A thorough technical SEO audit of a website is indeed a big deal that can look baffling to beginners. Here are a few steps to performing an in-depth technical SEO audit that can give you reliable results
What to consider
Before getting started with a technical SEO audit, you must gain familiarity with the client’s business goals, target audience, partnerships, when the website was last updated, who works on their web development, and was the website subjected to SEO so far.
Getting started with a technical SEO audit
The aspects to focus on in a technical SEO audit include crawl errors, indexing and hosting. To get started, add the site to DeepCrawl and Screaming Frog. The tools you will need include DeepCrawl, Screaming Frog, Google Analytics, Copyscape, Integrity, Google Tag Manager, and Google Analytics code.
When you add the site to DeepCrawl, you can expect the results in a day or two depending on the size of the site. Look for these things once you get the DeepCrawl results.
Check “Duplicate Pages” and locate duplicate content. Ask the client to rewrite those pages and during the meantime, add you need to add this tag to the duplicate pages tag to the duplicate pages.
The most common duplicate issues you might notice include duplicate Meta titles, duplicate Meta descriptions, duplicate body content, two domains, subdomains, similar content found on some other domain, and the pagination pages not implemented properly.
By adding canonical tag on the pages, you can give an indication to Google on your preferred URL. In the robots.txt., disallow the incorrect URLs. Rewrite the entire content including the Meta data and the body.
Rectify pagination errors
Fix Max Redirections
Check the report on “Max Redirections” to locate the pages that redirect over 4 times. Some of the most common redirect response codes you might see are 301, 302, 400, 403, 404, and 500.
To fix redirect issues, remove the external links leading to the old 404 pages. Update them with the internal link of the redirected page. You can undo the redirect chains by removing the middle redirects. The next thing to do is to add the site URL to Screaming Frog. If needed, you can also skip some areas of the site. In the Screaming Frog results, look at these aspects to fix.
Check for missing Google Analytics Code
Screaming Frog lets you find out which pages are missing the Google Analytics code (UA-1234568-9). To fix the missing Google Analytics Code, ask the developers to add the code to the specific pages that are missing.
Check for errors on Google Tag Manager
Screaming Frog also lets you know which pages have missed the Google Tag Manager snippet. Go to Configuration tab and then go to Custom. Add iframe src-“//www.googletagmanager.com/ after setting the filter to Does not contain. Check for errors and update on Google Tag Manager. Share the code with the developer to add to the site.
Check Schema markup
Check if the website is using schema markup. This helps the search engines understand what the given page is on the site. On Screaming Frog check schema markup by going to the Configuration tab and Custom. Add itemtype=”http://schema.\.org/ after selecting ‘Contain’ in the Filter.
Fix Indexing errors
On Screaming Frog you can also find out how many of the site’s pages are indexed. Once the site loads on Screaming Frog, go to Directives > Filter > Index and check if there are any missing pieces of code.
In case of new sites, Google might not have indexed it. Ensure you are not disallowing the elements that you want Google to crawl by checking the robots.txt file. Check if the sitemap of the site is submitted to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Also conduct a manual research.
Rectify Hosting issues
This is a very crucial aspect to follow up in a technical SEO audit as hosting can seriously harm SEO. Access the client’s server and do a manual check for any issues. The commonest hosting issues you might find are wrong TLD and slow site speed.
To fix wrong TLD, make sure that the IP address matches with the country from which the website is operating. If the site has both a .co domain and also a .com domain, redirect the .co to your client’s .com domain. To fix the slow loading speed, identify the factors causing it by using tools like PageSpeed Tools and Pingdom. Some of the issues that could cause this include Host, large images, plugins, embedded videos, ads, theme, widgets, and repetitive script and dense code. Fix these items to rectify hosting errors.