This blog post will walk you through how to do a technical SEO audit in 9 simple steps.
Once complete, you’ll have a better understanding of the health of your website’s search engine optimization.
- You’ll find potential gaps in your SEO.
- You’ll find out if you have thin content pages.
- You’ll also see which keywords you could be targeting.
Most importantly, you’ll be more informed on what to prioritize next.
This is an invaluable technical SEO audit and guide for all business owners looking to ensure their online presence is as strong as it can be.
Let’s get started…
Table of Contents
What is a Technical SEO Audit?
It’s no longer enough to maximize your search engine rank by stuffing keywords and making lots of micro-links. Instead, your strategy needs to incorporate the latest changes in SEO.
What is a technical SEO audit, and how can it help your website rank better?
An SEO audit of a website by a technical expert is an in-depth review. This is to identify any errors that might prevent it from performing well in search engine rankings.
Search engine bots help to find out where your website ranks on the web. Once they have found a site, the bot checks for any ranking factors and then ranks it in search results.
SEO constantly changes as your competitors also are in the race for getting ahead of the other. For this reason, it needs to keep updated too so that you stay close with relevant updates and thus solidify your place on the list. If your website’s health is not monitored, you may lose traffic to competitors.
As the search algorithms and technology evolve, you have to review your search engine optimization monthly. Thus, ensure that you do a complete technical SEO audit every four to five months.
What factors are affecting the SEO performance of your website?
Factors that can affect your website’s SEO are categorized into three different groups.
- Technical factors: For example, technical aspects such as hosting and indexing speed are essential.
- On-page factors: Site content, targeted keywords, and related terms are essential to consider.
- Off-Page factors: These include the external backlinks—also, third-party references to your website from other websites.
It is crucial to maintain periodic audits of the factors that most affect your business. This will ensure you can respond to sudden shifts in these critical areas.
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What steps should you take to figure out your technical SEO audits?
This post will describe what a technical SEO audit entails and discuss the steps needed for it.
1. Start by Crawling Your Website
The first thing every technical SEO audit should start with is crawling your site. To do this, you can use tools such as SEMrush, Spyfu, or DeepCrawl.
SEMrush’s On-Page SEO Checker also provides actionable recommendations to improve your site’s SEO. Moreover, backlinks, technical SEO, and content quality.
The web crawlers help you identify various errors on your website.
They include broken links and poor images.
Also, problems with the page title.
They can also help you find duplicate content and unlinked pages.
Must identify your crawl budget so that you can ensure Google crawls all the pages on your site and at an appropriate level of frequency.
The Google Search Console contains information. That is on how many pages have been crawled and how Google has done it.
Looking at your crawl budget will give you an idea of how the Google bot crawls your website.
How can you use your crawl budget to the fullest?
- Remove duplicate content: Duplicate pages can waste your SEO budget with lower search engine rankings. You can find duplicate pages using tools like Screaming Frog. It reveals duplicated titles and meta description tags.
- Google will remove pages duplicated of other pages on your site to make the search engines more useful for users.
- Provide URL parameters: Google may end up crawling the same page twice. Google Search Console will instruct it that this is a single page and not two different ones.
- Fix redirects: When Googlebot follows redirects. The crawler has to be redirected many times, impacting the crawl budget. Any time there are a lot of 301/302-redirects or more than one domain mapped to a single page on your site. Googlebot may stop following them and not reach the destination page.
- You need to optimize your crawl budget by avoiding as many redirects as possible during a technical SEO audit.
Search on Google
You can also go to Google and type “site:website name” to find your website. This will show you how many pages are found within the search results.
Yet missing pages on a website don’t mean it isn’t crawlable. It can be a sign of problems with the site, though.
Check your SEO score.
Websites like SEO Site Checkup give you a score out of 100 to show where your website is succeeding and what it could be doing better.
This score can give you a basis for your next steps in technical SEO audits.
The website checkup can help you figure out which keywords bring you traffic the most and any broken links. You can also use it to make sure your sitemap is available and looks good. It also checks for coding errors so that they don’t continue to spread throughout your site.
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2. Review Sitemap
The structure of your site is essential to the engines- not only does it prove its legitimacy, but it also helps them discover new pages.
It needs to have a sitemap for tracking your SEO strategy. For this reason, you should check it during the technical SEO audit.
Be sure that your site map is:
- Clean: You must ensure the sitemap is error-free, removing any redirects or URLs that may stop search engines from indexing it.
- Concise: The sitemap should be short and detailed. If it has more than 50,000 URLs, Google won’t crawl it since this is their limit. It would be best if you keep your sitemap short with essential pages included in it.
