Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a crucial component of digital marketing, and technical SEO is a vital part of any SEO strategy. A technical SEO audit is an evaluation of the technical aspects of a website to identify issues that may be limiting the crawlers or users from accessing the site.
Technical SEO issues can cause problems including but not limited to: pages to not be indexed, pages to load slow, or poor UX.
In order to conduct a full technical audit, you will need to interpret the data afterwards, and review the URLs manually to examine their content. This is because crawlers can only point out so much, the human is still required to interpret many of the best possible improvements, and also to decide what, if any, false positives were identified.
Let’s explore some of the most important components of a technical SEO audit and why it is essential for businesses to conduct regular SEO audits. But first, it is important to point out that just crawling your website isn’t really going to be enough.
Top Components of a Technical SEO Audit:
A technical SEO audit examines a website’s structure and hierarchy to ensure it is well-organized and easy for search engines to crawl. Site architecture can have a significant impact on a website’s ranking, so it is essential to ensure that it is optimized for search engines.
Site speed is an essential ranking factor for search engines. Today, the gold standard of page speed measurement comes from Google’s Core Web Vitals. A technical SEO audit examines a website’s speed to identify any issues that may be slowing it down. This includes examining file sizes, page load times, and server response times.
Mobile optimization is becoming increasingly important as more people use their mobile devices to browse the web. A technical SEO audit examines a website’s mobile optimization to ensure that it is optimized for mobile devices.
Duplicate content can hurt a website’s visibility in SERP. A technical audit examines a website’s content to identify any duplicate content issues. This includes examining meta descriptions, title tags, and URLs.
URLs play a crucial role in SEO. A technical SEO audit examines a website’s URLs to ensure that they are descriptive, easy to read, and contain relevant keywords. Additionally, URLs are examined for underscores, spaces, or special characters, as these are not recommended when creating search engine optimized URLs.
Redirects are an essential tool that allow webmasters to redirect users from one URL to another URL. A technical SEO audit examines a website’s redirects to ensure that they are properly implemented and not causing any issues for search engines, such as squandering crawl budget.
Both 301 and 302 redirects count as a resource towards a site’s crawl budget, so really, each redirect represents an additional resource that could have been crawled any given day. This is why site owners should work to eliminate redirected URLs from a website’s copy.
Robots.txt and Robots Meta Tags
Because the robots.txt offers suggestions to search engines about which pages they should or should not crawl, it is a component of SEO. A technical SEO audit examines a website’s robots.txt file to ensure that it is properly configured. However, it is important to note that robots.txt files are only treated as suggestions, if you want to ensure that Google doesn’t crawl a page you are better served using the robots meta tag.
Unlike the robots.txt file, which is hosted on the root of the website as /robots.txt, robots meta tags live individually on any given page of HTML. This means they need be updated on a page-by-page basis.
Why are technical SEO audits important?
Technical SEO audits are important for many reasons, but their primary purpose is to find reasons that would prevent search engine spiders (crawlers) from indexing a website in SERP. Fantastically enough, repairing issues identified in technical audits can also improve a website’s visibility in SERP! So its always a good idea to review your technical audits, so as to not let any easy SEO wins or potential harm, slip by unnoticed.
Improve Search Engine Rankings
SEO audits identify technical issues that may be hurting a website’s ranking on search engines. By identifying and fixing these issues, such 404 errors, for example, a website can improve its search engine rankings and attract more traffic.
Increase Website Traffic
With improved rankings for target keywords, comes improved relevant traffic. By so conducting regular audits and fixing technical issues, businesses ultimately can attract more traffic to their website.
Improve User Experience
A technical SEO audit examines a website’s user experience to ensure that it is easy to navigate and provides value to visitors. By improving the user experience, businesses can keep visitors engaged longer (often creating better conversion rates).
Stay Ahead of Competitors
Regular tech audits help businesses stay ahead of their competitors by identifying and fixing technical issues before they become a problem, causing them to fall behind competitors in SERP .
For these reasons technical SEO audits are an essential component of any SEO strategy. By examining a website’s architecture, site speed, mobile optimization, duplicate content, URLs, redirects, and robots.txt file, businesses can identify and fix technical issues that may be hurting their search engine rankings.
How often should you crawl a website for errors?
You should crawl your website for errors anytime new code or content is pushed live. However, you can also schedule regular crawls with certain tools. Regular technical crawls help businesses ensure that the technical SEO of their website has not worsened.
However, for a more thorough crawl we recommend configuring Screaming Frog to meet your needs.
Schedule a Full Technical Audit
We can ensure total technical optimization, or package up the audit for your team to take care of the fixes.