Technical SEO: Website Auditing and Optimization

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Technical SEO is one of the five branches of SEO. The other four are off-page SEO, on-page SEO, and local and global SEO.

In this article, I will walk you through the aisle of Technical SEO. But before then, let’s look at the benefits of auditing and optimizing the technical aspects of your website.

Website Technical Auditing and Optimization

Auditing and Optimizing the technical aspects of your website would help you achieve these benefits:

  • You get to know the general feel of the health of your website and see the areas for improvement.
  • Optimizing your website’s technical health will make it easier for search engines to view the site and its contents.
  • A lead conversion would be easier from the website.
  • Ranking Favorably on the Search Engine Results Page – the holy grail of SEO is made possible and easy with this simple exercise.
  • Website Content Structure will be 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, FASTand SECURE.

The Basics Tenets of Technical SEO

Performing Technical SEO is a multi-staged process to make the website healthy. To achieve this, firstly, you need to audit your site to know the state of your website before you attempt to optimize it.

But before we go into the “how-to,” permit me to educate you on the basic tenets of Technical SEO. Technical SEO is composed of:

  • Mobile speed
  • Page load speed
  • Crawl errors
  • XML sitemaps
  • Use of robots.txt file

Component of Technical SEO

Indexation

An index is a database used by a search engine to record all the website links it has crawled. Indexation is a process in which search engines scan and gather information from various websites on the internet.

Your website must be optimized and filtered to appear on the search engine result page. If your website is not crawlable, your contents won’t show on any search engine results page.

This makes your website lose credibility and audience. Therefore, how understanding Google crawls the web and makes a domain technically accessible is integral and essential to Technical SEO Optimization.

Crawl Budget

This refers to the attention search engine crawlers pay to a page. Crawl budget deals with a specific amount of time search engines crawl through your website daily or any day.

The crawl budget for a website varies depending on its page rank, 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

If you ever wondered why a website is loading fast or slow, it is because of the page speed. Page speed measures the time it takes your website to load and display content. In addition, it is the amount it takes the browser to source 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 falls drastically and improving the overall ranking of the web page

Site Architecture

Site architecture is the format used to organize and deliver content on your website. The result pages answer the question of users and the technical area that permits the search engine bots to crawl your page.

An optimized site architecture helps in website indexation and improves the user and search engine experience on the website.

Redirect

This is a polite way of asking a user or search engine crawler to a different URL path on the website. This can be a result of a broken or upgraded URL.

A redirection occurred when a visited web page URL changes to a different URL. For instance, a person visits “google.com” in their browser and is redirected to “google.com/welcome” instead.

Perhaps you are considering redirecting a certain page to a new location. All you need to do is change the URL structure of a site. That is, remove the “www.” of the URL. Or you redirect the user to another website entirely.

For example, to prevent an old site from giving a much dreaded “404 Not Found” error, you redirect the old link to the new one to keep your content intact and available on the new site.

User Experience

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

Summarily, UX helps create a digital interface that would be easy for your users or visitors to interact with. As a result, interaction with your website should be less difficult and stress-free to leave your users with a good customer experience.

They need to touch, read, scroll, and interact until they reach the conversion or action point.

Accessibility

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

This includes 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 describes a webpage and structures its data for search engines.

This code makes it easier for search engine bots to crawl, organize, and display your content. In addition, this allows us to include additional details about our page for search engines to include in their ranking process that would favor our web page.

Other technical SEO aspects include:

  • Mobile phone Optimized
  • 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

Website Audit of Technical SEO

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

Performing a site audit was tedious, especially for the techies and web developers. However, this has been largely overturned in recent times due to the advent of the amazing website audit tools and software.

A website audit is necessary to guide us in the optimization journey. It is a checklist of factors that enables the visibility of your website for search engines and allows easy use for users.

Analyzing this will give the effectiveness of your site, indicating areas to optimize to improve your site’s performance. Also, to identify threats that could affect the site’s health.

Technical audits focus on site visibility and ensure that every website is crawlable and meets the requirement of indexing.

Website Auditing Tools and Software for Technical SEO

These tools would greatly help you perform a full site audit – mostly for FREE. In addition, this software is fast and easy to use.

  1. Ubersuggest

    This gives you insights into how other niches operate. The strategies they use and you can adopt them, improve them, and gain an edge. There is the paid version and also the free version. Most times, it comes as a Google Chrome Extension.

  2. SemRush

    This popular SEO tool specializes in keyword research, competitor analysis, and other SEO tasks.

  3. ScreamingFrog

    This is one of the best tools for a full website audit, and I recommend it for beginners and experts alike to perform a technical audit. It is a desktop-based software that runs an audit and gives you almost everything you need to know about improving a site’s SEO.

Website Optimization of Technical SEO

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 your website’s web pages and digital content are crawled and indexed correctly.

Technical SEO is basically about fixing the errors that have happened and the ones that are yet to happen. So, if you want to optimize your website for maximum results, ensure you use the technical SEO elements below.

Technical Element of Technical SEO

Ensure the website is Crawlable:

There is no point in spending thousands of dollars on a webpage if search engine bots cannot crawl it. Therefore, the first thing you should do is check your robots.txt file. Robots.txt is the file web-crawling software check when it arrives at your site.

Your robots.txt file indicates areas of your website that Google bots and other search engines can crawl.

A crawl report tells you some errors and technical SEO issues such as slow page loading or missing headers tag.

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

3 Ways to Know if Your Website Is Indexable

After confirming that Google bots can crawl your website, you need to know if the web pages are indexable. To do this, go into the Google Search Console coverage report, and we can look at the status of every website page.

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 web pages contained on your site.

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

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

Check if the website is Mobile Friendly:

Most search engines are now emphasizing the importance of mobile-first when displaying their search results. This is because users engage more with their mobile phones than computers.

This is enough reason to check your website’s responsiveness 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 negatively impact your site’s health over time.

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

Technical SEO plays a vital role in the overall success of SEO strategies. It includes the website structure, accurate coding, indexing, and speed page. In addition, 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 a big 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 technical SEO may seem stressful. But, it is necessary to get familiar with the issues that may arise and how you can improve the efficiency of your website.

These steps are a great start for any Search Engine and Website Optimizer looking to ensure their website is working effectively. But, most importantly, they are free and easy to use. So, get started.

Conclusion

This article has taken you through the nitty gritty of technical SEO, its benefits, and the basic tenets. Also, it provided insight on how to know if your website is Indexable and optimized for maximum operation.

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