Technical SEO Audit: How to Identify Issues and Optimize Your Site

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Technical SEO audits are often a wake-up call. Is your website living up to your expectations? Is it performing as well as it could be?

While reviewing a website for SEO, we want to check the following technical aspects.

  • Domain name
  • Server Security
  • Server speed and uptime
  • Website performance
  • Accessibility
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Content

Besides Google, there are many other factors that impact SEO. If your website is missing any of these specifications, we can often correct the issue(s) ourselves.

However, if the problem requires help from a professional, I’ll share how you should proceed.

What is a Technical SEO Audit?

A technical SEO audit is an analysis of your website’s infrastructure and technical elements in order to identify issues that may be affecting your site’s ability to rank in search engines. This can include things like site speed, indexation, mobile-friendliness, and more.

A site audit can be valuable for many businesses, but it’s especially important for eCommerce sites that have high volumes of traffic.

Why?

Because of the sites where there are high transaction volumes, these sites are more susceptible to technical SEO issues.

Customers expect sites to load quickly, and maybe even more importantly, expect sites not crash. Any technical issues can cause issues for a user and the delicate balance that you have.

I know there’s a lot of information here, but that’s because site audits are complex. It’s not something you can just do in a couple of hours.

Definitely don’t feel like you need to do this on your own. You can do a lot of this with a tool. I recommend looking at Screaming Frog.

There’s a number of good tools out there that you can use.

Hopefully you can see why we need to do a site-audit.

Let’s jump into what you can do.

First, you’ll need to find all the pages on your site that receive traffic.

You can use a tool like Screaming Frog, but I prefer a tool like this because this will not only search all pages but also track all the links, images, and scripts.

While Screaming Frog is great, a lot of technical SEO audits happen on smaller sites so a really quick way of finding all pages on a site is to go to the URL and search with

“site:mysite.com”

This will bring up all the pages on your site so you can select which of these pages you want to include in your audit.

You can also select specific URLs, script,s or image tags,

You can also use a tool like Screaming Frog, but I prefer a tool like this because this will not only search all pages but also track all the links, images, and scripts.

When Is a Technical SEO Audit Necessary for SEO?

A technical SEO audit is a valuable tool for SEOs in order to identify and address any issues with a website’s technical SEO.

A technical SEO audit can help ensure that a website is ranking well in search engine results pages (SERPs), that its pages are well-optimized for Google, and that it is compliant with all search engine guidelines. By addressing any issues before they become bigger problems, a technical SEO audit can save a company a lot of time and money down the road.

In order to perform a technical SEO audit, an SEO must have a good understanding of the website’s architecture and content management system (CMS).

He or she must also be familiar with search engine algorithms and how they affect website ranking.

Finally, the SEO must have access to the website’s analytics data, which can help identify any deficiencies in the website’s traffic and conversion rates.

A technical SEO audit is a valuable tool for SEOs in order to identify and address any issues with a website’s technical SEO.

By addressing any issues before they become bigger problems, a technical SEO audit can save a company a lot of time and money down the road.

If you’re considering performing a technical SEO audit on your own website, be sure to consult with an experienced SEO to help ensure the audit is comprehensive and effective.

List of Tools Needed to Perform Technical SEO Audit

technical seo tools

Google’s Quality Guidelines state that webmasters need to ensure they have a strong technical foundation. Technical SEO is a vital component for any site.

Since technical SEO makes up a portion of the larger SEO picture, it’s important to know which tools are the most useful in determining what needs to be fixed and corrected. Use this list to perform a technical SEO audit.

  1. Screaming Frog SEO Spider: Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a paid tool to use. However, you can use this tool to conduct an overall site audit, crawl your site, check for broken links, and much more.
  2. Deep Crawl: Deep Crawl is a free site audit tool you can use. It offers a deeper look at your site than does Screaming Frog. You can also slice and dice your crawl results.
  3. Backlink Audit: Backlink Audit is a free site audit tool you can use. You can also slice and dice your crawl results.
  4. Ahrefs SEO Checker: No list of SEO tools would be complete without Ahrefs. Ahrefs offers several excellent SEO tools that can help with link analysis, keyword research, search analytics, and much more.
  5. SEO Cloud: SEO Cloud is a robust SEO audit tool, offering site audits, keyword research, content gap analysis, and much more.
  6. SEOquake: SEOquake is a robust site audit tool, offering site audits, keyword research, content gap analysis, and much more.

Steps on How to Perform an In-Depth Technical SEO Audit For Your Website

In this guide, we are going to talk about how to perform an in-depth analysis on your technical SEO elements.

It’s important to note that Goranks’ SEO tools can help you identify some of the elements we have to cover (review the sections below), however to truly understand what each element means you need to know how they work individually, how it can affect your site’s performance, and how it can affect your list ranking.

