Have you put effort into adding keywords and external links to your content but still haven’t seen improvement in your rankings?
You’re not alone.
Content won’t get you far if you have unresolved technical SEO issues on your website.
And the answer to your issues is a technical SEO audit.
What is a technical SEO audit?
A technical SEO audit evaluates how various technical elements of your website impact your rankings and visibility on Google.
These elements are analyzed at every step of how your website comes together, starting with how your server is set up and how your content is structured and ending at how your content is rendered by Googlebot or a user’s browser.
Psst. Don’t overlook the “easily crawlable” part. Without crawling, there is no indexing. And if your page is not indexed, it won’t appear in search results, regardless of how relevant it is to the user’s search query. Find more information in our guide to indexing SEO.
Psst. Don’t overlook the “easily crawlable” part. Without crawling, there is no indexing. And if your page is not indexed, it won’t appear in search results, regardless of how relevant it is to the user’s search query.
Find more information in our guide to indexing SEO.
Forgetting about technical SEO is a major mistake made by many website owners, even though it’s the foundation upon which all SEO rests.
What is the purpose of a technical SEO audit?
A technical SEO audit can uncover ways to improve your site’s technical performance and increase your business’s visibility in search results.
By performing a technical SEO audit, you can gain control over the aspects of your website that you likely don’t think about on a regular basis, even though they can damage your online visibility. To give some examples:
- Your rankings on Google can be at risk when there’s duplicate content on your website — which is often generated by your CMS or server without you knowing it.
- If your server can’t handle a traffic spike, it can discourage crawlers from crawling the content on your website, resulting in fewer URLs being indexed and shown on Google.
- Your website’s loading speed and user experience can be affected by third-party scripts, such as ads, that are present on the page, with negative consequences for your users and your organic traffic.
While you can’t rank on Google without great, original content, your content alone is not enough — technical problems can make any web page essentially invisible to Google. The purpose of a technical SEO audit is to find technical issues that limit your content’s ranking potential.
What is the difference between a technical SEO audit and a standard SEO audit?
The distinction between a technical SEO audit and an ordinary SEO audit usually lies in the scope of the examined aspects of the website, as well as the thoroughness of the audit.
If we were to compare areas of SEO to an iceberg, content optimization would be the visible peak, while a technical SEO audit delves into the unseen aspects that lie beneath the surface.
In addition, to do a technical SEO audit, you need advanced tools, such as SEO crawlers, which you may not always use for an audit focused on content and digital PR.
Why perform a technical SEO audit?
Success in SEO is dependent on a chain of interconnected events going your way.
The initial step is to make your pages accessible to search engine bots, which will then present them to users. Once this has been accomplished, you need to entice users to click on and engage with your page.
Each stage of developing an SEO strategy has its pitfalls and opportunities that can catapult you to the top of the SERP. A technical SEO audit can help you increase your visibility and profits at each of these stages.
Let me take you through a journey of seven consecutive ways in which technical SEO audit can benefit your business.
Enhancing your crawl budget
A website’s crawl budget pertains to the number of URLs that a search engine bot, such as Googlebot, can crawl and wants to explore. The tricky part is bots only crawl URLs they deem important.
Pages that it doesn’t want to visit won’t be indexed by Google and will never reach its users.
So, your goal should be to ensure that Googlebot sees as relevant and crawls as many of your pages as possible, especially those that are relevant to your business.
Crawl budget optimization, as a vital aspect of technical SEO, aims to convince Googlebot to crawl your valuable pages more quickly and thoroughly. By understanding how Googlebot navigates through a website and why it can’t visit more valuable pages, website owners can optimize their crawl budget and gain control over the bot traffic on their website.
Overcoming indexing issues
Indexing involves storing web pages in a search engine’s database, which is necessary for your website to be visible on the SERP. If pages are not indexed, it can be a critical business issue for your entire organization, resulting in wasted time and resources for writers, designers, developers, and managers.
A technical SEO audit can reveal how to avoid this negative scenario. By performing it, you’ll learn what’s stopping your pages from getting indexed and identify parts of your website that struggle the most.
