones, which will come in handy as we will explain to you below.

6. Delete web pages that you don’t use

From a SEO perspective, deleting lots of the webpages inside of your sports blog is not always a good idea. Google can punish you with reduced rankings if you decide to delete several webpages.

However, it is likely you got some dead URLs and those might be affecting your page’s loading speed. As we mentioned above, loading speed is an essential feature that your website must have optimized.

There are two ways to deal with deadweight pages: you can redirect or kill them.

Redirecting means that once the viewer enters that page it will immediately take it to an active one. There are many kinds of redirects, with the most common being the 301. Read more about that here.

Killing a page means that you will send a message to Google and other search engines that you have deleted that page from existence. There are 2 ways of killing a page: with a 410 or a 404.

The most indicated way is 410. When you do a 410 you purge the page and Google immediately knows that it should be removed from its index.

Meanwhile, the 404 do not always get deleted from Google, but get buried in their archives. It’s that sort of page that you will find saying ‘404 URL: page not found’. Make sure that if you have 404 URLs on your sports website, they contain a link to the homepage so the user can return to navigate safely on your content. A search bar is also helpful in this situation.

7. Link to other web pages and websites

Inserting hyperlinks to credible sources on your content will help boost your sports blog SEO rankings. So, make sure to have plenty of “Click here” links, but do not place them randomly. They should fit into the context and help people expand their insight on a specific subtopic.

You should also add hyperlinks for your ‘call to action’ pages. If you add your website contacts, services or about us, chances are that people will click on it easily, instead of looking back at the top or bottom of the page.

You can also hyperlink to older pieces of content on your website, which will help those static older pages to remain fresh and grow on traffic.

8. Earn relevant and authoritative backlinks

The same way you post links of different sources on the web to give credibility to your article, every time some other page does the same with any of your links it will boost your rankings. Backlinks are necessary to improve the SEO of sports teams and sports team websites​.

If the backlink directing to your page on that other website has a specific keyword that you are trying to rank for, then it’s even better. That’s why keyword research comes in handy while optimizing your sports team website.

Fortis Media makes that off-site SEO work for you, searching for pages with enough credibility where you can place backlinks. We also do the keyword research, to save you time and help your sports team website to improve its ranks.

9. Leverage Social Media

The power of social media should not be underestimated. According to BrandWatch, 54% of Twitter users have answered they took action after seeing a brand mentioned in Tweets.

If you open Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and go to the pages of brands you love, you will see that their social media engagement is part of their success.

2017 social media marketing importance
Most brands worldwide invest their marketing budget into social media, as you can see in this graph from 2017.

Experts say that you should make a daily post on each of the 3 main social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and have icons for your social media pages visible on your sports blog.

You should, however, not abuse it. 3 or more tweets or Facebook posts per day will make you look desperate and you will lose engagement.

10. Do NOT forget meta-descriptions

Last, but not the least, you should always make sure that all the pages on your website have updated meta-descriptions. If you are not familiar with the concept of meta-description it is simply the little text under your title, that shows up every time you look for something on SERPs.

Despite Google claiming that meta-descriptions do not impact SEO rankings, they can indeed affect the click-through-rate. This means that a user is more likely to click on your page if the description is informative and explicit on the page’s content.

There are plenty of plugins on WordPress where you can easily edit your page’s meta-descriptions, including Yoast SEO, that we referred to before. Meta-descriptions should summarize the content of your article, without spoiling it completely.

They should also have a maximum of 120 characters and contain relevant keywords for which your sports blog website is trying to rank.

Is this all you need to create a successful sports team website​?

These are 10 tips to help increase your sports site SEO. However, there are many more factors to have into account: and we can help you find solutions for your sports website problems and we also provide SEO tips for casino and betting businesses.

Fortis Media agency is always focused on obtaining the best results for its clients and we welcome you to work with us, so we can help you achieve your goals faster. Click here for a Free SEO Audit!

SEO Tips

10 SEO Tips for Online Casinos and Betting Sites

Similar to sports websites, casino and gambling niches have very specific features when it comes to SEO. First of all, it is a market with several restrictions geographically, as many countries and U.S. states forbid completely online betting games.

