Definition of Technical SEO
Technical SEO is the optimization of a website’s technical infrastructure to improve its visibility and ranking in search engines. This includes analyzing site speed, metadata, sitemaps, robots.txt, canonical tags, URL structure, and other technical factors that impact search engine optimization.
Purpose of Technical SEO Audit
A technical SEO audit is conducted to identify and fix technical issues on a website that could negatively impact its search engine ranking position. The audit helps to analyze and evaluate a website’s technical SEO aspects, and identify issues related to page speed, crawlability, indexing, and overall website performance.
Why Technical SEO Audit is Important
Importance of Technical SEO Audit for Websites
A technical SEO audit is an essential aspect of website optimization as it identifies and corrects any technical issues that may be preventing your website from ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). By fixing such technical issues through a technical SEO audit, you can improve your page speed, increase crawlability, improve the user experience, and optimize the website for search engines, resulting in improved search engine visibility and rankings.
Critical Factors of Technical SEO Audit
The critical factors to focus on during a technical SEO audit include site speed, mobile responsiveness, site architecture, URL structure, internal linking, structured data, metadata, sitemaps, robots.txt, and canonical tags. Identifying and fixing issues related to these technical factors help to improve search engine optimization, and therefore, online visibility.
The Process of Technical SEO Audit
The first step in conducting a technical SEO audit is the preparation phase. In this phase, you should identify the website you want to audit, and create a checklist of the critical technical SEO issues to evaluate during the audit. It would be best if you also ensure that you have access to the website’s Google Search Console account.
On-Page Technical Optimization Phase
In this phase, you evaluate and optimize website elements that are visible to website visitors, such as the website’s title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, page content, and images. Besides, you optimize the website’s load speed and mobile responsiveness.
Off-Page Technical Optimization Phase
The next phase involves evaluating technical aspects that are not visible to website visitors, such as redirects, sitemaps, robots.txt files, duplicate content, and canonical tags. You should also evaluate the website’s backlinks profile, anchor text, and inbound links to optimize the site’s off-page technical SEO aspects.
Tools for Conducting Technical SEO Audit
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that helps to optimize your website’s online visibility. It provides in-depth data on your website’s performance in search results, including the number of clicks, impressions, and rankings for specific keywords.
Screaming Frog is a website crawler tool that helps to identify any technical SEO issues on the website. It crawls the website and identifies any broken links, missing metadata, duplicate content, redirection chains, and other technical issues that may be impacting the website’s ranking on search engines.
Ahrefs is an SEO tool that helps to evaluate a website’s backlink profile. It provides in-depth data on the website’s domain authority, the number of backlinks, anchor text, and backlink sources.
Moz Pro is an all-in-one SEO tool that provides in-depth data on keyword rankings, on-page optimization, and backlink analysis. The tool also features site audit features enabling site crawls and identifying technical SEO issues.
Common Technical SEO Audit Issues and How to Fix Them
XML Sitemap Errors
XML sitemap errors occur when a website’s sitemap has errors like broken links or incorrect URLs, which prevent search engines from crawling the site. To fix the issue, identify and fix the errors in sitemap using google search console.
Broken Links and Redirects
Broken links and redirects are common issues that hurt site ranking in search engine. To fix the issue, use tools like screaming frog to crawl the site, identify broken links or redirects, and then update any broken links or redirects with the correct links.
Duplicate Content and Canonicalization
Duplicate content occurs when multiple pages on a website offer the same or similar content, hurting site ranking on search engine. To solve the issue, identify duplicate content on the website, then use canonical tags to inform search engines which page is the ‘original’ and which are duplicates.
HTTPS/SSL issues occur when a website is not secure, and it hurts the website’s ranking. To solve the issue, secure the website with a certificate, and activate encryption using HTTPS.
Mobile optimization issues occur when a website is not optimized for mobile devices. It impacts user experience on mobile devices negatively. To address the issue, create a mobile-friendly version of the site, with big fonts, responsive design, clickable button, and well-spaced links.
Benefits of Conducting Technical SEO Audit
Improved Site Speed and Performance
A technical SEO audit fixes technical issues on the website, improving site speed and performance, which reduces bounce rates and enhances user experience.
Enhanced User Experience
The audit addresses technical issues that hinder usability on the site. It improves user experience, resulting in increased site engagement, conversions, and eventually, a higher site ranking.
Increased Website Traffic and Rankings
Technical SEO audit improves online visibility, helps Google and other search engines to index the website’s content more quickly, and ultimately lead to higher website ranking, more organic website traffic, and better business growth.
A technical SEO audit is a critical process for ensuring that a website is optimized for search engines, is fast, usable, responsive, and secure. The audit identifies technical SEO issues and helps optimize the site for visibility, resulting in high visibility on search engines, enhanced user engagement, and eventually more leads. Investing in a technical SEO audit is a smart move for any website owner, resulting in positive returns.
1. Do I need a technical SEO audit?
Yes, if you care about your website’s online visibility and performance in search engines, you should conduct a technical SEO audit.
2. How often should I conduct a technical SEO audit on my website?
You should conduct a technical SEO audit at least once per year, or when you’ve implemented significant changes to the website.
3. Can’t I do technical SEO audit myself?
Yes, you can do a technical SEO audit yourself using automated tools like Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, and others.
4. How long does a technical SEO audit last?
The duration of the audit depends on the site size, complexity and the number of issues identified during the audit.
5. How long does it take for optimization to take effect?
It can take a few days or weeks for optimization to take effect. However, the duration depends on the site size, complexity, and the technical issues identified during the audit.