- Up-to-date: You must add your latest content uploads to your index as soon as it is published. This can help the search engine find new content more.
- Registration on Google Search Console: You can let Google know about your site’s sitemap. By adding it to the robots.txt file, else, specifying its location in a manual addition of tags within that same document.
3. Check the browser-friendly versions of your website
An SEO company can help you set up a system to ensure that only one version of your website is viewable in search engine results. Does your website have many versions? If so, the crawlers will be confused about which version is the right one.
When a search engine has trouble deciphering what it is seeing. It can affect your rankings, causing the searcher to not land on your website.
This sort of error may occur when a company has not updated its mobile. Also, desktop versions with the newest web pages or duplicate HTTP vs. HTTPS versions. Again, the technical SEO audit should ensure that only one version of your website is advertised to readers.
Ensuring that your website is secure and utilizes HTTPS is imperative. Google has announced a change in how searches are labeled, indicating to the user exactly which sites have been confirmed as safe or unsafe.
4. Check Internal Links
A logical hierarchy on your website should be reviewed for its internal links and external ones.
Web pages can be deleted or moved, which could result in a broken link.
What internal linking factors should you check?
Whether you perform the audit yourself or hire someone who knows how to do it. Moreover, checking for broken links within your website. This is one of the first things any SEO specialist can tell.
- Click depth: An excellent way to figure out your site depth is by checking the page hierarchy. To do this, you can use Website Auditor and head to Site Structure then Pages. One of the columns will show you how many clicks away a page is from the homepage.
- Broken links: Broken links can waste your crawl budget and frustrate visitors. You can find them on the Internal Resources dashboard in Website Auditor by sorting them by HTTP Status Code.
- Orphan pages: These are pages with no links to them. These aren’t linked to any more challenging pages for your search engine website’s other to find pages. Besides, it can be challenging for search engines to find. You can find orphan pages by navigating to the Site Structure tab in WebSite Auditor. Then clicking on Pages. Click on the Rebuild Project option, and at step 2, select the Search for Orphan Pages.
5. Test Site Speed
Your site must load when ranking in search engine rankings. A long load time is a turnoff for people. In addition, it increases the likelihood of visitors bouncing to another website.
So, as part of any technical SEO audit, it’s essential to test how fast your website loads.
What is the correlation between page load speed and bounce rate?
A website that takes over 5 seconds to load will more often result in the user leaving without clicking on any content.
Google is beginning to take site speed into account when determining rankings. For this reason, you must check your site speed and minimize it. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to help with that.
The website stores a record of your site’s performance and visualizes this information in various graphs. For example, this tool can identify problem areas on your page that affect the loading time, clicking through rate, or bounce rate.
6. Check HTTPS Content
About 70% of the results on page 1 of a Google search are HTTPS. If your website is already using HTTPS, then you should look for common technical SEO issues in your audit.
What are the common issues with HTTPS?
Below are factors you should consider when evaluating the safety of your HTTPS site and how to optimize it best:
- Links, canonicals, and redirects: All the links on your website must point to HTTPS pages. You may have HTTP > HTTPS redirects on your website, but it is not ideal for taking users through several redirects. Also, to the challenge of not being detected by search engine crawlers, you’re wasting your crawl budget each time the bot hits a redirect.
- Mixed content: The mixed content issue occurs when a secure page is loaded with insecure media. Reducing site security and even leading the browser to load only part of the page. To check for mixed content issues on our site, go to Site Audit. Use the HTTPS Pages With Mixed Content Issues option to find and fix these pages.
You can also check out the list of non-HTTPS resources on your website through Website Auditor. Check the Internal Resources and sort by URL for a complete list.
You can see the URL of your website first. Then, check the list of URLs that link to it and its location in XML files for all pages.
7. Use Analytics to Compare Your Site Metrics
Ensure your analytics program is providing accurate live data. This will ensure that the code has been installed without any errors.
When performing a technical SEO audit. It must check that the tracker code for Google Analytics has been placed above the header on each page of your website.
Once the site is up, you can verify how many pages are indexed by searching for your domain name. The number of pages should match, and if it isn’t, it means some links are being blocked.
Google Analytics provides the bounce rate for your website, and this number must stay as low as possible.
Why is it essential to have a low click-through rate?
A high bounce rate on your website indicates that people are not finding what they are looking for. To reduce the bounce rate, you need to optimize your content and ensure a quick page loading speed.
You can also use the “MozBar” to check for SEO details of different pages on your website, highlighting different types of links. These include follow, no-follow, external, and internal.
