Website owners are always looking for ways to stay on top. As there are an estimated 3.5 billion searches on Google each day, search engine optimization is the best way to make sure your website is noticed by as many people as possible.
To ensure your website’s SEO is up to the mark, you need to conduct a technical SEO audit to see how your website ranks. One way you can do that is to hire an agency offering on page SEO services which will provide you with a team of professionals who’ll do the hard work for you. They will be equipped with the latest tools and know-how of the business to ensure you get the best results.
However, if you choose to do the job yourself, here are the eight important steps involved in a technical SEO website audit.
Crawl your website
There are certain crawling tools you can use to find errors on your website or you can see your crawl budget when you look at the Google Search Console. This crawl budget shows you the number of pages Google is crawling on your website and how often it does that.
To make sure you’re not wasting your crawl budget, you need to do the following:
- Remove all duplicate content by using various tools for this purpose. If you really need to keep the content, at least block it from the search engine bots.
- Provide URL parameters to the Google Search Console so the search engine doesn’t crawl the same page twice.
- Fix all 301 and 302 redirects.
Another thing you can do is search for your website on Google by typing in “site: domain name” to see how many pages of your website appear in the results. If some pages are missing, that means your website isn’t fully crawlable.
Review your sitemap
Your website’s sitemap gives search engines information about your website’s structure and allows them to discover new pages. While you’re doing your audit, make sure your sitemap is clean and without any errors such as redirects and broken URLs.
It also needs to be concise and without too many URLs, as Google won’t crawl a website that has more than 50,000 URLs. Make sure it’s up-to-date on all of your latest content and registered in the Google Search Console so the search engine knows your website has a sitemap.
Check your internal links
Internal links are very beneficial for site rankings, but if you have a broken link on your website, it’s going to do more harm than good.
That’s why you need to check these internal linking factors during your audit:
- Click depth. The number of clicks needed to go from the homepage to a particular page is known as click depth, and this number needs to be low. Ideally, it should be below three.
- Broken links. Links that don’t work confuse visitors and cause them to leave your website, so you should detect and remove all non-working internal links.
- Orphan pages. Search engines have a hard time finding pages that aren’t linked to any other page on your website. These are known as orphan pages.
Test your website’s speed
Even though Google doesn’t take speed into account while ranking a website, your page load speed still influences your bounce rate. People don’t want to wait around for a website to load and even just a five-second wait can lead to an increase of bounce rates of 90%.
There are some tools such as the Google Page Speed Insights to check your speed and see what you can do to improve your loading time.
Check your HTTPS content
A majority of the results on the first page of Google’s search results are HTTPS. If your website also uses HTTPS, you need to be aware of some issues that may arise.While you’re auditing your website, you need to check all of the links you have as well as the canonicals and redirects to check if they point to HTTPS. If your website has HTTP to HTTPS redirects, it’s going to cause crawling problems.
Additionally, you need to check if there is any mixed content on your site, which occurs when a secure page tries to load insecure content. Remove any mixed content from your website, as it’s going to influence your website’s security.
Compare your site metrics with Google Analytics
Your analytics service needs to report accurate live data. If it doesn’t, your code hasn’t been installed correctly. You can use the Google Analytics tracker code to check your website’s data and then compare it to the data you received when you searched for “site: domain name”.
In both of these cases, you need to have a similar number of pages, and if you don’t, that means some of your pages can’t properly accept crawl requests.
Do an audit of your backlinks
Backlinks are a very important part of website SEO and shouldn’t be ignored during an SEO audit. These links allow search engines to determine how valuable your content is to your visitors. However, it’s important to note that when it comes to off-site SEO, crawlers look for a lot more than just hyperlinks.
Google’s bot also checks your website for any brand mentions, so it’s very important to know everything that’s going on your website, but also outside it. You can use a backlink tool to perform a backlink audit and see what kind of backlinks redirect to your website.
It’s also important to remember that you should never stop trying to generate more backlinks. One of the best places to do that is social media. Since it already plays a big role in SEO and has such a large user base, it allows you to increase website mentions and traffic effortlessly.
Re-crawl your website
Once you fix all of the issues you found while doing your technical SEO website audit, go to Google and ask it to re-crawl your website. This way, you can check if all of the issues have been fixed and see if you let anything slip during your first crawl.
If you want to create a high-performance SEO strategy, you need to perform regular technical audits. When testing out all technical parameters for errors frequently enough, you can spot them and find solutions before they become a bigger issue and ruin your website’s ratings.
Even though all of this seems complicated to beginners, most people can perform an audit in a few hours. But if you don’t think you can perform one yourself, you can always hire a team of experts to do the job for you. In the end, it doesn’t matter which option you choose, as long as you perform the audit properly.