Making your website look aesthetically strong takes a great deal of time. But what takes even longer is having to trawl back and optimise your H1 tags and keyword focuses so that Google actually pays attention to your website. We’ve pulled together an easy technical SEO checklist that ensures your on-page SEO is ready to compete with your search engine competitors.
The main aim of an SEO technical audit is to help you determine whether there are any technical issues that are preventing your website from performing as it should. It allows you to optimise your website as best you can, so that you can get the best possible ranking results. You should aim to conduct quarterly technical SEO audits to ensure your site is optimised to its full potential.
Some actions will be more important than others, but they are nevertheless all required for a good performing website. A website audit can be handled by your development team if you don’t have the necessary knowledge to investigate the more technical side of your website’s SEO. It’s a great way to get started on optimising your website to rank better within search engine results.
This technical SEO checklist goes through the five key factors to consider when carrying out a SEO technical audit of your website:
- Title tags
- Ensure that your title tags are unique and optimised;
- Include your business name in your title;
- Title tags should not exceed 60 characters to be fully displayed.
- Optimised titles and meta descriptions to boost click-through rates
- This will help to improve organic traffic to your site;
- You can use a tool like SERP Turkey to test this.
- Check for missing page titles
- Your on-page content should include your main keyword
- There should be enough optimised content on each page
- Your primary keyword should be used in an H1 tag
- Image file names are optimised with keywords
- URLs should be descriptive
- Clean URLs
- URLs that are sent to search engines need to be static.
- Short URLs
- Use URLs that are 115 characters or shorter, as it is better for usability.
- Optimise your home page content
- Make sure your home page has at least one paragraph of content;
- Search engines need to understand what your website is about, so never go less than 150 words for each page.
- Optimise landing pages
- Ensure that these pages have at least a few pages of content;
- Make sure that your text is completely unique and well-written.
- Use authoritative content
- Make sure that your website pages have substantial content.
- Keyword targeting
- Your target keywords should match the content on your website;
- Add long-tail keywords to your content.
- Content should be easily accessible
- Content should not only be for search engines, but for humans too.
- Content formatting
- Your content should read easily and quickly;
- You should use H tags;
- You should use images;
- Text should be broken down into paragraphs that are easy to read.
- Choose good headlines
- Blog posts and pages should have good headlines to draw users in.
- Decent amount of content
- Make sure you have more content on your site than ads and other distracting issues.
- Check robots.txt
- Make sure that no part of your website or content has been blocked.
- For this you can use the Web Develop Toolbar;
- Is your content there?
- Do your links work?
- Change the user agent to Googlebot
- Use the User Agent add-on;
- Are they cloaking?
- Does it look like it did before?
- Use the SEO Browser tool to do a few quick checks:
- Check if XML sitemaps are listed in the robots.txt file;
- Check if XML sitemaps are submitted to Google and Bing;
- Check pages of your website for meta robots noindex tag;
- Check of goal pages have a noindex command.
- Check the number of links on a page
- It should not exceed 200 if possible.
- Check if vertical linking structures are there
- Your home page should link to important category pages;
- Your category pages should link to sub-category and product pages;
- Product pages should link to relevant category pages.
- Check if horizontal linking structures are there
- Category pages should link to other relevant category pages;
- Product pages should link to other relevant product pages.
- Check if links are visible in your content
- Do internal linking between pages and content where appropriate.
- Check your footer links
- Make sure your footer links are not used instead of proper navigation;
- Check that it does not link to pages with optimised anchors.
- Properly use 301s
- Make sure you have a 301 for all redirects;
- Roots that are redirected to a landing page should use a 302 instead of a 301;
- You can check 301s with the Live HTTP Headers plugin for Firefox.
- Avoid bad redirects
- You can use a tool like Screaming Frog to determine this.
- Check for errors in Google Webmaster Tools
- This will give you a good list of problems and issues within your website;
- This can include 4xx and 5xx errors, as well as inaccessible pages in your XML sitemap.
- XML sitemaps
- Do you have XML sitemaps in place?
- Are your XML sitemaps structured properly?
- Does your XML sitemap follow protocols?
- Use absolute URLs instead of relative URLs
- If you have a root domain with secure sections, this can cause huge problems.
We can help
Are you performing a technical SEO audit? We can take care of it for you. Quick SEO audits are a good start, but our in depth 75-point checklist will really show you what’s working and what can be improved. Just give us a call on 0207 305 55 99 or drop us an email – we’d be glad to help.