As competition in the digital marketing arena stiffens, organizations must ensure that their marketing strategy and efforts are always on point. When it comes to a website’s success, SEO plays a significant role.
Even if other aspects of your website are exceptional, it will not be effective if it’s invisible on the internet. This is why over 60% of marketers have indicated that improving SEO and increasing organic traffic is their top priority for inbound marketing.
To know how your website ranks and know the steps you should take to improve your ranking, you should conduct a technical SEO audit. If you are not tech-savvy, this may sound like a daunting task. Read on to learn what technical SEO is and some simple steps for conducting a technical SEO audit.
What Is Technical SEO?
Other than the content you create, there are technical aspects of your website that influence ranking on SERPs. Technical SEO involves the optimization of such factors which include:
- URL structure
- Site architecture
- How your site is built and coded
- Image delivery
- Site errors
If these elements are not optimized, it will be difficult for Google and other search engines to crawl and index content on your site. As a result, your content will not be delivered on time.
Ensure Your Website Is Crawlable
Great content is useless if the pages are not crawlable and indexable. To address such issues, begin by checking your robots.txt file. It determines the areas of your website that should be crawled and those that shouldn’t.
By adding the robots.txt file where necessary, you will reduce crawl errors and improve the crawl rate.
Check That the Site Is Indexable
Now that your site is crawlable, it’s time to ensure your pages are correctly indexed. Though numerous tools can give you index insight, it’s best to use Google Search Console. It will provide you with a report on the URLs that are indexable and those that are non-indexable. For the latter, the report will also have a reason for the same.
Review Your Sitemap
As the name suggests, the sitemap guides search engine crawlers as they crawl and rank your pages. The critical elements of an effective sitemap include:
- It should be appropriately formatted and in an XML document and follow standard sitemap protocol
- It should not contain “noindex’ URLs
- Only canonical versions of URLs should be included
- Contain new pages as they are created or updated
Google XML Sitemaps and Yoast SEO plugin are some of the tools you can use to create a detailed sitemap.
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
These days, Google uses a mobile-first indexing system. With it, only mobile versions of your pages will be used for ranking and indexing. To check how mobile-friendly your website is, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, a free online tool.
It is also important to do a manual check. This will help you spot issues and test the ease of navigating.
Test Page Speed
Page speed, along with responsiveness and user-friendliness, is now a critical factor in Google’s ranking system. Use Google PageSpeed Insights to test and get recommendations to improve page speed. This tool will rate your page speed as fast, average, or slow.
Check for Duplicate Content
Any information that is replicated on your website will pose issues for search engines as they crawl and index pages. To look for duplicate content in your site key in the following string: info:www.yourdomain.com. Duplicate content will be displayed on the last page of the results page.
Conducting a technical SEO audit is not as complicated as it sounds. There are numerous tools from Google and other companies that make the process quick and straightforward.