- 1. What is a Technical SEO Audit?
- 2. What Are The Key Elements Of a Technical SEO Audit?
- 3. How To Perform a Technical SEO Audit?
- 4. Why is Technical SEO Important?
- 5. What To Expect During And After a Technical SEO Audit?
- 6. What Are The Technical SEO Audit Tools?
- 7. How Long Does a Technical SEO Audit Take?
Technical SEO Audit Checklist
- 8.1. Missing or Wrong Canonicals
- 8.2. Title and Descriptions
- 8.3. Multiple or Missing H1
- 8.4. Orphaned Pages
- 8.5. Indexed Pages
- 8.6. Mobile Friendliness
- 8.7. Sitemap
- 8.8. Server Uptime
- 8.9. Pagespeed
- 8.10. Crawling Issues
- 8.11. Duplicate Content or Pages
- 8.12. Status Codes
- 8.13. URL Structures
- 8.14. Pagination
- 8.15. Broken Links
- 8.16. Missing Alt Text
- 8.17. Page Depth
What is a Technical SEO Audit?
When ensuring that the technical elements of a webpage are acting effectively, it is important that a technical SEO audit is performed on web pages and websites as a whole. A technical SEO audit is responsible for ensuring the health and effectiveness of the technical SEO elements that are on a webpage and reports back what needs to be adjusted and fixed on certain pages. For those who are not sure what elements fall under the technical SEO umbrella, the definition of technical SEO and the technical SEO elements that fall within this category refers to any performance metrics on a webpage that influence the ability of a search bot to crawl a page and these elements greatly influence the user experience of those who visit the website.
Technical SEO elements are therefore understood to be the different web page structures that affect how a crawler and users perceive a website or web page. If these search engine crawlers find technical issues with a page, this may cause your rank on the search engine results page to lower, leading to less traffic and fewer organic leads. Technical issues also cause users to become irritated and impatient and technical issues may be the leading cause and reason why a user leaves a page without completing an action or making a purchase. It is therefore very important that any webpage receives a technical SEO audit before being launched so that these potential issues are resolved!
What Are The Key Elements Of a Technical SEO Audit?
One of the most important technical SEO factors to consider and check is server performance. Server performance refers to a measurement of how well a server is performing and this measurement is made up of a number of different SEO metrics that contribute to the health and effectiveness of a webpage. There are many different server performance metrics that are measured and need to be audited though the majority of them have to do with the time that it takes for a page or website to load. This speed contributes to both how a search engine crawler perceives your webpage and slow times ensure negative ranking, and these metrics also influence the user experience. Many web pages that have a slow server often lead to users getting impatient and backtracking off of the page.
Metadata refers to tags that are there to provide information and data relating to what your page is about. This information is incredibly important as this data makes it easier for search engines to be able to rank and determine what your page is all about. These metadata tags are vital when it comes to SEO and having tags that are correctly aligned with the information on your page can make all the difference when it comes to how a page will rank on search engines like Google. Any good technical SEO audit will ensure that these elements are all in working order.
Website structure refers to how a website is linked together through its various web pages and links. When it comes to technical SEO, it is important that search engine crawlers are able to quickly and easily move through a website through the various subpages. It is therefore very important that these links be working effectively, with no issues or broken links from page to page. Website structure is not only important for web page crawlers but it greatly affects the overall user experience.
Crawlability and Indexability
These two elements influence a search engines ability to view certain aspects of a web page and they impact how well a search engine crawler is able to analyse and make its way through a web page. Crawlability refers to how well a search engine crawler is able to make its way through a website and if no issues are found, a crawler should be able to quickly and easily inspect and go through each of the different links and subpages on a website. If there are issues like broken links or even dead ends, this affects the crawlability of a webpage and rankings on SERPs (Search engine results pages) may be affected.
Indexability refers to whether or not a search engine is able to easily analyse a page and add it to its index. Things like broken URLs and improper redirects can impact the ability of a search engine to index certain pages on a website which causes index issues. This aspect influences how a page is ranked on search engine results pages and may cause websites to rank lower on these pages.
How To Perform a Technical SEO Audit?
