The next step after your on-page SEO audit is to conduct a technical site audit. The most common issues include when search engines can’t index or crawl your site properly. This will have a significant effect on rankings and consequently could cost you a lot of traffic and potential conversions. So to be on the safe side, below is a list of technical aspects you should check for when conducting your technical SEO audit.
Server Response Codes
301 and 302 redirects vary in the sense that a 301 is permanent whereas a 302 is temporary, i.e. the resource has not been configured at the server level. Screaming Frog is a useful tool to check if your site has any redirects.
It is important when carrying out your technical audit to make sure that any redirects are 301. These are search engine friendly and pass link juice from one page to another. As search engines will index the final URL destination, the temporary directive of a 302 redirect will be ignored.
Another crucial response code to focus on in your audit is the 404 error. These are typically caused by broken links which need to be identified and fixed. Lots of broken links on your site may indicate to the search engine spiders that your site is rarely updated, and this can cause indexing issues.
Screaming Frog again is useful for finding these errors, as is Google Webmaster Tools which will pinpoint exactly where the broken links came from. Another useful tool is Internet Marketing Ninja’s Broken Link Tool.
As well as 404 errors indicating to search engine spiders that your site may be rarely updated, as mentioned above, they can also prevent a spiders ability to crawl the site. Therefore causing crawling and indexing issues. Other crawling/indexing issues can be caused by iFrames, content in Flash and AJAX.
These are all very important issues and need to be taken into consideration when conducting your technical audit.
Duplicate Content Issues
Duplicate content can create serious problems for your site as these duplicate pages are effectively competing against each other in the search results. The last thing your site wants is competition from itself!
Duplicate content frequently arises in ecommerce sites where product descriptions are very similar, or have been copied from manufacturers sites. Moz analytics will flag up any pages that are duplicate, or simply by checking it on CopyScape.
The best way to avoid this problem is to write unique copy for each page, firstly to make it distinct from other websites but also to make it engaging and interesting for consumers.
Site Loading Time
A technical SEO audit can be a daunting and exhausting task, especially for extensive and complex ecommerce sites. The best way to tackle these are to first create a list of all the metrics you want to audit, followed by making recommendation for each on how to move forward with implementation.