Secondly, SERPs are very conservative about explicit attempts to trick their algorithm to promote gambling and casino related content.

However, with the right approach and with an experienced SEO agency like Fortis Media behind you, your casino business will grow sooner than later. Currently, gamblers are not as much looking for ‘casinos near me’ as they used to. Due to the situation of 2020, online casinos are the most popular trend right now and they offer real money at the expense of a click.

So, in this article, we share with you some important tips to help your professional gambler business to expand its online influence.

Poker Online seo

Why ranking a gambling website is so hard?

Besides the reasons already pointed, the online casino and gambling niche requires a strategic long-term strategy.

To get your business to rise from being an unknown online casino to ranking on the first page of Google for high difficulty keywords takes time and patience. Do not expect to see your organic traffic rise immediately: not in a few days or months at least.

It will take a decent amount of time, but once you set achievable goals you will collect the fruits you planted.

Organic traffic is an essential part of any online business. According to research conducted in 2019, 53% of internet traffic comes through organic search. Therefore, if you want to see your website grow and get a faithful customer base you should never discard the importance of an SEO planning strategy.

That’s why picking an SEO agency who knows what they are doing is crucial: you don’t want to compromise the integrity of your company and waste money on a short term strategy.

Things to have in mind when building your Casino Website

Your website might get blocked by Google or other SERPs if you put your SEO strategy in the hands of someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. Google, especially, is able to track the overuse of keywords and is very severe with the gambling niche, as it might accidentally be shown on queries that are aimed for children (for example).

Casino SEO is expensive. To get backlinks from authority sources (such as newspapers and blogs with a high volume of traffic), the webmasters will require more money to publish it than they would for other niches. They know about the specificity of the business, the highly competitive market and some of them blatantly refuse to add any gambling related hyperlinks onto their website pages.

Thirdly, avoid PBN’s. Building a Private Blog Network might seem like an easy way to get traffic and perhaps some agencies might suggest it. Basically, what people do with PBN’s is to create a bunch of websites and try to publish as much content as possible (not exactly quality content).

We strongly advise against it, as it will be a waste of time and money. On paper, it might be an easy way of generating backlinks, as Neil Patel explains here.

However, those websites will have low authority, so you will have added work to make them rank. High authority websites are normally 3 years or older, and then there is the danger of Google tracking you down. PBN’s are easily tracked by SERPs authorities and they can be flagged and penalized. So, like a ‘get rich quick scheme’ all your money and effort might vanish in a moment of vulnerability.

how PBN works
How Private Blog Networks works? Credits:

So, we advise you against the usage of PBNs. Instead, we show you 10 tips on how to grow your online casino organic search results. Take a look at the advice below.

1. Keyword Research

Keywords are essential in any niche and in Casino and Gambling, there are even more reasons to go further into deep research. Tools like Google Analytics, AhRefs and SEMRush will be your best friends, helping you to find keywords that you have a realistic possibility of ranking for.

Aim for the low hanging fruits instead of the keywords like ‘casino’ or ‘betting’, who are probably out of the reach for beginners. Instead of overcrowded markets, focus on long tailored keywords that suit your specific target audience.

Casino Keywords SEO
A snippet of AhRefs keyword ideas related to ‘Online Casino’. Notice how ‘poker near me’ has a high volume of traffic but low difficulty, while ‘casino online’ is overcrowded and will be harder to rank.

Due to the volatile status of online searches, it is important to keep up with the race for the top keywords in the business. Quite often customer preferences change and new websites enter into the fight. Trying to rank on the first page of SERPs, such as Google and Bing, it’s a very aggressive competition. So, it’s necessary to check keywords sometimes more than once per day.

Also, since the nature of gambling makes Google and other search engines be suspicious of its intentions, avoid stuffing betting related keywords on your articles. Also, when posting backlinks try to make it as natural as possible and add naked URLs and brand names when possible.

2. Content Optimization

Many SEO experts defend that it is more important to spend time updating old articles and keeping them relevant, than creating fresh new content every day. Online casino and gambling are constantly changing: betting odds change, casino games are updated and so it’s important to revise your articles with new information. SERPs will crawl your website and notice that it has been updated and it will get a boost in its rankings.

