Technical SEO is an essential element of any SEO strategy. It focuses on optimising websites to ensure that search engines such as Google are able to find, crawl, understand and index the pages – with the ultimate goal of improving search engine results pages (SERPs) rankings. This type of SEO covers all the technical elements of websites that impact on SEO, from hosting and XML sitemaps to site speed and mobile-friendliness.
The reason why technical SEO is so important is that, no matter how valuable the content on your website is, it won’t appear or rank highly in the SERPs if your site isn’t accessible to search engines.
The best way to uncover any issues that might be getting in the way of a website’s visibility in the search rankings is to carry out a technical SEO audit. But what exactly are these audits, how do you go about completing them, and how often should you do them? Keep reading to find out.
What is an SEO audit? In short, a technical SEO audit is an analysis of the technical elements of a website that relate to search rankings. These assessments allow you to identify and address any problems that are impacting on the performance of your site in the SERPs. At Click Consult, our audits review all aspects of your site and detect any on-page elements that require optimisation. They also look at websites’ backlink profiles and the content that appears on sites. As well as ensuring sites are performing as well as possible for SEO, we analyse user experience.
In fact, our in-house tool monitorTRAX™ examines over 75 off and on-page factors to make sure your website is performing at the optimum level. Our audits cover everything from meta tags and descriptions to hreflang tags – the HTML attribute used to specify the geographical targeting and language of a webpage.
The key to an effective SEO audit is to leave no stone unturned. By analysing all relevant aspects of a website from a search ranking and user experience perspective, you stand the best possible chance of setting your website up for success. When they are done right, and the findings are acted upon, technical SEO audits can help to:
Make your website more visible in the SERPs Drive more traffic to your site Increase the conversion rate Enhance customer satisfaction When should you do a technical SEO audit? There isn’t universal consensus over when SEO audits should be carried out, but there are some basic pointers to bear in mind. For example, it is advisable to carry out an initial audit on a new site, and you should also consider running audits following updates to your website, particularly if the updates are large in scope.
The size and complexity of your site will also have a bearing on how often you should run these audits. The bigger and more complex your site, the more often you will need to do technical SEO audits. And if you operate in a highly competitive industry, you might need to run audits more often than businesses in less crowded industries. You might also want to perform one of these audits if you spot that your rankings have stalled or dropped.
Generally speaking, it pays to plan regular technical SEO audits as part of your ongoing site maintenance, particularly if you are continuously publishing new content.
How to conduct a technical SEO site audit There are various elements that are typically included in a technical SEO site audit, which we will outline below. Don’t panic if you feel out of your depth when it comes to these assessments though. You are certainly not alone. The fact is, these audits are highly technical by nature. Because of this, many businesses rely on expert third parties to help them with this element of their website management and SEO strategy.
Key elements of SEO audits include, but aren’t limited to:
Crawling the site Identifying and fixing any crawlability and indexability problems Auditing site architecture Assessing technical on-page elements Checking for any issues regarding images Addressing internal linking issues Identifying coding problems Checking external links Identifying duplicate content issues Assessing site performance and speed Making sure the site is mobile-friendly Performing log file analysis Any one of these elements taken alone could be the subject of its own detailed blog, so for the purposes of this post, we have just provided a basic overview of the sorts of the issues that technical SEO audits examine and address.
As we indicated above, unless you are an expert in technical SEO, the best option when it comes to running these analyses on your website is to turn to the specialists. At Click Consult, our organic search team is perfectly placed to help your business with this crucial aspect of SEO. With a combined digital experience totalling multiple decades, we will help you ensure your website is performing at its best.
Our specialists make over 25 site-wide checks and more than 14 template-specific checks to provide in-depth, actionable advice.
Final thoughts To give your website the best chance of fulfilling its potential in the SERPs, it is vital that you incorporate technical SEO audits into your search strategy. When done well and at the right times, these audits can deliver multiple benefits that help to give your business a competitive edge online.