Technical SEO Audit Definition: Auditing the technical performance of a website (usability, accessibility guidelines) and identifying potential issues that would restrict the crawlability of modern search engines.
When a website goes beyond the basics and becomes more technical in nature, this can create challenges for modern search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.
Technical SEO Audits (or technical website consulting) cover areas like conversion rate optimization and online marketing in general.
We will go over the various stages of performing a technical SEO audit or review for modern SEO practices.
Technical SEO Audit stage 1: Diagnosing current website technical issues
The first stage in any Technical SEO Audit is diagnosing what needs to be addressed so that you can create a plan to improve rankings and conversions. The following are check lists to help you diagnose the issues that should be addressed.
#1) Security Issues
Does your website have any security HTTPS errors? Google has made it clear that if you have an insecure site, they will not index your content. A detailed guide on how to fix these HTTPs errors can be found here This is a very simple yet important issue that every website owner must understand as this affects not only SEO but also security and trust in general. If there are no security issues detected, move to the next step #2
#2) Technical Issues
Technical issues are any SEO related problems that can be addressed merely by making changes to the website itself. This could either be a conversion rate issue or an indexing failure, and these will need to be addressed before stepping into the next step.
Technical SEO Audit stage 2: Competitor Analysis
The second stage of any Technical SEO audit is to analyze the competitors that rank better than you do in search results. For example, if your website sells products related to dog food and the top 3 organic results are websites selling dog food, it is time for you to perform a competitor analysis on them so that you can identify why these websites are performing well.
The only way you will be able to identify where your website requires improvement is by analyzing the successfulness of your competitors’ websites. Start from the basics and move forward step by step until you have an idea of what they are doing differently from you (e.g., more backlinks, higher quality content).
Technical SEO Audit stage 3: Website performance issues
By analyzing tools like Google Analytics, we can identify if your issues may be user experience related. If visitors do not stay on your website for very long, you may have issues with your performance. You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to test how well a website is performing by testing things like:
Website Speed – This tool grades websites over a wide set of factors and shows users the speed of their website in detail. PageSpeed Insights has a feature called Lighthouse that helps you identify what needs to be done to improve performance (regarding speed).
Mobile Performance – Mobilegeddon has made mobile friendliness and performance a top priority on Google. Your website must provide an optimal user experience for mobile users, or your rankings may suffer
Page Size – The size of the page being displayed is an important factor to consider when analyzing performance. Files that are too large will not load properly and slow down pages and/or cause them to timeout (not display). Users with slower connections will also face issues as their internet provider restricts how fast they can download files.
Specific Elements – Some elements do not perform well in certain browsers like Flash player, which can create problems for visitors using those browsers (this mainly affects older computers).
Technical SEO Audit stage 4: Google’s Quality Guidelines
Thanks to algorithm updates like regular core updates, Penguin, Panda, and hundreds of others, Google’s quality guidelines are a constant moving target.
Our team studies what Google currently wants to see in a website in elements like Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, H Tags, and more.
Technical SEO Audit stage 5: Backlink Audits
A backlink audit contains two parts: a link analysis and a link disavowal. Auditing your Link Juice is crucial to knowing how much value each of your links brings you and to ensure that you do not have an inorganic footprint, which could cause problems with Google.
When doing your analysis, look for things like:
Negative SEO – this can be done by competitors or even strangers who create negative content about your brand on purpose (e.g., slanderous comments) so as to decrease the trust/reputation of your site and thus affect search engine rankings (SEO). For example; if someone gets angry at Burger King and makes a comment on Facebook or Twitter about their bad experience there, people may see this comment without realizing its true intentions and distrust the company (even if they haven’t yet had a problem with Burger King).
Links from irrelevant sites – Links from domains that are not related to your industry or website content will hurt ranking in search engines. Links should be relevant to a topic, but it is also important that the anchor text be closely related to the link as well. For example, links using unrelated keywords like “click here” or “read more” would be considered low quality by Google and decrease their relevancy factor for ranking purposes.
Want to Schedule a Complimentary Analysis?
Download the 20/180 Principle
The 20/180 Principle is Shawn the SEO Geek’s “Secret Sauce”, if there is such a thing. Now, you can learn it yourself.
Do you have a team that needs to know SEO so you can get as much organic traffic from the start? In House Training Packages are available.
An SEO Audit Discovers the TRUTH
Part of the reason our SEO Audit is so effective is because it gets right to the root cause of issues that prevent great website rankings. This way, you are not dependent on months of “sifting” and trial and error.
With our process, within a month, you are able to see the direct issues that are holding you back from ecommerce profitability.
Is there an Ecommerce SEO Audit Checklist?
While there certainly are ecommerce SEO best practices, it is hard to break down a one-size-fits-all audit checklist. This is because of the numerous nuances that each ecommerce platform brings.
However, Google does have ranking signals that are known to hold more weight than others. In fact, this is where the initial premise for the 20/180 principle came from.
How Long does a typical Technical SEO Audit take?
Our technical SEO Audits are typically completed in about 30 days. What makes our service unique is that we also audit the implementation of the recommendations and then we meet quarterly to review the effectiveness of the audit findings and related changes.