How to Conduct Technical Audit of a Website?

It doesn’t need a very long interpretation to explain that you should have a website in 2016 for the consummation of your business. But, you are not done just by making a website live. You have to market it digitally so that you can reach your potential customers easily. And this is when you require a technical audit of your website. It helps you learn whether there are some hindrances faced by Google to rank you higher.

Here’s an effective guideline to audit your website technically.

At a Glance

  1. Check the Pages that Have Been Indexed:
  • Search “site:www.your site.com”.
  • Check the number of results you have. These pages of your website have been indexed by Google.
  • Check whether the home page appears first. If the home page doesn’t rank on top, there are issues with your website. It may have penalties, poor architecture and internal linking.
  1. Check Google Analytics and find the number of organic landing pages:
  • Check whether the number matches with the number of results found in the site search. If it doesn’t, find out the pages that are not in Google analytics. Look for the mistakes in those pages and add your website URL to Google Search Console. To add your website, just write “add URL” in the search bar, and you will get options.
  1. Check Google’s Cache:
  • The contents should be visible properly, especially in the key pages.
  • Navigation links should be there on the website.
  • All links should be visible on the site.
  1. Search Key Pages from Mobile Devices:
  • Your site should have a mobile-friendly label.
  • Buttons and forms in the landing pages should work properly when searched from mobile devices.

Technicalities

  1. 301s
  • Ensure that 301s have been used for all redirects.
  • Make sure that the root is using 301 instead of 302 if it is directed to a landing page.
  • Check 301s with Live HTTP Headers Firefox plugin.
  1. Ensure that bad redirects are ignored
  • 302s, 307s, JavaScript redirects and meta refresh are considered as bad redirects as they don’t have much value.
  • Use a tool like Screaming Frog to identify these redirects.
  1. JavaScript
  • Ensure that the content and links are in JavaScript.
  1. The entire site should be done using Flash in such a way that there are no obstacles in crawling.
  2. Check Google Webmaster tools to ensure that your site is not experiencing issues like 4xx and 5xx errors, soft 404s and inaccessible pages in XML sitemap.
  3. XML Sitemaps
  • Ensure that the XML sitemaps are in proper place.
  • They should cover inaccurate site architecture.
  • They should show the indexation problems.
  • They must follow the XML protocols.
  1. There should be absolute URLs instead of relative URLs as it can give birth to numerous issues if you own a root domain with secure sections.
  2. Check the loading time of the web pages, especially the key pages.
  3. Check whether the compression is enabled.
  4. Optimize your images.
  5. Use a fast and reputed host.

On-page Factors

  1. Title Tags
  • Check whether the title tags are optimized.
  • The title should have the brand name. It will increase the CTR.
  • The title should be within 55-60 characters or 512 pixels.
  1. Check whether any page is not found.
  2. There should be keyword phrases multiple times in the website content.
  3. The primary keyword phrase should have the H1 tag.
  4. Images, file names and all texts should be optimized according to the keyword phrase.
  5. Ensure that the URLs are descriptive.
  6. If it is a lead generation website, the URLs should be static. For an eCommerce website, it is better to have dynamic URLs.
  7. Make sure that the URLs are short. They should not contain more than 115 characters.

Mobile

  1. Mobile looks and feels.
  • Check whether there is any site set up.
  • If you find a site set up, check if it is a mobile site, responsive design or a dynamic serving.
  1. Ensure that the analytics are fixed properly if there are separate mobile contents.
  2. Ensure that HTTP header is there if dynamic serving is used.
  • It helps search engines recognize that different content has been created for mobile users.
  1. Check that there are no faulty mobile redirects.
  2. A perfect bond between the mobile site and desktop site should be made with proper markup.
  • If you have a mobile version, the desktop equivalent URL should point to the rel=“alternate”.
  • You also need to ensure that the mobile version is not canonical to the desktop version.

Content

  1. Optimized Home Page Content
  • The home page should have at least one paragraph.
  • There should be content of more than 150 characters on the home page. It helps Google understand what the page is about.
  1. Content Formatting
  • Check whether it is easily readable.
  • There should be H tags in the content.
  • It should also have relevant images.
  1. Amount of contents and ads
  • After the panda update, the amount of space for ads on a web page has been restricted. Therefore, first, it is essential to learn the amount of ad you can use.
  1. There should be real contents on the page rather than links.
  2. The keywords should be targeted properly.
  3. Contents should deliver proper information about the product or service.
  4. Blogs should have attractive titles.

Spamming

  1. Check whether there is a duplicate content
  • Put a snippet in quotes and search for it. Ensure that the content doesn’t appear somewhere else.
  • Check if the content appears elsewhere in the domain.
  • If the content has been scrapped, file a content removal request to Google.
  1. Each URL should be dedicated for unique contents and should have parameters of tracking code.
  2. Check whether the same content appears on the subdomains.
  3. Ensure that the site is in a secure
  4. There should not be any printer friendly pages as they may cause duplicate content.

Indexation

  1. Check the robots txt
  • Check whether the entire site or its important contents are blocked.
  • Ensure that the link equity is not compromised because of the blocked pages.
  1. Stop JavaScript, cookies and CSS
  • Ensure that the web developer toolbar is being used.
  • Check if the content is there.
  • Make sure that the navigation links are working properly.
  1. Switch Your User Agent to Googlebot
  • Install User Agent Add-on.
  • Check if they are cloaking.
  • Ensure that the site looks same as before.
  1. Add XML sitemaps to the robots.txt file.
  2. Submit XML sitemaps to Google and Bing Webmaster Tools.
  3. Ensure that the pages don’t have meta robots ‘noindex’
  4. Make sure that noindex command is applied to the goal pages.

Architecture of the Website and Its Internal Links

  1. The website should have more than 100 internal links.
  2. Vertical and horizontal linkings should be done properly.
  3. Ensure that there is not a huge number of internal links in the content.
  4. Make sure that the landing pages are linked with appropriate anchors and they are not in a block of footer links.
  5. There should be good anchor texts.
  6. Look for broken links in your website. You can use Link Checker and Xenu to find out broken links.

International Factors

  1. Activate the country based targeting option in the webmaster tool.
  • Ensure that it is specified in the webmaster tools if your site is targeted to a particular country.
  • You also need to mention your target if the site has international sections.
  1. Update the content if there are various versions of a site in the same language.
  2. Make sure that the right currency reflects for specific countries.
  3. Ignore having all URLs in the default language.

Analytics

  1. Every page should have the Analytics tracking code.
  • It can be checked with the “custom” filter in a Screaming Frog Crawl.
  • Check if there are pages that need to be blocked.
  1. Ensure that there is only one GA property on a particular page as if you have the same GA properties, you will face issues associated with page-view metrics like inflating page views and bounce rate reduction.
  2. Ensure that Analytics is tracking and capturing the internal structures accurately.
  3. Demographic tracking should be fixed properly.
  4. Adwords and Adsense must be linked with each other.
  5. There should not be any internal IP address.
  6. UTM campaign parameters should be used.
  7. Event tracking must be fixed for main user interactions.

What are you waiting for? Check your website right now and solve if any issues are found. This guide will definitely help you enhance your website’s performance.