The MozBar also shows the Page Authority of each page. This number ranges between 1 and 100. In addition, it indicates how effective each page is at ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Such a tool would make your audit process more accessible.
8. Conduct a Backlink Audit
Backlinks are an essential and integral part of the technical SEO audit. This is because they provide search engines with valuable insight into the quality of the content on your website.
Google’s crawlers also look for brand mentions on your website. But, again, I need to know what else is happening.
One way to analyze your website for backlinks is Ahrefs. It can give you an idea of the source of links coming to your site and what types of sites they’re on.
What are other ways that Ahrefs can help you?
Finding link-building opportunities. This allows you to determine the most important pages that need links. You can even check your competitors` backlinks. Also, try to beat them by acquiring higher-quality sources for your site.
You should also check out the keywords your competitors are ranking for. To do this, you can use SEMrush and see their backlinks for the relevant keywords.
Using backlink analysis tools, you can compare your top competitors. Also, their links to yours to see how you rank.
You must also check which of your target audience frequents social media platforms. For example, those who like your content may want to link to it.
Generating more backlinks is one of many other benefits that social media can provide. Exposure to social media sites can also help with your brand awareness. In addition, it can benefit you on search engines with your site’s name.
Social media plays a significant role in your SEO and should not be neglected. You can increase traffic and mentions by engaging with different communities on social media. Best of all, it is even simpler than creating a campaign to build links.
9. Re-Crawl Your Website
If the technical issues identified by Google are fixed, your website can be crawled again.
This step of the technical SEO audit ensures that all changes are taken into account with immediate effect.
To do this, you’ll need to head over to Google Search Console and click on Crawl. Next, enter the URL that needs to be re-crawled in the Fetch section and tap on Fetch. Once the Google bot fetches your page, you will need to submit it for indexing via Submit To Index.
You have the option of submitting a unique URL for content indexation or submitting your URL along with all linked pages. In that case, Google will only crawl links on your website to follow all internal links.
A technical SEO audit is essential to increase rankings and conversions. A thorough understanding of how search engines work can be used to your advantage. That is by using keywords: title tags, meta descriptions, and more. The information you’ve read in this blog post should help you determine if it were beneficial for your company. Also, the site to conduct a technical SEO audit on its website. By following these tips, you will create an optimized page. They increase traffic and conversion rates!
What is a technical SEO audit?
An SEO audit is a technical evaluation of programming errors—also, improper configurations can cause users, search crawlers, ranking results, and more. Besides, a technical SEO audit can identify issues. The issues might otherwise go unrecognized before making them searchable.
How can I conduct an SEO technical site audit?
Conducting a technical SEO audit may seem daunting. But this checklist can help you explore the best options.
- Review all the pages of your website to find any issues.
- Check and optimize your site map.
- Improve your website’s loading speed.
- Do a link profile audit on your internet marketing campaign.
- Ensure your website has only one version that people can explore.
- Check your content for the HTTPS protocol.
- Audit your website’s SEO.
- To solve website problems, check your analytics data.
- Remove your flawed performing pages from the index.
When completing a technical SEO audit. You will complete many essential steps before the work is done.
Is SEO a technical skill?
Regardless of your technical skills, learning how to do SEO is simple. Likewise, it doesn’t need a technical background if you want to learn SEO.
What are some excellent ways to learn technical SEO?
Many online resources teach the fundamentals of technical SEO, like guidelines and tutorials. But, you need to put these learnings into practical use to become a master of your technique.
How do technical SEO audits work, and how much do they cost?
You can conduct a technical SEO audit by yourself without investing any money. If you choose to buy paid SEO tools, the only cost you would incur is that of the tool.
What are the features of a technical SEO audit?
The technical SEO audit evaluates all the potential problems preventing crawlers. Also, indexers from accessing your site. Though there is no one rule about what an SEO audit should look at. This checklist covers most of the steps to ensure a successful search ranking.
What is an SEO audit tool?
An SEO audit is a lengthy and time-consuming process. Less time is needed if you use an SEO audit tool. It will help automate several steps in the auditing process so your specific issues can be found more.
Why are technical SEO tactics important?
Posting content is what search engines such as Google use for their rankings. Therefore, optimizing this content for the web makes perfect sense.
It helps the search engine rank you for the correct queries and provides traffic for those looking for those topics.
What is the typical time investment for a technical SEO audit?
If you have had some experience in the field, a technical SEO audit should take an hour to complete. Yet, for beginners, the process can sometimes take up to several hours.