Walkthrough – How to Make a Technical SEO Audit for Your Site
What is SEO Audit?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Audit is an evaluation of search engine friendliness of a website in some specific areas.
It identifies issues that need improvement and helps to keep a website up-to-date with newest developments in a search marketing. General SEO Audit strategy usually includes 4 important parts:
- Technical Analysis
- On-Page Analysis
- Off-Page Analysis
- Competitive Analysis and Keyword Research
When is SEO Audit needed?
Nowadays SEO industry is changing rapidly, as the content requirements set up by Google are quite high and are getting higher every day. So it is becoming more and more important to keep an eye on the website’s health.
Latest investigations recommend a quick SEO Analysis every month and in-depth full SEO Analysis once a quarter or at least twice a year, for the website to be competitive and well-visited. Also, it is important to do an SEO Audit at the beginning of a new project or before the first website release.
Why is Technical SEO Audit important?
As a part of a full SEO Audit, the technical analysis is a first thing to do, for it shows whether the website is working properly. If the website has a lot of technical issues, it affects general website performance and a number of visits.
Technical SEO Audit is aimed to ease the crawl and indexing the website in search engine, find broken links, improve rankings and optimize the overall speed of the website work.
It is a basis of the SEO Audit strategy. Technical analysis can be compared to a foundation of a house. If a foundation is bad or broken, everything else will be crooked too.
What is checked by Technical SEO Audit?
- Site Performance
Let’s make a short overview of each of them.
It is important to make sure that the website’s content is available for search engines. When this step contains even one single mistake, the website won’t be crawled by search engines, which leads to the lack of rankings, for nobody will be able to find such a website. This issue, though, is easy to find and fix. Robots.txt Checker tool will find whether there are any pages blocked from crawling.
Accessibility checks up also include an investigation of HTTP Status Codes. Everything is working fine if the response code has the number 200. If a status code returns with 4xx or 5xx, it means something went wrong and had to be fixed.
Canonicalization is another important thing to check under Accessibility point. It is dealing with duplicated pages, like
Canonicalization is a process of creating a redirection of all these duplicated pages to an original one.
Interlinking is a process of creating internal links between all the pages of the website. If some of the pages stay isolated, crawler won’t be able to find them. Which also means visits decrease.
Checking accessibility of the website ensures the visibility of a website in the search engines. The more pages of the website are indexed, the higher is the rating of the entire website and the higher status in a search queue.
There are different tools to check websites indexability, like Google Webmaster. They will point out how many pages of the website are indexed.
- Site Performance
Speed. Is. Important. Nowadays people tend to visit websites via smartphones or tablets, which usually means the usage of a slower mobile internet connection. If the website takes more than 5 seconds to load, nobody will wait. They simply сlick ‘return’ and go to the next search result.
2 Ways to Provide a Technical SEO Audit
SEO is becoming a big part of IT industry. Industry’s ‘big players’ know how important is the upbringing of young specialists with a good insight on SEO tendencies. That is why SEO is not a rare topic for student’s works now. On the contrary, students examine case studies of successful SEO strategies and write analytical works about the industry overall, about how SEO has changed and on a smooth adaptation to these changes. With a lack of knowledge in analytical works, students can use the service StudentShare. It does not only teach you some SEO base and techniques but shows you great examples of well-written works in case you need help and don’t have much time.
The industry is attracting a lot of attention, so SEO specialist becomes a popular and wanted position, even though it demands a detailed, attentive and patient attitude to websites analysis.
There are two main ways to perform a Technical SEO Audit for a website.
1. Order Audit from SEO analyst
SEO specialist is someone who can perform an in-depth investigation, analyze every aspect of the website health, create a report about the issues and make a good plan how to improve them. He surely uses tools and applications, but still, he performs a deep analysis of the reports and creates a strategy to improve the situation.
2. Use automated tools for SEO Audit
There is a number of tools and applications to do Audit. But, we should mention, it is a time-consuming process, that will demand patience, accuracy and strategic thinking. The best thing it can do is to point them out. If you are self-confident enough, go straight to the next point of our article. We will briefly overview the most popular tools and applications to perform Technical SEO Audit.
Tools for Technical SEO Audit
1. Screaming Frog or Xenu
Tools like Screaming Frog and Xenu check how many pages of the website are indexed. They detect issues like as incorrect canonicalization, internal redirects and duplicated pages on different URLs. Screaming Frog is free to use if a website has less than 500 pages. If the website has more pages, you would need either to pay for a Screaming Frog subscription (apr. 126$ per year for unlimited access). Or you can use another tool, like Xenu, which is free of charge.
2. IIS SEO Toolkit
Similarly to Screaming Frog, IIS SEO Toolkit works from the desktop and analyze web site’s how searchable the web site is. Still, it differs a bit. It helps to improve web site’s relevance in search results by recommending how to make the site content more search engine-friendly.
3. SEMrush Site Audit
SEMrush Site Audit advantage is crawling a website from a web browser, creating an online report with potential issues in an easy-to-read format with an option to export and perform offline analysis. They show whether implemented changes had a good or bad SEO impact on the website.
4. Pingdom DNS Check
A helpful tool to avoid crawl errors, check DNS health and whether DNS servers are set up correctly. Easy and quick check up to save nerves and time in future.
Is useful for identifying areas of SEO concern. It checks the architecture of a domain and creates a report on its structure. So, the report will present the information on the server type, operating system, about the installed plugins, etc.
Not a single user will stay on the website that takes ages to load. We mean ‘more than 5 seconds’ time.
A faster website is a website that is crawled more, attracts more visits and has good rankings.
GTmetrix is a free online tool that goes through the page and shows the elements that have to be improved as they are causing a slow load. It also includes the history of a website speed, if used several times.
7. Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools help a lot in defining issues with the on-page, link and technical health of a website. It is good in looking for crawl errors, to have a look on pages indexation, find structured data issues, blocked resources, and many others.
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