If you have a website with high-quality content, a great backlink portfolio, and seemingly perfect SEO and don’t see traffic growth, looking into technical optimization is a must-do. This is a sector connected to site loading speed, page errors, and other factors affecting your visibility and searchability.
A regular technical audit is required for the steady growth of your project, an absence of broken pages, and better accessibility.
Here, we’ll share the 5 fundamental steps to a complete audit.
Step #1: Check the Status Codes of Pages
Website technical audit involves everything concerning code, accessibility, user experience, keyword optimization, etc. Check this page to find out more if this topic is new to you, and come back to find out what to do to improve your rating through the audit.
One of the most important metrics in your technical SEO audit report is the page status. Here are the main things to check and know:
- Whether all the pages are in HTTPS;
- The difference between 301 and 302 redirects;
- The 400 status means visitors can’t access, 403 – no authorization, 404 – page not found;
- The 500 status means it’s time to give your development team a call.
Why is this important? First of all, you want all users to be able to access pages. Plus, when you buy blog backlinks, you invest in a long-term traffic influx. If the page you’re linking to breaks and you don’t put a redirect there, the investment will be wasted.
Step #2: Look Into the Website’s Loading Time
The next step on our SEO technical audit checklist is the website’s loading speed.
There’s no clear template that will make your site speedy. Every source and every page has its own design, content types and volume, server, etc.
As an example, here are some insights on how to improve the speed:
- Optimizing the heaviest elements of the site;
- Prioritizing what elements should load the fastest for the best user experience;
- Upgrading your server and/or checking whether it’s working properly;
- Redirecting subdomains to the main site.
The work is done if your site loads within 3 seconds.
Step #3: Check the Mobile Friendliness of the Site
The next stop in our guide is making sure the site is mobile-friendly. This doesn’t just mean that you can access it from the phone or tablet but that the design is suitable for comfortable viewing from any device.
The easiest way to check the basics is the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Here are some tips on making the source friendlier:
- Insert videos and other media content properly;
- Make the fonts bigger for mobile versions of pages;
- Add structured data;
- Work on URLs to make sure they are suitable for mobile viewing;
- Check scripts and whether they work properly when viewed on other devices.
Step #4: Look Through the Robots.txt File
Another very important part of the technical SEO audit is looking through the robots.txt file. More precisely, look for ‘disallow’ lines. These show the pages and sites the engines shouldn’t index. While for some pages, i.e. the ones you test, shouldn’t be seen by crawlers before you launch them officially, sometimes you can block pages crucial for the site’s success.
“In 2021, websites are enhancing, creating subdomains for different products, etc. It’s easy to confuse pages and block the wrong ones. Find the time to create a robots file for every subdomain to avoid confusion”, – says Emma Robbins, SEO specialist from outsource photo editing service.
Step #5: Check for Keyword Cannibalization and Content Duplicates
When working with an affordable backlinks service to perform a link audit, make sure you have already done a check for keyword cannibalization and content duplicates. One of the most confusing factors for crawlers is that makes indexing and rating more difficult is duplication of words and content.
If two or more of your pages have:
- The same focus keywords;
- The same meta tags;
- The same content, none of them will rank high.
The algorithm will be confused as to why two pages from the same domain have such similar contents.
Google Search Console Performance Report will help you find out whether two or more pages are competing in the results. We recommend solving the issue ASAP as such phenomena decrease your rating, reputation, and conversions.
Bonus: Search for Your Site on Google
Check whether your website has been penalized in one way or another and if all the focus pages are indexed properly by searching the site on Google. Simply use the ‘site:’ feature of the search.
Look for the following irregularities:
The homepage isn’t first in the results.
This may mean the page was penalized or is poorly structured.
Few landing pages are visible.
This means you should change the way to create landings. Check keywords, CTAs, content quality, and what you offer. Look for the pages that are valuable to the search engine and implement similar ideas and types of content on other landings.
Another website is high in the results.
Someone may try to rank higher using your website. Or maybe you have an error within your source’s structure that allows other brands to appear in your results.
This approach will help you check the improvements and, if there are none, come back to the previous steps and search deeper for the smallest mistakes.
Don’t Forget About Technical Optimization
Technical SEO audit is a complicated process you may need help with. Don’t hesitate to hire specialists that know exactly how the robots.txt file should look, what redirects have to be on the website and what kind is better to stay away from, what to do with broken pages, etc.
They won’t forget to create a backup version of the website and update you on the results and possible actions to improve site visibility. You’ll fix the small errors that were holding you back from the top place on the focus SERP.
Nancy P. Howard has been working as a journalist at the online magazine in London for a year. She is also a professional writer in such topics as blogging, IT and marketing.