You can also update your old articles with hyperlinks to new articles you created, or to new services or products you have added recently. Make sure you don’t have any links that lead to nowhere or pages that are not user friendly. The easier you make it to navigate between articles and pages, the more likely it will be for your consumers to stick around and visit your website again.

3. Consistent content

As well as optimizing your content on a daily basis, you should also prepare a plan of content for your online casino website. This means you should know how often you can post new articles, giving a sense of continuity to your page. If you don’t have many resources to post articles every day, it’s not a huge problem. Just make sure your users see that your website is alive and relevant.

Quality is more important than quantity. Search engines give priority to informative content, original and that differs from all the other available. If you answer the questions you propose in your article and you go straight to the point, instead of filling your pieces of content with ‘fluffy words’ to make it seem longer, you will be rewarded eventually.

4. Pay attention to reviews

One thing that distinguishes online casino and gambling niches from others, is the importance of user reviews on their websites. Similar to hotels and restaurants, for example, reviews have a huge impact on what consumers decide between two similarly ranked brands.

As you can see in the results of the survey below, most of the consumers read reviews of the businesses before making a decision between two or more companies or establishments. Leaving reviews of your business visible on your homepage will testify the quality of your service and help you notice what are the suggestions and criticism that your audience found while browsing your content.

online business reviews
Online reviews survey from 2018 Credits: BrightLocal

5. Answer query questions quickly

There are 3 types of keywords: informational, navigational, and transactional. The first tries to answer ‘HOW TO’ questions, the second one refers to searches answering to ‘WHEN’ or ‘WHERE’ and the third one finds solutions to ‘HOW MUCH’.

Search engines process the most searched query questions and you can have that information easily available. If you go to Google main page and search ‘How casinos’ for example, you immediately have a list of what questions people have related to that niche.

Bonus tip: to avoid conflicts with your own cookies and preferences use the anonymous navigation (CTRL + SHIFT + N)

One simple and straight forward way of answering the most searched questions related to your niche and to your service/product is to have a F.A.Q. page. The Frequently Asked Questions answer straight forward query questions, like for example ‘how old do you have to be to go to a casino’. Thus, it increases your chances of appearing on SERPs’ front pages.

Google Auto complete tool
Example of Google auto-completing feature for trigger words “How Casinos”

6. Website accessible to SERPs

Before you do any of the steps mentioned in this article, you should make sure that your website is available to be indexed by Search Engines. Every day Google, Bing, and Yahoo crawl the web to find new pieces of content.

If your website is new it will take a while until it becomes indexed into Google search engines. However, there are a few pieces of advice we can give you to have your website indexed quickly.

First of all, you should update your ‘About Us’ and ‘Contacts’ page. By having your contacts and professional info on your website, Search Engines understand that you are not a robot and that your website is legitimate.

Secondly, try to place your website link into an authority page that is already part of Google search lists. For example, if you or someone you know has a website with a significant volume of traffic, using it as to place a backlink will give credibility to your website and you will be indexed faster.

Finally, you must have access to Google Analytics and Google Search Console tools. With its crawl analysis functionality, you are able to learn how many visitors you are getting, and when was the last time your website was crawled. Read more about it here from Neil Patel expertise.

google search7. Improve CPR and focus on KPI’s

CPR (Content Performance Rate) and KPI (Key Performance Indicators) are two of the main tools to evaluate how your website is doing. While the first one measures the content quality of your website, KPI is a series of indicators that measure other issues non directly related to content: traffic, bounce rate, and conversion, to name a few.

Make no mistake: content is indispensable and it is the prime source of everything, including traffic. However, as CPR measures things like the hierarchy of titles, meta-descriptions, and alt-texts of images, KPI’s focuses on numbers and stats that help you rank the efficiency of your website.

It’s very important to keep track of these indicators using the proper tools, such as Google Analytics, AhRefs, SEMRush, and many more. You can also install the WordPress plugin Monster Insights if your blog is running on WP.

Here are some further tips to improve your online casino website KPI’s.

KPIs SEO blog tips

8. Improve loading time

In a highly competitive market, like the online gambling industry, decreasing loading time is one of the key factors take will distinguish you from the rest.

