It is important to perform a thorough website technical SEO audit occasionally. For this, you have to begin with the technical SEO since you need to ensure that the search engines can access and index the pages of your website without any hassle.
Website audit is essential for you to identify all the problem areas of your website. These are the areas of your website which need improvement. In order to carry out an improvement for these areas, you need to devise an action plan and work on to correct these areas.
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Website Technical SEO Audit
A website audit involve a thorough analysis involving all the aspects of the website which help determine the visibility of the website in the search engines. This will include, (but is not limited to) indexed pages, page errors, site speed, mobile-friendliness, optimized, updated content, meta data, backlinks, social signals, etc.
The completion of a website audit will help you in a number of ways. Based on the audit, you will be able to:
- Compare the performance of your website to that of your competitors and based on the findings, improve your site to the best of its ability.
- Identify the possible changes required and work out ways to include these changes in your website.
- Get an overall view of the efficiency of your website.
- See through the weaknesses of your website and work out ways to fix these weaknesses.
- Set expectations for the future of website.
Of course, you might not be able to improve all the findings on your SEO audit, all in one go, but you can definitely work out on some factors over a period of time.
Though technical, you really don’t have to be a system administrator or a developer to perform steps.
Is Website Registered In Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tools?
In case you have not done that already, this should be a top priority. For this, you can use the Google search console. It is a free tool that Google provides. Using this tool, all information that Google knows about your website is available in the different tool options and reports.
This will include things such as:
- The number of pages that are submitted to Google and the number of pages that are actually indexed.
- The keywords for which your website is ranking.
- The keywords that generate maximum Google traffic.
- Security as well as the other indexing issues related to your website
- Mobile usability issues
Did You Specified Preferred Domain Within Google Search Console?
Google mostly considers the websites which start with www, i.e., https://www.example.com, and with no www, i.e., https://example.com, as two different websites.
To avoid duplicate content issues, you need to specify the preferred domain in both Google search console and website settings.
Is Robots.txt File Optimized?
All the websites today have a robots.txt. This is necessary to control the pages that should be accessible to the search engine crawlers.
Any mistake made here in the robots.txt file can lead to serious indexing issues. Thus, optimization of the robots.txt file should be on top of your list.
Do You Have SEO Friendly URLs?
Most website development platforms and CMS have this properly configured, but it is still a good practice to review the URL structure to ensure that you have SEO-friendly URLs.
You need to check that the URLs mentioned for every page are unique and properly formatted. For instance:
This is a non-optimized URL: https://www.example.com/12/badformattedurl/121358898. On the other hand, this is a good URL https://www.example.com/good-formatted-url.
Make sure that your URLs are not stuffed with keywords. Ensure these keywords are unique for each page and are less than 255 characters, including the name of the domain.
Are You Using Breadcrumb Menu?
At the top of the page, you can find the breadcrumb menu. This menu helps the users navigate back to the homepage by following the menu links.
Google will always recommend you to have a breadcrumb menu. This makes the process of site navigation pretty simple and easy for the users. Ensure that your breadcrumb menu is configured properly.
Do You Have Structured Data-Enabled?
When you have the structured data markup added to the page, you actually help Google understand the meaning and context of your content. This will add to the additional ranking benefits.
Google employs structured data to accentuate the presentation of a website in the search results as well as for the voice searches. Thus, as part of your SEO audit, you ought to check that you have structured data enabled for:
- Your homepage (logo, website, and company)
- Your breadcrumb menus
- Your articles
- Your products
This tool is helpful in testing whether the existing data on your website is structured or not. You can paste the URL that you want to test and hit the “Run Test” button. Once you do that, Google will analyze the structured data from your page and then present all the errors.
Do You Have Canonical URL Set?
The purpose of the canonical URL is that it helps Google identify the most crucial pages of a website. Web admins make use of it to deal with duplicate content issues.
One of the best SEO practices involves having a canonical URL for every page of the website.
Is Your 404 Page Optimized?
A 404 page is the page that is shown to the users when they reach a page that is not found on your site. You need to optimize this page to ensure a smooth user experience. Don’t worry, this page is straightforward to optimize.
Do You Have XML Sitemap Optimized?
An XML sitemap contains a list of all the pages of your site that Google needs to know about. You don’t have to include all the pages of your website in the XML sitemap, but it should have those web pages that are important for your website.
Do You Have Working SSL Certificate?
A renowned ranking signal is HTTPS. This means that the websites which have a secure certificate installed and have a URL starting with HTTPS have an advantage over the non-secure websites.
If you have a website that is not HTTPS yet, you need to include this in your to do tasks right away. When you make your website HTTPS, ensure that you do it in the right manner. This is necessary to ensure that the ranking of your website is not affected. You can use the free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate.
Is Your Website Fast Enough?
A Google study states that even a one-second delay in the mobile load time can hamper your mobile conversions by over 20%. In my personal experience, I believe that handling the web page speed is indeed one of the hardest things to achieve, especially for non-technical users.
This is also one of the most important SEO factors which need to be addressed successfully. Over time, several studies have been conducted that showcases the importance of page speed, especially for mobile searches. It can affect both your conversion rates and rankings.
You can easily find tools on Google, which will give you recommendations about the speed of the page. However, in general, here are some things that you can do:
- You can compress all the website images by using tools such as WP Compress, ShortPixel, Kraken.io, EWWW, etc. These are helpful tools that can dramatically reduce the size of the image on your website without hampering the quality of the images.
