A technical audit of a website consists of checking every page of your site to ensure that it is optimized for the search engines that crawl it. While technical SEO may appear challenging, once you learn the basics, there is lots that you can do yourself to ensure that your site is healthy. Doing so will also make it easy for search engines to understand what your site is about, and your customers able to navigate to the information they want with ease.
All businesses would like their websites to rank better, increase their web traffic, and achieve more conversions. Technical SEO will help to eliminate errors to make that happen.
So what are some elements of a technical audit that can help maximize the effectiveness of a website? Let’s take a look at the steps you should take.
Conduct a crawl report
A crawl report will highlight the current errors that need fixing on your website. There are lots of issues that might be flagged up such as duplicate content, poor loading speeds, and missing headings tags.
There are tools and programs which you can use to crawl your site and then you can work through the list of errors methodically.
HTTPS status codes
Switching to HTTPS is imperative as otherwise users trying to access your site would get error messages due to security issues.
HTTPS now is an important ranking factor so if you don’t switch, your site will appear lower in search engine rankings meaning that it is less visible.
Your site crawl report should reveal other URL issues including 404 errors. Fixing errors as soon as they are shown via the Google Search Console error list will help ensure your site remains optimized.
It’s also essential to ensure that the SSL certificate is correct.
Conduct an XML sitemap status check
Google will use your sitemap to help better understand and rank the content of your website. You can create a good XML sitemap by following the protocol and ensuring that all updated site pages are included in the sitemap. Make sure that you have submitted your sitemap to your Google Search Console.
Site load times
There is nothing more frustrating than a site with slow page loading speeds, and you will be penalized by Google if your page load speeds are slow. Check page speeds and fix errors that contribute to them (such as slow loading images), to ensure that visitors can enjoy a seamless and speedy experience when browsing your site.
Create a mobile-friendly site
Nowadays the majority of visitors to your site are likely to do so using a mobile device. Making sure, therefore, that your site is mobile-friendly is crucial. Check using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to ensure that your site is easy to browse from hand-held devices.
Weed out keyword cannibalisation
If two or more of your pages are competing for the same keyword or key phrase, cannibalization can occur which could see your rankings plummet, diminishing your site authority overall. Pay attention to pages that have the same keywords in their URL or do a search to discover which of your pages rank for the same keyword.
Conduct a Google site search
Discover if Google is indexing your website by typing “site:yourwebsite.com” into Google’s search bar.
Beware of duplicate metadata
Duplicate metadata or missing metadata can also affect your website performance. While changing your meta descriptions to make them all unique can be time-consuming, it can make a big difference and so is well worth doing. It's also worth checking that your meta descriptions are the optimum length too so this can boost your CTR in SERPs.
Eliminate duplicate content
Any content that’s duplicated on your site can affect your SEO, so make sure that you check your site and rewrite any content that appears more than once.
Check for broken links
Broken links will also affect your SEO so fix any broken links that your crawl highlights and make sure that every link in your site points to something else.
This is a summary of the kinds of things a technical audit of a site can highlight. Paying attention to this will help boost your SEO, visibility, traffic, and reputation. So it’s well worth paying attention to.
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