SEO Technical Audits: Improve Website Performance & Make Google Happy

Arthur Fabik

Ensuring your website is fully optimised for search engines is a crucial aspect of maintaining a strong online presence.

A technical SEO audit is an extensive process designed to evaluate your website's technical health, covering aspects such as site structure, page speed, indexability, and more.

By identifying and resolving technical issues, you boost your website's potential to rank higher in search results, providing better visibility to your intended audience.

By regularly conducting technical SEO audits, you keep on top of the ever-changing algorithms and best practices implemented by search engines like Google. This proactive approach ensures that your website remains compatible and performs optimally, enhancing user experience and search engine rankings alike. It’s about making sure your site's foundation is solid and that search engines can easily understand and navigate your content so that you don't miss any opportunities to connect with your audience.

The audit addresses critical components of your site's backend elements such as crawlability, index status, and site speed, which are all essential for effective SEO. Addressing issues in these areas helps prevent your site from being penalised by search engines and aids in achieving a competitive edge in your niche. Remember that a well-audited website not only favours rankings but also provides visitors with a seamless and efficient browsing experience.

Understanding SEO Audits

SEO audits are critical for assessing the effectiveness of your website from a search engine's perspective. By thoroughly examining the technical infrastructure and on-page elements, you can identify opportunities for improvement that can lead to better search engine rankings and user experience.

Purpose of SEO Audits

An SEO audit serves to ensure your website aligns well with search engine guidelines, which is critical for achieving and maintaining high search rankings. The main goals include:

  • Identifying weaknesses in your site's technical framework.
  • Discovering on-page and off-page optimisation issues.
  • Creating a roadmap for ongoing SEO strategy and implementation.

By addressing the findings of an SEO audit, you position your site to attract more organic traffic and deliver a more satisfying user experience.

Types of SEO Audits

There are several types of SEO audits, each focusing on different aspects of your website's performance and visibility:

  • Technical SEO Audit:

Assesses the technical health of your site in relation to SEO.

Checks for issues like site speed, mobile-friendliness, and security that can impact your site’s ranking.

  • Content Audit:

Evaluates the quality and relevance of content on your site.

Ensures that the content meets the needs of both your audience and search engines like Google.

  • Link and Off-Page Audit:

Looks at your site's backlink profile and external SEO factors.

Helps to identify and rectify potentially harmful backlinks.

Each type of audit provides invaluable insights that contribute to a comprehensive SEO strategy, tailored to maximise your site's online presence and adherence to the best practices advocated by leading search engines.

Technical SEO Fundamentals

In the realm of SEO, ensuring that the technical aspects of your site are thoroughly optimised is crucial. This includes a site's architecture, mobile responsiveness, and loading times—all foundational elements that can affect your search engine rankings.

Site Architecture Analysis

Your website's architecture impacts how search engines crawl and index your pages. A clear hierarchy and logical structure with a well-implemented sitemap make it easier for search engines to understand and rank your content. Ensure that your sitemap is updated and submitted through Google Search Console to facilitate efficient crawling.

Tools like Screaming Frog and Site Bulb can be indispensable for auditing your site's architecture. They can identify 404 pages and give insights into your current site structure, enabling you to make informed adjustments.


A mobile-friendly website is now a standard, not an option. Google's shift to mobile-first indexing means your website must perform seamlessly on mobile devices. Check your site's mobile responsiveness using Google's Mobile-Friendly Test. Remember, core web vitals are crucial, so pay attention to factors like text readability and ease of navigation on mobile.

Page Speed Insights

Page speed is a core component of both user experience and SEO. Google's PageSpeed Insights tool provides a comprehensive look at your website performance, highlighting areas that need improvement. Focus on optimising your images, leveraging browser caching, and minimising server response time to enhance your page speed. Prioritising these can improve your core web vitals, contributing positively to your SEO efforts.

Keep your website's technical health in check to ensure you provide a smooth experience for users and search engines alike.

On-Page Elements Assessment

In this section, we'll break down the key aspects of on-page elements, specifically focusing on content quality, meta data, and structured data—all crucial for ensuring your website's search engine compatibility.

Content Quality Evaluation

Your content's quality is paramount; it must be original, relevant, and provide value to your audience. Exceptional content is not merely about the usage of keywords but their strategic placement to ensure natural readability. Title tags should be reflective of the content and encourage clicks, while alt text for images enhances accessibility and SEO. Every image needs descriptive alt text to help search engines understand what the image depicts.

  • Checklist for Content Quality:
  • Originality: Ensure your content is unique.
  • Relevance: Match your content with user intent.
  • Keyword Placement: Integrate keywords naturally.
  • Value: Provide thorough information to your audience.

