Technical SEO: Website Auditing and Optimization

Having a Website is the latest craze going round in the online money-making world now. Although this is a great idea, having a site that meets some standard would help you achieve those lofty goals you had in mind in the first place when you decided to build the site.

I know you’ve had the notion that technical SEO is only reserved for the techies and the nerds amongst developers. This is not only wrong but misleading.

Auditing and Optimizing the Technical aspects

Auditing and Optimizing the Technical aspects of your website would definitely help you

achieve some benefits:

  • You get to know the general feel of the health of your website and see the areas of improvement
  • Optimizing the technical health of your website will make the website easier for search engines to view the site and its contents
  • Lead conversion would be easier from the website.
  • Ranking Favorably on Search Engine Results Page – which is the holy grail of SEO, is made possible and easy with this simple exercise.
  • Website Content Structuring is made more efficient when you optimize the technical aspects of the website.
  • The chief goal of performing a Technical SEO Audit and Optimization is to make your website more CRAWLABLE, FAST, and SECURE

 

   Technical SEO: Basics

Performing Technical SEO is a multi-staged process that is aimed at making the website “healthy”. You will need to “AUDIT” the site first to know the state of things in the website before you attempt to “OPTIMIZE” it.

But before we go into the “HOW-TO”, I will like to educate you on the basic tenets of Technical SEO. Technical SEO is composed of:

  1. Indexation
  2. Crawl Budget
  3. Site Speed
  4. Site Architecture
  5. Redirects
  6. User Experience
  7. Accessibility and
  8. Structured Markup

INDEXATION

An index is the database used by a search engine to record all the website links it has “crawled”. Indexes contain the information on all the websites that Google (or any other search engine) was able to find on the internet. If a website is not in a search engine’s index, users will not be able to find it.

Indexation is the ability of or ease with which Search Engines are able to Record the links from your website on its index (database).

If a website link is not in the Search Engine’s Index, it can’t and won’t be displayed in any search engine results page and it will lose all value. Understanding how Google crawl the web and making a domain technically accessible is integral and essential to the Technical SEO Optimization.

 

CRAWL BUDGET

This simply refers to the amount of attention Search Engine Crawlers pay to a page. Crawl budget is the number of pages Google and other search engines would crawl on your website on any given day.

The Crawl budget for a website varies depending on its PageRank which is a good indicator of how often the most important pages of a website will get crawled and how “in-depth” the crawl would be.

 

SITE SPEED

Page speed is defined as the length of time it takes to display all the content on a particular page or the length of time it takes for a browser to receive a web server’s first byte (or, to put it in less technical terms, page speed is how long it takes for the browser to receive the first batch of information from the web servers).

This critical part of the technical SEO optimization will make the fast page speeds ensure a good first impression for your customer thus ensuring the bounce rate of a website fall drastically and improve the overall ranking of the web page.

 

SITE ARCHITECHTURE

Site architecture refers to the structural layout that is employed in organizing and delivering the content on your website. It includes the hierarchy of pages where users find content and the technical considerations that let search engine bots crawl your page.

An optimized site architecture will help in website indexation and would improve on the user and search engine experience on the website.

 

REDIRECTS

This is a polite way of asking a user or search engine crawler to a different URL path on the website. This might be due to different reasons ranging from an updated or broken URL.

Basically, a redirect is when a web page is visited at a certain URL, it changes to a different URL. For instance, a person visits “google.com” in their browser and they are redirected to “google.com/welcome” instead.

This is very useful if we want to redirect a certain page to a new location, change the URL structure of a site, remove the “www.” portion of the URL, or even redirect users to another website entirely (just to name a few).

Let’s say we’ve just moved our website and we want to shut down the old one. However, we don’t want all those pages from the old site to give a much dreaded “404 Not Found” error. What we need is for those old links to redirect to the same content on our new site. A redirect would help us achieve this.

 

 

USER EXPERIENCE

User Experience in technical SEO is all about designing a website in so such a way that it is easy for the users of a website to use, access and enjoy the website all with ease and efficiency.

Summarily, UX is all about creating a digital interface that works exactly as your visitors expect. The interactions with your website elements should be intuitive and so well designed that users don’t even have to think. They just have to touch, read, scroll, and otherwise interact until they reach the conversion or action point.

 

ACCESSIBILITY

Designing a website for accessibility means designing and optimizing the site with individuals with visual or other impairments in mind.

This is including features that would make the website easy to navigate for people with visual, auditory, cognitive or motor disabilities.

Optimizing a website for accessibility also involves removing the barriers that would make the site inaccessible or difficult to use for these disabled users.

 

STRUCTURED OR SCHEMA MARKUP

Schema markup is a standard format of code-writing that adequately describing a webpage and structuring its data for search engines.

This code makes it easier for search engine crawlers to crawl, organize, and display your content. This gives us the added ability to include additional details about our page for search engines to include in their ranking process that would favor our web page.