One of the basic technical SEO must-dos to ensure you have a good website according to users and search engine crawlers is to perform an audit on your website. Performing a technical SEO audit should not be done manually, and there are a variety of different technical SEO checklists that can ensure your page remains free of technical SEO issues. The following are just a few technical SEO ranking steps to take into account if you are hoping to analyse whether or not your website has any technical SEO issues.
- Crawl your website: To begin, you have to get an idea of what issues plague your website and this information can be found by completing a crawl. There are many different tools that are able to mimic a search engine crawl bot and determine what issues a website has and how to fix them. These issues could include broken links, issues with title and meta tags and other problems that could affect the overall user experience or the ability of a search engine crawler to crawl a website.
- Check your web page structure or sitemap: A sitemap is able to clearly lay out the first of your website and helps make sure that navigation is quick and easy. The structure of your website influences how a crawler is able to make its way through a page and follow on to other links or subpages and it is very important that you have a clean, precise and up to date sitemap.
- Test site speed: One issue that is perceived to be an important parameter is the site speed. This is impacted by the performance of the server and can influence both user experience and how quickly and easily the search engine crawlers can make their way through your page. Slow site speed is one of the main reasons for users leaving a web page without even viewing the content. We have all been in a position to get fed up with the slowness of a website or web page and have given up and gone in search of another product or other information. To avoid this, it is important that the speed of a webpage is thoroughly checked and that a technical SEO analysis of server performance is completed before launching a website.
The above are just a few of the different tests and checks that need to be undertaken to ensure that you technical SEO elements on your page do not cause any issues. There are many different tools that are able to check and analyse the above issues and provide users with a comprehensive and detailed report that also includes solutions to the various issues.
As the different technical SEO ranking factors change and develop, it is becoming increasingly more important to keep up with these developments. It may be pertinent to entrust your technical SEO checks to a technical SEO expert team as we have here at Markethinkers to ensure that all issues are solved without compromising the effectiveness of your webpage.
Why is Technical SEO Important?
Using technical SEO techniques is extremely important as it impacts both the user experience as well as how a search engine ranks and perceives your webpage. When it comes to user experience, technical issues are one of the leading reasons why users will boomerang back to the search engine results page without properly viewing your page and offers. Whether it is the fact that some of the links are broken or lead to incorrect information or the fact that your page is taking too long to load, users have thousands of other search results to choose from and will not hesitate to backtrack off of your page fs there are faults affecting the experience of a user.
Along with the experience of the users who make their way to a webpage, if search engine crawlers identify technical issues within a web page and are unable to easily crawl through a website, do not expect to be ranked well.
What To Expect During And After a Technical SEO Audit?
Doing a technical SEO audit on a webpage or website ensures that you are checking and analysing whether or not there are any technical issues with a page that will affect the overall user experience and how easily search engine crawlers are able to make their way through your page. The final results that are given by the audit differ according to the tool that you use but the technical SEO report is generally designed to provide you with feedback and solutions to technical issues that may plague your webpage.
If you are unsure about the technical issues that are uncovered during an audit, it may be best to seek advice and skills from a team of experts who know how to solve these types of issues. here at Markethinkers, we pride ourselves on having a team of skilled experts who are able to provide technical SEO services to quickly identify and solve issues that would have been identified through a technical SEO audit. With a straightforward and repeated technical SEO guide that is aimed at solving issues and problems quickly and without hassle, you can be sure that our team is the perfect fit for those looking to solve their technical SEO issues.
What Are The Technical SEO Audit Tools?
Google Search Console
This tool was built by Google to sort through and report back on any technical issues relating to web page traffic and performance. When using the Google search console tool, you gain a better understanding of how Google views your website and what you can do to improve how it views your page, ultimately working to increase your rankings on search engines. Though this tool uses the ranking factors that are most important and noticed by Google, it is definitely a tool that would also help improve your rankings on other search engines.
GTmetrix is a technical SEO tool that is used mainly to analyse and monitor the speed of a web page. This free tool provides an analysis of issues that it picked up that have to do with the speed of a web page and also provides potential solutions for these problems. When it comes to measuring and analysing the speed of a web page, the GTmetrix tool is one of the best in the business!
