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2022's Ultimate Technical SEO Audit Guide You Can’t Ignore

2022's Ultimate Technical SEO Audit Guide You Can’t Ignore

To be seen and counted in the digital marketing place, in the ever-going competition, you need to be at the top of your game. SEO is a huge contributor to a website’s success and is one factor that can’t be pushed aside. 61% of marketers feel the same. Your website may be well made but with shoddy SEO, you will not be able to compete.

What Is a Technical SEO Audit?

You have to clinch it that your content and website are positioned high on the search engine results page (SERPs) on Google.

A technical SEO audit is a process during the course of which technical aspects of your website’s SEO are checked. The health of the site is reviewed and determines what fixes are needed to improve it.

Search engine bots crawl your pages for different parameters before ranking your website in search results.

When Should I Perform an SEO Audit?

A regular SEO is indispensable and essential to keep up with the updates search engine demands.

  • Search algorithms are constantly changing. Your SEO needs to keep pace
  • Your competitors are racing ahead to better rankings
  • Old content needs updates to stay relevant
  • As the rules keep changing, you need to adapt to new SEO strategies and avoid any red flags
  • Worst case scenario; some elements on your website may be horribly fragmented playing havoc with the flow of traffic to your website
  • It is a good practice to have mini-audits monthly as the algorithms are evolving
  • A full audit must be done every 4-5 months or after any major changes to your website

Technical SEO Audit

Why Use a Checklist

An outstanding technical audit inspects a multitude of concerns in many areas. If you don’t keep track, you might not recollect what has been accomplished- and what is yet pending to be done. Checklists are the answer to resolving this complexity. They may be considered as tools with a lot of pluses.

The checklists are:

  • Comprehensive

It is possible to discover obvious technical problems present in a site without a checklist. Using one is a methodical approach, one that allows you to tick off the relevant checkboxes as you advance.

  • Productive

Without a checklist, working becomes a mess. At each step, you are faced with the question of what to do next. A checklist answers this.

  • Understandable

Unfortunately, a newbie cannot soak in your intuition! By rigorously underscoring your work with a checklist allows you to delegate audits.

Audits are as worthwhile as the impact they produce. The real job commences after the evaluation is done. Confer with your team with what you have uncovered and get down to resolving them.

A pertinent question here is, “Can we come up with an audit that ensures fixing issues revealed?” A well-drawn checklist recognizes technical issues and how these become business concerns. It renders technical audits swifter, effective, and impactful.

Conduct a Technical SEO Audit - 11 Steps

1. Start your audit with a crawl

This is unquestionably the most important step of the SEO audit. There are many tools to help out here- SEMrush, SpyFu, DeepCrawl, and more. For this demonstration, we will use Ubersuggest.

Technical SEO Audit

Crawling is a practical means of pin-pointing problems with your website, such as low word count, unlinked pagination pages, duplicate content, and excessive redirects. At the bottom of the page, you will find very useful, “Top SEO Issues.”

Technical SEO Audit

If you discover anything here, click on it for more details.

In short, crawling your website as a start point gives you a great insight into how Googlebot is crawling your site.

2. Review Sitemap

The sitemap of your website is an exceptional entity. It passes on search information to search engines about website structure helping them in discovering new pages. Without a sitemap, a website is absolutely not SEO ready.

Ensure your sitemap is:

  • Clean: Errors in the sitemap will not do whatsoever. URLs and redirects that can hamper indexing should be removed.
  • Concise: Your sitemap should be short and crisp. If it exceeds 50,000 URLs, Google will not crawl it.
  • Up-to-date: Content updating on the website is very desirable as and when published. The new content will be discovered by search engines faster.
  • Register with Google Search Console: Google needs to know about your sitemap. There are two ways to pass this info across; manually or by including in the robots.txt file.

Technical SEO Audit

3. Check that the site is indexable

In step 1 we have analyzed if your website is crawlable by Googlebot. The next step is to understand if the site pages are being indexed. Many ways to discover this are at your disposal. Looking at the Google Console Search coverage report, a page by page status of your website is viewable.

Technical SEO Audit

From this report card, you can see:

  • Errors: 404s, redirect errors
  • Valid with warnings: Pages are indexed but attached to warnings
  • Valid: Successfully indexed pages
  • Excluded: Pages excluded from indexing for reasons that pages are redirected or blocked by the robots.txt file

Indexability can also be examined by running a crawl of your site using a dependable tool such as Screaming Frog.

Technical SEO Audit

The last two columns displayed give you the indexability status of page URLs.

Indexability: This shows whether the URL is indexable or non-indexable

Indexability status: here, you will get to know the reasons why a page cannot be indexed.

4. Make sure only one version of your site is browseable

It is vital to ensure that only one version of your website is browsable. If your website does have different versions, mixed signals are sent to the search engines confusing crawlers as to which is the correct one. The result, search engines won’t know how to show your site and will refrain from doing so affecting rankings.

This sort of doubt can be because of conflicting mobile and desktop versions or HTTP and HTTPS versions. The technical audit should clean up such issues.

5. Check Internal Links

If your website is built with a logical hierarchy, you can reap rich rewards as rankings go. This is a compelling reason to check both internal and external links. Deletion or moving a web page can also result in broken links.

What internal linking features should be checked during the technical SEO audit?

