Nowadays, we all access the internet from the comfort of our homes. The digitalization and portability brought about by the advent of smartphones can allow us to be more productive and conduct our business from almost anywhere today. Precisely because of this, if you are the owner of a website that is using the professional services of an SEO firm, you will probably be most interested in the part of the SEO audit that will benchmark the performance of your website for mobile devices.
But a technical SEO audit conducted by a professional firm is not only about improving this aspect of your website, and in the following article, we will present the main steps an SEO firm will take to paint a realistic portrait of your existing situation.
Why Perform an SEO Audit?
Because it’s a must for any professional SEO firm interested in getting your business where it deserves to be. A proper technical SEO audit starts with a website benchmark against competitors in your field. What does this mean? Let’s say, for example, you are the owner of a sports news website.
If someone Googles news about the latest game played by your favorite team, are your competitors higher than you on the results page or lower? If the search optimization is done poorly, you may not even be on the first page of searches, which would significantly affect the credibility and traffic of your site since only a little over 10% of people visit the second page of results when they search for something.
A full technical SEO audit is a must for the proper functioning of your website and is the only way to find out exactly how your business ranks on the search engine results page. But what are some technical details that could be fixed relatively quickly by an SEO expert, and can they yield quick results to improve your results?
Broken Links and the Importance of Fixing Them
In the world of SEO, long-term results are closely correlated with your website’s functionality. A complete SEO audit will look at the internal links connecting the products/services or articles featured on your site and check them for errors. A link leading to a page that no longer exists is a red flag that can hurt your search engine rankings and deter potential visitors when they discover your content.
On the same note, an SEO audit should analyze the speed of your site and resolve any indexing issues that may arise from the analysis. When we talk about site speed, we are referring to the rate at which the web page loads when the user wants to access it, which is self-explanatory.
But what are the indexation issues? Well, think of it as a catalog in which the information on your website is presented. The problem is that search engines handle each link differently, which can lead to errors. For the average user, there is no difference between a domain that starts with https://mywebsite or https://www.mywebsite, but for a search engine, there is a difference, and your site will then be indexed several times, which will not be beneficial to you.
Scan for Duplicate Content and Fix Your Rankings
The technical SEO audit process can also, in the same sphere of technical issues, find duplicate content on your site. This can be a commercialized product that is listed more than once under the same name, an article that appears repeatedly, an image that repeats itself, and most significantly, entire pages leading to the same content. Besides being inefficient, such problems can lower your ranking in search engine algorithms, and in cases where the issue of duplicate content is severe, then it is even possible for your website to be classified as spam.
Fortunately, the solution, in this case, is a quick one, as you only need to delete the duplicated content and replace it with another which is original and uses those keywords relevant to the field in which you operate. A professional SEO team will probably have a suite of content writers who will take care of this content for you.
Orphan Pages and Targeting the Right Keywords
Another potential problem you might encounter during the technical SEO audit process is related to orphan pages. These are pages of content available on your website but are not easily accessible to visitors because they are not linked to other pages. If your site also does not benefit from an index, those pages may prove inaccessible to people who do not have their URL directly.
And as for keyword usage, the SEO audit process will reveal the main keywords that are active in your field of activity and compare them with those currently used in the content published on your website. There are countless programs that an SEO expert can use to find these correlations, including, for example: Soovle, Jaaxy, or KWFinder, and what they primarily do is help you find the exact target audience you are interested in. Do you have a website where you sell hand-made dresses? Then it’s not a very good picture if your analytics show that a good chunk of the audience visiting your site is composed of men over forty interested in winter tires.
The Importance of Proper Mobile Optimization
Most internet traffic these days comes from mobile, and connecting to information for most of us has become routine. The average US. household has ten devices connected to the internet at any given time, and the infrastructure and functionality of websites had to undergo significant changes in recent years to remain relevant and attract new visitors.
Tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights can handle the process by which your site’s performance can be benchmarked against industry competition. Still, an SEO audit must first come up with solutions. Sometimes if the site is old, then a declutter of the complete code and a redesign might be necessary, but in other cases, implementing AMP Links is enough to increase the website’s functionality significantly.
What is an AMP link? It is an online publishing format created by Google and launched in 2016 that aims to accelerate pages accessed directly from the search engine results page. Another advantage of websites that benefit from AMP links is that they, in many cases, benefit from a better ranking on the Google search page than non-optimized websites.
Backlinks and Meaningful Connections
The technical SEO audit will reveal the backlinks connections that other sites in your field of activity benefit from, and from what we have learned, an action plan can be designed. Backlinks are doorways that redirect visitors from one site to another, often as a way to credit the original content creator. It is a practice that search engines appreciate, counting enormously in the coefficient of your website. It also matters a lot where the backlink comes from, and here two aspects come into play, the credibility of the page that credits you and its popularity.
Let’s say, for example, that some gossip news website credits and redirects users to your content. That website is popular, and you will have an influx of new visitors, but the problem is that your field of activity is not related to theirs. More importantly, their quality in search engine analytics is not high, and while you would benefit from an influx of new visitors, most of them will probably bring you neither profit nor credibility.
What you are interested in are backlinks from an authority site. What are those? Well, these are sites with an impeccable reputation, which attract a high number of visitors and produce content with a high source of credibility. Nationally published newspapers or magazines from internationally recognized journals can be considered authority websites, and a backlink from them can do wonders for your search engine ranking.
How Long Does an SEO Audit Process Usually Last?
The process’s length depends on your website’s size and complexity. In most cases, the SEO audit process takes no less than two weeks and no more than a month, but this varies depending on the firm you are using, the services they offer, and how competitive your industry is. Unexpected changes can also occur in the algorithms that index the popularity of the listed sites, which could necessitate a more thorough analysis of the already-found information.
What needs to be mentioned and reiterated is that the technical SEO audit process is only the first step toward optimizing your website. Once completed, the strategy proposed to improve the search engine rankings and the resources allocated to those targets can be dictated and discussed with the client. It should be mentioned that the SEO process is not magic, and the results will not be immediate. Once started, SEO is a medium to long-term strategy that needs to be constantly optimized so that your website will remain competitive with the latest trends or analytical updates in your field. But it’s almost always worth it, and the benefits gained far outpace the associated costs.