technical-seo-checklist

Technical SEO Checklist 2018: The Important Aspect of SEO Audit

Are you up to date with the technical SEO best practices? A complete technical SEO audit allows you to identify the common technical SEO problems and helps you how to solve them.

It is as compulsory as content for a web page. We all know content is a king. But we cannot ignore the significance of Technical SEO as well.

If you own a website then you must need to know the crucial aspect of Technical SEO that matters a lot to do online business.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is the structure of a website and works as a strong backbone that helps your site to stand long; else without it, everything falls apart. Actually, it refers to the process of optimizing your website for crawling and indexing so that search engine can access, crawl, and index each page of your website properly without any issues. Thus, is one of the best ways to improve SEO ranking and maximize your website visibility in a search engine.

Basically, there are three elements of technical SEO that you must take into consideration:

  • Performance
  • Crawlability
  • Indexation

Why is Technical SEO important?

Many marketers think on-page and off-page are the only most common factors of improving Google ranking but there is another vital component of SEO that plays a huge role in increasing your website ranking and getting your content more visible to your right customers. And that is Technical SEO.

Suppose you have written well-organized website content and you want your content to be presented to your target audience so that everyone can read.

Imagine your users click on notification link to read your amazing article and it takes more than 10 or 15 seconds to load your webpage.

Then you know what happens – customers get irritated and frustrated with the slow speed of your webpage. Therefore, this lacks the interest of your readers and increases bounce rate.

It means even you are having a great piece of content; you are losing your website traffic if your site is not functioning properly.

This is just one of the examples of technical SEO issue which is very important to be fixed within a timeframe or else you will lose the interest of your quality visitors.

Not only the low speed of your website is a technical error but also there are many more technical issues that could badly affect your SEO ranking. Take a look at them:

  • Duplicate Content
  • Missing or Duplicate Title Tag Issues
  • Too Short or Too Long Meta Descriptions
  • Broken Internal or External Links
  • Low Text to HTML Ratio
  • H1 Tag Issues
  • Missing Alt Text
  • Broken Images
  • Low Word Count
  • Incorrect Language Declaration
  • 302 Redirects Instead of 301
  • Multiple Versions of Homepage
  • Soft 404 Errors
  • Too Many On-page Links
  • Outdated Sitemaps
  • Incorrect Robot.Txt File
  • Rel=Canonical Issue
  • Not Using Https
  • Not Using XML Sitemaps
  • Local Search and Structured Data Markup

Take a look at some of the more common technical SEO issues where Ignite Visibility talks about these noteworthy points in-depth details.

Now, let me walk you through the comprehensive checklist of technical SEO that is crucial to your website’s success.

  1. Check Indexing

A search engine such as Google carefully verifies each and every page of your website that gets active on the internet. You can also check this by typing site:domain.com  whether Google has indexed all the pages that exist on a website or you can check individual pages through Google Index Checker.

indexing-in-search-engines-technical-seo

Literally, the ‌indexed number of pages should be more than the total number of pages on your site, excluding the ones you don’t want to be indexed. If you find more gap than you expected, you need to review your disallowed pages.

  1. Sitemap Review

A sitemap is a file to list the all web pages of your website in the search engines and to tell about your site structure and lets them discover fresh content.

As you check your sitemap, make sure it is:

Clean. Keep your sitemap free from errors, redirects, and URLs blocked from indexing; otherwise, you’re at risk of search engines ignoring the sitemap like it isn’t there.

Up-to-date. Make sure your sitemap is updated every time content is added to your site (or removed from it) — this will help search engines discover new content fast.

Concise. Google won’t crawl sitemaps over 50,000 URLs. Ideally, you should keep it much shorter than that to ensure that your most important pages are crawled more often: experiments show that shorter sitemaps result in more effective crawls.

Registered in Search Console. Let Google know about your sitemap. You can either submit it manually to Google Search Console or specify its location anywhere in your robots.txt file in the following way:

Sitemap: http://yourdomain.com/sitemaplocation.xml

  1. Make sure important resources are crawlable

You need to make sure all your important pages are crawlable. To check this you often prefer to simply look through robot.txt but in actual, robot.txt is just one of the ways to restrict pages from indexing, so you may want to use an SEO crawler to get a list of all blocked pages, regardless of whether the instruction was found in the robots.txt, noindex meta tag or X-Robots-Tag.

You can find pages and resources restricted from indexing with website auditor and can get a full list of all blocked pages. If you find any resources on the list that are not supposed to be blocked, check the Robots.txt file to see where the disallow instruction was found so you can fix it quickly.

If your site is built using AJAX or relies on JavaScript heavily, you’ll need to specifically look for a crawler that can crawl and render JavaScript. Currently, only two SEO spiders offer this option: WebSite Auditor and Screaming Frog.

  1. Internal Link Audit

The logic behind auditing your internal link is to make sure that all of your website pages are linked with some relevant content in your site so that they can all be reached within a few seconds of time. Internal linking helps you increase the ranking of your pages more appropriately and not only this but also makes your content SEO friendly.

