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Audit Your Site’s Technical SEO- Step By Step Guide

NIDMM ~ Modified: July 28th, 2023 ~ SEO ~ 9 Minutes Reading

Do you want to audit your site’s technical SEO?

Optimizing for search requires a comprehensive approach, encompassing technical SEO, content quality, and user experience. To achieve top search engine rankings, it is crucial to ensure a flawless technical SEO strategy. Conducting a technical SEO checklist and audit can prove instrumental in achieving these goals.

Search engine algorithms, whether from Google or Bing, utilize crawlers to scrutinize various aspects of your website, including HTML code, JavaScript, performance, and structure.

Consequently, achieving a fully optimized website entails more than just focusing on keyword density and quality content to attain successful SEO outcomes. While many online marketers and business owners recognize the importance of SEO, conducting a technical SEO audit can be intricate and challenging, especially for those lacking expertise in the field.

Let’s learn more about technical SEO audit and how to audit your site’s technical SEO.

Read more- Are Backlinks Important for SEO? Expert’s Guide

What Is A Technical SEO Audit?

A technical SEO audit involves examining different technical aspects of a website to ensure they adhere to best practices for search optimization. These aspects directly influence the ranking factors considered by search engines such as Google or Bing. Conducting the audit can be as straightforward as using an Excel file to create a checklist.

Numerous “technical” SEO components encompass HTML elements, appropriate meta tags, website code, JavaScript, and correct website extensions.

When creating a technical SEO checklist, it’s not mandatory to scrutinize every single aspect of an SEO campaign. There are numerous factors for SEO that should be examined separately, such as on-page SEO best practices, keyword strategy, content, and more. However, technical SEO holds significance as it involves delving under the hood of your website to identify and address more intricate issues that may not be immediately apparent.

Steps to Audit Your Site’s Technical SEO

Now, we are going to learn about some checklists or steps to audit your site’s technical SEO. These are as follows:

  • Ensure That Your Content Is Visible
  • Check That Your Analytics/tracking are Configured
  • Google’s Tag Assistant
  • Google Analytics Traffic Analysis
  • Using the Google Search Console
  • Examine for Manual Actions
  • Use Of Mobile Friendly Test Tool

1. Ensure That Your Content Is Visible

Although content may not directly influence SEO rankings as a technical factor, it still plays a significant role in rankings. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your content is accessible to search engines. Conducting a technical SEO site audit can begin with evaluating the visibility of your content.

Typically, if your website displays correctly for users, you need not worry about major issues—especially if your content appears well on the Google Chrome browser. Googlebot uses a version of the Chrome browser engine to render web pages, so if everything looks good in Chrome, it is likely that Googlebot will interpret it correctly as well.

To check for potential issues, you can disable JavaScript in Chrome and observe if any crucial page elements are missing. Unrenderable content, links, or navigation bar elements that disappear when JavaScript is disabled could imply that GoogleBot might not be able to detect them either, though it’s not always the case.

2. Check That Your Analytics/tracking Is Configured

Suppose you have Google Analytics tracking already implemented on your website. In that case, it’s essential to verify that it is correctly set up and functioning as intended.

To verify the presence and consistency of your Google Analytics tracking code, inspect the source code of your website’s homepage, main category pages, and product pages. You can do this by pressing Control + U on your keyboard. Since various content management systems (CMSs) may treat page templates differently, it’s important to check each type to ensure uniform tracking across your website.

By reviewing the source code of these key pages, you can confirm the implementation of the tracking code associated with your Google Analytics account and property. This step ensures that your website’s analytics are accurately capturing data and providing valuable insights for your SEO analysis.

3. Google’s Tag Assistant

To ensure the correct installation of the tracking code, you can utilize Google’s Tag Assistant browser plugin. If you already have the plugin installed, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Tag Assistant icon while you are on the specific page you want to check.
  • Choose “Enable” from the options presented.
  • After enabling the plugin, reload the page to allow it to analyze the tracking code.
  • Once the page has reloaded, click on the Tag Assistant icon again.

After the page has fully loaded, you will find comprehensive information about all the Google tags installed on that particular page. Google offers this free tool, known as Tag Assistant, to assist marketers in verifying the correct installation of their tracking codes. Using this tool is simple and user-friendly, providing valuable insights to ensure the accuracy of tracking implementations and supporting effective marketing strategies.

