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Bristol SEO Meetup
Technical SEO Audit for
Beginners
About Me
• Digital Marketing Executive at Edico Media
• 4 years experience in SEO & PPC
• Started Bristol SEO Meetup
Follow Me
• @FayeWatt
• @BristolSEOMeet
• https://www.meetup.com/bristol-seo/
About Edico Media
• Bristol-based Digital Agency
• Specialises in:
• Digital marketing management (SEO, PPC, CRO, Social)
• Web application development and infrastructure
• Digital/development strategy and consulting
Follow Us
• @edicomedia
• https://edicomedia.com
Technical SEO Audit
• Tools
• Robots.txt
• Index
• Sitemap
• HTTP Status Codes
• 404 Page
• HTTPS
• Redirect Errors
• Page Speed
• Structured data
• Mobile-Friendly
SEO Tools
• Screaming Frog – Web Crawler
• Ahrefs – Inbound Links
• SEMrush – Site Audit
• Redirect Path – HTTP Header & Redirect Checker
• GTMetrix – Site Speed
• TinyPNG
• CSS Minifier
Robots.txt
https://example.com/robots.txt
Robots.txt file indicates whether web robots, usually
search engine robots, can or cannot crawl specific parts
of a website.
By using the disallow directive, you can block search
engines from crawling specific pages on your website,
such as your staging site.
• Accidently blocking important URLs
• Blocking the entire website
Common mistakes:
Examples of Robots.txt
Blocking all web robots from crawling your entire website:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /
Blocking Google’s search engine robot from crawling a specific
URL:
User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /example-subfolder/
Index
Review how your website is indexed by search engines and
identify:
• How many pages are being indexed
• Any missing pages
• Important pages are correctly indexed
• Any pages that are incorrectly indexed
• Any pages incorrectly excluded by noindex meta
tag
Common mistakes:
• Forgetting to remove the noindex meta tag on
new pages
Index
Perform a site:search
Check noindex meta tags – Screaming Frog
Index Coverage Report – Google Search Console
Index
Index
If your webpage’s have been excluded from the index:
• Make sure you have removed the noindex meta tag
• Inspect the URL using Google Search Console’s URL Inspection tool
• Select Request Indexing
• If no issues with the page are found, the page will be queued for
indexing
Sitemap
• Ensure it is kept up-to-date and includes any new pages
• Remove URLs that 404
• Remove URLs that redirect
• Remove non-canonical URLs
• Identify any missing URLs
https://example.com/sitemap.xml
Use Screaming Frog to crawl the URLs in your sitemap
and:
URL Status Codes
HTTP Status Code 3xx — Redirection
• HTTP 301 Moved Permanently
• HTTP 302 Temporary Redirect
HTTP Status Code 4xx — Client Error
• HTTP 404 Not Found
Identify any internal, external, or inbound URLs that do not return a 200 status code.
Common HTTP Status Codes:
Internal & External Links
Perform a site crawl to identify any internal or external links that results in 4xx or 3xx status
• Perform a site crawl – Screaming Frog
• Identify any internal or external links that result in a 4xx error
• Update these links to a relevant, valid URL
• Identify any internal links that result in a 3xx redirect
• Update these links to avoid unnecessary redirects
Inbound Links
• Export your historical backlink profile from Ahrefs or Google Search Console
• Upload the list of URLs to Screaming Frog
• Identify URLs that return a 404 status code
• Redirect these URLs to a live URL or contact site owner to update the link
Export and crawl your backlink profile to identity any inbound links to URLs that return a
4xx status code:
404 Page Not Found
• URLs redirect to a /page-not-found URL which returns a 200
Common mistakes:
Design your 404 page so users are able to easily navigate your website:
• Link back to the homepage
• Provide useful links to most commonly visited pages
• Consider adding a search bar
• Offer contact options
HTTPS
• Since 2014, Google has been using HTTPS as a ranking signal.
• Over 70% of Google’s page one search results are HTTPS
• Google Chrome now marks all non-HTTPS as non-secure when collecting sensitive data
e.g. passwords & credit card details
July 2018 September 2018 October 2018
Redirect Errors
• HTTP to HTTPS
• Non-www and www
• Trailing slash and non-trailing slash
• Upper and lowercase URLs
If the following versions of a URL are not correctly redirected, you will create duplicate
content!
