Episode 112 | Posted on

SEO Audits Done Right with Bill Hartzer

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This Week’s Guest:

Search engine optimization is one of those things that many people know a little bit about, but very few people know a lot about. If you run a small business with an online presence, you’ve probably heard about things like keyword density. But you may not know much beyond that. If you’re already an SEO professional, you know that there’s always more to learn! This week’s guest explores various SEO topics in a way that is sure to bring value whether you’re a beginner or an expert.


Bill Hartzer joins me today to talk about the nitty gritty of SEO audits. A good audit is a deep dive into the SEO of your site that results in a roadmap for success. It can give you insights into all the changes you need to make and the opportunities you’ve missed. Bill is an independent SEO consultant who has been working in the industry for over two decades. He’s a co-founder of DFWSEM and was a recent speaker at Pubcon on the topic of SEO audits.

Find Out More About Bill Here:

Bill Hartzer on LinkedIn
Bill Hartzer
@bhartzer on Twitter


In This Episode:

  • [01:35] – Bill talks about some of the big gotchas and lessons from the topic of SEO auditing. He discusses how he starts the process of his audits.
  • [03:38] – There are certain types of information you need to gather when assessing why traffic might have dropped off.
  • [04:09] – Does Bill bother with Bing Webmaster Tools?
  • [04:52] – Bill walks us through more of his process. Stephan then clarifies what Screaming Frog and DeepCrawl are for listeners who may not be familiar with the tools, and Bill discusses the differences between DeepCrawl and OnCrawl.
  • [08:06] – Bill recommends using Google’s tools for daily issues, but the other tools he’s been describing for more complex cases, such as when traffic is going down or you have an issue that you want to diagnose.
  • [09:24] – We hear what Bill does next after using spidering tools.
  • [11:36] – Duplicate content is the bane of the SEO practitioner’s existence, Stephan explains. He and Bill then discuss DMCA issues.
  • [16:38] – Bill talks about his favorite page speed analysis tools.
  • [19:11] – We move on to analyzing HTML coding. A lot of what Bill does in this regard is manual, he explains.
  • [21:44] – Are there other favorite tools that will do HTML analysis? Bill can’t think of any, but lists a couple other potential issues that webmasters should be aware of.
  • [24:51] – What does Bill use for heatmap analysis? He answers, then walks people through how to use Google Analytics for this purpose.
  • [26:59] – Bill talks about some of the work that he does within the developer tools in Chrome.
  • [29:12] – We move onto another aspect of the audit process: external link analysis. Bill discusses how he handles this.
  • [32:47] – Are there any other tools that Bill is incorporating into his link audit?
  • [35:20] – Stephan recommends looking for lack of diversity when you’re doing a link audit.
  • [38:30] – Bill differentiates between manual and algorithmic penalties for listeners who may not understand why they’re so different.
  • [40:06] – Are there any other algorithmic penalties that Bill wants to mention other than Panda, Penguin, and Fred?
  • [43:58] – We hear about how big Bill’s reports tend to be, and how long it takes for him to complete the audits he does. He then talks about pricing, which typically runs from $500 to $1,500 for small business websites.


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