  • Click depth: This is a measure of how many clicks it takes for any page to come back to the homepage. The fewer, the better. Ideally, it should be below 3. To determine this, use WebSite Auditor, look at Site Structure, and then to Pages. One of the columns reveals click depth.
  • Broken Links: Broken links erode the crawl budget. They also can baffle visitors to your site. Such links are definitely bad for your site. Broken links can be discovered in WebSite Auditor, All Resources dashboard. Follow Internal Resources. Sorting the list by HTTP status code to uncover the broken links.
  • Orphan pages: These are the pages that have no link to any other page of your site and can pose a problem for search engines to find them. Orphan pages can be discovered in Site Structure of WebSite Auditor by going to Pages. Follow the Rebuild Project tab, then Search For OrphanPages.

Technical SEO Audit

6. Check Mobile-friendliness

52% of internet traffic globally now originates from mobile devices. So making sure that your website mobile-friendly has taken top importance.

Last year Google rolled out their mobile-first indexing in keeping with how users are engaging with online content.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, a free tool checks your page’s mobile responsiveness. If your website is not mobile compatible, do it with haste. Many of your competitors have already gone mobile-friendly in all probability leaving you behind. You are missing out on a lot of traffic.

Technical SEO Audit

7. Audit page speed

It is a confirmed fact that site speed is pivotal for Google rankings.

Technical SEO Audit

A site that loads fast delivers a better user experience than a site that loads slowly.

There are a bunch of tools available to find loading speed. We will use Ahrefs Site Audit.

Site Audit>Internal Pages>Performance will uncover speed issues on your website. 

Technical SEO Audit

To narrow it down to which pages exactly are loading slowly, just click on the item.

Technical SEO Audit

8. HTTPS Content

70% of Google Search results on the first page are HTTPS sites.

Technical SEO Audit

If your site already is HTTPS you want to check for known issues during your technical audit.

So what are these common HTTPS problems?

  • Redirects, canonicals, and links: All the redirects, links, and canonicals on your site should point to pages that are HTTPS. Crawling is also adversely impacted by redirects. That is because your crawl budget is expended every time a Google bot encounters a redirect.
  • Mixed content: This problem crops up when pages that are secure loads insecure content such as videos and images. This compromises page security. It can go as far as preventing the page from loading a whole page or the content which is unsecured. To inspect for this in WebSite Auditor, enter Site Audit>Pages With Mixed Content Issues and check for mixed content.

9. Use Analytics to Compare Site Metrics

An important check is whether your analytics utility is rendering accurate and live data. Assuming it is, then the installation of the code is correct. This has to be probed in the course of the technical audit.

The service once up and running, cross-examine the data with the results from “site:domain name” search results. The number of pages must be equal in the two cases. If this is not the case, then some pages are not properly taking crawl requests.

The bounce rate is also checked by Google Analytics. This rate should be low. A bounce rate that is high is indicative that visitors are not finding what they seek on your site. To reduce this rate, your pages need optimization and page load speed too.

The MozBar also reveals many SEO details. It highlights links like no-follow, follow, internal, and external.

Technical SEO Audit

10. Conduct backlink audit

For any website to be a success, it is hugely dependent on backlinks. No wonder they are key to a successful technical audit. They tell search engines the value of your website content is to users.

In an off-site SEO, crawlers are not restricted to just hyperlinks.

The backlink audit is best accomplished using the Ahrefs tool. It will give you a good clue about the types of backlinks going to the website. Ahrefs can also help in figuring out areas where more links of high-value are needed. The backlinks of your competitors are also reflected and you should better it. The same holds good for keywords your competition is ranking for.

The social media platforms favored by the target audience need to be followed too. Persons interested in the content may desire to link up. This will generate backlinks.

Social media, no doubt, has a major role in SEO efforts and cannot be neglected.

11. Re-Crawl the website

The purpose of a technical SEO audit is to dig out what needs to be fixed. Then comes the actual fixing of the issues uncovered by the audit. That being accomplished, you need to have your website re-crawled so that changes and fixes made are taken into effect immediately.

Technical Audit Tips

  • Make a copy

The checklist template is available to the public as “view only.” To put it to use practically, you need to make a copy.

Technical SEO Audit

  • Mark each row with a status

Mark each issue uncovered with a Pass, OK, or failed tag. The first two are self-explanatory. Where a Fail occurs, there are issues still to be ironed out.

When an issue is updated, also updated are the grades for Cause and Outcome. If an Issue score is Fail, the Cause and Outcome will also Fail.

Technical SEO Audit

Technical SEO Audit

  • Find the answer quickly

Even if this is the first time going a technical SEO audit, you can still use this sheet. To make it faster to start, we have added a Start Here column. For beginners, it may be challenging to find relevant information. The Start Here column will furnish these details.

Technical SEO Audit

  • Use the structure to make a recommendation

If the person responsible for analyzing the audit results is you, getting a high-level overview quickly is desirable. Using the sheet structure, simplify the view by filtering Issue rows.

Outcomes and Causes, when filtered, give the quick-and-dirty summation of sité weaknesses and strengths. That is what the auditor is most interested in for a completed audit.

Technical SEO Audit

 

  • Filter to see related tasks

If you are the one auditing, you would wish to get it done quickly. Take advantage of the sheet structure to group things. For instance, filtering the Where column for Google Search Console will group all Issues for that tool at one go.

Technical SEO Audit

Conclusion

Search Engine optimizers debate the many various tools available for conducting an SEO audit. But all agree that you need to audit your SEO performance to keep up.

What we have listed above, if followed, will see a jump in your rankings. Technical SEO audits need to be performed at regular intervals to keep the website in fine shape.

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