Technical SEO Audit 2020: what you need to know

Technology has reshaped our lives. Human reach and possibilities are expanding as these inventions are improving. Devices became unavoidable components of our lives- a shield, sword, and spear of a modern man.

It is now obvious that those who master technology are in a significant advantage over the rest of the world.

Technology has its foot in all walks of life- business, education, arts, and science. Medicine and pharmacy have also embraced innovation as critical for combating some of the greatest fears of humankind. From all the perspectives, the introduction of the Internet and powerful electronic devices has transformed the world, providing opportunities one could not imagine even a decade ago.

This wide application is signalizing- ‘’You need to catch up now’’. We have seen businesses going online, functioning remotely. Also, new enterprises are created completely online. It wasn’t until recently that people could easily plant the seeds of their ideas and with constant dedication, see those grow to reach far and distant.

That being said, keeping up with the online trends is vital for success, regardless of the niche you belong to. Having your business on the Internet, you are more likely to expand your reach, simply because that is where people are.

Thus, we created this post, to explain some concepts inevitable for prolific online marketing. Over the last couple of years, SEO strategy is becoming a priority in the marketing field. Moreover, all of the content creators, writers, producers, developers, etc. need to know the ropes to succeed. So let’s explain what it means.

 

what is SEO

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is an online marketing strategy helping you manipulate search engines such as Google or Binge to your advantage. By definition, SEO consists of certain practices that are stimulating organic ranking, increasing traffic in both quantity and quality.

There are three components of SEO- On-page Optimization, Off-page optimization, and Technical SEO.

Why is SEO necessary?

To increase your chances of getting discovered online, you want to rank higher on the Search Engine Results page.

If you still don’t believe in the preaching of ranking’s importance, ask yourself this simple question: ”How many times have I turned the second page of search results on Google? Chances are you would not be able to remember it. Therefore, you can understand your customers. If you want to reach the wider community, you need to stand out and make yourself visible to the world.

Another point to demonstrate it is the recent introduction of Google’s Featured Snippet. A boxed area on the top of the results page featuring common questions and providing shortcuts to answer got a lot of attention.

 

google featured snippet

 

Ahref’s findings show that approximately 12.29% of queries receive featured snippets in their results. A great success of this innovation underlines a weak attention span. People want to receive relevant information as quickly as possible.

Thus, if you want your ideas and content to get to the audience, you want to turn to SEO strategies.

What are the SEO components?

As it is mentioned above, SEO consists of On-page and Off-page optimization, along with technical SEO.

On-page optimization deals with anything that has to do with content, to what is presented on the page a visitor can see. Important factors include content, title tags, keyword search, image optimization, meta description, and speed. If you want to learn more, check out the article on the following link: https://backlinko.com/on-page-seo

On the contrary, off-page optimization factors include ‘’external’’ contributions. It refers to internal and external links and their productivity, along with PR.

We have already published an article explaining the difference between the two. It provides everything you need to know to get started with SEO, so make sure to check it out.

In this article, we are going in-depth with technical SEO factors and tips. Upon completion of the research with us, you will be able to create a technical SEO strategy and give your business a boost.

What is the technical SEO?

Imagine the common metaphor with an iceberg.

technical seo metaphor
Source: http://www.davidloewen.org/blog/2017/5/22/tip-of-the-icebergs-clichd-metaphors-in-education

Although this motivating illustration is not precisely on point, it explains that there is a visible, shallow component that most of the people can see. However, we tend to overlook what is beneath the surface level.

On-page and Off-page have kind of became a commonplace. When we think about SEO, these two we refer to.

Don’t get me wrong. The picture would not be complete without these two. However, technical SEO is in the base of the results we are building.

It refers to all adjustments done on the server and website, including crawling and indexing.

This graph by Reliablesoft.net represents the difference between the three components of SEO.

seo components differences
Source: https://www.reliablesoft.net/technical-seo/

Thus, it doesn’t include keyword research, social media marketing, or links.

