Not many new website owners look into technical SEO, but this is very important. For more success, you require a strong technical foundation, which is an absolute necessity. That is why you need to include technical SEO factors in your next audit.
But what are the factors you should prioritize and include for the SEO audit? Read on as I show you the nine things to look into!
With a sitemap file on your website, it helps search engines understand the site structure, locate pages easily, and give it access to crawl.
You don’t have to go all out with your XML sitemap, it can simply be one line of your website per line. However, it’s important to organize it properly.
If you want to check the sitemap file, just search for it in your browser, adding sitemap.html or sitemap.xml. You can also check it in the sitemaps section from Google Search Console. From there, you can get information about your sitemap, such as when it was submitted, the successfully indexed URLs, and if there were any issues.
When robot.txt exists on your website, this can help check its overall health. This file can make or break your performance in search engine results.
For instance, if you set the robots.txt to “disallow: /“, that means Google won’t index your website since the “/“ is a root. That’s why it’s crucial to check the robots.txt first in an SEO audit, as many website owners commit mistakes here.
You can check the robots.txt with Google Search Console.
- Any Crawl Errors
You can check for Crawl Errors on Google Search Console, which will help identify any crawl errors exiting on your website. This is a vital component of SEO audits, because the more crawl errors there are, the more search engines will have an issue finding and indexing webpages.
You can check for crawl errors using Google Search Errors, identifying any 400/500 server and/or Not Found errors on your website. There are also other tools you can use to fix crawl errors.
- Multiple URLs
If you have multiple URLs, Google will see more than two versions of the page as your content source. You’ll be surprised by how many URL versions exist, such as capital URLs, those with dashes and underscores, and more.
If you have different URL versions that are for one content, search engines will find this bad, causing you to rank lower.
To find this, you’ll need to point the rel=canonical of such pages for the one version, which should be the main (and only) source of your content. It’s also best to consolidate the URLs to one RL, which can help make it easier to crawl. If you don’t have full control of your website’s updates, make sure to look into your URLs.
- SSL Certification
All websites should have an SSL certificate, which affects both your SEO efforts and customer experience. Furthermore, Google now prefers websites with SSL certificates, which is why you need to check if your own site has a secure certificate installed.
You can check this by looking at the URL. If the website has an “https://“ on the domain name, they have secure certification. BUT, you also have to check if there is a red X, meaning the website has certification but with issues.
If this happens to your website, make sure that the variations of the https:// are resolved. You may have to get a wildcard secure certificate to ensure all issues are fixed properly.
If you took the time to minify such files, you can experience better load times, taking a mere three seconds to load a page completely.
A good SEO company or software can identify any server bottlenecks or issues with large files. Once identified, you know which parts of your website you need to tweak to help decrease load time.
- Optimizing Images
It won’t completely make or break your website, but it would decrease site speed, which affects your user experience and SEO efforts. Fortunately, there are tools that identify any images missing alt text, or those with lengthy alt text.
- W3C Validation and HTML Errors
Does your website have any HTML errors and/or incorrect W3C validation? You’ll need to correct them immediately!
While correcting such errors on its own won’t increase ranking, I can still improve rendering in browsers. And if they are very bad errors, such corrections can also help improve page speed. Note that this is just a case-by-case basis and won’t work for all websites.
This is simply a contributing factor to help the main factor, which is site speed. There are tools and websites that can validate your W3C and identify HTML errors to fix. It’s pretty quick and easy to do, which is why it’s still important to check.
- Optimizing For Mobile
As I always say, the mobile will be here to stay and prosper. There are tons of benefits why you need to optimize your website for mobile, both for the users and your SEO.
In fact, Google uses mobile-first indexing for over half the webpages in their search result, and that it’s the default for all new web domains. With its widespread use, mobile optimization and nay issues will need to be addressed immediately.
You can easily check this by making sure all your content developed can be viewed on any mobile device. There are tools and software that can help you with this.
Be sure that your design is responsive and fast-loading, easy to navigate, and to avoid using AMP.
Wrapping It Up
SEO audits are crucial to ensure that your website works properly and will be crawled for better rankings. With the factors mentioned above, you’re able to take your audits to the next level and increase your chances of being part of the top SERPs!
So don’t wait any longer and make sure you have the right tools to conduct a thorough and complete SEO audit today.