How to Perform a Technical SEO Audit for Your Website
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for any website that wants to remain competitive in the online world.
As an integral part of your online marketing strategy, SEO should not be taken lightly.
That’s why regular SEO audits, including xml sitemap reviews and site audits, are an important part of staying ahead.
If you’re new to SEO, you might be unsure on how to perform a technical SEO audit for your website that involves checking for errors, duplicates, and warnings.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you optimize your website for search engine bots and clicks!
In this blog post, we’ll be providing you with all the information you need to carry out a successful technical SEO audit, including sitemaps.
As we take you through each step, you’ll understand how to identify SEO issues and fix them to optimize your website’s performance. So, put on your SEO glasses and let’s get started!
A technical SEO audit is an analysis of a website's infrastructure and code from an SEO perspective.
It helps identify any issues that might be preventing the website from appearing in search engine results or harming its rankings, such as problems with sitemaps and search engine bots.
What is a Technical SEO Audit?
A technical SEO audit is an evaluation of a website’s technical components to ensure search engine optimization.
The main focus of a technical SEO audit is to identify and address any issues that may prevent the website from ranking well in a search engine’s results page,
including checking for things like broken links, slow loading times, crawl errors, duplicate content, and xml sitemap errors, among many other factors.
The process involves both manual and automated tools to identify any potential problems with the website’s structure, code, content, and sitemaps that might be causing warnings or preventing search engine bots from accessing your site.
The benefits of performing a technical SEO audit on your website can be significant.
By taking the time to identify and solve any issues that could be affecting search engine visibility, you are essentially giving yourself a greater chance of success when it comes to online visibility.
Identifying problems with clicks or sitemap errors, for example, can give you a better understanding of how to optimize your site for search engines.
Of course, there are some disadvantages as well, such as the cost of the tools and resources needed to perform the audit and the time required to complete it.
Whether or not investing in a technical SEO audit is worthwhile will depend on your individual situation.
However, being aware of the potential issues, such as sitemap errors or inadequate search engine bot accessibility, that may be hindering your website’s performance is critical for ensuring optimal organic search performance over time.
In order to ensure optimal organic search performance over time, it is essential to create a hierarchy of bot accessibility that will allow for a comprehensive evaluation of any potential issues that may be hindering your website's performance.
Whether or not you choose to invest in a technical SEO audit for your website, it's important to understand what these types of audits can do for you in order to make an informed decision about how you want to improve your website’s presence in the search engine results page.
Understanding this can help you decide if investing in a technical SEO audit would be beneficial for your long-term online visibility goals.
Now that we have discussed what is involved in a technical SEO Audit, including sitemaps and search engine bots, let's dive into how they can help your website specifically.
How Can a Technical SEO Audit Help Your Website?
A Technical SEO Audit offers numerous benefits to businesses by ensuring their website adheres to best practices and search engine guidelines.
The main benefits of getting a Technical SEO Audit done on a website include identifying issues such as sitemap errors, duplicate content warnings, and search engine bot accessibility.
- Improved search engine visibility: By addressing technical issues, a website becomes more accessible and indexable to search engines, leading to better search engine visibility and rankings.
- Increased organic traffic: With improved search engine visibility comes increased organic traffic, as users are more likely to find and click on the website in search engine results.
- Enhanced user experience: A Technical SEO Audit helps identify and resolve issues that may negatively impact the user experience, such as slow page load times, broken links, and poor mobile optimization.
- Higher conversion rates: An improved user experience, combined with increased visibility and organic traffic, can lead to higher conversion rates and better overall website performance.
- Competitive advantage: A technically optimized website has a competitive edge over websites with technical issues, as search engines tend to favor well-structured and user-friendly websites.
- Better website health: A Technical SEO Audit helps maintain the overall health of a website by identifying and addressing potential issues before they become significant problems.
- Future-proofing: By adhering to best practices and search engine guidelines, a website is better prepared for future algorithm updates and changes in search engine requirements.
- Cost-effective marketing: Technical SEO improvements can yield long-term benefits in terms of organic traffic and visibility, making it a cost-effective marketing strategy compared to paid advertising.
- Improved ROI: A well-optimized website has the potential to generate higher returns on investment (ROI) through increased organic traffic, visibility, and conversions.
- Data-driven insights: A Technical SEO Audit provides valuable insights into a website's performance, which can be used to inform and refine overall digital marketing and SEO strategies.
By conducting a Technical SEO Audit, businesses can unlock the full potential of their website, drive better results, and achieve their online marketing goals while optimizing for clicks and search engine bot performance.
When properly performed, a technical SEO audit can be a very useful tool for improving your website’s search engine visibility and addressing any errors or issues related to sitemaps, search engine bots, and other technical aspects.
