What is a technical SEO Audit? Technical SEO best practices

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Technical SEO is a technical inspection of a website. Technical SEO audit of any blog or business website is similar to the mechanical inspection of a new or old car. We can also say that a technical SEO audit is a technical analysis of a website.

Technical SEO audit is one of the three types of SEO audit. The other two are On-page SEO and Off-Page SEO. But in this post, we will cover mostly the technical SEO aspects of the website.

If you haven’t found the previous post in this SEO series, then please get it here:

 What is SEO? How does SEO grow your business day by day?

Why technical SEO audit is important for your business website?

The main reason for any website SEO audit is to find how well it’s performing on the search engine and if not, then what are those reasons? Technical SEO is not the only reason behind the good performance of the website in search engines. But if a website is not getting traffic, then Technical SEO is the 1st thing to inspect.

Think for a minute that your website is like a CAR. Your car performs well on road due to the following reasons:

  • The condition of your car’s mechanical parts is good.
  • Your driving skills are good.
  • And you know the road condition or expected challenges well.

The website’s technical SEO is similar to the mechanical parts of the car. If the technical parts of the website are good then even a less skilled or average on-page SEO can work to get traffic from search engines.

Similarly, a good quality mechanically structured car can be driven by a less skilled driver or beginner. But if the condition of the mechanical parts of the car is bad then even a skilled driver cannot drive that comfortably or easily.

It means how well your website content is written, and how well you have optimized it with keywords but if it’s technically not fit then it will not be ranked by any search engine.

And the driving conditions are like a competition of keywords. Driving in snow is more challenging. It means driving traffic to high-competition keywords is challenging it required a specific set of skills and technicalities. While each website’s SEO is different. Similarly, each website’s SEO strategy is different. You can learn but you can’t follow.

So as mechanical parts are important in any vehicle in its driving performance, Technical SEO is important in any website.

So, I hope you learned the importance of Technical SEO in the example of the car very well.

Technical SEO best practices:

1. Website sitemap or sitemap.xml:

Sitemap.xml contains published pages or pages that are for the public. The best practice of sitemap.xml is to avoid adding unnecessary or duplicate pages/posts. So that not only search engines, but users will get what they most needed.

Read moreWhat is a sitemap and why is it important for website SEO?

2. .htaccess file configurations:

htaccess is one of the most important files on the website. It’s the path for web crawlers. You can see it on your website Cpanel in the file manager. htaccess helps you to manage HTTP or HTTPS requests, page redirections, and crawling. You can allow or block access to your website pages from any IP address, search engine, referral traffic source, crawlers, and spam traffic. In SEO it’s very important you’re getting the right traffic to your website from the right source in the right way and on the right landing page. So that your server and pages can load frequently and quickly without getting errors.

3. Roboto.txt:

Robot.txt contains provides an invitation to the search engine. Roboto.txt file is the part of a website that communicates with search engine crawlers or web crawlers. It helps search engines to find out which posts/pages are to index or crawl.

4. Inspection of HTTP to HTTPS redirection audit:

This is very important when you redirect a domain URL from HTTP to HTTPS. If the HTTPS redirection from HTTP or domain or hosting migration is not properly established then URLs will be treated as separate or duplicate web pages or websites.

5. Website speed audit:

A slow-loading website impact SEO and traffic negatively. The reasons for slow-loading websites can be a redirection, large images, videos or too many things to load on a page, external files or too much Javascript in pages, etc. There are various reasons. But during the process of technical SEO audit checking website speed is the most important thing.

Read more: Without changing hosting, How to boost your WordPress Website loading speed?

6. Google or Bing Search Console or webmaster error and suggestions audit:

Google and Bing search console applications help by notifying you about crawling, sitemap, indexing, website responsiveness, etc. errors. Both these free application or platform also helps in website on-page and technical SEO.

7. Audit of Errors notified by Google Analytics:

Google Analytics application is used for website traffic data analysis. This helps to inspect overall website ranking factors. But it also notifies what pages/posts are loading slowly. Which pages are getting more traffic, sessions etc. So, ignoring google analytics notifications is not a good idea in a website SEO Audit.

Read moreWhy do web analytics play an important role in the success of a website

8. Website responsiveness audit:

Website responsiveness is another one of the most important parts of a technical SEO audit. If the website structure, font size, images, and media queries don’t load or become adaptive immediately as per the user device and screen size then it will impact the website speed, user interface, and user experience negatively.

Responsive means quick and intelligent action by a website on certain or specific URLs as per the user’s device, location, and screen size. For example, image size, font size, text size, shadow, navigation, website overall structure, and visual appeal is important to inspect especially in eCommerce, travel, listing, and portfolio websites.

9. Internal and external links audit:

Links help in user experience and provide a path for users to read more or explore. But an SEO point of view, it helps to reduce website bounce rate, increase average user time, session, and obviously conversion and revenue if its ads monetized the website. So, in a technical SEO audit, it’s important to inspect the broken links.

So that when users click on the link, they will get what is mentioned in the link or anchor.  Else it will give a page not found error for the user. And users close the website. And this will increase the exit rate or more exit pages. And it will impact the overall website SEO and ranking negatively. That’s why link auditing is very important in technical SEO audits.

Read more: How does changing website hosting affect SEO: Hosting Tips

10. On page heading and subheadings audit:

It’s very important you’re using the heading in the correct form or simultaneously. Such as the correct order would be H1, H2, H3, and H4. H2 is best for 1st heading inside the page or for text and then h3 for the h2 subheading. And title can be in h1. It’s also an on-page SEO strategy.

But technically it’s important that content on a page is properly in order from h1 to … h6. Mostly h2 to h3 are best.

