If you’re reading this article, there are high chances that you have put in a great deal of effort in creating valuable content driven by your industry-related keywords. Your content is ready to be read by your audience. But since this content will be put on a machine, namely, the Google search engine, you need to make sure that it can be read by search engines as well.
This is where optimizing your content for technical SEO comes in. For it to take place smoothly, you need to be in contact with the developers of your website right from the initial phases. Maintain steady contact with them right from the beginning, rather than reaching out to them only when a technical glitch occurs.
Why You Need a Technical SEO Audit
You want to ensure that your content consistently ranks high. You also know that you cannot make your way forward with stuffing keywords and backlinking from other micro-sites. What you really need is the implementation of the latest developments to optimize your site. So how will a technical SEO audit increase your chances of ranking higher?
Well, it is a process in which you track the technical side of your website’s SEO. Put simply, you’re checking the health of your website and are removing any concerns. The search engines have robots or bots that crawl billions of web pages to find relevant ones. These bots will analyze your pages for a variety of ranking metrics before they actually rank your site.
SEO is an ever-changing domain. Remember that while you are doing everything in your capacity to stay ahead, your competitors are doing the same exact thing! Therefore, it is imperative for you to remain updated with the changes. If you don’t, then you will lose your hard-earned traffic. Everyone knows that Google changes its algorithm more than a few times throughout the year. So, it is essential for you to carry out mini audits every month. A full technical SEO audit should be carried out in a period of 4 to 5 months.
Factors Affecting Your Website’s SEO
The factors that exert a tremendous influence over the SEO of your website can be categorized into:
- Technical aspects, which include things like indexing, hosting, and page loading speed.
- On-page elements, which include things like target keywords, site content, and the like.
- Off-page factors, which include outside references and backlinks to your site from other sites.
All these three factors need to be audited regularly. Doing so will ensure that you are on top of the latest developments in your domain. At the same time, don’t forget to make your website mobile-friendly. Over 60 percent of searches now take place on mobile. Search engines are now giving their complete attention to mobile-optimized sites.
1. Crawl Your Website
Technical SEO audit begins with website crawling. There are many tools you can use for it, like DeepCrawl, Spyfu, or SEMrush. These are handy tools that help you accomplish this job in a short amount of time. For example, the On-Page SEO checker of SEMrush gives you actionable suggestions to enhance critical aspects of your site’s SEO like backlinks, content quality, and technical SEO.
You can use these tools to discover errors like page titles and images, broken links, and poor keywords. You can also find out about duplicate content and unlinked pages. A tool like Google Search Console can enable you to view your crawl budget. It is essentially the number of pages that the search engine is crawling on your website and the frequency with which it is doing that.
2. Do Not Ignore Your Sitemap
The sitemap has the capacity to inform Google about the structure of your site and make them discover different pages. It is crucial to have a sitemap in a solid SEO strategy. You will need to check for the following during your technical audit.
- The sitemap must be devoid of any mistakes. Remove all URLs and redirects that can block the indexing.
- Ensure that the sitemap is concise. Search engines will never crawl a sitemap possessing above 50,000 URLs.
- Add the most recent content to your sitemap. It will help Google to find out new content quickly.
- Allow search engines to discover your sitemap. Specify its place in robots.txt.
3. Recheck the Different Versions of Your Site for Browsability
There should be only a single version of your website that should be browsable. Do not have varied versions of your site at any cost, as you will only confuse the search engine crawlers. If they get confused about the different versions, they won’t be able to let people discover them. It, in turn, will bring down your ranking.
During your technical SEO audit, ensure that there are no mobile and desktop versions of your website. Also, check whether the site uses HTTPs.
4. Assess Internal Links
For raising your ranking, it is essential for your website to be defined by a logical hierarchy. Hence, checking for internal and external links becomes important. As it can be confusing for most, here is a list of factors regarding your internal linking that you should consider during the technical SEO audit.
- Click depth – It shows the number of clicks away a specific page is from the home page. Keep it as low as you can, like below three.
- Broken links – They confuse website visitors and, in turn, waste your budget. Check about your broken links in the Website Auditor.
- Orphan pages – These aren’t connected to any website page. Search engines cannot find such pages. You should definitely find them out and eliminate them.
5. Check the Speed of Your Site
Does your site take more than 5 seconds to load? Well, consider your bounce rate increasing by 90%! Google takes the site speed very seriously while deciding about the rankings. Use Google PageSpeed Insights to check the speed and minimize it.
6. Don’t Forget the HTTPS Content.
Looking for HTTPS issues forms another vital part of a technical SEO audit. Given below are some factors for it.
- Links and redirects – All links and redirects on your website must be geared to the HTTPS pages. However, it is not suitable to take your users through redirects. It can also become problematic for crawling.
- Mixed content – When safe pages load unsafe content, it gives rise to the issue of mixed content. It minimizes page security. Worse, it can even hinder browsers from loading the entire page. Go to Website Auditor and find out all mixed content that you may have. Also, ensure that your website is using HTTPS resources.
7. Check the Site’s Analytics Service
There’s a need to ensure that your website’s analytics service displays accurate data in real-time. Check it when you conduct your technical SEO audit. The tracker code for Google Analytics should be put above each page’s header. After the service is up, monitor the data against the results coming from ‘site:domain name’ results.
You should notice similar pages in both cases. If they are not similar, then it means that some pages are not accepting crawl requests.
8. Conduct a Backlink Audit
Backlinks are crucial for your website’s success. They indicate to Google how valuable your website content is for other readers. Remember that the bot will also check your site for brand mentions. So, you should know all that is happening on your website. Use tools like Ahrefs to conduct a backlink audit. It provides a good idea about the kinds of backlinks that go to your website. It will also help you discover the areas that require more high-value links. Use this tool to check the number of backlinks your competitors have and try to get ahead of them.
After putting your heart and soul into creating quality content, you certainly do not want it to go to waste. It is why a technical SEO audit is so important. Implement the tips mentioned above to let the search engine discover your website and bring it to the limelight.