Efficient technical SEO audits to fix site issues





Blog Date

June 2, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Efficient technical SEO audits to fix site issues

As an SEO enthusiast, I’ve always been fascinated by the intricate world of technical optimization. It’s like solving a grand puzzle, where each piece – from server configurations to URL structures – plays a crucial role in shaping the success of a website. And let me tell you, I’ve seen it all, from the hilarious LinkedIn mishap to the Warner Bros. blunder that cost them millions. But fear not, my fellow digital adventurers, for I’m here to guide you through the winding paths of technical SEO and help you unlock the secrets to a truly optimized website.

Understanding the Significance of Technical SEO

In today’s digital landscape, your online presence is more than just a pretty face. It’s a complex ecosystem where the success of your website hinges on a delicate balance of compelling content and robust technical foundations. Think of it this way: your website is like a high-performance sports car, and technical SEO is the engine that propels it forward. Without proper tuning and maintenance, that sleek ride will be stuck in the slow lane, leaving your competitors to zoom past you.

As the experts at NoGood.io explain, technical SEO plays a pivotal role in ensuring your website is discoverable and user-friendly. It’s the foundation upon which your entire digital strategy rests, influencing everything from your search engine rankings to the seamless experience you provide to your visitors.

The Warner Bros. Lesson: A Cautionary Tale

Remember the Warner Bros. debacle with the Harley Quinn movie? It’s a classic example of what can happen when technical SEO is overlooked. As the team at NoGood.io highlighted, the movie’s initial title, “Birds of Prey: The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn,” buried the lead character’s name, causing confusion in search results. Users searching for “Harley Quinn” ended up elsewhere, and the movie suffered a staggering $16 million loss. Ouch!

This disaster serves as a stark reminder that even industry giants can’t afford to ignore the impact of SEO. Creativity and technical optimization must work hand-in-hand to ensure your digital presence shines brighter than the competition.

The LinkedIn Mystery: A Lesson in HTTPS Transitions

But it’s not just about eye-catching titles and keyword placements. As the experts at NoGood.io noted, even the tech giants can stumble when it comes to technical SEO. Remember the LinkedIn incident, where a large portion of their content mysteriously vanished from Google Search? Turns out, they tried to switch from HTTP to HTTPS using Google’s own removal tool, which inadvertently wiped out all variants, including the HTTPS, WWW, and non-WWW versions.

The takeaway here? Transitions to HTTPS require a delicate touch. Using Google’s removal tool for domain redirects may seem like a quick fix, but it can have unintended consequences that can devastate your search visibility and user engagement. The team at MCR SEO would be more than happy to guide you through a smooth HTTPS migration, ensuring your rankings and traffic remain intact.

Preparing for a Successful Technical SEO Audit

Now that we’ve explored the importance of technical SEO and learned from the cautionary tales of industry giants, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty of conducting a comprehensive technical SEO audit. But before we get our hands dirty, let’s set the stage for success.

As the team at NoGood.io suggests, defining clear goals and objectives is crucial. Are you aiming to improve your search engine rankings? Enhance the user experience? Ensure your website’s accessibility and security? Whatever your priorities may be, having a clear roadmap will guide you through the audit process and help you achieve your desired outcomes.

And let me tell you, a technical SEO audit is not a one-time affair. It’s an ongoing process that requires vigilance and adaptability. Think of it like maintaining a high-performance sports car – you can’t just take it in for a tune-up and expect it to run perfectly forever. You need to keep a close eye on the engine, monitor for any issues, and make adjustments as needed.

Equipping Yourself for the Technical SEO Audit

Now, before you embark on this digital odyssey, you’ll need the right tools and resources in your arsenal. As the experts at NoGood.io outlined, there are three essential components to a successful technical SEO audit:

  1. Website Crawling and Indexation: Tools like Ahrefs’ Site Audit can help you systematically scan and analyze your website’s content and structure, providing valuable insights into its indexation and crawlability.

  2. Site Speed and Performance Analysis: Google’s PageSpeed Insights and other tools like GTmetrix can give you a comprehensive assessment of your website’s speed and performance, identifying areas for improvement.

  3. Mobile Optimization and User Experience: Ahrefs’ mobile crawler can help you uncover any issues or discrepancies between your desktop and mobile versions, ensuring a seamless experience for all your visitors.