11. Image Alt Attribute audit:

Having alternative text or alt text or tag is about the image. What an image contains, what this or particular image is about. It means defining the images or website assets with alt tags for search engines and users. Images with alt text or tags on a page or post improve the overall SEO of the website. So, while auditing it’s very important to take care of the alt tags as well as the size of the images.

So, the above is some of the basic things that you must consider, inspect and improve while auditing your website SEO.

You can audit your business, blog, and eCommerce website through free or paid SEO auditing tools. And you can also do it manually as well.

Types of SEO audit Reports:

The goal of an SEO audit is to check or inspect the overall website performance. How much traffic it’s getting, what keywords are ranking, what can be improved, and where to invest time, effort, and budget to increase the traffic from search engines.

The most important thing that you need in an SEO audit, is what’s happening on your website in terms of SEO. And you need proper details about the technicalities along with improvement suggestions.

Whatever tool or software or method you use for your website SEO, you can divide the SEO improvement process into 3 parts:

  • Urgent SEO improvement checklist:

In this, you can include the things that need urgent attention and improvement so that you can start your website SEO improvement immediately and not lose any more traffic from search engines.

In this urgent SEO improvement part, you can include redirection problems, broken links, and slower loading of pages/posts.

 

  • Important SEO improvement checklist:

In this part, you can include sitemap restructuring, alt text in images, meta description writing, categorization of website content as per the keywords, etc.

  • Long Term SEO improvement checklist:

In this part, you can include adding or publishing more content on the website related to terms in which you’re ranking between 1 to 10, 10 to 20, investing in specific off-page SEO strategies such as Pinterest marketing, and the addition of video content in blog posts etc.

Read more: High converting eCommerce product page best practices: WordPress

How to Perform an SEO Audit on your own?

There are various strategies and methods for SEO audits. Some of them are the following:

  • If you want to improve your website SEO on your own without investing money then use free website SEO auditing tools and also learn and work on the suggested changes. Also, learn and improve your SEO skills.
  • If you want to improve your website SEO quickly on your own then invest in good SEO tools, and learn and improve your SEO skills consistently.
  • If you want to improve SEO but without investing in tools then hire or invest in an affordable SEO expert for the long term. So that he/she will keep your business growing. And you can invest your time in business development and marketing automation activities. Note: Also, do the basic audit of your website on your by using free or paid tools so that you can test or compare the SEO suggestion by hiring experts during the interview.
  • If you want to improve your website SEO and have investment then hire an SEO consultant who will look, improve, and hire SEO experts for you and report your Website SEO performance.
  • You can build a team of SEO experts, particularly for your business in the long term.
  • You can also hire an external SEO company on a contract basis to look for your website SEO.

You can hire specific SEO experts or agencies based on their expertise and specialization if in your website SEO audit, you found website speed is slower then you can hire someone who is good in website speed optimization, and for on-page SEO, content strategy, content writing you can hire experts as per their expertise. This strategy can be costly but have more advantages.

But if you get an SEO all-rounder at a good price then it’s the best. You can discuss and explore your SEO needs one by one and as per the performance. But always give freedom to the expert to implement their SEO ideas. And make changes as per your experience when it’s needed.

Read more: Ecommerce Website SEO Best Practices: WordPress

When it’s best to do a technical SEO audit of your website?

While any new website needs to optimize properly and correctly with SEO before submitting it on Google and Bing for crawling. So that the first impression stays positive.

Now following are the condition when an SEO audit is very important:

  • If a new website is not getting more than 10 visitors per day after 3 months of launching then it needs an SEO audit. The possible reason can be the wrong keyword selection, crawling error, or indexing that is not correct. This type of website needs an immediate SEO audit so that investment in keyword research, content, and marketing will not be wasted.

 

  • More than a 2-year-old website with 1000 visitors per day, but the remaining 1000 per day from the last 1 year or 6 months despite technical SEO improvement or on-page SEO, it’s not growing more than 20% per month or per day. The possible reasons can be due to a very small niche or specific target audience, negative trends of keywords, lack of unique content or ideas, dominated by competitors on top 5 search results. This needs an SEO audit with a strategy to grow the traffic by 20% minimum each month if not per day.

 

  • If website traffic is growing with 20% effort or 10000 visitors per day then it needs to audit bandwidth, website speed, server responses, and server optimization.

 

  • If a website has a higher bounce rate, then it needs internal link auditing and restructuring, header re-designing, image optimization, navigation bar customization, responsiveness, and speed audit.

So, there are 1000+ conditions where an SEO audit has required a website. There are billions of websites but those getting traffic or not getting need SEO audits so that they can stay and grow in the market.

Website SEO improvement, on-page audit, and technical SEO strategy highly depend on the type of website.  While the technical SEO of the WordPress website and errors are similar. But websites built without website building platforms needs different improvement processes than websites built in WordPress. While the inspection process can be similar.

Similarly, a website getting 100 visitors per day needs a different SEO improvement process than a website getting 100000 visitors per day.

In search engine optimization even good or expert advice can reduce your traffic or you can also lose traffic after following that suggestion. No one can give you a guarantee. If someone can give you a guarantee in the SEO world then be aware. Even Google’s own website or content doesn’t rank on the top 5 search results many times.

But in SEO even a beginner can show you the path and help you to reach your goals. If you follow the above path and suggestions you will be able to grow your traffic with a 25% growth rate each month for many years.

It’s not about just expertise, skills, content, and niche. It’s about 1st understanding the basics of SEO technologies, tools, audience or target customer, and delivering what they need. If you or your team can do that, you will get unlimited traffic to your business website from search engines.

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