Technical SEO audit is the process of checking the technical aspects of your website’s SEO. It is very important because it basically checks the health of a website and finds out what fixes might be needed to improve it. But for a beginner to SEO, they can be seen to be difficult to deal with.
A lot of popular websites even in the marketing niche have some seriously wired technical SEO issues and the good news here is that the only tool that you need to find and fix these errors is Google. For the purpose of this content we will be analysing two websites:
- CENTRAL PARK TUTORS
Let’s analyse our first website (CENTRAL PARK TUTORS)
CENTRAL PARK TUTORS is a group of teachers and parents who provide private tutoring services in New York City.
The first thing to do is to type in their domain in the browser. When you do this, you will see that they are using the “unsecured non-www. version” of the website, check for the “www. version” too, and it looks like the redirect is good. Then check the “HTTPS version” and it looks like it loads without a redirect and I will check the “secured www. version”, which then redirects to the secured URL without the www.
Now, create proper redirects and choose one version (HTTP or HTTPS). So I would recommend consolidating into the HTTPS domain version which would be applied to every individual page on your website in addition to your home page.
Now let’s get to our search queries
First, you enter “site:centralparktutors.com” which will look for all indexed pages on this domain. Then add “inurl:www” which will look for any indexed pages that contain www with “inurl”. And everything looks good here.
Now we will modify this query a bit and change the last part to “–inurl:https” which will look for an unsecured version of the pages that are indexed. And then the results are here so I will click on one and indeed it does not redirect to the secured version.
In fact, this page looks a little bit strange because it has random links which doesn’t make much sense, so am left to believe that the site is hacked.
Now let’s go back to the search query and remove the minus sign to look for secured URLs that are in Google’s index. In testing this URL, there is no redirect either and a bunch of interesting links here too.
Now if you found out that your website is having similar issues I would recommend you fix that before continuing with this tutorial.
Let’s switch and analyse another website called “XS-STOCK.CO.UK”
This is a family-run business based in Scotland selling discount items. They have an e-commerce store as well as a massive retail warehouse. On your own, you can text for all redirect versions as well as the other queries we have done before.
So this time I will start with just the “site:xs-stock.co.uk” query and from here scanning through the results to look for potential issues. Now notice that most of the pages have “XS-Stock.com” in their title when the website actually uses the “co.uk” TLD.
Now, while this particular issue is more for branding it creates incongruence between the title and the domain which may affect click-through rates. Other times you will see templates that have just gone completely wrong, so I will modify the query and add “intitle:xs-stock.com”.
And you will see hundreds of pages where the title texts need to be updated to reflect the correct domain. Now the thing with technical SEO is that as you discover one problem, you start to discover others. So if we go to “XS-Stock.com”, we see that they have redirected the home page to the “.co.uk” domain.
Now let’s see if any pages from the .com version are still indexed.
Enter “site:xs:stock.com” and you will see over 100 results. Clicking through you will notice they hadn’t redirected all pages yet since this URL is still locked. Let’s go back to the original Google soup and as we start to scroll down you will start seeing some other technical issues that are worth investigating like empty meta description etc.
We can take the page and change the query a bit by adding “inurl:page” and you will see over 100 pages that are indexed here and there is another URL perimeter called sort which they probably wouldn’t want to be indexed here either.
Am sure the list will go on particularly centred on e-commerce websites where it is really easy to make technical SEO mistakes.
Now if you are using WordPress you can search for a whole bunch of comments for prints like “site:yourdomain.com”, then add “inur:tag” or “inurl:author” or “inurl:page” which would help find pages that you may want to know the index.
Or you can look for wired ones like this “site:domain.com” “inurl:welcome-to-wordpress” or “inurl:hello-world”. This will show you if a site still has the default pages from the initial WordPress installed.
One last step I would want to share with you is for the privacy of your assets, employees, and clients. And that is to do a site search for your domain and then add “filetype:pdf” or whatever file it is that you want to search.
As you can see, you don’t need any fancy tool to run a basic SEO wallet. So I encourage you to do this not just for your own sake, but if you are an agency, you could use these queries to find prospects for a new business.
Now the downside to using Google alone is that they don’t always recrawl the so-called meaningless pages frequently and the results can be quite messy. But when you use tools like Ahrefs, you get fresh data since you run crawls on demand, the tool automatically searches for over 100 common technical SEO issues, you can automatically monitor the technical SEO health of your website through scheduled crawls, you can use data explorer to create your own custom queries.
So while you might want to go and build links or create content make sure that the rankings of your website are not hindered by basic technical SEO mistakes because they are super important and quite easy to fix for the most parts.