Technical SEO Audit: It’s been estimated that 68% of all online experiences start with a search engine, and 53% of all traffic to websites comes from organic search results. But only 0.78 percent of those searchers click through to the second page of Google’s results.
Therefore, if you aren’t appearing on the front page of the SERPs, you aren’t getting any traffic.
The importance of SEO for marketers is evident. As a matter of fact, 61 percent of companies focus primarily on inbound marketing. By getting your or your client’s website to the top of user searches, you’ll be able to increase their return on investment much easier.
A mastery of SEO is not easy, of course. Copywriting, content, technical SEO, and even off-page SEO are all important to consider. Effective SEO strategies include all of these techniques, plus regular optimization for the best results.
We take a deep look at technical SEO and explain how you can use it to improve your site’s performance and organic traffic.
What Is Technical SEO?
The goal of technical SEO is to make your site easier for search engines to crawl, thus improving your search engine ranking. You can improve the speed of your site and check robot.txt files, as well as make sure redirects are working correctly.
Basically, it refers to ensuring your website is indexed, crawled, and ranked by search engines.
Websites that comply with webmaster guidelines are more likely to appear in search results. The basic principles state your website content should be accurate, easy to access, and user-friendly.
Having a slow loading website, an unresponsive design, or insufficient security will prevent your content from meeting these guidelines.
The purpose of technical SEO is to improve the technical characteristics of your website so that organic traffic increases.
Why Is Technical SEO Important?
Imagine that you wrote the most amazing piece of content ever. This is content that should be read by everyone. The book would sell buckets of money just for the chance to read it. You have millions of eager viewers who are eagerly awaiting notification that this new content has been posted. Finally, the day comes, and the notification is sent. Customers eagerly click the link to read your article.
Then, your web page takes over 10 seconds to load. The readers are frustrated and don’t want to wait.
By taking too long for your site to load, you are losing readers and increasing your bounce rate. Even if that content is great, your site may not be working properly, which causes you to lose traffic.
Technical SEO is just one example of how important it is. If you don’t provide it, search engines like Google and Bing can’t find your site, crawl it, and index it. In the case that search engines are not able to access your website, you will not rank and you will become one of 90.63 percent of websites that do not receive organic search traffic from Google. That’s awful.
Even if you are able to find your site, issues with user experience, like slow page loads and confusing navigation, can negatively affect SEO. In addition, duplicate content, mobile optimizations, and site security can affect your search engine ranking.
Elements of Technical SEO
When conducting a technical SEO audit, there are many more factors to consider than crawling and indexing. They include:
- mobile optimization
- page load speed
- link health
- duplicate content
- crawl errors
- image issues
- site security
- URL structure
- 404 pages
- 301 redirects
- canonical tags
- XML sitemaps
- site architecture
If you want a good website, it must be technically sound, fast loading, easily crawled, clear and actionable, and do not have wasted space. Additionally, it should have 404 errors and 301 redirection pages, as well as content to engage users even if they hit a dead end.
In addition, a site should have structured data in order to help search engines understand its content. XML sitemaps and schema graphs can be used to provide this information. When performing a technical SEO audit, make sure that your website is not over optimized. You could actually damage your SEO rankings with too many changes.
What Is an SEO Audit?
In an SEO audit, your website is analyzed to see how it is performing on search engines. By conducting SEO audits you can identify and eliminate exit points on your website, outperform your competitors, and improve customer experiences. A technical SEO audit, on-page SEO audit, and off-page SEO audit should be conducted regularly.
In the course of the audit, you will find places where your website performance can be improved or optimized in order to improve performance and maintain site visitors satisfaction. It might not be possible to fix every error immediately, but you can identify what’s wrong and design a solution for it.
What Are the Key Elements of a Technical SEO Audit?
An SEO audit should consider the following three factors:
- Various back-end factors, such as indexing and hosting
- Front-end factors, including content, keywords, and metadata
- External links and link quality
Not all of your pain points will be addressed in time. Utilize the 80/20 rule when selecting audit insights to act upon. You should focus most of your SEO efforts on what your visitors will see on your site.
That’s washed away if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website. Since the introduction of the mobile-first index, it is more important than ever that you optimize your site for mobile to maintain proper ranking on the SERPs.
What does the mobile-first index mean?
Google has adjusted its algorithm to crawl mobile websites, since 52.2 percent of global traffic is coming from mobile. In essence, if your mobile site doesn’t perform well, you will not only lose traffic, but your Google rating may also suffer. A lower ranking can lead to less traffic, and even lower ranking.
How to Perform a Technical SEO Audit
It is not uncommon for SEO guidelines to change frequently. Any major search engine algorithm change will require SEO specialists to adapt. Fortunately, technical SEO changes tend to be fewer in frequency. There’s no point in suddenly switching to slower speeds since it’s not like readers or search engines will suddenly agree.
