What to look for in a technical SEO audit

What to look for in a technical SEO audit

According to Techradar, there are more than 547,200 new websites every day. Google has to crawl and store all these sites in their database, therefore occupying physical space on their servers.

The sheer volume of content available now allows Google to prioritize well-designed, fast sites and provide helpful, relevant information for their visitors.  

The bar has been raised, and if your site is slow or has a lot of jargon in the code, Google is unlikely to reward your site with strong rankings.

If you really want to jump ahead of your competitors, you have a huge opportunity to be better than them by optimizing your site’s code, speed and user experience. These are some of the most important ranking signals and will continue to be as the internet becomes more and more inundated with content.

Auditing your website’s technical SEOcan be extremely dense and with many moving pieces. If you are not a developer, it may be difficult to comprehend some of these elements.  

Ideally, you should have a working knowledge of how to run an audit to oversee the implementation of technical SEO fixes. Some of these may require developers, designers, writers or editors.

Fortunately, various tools will run the audits for you and give you all the comprehensive data you need to improve your website’s technical performance.

Let’s review some of the data points that will come up, regardless of what technical SEO audit tool you use:

These are simply a few of the elements you’d want to look into that most tools will report on.  

Google has been placing more focus on ranking factors revolving around user experience. As the web collectively becomes more organized, Google is raising the bar for user experience. Focusing on user experience will ultimately increase their advertising revenue.   

You’ll want to audit the user experience of your website.

Some of the ways of measuring this include:

Make sure you are working with a developer that is well versed in the latest technical SEO elements and who can apply the changes required to raise your SEO performance score.

Some of the most popular SEO audit tools include:

We’ll look at a couple of these tools and the data points you can gain from them.

Once you create a project in Semrush, you can run a site audit. Your overview will look like this:

Click on the “Issues” tab, and you’ll see a detailed list of the issues that were uncovered, divided by Errors, Warnings and Notices:

If you click on an item, you’ll see a list of the pages affected by each issue.

Review these as sometimes the data points are not valid.   

Ideally, you should export the CSV for each of these issues and save them in a folder.

This desktop tool will use your computer and IP to crawl your website. Once completed, you’ll get various reports that you can download.  

Here are a couple of example reports:

This is an overview report that you can use to track technical audit KPIs.

For example, this report gives you details of the meta titles for each of your pages.

You can use the Bulk Export feature to get all of the data points downloaded into spreadsheets, which you can then add to your Audit folder.

Like the others, Site Bulb will do a comprehensive crawl of your website. The benefit of this tool is that it will give you more in-depth technical information than some of the other tools.

You’ll get an Audit Score, SEO Score, and Security Score. As you implement fixes, you’ll want to see these scores increasing over time.

The Index Coverage report contains a treasure trove of data that you can use to implement the fixes that Google has discovered about your site.

In the details section, you’ll see a list of the errors, and if you click through to each report, they will include the list of pages affected by each issue.

Once you have all of your CSV exports, you can create a list of all of the issues and go through them to remove duplicate reports created by the different tools.

Next, you can assign what department each fix belongs to and the level of priority. Some may need to be tackled by your developer, others by your content team, such as rewriting duplicate titles or improving descriptions with pages with low CTR.

Here’s what your list might look like:

Each project should include notes, observations, or details about how to implement the fix. 

Most websites will have dozens of issues, so the key here is to prioritize the issues and make sure that you are continuously fixing and improving your site’s performance each month.

It’s important that your website reflects topical authority and relevance. E-A-T means:

Google has an entire team of Quality Raters that manually review websites to assess them based on these parameters. Google has even published the Quality Raters E-A-T guidelines for site owners to reference.

If your website is in a YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) niche, these factors are even more important as Google attempts to protect the public from misinformation.

BrainLabsDigital has created a Google Analytics audit checklist that will help you review your Google Analytics account. The accompanying article will give you a straightforward and strategic approach to ensuring your Google Analytics is set up properly.

Make sure you prioritize continuously improving your on-page SEO. Depending on your site, you may have a list of a dozen or a few hundred fixes. Try and determine which fixes will impact the most pages to see a greater improvement from your efforts.

It can be discouraging to see a list with 85 different technical SEO improvements. The benefit is that, as you go through these improvements, you will start seeing movement in your rankings.  Over time, you’ll want to have very few, if any, errors show up in all of your crawling tools.

If your content is relevant, targeted and well developed, and you’re receiving new, quality links every month, these technical = optimizations will become the key differentiating factors for ranking better than your competitors.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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