Showing crawlers important content and how to present it
Search engine crawlers do not interpret your pages the same way that humans do, making it necessary to offer them additional support in comprehending your content.
Removing impediments for search engine crawlers is just one aspect of technical SEO. By conducting an audit, you can create signposts for crawlers that indicate areas where they’re welcome, areas they’re not permitted to access, and guidance on how to interpret your content.
To communicate effectively with crawlers, however, you must speak their language. Here are some examples of how technical SEO audit can assist you with it:
- Providing your website with structured data helps search engines identify rich media content and understand the purpose of each page element on a website. This eliminates ambiguity and helps search engines accurately match the content to relevant queries.
- Adding robots meta directives that give instructions to crawlers on how to crawl and index webpage content. These directives serve as suggestions for crawler behavior and can strongly influence how bots crawl a webpage.
- Optimizing your robots.txt – a file that allows you to control the crawling of your website by search engine bots. It contains rules for crawlers on which pages to crawl or not to crawl. It’s critical to avoid low-quality pages from negatively impacting the entire site’s search engine ranking, which could deter bots from crawling high-quality pages.
- Creating a sitemap that lists all URLs on a website, providing search engine bots with a digital map that helps them locate valuable pages to index.
Improving web performance
How else can you boost your search engine rankings? Nowadays, improving your website’s performance is essential not just because of SEO but because of the high expectations your users have.
Web performance is a critical aspect of user experience and SEO, as slow-loading and unresponsive sites increase abandonment rates and reduce user satisfaction.
The satisfaction of your users is also important for Google, which strives to promote fast-loading sites in its search results. In 2021 Google introduced brand new Core Web Vitals metrics to evaluate user experience based on web performance and incorporate that assessment into its rankings.
A web performance audit can help ensure that your site loads quickly and is user-friendly, improving your standing with both Google and your users.
Increasing your traffic
Fixing the technical issues behind your website’s web performance and making sure your content gets indexed effectively translates directly into higher rankings for your website and, thus, increased organic traffic.
It’s also worth noting that optimized content with appropriate structured data is displayed on the SERP in a more attractive way for the user. Your search snippets can present, for example, a photo of a product or other additional information. This way, they will attract even more clicks.
Staying ready for a core update
A few times a year, Google updates its core algorithm, which modifies the page ranking system and can cause fluctuations in website traffic. However, conducting regular technical SEO audits can help your website adapt to these changes and impress Google’s new algorithms.
Can I perform a technical SEO audit on my own?
Doing an SEO technical audit on your own is possible but difficult, especially if you’re new to it. You may not have access to the tools needed to accurately identify issues on your website.
Remember that it’s not enough to simply detect the causes of low index coverage and poor web performance. It’s always worth consulting someone who will indicate and explain the most cost-effective solution to these problems.
How much does a technical SEO audit cost?
The cost of a full technical SEO audit will vary depending on two primary factors: the length and complexity of the audit.
Several factors, such as the website’s size, can impact the project’s duration. When gauging its complexity, ask yourself whether the project requires the involvement of highly specialized experts, such as SEOs skilled in web performance optimization, who command higher fees.
For example, creating a robots.txt for a small site is simpler than analyzing an entire custom CMS with the assistance of experienced experts. A more intricate project may involve conducting experiments or creating innovative tools, making it more complex and costly.
As every website has distinct needs, it’s best to negotiate the cost with a technical SEO agency. Avoid services that use a uniform pricing model, as their outcomes may not meet your expectations.
A technical SEO audit is like an X-ray for your website, revealing the hidden issues that affect its search engine ranking and visibility. It’s the foundation of your online presence.
By performing a technical SEO audit, you can overcome indexing issues, enhance your crawl budget, and improve web performance. You’ll gain control over the unseen aspects of your website that could be holding back your online visibility and traffic.
Don’t make the mistake of neglecting technical SEO – it’s crucial for the success of your business online. Book a discovery call with Onely’s experts today!