According to a 2018 research, 53% of the users will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. That’s why it’s important to track how fast is your loading time since a first time user would rather try a competitor, instead of sticking around and waiting.

We recommend that you install Page Speed Insights, another app from Google. This tool helps you to evaluate your loading time while giving you some advice on what you can improve to lower it.

loading time seo tips

Another piece of advice is choosing to upload your videos in mp4 format and images in JPEG. These formats are lighter and will reduce the loading time. Also, make sure you delete any dispensable cache which might be slowing you down.

9. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways of promoting your online casino business. Basically, you promote your website on other high authority blogs and each of the sides gets a percentage: the advertiser and the promoter.

It’s basically revenue sharing and all parts involved win and profit from it. Like in all transactions, the client is what makes this system go around. How? When the consumer clicks on the link and makes a purchase, the affiliate promoter and the original source get a share.

Due to the sensitive nature of casino and betting-related websites, affiliate marketing is one of the most interesting ways to increase your client base. By setting partnerships with trustworthy blogs who have a high number of subscribers and traffic, you will make a name for yourself and give credibility to your brand.

10. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

Nowadays most of the traffic comes from mobile devices. In fact, in the second quarter of 2020 51.53% of traffic worldwide came from cellphones, tablets, and other mobile gadgets. This means that ignoring mobile compatibility on your website will make you probably lose half the audience you could be achieving.

Therefore, make sure your website has a correct and clean presentation on all different mobile settings. Test it on Android and iOS devices before launching and see if all the pages and links are operating in the right conditions.

For online casinos and gambling websites besides having a mobile compatible website, it is quite essential that you coordinate it with an app that allows your users to browse through odds, live scores, casino games, and other assets comfortably. Developing an app that is accessible and that gives your client a satisfying betting experience, will boost your brand and your website traffic too.

Why you should invest in an SEO agency?

After all these tips you might think you are ready to take over the search engine rankings by yourself. Maybe you expect to rank on the first page of Google tomorrow or next week. We got some unfortunate news for you: it won’t be such a sweet piece of cake to achieve that.

That’s why SEO agencies, like Fortis Media, exist. They provide you quality service, give you guidelines and spend time researching keywords for your website, while you are doing something else.

If you still have some doubts on whether you need an SEO agency to provide quality service for your website here are 3 good reasons:

It will save you money

We mentioned before that SEO is expensive. All those tools (AhRefs, SEMRush, etc) are not free and to access all its features you need to buy the Premium packs. Add all of it and soon you will have huge expenses that you could have saved. Fortis Media has access to all these tools and due to the nature of our work, we are always looking for upcoming software that adds value to our services.

By hiring Fortis Media you save money on all those tools and software that you would probably only use once or twice. You pay for one single service, instead of paying for 10 or 20.

It will save you time

Time is money, as they say, and we know how our clients value their time. By working with a professional SEO agency, you delegate the tasks into a team of experts in that area, leaving you with time to work on other things.

Remember that quality takes time, so raise your eyebrow when you see someone promising you cheap and very quick results. SEO is a work in progress, it takes time and communication between both parties, so you should hire someone trustworthy who is worth your time and money.

Finally: Fortis Media works on your goals

One common mistake when starting an SEO campaign is trying to get immediate results and aiming for unrealistic targets. If you expect to get 100k users per day next week on a website that you launched yesterday, you must know that it’s very unlikely to happen.

Some freelancers might sell you the idea that they will obtain very quick results in a short span of time, but did they explain to you HOW they will manage to get there? SEO is a science: it takes time, expertise, and lots of tries and experiments that may or may not work properly.

Collaborating with a proper SEO agency, with credentials, will proportionate you to have access to a personalized experience. We work with you to define goals and we explain and clarify the whole process. We set realistic targets to grow your traffic, subscribers, and to improve your KPI’s overall.

Furthermore, Fortis Media has partnered before with several casinos and betting industries and we have knowledge on the specific details that define these niches.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to grow your online casino and betting website you should be aware of what makes this niche so different from the rest. Besides the competition, search engines are suspicious of online gambling, so you have to be smart and truly honest about your intentions to grow your business in the market.

Check out Fortis Media services and what we can do for your online casino and betting website today.