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How to Conduct a Technical SEO Audit Like a Pro

How to Conduct a Technical SEO Audit Like a Pro

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential strategy for any website owner looking to increase their online visibility and attract more organic traffic. One of the key components of SEO is conducting a technical audit to ensure your website is up to par with search engine requirements. A technical SEO audit involves examining your website's underlying infrastructure and identifying issues that could be hampering its performance in search engine rankings.

In this blog, we'll walk you through the steps on how to conduct a comprehensive technical SEO audit like a pro.

Step 1: Crawl Your Website

The first step in any technical SEO audit is to crawl your website using tools like Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, or SEMrush. These tools simulate how search engines crawl your site, helping you find broken links, redirects, and page errors.

Example: After crawling your site with Screaming Frog, you might discover that several pages return 404 errors because they have been deleted or moved without proper redirection.

Step 2: Check for HTTPS Security

Google has made it clear that secure websites (HTTPS vs HTTP) are favored in their ranking algorithms. Use tools like Qualys SSL Labs to check the security certificate of your site.

Example: You might find that although your site uses HTTPS, some pages still contain mixed content (HTTP and HTTPS), which can compromise security and hurt rankings.

Step 3: Evaluate Site Speed

Site speed is critical for both user experience and SEO. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix can help you assess how quickly your pages load and provide recommendations for improvement.

Example: PageSpeed Insights may reveal that large, unoptimized images are slowing down your page load times significantly.

Step 4: Analyze On-Page SEO Elements

Check each page for proper use of on-page elements such as title tags, meta descriptions, headers (H1s), and image alt text. Each element should be optimized with relevant keywords without being over-stuffed.

Example: You might notice that some of your pages have duplicate title tags or missing meta descriptions which can negatively impact click-through rates from search results.

Step 5: Ensure Mobile-Friendliness

With mobile-first indexing now fully rolled out by Google, ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly is non-negotiable. Use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see if there are any issues with how your site displays on mobile devices.

Example: The test could show that text is too small to read on mobile devices or clickable elements are too close together.

Step 6: Validate HTML/CSS

Use the W3C Markup Validation Service to check the validity of your site’s HTML/CSS code. Clean code helps search engines better understand and index your content.

Example: The validator may uncover unclosed tags or deprecated HTML attributes that need fixing for better compliance with web standards.

Step 7: Review Internal Linking Structure

A well-structured internal linking strategy helps spread link equity throughout the site and improve navigation for users. Look out for broken internal links or orphaned pages (pages not linked from anywhere else on the site).

Example: An audit might reveal an important product page that isn't linked from anywhere else on the website, making it harder for both users and search engines to find it.

Step 8: Examine Indexation

Using Google Search Console, check what pages are indexed by Google versus what should be indexed. Look out for discrepancies such as unintentionally blocked pages in robots.txt or via noindex tags.

Example: You might find out that new blog posts aren't being indexed because they were accidentally tagged with “noindex.”

Step 9: Identify Crawl Errors/Redirect Issues

Within Google Search Console under "Coverage," look for crawl errors like server errors or redirect loops which could prevent search engines from properly accessing content on your website.

Example: There may be redirect chains where one redirected URL leads to another redirected URL instead of resolving directly to an active page.

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Step 10: Assess Canonical Tags Usage

Canonical tags help prevent duplicate content issues by specifying which version of a URL you want search engines to treat as authoritative. Ensure these are correctly implemented across similar or duplicate pages within your site.

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