If your business, whether it’s big or small, has a website, it’s important to understand that effective SEO strategy is beyond creating content and building backlinks. Investing in a good website will only pay off if it attracts traffic and drives sales. That is why it is crucial to take a comprehensive approach to SEO and look at the bigger picture rather than spend resources on chaotic moves.
In this article, we'll discuss the fundamental step in building your SEO strategy. SEO audit will help you point towards a more visible and visited site and give you confidence in further steps. Let's figure out what a technical audit is and what it can give us.
Technical SEO audit is like taking your car to a mechanic over time to look under its hood and make sure everything runs smoothly. More often than not, there are issues with your website that prevent it from getting to the first pages of search engine results (SERPs) and ensuring the desired outcomes. The earlier you detect them, the less budget you’ll waste. If you will ask for a SEO technical audit service, you will also save much time for more important tasks, since a tech seo expert will find all those issues more promptly, allowing you to fix them and move on.
Usually, SEO audit consists of examining the website structure, code, internal and external links, meta titles and descriptions, as well as other important factors that affect rankings and make your website far more organized . Common issues may involve:
Your website might also contain broken links, which makes it hard for Google to index your website. The navigation on your website can be non-intuitive, and visitors will leave the site before they even get the chance to learn how great your product or service is.
An expert will typically go through a technical SEO audit checklist of common mistakes and provide your programmer with a list of things that are right and wrong with your website. Or, like Promodo experts, they will focus on the major flaws specific to your site so that your developer can fix them and not bother with a long list of irrelevant positions.
Every technical SEO agency sticks to its own workflow. We asked Georgy Glushko, Middle SEO Expert at Promodo, what kind of bugs his team looks for first. Or in other words, which critical issues bring the best results after fixing them. The initial structure of the audit primarily includes the following items:
The most basic task. If the site does not have enough categories, pages, then it will not get traffic. A good structure should be logical and easy to navigate, as well as include all the necessary pages that the user expects to see on the site.
It is also important for crawlability. Search engines send web crawlers to run through each website and store the information about different pages, so that they can show relevant search results to the users. A good website structure is crucial so that web crawlers can easily navigate and index your pages.
It has a huge impact on SEO because it directly affects user experience of your website visitors, which, in turn will show on site rankings. A slow website can increase the bounce rates, which is the rate in which website visitors leave without taking any action or further exploring the site’s other content. Search engines use both the bounce rates and the page speed data as a ranking factor in their algorithms. Page speed is also important for mobile optimization. Having a fast-loading website is important for mobile web users, who now represent the majority. Google indexing algorithm now puts mobile users first.
It’s annoying to see the famous 404 error instead of the content you were expecting to see when you clicked on the link. It’s also annoying for web crawlers, which can stop crawling the website or index certain pages once they encounter one, resulting in low rankings.
Link doubles appear when a certain link appears multiple times on a webpage. Apart from user experience issues, duplicate links also waste the crawl budget, meaning that if a certain URL is crawled multiple times, it can impact the crawl efficiency and some other pages will be crawled less frequently.
Localized versions of a website can help a business reach and engage with its target audience in certain regions.
“It’s quite an obvious thing, but it’s often taken for granted or performed incorrectly. Setting up regionals correctly takes time and resources, and if done inattentively, it can lead to creating multiple duplicate links, which is why it’s better supervised by professionals. If everything is performed correctly, though, it will bring 100% results.”
Middle SEO Expert, Promodo
It’s an important, but often overlooked issue. Filtered pages might generate many duplicate links, and also create excessive pages that bring no value for users of search engines. For example, if you have an e-commerce site and let’s say sell pet toys, it’s very unlikely that someone will search for a specific toy in specific color, specific size, material, country of origin, and the pet’s gender. That’s why it’s important to close some filters from indexation.
Let's take a look at the most common scenarios when you might need an audit.
Your win-win scenario is to work with an SEO expert right from scratch of the website development.
“It would be great if we had a culture of hiring an SEO expert alongside a developer when working on a website. This would save us from numerous mistakes at the development stage. We understand how you primarily need to configure your site to local SEO, for example, to drive more traffic from your local area or how you need to set up a SEO-friendly website structure.”
Team Lead SEO, Promodo
At this stage, it’s common to look at the structure, put semantics together, check if any pages that would logically suit your site structure are lacking, come up with page names, meta titles and description that would attract user attention on search engines.
Marketing agencies also analyze competitors to see how many backlinks they have, and then pursue link acquisition and content marketing.
Investing in SEO right from scratch is the ideal scenario. To generate a steady flow of organic traffic to your site takes time so do not spend much of it wondering about what went wrong and whether there are critical flaws you’ve overlooked.
Moving websites is a painful process, especially when you check the analytics in the aftermath and see how much the traffic has dropped. With our professional SEO assistance you can rest assured your every move is flawless and you’ve avoided all the mess underway.
Here are a few things SEO experts usually address during website migration:
There are few reasons why a regular checkup might be a good idea.
First of all, search engine algorithms are constantly changing to provide more relevant results to their users. Since these changes may affect your rankings, be sure to consult someone who keeps up with the most recent updates.
Secondly, websites are dynamic: while new pages are being added, the old ones are removed and links get irrelevant. All these changes might affect your rankings without you knowing. A technical audit will make sure that your website stays optimized for the search engines.
And the most telling sign you would benefit from tech SEO audit is your website performance. You might need one if your website keeps falling down the search engine result pages or the traffic is stagnating or declining.
You might be underestimating the importance of trusting the SEO-related works to an agency in case you have in-house specialists and developers. We asked Ksenia Vasilyeva, Team Lead of SEO at Promodo, what are the clients looking for when asking for an audit, and we are happy to share her insights with you.
Ksenia points out that the first month of any short- or long-term collaboration is allocated for an audit to identify the growing points and the mistakes that can be quickly fixed. We do this before moving on to a SEO promotion strategy. Our experts do not stick to a general check-list of possible SEO issues, but rather focus on typical flaws experienced by the clients. Further, we deliver a list of required corrections in several iterations so that the programmer on the client’s side can start working as soon as possible. The audit is done continuously until the end of our cooperation to ensure the best results.
Some companies regularly come back to us for an audit, because they’re looking for alternative viewpoints. Agencies have a deeper expertise in SEO when it comes to specific niches. For example, Promodo has extensive experience when it comes to Healthcare & Beauty. This is how we doubled organic traffic for an online pharmacy. It is important to understand that an agency’s goal is not to compete with your in-house expertise, but rather collaborate and find the perfect solutions together. An agency brings expertise and a fresh angle, while in-house brings the outlook from the client’s side, which altogether result in growth and impressive results.
Is there any way to measure a successful technical audit?
“There are no KPIs, the major outcome of a successful technical audit is a list of the mistakes to fix. However, if we talk about the return on investment (ROI), we use our internal stats. Our experience shows that if our client implements the edits during the first month following the audit, they enjoy up to 30% of traffic growth in the third or fourth month”.
Team Lead SEO, Promodo
If you are interested in how to know if your investment in SEO will bring results, read our recent publication on how to predict the ROI from SEO.
Both your website and the search engine algorithms are dynamic entities that change and need constant attention. Keeping track of all the changes and subtle aspects of SEO can be exhausting, and ineffective. In order not to waste time on figuring out why your site doesn’t bring the desired traffic despite all the efforts, you might want to consider asking for a SEO audit.
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