When inspecting your tags with Tag Assistant, if you notice a blue or red icon, it indicates potential installation issues. In your website’s technical audit checklist, the next crucial step would be addressing these problems. Fortunately, Tag Assistant can provide insights into the specific issues with your tags.

Additionally, Tag Assistant offers a “Record” feature, allowing you to monitor how tags fire as you navigate from one page to another.

Tag Assistant serves as a valuable asset during your technical SEO audit by not only confirming the accuracy of your Analytics code but also by assisting with various Google tracking tags used for different marketing channels. These include Adwords Conversion Tracking, Remarketing, Floodlight, Google Tag Manager (GTM), and several others.

4. Google Analytics Traffic Analysis

Google Analytics can be a valuable resource for identifying potential tracking issues. If you notice significant fluctuations in your data, it could indicate a problem with your tracking code not firing correctly upon page loading. Pay close attention to the following metrics in your Google Analytics data, as they can serve as red flags for tracking code problems:

  • Periods with No Sessions: If you observe periods with no recorded sessions, it suggests that the tracking code might not be working correctly during those times.
  • Sudden Shifts in Traffic: Drastic and unexpected changes in traffic patterns could indicate issues with your tracking code’s accuracy.
  • Very High/Low Bounce Rates: Unusually high or low bounce rates might be symptomatic of tracking code issues affecting the tracking of user interactions on your website.

Accurate installation of tracking code is vital to ensure reliable data. When the tracking code is not properly installed, it becomes challenging to verify traffic and sessions, hindering the ability to identify crucial pages and understand their traffic patterns.

Moreover, accurately assessing the outcomes of your SEO campaign can be compromised due to flawed tracking, leading to potential misinterpretation of results and ineffective optimization strategies. Therefore, meticulous attention to tracking code implementation is essential for obtaining dependable insights and making informed decisions for your website’s performance and SEO endeavors.

5. Using The Google Search Console

Google’s Search Console proves to be an essential tool for evaluating your website’s SEO status, and the best part is that it’s freely accessible to all website owners. As you conduct your technical SEO audit, remember to verify that you can correctly access and utilize the Search Console.

Please navigate to Google Search Console and ensure that you are logged in using the appropriate Gmail account associated with your website. If you already have an existing Search Console account, you can access it from this location. Alternatively, if you don’t have an account yet, you can set one up.

6. Examine For Manual Actions

Within your Search Console, access the left-side navigation panel and choose “Security & Manual Actions” followed by “Manual Actions.” By incorporating this step into your regular technical SEO audit checklist, you can consistently monitor and detect any manual actions taken on your website.

Manual Actions are a result of human reviewers at Google, rather than the algorithm, determining that a site or page does not adhere to Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines. When a Manual Action is imposed, it signifies that the site has been penalized.

While Manual Actions are infrequent, they hold significant consequences, as they can lead to the demotion or removal of the affected page from Google’s index. For your technical SEO audit checklist, it is crucial to check for any Manual Actions. Neglecting this step could potentially result in a serious underperformance of your site.

7. Use Of Mobile Friendly Test Tool

In the technical SEO audit for mobile, consider this essential item: Ensure that the text on your mobile site is easily readable and visible. While there is no official standard for this, having text that is either too small or too tightly spaced can negatively impact your site’s performance.

To evaluate this, visually inspect your mobile site using a mobile device or utilize Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool, which is specifically designed for assessing mobile readiness. This step will help you guarantee a user-friendly and mobile-optimized experience for your audience.

In the event that the tool fails to load the page, it could be an indicator that even the Googlebot smartphone version encounters difficulties accessing your page. If this occurs, consider retrying with an alternative URL and validate the page’s performance by checking it on an actual mobile device.

This dual approach will ensure a comprehensive assessment of your mobile site’s accessibility and guarantee that both users and search engines can navigate it smoothly.

Final Words

In conclusion, conducting a technical SEO audit is essential for optimizing your website’s performance in search engine rankings. The audit involves examining various technical aspects, such as HTML elements, meta tags, website code, JavaScript, and more. By following a step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your site adheres to best practices for search optimization.