Routine maintenance is essential to the smooth operation of many things in life, from your car to your marriage. Your website is no exception.
A technical SEO audit is the first step towards a well-maintained website. The process involves thoroughly examining the site to identify any issues, then optimising it for Google indexation.
An audit will highlight the areas where your SEO efforts are currently falling short, and acting on that information can dramatically improve your website’s search performance.
Why is a technical audit important?
A technical audit is fundamental to any digital marketing campaign.
If your website has unaddressed technical issues, this can prevent search engines from indexing it accurately. This will result in poor rankings, regardless of the quality of your content.
You wouldn’t build a beautiful house on bad foundations, and without rock-solid SEO your website will come crumbling down.
Websites need to be indexable, structurally clean and fast.
They need to perform well on mobile devices and offer a seamless user experience.
A high-quality technical SEO audit will provide actionable advice on how your website can be made to meet those benchmarks.
You cannot afford to have a site that isn’t technically sound.
What should you expect from a technical SEO audit?
You can find many companies offering automated SEO audits online.
Generally speaking, these audits consist of a checklist of predetermined criteria in which your website will either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. These audits lack nuance and fail to offer any advice specific to you and your business.
Every business is unique – every website is as well. That’s why my audits are too.
Custom written specifically for your business and your website, they provide a far more tailored list of required fixes than an automatically generated checklist ever could.
What will be addressed in a technical SEO audit?
There are many layers to a website – from the source code hidden under the surface, to the design of the page that your end-user sees.
All of these layers are visible to the Google bots crawling your site. Therefore, each individual layer requires constant maintenance to give search engines the data they need to accurately index your website in the search engine results pages.
In a technical SEO audit, every layer of your site will be analysed through the lens of a web crawler, to ensure nothing is missed.
A standard audit will normally be around 40 pages in length but may be significantly longer if your website is larger and more complex.
The report specifically examines the following aspects of your site, and propose potential improvements:
- Your Google overview: I’ll conduct checks to ensure your Google Analytics, Search Console, Tag Manager and Optimize are installed and configured properly.
- Indexation problems: I’ll identify issues with crawl paths to guarantee pages index correctly. I’ll also identify low quality or ‘thin’ content URLs, which should be excluded from the search engine results pages.
- Crawl errors: I’ll look at your URLs and identify broken or redirected status codes, including 404 error pages, internal 301 redirects and 500 server errors.
- Technical SEO set-up: I’ll check your robots.txt and XML sitemaps to ensure they’re configured correctly. This includes looking at canonicalisation problems and suggesting potential solutions.
- Mobile-friendliness: I’ll run your root domain through a few tools and test responsiveness, page speed and page rendering, ensuring the layout of your content is suitable for users on mobiles. Mobile UX is critical.
- Site security: I’ll look at whether HTTPS is properly implemented on your site, how safe your hosting and server configuration is, your firewalls and recommendations.
- Site architecture: I’ll provide advice on your navigation structure, how you structure folders, your internal linking and any issues with URL formatting. Google doesn’t like complicated – your site architecture should be as logical as possible.
- Landing page technical checks: I’ll ensure your homepage, category, sub-category, product and service level pages are fully optimised and user-friendly. This also includes key landing pages on your site.
- Calls to action and goal tracking: I’ll make sure your site is configured to convert visitors into leads, and that events and goals are monitored inside Google Analytics and Tag Manager.
- Local SEO set-up: I’ll make sure your business schema mark-up is configured correctly, and review your Google My Business (GMB) profile and individual local listings, outlining improvements.
- Backlinks: I’ll conduct an analysis of the quality of backlinks pointing to your site and benchmark these against your key competitors.
Who needs a technical SEO audit?
Solid SEO is imperative if you want your website to rank well.
Every car needs a service – the same goes for every website.
Any business looking to increase online presence, or improve search engine performance, can make use of a technical SEO audit.
It’s a great way to keep track of how your website is performing, and subsequently, help your website index higher in the search engine results pages.
How is a technical SEO audit conducted?
A technical SEO audit, in theory, is simple to perform. The difficulty lies in deciphering and acting on the data gathered.
The process can be broken down into four main stages:
- An initial consultation: At this stage, we’ll discuss you and your company, your objectives, the keywords you’re targeting, and any prior SEO work performed on your site.
- Proposal: I’ll then send an outline of the work required, and the projected cost of this work based on our initial consultation.
- Planning: Once terms are agreed, I’ll begin planning and conducting the technical SEO audit.
- Discussion and implementation: Once complete, we’ll go through the report on the phone and identify if your in-house or agency staff need help addressing the problems raised.
Armed with this information, you can make informed and educated improvements to your website, helping it index better in the search engine results pages. Of course, I am happy to work alongside your existing providers to ensure that your SEO efforts are achieving the results you are looking for.
To find out more about what I can do for you, see my services here