One of the most popular free technical SEO tools is Screaming Frog and this is a tool that is known for its speedy audits and many different and uniquely designed features! One of the most popular elements to make sure you use is the SEO Spider tool, which is a type of web page crawler that will work through your page and discover faults within the content and structure. This replica of Search engine crawlers and bots ensures that you are able to see and pick up on everything that they do!
SEMRush Site Audit
The SEMRush site audit tool is a tool that combines the technical SEO skills needed to solve problems with a powerful and effective website crawler that is able to crawl through your webpage and pick up on any issues that a search engine crawler may find. The SEMRush site audit tool is able to easily show and determine where any issues lie, ensuring that you are equipped with the information to solve any issues or problems. This tool is definitely worth using when looking to audit a page and find technical SEO issues.
Ahrefs is one of the top technical SEO tools around and in particular, the Ahrefs site audit tool is one that is used by many different companies to analyse and enhance the technical ranking elements that are influencing your webpage. While the audit tool is popular, there are many different kinds of other elements on Ahrefs that can be used when you purchase an Arefs subscription, you will be able to see your Google search console data directly, track projects and even spot changes in technical SEO metrics. Ahrefs is used by many different businesses and is considered to be an advanced technical SEO tool, and even though it is a paid tool, it is extremely popular.
If technical SEO is what you are looking to improve on your webpage, Deepcrawl is the tool that would be best suited to your requirements. Deepcrawl is a tool that has been specifically designed with functions that aim to improve the technical issues that may plague your web page by going behind the scene and noting any issues with any of the technical elements on your page that may impact the overall user experience. This is extremely important as technical SEO is one of the main things that search engine crawlers and bots will pick up on when crawling your page.
Ocrawl has an SEO audit tool that is able to replicate search engine crawlers to find the issues before a website is launched. This SEO audit tool provides you with an accurate and in-depth analysis of a webpage and can be used to point out all of the technical flaws that may be present on your web page. Having this information on hand and being able to sort through each of the issues that are found ensures that your web page will not be negatively affected by technical problems! This ensures that both search engine crawlers and visitors to your page will not come into contact with any negative technical SEO issues that may negatively affect your rank and the experiences a user has on your page.
How Long Does a Technical SEO Audit Take?
The time that it takes to complete a technical SEO audit depends on the tools that you use and how large your website is. in General, an audit can take anywhere from around 40 to 60 hours to complete and then you will still have to go and implement and fix any issues that may have been found in the audit. When launching a website and setting goals for the time frame in which you hope to complete certain pages, it is important to take this time into account.
Technical SEO Audit Checklist
Missing or Wrong Canonicals
Missing and incorrect canonical tags can lead to search engines not recognising or indexing your page. There are many audit tools that are able to detect whether there are missing or incorrect canonicals on your website and should be able to determine where they are and how the issue can be resolved.
Title and Descriptions
In order for a search engine to know what your webpage is about and rank it according to the most valuable search enquiries, they need to be able to read the titles and descriptions. These titles and tags should relate to what the content is and how a search query should match this content. These titles and descriptions should not be duplicated, too long or too short as this can cause issues for both search engines and users themselves. Missing titles and descriptions can also lead to issues and so an audit will pick up on any of these technical issues.
Multiple or Missing H1
An H1 tag is used to describe what your page is about and they help to maintain structure when it comes to the arrangement of the content on a webpage. Missing H1 tags or too many tags can lead to confusion, for both the search engine and users who are trying to make their way through a webpage. It is best to use only one H1 tag and follow on with H2 tags after that.
Orphaned pages refer to web pages that are not directly linked to your webpage and can only be reached by using a direct URL. These pages cannot be found by search engine crawlers as they cannot make their way through your website to find them, and they are therefore never indexed. It is important that orphaned pages be removed or linked to the website so that they can be recognised and found easily.
It is important that pages are indexed as this means that any given website or web page is in the database of the search engine. A Technical SEO audit will ensure that each page on your website is indexed correctly, leading to more traffic to your web page.