But the journey doesn’t end there. As the team at NoGood.io emphasizes, collaboration and access to critical data from your clients is essential. Gaining access to Google Analytics and Google Search Console will empower your audit with essential data to gauge your website’s performance and formulate data-driven strategies for improvement.

Diving into the Technical SEO Audit

Alright, now that we’ve set the stage and gathered our tools, it’s time to embark on the technical SEO audit adventure. Let’s start with the foundation: website crawling and indexation.

As the experts at NoGood.io explained, a website crawl is a systematic scan and analysis of a website’s content and structure. It involves following links from one web page to another, collecting data about each page, and indexing the information for search engines to retrieve and display in search results. This process helps search engines understand the context and relevance of your web pages, ultimately impacting their visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Proper indexation is crucial, as it ensures that your web pages are accurately and efficiently included in a search engine’s database. Think of it like stocking a library – if the librarian can’t find the books, how will the readers ever discover them? By ensuring your website is properly indexed, you’re making it easier for search engines to understand and showcase your content to the right audience.

To kickstart this process, you can leverage tools like Ahrefs’ Site Audit to initiate a website crawl and gain valuable insights into your site’s health and performance. As the team at NoGood.io outlined, the first step is to set up a project, connect your website, and review the crawl settings to ensure optimal performance.

Identifying and Addressing Indexation and Crawlability Issues

With the website crawl underway, it’s time to delve deeper into the realm of indexation and crawlability. The experts at NoGood.io have provided a roadmap to help you identify and address these critical issues:

  1. Indexation Errors: Ensure that search engines can efficiently crawl and index your website, as this is fundamental for achieving visibility on the SERPs.
  2. Robots.txt Errors: Review your robots.txt file to ensure it’s properly configured and not hindering search engine bots from accessing your content.
  3. Robots Meta Tags: Optimize your robots meta tags to provide clear instructions to search engines on which pages to index or exclude.
  4. Sitemap Prioritization: Prioritize the pages in your sitemap to guide search engines on which content to focus on and index first.
  5. Crawl Budget Optimization: Maximize your website’s crawl budget by addressing any issues that may be limiting search engine bots from efficiently exploring your content.

By addressing these indexation and crawlability challenges, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that search engines can seamlessly navigate and understand the true value of your website.

Optimizing Site Speed and Performance

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, website speed and performance have become crucial factors in both user experience and search engine rankings. As the experts at NoGood.io highlighted, Google has made mobile speed a direct ranking factor, and the introduction of Core Web Vitals has further emphasized the importance of optimizing your website’s performance.

Slow-loading websites can quickly frustrate users, leading to high bounce rates and a negative impact on your search engine visibility. On the other hand, websites that prioritize speed and performance can reap the rewards of increased organic traffic, improved click-through rates, and overall better user satisfaction.

To assess your website’s speed and identify areas for improvement, you can utilize tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix. These powerful resources will provide you with a detailed analysis of your site’s performance metrics, offering actionable recommendations to address any bottlenecks.

As the team at NoGood.io suggests, even if your website doesn’t suffer from severe speed issues, there’s always room for optimization. Implementing strategies like image optimization, browser caching, and content delivery network (CDN) integration can significantly enhance your site’s loading times and deliver a seamless user experience.

Ensuring Mobile Optimization

In today’s digital landscape, mobile device usage has skyrocketed, with an ever-increasing number of individuals relying on their smartphones and tablets for a wide range of online activities. As the experts at NoGood.io highlighted, mobile shopping now accounts for a staggering 60% of the market, underscoring the critical importance of ensuring your website is optimized for mobile devices.

Recognizing this shift in user behavior, Google has been proactively transitioning towards a mobile-first indexing approach, prioritizing the mobile version of a website in its search rankings. This means that ensuring your website is optimized for mobile users is no longer a luxury but a necessity for maintaining a strong online presence.

To assess your website’s mobile performance, you can leverage Ahrefs’ mobile crawler, which allows you to conduct a comprehensive audit of your mobile-specific optimization. By comparing the mobile and desktop versions of your site, you can identify any discrepancies or new issues that arise solely on the mobile platform, ensuring a seamless user experience across all devices.