If anything, you can expect the average acceptable speed to drop further. As a result, your website should be faster if you wish to keep up with your SEO goals. It is essential that your website is mobile-friendly. It will become increasingly important as time goes on.It must be error-free, contain no duplicate content, and have good images.
Similarly, search engine crawlers need to be able to access it. Search engines and site visitors consider these factors crucial to your success. Make sure you prioritize the technical aspects of your SEO efforts first.
1. Crawl Your Website
The most important part of the SEO audit is the crawl.
Crawl your website first before doing anything else. You can use Ubersuggest, Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMrush or other tools to make it a simple process.
Crawling is useful for identifying problems such as duplicate content, low word count, unlinked pagination pages, and excess redirects. It gives you a glimpse into how the Googlebot is crawling your site.
If you don’t use any of the tools for your technical SEO audit, you can also search your site manually. We’ll explain that below.
2. Perform a Manual Google Search
An approximate ranking of your website can be determined by a few Google searches. This will help you determine where to begin your technical SEO audit.
- Are your pages listed in relevant search results?
- Are you able to find your site the first time you search for it by name?
- What is your website’s overall ranking?
See if you can determine which pages are being crawled using a “site:rootdomain” query. It’s useful to understand what is going on behind the scenes when missing pages don’t automatically mean that your site isn’t crawlable.
Your website doesn’t need to be at the very top of your searches, either. By using the site search, it will show you only pages on your own site.
3. Make Sure Only One Version of Your Site Is Browseable
Search engines receive mixed signals if your website has multiple “versions” of itself.
The crawlers are not sure which one is the right one. SEO rankings will be adversely affected if search engines are unable to figure out how to show your site to prospective visitors.
There may be a mobile and desktop version that battle each other, or a version that is “https” and a version that is not. In the SEO community, HTTP vs. HTTPS has an impact on a site’s search engine rankings. Following the switch to HTTPS, revenue for some AdSense-based sites decreased. As of now, it appears that without SSL encryption, Google is deprecating websites.
There are even steps being taken by Google so that it is more obvious which sites have SSL protection. Chrome marks pages as “Not secure” for clarity. With this change from Google, it seems you will need to make sure that your website only uses “https.”
4. Conduct On-Page Technical SEO Checks
During the evaluation of your site and the results from your crawl there are dozens of things to consider. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed! Start by looking for duplicate pages, headers, and title tags. You’ll see some seemingly unrelated content in your crawl if you have published similar posts in the past, like me.
That’s okay. You are looking for duplicate content.
Duplicate content can cause technical SEO issues, which can be assessed with tools such as Copyscape. Next, you should carefully look at a few of the key factors Google uses to rank websites.
Page Titles and Title Tags
HTML title tags provide search engines with the title of a page. The information will appear on SERPs. Ensure that these are relevant to the content on your page. In addition, your content should provide answers to questions quickly. A good title tag should have a length of 50-60 characters. To ensure your title doesn’t appear truncated, you can use a pixel width checker.
Although meta descriptions do not directly impact ranking, they are still extremely important because they are what users see first in search engine results. Ideally, meta descriptions should be descriptive, engaging, and provide a sneak peek at the pages the user will find. With Google’s recent expansion, the description limit is now 160 characters, giving you even more room to attract a click.
Your content should be organized on the page, and the hierarchy should be clear. By doing so, Google will have an easier time crawling and indexing your site.
It’s important to make sure the placement of pages is wise, such as placing all service pages under your “services” tab. Be sure you don’t make customers navigate through five levels of pages to find the best-selling items. By making it easy for Google -and users-to find what they are looking for, Google hopes to create a more pleasant experience.
Every page of your website should feature a focus keyword within the first 100 words. As an example, Technical SEO is mentioned more than twice in the first 100 words of this post about technical seo.
Google will be able to determine what the post is about if that’s done-but don’t stop there. It’s important to place keywords strategically to avoid being penalized by keyword stuffing.
Include them whenever possible:
- alt tags
- subheadings (h2, h3, etc.)
- meta description
On-page SEO is incredibly important, but it is just one aspect of your well-rounded technical SEO strategy. There are also other SEO factors to consider.
5. Manage Your Internal and External Links
Search engine rankings have improved for sites with logical hierarchy. To make sure your visitors can navigate your site intuitively, it’s vital to check both internal and external links.
Pages might be deleted or moved, resulting in broken links and irritated site visitors. Don’t worry, this can be automated.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider, Xenu Sleuth and Integrity are some tools that can help you identify broken links on your site.
Clicks from internal and external links are scored differently by Google, even though they both improve your SEO.
6. Check Your Site Speed
People are impatient. Google knows this. Customers don’t like to wait. If your page takes a long time to load, your customer is likely to bounce.
