How to Conduct a Technical SEO Audit from Scratch: A Review of The SE Ranking Service

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se ranking review

How to make SEO promotion of a site successful in the least amount of time and at minimal material costs? SE Ranking is a service created for website owners and SEO specialists. With its help, the process of a technical audit, optimization, and promotion of the resource becomes simple and understandable, regardless of experience and knowledge.

What is a Technical Audit of the site?

A technical audit is a comprehensive analysis of all the technical parameters of the site, which have a direct impact on the effectiveness of its work, usability, and SEO promotion. How the site and its various pages work play an important role in its promotion, because the presence of serious errors can lead to the exclusion of a resource from the search results. During the technical audit, experts identify all apparent problems in the software and technical parts to eliminate them promptly.

A high-quality technical audit is first and foremost in a successful SEO campaign because this way, you can make sure that the search bot can quickly scan and index your site. Thanks to the audit, you will quickly identify all the weaknesses, and after fixing the actual problems, your site will have a better chance to reach the top of the results than resources with errors.

A technical audit is carried out on these sections of the site:

  • Product pages. These are separate pages of products or services provided by the company. The quality of the product page not only affects the effectiveness of promotion in Google and other search engines. “Broken links,” low loading speeds, and other defects in the performance of such pages lead potential customers to make purchases on the sites of your competitors. Optimization of product pages is one of the most important tasks of an SEO specialist. 
  • Category pages. Proper optimization of these pages is important in promotion because it is through category pages that potential customers find the products and services they need to order. Buyers do not always know exactly what they want to buy on your site, so after the main page, they go to category pages to simplify the search. By eliminating category page errors, you give potential customers the opportunity to quickly find the products and services they need.
  • Filters. This is another tool (like categories) that makes it easier for users to find certain products or services with the parameters they want. The presence of filters and their optimization can improve the experience of visitors and make searching on the site fast and convenient. At the same time, filters often lead to technical errors on the site. 
  • Home page. The first thing that catches the attention of new visitors to the site is the main page. Its design, convenience, loading speed, and other technical factors determine both the effectiveness of promotion and the success of the resource among users. 

The technical audit is a complex and multi-component process where every detail matters. But with the help of SE Ranking, anyone interested in the effective promotion of their website can conduct a comprehensive audit.

Why is it Important to Conduct a Technical Audit Regularly?

A full technical site audit using the Website Audit tool on SE Ranking allows you to check your resource on 110 parameters which are divided into 16 categories. Thanks to this check, you get a very clear idea of how technically optimized your site is for search engines and users. 

Eliminating the main problematic points helps the search bot process your site more easily and better understand its structure and content. Thus, a technical audit can help increase the visibility of a resource in search, and as a result, increase organic traffic. This is especially true for commercial resources that seek to outpace competitors in the fight for customers. 

But it is more important that the user feels comfortable interacting with your site, and a technical audit helps with that. According to recent studies, conversion drops by 7% for every extra second the site loads. And if the site does not load in 3 seconds, or if the pages display errors – 40% of users immediately leave the resource. 

Search engines analyze websites according to hundreds of parameters that novice SEO specialists and business owners might not even be aware of. A technical audit is one of the key steps in SEO promotion, and noticeably improves the user’s experience interacting with the site. 

How to Conduct a Full Technical Audit with SE Ranking

It is very easy to get started with the SE Ranking technical audit tool: click on “add project” for analysis, enter the actual site details and select the “Site Audit” tool. 

After you finish checking the resource for all the key parameters, you will end up on the page of the main information panel

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It presents the basic information in the form of diagrams and graphs:

  • A number of indexed pages.
  • Evaluation of the overall state of the site.
  • The main errors in the resource.
  • Core Web Vitals and other important parameters.

After viewing the basic data, you can look at the Problem Report:

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The report is a detailed breakdown of all site problems that need to be fixed immediately.

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For your convenience, the service offers accessible descriptions of these problems and ways to fix them.

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For a more in-depth look at the technical analysis report, take a closer look at the sections:

  • Scanned pages.
  • Found links.
  • Found resources.

These sections contain key indicators for separate pages, links, and resources with suggestions and comments on how to fix them. 

Page changes monitor is a special audit tool that reports all changes to the pages you monitor. With this tool, you will always be aware of what is happening on the pages of your resource and competitors’ sites.

Another section, “Reports Comparison,” provides data comparing the results of two audits (current and last) according to parameters, such as overall site state score, number of errors, notifications, and warnings.

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The Main Parameters of Technical SEO Audit: What Must be Checked?

If you are new to the site audit and do not know what main points to pay attention to, follow a simple guide.

Security of your site

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Site security plays an important role in the ranking of a web resource. In particular, pay attention to the following parameters:

  • Site security certificate (SSL certificate). It is a special authentication and data encryption protocol that provides secure communication between the user of the site and the server. It is mandatory to install such a certificate so that the site is considered safe for the user. You can check the availability of the certificate and other site security parameters in the “Problem Report” section.
  • Security protocol (HTTPS). Its presence is considered extremely important for the security of the resource and the successful promotion in search engines. It encrypts data, prevents cyber-attacks, increases the speed of resource ranking in a search, and increases the confidence of its users. The audit report shows all the existing errors in the security protocol which should be corrected immediately.
  • Encryption standards. The use of encryption algorithms on the site provides additional protection for the resource itself and its users. As a result, visitors can safely view information on the site and leave their data on it. And owners get protection from leaks of their commerce and other important details. The use of information encryption algorithms affects the loading speed of sites, increases the level of trust of users and search engines, and guarantees successful promotion in search results. If you use outdated encryption algorithms on your site, you will see an error in the Website Security section.