Optimizing Technical On-Page SEO Elements

While content and off-page strategies play crucial roles in your overall SEO efforts, the technical on-page elements of your website cannot be overlooked. As the experts at NoGood.io have outlined, these technical on-page factors can significantly impact your search engine rankings and the overall user experience.

  1. Page Titles and Title Tags: Ensure your page titles and title tags are optimized, accurately reflecting the content of each page and incorporating relevant keywords.
  2. Meta Tags and Content Optimization: Review your meta tags, including the meta description, to ensure they are unique, compelling, and accurately represent your page’s content.
  3. Header Hierarchy (H1-H6): Maintain a clean and logical hierarchy of headings, with a single H1 tag that effectively summarizes the page’s main topic.

By addressing these technical on-page elements, you’ll not only enhance your website’s overall optimization but also provide a more user-friendly experience for your visitors, ultimately leading to improved search engine rankings and increased organic traffic.

Mastering Internal Linking

While many SEO enthusiasts focus on building external backlinks, the power of internal linking cannot be overstated. As the team at NoGood.io explains, internal linking is a crucial aspect of on-page SEO, working hand-in-hand with external backlinks to elevate your website’s overall performance.

Internal links not only help search engines better understand the structure and hierarchy of your website but also play a vital role in enhancing the user experience. By strategically connecting relevant pages within your site, you can guide visitors to valuable content, encourage deeper engagement, and ultimately improve your search engine rankings.

To identify and address any internal linking issues, you can utilize the “Internal links” feature within Ahrefs’ Site Audit tool. This will allow you to pinpoint problematic links, such as those with 4xx status codes, and take the necessary steps to fix them.

Remember, a well-optimized internal linking structure is not just about fixing broken links; it’s about creating a seamless, intuitive navigation experience for your users. By continuously refining your internal linking strategy, you’ll be able to showcase the depth and relevance of your content, ultimately driving more engaged visitors to your website.

Optimizing for Images and Multimedia

In the age of visual storytelling, the optimization of images and multimedia elements on your website cannot be overlooked. As the experts at NoGood.io have highlighted, these elements can significantly impact your website’s performance, user experience, and even accessibility.

Broken images, large file sizes, and improper file formats can all contribute to a sluggish website, frustrating users and negatively impacting your search engine rankings. Moreover, the absence of optimized alt text can hinder the accessibility of your content for users with visual impairments, as well as limit your visibility on Google Images.

To address these image and multimedia-related issues, you can leverage the “Images” section within Ahrefs’ Site Audit tool. Here, you’ll be able to identify and resolve problems such as broken images, large file sizes, and mixed content issues (where HTTPS pages link to HTTP images).

By optimizing your visual content, you’ll not only enhance your website’s speed and user experience but also improve accessibility and boost your visibility in image-based search results. It’s a win-win-win situation for your SEO efforts!

Optimizing Website Architecture and Navigation

Effective website architecture and navigation are crucial for enhancing the user experience and, by extension, your search engine optimization efforts. As the team at NoGood.io highlighted, the way your website’s pages are organized and structured can significantly impact both users and search engine bots.

A well-designed site hierarchy, often referred to as site structure, can make it easier for visitors to navigate your content and for search engines to understand the relationships between your pages. By ensuring a logical and intuitive information architecture, you’ll not only improve user experience but also enhance the efficiency of search engine crawling and indexing.

To evaluate and optimize your site’s hierarchy, you can leverage tools like SEMrush, which provide valuable insights into your website’s URL structure, navigation, and overall architecture. By addressing any issues or inconsistencies, you’ll be able to create a more user-friendly and search engine-friendly website, ultimately boosting your online visibility and driving more engaged traffic to your digital doorstep.

Managing Sitemaps and URL Structures

Sitemaps are an essential component of technical SEO, serving as a roadmap for search engines to efficiently navigate and index your website. As the experts at NoGood.io have emphasized, there are two primary types of sitemaps: XML sitemaps for search engines and HTML sitemaps for human users.

XML sitemaps provide search engines with a clear and concise overview of your website’s content, guiding them through the indexing process. Ensuring your XML sitemap is well-structured and up-to-date can significantly improve the discoverability and ranking of your web pages.

On the other hand, HTML sitemaps cater to your human visitors, offering a user-friendly overview of your site’s navigation and structure. By incorporating both types of sitemaps, you

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