What is a Technical SEO Audit? Its Best Practices

seo technical audit

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What is a technical SEO?

The process of making a website technically strong for search engines and users with the ultimate goal of improving search engine rankings. 

  • Technical SEO makes your website ready for easy crawling and indexing
  • Improves search engine friendliness of your website
  • Improves user navigation of your website

Technical Seo Audit Best Practices and How to Conduct a Technical Seo Audit

When we are about to start a website SEO technical audit, the following factors are the most important to check on 

  • Home Page Canonicalization 
  • Indexation Errors 
  • Crawling Errors 
  • Crawl Budget 
  • Optimizing URLs and URL Structure
  • Website Architecture 
  • Sitemap.xml
  • Robots.txt
  • Meta Tags 
  • Heading Tags
  • Schema Errors 
  • Website Speed Issues
  • Broken Links 
  • 4XX errors 
  • Redirection Issues(chain redirection)
  • Duplicate URLs 
  • SSL Issues 
  • AMP Issues
  • Disavow Backlinks

Home Page Canonicalization 

When you are having the same content on multiple pages, search engines can’t understand which one is the more appropriate page, so you have to ensure there is only one version of your website either with www or without it, rest all versions should be redirected to it. 

If your website has multiple versions of the home page, it just means your competition is with yourself. 

How to resolve home page canonical issues 

Let’s assume if your website has these many versions

http://www.abc.com

https://www.abc.com

http://abc.com

http://abc.com/index.php

Consider https://www.abc.com is your final URL and redirect the rest of the versions to it.

Indexation and Crawling Errors 

Crawling and Indexing are important factors you need to consider. You have written good content and made it online but if google can’t able to crawl that page, What’s the use when you can’t get your pages ranked on SERP. 

To make your pages crawlable and get indexed by search engines follow these steps 

  • Write unique content with proper internal linking 
  • Make your website architecture right 
  • Check robots.txt and ensure you are not blocking important pages 
  • Check your website header part and ensure you are not using a no-index tag
  • Use the Search Console’s URL inspection tool and inspect the URL if it has any issues and resolves those. 

Crawl Budget 

crawl budget is the number of pages search engine bots can crawl and index into their database. 

Google bots can find all the pages and index them for small websites easily when it comes to large websites having 10K pages, google cant find all the pages so you have to ensure every important page is indexed or not and follow these steps to get your pages indexed.

  • Maintain proper website architecture
  • Build internal linking across the website with relevant anchor text 
  • Fast loading websites

Website Architecture 

User-friendly navigation websites have always been the best ones when it comes to rankings and bounce rates. Maintain a user-friendly layout of your services with minding search engines. 

  1. 3 click rule is the best one for proper navigation
  2. Don’t let users spend too much time in finding a page of your website they are looking for. 

Sitemap.xml

It will have each URL of your website and let’s search engines crawl each page. 

  • Submit your sitemap on search console and make google to find your pages. 
  • It updated every new page/post automatically
  • Makes easy indexing and crawling 
  • Find out errors on search consoles and resolve those ASAP

Robots.txt

Robots.txt is a robots exclusion protocol, It restricts search engine bots from crawling and you can write simple code like what to crawl and what not to crawl. 

User-agent: * 

Disallow: 

Allow: 

“User-agent: *” means all search engines bots 

“Disallow” means it is restricting robots from visiting pages of websites. 

  • Check your robots.txt file and let the bots crawl all your important pages

Meta Tags

Meta tags are the HTML tags(title and description) that are placed on your website header. When you update the relevant title and description search engines will show the same on SERP when users search.

  • Don’t let google truncate your title and description 
  • Try to use 60 characters and 160 characters for meta title and descriptions respectively.

Heading Tags

Heading tags are the Html tags, You should use these tags to describe your website structure to search engines. 

  • There ate H1 to H6 tags
  • You should make your page title as H1 and subheadings are with H2. 
  • It is recommended to have only one H1 tag on a page if any pages are having more than one heading tag, analyze if it is necessary and structured well with subheadings as well. 

Schema Errors 

Schema Markup is the code your place on your website to tell Google what is the page, article, organization, faq, etc. about 

Website Speed

Users always love fast loading websites and search engines do like the same, If your website doesn’t load faster, the bounce will be more. Ensure your website loading speed is below 3 seconds. 

Broken Links 

Broken links will hurt your websites when users are browsing your website if they find any broken links they may leave your website instantly, eventually, the bounce rate will be high. 

When it comes to search engines if your website has broken links they can’t find your pages so crawling errors will occur. 

  • When you are doing SEO technical audit, look out for the broken links and link them to relevant pages.
  • Some of the pages may have 404 errors(not found), when you find a 404 page, just redirect it to the relevant page not to the home page, in case you realize there is no relevant page, just create a custom 404 page and mention a message. 

Chain Redirection

The redirection chain happens when there are multiple redirections between the source and destination URLs.

Let’s assume that your website a.com is changed to b.com and you redirected a.com to b.com and again you changed your website b.com to c.com and you redirected b.com to c.com, This is the case when redirection chains are formed, this is not recommended. This redirection chains will take a longer time to load your websites, eventually, your website loading time will be more. 

All you have to do is just redirect a.com to c.com and b.com to c.com, simple. 

  • Don’t forget to check redirection chains when you are doing a website audit.
  • Try to resolve ASAP as these issues damage your website loading speed. 

Duplicate Content 

Users always love to read the original content and search engines as well, when you have good and unique content your website dwells time will be more. 

  • Try to find out duplicate content using Copyscape, Quetext and resolve that ASAP
  • Sometimes you may have the same content on multiple pages if you think those pages are important to use the canonical tag and tell google which is the original page, so google can only consider original page content when crawling. If you don’t want multiple pages and use canonical tags, just redirect the duplicate pages to the original page.

SSL Issues 

Security Socket Layer Certification is the fine placed on the server, which lets a safety communication between server and browser. 

Google prefers https (secured websites)  over the HTTP(unsecured websites)

  • When you work on SEO audit lookout for these issues, if your find any try to resolve those as soon as possible

AMP Issues 

Accelerated mobile pages introduced by google, AMP let your mobile pages load faster on even slow networks.

  • This is one of the important things you should consider when you do a technical SEO audit.
  • Figure out all AMP issues on search console or SEMRush and fix them out.

Disavow Backlinks 

If you find out any manual action on the search console regarding your unnatural links, just find out all the spammy backlinks and disavow via google disavow tool. 

  • You can disavow direct domain that means all the backlinks from the domain will be gone and google doesn’t consider those links. 
  • Ensure all your backlinks are authoritative and your off-page SEO is the best.

Conclusion 

Don’t bother how to conduct a technical SEO audit, Consider all the above-mentioned factors when you work on a technical audit for your website and ensure your website is technically strong. 

If your update unique and relevant content and your website are technically strong, eventually you will get the best SERP for the user search queries. 

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