Whilst high quality content and a good external link profile are essential elements of an overall SEO strategy there are hundreds of technical issues that can negatively impact the performance of a site in search results.
Technical SEO audits investigate a broad range of areas including site architecture, speed, crawlability and much more to look for potential problems that need to be fixed to ensure that you are getting maximum value from your content and links.
There is no one size fits all approach to performing a technical SEO audit and the amount of time and the areas requiring investigation can vary massively depending on considerations such as the size of the site, what platform it runs on and the number of existing issues. Below are some of the areas that are normally covered in my audits.
Crawling and Indexing
Each technical audit that I perform reviews how comprehensively a site can be crawled and we look at how search engines see and render pages and how these pages are represented in search results.
Internal Linking / Site Architecture
When discussing the importance of links in relation to SEO people are frequently talking about external links and the importance of internal links and how a site is structured are also crucial and this is a topic that is often missed or not treated with the right degree of importance.
An internal linking and site structure review often opens up opportunities to quickly and easily improve rankings without having to try and get third parties linked to a site.
Site speed audits
Whilst any technical audit that I do covers site speed I also do dedicated site speed audits which are more in-depth typically based on analysis using Lighthouse, Web Page Test and GTMetrix and Google Analytics as sources of data.
I also look manually at how sites are coded, DOM node depths, presence of unused JS and CSS etc as well as what third party technologies are being used on a site. Tracking / advertising / Social media scripts, chat applications etc.
Use of Structured Data and Semantic Mark Up
Some search engines (including Google) use structured data to better understand the topic of a page and can lead to enhanced results in search engines such as showing a star ratings, or details of an event or product. Structured data can be challenging to implement properly and it is easy to make mistakes.
I perform structured data audits to find issues with current implementations and also to provide suggestions for additional opportunities for appropriate data types in the form of Schema.
In addition to reviewing use of schema I also review other elements of the mark up on a page to check for use of HTML elements such as lists and tables and that semantic mark up is using in elements such as navigation and page sections.
As mentioned above there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to performing a technical SEO audit and what is included depends on the nature of the individual site and the areas listed above are not exhaustive.
If you are interested in having a general technical SEO audit performed or one of the specific areas mentioned then please contact me for a quote.
Frequently Asked Questions about Technical SEO Audits
Below are some of the questions that I am commonly asked with regards to performing audits
What Tools do You Use?
The tools that are used really depend on the type of SEO auditing work that I am doing but there are some that I use on pretty much every site. These include industry standards such Screaming Frog, SEO Tools for Excel, DeepCrawl, Ahrefs and SEMRush. I also use a number of proprietary self-built tools.
What is the Best SEO Tool?
There isn’t really one single tool that I would rank as being better than everything else as every tool does different things and has its own strengths and weaknesses. If I could only use one single tool it would probably be Screaming Frog however again, it depends on many factors such as the size of the site. In some cases, it may be necessary to use a cloud crawler such as DeepCrawl to cope with the number of pages that need to be crawled.
How Long Does an SEO Audit Take?
It depends entirely on the size and complexity of the site. If dealing with a small brochure site with only 5 pages or so then it may be possible to complete an audit in a day or less whereas a large and complex site may take weeks to audit. It also depends on scope and whether it is a full technical audit or only looking at a specific area.
How do I Run an SEO Audit Myself?
This page is about the auditing services I perform myself however I can also provide in-house training on how to perform an SEO audit yourself. Please contact me for details.