Users will not make purchases on a site that does not maintain high-security standards. Therefore, ensuring the highest level of security is the first thing every website owner needs to do.

Full website scan 

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After scanning the resource, you will receive reliable information about the following criteria:

Robots.txt file. This is the file on the site that tells search engines which pages you can and cannot go to. In the file, you can specify all the content you want to hide from search engines, like user information (personal information), visitor search results, etc. During technical analysis, the presence of the Robots.txt file and its correctness is determined. If there is no such file, search results may contain information not intended for that purpose, which may negatively impact the website and its promotion.

Sitemap (Sitemap.xml). Sitemap.xml is a special file that contains the main pages of the site, divided into categories. Thanks to the map, search engine crawlers quickly understand the structure of the site and what pages should be indexed. 

Server response codes. These are the server’s responses to requests from search engines and users. For example, when a visitor enters the site through a browser, the latter sends a request to the resource server and gets an answer. Understanding response codes will help find errors on the site and get rid of them quickly. A technical audit provides a detailed response on the presence of errors associated with the server response. The main codes worth paying attention to are:

  • 301. Means the redirection of all requests from one page to another permanently (permanent redirect).
  • 302. This code means a temporary redirect from one page to another (temporary redirect). 
  • 403. The code tells the user that he cannot access the resource. For example, when a site is not accessible to the public.
  • 404. The most well-known request, informing the user that it is impossible to find the requested page. It is used when the page has been moved or completely deleted.

Redirect and idle pages. The faster the site grows and develops, the more likely it is that bad pages will appear due to URL changes. This has a negative impact on the user experience and the promotion of the resource in search. If it is carried out incorrectly, the transfer of the site to a new address may also lead to a drop in all of its positions in search results. To avoid these unpleasant consequences, redirects are used. They redirect search engines and users of the resource to another URL. Redirects tell search engines that certain pages have been permanently moved to a new address. A technical audit allows you to check the redirects on the site (301 or 302) from such pages to the ones which are configured.

Content and tag analysis

Analyzing the text content of the site is another important part of conducting a technical audit. Search engines have high requirements for the quality of content, so you will probably want to carefully check the main indicators:

  • Duplicate content. Duplicates are defined as identical pages that have the same text, graphics, and other content. For example, when you randomly create the same product cards in your online store. Filters often create duplicate content. Duplicate content leads to disastrous consequences for the site: lower positions in search results. It also may create the issuance of wrong pages. In some cases, the site may be subject to sanctions. That is, it falls under the filters of search engines.
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  • Meta tags. Title and Description are short and unique descriptions of website pages that provide search engines and users with short information about your page. These data are used by search engines to understand the content of your page and display your resource in the results. And the speed and effectiveness of promotion directly depend on the correctness of meta tags. There are basic rules for creating meta tags: a certain size, the presence of relevant keywords, and the lack of repetition of meta tags on different pages of the same resource.
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  • The headings (tags) H1, H2, and, if possible, H3 must be present on all pages of the site. When search robots are scanning the site, the tags determine whether the information on the page is relevant to requests and useful for users. And pages that are correctly filled with this information have a better chance to reach the top than competitors who neglect the tags. 
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  • Localization. If you want to expand the audience of your site, use localization. It means a complete adaptation of all pages and elements of the resource for other languages. In technical terms, localization means having correctly specified hreflang tags, which link the language versions of the site. A technical audit will show how well the localization is done and what problems need to be fixed.
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Analysis of external and internal links

Internal and external links are an integral aspect of the technical audit of the site:

  • Internal links. These are links on your site that redirect from one page to another. They help users and search engines find relevant content faster. Also, links to certain pages tell search engines the importance of those pages, which has a positive effect on indexation.
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  • External links. These are links from your site to other resources. It is important to keep track of which sites you are linking to and whether there are 404 pages or low-quality resources. 
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How user-friendly is the site?

Website visitor comfort is the factor that search engines are most interested in, as searchers strive to give users the best possible quality resources for their requests. Adapting the site for users is something you should definitely do after the technical audit. The convenience of the resource is determined by such critical parameters: 

  • Loading speed of the site and pages. The faster a site loads, the more likely it is that users will want to stay on it and perform the necessary actions. If the resource is loaded slowly, most visitors prefer to close it and move to competitors’ resources, where the download speed is higher.
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  • Optimization for mobile devices. In 2021, mobile devices will generate the majority of global traffic. That is why adapting the site for smartphones and tablets has become the main task at this stage of its development.
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  • Main Internet indicators (Core Web Vitals). These are factors by which search engines evaluate the quality of interaction between visitors and the site. These indicators show page stabilization time, the speed of rendering the largest element, etc.
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  • Images. Website promotion inevitably includes optimization of images. So, it is necessary to prescribe alt tags for images and carefully monitor image size. Technical analysis will show what needs to be corrected in the existing images on the site to improve the promotion of the resource.
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  • Javascript. Website speed optimization involves optimizing JavaScript and checking for errors in the code.
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  • CSS. To improve the speed of the site, you should also check the problems with CSS files. Technical analysis shows a complete list of such errors and ways to fix them.
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Conclusion

The SE Ranking technical site audit is a handy, intuitive, and effective tool that will rid your resource of all critical and minor issues impacting successful organic traffic generation. It includes all the most important parameters to check, so after a full technical audit on SE Ranking, you will have a comprehensive picture of what you need to fix to quickly improve the resource’s position.

Working on-site promotion is a daily process, so after fixing errors in your resource, do not forget to do a regular technical audit to identify new problems. This way, you will be 100% sure that you are several steps ahead of your competitors.

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