These are the following tools that you can use for a link audit:

Google Search Console To check the technical errors, crawling & indexing status, structured data, your current disavow file and download your latest links.

Ahrefs In order to download a CSV of links pointing to your domain.

SEO Tools for Excel (Windows only) – In order to pull in important data-points for specific domains. Especially, to fill in the information we don’t have.

Majestic It shows you links that are pointing to your domain and lets you download them in a CSV file.

Moz Open Site Explorer Shows you link that is pointing to your domain and lets you download them in a CSV file.

Here are the things that you need to keep in mind when you are doing internal links audit.

  • The specific URLs that link to your site
  • The page(s) on your site that each of these URLs links to
  • The anchor text used by each incoming link
  • Whether each incoming link is do-follow or no-follow

Performing proper links audit allows you to enhance your SEO and much more. This is one of the effective ways of doing website technical audit.

  1. Improve Page Speed

Too long wait time in website loading can impact your rankings and penalize your user experience. Page speed is truly an important aspect of SEO that lets your user experience how fast the content on your page loads.

You can check the speed of your page by using PageSpeed Insight tool or Pingdom tool. If your website speed load is too low, you will also get to know the details and how to fix instructions.

Anyways, these are the following ways to improve the speed of website page:

  1. Enable compression
  2. Reduce redirects
  3. Remove render-blocking JavaScript
  4. Leverage browser caching
  5. Improve server response time
  6. Use a content distribution network
  7. Optimize images
  8. Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Giving an extra effort on these noteworthy points you are technically maximizing the chances of SEO ranking and making your users not to wait too long to see your content and ultimately increasing your page speed.

6. Get Your Web Page Mobile-Friendlier

Mobile friendly website signifies optimizing your website for display on mobile devices. Google says the mobile-friendly website has been now mandatory as usage of mobile devices have been on the rise ever since they have become a regular part of our everyday lives.

Here are 10 steps to make your website mobile responsive:

  1. Make Your Website Responsive.
  2. Make Information People Look for Easier to Find.
  3. Don’t Use Flash.
  4. Include the Viewport Meta Tag.
  5. Turn Autocorrect for Forms.
  6. Make Your Button Sizes Large Enough to Work on Mobile.
  7. Use Large Font Sizes.
  8. Compress Your Images and CSS.
  9. Allow an Easy Way to Switch to Desktop View.
  10. Regularly Perform Mobile Testing.

Let’s catch each of these points in details how to make a website mobile friendly. Even after getting these all right, you need to keep testing your pages for mobile friendliness with Google’s own mobile-friendly test tool because this is not guaranteed that today’s mobile-friendly website may still work for tomorrow.  Therefore, you need to keep tweaking from time to time to keep your website mobile responsive consistently.

  1. Crawl Budget Optimization

Crawl budget is the number of pages search engines will crawl on your site during a given period of time. The number of pages Google crawls, your budget is determined by the size and health of a site. You can use Google Search Console to get the idea of your crawl budget.

crawl-budget-optimization-technical-seo

Once you will get to know what your crawl budget is, you must be wondering how to get most of it and if there is any way to increase it. SEOs don’t know for sure how Google assigns crawl budget to sites, but the two major theories state that the key factor is (1) the number of internal links to a page, and (2) its number of backlinks from other sites.

These are the following tricks that you need to apply in your site for your crawl budget optimization:

* Clean up duplicate content.

* Restrict indexation of pages with no SEO value.

* Add URL parameters in Google Search Console.

* Take care of broken links.

* Fix redirect chains.

  1. AMP Configuration

It is basically designed to maintain the AMP version of your website’s pages using optimized resources and its cache to serve them faster in mobile search results.

Google has already announced that Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a very essential aspect of creating fast-loading mobile web pages. Therefore, it is now necessary to be included in any website and its ubiquity has skyrocketed in Google News. It’s has been an important key for your technical SEO audit to check a website’s AMP implementation and verify that it complies with Google’s requirements to be shown in search results.

  1. Structured Data Optimization

Structured Data is used by search engines to generate rich snippets, which are the small information of a website that appears in search results. It is directly added to a webpages’ HTML markup.

You cannot gain the website traffic by ranking well in organic listings but also by increasing the opportunities of your site’s pages visibility through these SERP features.

You can identify these opportunities with search competition and keywords tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and the Moz Keyword Explorer.

Once you will get to know which of your content should be formatted and optimized with structured data, you can use Google’s search gallery examples as a reference to do it and verify its implementation with the Structured Data Testing tool (as well as the Google Search Console’s Structured Data and Rich Cards reports).

Conclusion

Since it is not easy to spot all the technical SEO issues in one go with an untrained eye, still you will have to take a pain to do the SEO audit very sincerely either once or double or triple to find the errors in order to fix them up and bring the better results on the table.

I hope this checklist helped you to understand at least some better idea of what to look for during the technical SEO audit of your site.

If you find any major technical SEO issue on your site that you are unable to fix it up yourself, it’s better to get in touch with an expert SEO for your website betterment.  We would love to hear from you.

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