What is an essential technical website audit and why would I need one? Well, for starters, site speed. Technical Website audits go far beyond the standard site speed and image compression tests. Although those two tests can be done fairly easily, the technical audit goes so much further.
Basic Steps of a Technical Website Audit
Let’s take a look at the things involved in a technical website audit:
- Accessibility – This is basically the standard accessibility test for visual and hearing impaired persons.
- Multi-device user experience – technicians will review your website from many devices, Apple, Android, phone, tablet, laptop Windows, Chromebook, Mac, and so forth.
- Site Speed – An in-depth site speed test will be performed. Below, we will show you a couple of ways to look at your own site speed, but this goes much further. This will also look at the HTTP Auth and blocked in robots.txt, network conditions, browser cache, analytics, and many other items.
- Review of Resource Status Codes – checks for 404s, 5xx, and caching as well as redirects.
- Duplicate content
- Domains and subdomains
- Similar content on a different domain
- Improperly implemented pagination pages
- Schema Configuration
- and so, so many more
You can imagine how much time and effort is done when performing these tasks. If you want someone to do this for you, the cost is generally $300 and up. Grayson Bell of iMarkInteractive is one of the best. Grayson’s Beginner Blog Tune-up is about half the cost of that and includes many of the same features.
Perform Essential Technical Website Audit Yourself
You can easily perform a few basic steps, including your SEO audit, on your own. Here are just a few ways:
Check your Image Compression
Compressing your images is just one way to save disk space as well as help your site speed. I personally like the plug-in ShortPixel. Here’s a short video of how to add the API Key and configure it for a basic setting. This video also talks briefly about Media Cleaner, which is another plug-in I recommend. Media Cleaner helps determine if you have any unused images in your library, taking up space.
Use Google Search Console
Go to https://search.google.com/search-console. If you have never used it before, you’ll need to add your url. Your front page will look something like this:
The main area you want to be concerned with is the “Enhancements” section. Here, you can check thinks such as site speed, mobile usability, and many other things. Here’s an image of the enhancements section:
As you can see, the Speed section tells you to go to PageSpeed Insights. Here’s an image of PageSpeed Insights. You want to at a minimum score in the midrange (yellow) area. You can drill down and see what errors you have that need to be fixed. I’m in the process of uploading all my content to Amazon CloudFront, so my speed will increase in a few days. What’s interesting is that drilling down on this site found that Google Adsense was slowing down my site the most. Hmmm.
Check your Links
One of the best free tools out today is ubersuggest. You can type in ANY domain and receive details. Not only does this give you SEO information, it also gives you errors and other health checks. See below:
I find this one of the best features of this free tool. You want to pay particular attention to any critical errors, of course. If it doesn’t make sense to you, ask us about it in our Fairy BlogMother facebook group.
Check your Plug-Ins
Review your plug-ins. Do you know what each one does for your site? If not, ask someone. You may be using plug-ins that are conflicting, or not recommended! Also, check out our post on WordPress Plug-ins Do’s and Don’ts.
Also make sure your plug-ins are up-to-date. The various Facebook groups (and ours) usually will tell you when a plug-in is bad or should not be updated.
Check your Design
Ask people in other groups to review your website. Don’t take it personally, tell them you want to know if you agree with the colors and style of your website. If several people tell you that your site is too busy, you may want to adjust your theme or do something different. I highly recommend Restored316 Themes. They are based on the Genesis system and are completely customizable. Our site actually uses the Beloved site currently.
And What about SEO?
An SEO audit is another lengthy process. There are many factors to consider in an SEO audit. However, using a plug-in like RankMath can be very helpful. Install the plug-in, then on each post, fill in the details you are asked. RankMath helps you to remember to consider your keyword, your external and internal links, your Pinterest and other social media descriptions and titles, and so forth. I try to always have my posts rank around 90+, but as long as they are “green”, you’re good to go. Here’s an example:
Do Keyword Research
This is probably the one thing that most bloggers either hate to do or feel it takes too much time — Keyword Research. Yeah, it’s a pain. There are tools out there, of course, that will help you, but where do you start?
Let’s take ubersuggest (shown above). To use it, you have to START with a keyword. Hmmm. So how to I get a keyword?
There are two ways. The first way is what most beginner bloggers tend to do. We write the article, THEN go look for the keyword. So you start with your general topic of the article, place that in the keyword search, and see what kind of results you get. Then, you play around with the keyword and title until you find your best competition.
The second way is to START with a keyword in mind. Say what? Yeah. GREAT bloggers (not me, yet…) start with a keyword. So they says, hmmmm I’m going to write a post about “How to save money”. That’s their starting keyword. Great bloggers then create their keyword, and title, from the results.
Don’t forget, you can also use plain ole Google for your research. Searching on Google will give you a lot of information. For example, if the entire front page (or almost all of it) is filled with ads for your keyword, it’s probably not very likely that you will rank anywhere near the first few pages of Google. Try being more descriptive or rewriting the keyword phrase a little differently.
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Until next time…
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Until Next Time, Happy Blogging!
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