A technical SEO audit is a comprehensive examination of the technical elements of a website that impact search engine optimisation. The primary objective of a technical site audit for SEO service is to ensure that search engines like Google can effectively crawl, index, and rank the pages on your website. Regularly auditing your website allows you to identify and resolve technical issues, leading to improved performance in search engine results over time. Let’s learn the Importance of a Technical SEO Audit:
Performing a Technical SEO Audit: Tools You’ll Need
To conduct a technical site audit, you’ll need two essential tools:
- Google Search Console
- A crawl-based tool like Semrush’s Site Audit
If this is your first time using Search Console, refer to our beginner’s guide for instructions on setting it up. We will now discuss the various reports provided by this tool.
If you’re new to Site Audit, you can sign up for free and start within minutes. The tool scans your website and generates a report highlighting a wide range of technical SEO issues.
Understanding the Site Audit Overview
The overview of the site audit provides a comprehensive view of your website’s health and performance. It includes the following components:
- Site Health Metric: This metric assigns a grade to your website’s overall health on a scale from 0 to 100. It also provides a comparison with other sites in your industry.
- Issue Overview: The report categorises issues by severity, such as “Errors,” “Warnings,” and “Notices.” Additionally, “Thematic Reports” focus on specific areas of technical SEO.
- Issues Tab: By switching to the “Issues” tab, you can access a complete list of all the issues detected during the audit and the number of affected pages.
- Fixing Issues: A “Why and how to fix it” link accompanies each issue. Clicking on this link briefly describes the issue, tips for resolving it, and relevant tools or resources.
The issues you encounter during the audit will fall into one of two categories:
- Issues You Can Fix: These are problems you can resolve independently.
- Issues Requiring Developer or System Administrator Assistance: Some issues may require the expertise of a developer or system administrator to fix.
Conducting a website audit for the first time can feel overwhelming due to the number of tasks involved. We have compiled this detailed guide to ensure you don’t miss any major issues, especially as a beginner.
Importance of a Technical SEO Audit and How to Do It
We highly recommend performing a technical SEO audit on any new website you work with. Afterwards, conducting an audit at least once per quarter or whenever you notice a decline in rankings is advisable.
Step 1: Identifying Crawlability and Indexability Issues
Crawlability and indexability are crucial aspects of SEO, as search engines must be able to crawl and index your web pages to rank them. To check for these issues, follow these steps:
- Open the Site Audit tool and navigate to the “Issues” tab.
- Click on “Category” and select “Crawlability.”
- Repeat the process for the “Indexability” category.
Issues related to crawl ability and indexability are typically prioritised and listed in the “Errors” section of the report since they can significantly impact your website’s performance.
Step 2: Reviewing Robots.txt Issues
The robots.txt file plays a vital role in guiding search engine crawlers on how to access and interact with your website. It is important to review any issues related to the robots.txt file during your technical SEO audit. Follow these steps to address robots.txt issues:
- Access the Site Audit tool and go to the “Issues” tab.
- Look for the “Robots.txt” category and click on it.
- Examine the list of issues and prioritise resolving any critical errors or misconfigurations.
Fixing robots.txt issues ensures that search engines can properly crawl and index your website, improving its visibility in search results.
Step 3: Resolving XML Sitemap Issues
XML sitemaps serve as a blueprint of your website’s structure, helping search engines discover and understand the content on your site. Reviewing any XML sitemap issues and ensuring they are resolved is essential. Follow these steps:
- Navigate to the “Issues” tab in the Site Audit tool.
- Look for the “XML Sitemap” category and click on it.
- Analyse the issues listed, such as missing or invalid XML sitemaps.
- Take the necessary steps to fix these issues, such as generating a new XML sitemap or correcting the existing one.
Fixing XML sitemap issues enhances search engine crawlers’ ability to index your website accurately and improves its visibility in search results.
Step 4: Analyzing Website Speed and Performance
Website speed and performance play a crucial role in user experience and search engine rankings. Slow-loading pages can negatively impact user engagement and result in lower search rankings. To address website speed and performance issues:
- Go to the Site Audit tool and access the “Issues” tab.
- Look for the “Page Speed” or “Performance” category and click on it.
- Review the list of issues affecting page speed, such as large image sizes, render-blocking resources, or server response time.
Optimising website speed and performance enhances user experience and improves your website’s chances of ranking higher in search engine results.
Step 5: Checking Mobile Friendliness and Responsiveness
With the increasing use of mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly and responsive website is crucial for SEO success. Mobile optimisation impacts user experience and search engine rankings. Follow these steps to address mobile friendliness and responsiveness issues:
- Access the Site Audit tool and navigate to the “Issues” tab.
- Look for the “Mobile” or “Responsive Design” category and click on it.
- Review the list of issues affecting mobile friendliness, such as mobile viewport misconfigurations, small font sizes, or touch elements too close.
- Implement the necessary fixes, such as adjusting the viewport settings, using responsive design techniques, and optimising touch elements.
Step 6: Check Mobile-Friendliness
Use Google Search Console’s “Mobile Usability” report to identify mobile-friendliness issues on your website. Review the “Not Usable” and “Usable” categories and click on specific issues to see affected pages and guidelines on how to fix them. You can also use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to quickly check the mobile usability of a specific URL. Additionally, use Semrush’s Site Audit tool to check the viewport tag and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) issues under the “Mobile SEO” category.
Step 7: Spot and Fix Code Issues
Step 8: Check and Fix HTTPS Issues
Ensure your website is using HTTPS protocol for secure communication. Use Semrush’s Site Audit tool to identify issues related to HTTPS, such as expired certificates, old security protocol versions, no server name indication, and mixed content. Follow the advice provided in the Site Audit report to fix the identified problems.
Step 9: Find and Fix Problematic Status Codes
Review HTTP status codes (excluding 1XX and 2XX) to identify and resolve issues. Use Semrush’s Site Audit tool and select the “HTTP Status” category to see a list of issues and affected pages. Address 3XX status code issues related to redirects, such as redirect chains and loops. Fix 4XX status code errors, especially the common 404 error, by removing or replacing internal links pointing to inaccessible pages. Investigate and resolve 5XX server-side errors caused by temporary unavailability or server configuration issues.
Step 10: Perform Log File Analysis
Utilise a tool like Semrush’s Log File Analyzer to analyse your website’s log file. Upload the log file to the tool and review the generated report. Analyse information about Googlebot activity, including crawl errors, frequently crawled pages, uncrawled pages, and structural issues affecting accessibility. Use the insights to refine your SEO strategy and address indexing or crawling issues on your website.
Conducting a technical SEO audit is essential for maintaining a healthy and well-optimized website. Regularly examining and resolving technical issues can enhance your website’s crawl ability, indexability, speed, mobile friendliness, and overall performance in search engine results. Utilising tools like Google Search Console and crawl-based tools such as Semrush’s Site Audit can help streamline the audit process and identify areas for improvement. Invest time and effort in conducting technical SEO audits to ensure your website remains optimised and competitive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Ready to boost your online presence and skyrocket your business growth? Choose VentCube, the leading digital marketing agency that specialises in delivering exceptional results. With our expertise in SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and web design, we’ll ensure your website is mobile-friendly, optimised for search engines, and equipped with captivating content. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to dominate the digital landscape. Contact VentCube today and let us transform your online presence into a powerful marketing asset. Take the first step towards success now!