TECHNICAL WEBSITE SEO AUDIT
Discover Hidden Performance and Ranking Issues of Your Website
Not Your Average Website Audit
The Brand Sherpas are dedicated to delivering results through meticulous technical analysis and implementing performance-based optimizations. We steer clear of fluff, magic tricks, and excuses, aiming to guide you all the way to the top.
While many claim to conduct search analysis, a large portion only scratches the surface, often driven by laziness and shortcuts. At The Brand Sherpas, we steer clear of cutting corners and take a data-driven approach, performing in-depth technical SEO audits that thoroughly examine every aspect of your website data. With us, it’s SEO, not Guesseo – delivering concrete results, not mere guesses.
Do You Have All Of These Factors Running Smoothly?
- Compress all your images using either web processors such as Optimizilla.com and Compressor.io, or desktop apps such as FileOptimizer and ImageOptim.
- Generate the exact image size for each element instead of resizing it with CSS/HTML as this can be a heavy process for the browser to perform.
- Utilize Image Sprites to save on HTTP requests and bandwidth.
Reduced Page Weight & Requests
Here are some tips to keep your page weight under 2MB and 50 requests:
- Limit 3rd party libraries & scripts
- Load resources & requests asynchronously
- Consider a CDN for static assets & pages
Limited Web Font Usage
Many websites are loading full sets of font glyphs and weights they are not even using. Web fonts can also present inconsistent performance due to the reliance on third party servers for heavy font files. Try to limit your pages to 2-3 web fonts or use a System Font Stack for a comfortable look to the user.
- GZIP & JS/CSS Minified
HTTP/2 is the newest HTTP protocol, has good support across browsers, and makes great improvements to load speed. Here is a guide for enabling HTTP/2 in Nginx.
Async & Defer Attributes Added
Tell the browser when to download and execute a script file so it doesn't block any other resources. I like this guide for showing what each of these script attributes does.
Resource Hinting Added
If you're using any 3rd party assets then you will have a DNS lookup attached, both these and your own resources can block each other or be loaded out-of-order. Here is a guide for the various values of the link attribute "rel" that tells the browser when and how to handle these situations. This is the W3Consortium document for Resource-Hints.
Cache Headers Set
Specify the [cache-control] header with a [max-age] directive in the web server to avoid having the browser set poor default versions. This will provide huge performance savings for users who see the same resources multiple times. Static assets with versioning should be cached for as long as possible.
- Consider Service Workers
- Run Testing
Page-Specific Keywords Set
While less important than it used to be, keyword targeting is still one of the most common suggestions towards improving SEO ranking.
Include the keyword or phrase in the:
- URL - Make sure it's short and semantically clear
- Title Tag - Include keyword or phrase in beginning, max 70 characters
- Meta Description - Unique on every page, max 155 characters
- H1 - One per page, less important to include keyword
Google Analytics & Google Search Console Setup
Google Analytics can help you target users and isolate problem areas for your website. Philip Walton explains a GA setup that he uses to "reap its full benefits". Remember to connect your Search Console and Analytics! Note that Bing Webmaster Tools are more important for U.S. targeted sites.
XML Sitemap Created & Submitted
Tools such as XML-Sitemaps.com make generating a sitemap simple. Submit a sitemap to all the search engines so they can more intelligently crawl your website.
A robots.txt file instructs robots which pages they can visit.
Scanned for Broken Links & Crawl Problems
Use a tool such as Screaming Frog SEO Spider to crawl your website and evaluate various issues related to SEO.
Canonical Links Set
If applicable set a canonical link on each page using an absolute URL without query strings. You should redirect traffic from www to non-www or vice-versa, lowercase, and remove the trailing slash.
- Rich Snippets & Structured Data Added
- Facebook & Twitter Cards Created
HTTPS Set Everywhere
HTTPS should be implemented not just on the login page as it is a prerequisite for a number of other technologies in security and performance. Let's Encrypt allows you to easily and freely create and manage a certificate. Make sure your Cipher Suite is up to date and enable OCSP stapling on your web server. Test your page using SSL Labs.