Meta Data Optimisation

Meta data, including title tags and meta descriptions, provides both users and search engines with concise summaries of your webpage content. Title tags should be engaging, within 50-60 characters, and include primary keywords. Meta descriptions should compel action with a clear benefit, using up to 155 characters, and also include targeted keywords.

  • Table for Meta Tag Standards:
  • ElementCharacter LimitInclusionTitle Tag50-60Primary KeywordsMeta Description155Call to Action

Ensure that each page employs unique meta data to avoid duplication.

Structured Data Implementation

Schema markup is a form of structured data that helps search engines interpret and display your content. It enhances the rich snippets that appear in search results, potentially increasing click-through rates. Implement schema for articles, products, events, and more to stand out in SERPs. Ensure you use the correct schema types as per your content's context.

  • Guidelines for Schema Implementation:
  • Use relevant schema types.
  • Test your markup with validation tools.
  • Monitor the performance in SERPs.

By thoroughly assessing and optimizing these on-page elements, you can improve your site's SEO performance and search visibility.

Indexing and Crawlability

Indexing and crawlability are crucial for ensuring that search engines can discover and understand the content on your website. Managing these aspects effectively will bolster your site's visibility in search results.

Crawling and Indexing Management

To maximise your website's presence in search engine results, you must understand the intricacies of crawling and indexing. Crawling refers to the process by which search engine bots discover and scan your web pages, while indexing involves adding these pages into a search engine's database for future retrieval. Here's what you need to focus on:

  • Google Search Console: Use this tool to monitor and troubleshoot your site's presence in Google search results. Check for crawl errors and indexation errors to understand what issues need your attention.
  • XML Sitemap: Submit an XML sitemap in Google Search Console to explicitly inform search engines about the structure of your site and to encourage the discovery of pages that might not be easily found through links.
  • Indexation Errors: Stay vigilant for errors that prevent pages from being indexed, such as duplicate content or noindex tags, and rectify them promptly to improve your site's search presence.

Robots.txt and Directives

Proper use of robots.txt files and directives is essential for guiding search engines through your site. Here's how to correctly implement and maintain your robots.txt:

  • Robots.txt: Create and optimise a robots.txt file to communicate with web crawlers about which parts of your site should and shouldn't be crawled and indexed.
  • User-agent: *
    Disallow: /private/
  • Robots.txt Errors: Incorrect instructions can block search engines from indexing important content, so you need to test your robots.txt using the Google Search Console to ensure that it's error-free.
  • Directives: Use directives such as Disallow: to prevent crawlers from accessing specific parts of your site, and Sitemap: to point crawlers to your XML sitemap's location. This ensures efficient crawling and preservation of crawl budget.

Linking Structure Insights

Effective linking structure is a cornerstone of SEO strategy. It ensures that search engines and users can navigate your website efficiently.

Internal Linking Strategy

Your internal linking strategy directly influences how search engine crawlers index your pages, and how users navigate your site. Ensure that your internal links use relevant anchor text that provides clear context. Audit your links for issues such as broken links to maintain a robust internal structure.

  • Audit Practices:
  • Check for Broken Links: Utilise tools to detect any broken internal links.
  • Review Anchor Text: Ensure that the anchor text is relevant and descriptive.
  • Evaluate Link Distribution: Verify that high-priority pages receive more internal links.
  • Assess Nofollow Links: Consider whether the use of nofollow attributes is strategic for your internal links.

External Backlink Profile

Your backlink profile is an indicator of your website's authority and relevance. Quality and diversity are more important than sheer volume when it comes to backlinks. Disavow toxic links to protect your site's reputation.

  • Key Backlink Measures:
  • Quality over Quantity: Prioritise backlinks from reputable and relevant sources.
  • Diverse Link Sources: Strive for a backlink profile with a variety of domains.
  • Monitor for Toxic Links: Implement regular checks for harmful links and disavow them through Google's Disavow Tool.
  • Canonicalization: Ensure proper use of the canonical tag to avoid duplicate content issues stemming from external sites linking to various versions of a URL.

Taking care of the fundamental technical aspects of your website will set you on the path to better Google performance.

Now go get optimising, and as we say on the podcast, HAPPY SEO-ING!

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

Static and dynamic content editing

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Arthur Fabik
Arthur is the Head of SEO at Local Digital. He's been working in the space for most of the last decade at some of the biggest agencies in Australia. Now, he's responsible for the Local Digital SEO team with one goal - smashing SEO results out of the park for our clients.

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