Every business that has an online presence, as all of them should, wants people to find them easily. The best way of ensuring this is to rank better on search engine result pages. Many businesses and marketers focus on building their websites and doing on-page SEO without focusing on technical SEO. Both should go hand-in-hand to ensure you are utilizing your site’s full potential. A technical SEO audit helps uncover weak points and deeper issues with your website. Here are six reasons why doing it regularly should be part of your SEO tasks.
If you are like most businesses, you have used various SEO tools to ensure all your pages and posts are SEO-friendly. This is great, but a technical SEO helps uncover deeper issues that might impact SEO without you even knowing it. So, what are some of these issues?
Another serious issue such an audit uncovers is 404 errors and improper redirections. Google does not want to send people to pages that do not exist and this is why you might see a ranking hit if you have too many 404 (page not found) errors.
Improper redirections increase load speeds and throw off search engine spiders. Fix these issues to sort out not only user experience issues but crawling and indexing issues, too.
To fix crawling and indexing issues, you should also ensure your robots.txt file is properly constructed. This file tells search engine bots what pages to crawl, and it can cause them not to index crucial pages on your site.
Although this is a serious SEO issue, it deserves its own section due to how important it is. Your website should be usable on all screen sizes, from phones to ultrawide displays. Responsiveness issues do not usually affect larger screens (although you should check), but they affect user experiences on mobile devices.
Your website should adapt to smaller screens and be easy to navigate on these devices. Your links and buttons should be clickable and your fonts legible. Images and embedded videos should also adapt to smaller screen sizes.
Organic search visibility is the phrase used to describe whether you can be found on search engine result pages. While there are other ranking factors, keywords are one of the key drivers of search engine visibility.
A technical SEO audit allows you to identify areas where you are not taking advantage of keywords that will help you achieve a better ranking. It also allows you to tailor your titles for clickability and relevance so more people can click on your links when you show up on search engine result pages.
Although technical SEO audits are usually meant to identify site-wide issues, they can also be used to identify on-page issues. When using them for this purpose, you are mainly looking for issues that affect your pages’ content.
For example, your meta tags should be about 55 to 60 characters because that is what most desktops and smartphones display. They should also include your primary keyword. Your meta descriptions should be about 160 characters in length if you want them to not be cut off when displayed on result pages.
Another potential issue is keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is when you use your keyword or its variations too much in your content. Although this used to work in the past, Google now penalizes websites that do it.
Your total keyword count for your main content should be between two and three percent. This excludes headings that can use variations or long-tail keywords to divide page sections and ensure a readable structure.
Next, we have internal linking issues. Internal linking is important for helping visitors navigate your website and find additional content on it. However, it is also important for search engine bots and spiders that use internal links to discover content and glean context, so they know which pages to rank.
Marketers use data all the time to refine their strategies. The same should apply to SEO. A technical SEO audit gives you a lot of data and information that can be very useful if used right. Additionally, this data can help you continuously refine your strategies for better results.
One issue that might come up during the audit is the issue of orphaned pages. These are pages that do not have any links pointing to them. These pages are usually impossible to rank because they are deemed to not have any authority.
You can help them by using internal links on relevant pages to give them some authority. By doing so, you increase the number of pages that can be ranked on Google depending on the keywords you are targeting and what users are searching.
Backlinks are an important ranking metric, but a lot of people forget that they need high-quality backlinks and not just many of them. When you have highly relevant and high-quality backlinks pointed to your content, your website tends to do better.
To gauge the quality of your backlinks, you need to know which backlinks point to your website. You also need to know if you have spammy backlinks and if competitors have better backlinks than you.
All this information can help with your backlinking efforts because if the backlinks are not of a high enough quality, you will know it and put effort into finding some that are.
Whether you have a new website or are running an existing one, some issues can put your SEO efforts in jeopardy. The best way to know about these issues and thus start formulating solutions is by doing an SEO audit. Ensure the technical SEO audit you do is thorough enough so you can identify and solve as many issues as possible.