Security Headers Set
Taking the time to setup simple headers on your webserver will save you down the road.
Test using: securityheaders.io
- CSP header to mitigate XSS and data injection attacks
- CSRF token to prevent cross site request forgery.
- X-Frame-Options header to protect against click-jacking
- X-XSS-Protection header to mitigate XSS attacks
- Use HSTS responses to force TLS only access. Redirect all HTTP request to HTTPS on the server as backup
- Cookies should be scoped by path and domain as well as utilize HttpOnly, SameSite, and Secure attributes
Sanitized & Limited User Input/Parameters
Password Hashes Stored in scrypt or bcrypt
bcrypt is much older than scrypt and has received more analysis and implementations but many suggest that scrypt is faster and stronger.
Rate Limited Slower API paths
In order to protect yourself from Denial-of-Service attacks, implement a rate limiter on API paths such as login or token generation.
- Contrast Analyzed
Keyboard Navigation Added
Make sure that the browser's keyboard shortcuts are not overwritten. Use the WAI-ARIA attributes which give semantic information about the role, state, and property to assistive technologies.
Use semantic markup and clear styling to convey the menu element and structure that is consistent with every page. A usability tip is to ensure all pages are accessible through three or fewer clicks from the homepage. Here is a guide to creating accessible menus.
Non-Textual Elements Have Alt Tags
Alt tags provide textual interpretation to visual elements. Make sure your alt tags tell the content and function of the visual, are succinct, accurate, and do not use the phrases "image of" or "graphic of".
Here is a great guide for accessibility on all different form elements. Forms should be navigable using the keyboard, clear, and intuitive.
- Checked Spelling & Readability
Contact Details & Social Media Reviewed
Allow easy and correct contact information so people can report bugs & vulnerabilities. Limit the number of social media buttons to minimize requests and create more focus.
- Links are descriptive and appear "clickable"
- External links use the rel="noopener" attribute
- Important links don't move (auto carousels or accordions)
- Links not in navigation have title attribute
Created Favicon & App Icons
Use a service such as RealFaviconGenerator to easily generate the many icons needed for various platforms. Test in development to ensure no errors.
Created Custom 404 & Offline Pages
Create a custom 404.html page and an offline.html page and set them up on the web server to give better feedback to the user.
Made Compatible with Browsers & Platforms
Test on the major browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE/Edge, and Opera. Utilize tools or libraries such as Modernizr to only use features that are available to the user.
Responsive Analysis Done
Responsive means that based on the width of the browser the CSS gives different style rules while all the resources stay the same. The most common change is a mobile drop-down menu. I use Chrome's device toolbar from within the Developer Tools as well as Emmet Re:view to test page view throughout development down to around 300px.
Inputs are Mobile Optimized
All relevant inputs have the type attribute set for a better user experience.
Build a Solid Foundation while Uncovering Performance Issues & Opportunities
Achieving your goals is easy. Just order a technical SEO audit from us. Our SEO technicians will analyze your website data, organize it into data sets, and create a comprehensive report with optimization recommendations. Your project coordinator will email you the report, and you can schedule a complimentary strategy call within 30 days to discuss the results and solutions.
Unlock New Insights & Data-Driven Opportunities
Adhering to best practices, it’s advisable to re-audit your website every 4-6 months, adjusting based on your online space’s competitiveness; in highly competitive niches, consider re-auditing every 2-3 months. This guarantees up-to-date data and a well-maintained website. Just like getting in shape and staying in shape differ, a mere SEO audit’s results are impressive, but a monthly SEO campaign can deliver even more satisfying outcomes, leaving you delighted with the improvements.
