Do you think your website has poor SEO?
It’s time to review and analyze your website for technical issues.
This article will cover what a technical site audit is and how you can conduct one on your own site.
You never know when that small issue could be the drop in the bucket that ruins your business.
Here, you’ll learn:
- What is an effective technical seo audit
- How to conduct a proper technical site audit
- What tools you should consider using to do so successfully
- What problems you should look out for and how to fix them
If you think your site needs a check-up, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s get started!
What is an Effective Technical SEO Audit?
Your website is the business face of your business on the web. It is the first thing people will see and judge if they want to do business with you or not.
That’s the beauty of web technology.
You can be that business!
Your site’s technical SEO is important because it directly affects how your site ranks on search engines.
When it doesn’t perform well, you’ll lose out on organic traffic and customers.
It becomes more difficult to maintain rankings, which means you’ll have fewer searchers finding your site and literally no business.
Technical SEO is an “opt-in” service that checks your site for poor performance that can’t be fixed by online marketing.
It’s important to have a website that performs well.
One way to do this is with technical SEO, which will help you receive more visitors, convert more visitors into customers, and improve your SEO rankings.
It is the first step towards improving the performance of your site and will help you avoid these issues in the future.
This usually is a one-time fix action.
What Happens When Your Site Doesn’t Perform Well?
When your site doesn’t perform well, you have one major problem: Your site is not being found on search engines today or ever likely will be.
These are serious issues that directly affect your business growth.
You will lose traffic and business, which means you will lose money.
That’s why it is such a big deal.
Here are some common symptoms of poor technical SEO:
- Your website is not indexed by search engines – this means it’s not found on search engines like Google and Bing.
- Your site is indexed but it doesn’t appear in the top rankings or it disappears from search engines results altogether.
- There are technical issues with your website that may affect the performance of your organic ranking.
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, then you likely have a problem that needs to be fixed.
How to Conduct a Proper Technical Search Engine Audit?
This is a very important part of the process.
When you conduct a technical site audit, you need to be thorough so you can find any issues and fix them as early as possible.
You should avoid skipping this step as it is the first step towards improving the performance of your site overall and will help you avoid these issues in the future.
What is important is that you understand the basics and use good judgement in your analysis and decision making.
While those tools are great but they can be hard to understand and utilised by beginner webmasters.
That’s where JustRank’s AI technical SEO audit service comes in.
The purpose of this guide is to give you an overview of what a technical site audit is and how you can do one on your website.
Most importantly, you get suggestions and how to improve technical SEO on your site.
When Should I Perform a Technical SEO Audit?
As we mentioned from the beginning, technical issues usually is a one-time fix.
There’s no need to perform a technical website audit regularly.
Depending on the size of your website or how frequently you update your site with new content, you may only need to perform a site audit once or twice a year.
In general, you should perform a technical audit on your website when there is a noticeable change.
For example, if your website is getting less traffic than usual, then this could mean that something has changed and you should review it to ensure that everything is still working fine.
You can notice issues with your website in several areas: on crawl logs, on website analytics, higher bounce rate than you anticipated, through free Google tools such as Google Analytics or the webmaster tools.
It’s important that you’re thorough on this step so that you’ll be able to identify the problem fast and find what’s causing it.
You can use site search on Google to determine how many pages or posts that are being indexed from your website. Type in [site:yourwebsiteurl.com] in the Google search bar.
What Elements or Factors Should be Covered in the Technical SEO Audit Report?
As we mentioned, as a website owner it’s important to keep a good website audit log.
The purpose of the reports is to find any problems or concerns with your site and to analyze them.
To cover all the important aspects on how to conduct a proper technical site audit, we’d like to list out some of the main elements or topics we should review and analyze:
- Crawl Errors & Crawl Stats
- Titles and Meta Descriptions (On-Page SEO)
- Internal Links (On-Page SEO)
- Images (On-Page SEO)
- Mobile Usability
- Content (Duplicate Content)
- URLs (404 & 301 Redirects)
- Robots.txt and Disallow Files (Sitemap.xml)
- Canonical Issues (If Applicable)
- Heading Tags (H1s, H2s, H3s etc. and alt tags)
- Page Speed
- and the list goes on
There can be over a few hundred factors but we should only look into elements or factors that really matter.
It is important for you to know and understand these and how they affect your website in the long run.
We certainly cannot cover everything but we had to be smart enough to filter out the important elements and topics.
Some claims that Google had over 200 ranking factors, but to be honest, that’s much to talk about.
With that said, you get the general idea of what things we cover.
Characteristics of an Effective Technical Audit Report?
What constitutes an effective technical SEO audit report?
That’s a great question.
There are many different things that can be included in the report.
Here is a shortlist of things we’d like to focus on:
- This report should be easy to read and understand, at least at first glance, especially for beginners or non SEO professionals. It needs to be quick and simple and should include some good explanations that highlight issues.
- The report should offer suggestions that can help you improve technical SEO on your site.
- Showing you where exactly and what are causing the errors or problems.
Simply put, it’s an analysis of all the important areas on your website to assess the performance of each of them to make sure that everything is working properly that is straightforward and non-complicated.
Most importantly, the report should be easy to understand and provide users the necessary solutions.
Methods or Tools to Help with the Technical Audit
There are many different tools and methods you can use to conduct a technical SEO audit.
You can choose from different ones depending on the experience level and the amount of time you have to spare.
For beginners, we suggest using our AI-powered technical audit service that comes with content optimization for the initial audit.
For advanced users who want to dig deeper into the technical aspects, screaming frog is a very good option but again, it can be too complicated to use at times.