Through the process of reviewing your website content, code, structure and more in detail, it can provide valuable insight into areas for improvement.
It can also help you identify problems that might be keeping your website from achieving its full potential, such as core web vitals, crawl budget, and googlebot access.
Diagnose Technical Issues
After understanding how it can help your website, it’s time to diagnose technical issues.
Ensuring that search engines can crawl and index the content of your website is essential to guarantee that visitors will actually see the results you've published.
Identifying any technical SEO issues with the code, page structure, or navigation of a website are first steps in any SEO audit.
In some cases, it might be necessary to add "noindex" settings to pages that should not be crawled by googlebot, in order to save crawl budget.
A site audit should be conducted to identify pages that should have noindex settings added to them, in order to save crawl budget and ensure that Googlebot does not crawl pages that should not be indexed.
This process begins at the hosting level; making sure your website is actually running with as few problems as possible on its current hosting plan.
There should not be excessive loading times or blocked paths for bots when attempting to navigate through a site.
Once setup is secure, you can start diagnosing any other potential issues related to crawler access and compatibility for different devices.
For instance, common issues can include: sub-optimal URL redirects, poor use of titles and metadata tags, duplicate content, missing images or videos, canonicalization issues, and overall messy code.
It's important to check if each of these parameters meet good-practice standards and help both crawlers and users understand what the page is about by looking at their contents.
Tools like Google Search Console and other similar devices can provide useful reports on these factors.
Additionally, there are also well-established solutions such as structured data and rich-snippets that make sure a website displays correctly across all SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
This ultimately helps create better user experiences that result in higher engagement levels from potential customers.
Addressing these kinds of issues will certainly bring improved results from an SEO point of view.
Now that we’ve identified some common technical problems and solutions to address them, our next step should move towards analyzing performance and crawlability - to ensure everything works harmoniously together for the best ranking results across SERPs.
Based on the analysis of performance and crawlability, we can make specific recommendations to ensure the best ranking results across SERPs, such as optimizing page speed, improving website structure, and creating a well-structured XML sitemap.
Analyze Performance & Crawlability
Now that you have diagnosed the technical issues that could be impacting your website’s performance, it’s time to move on and analyze its performance and how accessible it is to search engine crawlers.
Site speed plays a significant role in SEO success. Ensuring your site’s loading times are under two seconds is key for providing an optimal user experience and improving page ranking on search engines.
Take the time to review your page loading times, analyze how you can improve core web vitals, and document these results. Crawlability is just as important as performance when it comes to SEO success.
Taking an analytical approach to look closely at which pages are being crawled and indexed by search engines, understanding the crawl frequency, the type of content being crawled, and any crawl errors will give you insights into areas for improvement.
Search engines like Google typically provide resources for understanding their indexing process and which resources can help analyze this specific data.
For example, Google Search Console provides a report about which pages have been indexed, as well as any potential errors identified in their analysis.
The report provides an analysis of which pages have been indexed, as well as any potential errors that may have been identified, such as broken links, missing meta tags, or incorrect redirects, which could lead to decreased visibility in search engine results and ultimately negatively impact the website's performance.
With this knowledge in hand, you can then get a better sense of where there might be issues preventing crawlers from successfully indexing your website pages;
however, this will require thoughtful interpretation of the information provided in reports and adjusting settings as needed.
Identifying potential problems or opportunities, such as url parameters and homepage status, helps direct the steps you may need to take to optimize the crawling and indexing of your pages.
By analyzing crawl stats, you can gain insight into how search engine bots are crawling your website, which can help you identify any potential issues that may be hindering your SEO efforts and help you optimize your website for better search engine visibility.
By running a coverage report, you can identify any potential SEO issues that may be hindering your efforts and help you optimize your website for better search engine visibility, such as keyword optimization, content optimization, link building, and technical SEO.
When properly analyzed and understood, performance and crawlability reveal valuable insights into how optimized your website is for successful indexing and ranking on search engines – preparing you for the last step of assessing any security or source code-related issues that may exist on your website before finding a way to best resolve them.
- According to SearchEngineJournal, 97% of potential customers search for products or services online before making a purchase.
- Technical SEO audits help websites rank higher in organic search and attract more quality user traffic.
- A study conducted by BrightEdge showed that companies on average saw a 40% increase in organic search traffic after running a technical SEO audit.
Diagnosing technical issues impacting website performance is the first step to ensuring successful indexing and ranking on search engines.
Site loading times must be kept below two seconds for optimal user experience and better page rankings.
Understanding which pages are being crawled, the content that is being crawled, and any crawl errors can provide insight into areas to improve once analyzed with the help of tools like Google Search Console.
