A technical SEO audit is a website inspection process that analyses search engine ranking factors like keyword relevance, internal link structure and content quality, then identifies improvements that secure a higher ranking when a site is crawled and indexed by search engine spiders.
And since a prominent search engine ranking increases visibility to customers and drives conversions like sales, grabbing a free technical SEO audit is a terrific way to transform your website into the dynamic business generator it should be.
But when a technical SEO expert is sifting through your website with a fine-tooth comb, exactly which issues are they checking for? Read on for SEO insights that might be more revealing than Kim Kardashian’s Insta account.
What issues does a Technical SEO Audit Check For?
A thorough technical SEO audit will check for a wide range of issues, so that no digital stone is left unturned in your quest to reach the top of Google rankings and remain there.
But they fall into four broad categories: keywords, phrases and topics, internal and external links, H tags and meta descriptions and website content quality.
And one of the first issues any SEO worth their salt will check is whether your website is mobile-optimised. Mobile-first indexing means that Google uses the mobile version of your site for ranking and indexing – so if it loads slowly and looks weird on mobile phones, it’s a total turn-off for Google and customers.
Once you’ve bagged the easy win of mobile optimisation, it’s time to move on to considering what’s involved in an analysis of each of your SEO categories – and the first step in the process is a website crawl.
What’s An SEO Crawl?
Since search spiders from Google and other search engines will crawl through your website in order to assess it against their ranking factors, index it and rank it, an SEO professional can use tools like Screaming Frog to perform the same process.
A crawl will find broken links, analyse page titles and meta data, audit redirects, discover duplicate content and generate XML sitemaps – basically revealing whether your website architecture and hierarchy makes sense, whether it’s easy to navigate and if your website content is relevant and substantive enough to rank for the keywords and topics relevant to your customers.
At the end, an overall SEO score is generated, and this acts as a basic blueprint that identifies exactly how your site can be improved.
How Do Keywords, Phrases And Topics Improve My Technical SEO?
Thankfully, the days of keyword stuffing are gone, but for search engines like Google to understand that your website is relevant to your customers, you’ll still need to include a logical and natural level of relevant keywords, phrases and topics that they actually search for.
And while it might be tough competing against strong, established sites for the most popular keywords, you can still attract the right customers by including long-tail keywords that don’t generate huge search volumes, but connect with customers who have a high purchasing intent.
For instance, you might include local information in a long-tail keyword to capitalise on ‘near me’ searches, or help customers hone down their choice by emphasising your USP (Unique Selling Proposition), whether that’s the tech specs of your products/services, customer care or price points. Thus, your keyword strategy is focusing on quality rather than quantity.
A technical SEO audit will identify which keywords can help you climb above competitors on a local, regional, national and international level – identifying your priorities to deliver the best ROI according to your particular growth goals.
How Do Internal And External Links Improve My SEO?
Internal links connect one page to another on your website and they serve a few different purposes:
- Helping users (and spiders) easily find their way around your website to get the information they need with minimum hassle.
- Establishing a logical information hierarchy for your website, which moves from high level information on your home page to different service pages and then to various subtopics.
- Spreading ranking power around your website, so that each page has the opportunity to rank well and contribute to an excellent overall SEO score.
External links point your users towards another reputable website (and direct users from other high-trust, high-volume websites towards your site), so they’re very valuable. Remember that:
- Many SEO experts regard external links as the most important ranking factor.
- Search engine spiders regard external links differently to internal links – they give your website clout because they effectively act as a third party recommendation.
Consequently, building internal and external links is always worthwhile, and your agency might recommend that offsite SEO like blogger outreach can enhance your onsite activities.
How Do H Tags and Meta-Descriptions Improve My Technical SEO?
The H tags are HTML tags that signify headings on your webpage – so the H1 is your title, H2 is your subtitle and so on.
Technically, they act as code snippets that ensure a web browser displays the content correctly, and to the reader, they serve the same purpose as a newspaper headline and subheadings do – organising the information in an accessible and digestible manner.
Meta-descriptions are code snippets that summarise your website page in around 155 characters and optimising them is important for onsite SEO because search engines like Google display them in search results. Put simply, a clever and clickable meta description is almost like a free advert for your website.
How Does Content Affect My Technical SEO?
Without the right content, your website is an empty shell, because content covers all the words and images therein.
But a technical SEO audit can be the first step identifying:
- Thin content – website pages which search engines will consider less relevant (and users less helpful) because there’s a lack of information on a particular topic, service or product.
- A lack of content that evidences EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) – this is substantive, in-depth, well-researched content that Google loves because it proves how relevant your site is to the customers you’re targeting, and customers adore because it answers their questions thoroughly and showcases your expertise.
Final Thoughts On Your Technical SEO Audit
As you can clearly see, a technical SEO audit helps your website achieve peak web presence, connect with customers and drive sales, through optimising elements like:
And when you’ve got experts prepared to offer you an awesome audit completely gratis (like Maratopia), what’s not to love?