Your website may have the best products or services and the best content in your industry but if it is littered with unsettled search engine optimisation (SEO) issues, gaining high ranks in search engines result pages will certainly be a struggle for you. This is why the application of technical SEO techniques comes in handy for most businesses. But what is technical SEO and why is it important for you?
Technical SEO is a system that involves the application of various techniques to improve your rankings in search engines. It may involve having your web pages crawled, indexed and rendered. Crawling involves a search engine running a bot to read your web pages, indexing involves the gathering of data that the bots have read and adding your web pages to the search engine results while rendering involves search engine bots retrieving your web pages, running your code and assessing your site content to comprehend the layout of your website.
If all the information overwhelms you, don’t worry because we will only share the most basic stuff about technical SEO today and if you are currently hiring an SEO agency, they are the ones responsible for running it properly for you.
In simple words, technical SEO can be utilised to improve your online presence and in order for your business to truly take advantage of this process, you have to optimise your website.
What is a Technical SEO Audit?
Technical SEO audit simply means checking out the technical elements of your website and finding out what needs to be fixed or improved. There are 3 major things that need to be checked during a technical SEO audit; back-end factors, front-end factors and link quality and outside references. Hosting and indexing are part of the back-end factors while metadata, keywords and content are part of front-end factors.
After running the technical SEO audit, you may be given a list of issues that need to be addressed with. Not all of them would get immediate attention though.
What you need to attend immediately are the parts of your website that your customers will see. This would mean making your website mobile-friendly. More than 50% of online searches actually happen on mobile devices which is why search engines tend to begin the crawling process on mobile websites.
How to Do a Technical SEO Audit
Analyse your website index. Find out how your website is being indexed by various search engines. You can type the command ‘site:https://www.domain name’ on the search engine box or use an SEO auditing tool to figure it out. After opening the search engine or SEO auditing tool, type the URL of your website and the tool will calculate your website’s domain authority and see which of your pages are indexed.
The ideal result should be close to the number of pages you have on your website. If there are fewer pages than expected, review the pages you disallowed for indexing and see if it matches. If not, take into consideration the non-indexed pages and have them crawled by bots so they can be indexed as soon as possible.
Check out which of your website assets are blocked from indexing. All your pages and files must be analysed. Determine which of them should be indexed or non-indexed so you can attend to them as soon as you can.
Make your Uniform Resource Locators SEO-friendly. The URLs of your pages must contain the preferred keywords to make it rank. It should also not exceed 75 characters and should not include parameters like an underscore or question mark.
Analyse your website structure. It should be logical and shallow. Make sure that within your website, your visitors can get anything they want in 3 clicks or less. Take advantage of internal linking to improve the ranking power of your other pages too.
Find out which of your content is using HTTPS. The use of HTTPS has been used by Google as a criterion for ranking since 2014. If you haven’t migrated your content fully or if some of your content is already using HTTPS, HTTPS migration can be utilised.
Crawl budget optimisation. Crawl budget is the term used for the number of web pages that search engine bots will crawl on your website on any given period of time. To make this step work, attend to your broken links, redirect chains and regulate the indexing of web pages with no SEO advantage.
Get rid of duplicate content. This will cause considerable harm to your search engine rankings. Technical SEO auditing will help you find the duplicate pages and as soon as you find them, get rid of it. If you want to keep that page, make sure the search engine bots won’t crawl on it.
Find out your loading speed and improve it. Find out how long it takes for a single page in your website to fully load. It should only take about 2 second or less. If your loading speed is too slow, it will increase your bounce rate and lower your conversion rate.
Optimise your pages for mobile use. In 2018, Google began the indexing process on mobile websites first. This means that if you have a desktop and mobile version of your website, your mobile website will be indexed first. If your goal is to improve your online presence, make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Analyse your sitemap. Is it clean, up-to-date, concise and registered on search engine consoles? The answer should be yes. Your sitemap will inform search engines about your website structure and help them find new content from it.
Include structured data in your website. Structured data tells the search engine details about your pages. They are frequently used in content such as FAQs, reviews or listicles and shown in search engine results.
Request the search engines to crawl your website again. After technical SEO auditing, you may be given a list of pages that needs fixing. After attending to these pages, you can deliberately ask the search engines to recrawl your website and make sure they are indexed as soon as possible.
How to Conduct a Technical SEO Site Audit
The world of search engine optimisation is changing rapidly and in order for you and your business to keep up, you must optimise it. We have mentioned the steps of technical SEO site audit as an overview earlier. All you need to do is follow it.
Technical SEO auditing should not only be done once. It should be done on a regular basis because the algorithms of search engines frequently change. You may want to perform a small scale audit every month or a larger scale every quarter or 6 months.
Your competitors are working hard to rank better than you. Stay relevant! Outrank them by updating your old content and attending whatever SEO issues your website is facing.
Remember, if you are unsure what to do, let the experts handle it. If you want to improve your website’s SEO performance as soon as possible, you can rely on Smarter Media to deliver the requirements you need!