WEBSITE AUDITS & SERVICES PRICING
Technical Website SEO Audit
$130/ Per Audit
SEO Audit Implementations
( One Time Optimizations )
$1,200 Per Website
*Requires prior purchase of technical SEO audit
*Price range varies depending on website size and project scope, above pricing is a common estimate for most website (implementations/fixes/optimizations)
*Larger websites may have additional pricing.
Technical SEO Auditing
Most frequent questions and answers
Technical SEO audits serve the essential purpose of identifying underperforming elements across all webpages on your website. It is the crucial initial step before embarking on SEO campaigns, playing a pivotal role in achieving higher visibility in search engine result pages. Our expert team collects thousands of diverse data points from your website, meticulously organizing them into a comprehensive spreadsheet. Our in-house SEO technicians then analyze this data to generate a detailed report.
These audits are remarkably thorough, delving deep into your website’s data, performance issues, and off-page metrics. Among the off-page factors explored are backlink profile, competitor and keyword analysis, as well as other core ranking metrics and data. The insights gleaned from the technical SEO audit provide invaluable guidance for enhancing your website’s performance and optimizing its search engine rankings.
Typically, the audit process requires around 10-15 hours to be completed. However, we pride ourselves on efficiency and usually have the report ready within just 48 hours from the moment you sign up. Your report will not only provide valuable insights but also includes a complimentary consultation to discuss the necessary fixes. If you prefer, our team can take care of the implementations for you as a separate service.
For larger websites, please anticipate that the audit might take a bit longer to complete. In such cases, it may require up to one week for us to thoroughly assess and analyze all the crucial elements. Rest assured, regardless of the size of your website, we are dedicated to delivering accurate and actionable results to help optimize your online presence.
You will discover every aspect underperforming on your website with a comprehensive analysis, including in-depth stats/metrics, keyword insights, and competitor analysis. Rest assured, we won’t overwhelm you with raw data; our audits include a detailed, organized report, simplifying our findings for your review. Moreover, you’ll receive a free strategy call to gain better insights, and if you wish, we offer the option to address and fix any issues identified during the audit.
Once your audit is complete, you have the option to schedule a complimentary strategy call within 30 days to discuss the SEO audit results. Typically, the recommended course of action following an SEO audit is to proceed with ordering the implementations (fixes). This entails hiring us to address all on-page and, at times, off-page factors that may be hindering your website from achieving higher rankings and optimal performance. The cost of this service varies based on the project’s complexity and scope.
For businesses operating in highly competitive industries or locations, keeping a close eye on performance and stats is crucial. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean conducting an audit every month. Regular audits can yield better results, but they might not be effective if your website has already undergone a thorough audit and fixes. Instead, a more effective approach would be to opt for a monthly SEO campaign.
Audits are designed for deep cleaning and analysis, so if you have already completed a comprehensive audit and implementations, there may not be an immediate need to repeat the process. In some cases, waiting a few months, and in more extensive cases, up to six months, before re-auditing could be sufficient.
For businesses that have recently completed an audit and implementations, monthly SEO campaigns or deliverables are better suited. These campaigns allow you to build upon the groundwork of a now well-performing website, fostering continuous growth and optimization. Re-auditing your website every six months is a suitable time frame to maintain its performance and ensure it remains competitive in the ever-changing digital landscape.
Upon completion of the SEO audit, you will receive a comprehensive report encompassing all our findings and collected data. Furthermore, you have the option to schedule a complimentary strategy call within 30 days to discuss the audit’s results. Accessing the SEO audit report is effortless—all you need is a PDF reader on your phone, tablet, or desktop computer. For those interested in viewing the data in a spreadsheet format, having access to Excel is beneficial. Rest assured, the reports will be delivered directly to your email for your convenience.
Looking for more information?
Many websites on the internet offer free SEO analyses of your website’s performance, but these often provide only surface-level summaries of common attributes. These analyses rely on automated software or algorithms to make guesses about your website’s performance, pulling data from search engine results. However, the issue with this approach is that it doesn’t involve an actual audit of your website.
