Imagine tiny crawling robots moving from page to page, website to website, checking, understanding and indexing information. This is how Google and other search engines find answers to user questions. It’s also basically how Google finds your website.
However, this basic idea is not as simple as it seems. You need to optimize your website to help Google do its job. Use SEO tactics can help you optimize your website, but you should start with a technical SEO audit before anything else.
What is a technical SEO audit?
Digital Authority Partners Said Websites need a technical SEO audit to check all their technical aspects and ensure they are following SEO best practices. The technical parts of a website refer to all the factors that Google and other search engines use for indexing and ranking.
What does the technical SEO audit do?
A technical SEO audit ensures that the technical aspects of your website are up to date and relevant. An updated site is optimized for search. So you won’t miss out on valuable online traffic. Here are more reasons to start a technical SEO audit.
- Check if the content is visible.
An audit determines if your website is visible to your target audience and search engine crawlers. It checks different parts of your website, including your homepage, product pages, landing pages, and category pages.
The audit checks for undisplayable links, web content, and navigation bar components. If these items are a problem, the bots won’t see them either. An audit also examines whether the cached version of your website has missing content elements or incorrect page rendering. These elements affect how bots find and index your pages for easy retrieval.
- Examine the canonization
If there are multiple versions of a web page, Google will choose one to index. The URL that Google selects will be canonical, and this is what the search engine will show when a related keyword is searched.
The canonicalization process is triggered by signals such as canonical tags, duplicate pages, redirects, internal links, and sitemap URLs. Canonicalizing pages in a master version helps search engines recognize that these URLs are not duplicates.
You can improve indexing and allow search engines to better understand your website by canonicalizing pages. Canonicalization is therefore crucial in a technical SEO audit.
You can find manual actions from security and manual actions in the left navigation panel of Search Console. Manual actions on a page or site means that a human reviewer from Google has found that your website does not meet the Webmaster Quality Guidelines and imposed a penalty on your website.
You may not know if your website is underperforming or has violated Google’s quality guidelines. So check out the reports on manual actions. These reports often cover illegal attempts to exploit Google’s search index. These reports may also be due to black-hat optimization strategies such as keyword stuffing.
If you think a manual actions report was in error, you can always request a review. A request can take a few days, but you can override a manual action if it turns out to be wrong.
- Check the mobile compatibility of the site
A technical SEO audit examines your website performancevsand on mobile. A well-designed mobile version of your website is crucial for long-term relevance.
A “mobile-friendly” website covers a variety of factors, but one way to find out quickly is to use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool. You can also view your website on a smartphone to determine its loading time, clickable components, full web page view, and more.
Use sitemaps for fast SEO indexing. Your sitemap provides information about your web pages and web files, and the relationship between these components. It lists your pages more efficiently so that Google can easily crawl and index your content.
An outdated sitemap can negatively affect your rankings, so always make sure your sitemaps are regularly or automatically updated with no redirects, non-canonical URLs, and 404s.
- Consider your schema markup
An audit verifies all structured data and ensures that it works perfectly. Structured data is also called schema. It improves how your website appears on the SERPs and can help increase your click-through rate.
You can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to verify schema markup and make it work for you. This tool will determine any issues that may affect the usage of the schema in the SERPs. You can also verify schema markup in Search Console enhancements by including “unparsable structured data” in your reports. Negative reports mean that your schema is working and there are no issues.
Why carry out a technical SEO audit?
Whether you’re hiring an SEO agency or want to review your website’s performance, an SEO technical audit puts you on the right track. An audit will reveal your website’s technical weaknesses and strengths allowing you to formulate the best strategy in the future. Here are more benefits of a technical SEO audit.
- Easy indexing: Technical SEO audits improve how Google and other search engines index your site for easy search retrieval.
- Diagnose SEO issues: Audits identify issues affecting your site’s search optimization. You should deal with all issues at once.
- Improves your ranking on the SERPs: With an optimized website, you can guarantee higher rankings on search and better visibility for your business, products, services and brand.
- Improves website organization: An audit gives you a clear idea of your website’s performance and organizes the data for the benefit of your audience and customers.
Where possible, perform regular SEO technical audits to update your website’s performance. With an optimized website, you help search engines find you online and help your customers find your business, services, and products. By prioritizing technical SEO, you can promote your brand with better visibility on search engine results pages.