Technical SEO is the set of activities and optimizations that you can implement to make your website more comprehensible for search engines when they crawl and index your web pages to then show them in users’ search results.
Although many think that keyword research and on-page optimization are the most important SEO activities, the technical aspect of a website is just as important, if not more. In this article we will explain to you how to conduct a technical SEO site audit and which are the most common technical SEO issues on websites.
Site Speed: How Does It Affect SEO?
One of the most important factors that affect site speed is the size of images, you can read more about optimizing images for SEO in our dedicated guide.
Since more than half of all online traffic comes from mobile devices, it is crucial to take mobile SEO optimization into account when running an audit of your website.
The main aspect you need to take into account is the load speed of your website on mobile. We already explained the importance of site speed in this article and the same principles apply for mobile as well.
From any website, responsive design is a must-have for mobile-friendly SEO. The elements that you should optimize are:
- Image size
- Text size
Duplicate content is when two or more web pages include the same text, URL, or data in them. Surprisingly, 29% of all pages on the web is duplicate content so it is very important to check if your website has any. So why does duplicate content affect SEO? Because it makes it harder for search engine crawlers to identify which is the original content in your website, making it more difficult to rank for a specific page. By fixing duplicate content issues, search engines will be able to know which page is the original, therefore giving it a priority in the search results.
After conducting a technical audit on your website and identifying any duplicate content, there are a few ways to fix this issue.
The main ones are Meta Robots and Canonical Attributes:
- What are Meta Robots?: They are a piece of code inserted into the code of your web page, telling search engines either to index that page, or not to.
- What is a Canonical URL?: Canonicals are attributes that indicate search engines which is the URL of the original web page that should be indexed instead of the duplicated one.
Redirects for SEO
Redirects in SEO enable you to send both search engines and users to a different URL from the one that they requested. Two are the most important types of redirects used for SEO: 301 and 302.
A 301 redirect indicates that the content is moved permanently to the new URL and it passes about 90-99% of the ranking power of the original URL, making it the best method to transfer a page to a new one without losing SEO value.
A 302 redirect, on the other hand, is used when the content of a web page is temporarily moved to a different URL. This preserves the page authority of the original URL since eventually it will be set as the primary one again.
What is Robot txt File?
When search engines scan (crawl) a website’s content, they would usually start scanning the elements of web pages fully, unless they find a robot txt file. This file helps crawlers in knowing how a page should be scanned, depending on the directives that you decide to give it.
How to check robot txt for websites? You can add “/robot.txt” to any website url and you will be able to see it as it is publicly available.
What is an XML Sitemap in SEO?
Sitemaps are files that allow you to list all the most important pages of your website, so that search engines are able to find them as quickly as possible and to understand their structure. The use of sitemaps is very recommended for websites with many pages and especially if these are not linked internally.
Here is how to check if a website has an xml sitemap: add one of the following to your website url and most likely you will be able to view it.