A technical SEO audit is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. By regularly conducting a technical audit, you can ensure that your website is optimised for search engines and that you are getting the most out of your web pages and SEO efforts that should reflect in that growth curve we all seek to see in our Google search console.
This is 4 part Blog about how to perform a technical SEO Audit that will help you rank on your search engine of choice. To learn how to perform a technical SEO Audit, first, we must understand..
1. What is a Technical SEO Audit?
A Technical Audit is a service that reviews your website from a technical perspective, in order to identify any potential issues that could be holding back your search engine rankings and affecting that Google search console growth curve.
The audit will cover everything from your site structure and architecture, to your use of tagging and other technical on-page elements. It looks at all aspects of your website that could be affecting your organic search visibility and ranking, including but not limited to:
-Site structure (A site audit reviews the structure of your site analysing broken links both internal and external links. Web developers should review internal linking and Canonicalise pages to improve site performance and overall search results )
-URL structure (Provide URL Parameters Google Analytics may end up crawling the same page twice, with URL parameters and without them as if they are two pages. You can add URL parameters to the Google Search Console).
-HTML (Search engine crawl bots experience crawl errors when HTML code is broken. This can even cause CLS issues on all the pages indexed if code isn’t contained).
-Meta tags (Responsible for quickly educating customers in snippets of information and a huge contributor to your click-through rate and SEO success).
-Robots.txt file (A robots.txt file tells Google which web page can be crawled).
-Sitemap (search engine bots require sitemaps to crawl your website content).
-SSL/HTTPS (Site security can prevent search engines from indexing your website, no matter the quality or relevance of how many pages you index).
-Canonicalization (Ordering duplicate pages so that Google can focus on the authority content and not similar or directly duplicate pages).
-Mobile-friendliness (65% of Google searches are performed on mobile, this is a must in your SEO strategy).
-Page speed (To ensure site speed and internal links provide a quick results).
-Index (For search engine crawlers to find all of your pages which will be reported in Google analytics under your ).
2. Why conduct a Technical SEO audit?
A Technical Audit is essential for any website that wants to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). It is especially important for larger websites with complex structures, as they are more likely to have technical issues that can impact their search visibility.
Conducting a regular Technical SEO Audit can help you identify and fix any potential issues before they have a chance to affect your organic search traffic or rankings. It can also help you avoid any potential penalties from search engines, such as Google’s Penguin algorithm update that de lists website pages from the Googles index if content or structure is poor.
3. When to Conduct a Technical SEO Audit?
Ideally, with a small website you should conduct a Technical Audit at least once a year and with a large website once a month due to the multitude of contributing factors developing your Google search console growth curve over the year.
This will ensure that you are always aware of any potential technical issues that could be affecting your website’s search performance. If you have made any significant changes to your website, such as a redesign or changing your CMS, then you should also consider conducting an audit. This will help to ensure that any new technical issues are identified and fixed as soon as possible maintaining the organic rankings you have worked so hard to achieve.
4. How to conduct a Technical SEO Audit in 10 Steps
There are a number of different ways to conduct a Technical Audit.
You can either do it yourself, using SEO Audit tools such as Google’s Search Console or Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider. You can hire a specialist SEO agency or consultant to carry out the audit for you. Or you can use our FREE technical SEO audit tool that emails you your report instantly with a full audit. If you choose to perform a technical SEO audit yourself, then there are a few key things that you need to look for:
1.) Site structure
Is your website easy to navigate? Do your pages have clear and descriptive titles?
This includes things like title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and keyword density. Make sure your title tags are unique and descriptive, your meta descriptions are interesting and inviting, your header tags are used wisely, and your keyword density is just right
2.) URL structure
Are your URLs short and clean? Do they include relevant keywords?
Explain the above point in more detail. Your URLs should be short and clean, and should include relevant keywords. This is so that search engines can easily index your site, and so that users can easily navigate to the pages they’re looking for. This is a common fault in most Technical SEO audits. You can use a keyword research tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords to make headers precise and informative to common search queries.
Is your HTML code error-free?
Error-free HTML is easy for search engines to crawl and a lack of HTML errors indicates that your website is well built and maintained, helping your rank in SERPs.
4.) Meta tags
Are your meta tags optimised for your target keywords?
Meta tags are one of the most important elements of on-page SEO. They provide search engines with information about your website, including your target keywords. Including keywords in your meta tags tells search engines what your website is about, and helps them to index your site properly.
5.) Robots.txt file
Is your robots.txt file correctly configured?
The Robots.txt file is used by webmasters to tell search engine robots which pages on their website should be indexed and which should not. If your robots.txt file is not correctly configured, it can cause problems with your website’s SEO. For example, if you tell a search engine robot to index a page on your website that doesn’t exist, the search engine will return an error when people search for that page. Technical SEO audits will look for your robots. txt file in the root of your website, you can do this manually by navigating to your domain, and adding ” /robots. txt ” to the end.
Do you have a sitemap? Is it up to date?
A sitemap is important because it helps search engines find and index all of the pages on your website. If your sitemap is out of date, it could mean that some of your pages are not being indexed. To check if you have a sitemap, go to your website’s root folder and look for a file called sitemap.xml. If you can’t find it, try looking for a file called sitemap.
Is your website using SSL/HTTPS?
A technical SEO Audit tool isn’t required for this. You can simply check the top left of a search navigation bar to see if your website is HTTPS/SSL secured. This is an important indicator of your website security measures, providing Google with a site that they can trust to rank in SERPs and not get hacked/spread viruses and Malware.
Have you canonicalised all of your pages?
The canonical tag is a way of telling search engines that one URL represents the master copy for an entire page. It prevents problems caused by identical or “duplicate” content appearing on multiple URLs.
9.) Page speed
Is your website fast enough?
Your website’s speed has a direct impact on your SEO rankings. The faster your website loads, the higher it will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). A slow website can also negatively impact your user experience, leading to higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates.
Are all of your pages being indexed by Google?
Indexing is a necessary process for search engines to enable super-fast responses. Searching through individual pages of information would be very slow, especially when there are thousands or even millions like in some cases!
If you find any issues during your audit, then you need to take action to fix them as soon as possible. The team at Goliath Marketing can work alongside you to fix your technical SEO issues and get your website back to winning ways, and rankings in SERPS.
Overall, a Technical SEO Audit is a vital service for any business website with a desire to rank higher in search engines. It can help you identify and fix any potential technical issues before they have a chance to impact your organic search traffic or rankings. Conducting a regular audit can also help you avoid any potential penalties from search engines, such as Google’s Penguin algorithm update.