What You Need to Know About the Technical Site Audit: Beyond the Minute

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We’ve all been on a website with issues. The page takes forever to load, links keep turning up 404 errors or using the navigation system feels like an exercise in patience. But have you thought about how your users experience your site? A technical site audit (AKA a technical SEO audit) can help you identify UX pain points that could frustrate users.

What is a Technical Site Audit?

A technical site audit analyzes all the hidden factors that make it harder for search engine crawlers to index a website. These audits identify technical aspects of a website that affect your website’s ranking on Google, Bing and Yahoo search engine results pages (SERPs). Technical SEO analysis looks at factors like broken links, sitemap issues, slow load speeds and how many clicks it takes to get from one point on a website to another.

You might already know the importance of optimizing each page for its content. In most cases, doing a technical site audit should come first. If there are major technical issues with a website, content optimization won’t make as great of an impact as it could. Improve your website for search engine spiders by addressing back-end optimization opportunities with a technical SEO site audit.

Ashley and Freddy talk about technical site audits.

How to Conduct a Technical SEO Site Audit: Start with a Crawl

To simulate a search engine crawler, we use a tool like SEMrush, Raven Tools or Screaming Frog to identify exactly where errors are occurring on a website. There are a number of these tools that crawl the site exactly as a search engine would. These crawlers provide the user with valuable technical SEO information.

The errors that turn up in a technical website audit vary in importance. Some aren’t worth taking the time to fix immediately. Other errors are critical to site performance and should be rectified immediately.

A Oneupweb technical site audit will also include items that aren’t necessarily displayed with a crawler. We use manual website technical audit techniques, including doing our own investigation of the site structure and using data from Google Search Console and Google Analytics to look at a site with a critical eye.

Related: How to Choose the Best SEO Agency

Common Technical SEO Audit Errors

You might be overwhelmed by the number of technical errors you discover after a crawl. The good news is that they don’t all require your immediate attention. Using a professional team will help you sort through all the information you get and decide what is vital to resolve as soon as possible. Think of it as a triage process; Oneupweb will identify problems that need immediate care and save the smaller issues for later.

We include several first-touch problems to investigate through our page crawling tools and our manual audit. These common errors often help us discover deeper problems or other opportunities to improve. Use this technical SEO audit checklist to start your next TSA:

  • Broken internal and external links. A crawler should identify links in your content that are broken. They might lead to your own pages that need to be redirected or external pages that are broken, in which case you’ll need to replace them. Bad links provide a bad user experience and tend to lower your ranking with search engines.
  • Robots.txt issues. Website owners use a /robots.txt file to communicate with the robots crawling their site. Sometimes, you might have a code in place that prevents the crawler from indexing your site. Even if you accidentally block the crawler from one page on your site, it can cause issues.
  • Sitemap issues. A proper sitemap lets Google know which pages to index and what your website looks like. It provides a map for the crawler that streamlines the crawling process. A sitemap that’s confusing or vague may lead to a spider stopping mid-crawl.
  • Nofollow or noindex code. We make sure these codes don’t exist where they’re not supposed to. It means a link shouldn’t be followed (read trusted to Google) or a page shouldn’t be indexed in search. Accidental nofollow or noindex code on important site pages may lead to vital information that never shows up in the SERP.
  • Slow page speed. Slow page speed is a big factor in ranking these days due to the poor user experience provided on a slow website. If it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 75% of users will leave the page.
  • HTTPS. Non-secure sites are a thing of the past. Linking only to secure sites lends credibility and trustworthiness to your website. You’ll know a link is secure because it points to a site with HTTPS instead of HTTP. A crawl will let you know if your internal links aren’t secure or if you’re linking to external sites that aren’t.

When we perform a site audit for our clients, we’re looking at all these factors and more. It’s a huge process that involves examining the code, content and keyword strategy, then developing a forward strategy to improve the search performance of the website.

How Often Should You Perform a Technical Site Audit?

It depends on how much content you’re creating. If you’re putting out 10 new blogs a week, you’ll need to perform a technical SEO audit more often than someone only creating content once per week.

At Oneupweb, we perform a full-scale technical site audit every one or two years, or when significant changes are made to a website, like launching an updated site.

Dive Deeper with Technical Site Audit Services from Oneupweb

We sweat the details, so you don’t have to. Oneupweb technical SEO audit services combine multiple team members that ensure no stone is left unturned. We have the tools and the process to provide effective results. Let’s get started; drop us a note or call 231-922-9977 today.

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