Example:
https://example.com/UpperCASE
https://example.com/uppercase
Page Speed
Page speed tools:
• PageSpeed Insights
• Pingdom
• GTMetrix
Common fixes:
• Optimise images
• Minify and combine your JavaScript & CSS files
• Minimise use of unnecessary images
• JavaScript placement
• Leverage browser caching
Optimise Images
Compress your images to reduce their file size.
Tool: TinyPNG
Minify JavaScript & CSS Files
Unminified CSS Minified CSS
Tool: CSS Minifier
Minimise use of unnecessary images
Don’t use images for small icons, such as:
• Magnifying glass
• Arrows
• Mobile menu icon
• Social media logos
Use a custom font instead! Font Awesome is a
great resource for these.
Structured Data
Structured data helps search engines better understand the content on a webpage, and
can enhance how your appears in the search results.
Structured data can be added to several elements of a website, such
as:
• Logo
• Social profile
• Breadcrumbs
• Articles
• Events
• Job postings
• Reviews
Review:
Event:
Job Posting:
Job Posting Markup:
Mobile-Friendly
In April 2015, the Mobile-Friendly update was released and designed to give mobile-friendly
pages a boost in the mobile SERPs.
You can test how mobile-friendly your website is using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
Mobile-First Index
26th March - Google announced they’ve started to migrate websites.
30th April – Webmasters receive notifications in Search Console
More info: https://tinyurl.com/yc28mfyn
Mobile-First Index
What is it?
Google will crawl, index and rank your website based on the mobile-
friendly version of your site, even for search results shown to desktop
users.
Mobile-First
Best practices:
• Meta data
• Structured data
• Hreflang
• Content
• Robots.txt
• Page Speed
• Internal Links & Navigation
• Intrusive interstitials
Manually review your site!
Any questions?
@FayeWatt
Thanks for Listening!
@FayeWatt
@BristolSEOMeet
https://www.meetup.com/bristol-seo/

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Technical SEO Checklist for Beginners

  • 1. Bristol SEO Meetup Technical SEO Audit for Beginners
  • 2. About Me • Digital Marketing Executive at Edico Media • 4 years experience in SEO & PPC • Started Bristol SEO Meetup Follow Me • @FayeWatt • @BristolSEOMeet • https://www.meetup.com/bristol-seo/
  • 3. About Edico Media • Bristol-based Digital Agency • Specialises in: • Digital marketing management (SEO, PPC, CRO, Social) • Web application development and infrastructure • Digital/development strategy and consulting Follow Us • @edicomedia • https://edicomedia.com
  • 4. Technical SEO Audit • Tools • Robots.txt • Index • Sitemap • HTTP Status Codes • 404 Page • HTTPS • Redirect Errors • Page Speed • Structured data • Mobile-Friendly
  • 5. SEO Tools • Screaming Frog – Web Crawler • Ahrefs – Inbound Links • SEMrush – Site Audit • Redirect Path – HTTP Header & Redirect Checker • GTMetrix – Site Speed • TinyPNG • CSS Minifier
  • 6. Robots.txt https://example.com/robots.txt Robots.txt file indicates whether web robots, usually search engine robots, can or cannot crawl specific parts of a website. By using the disallow directive, you can block search engines from crawling specific pages on your website, such as your staging site. • Accidently blocking important URLs • Blocking the entire website Common mistakes:
  • 7. Examples of Robots.txt Blocking all web robots from crawling your entire website: User-agent: * Disallow: / Blocking Google’s search engine robot from crawling a specific URL: User-agent: Googlebot Disallow: /example-subfolder/
  • 8. Index Review how your website is indexed by search engines and identify: • How many pages are being indexed • Any missing pages • Important pages are correctly indexed • Any pages that are incorrectly indexed • Any pages incorrectly excluded by noindex meta tag Common mistakes: • Forgetting to remove the noindex meta tag on new pages
  • 9. Index Perform a site:search Check noindex meta tags – Screaming Frog
  • 10. Index Coverage Report – Google Search Console Index