Many search engines, including Google, rank webpages that are mobile-friendly higher than those that are not! When a search engine detects that a user is using a mobile device, pages that are mobile-friendly will rank higher as opposed to those that are not as a search engine wants to ensure that a users experience is good no matter what device they are using. As cellular technology grows and develops, it is becoming even more important than a web page has a mobile-friendly version!
It is important that a webpage is easy to navigate and having a good and well-structured sitemap of your website helps to make sure that navigation through a webpage is quick and easy. Not only does the sitemap and structure of a webpage affect how a user can navigate through a webpage but it also influences how well a crawler can make its way through a page and follow on to other links or subpages. It is extremely important that a sitemap is clear and stays up to date as a page grows and develops!
Server uptime refers to the amount of time that it takes for a server to be fully up and running and operational. If a server is taking too long to become operational, this could affect the user experience and so it is a metric that is measured by a search engine crawler. If your server uptime for your website is too slow, this is something that will be detected when completing a technical SEO audit as it is a large determiner of performance.
Pagespeed refers to the amount of time that it takes for content on a webpage to load. This element is measured both on the mobile-friendly webpage and on the desktop-friendly one and the score one receives should be no less than 85. A score lower than 85 will cause search engines to flag this element as an issue on the web page which will lower a web pages rankings.
Crawl errors are when a search engine has trouble making its way through a page. The issues that generally crop up when there are crawling problems usually relate to broken links. This means that a crawler, and users, cannot easily make their way through a web page. Your overall goal should be that you are able to easily make your way through your website with no issues relating to missing or incomplete links.
Duplicate Content or Pages
When content is available on many different URLs on a webpage a search engine may not know which page to rank higher on the search engine results page. This may lead to both pages earning a lower score.
HTTP (HyperText Protocol) are codes that are issued by a web server in response to a user’s requests. In other words, every click on a link or every time a URL is typed into a search engine, these actions need a response and this response is requested by sending out the different codes.
3xx Status Codes
HTTP 300 status codes are used to inform users that the resource that they are looking for has been moved. Redirection is incredibly important as it ensures that even when a page or item has been moved, users are still able to find where it is. When it comes to SEO, it is important to never use temporary redirects from pages as this decreases the quality of the content according to search engine bots and crawlers.
4xx Status Codes
The 4xx HTTP status codes are codes that are reporting a page fault. They are there to report that there is an issue with either page or request made. When it comes to SEO, HTTP status codes in the 400s can be detrimental to the quality of your page and if search engine crawlers or bots pick up on any of these codes on a page, they will lower the rankings. It is important to register and fix any of these issues to ensure that a page has a good chance of ranking highly on search engines.
5xx Status Codes
These HTTP status codes are also error codes except that they are there to report server errors and this often makes them harder to fix.
One of the main things to remember when it comes to URL structure is that it should remain as simple as possible. URL structures should be organised in a logical way that would make sense to a user. A URL contains not only important information for the user but also important information for a search engine to use.
Pages can get confusing when they are structured with too much content on them. It is therefore important that pages are consecutively structured and separated. Pagination separates digital content onto different consecutive pages, starting from 1.
Broken links can lead to both the user and a search engine having issues and they should be fixed or removed immediately. Broken links lead users and crawlers to error pages and having these types of issues could be detrimental to a webpages SEO and rank.
Missing Alt Text
Alt text refers to the written text that needs to be added in case of an image for some reason not being displayed. Alt-text is useful for users when an image for some reason or another cannot be displayed and it is also good for a webpages SEO as it gives more meaning to what your page is about! It is important to remember that the more information a search engine crawler can find, the better your page will be ranked. Alt text should be specific and brief to ensure that search engines are not given too much information that could be confused.
Page depth refers to the average amount of pages that are visited by users who make their way to your webpage. Generally, a good page depth is sitting at around 3 but anything less than 5 is also a good number to be sitting at. Page depth analysis is a users experience with a certain page and it is therefore very important to a search engine crawler. Many of the different technical SEO audit tools will be able to pick up on and analyse your page depth and make suggestions if it is too high.