A technical website audit might not sound like the most exciting thing to do, but it really is vital to the success of your site.
In a nutshell, a technical audit is the full analysis of all the factors that affect a website’s visibility in search engines. The end goal of a technical website audit is to detect any weak spots in campaigns that impact your online performance, giving you complete insight into the site, individual pages and overall traffic, and in turn giving you the chance to make necessary changes.
The technical website audit reveals actions that you need to take to improve your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO). A full audit identifies weak aspects of the site that are having a detrimental effect on SEO, and offers practical recommendations into what you need to prioritise.
All audits begin with a site health check. This looks at things like usability, link analysis, optimisation and on-site content to provide an overall view of how your site is performing.
A technical website audit focuses on digging out the weak spots of SEO on your site. Most technical audit tools offer recommendations on how to improve rankings in search, including on-page and off-page SEO elements like broken links, duplicate meta descriptions, HTML validation, error pages and site speed.
So, if it isn’t already clear why you need a technical website audit, just ask yourself if you want your website to be performing as best it can and to rank highly in search engines. If the answer is ‘yes’, it’s time to get started,
To check if your website is optimised for search engines, you need to take into account the following factors:
These need to be unique for each page. Titles need to tell the user what the page is about, and descriptions should summarise what they can expect to find on the page.
Check that the URLs for each page are unique and properly formatted. Good URLs include keywords separated by hyphens, are unique to each page, and no more than 255 characters including the domain name.
Make sure that you don’t just have plain text on your pages. Any text should be properly formatted using H1s and H2s, bold and italics for the important parts, and lists if necessary for presenting information in an at-a-glance way.
The content on your website should be unique. There are plenty of online tools you can use to check for duplicate content, and in the event you find some, you’ll know to remove or change it.
Your content also needs to be high quality, free from mistakes, and promoted on social media. You can use Google Analytics to find out which pages are visited the most, and make sure that the content on those pages is top quality. It also needs to be relevant and frequently updated to stay fresh.
Linking your pages together is useful for both search engines and users. It makes navigating through your site much easier, which in turn improves overall experience of your site.
Images help to make a web page easier to digest and more shareable on social media, but be careful that they don’t increase the loading time of a page.
When using images, make sure you take into account the following:
Broken links are bad for the user experience, which impacts negatively on SEO. Again, there are plenty of tools and software that can search your site for broken links that, once found, can be fixed.
How quickly your pages load affects both your rankings and your conversion rates. People are increasingly impatient, and if they’re made to wait for a page to load, chances are they’ll just leave if it doesn’t meet expectations.
There are some quick things you can do to improve page loading speeds in the meantime:
Not making much sense? That’s where we come in. We’ll help you through each step of technical auditing.
Regardless of the type of website you’re running, certain elements can be found on almost every site out there. To make sure yours is up to scratch, ask yourself the following questions: