In today's digital age, simply having an impressive website filled with high-quality content isn't enough to guarantee online success. To rise through the ranks of search engine results and capture a broader audience, it's essential to establish a robust technical base for your website. This is where the significance of a technical SEO becomes evident. Technical SEO audit revolves around the optimization of your website's structure, performance, and code to maximize its search engine friendliness.
In this article, we will explore what technical SEO is and guide you on how to perform a technical SEO audit.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the practice of fine-tuning a website's technical elements to enhance its performance in search engine rankings. Technical SEO audit involves optimizing various factors, such as website speed, ensuring that search engines can easily crawl the site, and ensuring that search engines can understand its content. It's worth noting that technical SEO is a critical component of on-page SEO, which focuses on improving elements directly on your website to achieve higher search rankings.
Why is Technical SEO Important?
Technical SEO holds immense importance because it directly impacts how your website performs in Google's search results. If search engines can't easily access and understand your web pages, no matter how valuable your content is, those pages won't appear or rank in search results. This means you miss out on potential visitors and revenue for your business.
Additionally, Google has confirmed that factors like page speed and mobile-friendliness influence rankings. Slow-loading pages can frustrate users, causing them to leave your site, which in turn signals to Google that your site may not offer a positive user experience, potentially leading to lower rankings.
Key Elements of Technical SEO
Three essential categories can be used to classify the key elements of technical SEO, each of which is essential to the performance of your website in search engines:
Performance involves optimizing your website's speed, streamlining code to reduce bloat, implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for quicker mobile load times, and ensuring your website is responsive and user-friendly across various devices.
Indexation strategies revolve around helping search engines understand your website better. This includes establishing an effective internal linking structure, creating sitemaps for search engines to navigate your site efficiently, addressing duplicate content issues, and regularly checking log files to monitor search engine interactions with your website.
How to Perform a Technical SEO Audit?
Here's a step-by-step guide to conducting a thorough technical SEO audit, ensuring your website is primed for better search engine performance:
1. Website Crawling Analysis
2. Crawling and Indexing Assessment
Go to Google Search Console to check if search engines are crawling and indexing your site properly. Look out for crawl errors, sitemap problems, or resources that are blocked from indexing.
3. Site Speed Evaluation
Test how fast your website loads using PageSpeed Insights or a similar tool. Identify areas where you can make improvements to speed up your site.
4. Mobile-Friendliness Check
To check if your website is responsive on mobile devices, use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test. Make sure mobile users have a seamless experience.
5. Duplicate Content Examination
Look for duplicate content on your site using tools like Siteliner or Copyscape. Search engine rankings might be negatively impacted by duplicate content.
6. Site Structure and Internal Linking Review
Review your site's organization, navigation, and how pages are linked together. Make sure it's easy for users to find what they're looking for and for search engines to understand your site's structure.
7. Structured Data and Rich Snippets Inspection
Verify if your site uses structured data correctly using Google's Structured Data Testing Tool or Schema.org Validator. This can improve how your site appears in search results.
8. Website Security Check
Check that your site uses HTTPS and has a valid SSL certificate. Ensure you follow security best practices to protect user data and maintain trust with search engines.
9. Meta Tag Assessment
Confirm that each page on your website has unique and descriptive title tags and meta descriptions. These elements help search engines understand your content and encourage users to click on your pages in search results.
Once you know how to perform a technical seo audit, prioritize the issues you've identified and start working on the necessary fixes and improvements.
Top Technical SEO Practices
Follow these simple technical SEO practices to make your website perform better in search engines:
1. Choose One Website Version
Choose "https://yourwebsite.com" or "https://www.yourwebsite.com" as your permanent address, and use it consistently. Having both versions causes problems. Redirect one to the other to avoid issues.
2. Speed Up Your Website
Make your site load faster by shrinking image file sizes, using a Content Distribution Network (CDN), and cleaning up unnecessary code to improve how quickly your pages appear.
3. Use Structured Data
Add a special code to your site to help Google understand your content better. This can make your search results look more informative.
4. Fix Broken Pages
Broken pages on your site are bad for user experience and waste links. Use tools to find and either bring back deleted pages or redirect old pages with links to relevant ones.
5. Optimize for Core Web Vitals
Google measures how fast and user-friendly your site is. Aim for fast loading times (under 2.5 seconds), quick response to user actions (under 100 milliseconds), and stable page layouts.
6. Multilingual Content
If your site has different languages, use hreflang tags to tell Google which version to show to users in different countries. Add these tags to your page code.
Mastering the fundamentals of technical SEO is pivotal in not only achieving higher search engine rankings but also in delivering an exceptional user experience. By adhering to the outlined best practices, you can establish a robust online foundation. However, it is essential to acknowledge that the digital terrain is always shifting and that continued attention and adaptability are absolutely necessary. If you wish to master the A-Z of SEO you should enroll in our best-selling Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing today!
1. What is the difference between Technical SEO and On-Page SEO?
Technical SEO focuses on optimizing your website's code and structure, while on-page SEO is about formatting and optimizing the content within your webpages.
2. How often should I conduct a Technical SEO audit?
It's advisable to conduct a technical SEO audit at least once per quarter, ideally monthly, or whenever you notice a decline in your search engine rankings.
3. What are the most common technical SEO mistakes to avoid?
Common mistakes include not having HTTPS security, incorrect indexing, missing XML sitemaps, issues with the robots.txt file, and slow page loading speed.
4. How does Technical SEO impact e-commerce websites?
Technical SEO ensures that search engines can easily understand and index your e-commerce website, making your products more discoverable to potential customers.
5. Is technical SEO difficult?
While the fundamentals are not overly complex, technical SEO can become intricate and challenging to grasp fully.
6. Does technical SEO require coding?
Technical SEO typically doesn't require extensive coding skills. You can effectively optimize your website for search engines without delving deeply into coding.