 

Other aspects of technical SEO include:

  • Quality of mobile experience
  • HTTP and HTTPS status
  • Desktop and Mobile Optimization Test
  • Server and Hosting issues
  • HTML and XML sitemap checks
  • Canonical Sites and Canonical Tags
  • Link Building Practises

 

Technical SEO: Website Audit

Having come up to date with the basics and inner workings of Technical SEO, the next step in this journey would be to be able to perform a site audit to know what to look out for in the optimization process.

Performing a site audit used to be a tedious job reserved especially for the techies and web developers. This has been largely overturned in recent tines due to the advent of amazing website audit tools and software.

Having a website audit is totally necessary to guide us in the optimization journey. A website audit is a full analysis of factors that impact a websites visibility for search engines and ease of use for users. Assessing these areas will give you an of the current effectiveness of your site, showing where you may be able to further optimize and improve your site performance – and identify issues that could be causing damage to your site’s health.

Technical audits focus on best practice for site visibility and ensuring that all website meets all search engine requirements for crawling and indexing.

 

Tools and Software to Be Employed When Auditing Your Website

These tools would greatly help you in performing a full site audit – mostly for FREE. These software are easy to use and would perform the job in a few minutes time.

  1. Ubersuggest: allows you to get insights into the strategies that are working for other in your niche so you can adopt them, improve them, and gain an edge. It is totally free to use, although it has a paid version. also comes as a Google Chrome Extension
  2. SEMRush: this is a very popular SEO tool that specializes in keyword research, competitor analysis and other SEO tasks.
  3. ScreamingFrog: this is one of the best tools out there for a full website audit and I greatly recommend it for both beginners and experts alike looing to perform a technical audit. It is a desk-top based software that runs an audit and gives you almost everything you need to know about improving a site’s SEO.

 

  1. Technical SEO includes:
    • Mobile speed
    • Page load speed
    • Crawl errors
    • XML sitemaps
    • Use of robots.txt file

Technical SEO: Website Optimization

Effective Technical SEO begins with different parts of a website. Performing a Technical, white hat SEO audit would have given us an idea as to whether all the webpages and digital content of your website are crawled and indexed correctly.

 

Technical SEO is basically about fixing the errors that have happened and the ones that are yet o happen. Below are some crucial technical SEO elements to check out for maximum site optimization

Crucial Technical Element of Technical SEO

Ensure the website is CRAWLABLE:

It’s of no use building webpages of great content if search engines cannot crawl and index these pages. Therefore, the first point of call should be by checking your robots.txt file. This file is the first thing for any web-crawling software to check when it arrives at your site. Your robots.txt file outlines which parts of your website are allowed to be crawled.

A crawl report will tell you some of your site’s errors, showing most of your most pressing technical SEO issues, such as low page speed. Or missing H1/H2 tags.

Perform this audit on your site at least once a month to let you know when there is any error on your site, so you can optimize them as soon as possible.

Check to see if the website is INDEXABLE:

After confirming the crawlability of the website, you need to know if these webpages are indexable. To do this, go into the Google Search Console coverage report, we can look at the status of every page of the website.

Using the URL Inspection Tool, we can analyze all the page URLs to see if they are all indexed or NOT. And if not, we can request the page for it to be indexed by Google.

Review the Sitemap:

Check to see if the sitemap has been submitted to Google, this is to guarantee that google has a record of the webpages contained in your site.

Use the Yoast Plugin to create a well detailed XML Sitemap. This should contain a list of all the URLs in your website including the missing and orphaned URLs.

Lastly, do ensure you submit this neat, highly concise and up-to-date sitemap to Google Console.

Ensure to check that the website is Mobile Friendly:

Most search engines are now emphasizing on the importance of mobile-first when displaying their search results.

This is why you must manually check to see the responsiveness of the website on different devices. Ensure to optimize the website if it is not responsive.

Perform an Error 404 Test:

If you remove or replace an irrelevant URL without taking proper steps, this might have negative impacts on the health of your site over time.

Thus, it is be a great idea to test and preview all the pages on the website to ensure no page is missing.

 

Technical SEO is vital to the overall success of an SEO strategy which is dependent on the excellent website structure, accurate coding, indexing, and load time. Technical SEO would help search engines crawl and index your website pages and accurately describe its contents.

Technical SEO is a broad topic that is mainly concerned with optimizing a website to meet the “taste” of a search engine; as this is obviously a giant endeavor, we cannot exhaustively treat it here, which is why I hope this post would have sufficiently exposed you to the main topics that would suffice for now.

 

Performing a technical SEO may seem daunting but hopefully once you’ve done your first audit, you’ll have seen the many possible improvements you can make to your website. These steps are a great start for any Search Engine and Website Optimizer looking to make sure their website is working effectively. Most importantly, they are all free and easy, so go get started!.

Taiwo Sotikare
Taiwo Sotikare is an outstanding freelance writer and blogger with 5 years of experience. He has written hundreds of articles on Freelancing, Entrepreneurship, Career Development, Writing Tips, and many more.

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