  • 11. Index If your webpage’s have been excluded from the index: • Make sure you have removed the noindex meta tag • Inspect the URL using Google Search Console’s URL Inspection tool • Select Request Indexing • If no issues with the page are found, the page will be queued for indexing
  • 12. Sitemap • Ensure it is kept up-to-date and includes any new pages • Remove URLs that 404 • Remove URLs that redirect • Remove non-canonical URLs • Identify any missing URLs https://example.com/sitemap.xml Use Screaming Frog to crawl the URLs in your sitemap and:
  • 13. URL Status Codes HTTP Status Code 3xx — Redirection • HTTP 301 Moved Permanently • HTTP 302 Temporary Redirect HTTP Status Code 4xx — Client Error • HTTP 404 Not Found Identify any internal, external, or inbound URLs that do not return a 200 status code. Common HTTP Status Codes:
  • 14. Internal & External Links Perform a site crawl to identify any internal or external links that results in 4xx or 3xx status • Perform a site crawl – Screaming Frog • Identify any internal or external links that result in a 4xx error • Update these links to a relevant, valid URL • Identify any internal links that result in a 3xx redirect • Update these links to avoid unnecessary redirects
  • 15. Inbound Links • Export your historical backlink profile from Ahrefs or Google Search Console • Upload the list of URLs to Screaming Frog • Identify URLs that return a 404 status code • Redirect these URLs to a live URL or contact site owner to update the link Export and crawl your backlink profile to identity any inbound links to URLs that return a 4xx status code:
  • 16. 404 Page Not Found • URLs redirect to a /page-not-found URL which returns a 200 Common mistakes: Design your 404 page so users are able to easily navigate your website: • Link back to the homepage • Provide useful links to most commonly visited pages • Consider adding a search bar • Offer contact options
  • 17. HTTPS • Since 2014, Google has been using HTTPS as a ranking signal. • Over 70% of Google’s page one search results are HTTPS • Google Chrome now marks all non-HTTPS as non-secure when collecting sensitive data e.g. passwords & credit card details July 2018 September 2018 October 2018
  • 18. Redirect Errors • HTTP to HTTPS • Non-www and www • Trailing slash and non-trailing slash • Upper and lowercase URLs If the following versions of a URL are not correctly redirected, you will create duplicate content! Example: https://example.com/UpperCASE https://example.com/uppercase
  • 19. Page Speed Page speed tools: • PageSpeed Insights • Pingdom • GTMetrix Common fixes: • Optimise images • Minify and combine your JavaScript & CSS files • Minimise use of unnecessary images • JavaScript placement • Leverage browser caching
  • 20. Optimise Images Compress your images to reduce their file size. Tool: TinyPNG
  • 21. Minify JavaScript & CSS Files Unminified CSS Minified CSS Tool: CSS Minifier
  • 22. Minimise use of unnecessary images Don’t use images for small icons, such as: • Magnifying glass • Arrows • Mobile menu icon • Social media logos Use a custom font instead! Font Awesome is a great resource for these.
  • 23. Structured Data Structured data helps search engines better understand the content on a webpage, and can enhance how your appears in the search results. Structured data can be added to several elements of a website, such as: • Logo • Social profile • Breadcrumbs • Articles • Events • Job postings • Reviews
  • 26. Mobile-Friendly In April 2015, the Mobile-Friendly update was released and designed to give mobile-friendly pages a boost in the mobile SERPs. You can test how mobile-friendly your website is using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
  • 27. Mobile-First Index 26th March - Google announced they’ve started to migrate websites. 30th April – Webmasters receive notifications in Search Console More info: https://tinyurl.com/yc28mfyn
  • 28. Mobile-First Index What is it? Google will crawl, index and rank your website based on the mobile- friendly version of your site, even for search results shown to desktop users.
  • 29. Mobile-First Best practices: • Meta data • Structured data • Hreflang • Content • Robots.txt • Page Speed • Internal Links & Navigation • Intrusive interstitials Manually review your site!