Beginners Guide: how to conduct a technical SEO audit
Looking to improve your website's SEO? Our beginner's guide walks you through conducting a technical SEO audit step-by-step. Boost your rankings now!
Published bySEO Team
In today’s digital age, having a website that is optimised for search engines is critical for businesses to reach their target audience. One of the key components of optimising a website for search engines is through technical SEO, which focuses on improving the technical aspects of a website to help it rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). Conducting a technical SEO audit is the first step towards identifying and resolving issues that might be hindering a website’s performance on search engines. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to follow to conduct a technical SEO audit.
Step 1: crawl the site
The first step in conducting a technical SEO audit is to crawl your website using a tool like Screaming Frog or Lumar (Deepcrawl). These tools will give you a comprehensive list of all the pages on your website, along with details like title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and more. This information will help you identify any issues with your site’s structure or content that may be impacting your SEO.
Additionally to these crawlers, there are other tools on the market such as SEMRush that can conduct site audits and put together reports around various issues such as crawlability, indexability, internal linking or Core Web Vitals.
Step 2: check your site’s structure
Once you’ve crawled your website, it’s time to check your site’s structure. This includes elements like your sitemap, robots.txt file, and URL structure. Make sure your sitemap is up to date and includes all of your website’s indexable pages. Your robots.txt file should also be properly configured to allow search engines to crawl the pages on your site that you want to be indexed and prevent search engines to crawl pages you don’t want to appear in SERPs. Additionally, make sure your URL structure is clear and easy to understand for both users and search engines.
Step 3: look for any indexability errors
Indexability is a critical aspect of SEO as it determines whether a website’s content can be discovered and included in search engine results pages (SERPs). If a website is not indexable, it will not appear in search results, regardless of how well it is optimised for keywords and user experience. Other than the robots and the sitemap, indexability is closely linked to other technical SEO factors such as canonicalisation, redirecting and broken pages (3xx/4xx/5xx pages). With a properly indexable website, businesses can improve their visibility in search results, increase traffic, and ultimately drive more conversions. In addition, indexability is important for maintaining the accuracy and relevance of search results, as search engines rely on their Index to provide users with the most relevant and up-to-date information.
Step 4: analyse your website’s speed and performance
Website speed and performance are critical factors in SEO. Slow loading times can lead to a poor user experience, which can impact your search engine rankings. Use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to analyse your site’s speed and performance. These tools will give you insights into areas like page load times, page size, and the number of requests made to the server. Passing the Core Web Vitals is key to increase the chances of your site ranking high on the search results page. These tools also offer recommendations on how to optimise the pages. Make any necessary changes to improve your site’s speed and performance.
Step 5: check your website’s mobile friendliness
With more and more users accessing the internet from their mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to check how your site appears on mobile devices. This tool will give you insights into any issues with your site’s mobile usability and provide recommendations on how to fix them.
Step 6: analyse your website’s security
Website security is another critical factor in SEO. Search engines prioritise secure websites and penalise those that are not. Check your website’s security by using a tool like SSL Labs or Qualys SSL Labs. These tools will give you insights into any security vulnerabilities on your site along with suggestions to resolve them.
Step 7: check your website for internalisation issues
Any website that aims to reach a global audience, or even just a particular international market, needs to consider implementing international SEO strategies. In SEO internalisation refers to the domain structure (.com/.co.uk etc), the language of the site, the site location setup in Google Search Console, the lang attribute and the hreflang implementation. SEO tools such as SEMRush and Screaming Frog can help to identify any localisation issues on a website.
Step 8: conduct a content audit
Finally, conduct a content audit to identify any issues with your site’s content. This includes elements like duplicate, thin and outdated content. Tools like Screaming Frog or SEMRush can provide insights about the metadata, headers and on-page text. Then, manually review your site’s content to identify any issues. Make any necessary changes to improve the quality and relevance of your site’s content. By optimizing the content to be informative, unique, keyword-targeted, and relevant, the likelihood of your website attaining a higher ranking on search engine results pages can be greatly improved.
In conclusion, conducting a technical SEO audit is a critical step in improving your website’s search engine rankings. By following the steps outlined in this beginner’s guide, you’ll be able to identify and fix any technical issues that may be holding your site back from ranking higher in search results.
If you want support with developing your SEO strategy, please get in touch today. We’d love to hear from you.
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