Technical SEO factors

To rank your site, search engines have to crawl, render, and index all of the site’s pages. However, that is not all. To thoroughly optimize the site, make it irresistible to search engines, you need to secure it, boost the loading speed, make it mobile-friendly, and perform a few other adjustments.

In this technical SEO checklist 2020 edition, we are going to go over the most important technical SEO factors.

1 – Organization of the site

Your site should have a clear hierarchy. The organization has to be organic and navigable.

Just as the brain organizes thoughts in mind maps, Google processes the content in the same, organic model.

Not only does it influence your traffic by appealing to readers and their logic, but it dictates other actions you perform on the site. Sites with neatly organized architecture take other optimization activities way easier.

Flat site organization is favored by Google, as it offers great visibility, a transparent view of what is on the whole site, making it easy to follow.

If the structure is not arranged in a way Google’s brain can process it, certain pages can get lost or forgotten. Additionally, all issues that occur on the site would be difficult to identify and process.

Here are a few technical SEO strategies you can perform to make your site digestible.

URLs

Consistent URLs offer clear navigation to readers.

Breadcrumbs

For bigger and more complex sites, making use of breadcrumbs would be useful, as they represent signs on the road for the readers. It functions as a separate navigation system within the structure, allowing readers to find their way to the information easily.

Robots.txt

When the algorithm is about to crawl your page, it would check everything free to access. Thus, robots.txt functions as a prohibition, allowing you to control the crawling process.

Sitemap

A sitemap functions as a tutorial to your page, explaining what is there and how to find it. It would largely aid your crawling performance.

HTTPs

Google cares about the user’s security. This topic has been viral forever, but it has never been more in the spot of attention than now. More of what we do moves online. Consequently, with education and social acceptance, the community cares more about their safety. They are willing to share more information but want it secured in return. That’s why Google would favor the site that’s meeting these standards.

Using an SSL certificate, your traffic would be going through an HTTPS server, encrypting data traffic.

Https and SLL protection are mandatory now as Google has recently introduced a feature to mark these sites as insecure.

2 – Finding and Solving Crawling Errors

Through a technical SEO audit, you would be able to spot problems in the crawling process. It is a technical health check-up that should be performed every 4 to 6 months.

Here are a few technical SEO tools that you may find useful in the process.

Google Search Console

google search console

Google Search Console is a free technical SEO tool used for monitoring the performance of the site.

Its features help spot SEO problems. Using Google’s technical SEO services you would make your pages accessible to crawlers. Moreover, this service allows you to track whether new pages are being indexed properly.

You can read more regarding this tool here: https://www.seoliquido.com/google-search-console-the-perfect-guide-for-beginners/

SEMrush Site Audit

semrush seo audit

SEMrush is a complete SEO audit service. Their technical site audit tool claims to analyze all possible site issues. These results are very insightful for generating relevant SEO strategies for your business.

What makes this tool stand out is a custom reporting option. For instance, you can access a separate report for site performance or crawability scores.

However, it is not a completely free technical SEO service. You can check 100 pages for free. After completing the trial offer, the monthly subscription rate starts at around $100.

Ahref’s site audit

ahrefs seo audit

 

This technical SEO service offers a lot of interesting and unique features.

It provides technical SEO reports in an aesthetic manner of colorful charts and graphs. It is fully mobile software, meaning that you can access your data from any device, whenever you want.

Ahref’s tool features an automatic save of each crawl and automatic software updates. You can also schedule updates in advance and leave it to the system to complete.

The program shows problems with HTML tags and also measures the site’s speed.

Ahref’s site audit tool is a paid service with a monthly subscription starting at $99. For the first 7 days of use, customers are offered a discount, paying only $7.

GTmetrix

gtmetrix

 

This technical SEO service tool offers analyses and reports on technical errors. It checks your page against the same principles as search engines do, thus offering a unique insight.

They allow you to compare your performance to other sites as well.