1. Check the Search Console

A lot of webmasters don’t realize that Search Console has some pretty powerful insights that are useful for troubleshooting issues and improving your site’s visibility.

For example, you can get very useful information like sections that are blocked, crawling errors, and which characters are not allowed in URLs.

The Search Console section is customizable and can help you implement strategies where you can set priorities based on priority, URL inspection, and search for the Google Index.

2. Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides a lot of valuable information regarding where your visitors are from, device types used, bounce rates, and much more. Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a great tool that allows you to implement scripts, manage them, and set up Analytics tracking. Google Tag Manager will also tell you anything that’s been blocked in your site.

3. Use Your Technical SEO Tool to Crawl For Errors

When we say crawled errors, this doesn’t mean your site got text errors, plugins causing issues and other technical elements from third-party scripts.

Crawl errors are when Googlebot reported broken URLs on your website. While these errors can be a result of some developer mistakes with URLs, you should also check if URL structure is in order.

4. Plugin Performance

You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to optimize your plugins.

5. Robots.txt

A robots.txt file allows you to allow or disallow search engines to crawl specific pages, folders, and sites within your site.

6. Check for Broken Links

Broken links are links on your website that are no longer working. Google will see this as 404 error. You should look for 404 errors and 301 redirects.

7. Site Speed

Site speed is an important factor in SEO. You can use tools like Pingdom, PageSpeed Insights, and GT Metrix to analyze your site’s speed.

8. Server Response Time

Your server response time can have an impact on your site’s load time.

9. Check for HTTPS

Users are becoming more aware of Google’s use of HTTPS as the next ranking signal. You should check if your site supports HTTPS.

10. Site Structure

Site structure refers to how your site is built. You should make sure your site structure is user-friendly.

11. Redirects

Redirects are important in SEO as they tell search engines about the URL change. There are two types of redirects: 301 and 302. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect, while a 302 redirect is a temporary redirect.

12. Page Titles

Page titles are one of the most important SEO elements. You should make sure your page titles are user-friendly, relevant, and keyword-optimized.

13. Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are short descriptions of your pages. They are very important as they allow search engines to understand what your page is about.

14. Meta Keywords

Meta keywords are keywords that describe your page. You should make sure your meta keywords are keyword-optimized and relevant.

15. Check Internal Links

Internal links help users understand site structure. You should make sure your internal links are relevant and keyword-optimized.

16. Check External links

External links help search engines understand your site structure. You should make sure your external links are relevant and keyword-optimized.

17. Check Headings

Headings help search engines understand what your page is about. You should make sure your headings are relevant and keyword-optimized.

18. Check Image Alt Txt

Image alts txt help search engines understand what your page is about. You should make sure your alt texts are relevant and keyword-optimized.

19. Check Server Security

Server security is one of the reasons why your site is slow. You should make sure your site is secure

20. Check the Website Sitemaps

Sitemaps help search engines crawl your website. You should make sure your site has sitemaps.

21. Check Your Site Indexation

You should make sure your site is indexed. You can verify your site with Google Search Console.

22. Check Social Media Pages

Social media pages help search engines understand your site structure. You should make sure your social media profiles are optimized and linked back to your site.

FAQs

How long does a technical SEO audit take?

A technical SEO audit can take anywhere from a few days to several months to complete.

It’s best to start small and build a complete technical SEO audit in-house before outsourcing.

If your technical SEO audit is only a small part of your overall SEO strategy, just consider the best starting point for your firm.

Some auditors recommend starting small, with 5 to 10 pages on your website. Then you can slowly work your way up to 50 to 100 web pages. Finally, 100+ pages may require a team of auditors to complete the audit.

Is technical SEO difficult?

Technical SEO doesn’t necessarily require high levels of user expertise. It’s just that SEO experts need to possess a broad understanding of many core elements of SEO before they begin implementing it.

Technical SEO includes optimizing different elements of your website such as the on-page code, the domain name, robots.txt, server response codes, canonical tags, redirects, meta information, page titles, and page content.

How many types of technical SEO are there?

Technical SEO is a process that covers a wide range of on-page optimization factors.

Technical SEO is a relatively new field, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

That said, here are three key types of technical SEO:

Crawlability: Crawlability refers to the way your website is coded, ensuring that search engines can easily read and index your content.
Indexability: Indexability refers to how well a search engine can find all of the pages on your website.
Site speed: Site speed refers to how quickly your web pages load. Search engines place a higher emphasis on site speed for mobile pages, so your site should load quickly on mobile devices.

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Alvin Silang

Alvin is is an SEO expert in the Philippines who has helped many business owners in growing their site visibility on the Google search engine. If you need his SEO expertise, you can contact him at alvin@vhinzborn.com and you can find him on Linkedin or Fiverr.

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