- Consider using a CDN.
- Minimize the HTTP calls by making use of the browser caching and sprites.
- Reduce the CSS and HTML to make the size smaller.
- Employ the use of a caching plugin like WP Rocket.
- Update to the latest version of PHP.
- Update your website and software to the latest versions.
If the above tips sound confusing to you, hiring a developer or an SEO expert to work on your behalf is best. Honestly, it won’t cost you a lot and will also help you improve the rankings of your website in the long run.
Is Website Mobile-Friendly?
Every website that you create must be mobile-friendly. However, there are still several websites, which are not yet optimized for mobile. As a result of this, there is a severe loss of rankings and traffic.
With the Google Mobile-First Index, websites that are not mobile optimized are excluded from the mobile searches. So you need to check your website with a Google Mobile-friendly test tool.
Using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an advanced way of creating mobile pages. This format is supported and created by Google (and other companies).
All the Accelerated Mobile Pages tend to load much faster than the regular HTML pages. However, there are certain restrictions on the functionality you can use with these pages.
There has always been a long debate in the SEO industry as to whether the site owner should adopt the Accelerated Mobile Pages on their websites or not.
So, my recommendation for this is simple. If you are a News publisher, you should definitely use the Accelerated Mobile Pages. On the other hand, if you have a corporate website, blog, or eCommerce store, going with the Accelerated Mobile Pages will not benefit you.
Is Website Available In Multiple Languages?
All the websites, which are available in more than one language, ought to have the requisite SEO settings defined in the HTML code. In case you do not do that, Google may even consider your translated content as duplicate content.
Is Website Structure Optimized?
Irrespective of the type of website you own, a few elements are common to all. These elements are basic yet necessary for a good user experience and a better SEO of the site.
You should check all of the following:
- Is the content structure of the website clear?
- Is your content grouped into relevant categories and pages?
- Does the website have a disclaimer?
- Does the website have a contact form?
- Is there a separate contact us option?
- Is there an about page describing the website?
- Are all the important pages linked?
Fix Website Structure
If your website doesn’t make any sense to the users, they will find themselves lost. And so will Google.
To avoid this situation, you need to ensure that your main menu has all the main pages from the website. You can add these to your homepage and footer section.
Further, you can also include a sitemap that explains the structure of your website. For instance, let’s say your website is a pyramid. The main articles on your website should be further supported by the other pages, which target certain keywords.
If your site speed and the site load time are slow, the structure of your website won’t do you any good. Because the load time is slow, people will click off even before seeing the content on your website.
Content SEO Strategy
The content on your website should be fully capable of answering all the questions that a searcher might ask Google. Auditing the content can be tricky since you need to look at the quality of your work and the best on-page factors.
This means that you ought to double-check for all grammar-related issues. You can use Grammarly, TrinkaAI, WhiteSmoke, ProWritingAid, or Ginger to check the pages on your website for all the grammar-related errors so that the content on your website is error-free.
Further, it is good to have an SEO plugin installed like Yoast, Rank Math, SeoPress Pro, or SeoPressor Connect. Using an SEO plugin can ensure that your work is optimized well for the target keywords.
Using long-tail keywords in content is highly recommended as they are easier to rank than one or two words terms.
Evaluate Incoming Links
When you are reviewing the incoming links report, there are certain questions that you need to answer:
- What is the number of unique domains which are linking to you?
- How many of these domains can be regarded as the trusted domains?
- How many of these links are pointing to your homepage?
- How many of these links are pointing to your internal pages?
- Which all of your pages have the most incoming links?
- What is the % of keyword-based links?
- What is the ‘toxic score’ of each link?
Based on the answers received above, you will have to employ some corrective measures to ensure that all of these are included in the action plan taken by you.
For instance, if there are only a few domains which are linked to you, you will need to get the links from the related domains so for this you’ll need to create a list of all the possible website that you need to use for guest blogging or the blogger outreach campaigns.
If you do not have the links from the trusted domains, you can get in touch with the leaders in your niche and let them know about your existence. Of course, we very much agree that this is easier said than done, but please know that if you are noticed by one big fish, you naturally have more chances of surviving in the pot.
In case all of these links are pointing to the homepage, you will need to ensure that the links are pointing to the internal pages as well. To do this, you need to build more links to the internal pages.
It is not good that all links are keyword-based. It needs to look more natural by combining anchor links with a domain name, your full post title, and things like ‘click here,’’ link’ etc.
Links play a pivotal role if you want the rankings of your website to be really high. However, you don’t have to go and build links like crazy. Rather, you must focus and divert your efforts in building good websites which have good content to ensure that the links flow naturally.
Perform Website Technical SEO Audit Conclusion
Do you have a website of your own? Are you seeking ways in which you can improve the ranking of website? Have you made use of all the probable ideas, yet can’t figure out what really is missing in your website?
If this sounds familiar to your situation, it is time, you plan on a website audit. If you have followed all the steps listed above, you have definitely incorporated many changes in your website, and these changes will sooner or later improve the ranking of your website.
A complete and comprehensive SEO audit is a much lengthier process. This can take somewhere between a few hours to a few days depending on the size and volume of your website. However, this is a perfect process to kick start any new SEO campaign and get a feel of how your site is currently set up.
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