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Glossary for Local Search Audit Report

Helen Barnes -

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  • Analytics Tags: We check your site to see which website analytics solution you use (e.g. Google Analytics). We report on those that we find and if you're also making use of Google Tag Manager (GTM), which is a simple way of adding analytics tags to your code.
  • Canonical Tags: A canonical tag (aka "rel=canonical") is a way of telling search engines that a specific URL represents the master copy of a page. Practically speaking, the canonical tag tells the search engines which version of a URL you want to appear in the search results.
  • Errors: Errors highlighted on the Local Search Audit are pages (URLs) on your site that return an error because they don't exist anymore or they have a problem. It's important to resolve these errors so that customers don't go to these broken/missing pages. Google can reduce the authority of your site if your error count is high.
  • Flash: Flash is a multimedia platform that some websites still use, but that is soon to be deprecated by Adobe. We check your landing page to see if it uses Flash or not. Google can't easily read Flash and it can block Google from indexing your site. Current best practice is to avoid using Flash on websites and use HTML5 instead to achieve the same results. You'll also want to avoid the use of Flash because it doesn't work well (or at all) on mobile web browsers.
  • Image Alt Tags: Alt Text is a method for adding a text description to an image. Search engines can't accurately read images all the time to determine their content reliably, so adding 'Alternative Text' lets you tell Google what the image is about. This is a useful way of reinforcing what a web page is about, and giving Google more relevant signals that have a positive impact on your SEO.
  • Mobile-friendly: With the majority of web browsing now happening on mobile devices it's important that your website works well for mobile users. Adjusting the content layout is one way to make your site more usable. Other considerations are text size (bigger is better on mobile) and how easy it is for mobile users to click on buttons and links. We obtain this data from Google's PageSpeed Insights API.
  • Mobile Page Load Speed: This score shows how quickly your landing page loads on a mobile device.
  • Mobile Rendering: These screenshots show how your landing page appears on mobile (left) and tablet (right) devices.
  • Open Graph Tags: Open Graph protocol was developed by Facebook to give website owners an easy way to describe the content of a page so that Facebook can correctly read and reference it. Using Open Graph tags allows you to control what content is shown when a page is shared on Facebook.
  • Page Descriptions/Meta Description: Each page has a description that appears within the code of the page, and is visible in search results. Although Google doesn't see these descriptions as ranking factors, search terms appear in bold when they're displayed in search results, which attract the eye of searchers. Due to this, Page Descriptions should be unique to each page and contain your most important keywords.
  • Page Title: Each page on your site has a title which appears in the code of the page and tells Google what each page is about. It's a visible tag that appears in search results and on browser tabs, and it's a very important factor in SEO. Page Titles should be unique to each page and contain your most important keywords
  • Responsive Design: Having a 'responsive' website means the page width and content of each page auto-adjusts depending on the screen size of the device being used to view it. This gives the best possible experience for users who view your site on mobile devices, tablets, and desktop devices. This is better for your users and will encourage them to stay on your site and visit more pages. Google looks favorably on sites that give users the best possible experience so this can have an impact on your search ranking.
  • Robot.txt file: The robots exclusion standard, also known as the robots exclusion protocol or simply robots.txt, is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots. The standard specifies how to inform the web robot about which areas of the website should not be processed or scanned
  • Schema Markup: Code that you put on your website to help search engines return more informative results for the user. A semantic vocabulary of tags (or microdata) that you can add to your HTML to improve the way search engines read and represent the page in the search results.
  • SSL Pages: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client—typically a web server (website) and a browser, or a mail server and a mail client (e.g., Outlook).
  • Twitter Card Tags: To help websites communicate more, Twitter developed Twitter Cards, which are based on tags that sit in the code of a web page. These enable website owners to provide a lot more information and include images, video and download links that appear inside Twitter. This allows your website's content to stand out much more in tweets that include it.
  • Wordcount: We analyze all the pages on your site (max 200) and calculate the average number of visible words per page. We also track the pages that have less than 500 visible words per page.
  • XML Sitemap: An XML sitemap is like a 'Contents' page for your website. It helps Google to properly index your site, giving it the best possible chance of ranking for relevant searches. A type of list marked up with XML so that search engines can easily consume information about the URLs that make up a site. Search engines and other crawlers are the only consumers of XML sitemaps. For SEO, an XML sitemap is an invitation to crawl the URLs listed.
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