Lastly, identify potential security or code-related issues and find a way to resolve them.
Analyze Security & Source Code Issues
Now that the performance and crawlability of the website have been analyzed, it’s time to move on to security and source code issues.
Security is important since a breach can lead to stolen data, increased costs, reputational damage, and embarrassing headlines.
It’s also important to analyze the site’s source code due to potential coding errors that could be causing problems with its structure, load time, and compatibility with various platforms.
First, start by creating a baseline for SSL/TLS. This means assessing the security certificates and making sure they’re proper configured and up-to-date.
Make sure there aren’t any weak or broken links as well as any known vulnerabilities like SQL injection or cross-site scripting.
A good way to do this is to put the site through a vulnerability assessment tool like Qualys or McAfee Secure.
Next, take a look at the source code of the website itself. Analyze its structure for SEO purposes such as meta tags and titles that are properly formatted and optimized for search engines.
Be sure to check things such as keyword targeting, redirects, and structured data if applicable.
Look out for issues such as broken links that can significantly hurt the user experience of your visitors and rankings in organic search results.
Also make sure robots.txt isn't blocking access to assets you'd like indexed.
If you're not seeing the desired results in organic search rankings, it could be due to an error in your robots.txt file, blocking access to assets that should be indexed, resulting in a decrease in visitors and rankings.
By taking the necessary steps to identify any security risks or coding errors that may be causing problems with SEO performance, your website will be well prepared for upcoming changes in search algorithms or even manual penalties from Google due to suspicious activity.
And now that we’ve thoroughly gone through each aspect of technical SEO audit, it’s time explore options to improve ranking and increase traffic by developing suitable strategies tailored specifically for your website.
Recommend Strategies to Improve Ranking & Traffic
Once any security and source code issues have been addressed, it’s time to begin implementing strategies to improve ranking and traffic.
There are a variety of strategies that can be implemented depending on the needs of your website.
It’s important to remember that no single strategy will optimize your website for success; instead, a well-rounded approach should be used in order to maximize results.
On one hand, some may argue that providing quality content is the most effective way of improving search engine rankings and driving traffic.
Writers should focus on utilizing relevant keywords, ensuring all content is unique and building internal linking between pages.
In addition, networking with others in the same industry, desktop, and mobile optimization, as well as monitoring competitors and social media engagement are key components of any successful SEO strategy.
However, another approach is targeting link building opportunities that involve high-quality image sourcing and indexation.
Quality backlinks from sites within a similar niche or industry can greatly improve the search engine ranking of a given page or site.
For example, if a music website was seeking backlinks to their home page, they could reach out to other music websites as link partners or contributors.
Additionally, reputable sources such as high-ranking blogs can be utilized in obtaining quality links.
Regardless of the techniques chosen, it’s important to maintain ethical strategies when attempting to improve a website’s ranking and traffic.
Taking shortcuts by creating poor quality content or utilizing link farms could lead to problems in the long run.
With careful planning and implementation, online businesses can benefit from higher search rankings which result in increased organic traffic and visibility across multiple digital platforms.
After all steps have been taken towards optimizing for improved search engine ranking and increased visibility, it’s time to turn our attention towards resources available for performing an SEO technical audit.
Understanding which tools best-suit the needs of your website is essential for conducting an effective SEO audit that maximizes results from recommended changes, and following an SEO audit checklist can be incredibly helpful.
Resources for Performing an SEO Technical Audit
When performing a technical SEO audit, it is important to have access to the right resources.
A few essential tools for auditing a website include Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, SEMrush, Screaming Frog, and Moz Pro.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a basic yet essential resource for website owners looking to improve their performance in search engine results.
It provides detailed diagnostics data about how Google crawls and indexes your site, including sitemap verification, manual actions responses
(i.e. flags from Google that indicate potential penalties), structured data validations, monitoring of indexed URLs, xml sitemaps, and other factors.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools provides similar services as Google Search Console; however, it is focused on optimizing sites on the Bing search engine instead of Google.
It provides insight into site performance metrics like click-through rates, keyword rankings, and crawl errors.
Additionally, it offers keyword research tools to help with optimizing content accordingly.
SEMrush is an all-in-one SEO suite of tools used to monitor organic rankings and track competitor strategies, providing valuable insights into the competitive landscape in your industry.
It also has many other helpful analytics including backlink analysis, keyword difficulty scores and more.
This tool can be incredibly powerful if used correctly - from diagnosing problems on your site to finding new opportunities to reach potential customers.
Screaming Frog is an SEO spider that crawls websites to find any technical issues such as broken links or incorrect redirects.
