On-Page SEO Audit and Technical SEO Audit are equally important. Technical issues with the site can hamper your business since it can curtail the traffic to the website by way of low search engine ranking. Once the technical issues are resolved, it is easy for search engines to crawl and index the site. Those who want to conduct technical SEO audit of their business website can adopt the following steps for the site audit.
Audit of information architecture SEO
When the information architecture of a website is perfect the users can gather information from the site swiftly and easily. An intuitive website ensures easy navigation. When the website enables easy and smooth navigation, there will be no crawling problems for the search engines. By way of grouping together contents of similar nature as well as products of similar types, navigation can be made hassle-free. During the audit, see to it that the links as well as the various categories are labeled using the targeted keywords. Improper labeling makes navigation difficult and slow. Structuring of the website is another important aspect to be checked. A three folder site hierarchy is considered as the best directory structure.
Identify and fix 301s, 302s and 404s
Identification of 301s and 302s is a crucial part of technical site audit. When the user requests for a page and if it is not found, he will be getting either of the response codes – 301, 302 or 404. When the page requested by the user is shifted to a different location permanently, the response code will be 301.When the resources are moved temporarily the response code will be 302. However, 302 is not configured at the server. It must be noted that the final URL destination is indexed by search engines. Hence, since 302 is a temporary directive, during the site audit, one should ensure that there are only 301 redirects. The 301 redirects pass on the Page Rank from page to page and also they are search-friendly. For identification of the redirects during the site audit, tools such as Webconfs and Pingdom can be used.
Repair of 404s is another significant part of technical site audit. When links are broken, there will be a lot of problems. Broken links create spider traps and cause waste of crawl budget. Indexing also will be affected since search engines get the indication that site is not updated. You can get the list of broken links in your site through Google Webmaster Tools. These Tools will also indicate the particular pages in the website that are the origins of the broken links. Screaming Frog is another tool that is used during site audit to check for broken links. Also you may want to check out our Free Website Templates that would be perfect for your blog post layout.
Ensure no hurdles for indexing checklist
The search engines cannot index the pages in case hassle-free crawling is not ensured. Usually, crawling issues are caused by embedding links inside Java Script, 404s, iFrames, AJAX or content in Flash. During the technical SEO audit, one has to ensure that there are no such issues with the website that prevent the crawlers from indexing the pages.
Ensure to have simple and static URL
Simple and user-friendly URL is recommended for all business websites. When the URL is a dynamic one, during crawling, the bots are trapped by the special characters in the URL. During the technical site audit, a URL rewrite solution can be recommended after considering the type of the server.
Use Copy Scape to check for duplicate content SEO
Duplicate content on the web pages will cause internal competition among the pages of a website. Finally the search engine will select only one version when there are different versions of the same page. Checking the pages on Copy Scape is the best method to identify duplicate content. In e-commerce sites, the product descriptions can be of original content when it contains your comments about the product. Wasted Crawl budget and wasted Page Rank are the other issues that are created by duplicate content. 301 Redirect can be used as a permanent remedy to this problem.
Submit XML Sitemaps to search engines and include its location in the robots.txt file
While conducting the technical SEO site audit it is all the more important to directly submit your XML sitemaps to search engines. This will ensure identification of the new content in the site by the search engines. Each search engine provides a way to submit the XML sitemap. When the sitemap is submitted to the search engine, all the contents of the site are identified and as a result duplicate contents are eliminated. Moreover, the sitemap as well as content data can be accessed on the Webmaster Tools of the search engine. In case you use a free sitemap generator, ensure to remove all the duplicates that are added by the generator. During the site audit, you should ensure to include the location of your XML sitemap in your robots.txt file.
Ensure fast loading for SEO checklist
Reducing the loading time of the site must be a part of technical site audit. Since Google gives priority to fast loading sites, reduction in site loading time is a critical part of SEO. The performance of your site can be assessed with the help of Google Webmaster Central. Other tools like Pingdom and Gomez are also used to fix the loading time of the site.
While conducting the technical SEO audit of your website, equal consideration must be given to search engines, directories and the users. The users include customers, prospects, suppliers, partners and shareholders. The purpose of the technical site audit is to find out any issues that are likely to prevent search engines to crawl and index the pages of the website. When the site gets low ranking by Google, the users start to ignore the site and as a result the traffic to the site will be drastically reduced and ultimately there will be massive erosion of business. By way of using keywords only, it is no more possible to be successful in internet marketing. Perfection is required in marketing as well as using the technology. While conducting the technical SEO site audit, one has to equally consider marketing and IT. Only a perfect blend of marketing and IT can produce results in internet marketing. During the technical site audit, due importance must be given to the various elements and tools that can make the website more powerful. For your SEO checklist it is equally important to have awareness about various elements that can create hassles to crawl the site and thereby decrease the search engine traffic.