Website Auditor from link-assistant is another good alternative for professional SEO auditors.
Semrush or ahrefs would be other viable options if you are fine with paying the monthly subscription which starts at $100/mo.
Those tools pack a lot more than just doing auditing for sure.
They can come in handy for many other aspects on your site or on the industry as a whole.
Can I Do a Technical SEO Audit for Free?
While many answers to the question “Can I do a technical SEO audit for free” will be mostly negative, we can’t discourage you to think about it, especially if you’re a beginner.
It is true that there are plenty of free tools and guides for technical SEO like Screaming Frog, but the reason why people are paying instead is that the limitation can be quite overwhelming.
For instance, the free version of screaming frog can only crawl up to 500 URLs.
Don’t get me wrong and you might be thinking that’s a lot for my small website.
The URLs are counted towards your image path and etc.
So it tends to run out pretty fast before you can finish auditing your site.
You can set up a free account with ahrefs and utilize their site audit.
The trade-off would be you are surrendering the Google search console data of your website as a verification method.
These are just some of the examples but you get the general idea.
If you’re a beginner and just want to dip your feet on SEO or technical SEO, we do not see why you should pay a premium or hefty fee for anything.
When we first started, we used these free tools and we can honestly say they helped out a lot.
Which SEO Audit to Perform?
One of the most common factors on how to conduct a technical SEO audit is which one to perform?
There are many that can be chosen from.
We would like to break them down into two disciplines that are more closely related:
- Content Audit (Audit of your pages)
- Technical SEO Issues (Things like on-page errors, duplicated content, etc.)
What Are the Differences Between the 2 Disciplines?
At first glance, the two disciplines may look similar but when you break down the main differences there are quite a few.
Let’s take a look:
- Content Audit refers to the content of your website vs. a Technical SEO audit is focused more on the technical aspects of your website.
- Content Audit is a more subjective practice vs. a Technical SEO Audit is more objective.
- A Content Audit focuses on the quality and structure of your content vs. a Technical audit focuses more on technical issues.
To be honest, it’s not as simple as that as there is definitely some overlap between them as well.
The bad news is, most of the tools mentioned can only do one thing at a time.
Seldom had the capability to do both.
For instance, Surfer SEO or POP can do content audits but not technical site checks.
Our SEO audit service is able to perform the technical analysis while help on the content optimization based on your keyword selection.
Why is the Technical Audit so Important?
It’s very important to perform a technical SEO audit as early as possible.
There are some good reasons why you should do it:
- You can easily resolve any issues and resolve them quickly. If they aren’t even happening at all, the sooner you find them and fix them, the better for your website and business overall.
- You can see if there are any issues that you don’t recognize as a result of the audit. Like we mentioned earlier, these things can be hard to detect and identify so it’s important to check and double-check all the factors before you go into implementing anything. Or even before you scale things up.
- You can know for sure what’s causing the issues and not wasting time trying to fix one thing and then finding out it was actually something else.
- You can completely avoid technical problems down the road. To get better rankings, you have to have good technical SEO right from the get-go. If you’re not sure about how to go about things in the beginning, you’ll find it hard to improve on that aspect in the long run.
In a nutshell, the technical SEO audit is the foundation for all of your work on your site.
Without it, you’re just guessing and hoping things will work out. And SEO is certainly not a guessing game.
Even if you do have an idea of what’s wrong with your website, it will be hard to fix the problems if you don’t know whether it will actually help or not.
A word of caution: Trying to rank without one can be like trying to build a house without building a solid foundation.
How to Implement the Recommendations You Received from the SEO Audit Report?
What’s good of the report in hand if you cannot put actionable fixes to the things that you received?
It’s great to know what’s wrong but it’s even better if you can do something about it.
It’s important to read all the recommendations thoroughly and understand them completely.
The recommendations will cover all of the most important issues with your website and you’ll need to make decisions on what to do next.
When you conduct the audit, you should make decisions on which to follow or not.
If you do decide to take action, start with the smaller ones first if they are quick fixes. Then move on to the bigger issues to fix them.
Do not, however, go overboard with it.
Spend your time wisely and ensure that everything is done properly.
If you feel overwhelmed, you can always hire a professional to help you out.
You might even ask your web developer to help you with the SEO audit and set up everything properly. That is the mission of JustRank as well as we hope everyone can be their own SEO specialist in the end.
This will save you a lot of headaches and time over the long run of your business’s operation, by then you’ll see how SEO is needed for your business.
It’s important to get things done right and quickly, so you can focus on other aspects of your business as well.
Bottom Line: Should You Do a Technical SEO Audit?
There are many reasons why you should do a technical SEO audit.
To gain some easy quick wins for instance.
You will be able to see if there are issues that you didn’t realize may be causing problems even now.
Issues that would not necessarily cause immediate problems but can be making things harder and harder and difficult to fix in the future.
You will be able to see where the issues are, what causes them and some possible solutions to fix them.
You can then decide if they are worth fixing or not.
For example, you may find that there are a lot of broken links on your website.
This is something simple you can work on by yourself without needing too much technical knowledge. You can get it fixed in no time at all.
Or you may have problems with the hreflang or HTML meta tags being improperly set up though. This can be a bit more difficult to fix and you’ll need more technical knowledge as well as time to do it.
With or without a technical SEO audit, things have been easier to perform SEO.
Nonetheless, it’s more important today than ever before to ensure your website is optimized from a technical standpoint so you can get the best results possible.
Need a second opinion on your technical SEO?