It’s an extremely useful tool for uncovering problems that could lead to lower rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
By crawling the entire website it can provide insight into any issues that need to be fixed before you move onto other steps in the process of improving your ranking & traffic performance.
Moz Pro is a collection of powerful tools designed specifically for SEO professionals.
Similar to SEMrush in that it provides analytics related to organic keyword research and competitor tracking but additionally Moz Pro provides its own set of diagnostics related to page optimization that can advise on how best to adjust page titles and meta descriptions for better SERP visibility.
They also have their own link graph feature which provides insights into internal link structure as well as any potential toxic links negatively impacting domain authority scores.
Overall these five tools are essential resources when performing a technical SEO audit - each providing different yet necessary information needed for success in improving your ranking & traffic performance.
A combination of utilizing these sources along with understanding which strategies are proven beneficial will help ensure success for all website owners looking to optimize their website's performance in the search engine results pages.
Common Questions Explained
A technical SEO audit can improve website rankings by ensuring that the structure and underlying code of a website meet best practices.
This includes making sure all pages have titles and meta descriptions, implementing redirects properly, compressing images, checking for indexing issues, and more.
A technical SEO audit not only improves website rankings, but also helps to ensure that visitors are having a positive experience by providing faster loading speeds and easier navigation.
The benefits of performing a technical SEO audit are numerous and can provide invaluable insights into your website’s structure and performance.
A technical SEO audit can reveal any issues that may be impacting your website’s visibility, accessibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).
By regularly conducting an audit, you can help ensure that your site is as well optimized as possible for better search engine visibility.
A thorough technical SEO audit will also enable you to measure how well the overall design and structure of your website are impacting its success.
Identifying any areas such as page speed, coding errors, broken links, missing images or content errors means you can take steps to fix them and optimize your site.
This will not only positively influence your SERP rankings but can also vastly improve user experience on your website.
Another advantage of a technical SEO audit is that it allows you to compare the success of different strategies used onsite, allowing you to track trends and identify opportunities for improvement.
Being able to monitor what works best for your website will allow you to maximize its potential and increase organic traffic to its pages.
In conclusion, performing regular technical SEO audits is an important part of optimizing your website for optimal ranking in SERPs and increasing organic traffic.
An effective audit will lead to the identification of structural or coding issues that may be adversely affecting visibility and usability, whilst enabling you to monitor which tactics are most successful for maximum optimization potential.
The key components of a successful technical SEO audit are as follows:
1. Website crawlability: Does the website have any technical issues which could be preventing crawlers from accessing it?
Is the site mobile-friendly and does it conform to current SEO standards?
2. On-page factors: Are there any missing or duplicate titles and meta descriptions, broken links, and canonicalization issues?
3. Content: Does the content follow guidelines from Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines? Is it keyword-rich and relevant to the user's search query?
4. HTML tags: Are there any missing or duplicate H1, H2, or H3 tags which need to be corrected?
5. URL structure: Are all urls formatted correctly for SEO purposes with relevant keywords in the right format?
6. Sitemap & Robots.txt: Is the website optimized with a proper sitemap and robots.txt file to ensure that web crawlers can access it?
7. Structured data usage: Is structured data markup implemented on all pages of the website in order to ensure that search engines can properly categorize and index them?
8. Rich snippets: Are rich snippets properly implemented to help improve click-through rates from organic search results?
9. Site speed & performance: Is the website fast enough to keep users engaged, and is there an effective caching mechanism in place to optimize page loading times?
10. Analytics & insights: Can analytics tools such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics provide useful insight into how the website is performing in terms of organic traffic, rankings, and CTRs?
All these elements contribute towards making a technical SEO audit successful, so make sure you go through each one carefully before implementing changes on your website!
A technical SEO audit should be conducted on a regular basis to ensure that your website is performing optimally.
The frequency of the audit will depend on the size and complexity of your website, as well as the amount of changes that are made to it.
For smaller websites with minimal changes, a technical SEO audit should be conducted at least once a year.
This will help to ensure that any technical issues that may have arisen since the last audit are addressed.
The answer to this question depends on the size and complexity of the website in question.
If the website is relatively small and straightforward, then a technical SEO audit can be conducted by an experienced SEO specialist or web developer.
However, if the website is large and complex, then it is best to hire a professional SEO agency to conduct the audit.
A professional SEO agency will have the expertise and resources to conduct a thorough and comprehensive technical SEO audit.
Prioritizing technical SEO issues is an important part of any SEO strategy. Technical SEO issues can range from simple to complex and can have a significant impact on a website’s performance.
It is important to prioritize these issues in order to ensure that the most important ones are addressed first.
When prioritizing technical SEO issues, it is important to consider the potential impact that each issue may have on the website’s performance.