Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a vital element in our marketing activities. It allows us to focus on what matters when improving your organic search presence on search engines such as Google. We recognise the importance of an SEO audit and the benefits that come with them for structuring an SEO strategy.
SEO audits are important because they review your website, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of your site. Once an audit is complete, we can use the identified actions as the starting point for your SEO strategy by reviewing all issues and prioritising them based on expected impact.
When should you perform a technical SEO Audit?
In general, you should conduct a technical SEO audit on a regular basis, at least once or twice a year, especially if you notice any changes in performance or are looking for ways to improve your rankings.
It’s also ideal for new sites because it will highlight areas for improvement and provide a benchmark for where you should be.
What should a technical SEO audit include?
A technical SEO audit should look to analyse all parts of your website from the XML sitemap to pages returning a 404 error code. The SEO audit will highlight any crawlability issues that could affect the site’s indexation by search engines and therefore its rankings in organic search
Crawling and Identifying Indexation Issues
This focuses on any technical issues with your website that could be hindering Google’s efforts to crawl and index the site efficiently or even at all. By analysing data gathered from our toolkit, we can highlight a number of various issues that will need to be resolved. Some issues may be critical such as server errors, non-indexable pages, and 404 errors. Others will be non-critical but will require addressing, such as meta titles being too long or short.
Check on-page issues
On-page SEO is about optimising the meta descriptions and heading on your pages. These include two key areas, copy and imagery.
The on-page SEO information we provide in an audit contains information about keywords, such as ones you are currently ranking for, internal links in content between pages on your site, and page headers you’re using. As a result of carrying out in-depth keyword research, we can create a content strategy so that your content can be found by users on search engines.
One area we pay particular attention to is website speed and mobile optimisation. Google now enables mobile first indexing on all websites. Now, however, more users are accessing websites by mobile devices than on desktop devices with 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide coming from mobile phones. We also analyse Core Web Vitals and site speed at a top level during our technical SEO audit but recommend a more in depth Core Web Vitals Audit.
Image sizes and formats are looked at in a technical SEO audit; looking for missing alt tags and attributes as these help Google index the imagery. The image files must be named in a descriptive way and all images contain alt tags to improve your chances of ranking in image search as sometimes bots struggle to identify the content without a description. For industries that rely on imagery like interior design or fashion, this is key.
Analyse Internal & External Links
Another main focus of a technical site audit is focusing on internal and external links that have been used throughout the site. In some cases external links are often routed to incorrect URLs, your links where possible should be going to https pages and not have any broken links. It’s also important to ensure you’re linking to the exact page and category and not just contact or home pages. With internal links, ensure that they aren’t directed to canonicalised or other non-indexable pages.
Off-page SEO is all about SEO tasks that can be done outside of your site to improve your online presence. An SEO strategy for your website should include off-site activities.
Competitor Backlinks Gap Audits & PR
Analyse unusual drops or gaps with competitors in terms of domain authority and can also look at competitors’ most linked content which will give ideas for a content plan.
Benefits of an SEO Audit
An SEO audit is a key step before carrying out any SEO work and there are many benefits:
The technical health of your website becomes visible highlighting key actionable tasks that will improve online visibility.
You can devise an ongoing SEO plan to improve metrics such as organic visibility or rankings and your business KPIs such as revenue and leads
You can resolve on-page issues, improving how search engines understand your website.
Create a better user experience.
Identify areas for improvement that will improve search visibility putting your business in front of the right users.
Monitor competitors sites
SEO Audit Tools
There are a host of tools that can be used to perform a technical SEO audit all with different strengths. Using a combination can be the best way to gain a full understanding of the site that is being audited. There’s so many things to take into account when performing SEO analysis that tools are vital in aiding the process. These are just a few of the tools we use:
Screaming Frog is a crawler that can crawl any size website and pick up any issues, from duplicate pages or redirects to problems with metadata. It also has the benefit of being a free tool to use, crawling up to 500 URLs in total which can work for smaller sites (not at the same time as it would crash the site!). Ideally would want the paid versions as a larger eCommerce site.
Semrush is an all-rounder with the ability to crawl sites, check page speed, flag security issues, opportunities to optimise the code, run backlinks audits, track your site’s organic rankings, and run a host of other audits to contribute to your marketing strategy.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool and uses data directly from Google making it a very useful tool for SEO audits. It functions primarily as a site health check tool to identify areas of your website where you can utilise the data, amongst other audits to make improvements. It doesn’t just highlight issues, it can also run a live page test and flag any problem with the page, providing feedback on the site indexation & indexation problems.
Page Speed Insights
This tool provides you with a quick snapshot of how well your site is performing right now on desktop and mobile. Additionally, it displays suggestions for improvement using a traffic-light-like system with ratings for green, orange, and red. Additionally, it will pay attention to Core Web Vitals (CWV).
Our Technical SEO Audit
We carry out a thorough review of your website in key areas including technical SEO, on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Once an audit is complete, we can use the identified actions as the starting point for the online strategy of your business.
With our SEO Audit Checklist we have a thorough process for auditing your website starting with a full crawl and locating low and high priority tasks, checking over 100 issues.
Get in touch below to discuss your SEO Audit and what we can do for your SEO strategy.
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Are you struggling to rank above your competitors or find tackling SEO daunting? Contact Kanuka Digital and find out how we can help.