Real technical SEO audits can only be conducted by humans. A human analyst carefully reviews and assesses your website’s data, ensuring a thorough and accurate evaluation. Robots lack the capability to perform technical SEO audits, making them unsuitable substitutes. It’s akin to opting for a telemedicine appointment with a robot instead of consulting a doctor in person – you wouldn’t rely on a robot’s opinion for your health, so why risk your business on something similar?
While free analyses can provide some clues about your website’s performance, they are fundamentally different from in-depth technical SEO audits. Additionally, they often contain skewed and outdated data, lacking relevance to modern SEO practices. So, while they can be useful for gaining insights, remember that they don’t match the precision and reliability of a comprehensive technical SEO audit conducted by human experts.
Technical SEO audits play a crucial role in helping your business by providing a ‘baseline’ or ‘benchmark’ snapshot of your website’s current performance. This benchmarking data is vital for understanding your current position and measuring the distance to your goals. Moreover, audits offer a clear roadmap to set you on the right path toward achieving your objectives.
These audits offer invaluable insights into enhancing your website’s performance, elevating domain authority, ensuring topical relevancy, and optimizing various factors that directly impact your website’s search engine ranking compared to your competitors. By utilizing SEO audits, you can identify areas for improvement and strategically implement the necessary factors into your campaign. This, in turn, leads to an increase in your Return On Investment (ROI), making your SEO efforts even more rewarding.
Our full in-depth audits leave no stone unturned, encompassing a wide array of elements. These include analyzing topical relevancy for all your content, assessing URL structures, evaluating page speed, scrutinizing on-page factors, as well as delving into aspects like backlink profiles, competitor analysis, and industry trends. We collect hundreds of data points and organize them into segments, cross-referencing with current search engine update parameters.
Our meticulous SEO technicians then conduct a thorough analysis to compile all the data into an understandable report. Alongside the report, we provide a comprehensive list of everything that requires fixing and implementing to optimize your website. With our approach, no aspect is overlooked, ensuring a robust and effective strategy for your online success.
Typically, everything identified in the audit can be successfully fixed, implemented, and optimized. However, it’s important to note that the separate service of executing these improvements is not included with the audit purchase. Depending on the audit findings, certain issues may call for an SEO campaign to address them comprehensively, while others might require one-time SEO deliverables like citations.
The good news is that around 98% of the time, we can successfully implement, fix, or optimize everything discovered during the audit, yielding fantastic results almost immediately. With our expertise and dedicated efforts, we strive to optimize your website and enhance its performance to achieve your desired goals.
Absolutely, and they should be. If you decide to conduct another audit the following month to ensure everything is in order, we’re pleased to offer you a 50% discount. This is because much of the data from the previous audit should still be relevant, and your information is already in our system. If we’ve implemented changes for you, you should start seeing positive results.
We honor the 50% discount for upkeep audits up to approximately 3 months after your initial audit. Beyond that, audits conducted 4 to 6 months later will be charged at the full price. This is because market shifts, search engine result changes, and various factors will require a thorough re-audit of competitors, keywords, content performance, on-page metrics, off-page metrics, and more.
Providing this discount is our way of expressing gratitude for your continued support. We prioritize fair pricing based on the actual time spent delivering our services, aiming to offer affordability and value to our valued clients.
Feel free to reach out to your project coordinator, the one who provided you with the audit results. They are well-equipped to offer advice and guidance regarding your audit results. You can easily contact them via email or schedule a complimentary strategy call within 30 days of receiving your audit results.
During the strategy call, your coordinator will thoroughly review the audit results with you over the phone, addressing any questions you may have in real-time. For a more interactive experience, if you have the capability and desire, they can even initiate a screen share session to visually aid your understanding. Rest assured, our team is here to assist you every step of the way and ensure a seamless and productive post-audit experience.