August 3rd, 2022 | Updated on August 8th, 2022
It’s easy to get lost in SEO, especially for a beginner. Anyone new to search engine optimization must start by understanding the various SEO elements.
The three SEO elements are on-page, off-page, and technical. On-page SEO is a set of strategies done on a website, while off-page SEO is done outside a site.
Technical SEO can also be classified as on-page or off-page, depending on the strategy. It entails optimizing your website and server to make it easier for search engine spiders to crawl and index your site.
What Is a Technical SEO Audit?
As said by Digital Authority Partners, a technical audit evaluates the technical aspects of your website, which affects optimization. Technical SEO audits identify optimization opportunities within your site.
Whether hiring an SEO agency or not, any SEO campaign must start and end with an audit. The same goes for technical optimization as well.
After a technical SEO audit, you can locate and fix issues and improve customer experience. Remember, user engagement is a significant part of Google’s ranking factors.
What Do SEO Audits Cover?
SEO changes constantly. Your competitors are likely keeping up as well. A technical SEO audit will keep your site up-to-date and relevant on SERPs. It covers the following technical elements:
Mobile-friendliness. Your website must be responsive, structured, and optimized to work on different mobile devices.
Site loading speed. The slightest delay in site loading speed can turn off most users. As such, search engines place a lot of importance on site loading speed when considering which site should be on top of SERPs.
Site links. These are additional links that are found below your main URL. These links help people navigate to different areas in your site that interest them.
Schema markups. These are codes or structured data placed on your site HTML to improve how it is displayed in SERPs. These codes help search engines understand your site content better.
Duplicate content. An audit finds the same content so that you can fix this right away. Duplicate content can confuse search engine bots and affect how the original page ranks in SERPs.
Crawl issues. There may include missing meta keywords and meta descriptions, high-resolution images, low word count or low content pages, low HTML to text ratios, and missing XML sitemaps.
Image issues. Large image sizes can significantly affect the website or mobile site loading times. Fixing image issues can improve site speeds and enhance user experience.
Redirects. These may not be bad for SEO, but only if you place these correctly. Poorly implemented redirects can reduce page ranks and site traffic.
404 pages. This error means that the page is not available. A 404 error page doesn’t affect SEO but must be fixed right away, especially if there are backlinks leading to these pages.
Canonical tags. These link tags combine duplicate content. Canonical tags help search engines identify content on a specific URL that is genuine and thus, prevents penalty for the same content and self-plagiarism.
Site architecture. A well-established site architecture will guide your users to view and understand your content and make your site indexable by search engines.
XML sitemap. It is a roadmap to help search engines locate and identify your content. Adding an XML sitemap can improve your SEO.
Given these technical SEO elements, the ideal website must be secure, fast, and crawlable. It should also have straightforward navigation and is free from link issues and duplicate content. A well-designed, technically-sound website contains structured data and systems that engage users if they hit redirects and errors.
How Is Technical SEO Audit Done?
Now that you know what technical SEO is and the factors considered, let’s focus on how a technical audit is done.
1. Use Website Crawling Tools
Spyfu, Semrush, and DeepCrawl are among the popular website crawling tools. They provide recommendations to improve SEO, backlinks, content, and technical SEO. They also help you find errors and identify poor site design, including poor images, titles, and keywords. Crawl tools can help you find duplicate content, unlinked pages, and excessive redirects.
2. Check Your Website Sitemap.
Your sitemap must be clean with no errors, redirects, or URLs blocking search engine bots. It must be concise with all the essential web pages included.
A good sitemap is updated with the latest content. Finally, create your sitemap through the Google Search Console to enhance the indexing of your web pages.
3. Find Out if Your Website Is Browseable.
There should be only one copy of your website that’s browseable. If your site has many versions, you’ll confuse search engine crawlers as to which version is the correct one. Ensure that your site uses HTTPS to protect confidential data between your customers’ computers and your website.
4. Check Your Internal Links.
Review your site’s internal linking to ensure every link performs as expected. Check the click depth or the number of clicks a page is from your homepage. Ideally, click depth should be around three or less.
Find broken links and delete these ASAP. Use Google Analytics to find and repair broken links and 404 errors.
Finally, find and improve orphan pages. These are pages that search engines can’t see because they have no internal links from anywhere on your website.
You can use Ahrefs Site Audit tools to find all your crawlable URLs. Once you’ve found pages that have links, analyze the results to find orphaned pages.
5. Test Your Site Loading Speeds
Use Google PageSpeed Insights to determine site speed. This tool will help you determine your site loading speed and performance compared to other websites.
6. Compare Site Metrics with Google Analytics.
Google Analytics must report accurate data to ensure that it’s working correctly. This tool also helps you determine your site’s bounce rate. A high bounce rate means visitors are not finding what they need from your site.
Use a tool called MozBar to understand how each page is optimized. This tool can check your links, determine Page Authority, and more. With all this information considered, you can make a better, more engaging, and reliable website for your customers.
A technical SEO audit can reveal the overall performance of your website. You can find areas that need improvement and make repairs or adjustments immediately. An audit also reveals untapped ways to enhance your site’s rankings and promote site traffic.
Regular technical SEO audits are essential to ensure your site is relevant, updated, and follows search engine ranking factors. It’s not too late to consider a technical SEO audit for your website.
Image Source: flickr.com