Why Your Website Needs an SEO Technical Audit
If you are wondering in what order to focus your SEO efforts then this Technical SEO article is for you. With just the right amount of information debunk a few myths and get your website on a solid base for further SEO growth.Read more: Tech Audit
Auditing is the process of taking an entity or body of work and analysing its fitness for purpose through checking and reporting. In the context of a website a technical audit looks at the technical factors associated with a website. A technical audit checks the website against a checklist which results show a landscape view for analysis. A website audit could also be about the technology stack, used to identify technical debt or future roadmap planning. We need to specify the audit in our case to relate to technical factors which influence our SERPS. These factors need to positively influence our websites ability to appear in search engines. SERPS is the industry term we use to mean Search Engine Result Page/Position essentially showing up in the pages of popular search engines like Google and Bing, Duck Duck Go etc.
Another way of putting it; Technical Analysis Of Things Which Influence Google Crawling and Indexing our Website.
It is worth noting that an SEO Audit alone will change nothing about your websites ability to rank. It does however, tell you what you need to fix!
Get an SEO Tech Audit to hand to your website team or agency to take action on.
What is an SEO Audit
An SEO Audit is a check (through a checklist) that your website is SEO friendly, and has everything it needs to be able to be shown to web researchers (people online). This is not limited to Technical SEO alone, however this article scope is just the technical stuff. Just know that there are other areas you will need to look at to truly rank well. Keyword research and promotional activity
link building would be two significant checks you can make. Another would be the actual content of your site. This is one of those cases when technical SEO crosses over into general SEO. Is content technical? For me no.
A technical seo audit tool free is pretty much only Google Search Console and Screaming Frog at this time. The latter allows you to examine a website and 500 URL’s with many limited settings. But you can find immediate technical issues with your website. We will revisit GSC or Search Console as we call it later on.
Paid solutions include Semrush, Sitebulb and Ahrefs for example. These crawl and analyse your website and provide reports on the technical aspects holding your site back.
One solution which is fantastic for speed and usability is page speed web dev. This provides insight into speed issues and what is causing them and also checks metrics that Google decided are important to the web consumer public.
For a list of Free SEO tools check out this continuous resource.
Technical SEO Checklist
A website technical audit checklist can contain around 80-100 individual items. However largely grouped into 4 categories you should include these factors affecting your website. You can consider and adapt it for creating your own tech audit template. The overall groupings are:
- User Experience
Crawlability is the ableness of your website and pages to be found and crawled by bots e.g. Googlebot and Bingbot. The web is huge and getting ever bigger daily. This presents even the likes of Google and Bing with difficulty to visit your new pages and check them out. So don’t make it hard! Sitemaps and internal linking are the keys within this section.
Indexability is the settings that tell the search engines if a page should be kept in their index. Think of the index as the list of pages on the web- you want to be listed. If you aren’t indexed by Google then you will never show up as a potential match.
Speed has long been a factor in ranking but only so far as a tiebreaker situation all other things being equal. However this is changing. You should anyway not let anyone wait more than a couple of seconds to get first meaningful content.
User Experience or UX in the industry is how user friendly your pages work. Inside this category we look at how different devices view your content and how well it works.
We can finally answer the question: why you need to do a tech audit?
A tech audit is necessary to understand how well and capable your website is to be able to rank. It is a fundamental pillar of SEO. If you fail to get this right then all other endeavours can be in vain.
About the author
I have been building and ranking websites for 2 decades now. I know how the internet works at every ‘touch’ point. Having been a developer for much of my career gives me an ability to excel at technical seo in particular. I have performed SEO for large corporates in the UK and smaller business here and abroad. The web is truly international like me at heart. I enjoy talking to web owners and learning about their businesses. Chat to me today about helping you get your website foundationally correct for more traffic and purpose.