Have you optimised your website? Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) goes a lot deeper than adding keywords to your content.
Technical SEO is vital and a fundamental factor to ensuring your website can perform at its best.
Technical SEO refers to the process of optimising your website's infrastructure and page ‘furniture’ so that it's crawled and indexed as easily as possible.
When people search for your website there are many ranking factors that influence its position and authority. These are reflected in the search engine results pages.
A technical SEO audit is like a car service. When carried out regularly, say every three months, your website remains in a healthy state. Combine this with alert tracking for major changes to stay really on top of your rankings.
Our Codehouse SEO audit flags errors, warnings and notices that when rectified will give your website a clean bill of health, and make your domain and web pages easier to find and rank by search engines.
At Codehouse, our experts deliver an SEO service that consists of three phases:
Every website audit is different as there are many issues that could get flagged. This article covers some of the key areas of our technical SEO site audit.
Technical SEO factors that will affect your website
- Domain: A domain overview gives details on your website's authority score as well as backlink details and how it ranks globally.
- Robots: A robots txt file and on-page robots meta data informs search bots what to track and how to behave with your web pages.
- 4xx codes: These errors show when a web page can’t be accessed. Most likely because of broken links. 4xx codes prevent users and search bots from finding webpages.
- 5xx codes: These are server errors i.e. a server being unable to perform the request from a user or a search crawler.
- Duplicate content: Search engines don't like duplicate content. Audits identify duplication issues like meta descriptions, titles and general website content.
- Crawlability: If your website can’t be crawled properly, it can’t be found. A crawlability test determines if crawlers can access your web pages. There are two possible reasons: (a) Slow server response (over 5 seconds) (b) Your server refused access to your webpages (see robots.txt above).
- Broken links and orphaned pages: Link building is important. But having broken links is bad because they take users to non-existent webpages. Broken links have a negative effect on the user experience and your rankings. Orphaned pages are pages with no links going to them. Again, this has a negative impact on ranking and authority.
- Backlinks: This counts good and bad (‘toxic’) backlinks pointing to your website. Generally backlinks are a good thing. It shows that the web community thinks your content worthwhile. A toxic backlink has a negative effect on your domain's authority score.
- Missing title tags: The <title> tag is an informative SEO element that helps search engines and users understand what your webpage is about.
- Sitemap: If your sitemap.xml file has errors, search engines won’t be able to process it. In other words, they’ll ignore these links to your website. The audit identifies any sitemap issues so they can be rectified.
- HTML: A webpage’s HTML size can negatively impact SEO. For example, a page size that’s too large (more than 2 MB) has a slower page speed. This results in a poor user experience and a lower search engine ranking. In addition, pages with a low HTML to text ratio will also be flagged.
- AMP pages have missing tags: If you have Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), any issues will be flagged.
- Hreflang issues: If you're running a website with multiple languages, it's important that the most relevant language version is displayed to visitors in search results. Adding the hreflang attribute helps search engines show the relevant language version to visitors based on their location and language preference.
- Certification: Your website will be blocked if (a) The domain or subdomain name to which your SSL certificate is registered doesn't match the name displayed in the address bar (b) The SSL certificate has expired (c) You're running old SSL or TLS protocols.
- Redirect chains and loops: Long redirect chains and infinite loops lead to issues that can damage your SEO efforts. Chains and loops make it difficult for search engines to crawl your website.
- Broken and multiple canonical URLs: It's recommended that you specify only one url for a page to be indexed using rel=”canonical”. More than one url for the same page confuses search engines as they won’t be able to identify which URL is the one you that want indexed.
- Alt attributes: An alternative attribute, also known as "alt tag" and "alt description" is an HTML tag applied to images as a text alternative for search engines. Applying alt attributes can positively impact your SEO, especially if you run an online store with lots of product imagery.
- Schema: Schema vocabulary or markup adds context to your web pages. It tells search engines what your data means and what your website is about. This information can be presented as rich results, or rich snippets. Schema can also help you present the content you want to present in social posts.
As mentioned above, there are many factors a technical SEO audit can flag.
If you want to find out more about our Codehouse SEO audit services, and how we can help your website rank higher than your competitors, talk to our experts.