Technical SEO website audit process template

Why technical SEO audit is important

A technical audit of a website is fundamental to organic search visibility. It’s done to make sure that web developers didn’t throw any barriers to search engines that prevent them from successfully crawling the website content. If those barriers exist, your rewards for content development efforts will be heavily reduced. SEO audits are typically done first in the SEO process because it could take some time until the shortcomings are resolved and barriers removed.

Don’t be afraid of technical audits

The word technical in the audit is misleading. Website audits have become in many cases a method for SEO consultants to squeeze money out of ‘non-technical’ clients. In fact, many modern content management systems (CMS) have a lot of SEO friendly features out of the box, and it’s unlikely that your website is so broken that search engines cannot access it. That’s why we generally conduct a lean SEO audit to ensure there are no barriers and then swiftly move to the implementation work (i.e. content optimisation, content development & link building).

Stay away of agencies that insist on extensive technical audits without checking if it’s required. Here are some typical situations when the technical SEO audit is definitely recommended:

  • very large website with more than 0.5m pages
  • proprietary CMS
  • PWA
  • visible indexation issues – typically can be discovered after 5 min check

Technical SEO audits in 2020

With the advent of progressive web applications (PWA) technical SEO audits have become interesting again. Browser interaction and heavy JavaScript sites open up a lot of opportunities for new functionality and fancy frontend. These trends are also a nightmare to search engine crawlers, which basically cannot simply read the code of the page, but they have to render the page to understand its content. So far we’ve had mixed experiences when interacting with Google and optimising PWA, but the area is developing and we’re adding PWA related checks to our audits.

Technical SEO audit process

We recommend a hybrid approach to the SEO audit and we use a selection of tools and conduct manual checks. Two essential tools include Google Search Console and a website crawler (e.g. ahrefs, screamingfrog).

Technical SEO audit template