What does your website look like to the search engines? Is your data reliable? When was the last time you looked at the technical side of things? Regular Technical SEO audit are necessary for staying on top of the game.
Your official website is your flagship in trying to stand out in a sea of contestants. That’s especially true when it comes to SEO strategies for small businesses. In this article, we’ll take a look at the key steps of carrying out a comprehensive and effective technical SEO audit for your site.
Diversify your tool box
There are a fair number of analytics tools and different crawlers out there and each one will give you slightly different perspectives. Make a point of implementing more than one. Optimally, you’ll use around three to get a well-rounded look at the situation. Gather a generous amount of data and use it as the foundation for your audit.
Now, sometimes the tools you chose might clash. You might find yourself in the situation that three pieces of software give you three drastically different data sets. What do you do then? At those times it comes down to the human touch. You’ll need to rely on your experience with SEO to interpret what the code is telling you and decide the most sensible course of action.
Start with the Search Console
Google is easily the most dominant search engine and most SEO strategies are tailored to its guidelines. So, to begin your technical audit, you’ll want to go to the Google Search Console (previously Webmaster Tools).
GSC will give you ample information on just how your business website is perceived by Google. This data is an excellent guidepost for figuring out what to focus on. Considering Google’s popularity, it could dramatically increase people’s awareness of your brand. In fact, you may want to take a look at these diagnostics even before you let your chosen crawlers loose.
The one potential problem with GSC insights is that they’re limited. You can’t get data for more than one thousand URLs. If you operate with more, you may want to use the Search Console as a segmentation tool instead. Choose a type or group of pages to focus on and analyze those.
If you can get clear cross-sections, so to speak, it’ll be easier to optimize the whole see which pages have problems in common. Then use the crawlers to round out those insights. Apply them to all of your pages, analyze all the internal links etc. and put together the big picture. To round it off, you may want to get a complete white label SEO report with all the results in one place. Having a comprehensive overview will make the following steps much easier.
Construct your own checklist
Analytics software is well and good, but if you want to get the most out of your audit, you need to tailor it to your needs. What are your priorities? What are the absolutely essential goals of your SEO strategy? Take some time to put together your own checklist of steps to take.
A huge benefit of doing it your own way is that the audit gets put in context. Remember, the data from tools still needs to be put into a matrix of human understanding. When you run your pages through crawlers you might get a lot of highlights indicating errors. Then you take a closer look and see that these aren’t problems for your strategy. The program is simply letting you know that there’s a no-index flag somewhere and marks it as an error, even if you are the one who added it..
As far as making the list itself goes, it will depend a lot on your needs, your auditing experience, and your work style. You can use a pen and a sticky note as a rough roadmap when starting out. As your business grows and develops, you may want to make a detailed spreadsheet with all the nitty-gritty steps along the way.
Keep in touch with developments
Arguably the most important thing you can do to make your technical SEO audit successful is to keep up with the news. If possible, try to browse for new developments every day. If you can’t afford that much time (or just can’t remember to), check in at least two or three times per week.
SEO is a constantly changing landscape. Google’s guidelines are updated every once and again, and other search engines, like Bing or DuckDuckGo, have their own best practices. Whenever something changes, add that to your audit checklist.
Over time, you will gain experience and develop your own auditor instincts. Until then, we hope this list helps your business skyrocket on the SERP pages.