GTmetrix exists in both free and paid mode. Subscription starts at around $15 a month, allowing unlimited access to all, powerful features.

Screaming Frog

screaming frog

Screaming Frog’s technical SEO audit tool does everything from spotting broken links to gathering XML sitemaps, finding duplicate content, and speeding up the indexing process.

The free trial includes analyzes of 500 URLs. Paid version bills around $200 annually, offering unlimited analyzes and a few extra features.

3 – Speed

We have discussed the impatience of society living by ‘’the time is money’’. Google has recently worked on user experience services a lot. That is why it has introduced policies that prioritize fast-loading sites.

So how do you know whether you fit in this ‘’favored’’ category?

There are many tools online, free, or paid, that you can use to analyze your site’s speed performance. Google PageSpeed Insights is one of them.

PSI is a free tool from Google. It calculates data of page performance on both mobile and desktop devices. Besides, PSI offers valuable insights on HOW to improve the score.

Google says that a score of 90 or above is considered favorable. The score on the scale between 50 and 90 should be improved, while a score of 50 is considered low.

A piece of advice offered by experts is to check each page and fix issues hindering speed scores separately.

How to achieve a perfect speed score?

One way is to keep it as simple as possible. Do not clutter your sites with too many widgets and plugins as those take more time to load. You can also work on the code, to simplify it for maximum loading speed.

Visuals are cool but have in mind those add-ons take additional time for your site to load. But, of course, keep your visuals, just think of their size and format. Larger pictures load slower. As of format, jpg is for photographs and png for graphs, so stick to these.

You can also limit redirects and work on the browser’s cache.

For more advice on page speed improvement, go to this link: https://www.seoliquido.com/website-speed-matters-how-to-improve/

4 – Mobile-friendliness

Mobile-friendliness could have been placed in the site’s architecture section above, but Google’s recent updates showed it deserves a separate position. The mobile-first policy prioritizes the sites that are cross-device adaptable- sites that can be used on any device with equal efficiency.

Humans are dependent on their mobile devices for life to run in a normal course. Google recognized this, making the site’s adaptability to a mobile screen a large priority at the moment.

5 – Duplicate content

Duplicate content can hurt your performance a lot. Your site’s ranking would not be directly influenced by this practice, but it would hurt the functionality of the page, resulting in consequences.

You should have only one version of the site available. If there are multiple emerging, it would negatively impact your ranking. One example is https and non-https that can appear or mobile and desktop devices.

Also, specify your domain name. Users can access it with and without www. To SEO it doesn’t matter which one you choose, but it is important to stick to one to avoid duplicating.

When doing this, we advise you to take a glimpse on On-page SEO check. Here you should look for duplicate content, headers, title tags

6 – Canonical URLs

The canonical URL is an HTML link component. It sends signals to Google when to crawl a site or what URL should be indexed. URLs can look quite similar for similar content. To avoid confusion of the search engine, make use of canonical URLs. It is especially important when you are looking to grow a bigger website.

Let’s sum up!

Although it looks like a lot of work, we hoped you made great use of our in-depth guide to technical SEO.

There is a slight difference between those who succeed online and those who fail. That is something as simple as a bit of effort.

SEO does sound like a lot and it for sure is. If you want to build a foundation for your business expansion through online presence, you may want to hire professionals for SEO audits, particularly for technical SEO adjustments, as those require a deeper knowledge of algorithms.

However, you can learn the ropes following this guide, and crave your path to the ranking heights.

If you want to learn more, check other useful articles on our blog. Here are a few recommendations to start with.

https://www.seoliquido.com/convert-normal-website-into-seo-friendly/

https://www.seoliquido.com/free-online-seo-audit-tools/

https://www.seoliquido.com/some-most-common-seo-fixes-that-can-boost-your-rankings-immediately/

 

Photo credits

https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-ceramic-mug-beside-spiral-notebook-and-laptop-3773413/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/yellow-paper-lot-2611593/

 

 

 

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