7. Leverage Your Analytics and Compare Site Metrics
The first step to determining whether live metrics are being reported by your analytics service (e.g., Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, etc.).
You have correctly installed your code if it is.
You should fix your code if it is not installed correctly.
You’ll want the tracker code to appear above each web page header if you’re using Google Analytics. Compare your results from the “site:rootdomain” search with the metrics generated by your analytics service. Your search should display a similar number of pages to the “site:rootdomain” search.
If not, certain pages aren’t properly accepting crawl requests.
Check Your Bounce Rate
Google Analytics can help you analyze the bounce rate of your website.
When your bounce rate is high, it means people aren’t finding what they are looking for on your site. It may be necessary to optimize your content for your audience.
Compare Metrics With the MozBar
Furthermore, you can use Moz’s tool called The Mozbar to benchmark between pages. Any website or search engine results page that is indexed by MozBar will provide a variety of SEO details.
In addition to overlaying your browser, the toolbar provides a number of features. With MozBar, you can highlight different types of links as you view them, for example. Additionally, you can compare links metrics between pages or within a page.
It also offers robust search tools to make your life easier. You can customize searches by location, including cities. MozBar also supports Page Authority. Rankings are based on a scale of 1 to 100 depending on how well the specific page will rank in search engine results.
You can use tools like this to measure the relationship between your site and search engines when conducting a technical SEO audit. You will achieve higher quality SEO audits with less guesswork.
8. Check Your Off-Site SEO and Perform a Backlink Audit
The importance of backlinks cannot be overstated for SEO. Google and other search engines will become aware of how relevant your page is and that the content is valuable for other users.
Links aren’t the only thing crawlers look for in off-site SEO. Your site is also crawled for brand mentions. Therefore, you need to monitor activity on and off your site.
Perform Your Backlink Audit
Perform a backlink audit on your site with tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Ubersuggest and assess the kind of backlinks pointing at it. Make sure you check out your competition’s backlinks as well.
Analyze Competitor Keywords
Your competitors were busy upping their SEO capability while you were sleeping. Now, they rank higher for your most important search terms.
Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs and other keyword research tools can also help with this.
They allow you to see what keywords other sites are ranking for. It also shows what backlinks are going to those sites.
Although metrics may differ from tool to tool, the basic metrics are the same. These tools all provide a clear overview of what your competitor’s site is ranking for. In addition to a list of keywords, you can review:
- Volume: the average number of monthly searches for the keyword
- Position: position the URL is ranked in Google search
- Estimated Visits: estimated monthly traffic the webpage gets for the keyword
Engage on Social Media
The use of social media can result in constant backlinks and engagement. It can be used to support your technical SEO efforts. Your goal is to discover which additional social networks your target audience is likely to frequent.
You can improve your search engine optimization with social media by:
- Increasing your number of backlinks. Linking to your content will be more likely if it is discovered through social media.
- You can increase brand awareness by improving search engine results that include your brand’s name.
It is possible to increase visitors and mentions using social media beyond what people search for on a search engine.
Additionally, implementing a social media saturation campaign is easier than establishing links. You can use the Facebook Sharing Debugger to check what your content looks like when shared. Using this tool, you can also find out what tags are associated with your Open Graph account.
Technical SEO Audit: Final Thoughts
Search engine optimization has three aspects, and technical SEO is the most important.
If you fail at technical SEO, no matter how good your on-page SEO is, it won’t matter.
If you have no idea what technical stuff you need to do, off-page SEO won’t matter whether you’re good at it or not.
Do not let the “technical” or complex nature of the task overwhelm you. Start with the most important, critical issues discussed above and solve them one by one.
Increase Your Outreach With Damex Digital!
As with all things, learning to create Technical SEO Audit and using them to their fullest takes time. Precious time which you may not have due to other matters regarding your business, family or maybe you wish to use that time to produce more content, whatever the reason maybe.
The shortage of time has resulted in most people neglecting or completely abandoning the idea of developing a comprehensive Technical SEO strategy and optimizing their content based on that strategy. The mistake they make is to think that they will attract customers as long as they put out their product in the market. They expect the customers to come to the.
That’s a huge mistake. Most people who do this either do not have a good sense of business or are just starting their business as such do not have the know-how’s.
You don’t wait for customers to come, you need to be proactive and attract your potential customers.
If you lack the time to develop a technical SEO strategy from the ground up, by yourself, you should hire professionals to do it for you! Damex Digital is a professional digital marketing agency based in Smithers, Canada providing comprehensive solutions to all your digital marketing problems— including helping you out to develop Technical SEO.
With us you get highly-skilled, professional strategy developers managing all aspects of your content roadmap and optimization. Leave the SEO and content optimization to us, while you take care of other matters pertaining to your business.