TECHNICAL SEO AUDIT

UNCOVER YOUR WEBSITES PERFORMANCE AND RANKING ISSUES

Technical SEO audits can be a valuable tool to obtaining high search engine rankings

Technical SEO Audit

Home/ Technical SEO Audit

Not Your Average SEO Audit

Achieving results through in-depth technical analysis and implementing performance based optimizations. No fluff, No magic, No Excuses. The Brand Sherpas wants to carry you to the TOP.

Although many claim to perform search analysis, many only perform a surface level analysis, mostly due to laziness and corner cutting approaches. The Brand Sherpas doesn’t cut corners and produces data driven results with in-depth technical SEO audits that look into every nick and cranny of your website data.

We do SEO not Guesseo. 

The Route To The Top Of Search Engines

Organically

White hat approach and Google best practices in mind, the goal is simple. Get your business more customers, conversions, and Return On Investment as quick as possible while making sure your journey is optimized for the long run.

Check Out Our Interactive Technical SEO Audit

*Use the bottom and side scroll bars to navigate and use the blue tabs to click through different sections of the audit.
*Due to proprietary reasons the FULL Audit is not displayed this is just a sample.
*On mobile devices it can help to go fullscreen which can be accessed at the bottom right hand corner.

Do You Have All Of These Factors Running Smoothly?

Partial SEO Audit Checklist

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Performance

  • Images Optimized
    • 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
    GZIP is a powerful compressor for text files that can be configured in the web server. Javascript and CSS files should be combined into one file and minified when served to the user to reduce the impact of loading on the critical path. I suggest the tools UgilfyJS for Javascript and CSSO for CSS.
  • Implemented HTTP/2
    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
    Service Workers will give you precise control over cache and allow the creation of an offline web experience. Here are some code examples.
  • Run Testing
    My favorite tools are YellowLab.tools, webpagetest.org, and Lighthouse. Make sure to test in 4G, 3G, and Wi-Fi network environments as well as with popular devices.

SEO

  • 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.
  • Robots.txt Created
    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
    Structured data allows search engines to better understand your HTML markup and generate rich snippets for the results page. Rich Snippets don't directly affect your ranking but make the results page much more appealing and feature rich to possible visitors.
  • Facebook & Twitter Cards Created
    Facebook's Open Graph and Twitter's Cards allow you to make social sharing much more appealing to people viewing the "share" on social media websites. Both Facebook and Twitter have tools to preview and debug your cards.

Security

  • 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
    When parsing input, remember to sanitize for data://, javascript://, and CRLF characters. Never directly inject user content into responses or SQL statements.
  • 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.

Accessibility

  • Contrast Analyzed
    Ensure that a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 exists between text and background. This improves readability for a majority of users and ensures the possibility of reading to a few. Here is more explanation and some visual indicators.
  • 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.
  • Menus Analyzed
    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".
  • Forms Analyzed
    Here is a great guide for accessibility on all different form elements. Forms should be navigable using the keyboard, clear, and intuitive.

Content

  • Checked Spelling & Readability
    Remove all placeholder text and images. Split up your text into small paragraphs with a line length of 50-75 characters. Test using WebpageFX's Readability Test Tool.
  • 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 Analyzed
    • 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.

Functionality

  • 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.

Let's Audit Your Website To Build A Solid Foundation

While Uncovering Performance Issues & Opportunities

Achieving your goals doesn’t have to be difficult. Finding out what’s underperforming on your website is as simple as ordering a technical SEO audit from us. Our SEO technicians can dig into your website data and pull thousands of metrics. Then they will organize everything into data sets and analyze them thoroughly. Before your audit is completed, a comprehensive report will be compiled alongside a list of variables that require optimization. The report will be given to your project coordinator to deliver to you via email for your preview. Additionally, you can take advantage of a complimentary strategy call regarding your audit results within 30 days after completion to get a better understanding of the results and how to fix them.

First Step: Audit Second Step: Optimize

To Improve Performance & Achieve A Competitive Edge

The best thing to do after undergoing a technical SEO audit is to optimize all of the underperforming or missing components discovered in the audit. If you are interested in having our team perform the optimizations you can purchase the service and we will take care of it for you. Once the optimizations have been completed your website will be standing on a solid foundation in respects to SEO. The optimizations performed very well may move your website up in search engine rankings, and can also be a great start towards pursuing SEO services such as a monthly SEO campaign or one-time deliverables.

Auditing Often Offers New Insights & Data Based Opportunities

Ongoing Optimizations Ensure An Upward Trend In Search Results

It is best practice to re-audit your website at least every 4-6 months depending how competitive your online space is. In very competitive spaces it may be necessary to re-audit every 2-3 months. This ensures that your data stays  up to date and your website stays in shape. getting in shape is one thing and staying in shape is another. For those who have seen improvement with just an SEO audit, you will be delighted at the results that a monthly SEO campaign can do for you.

Image from Gyazo

SEO AUDITS & SERVICES PRICING

Technical SEO Audit

$297/ Website

SEO Audit Implementations ( one time optimizations )

$1,200 - 2,400 One Time

*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)

Custom SEO Campaign/ Full Service

$2,500/ Month

*Requires prior purchase of a technical SEO audit and implementations to start

Technical SEO Auditing

Most frequent questions and answers

Technical SEO audits are designed to find everything that is underperforming on every single webpage on your website. It is the first thing that needs to be done to start building out SEO campaigns and is a crucial part of actually achieving higher visibility in search engine result pages. Thousands of different data points are collected from your website and organized into a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is analyzed by one of our in house SEO technicians and a report is generated from the data. Technical SEO audits are very in depth and dig into the core of all of your websites data, performance issues, and off page metrics. Some of the off page factors that are researched during your technical SEO audit are backlink profile, competitor and keyword analysis, and other metrics and data that are considered core ranking factors.

Normally it takes anywhere to 10-15 hours to complete the audit. Our team usually  has the report ready for you in as little as 48 hours from the time you sign up. Your report will come with a free consult about what needs to be fixed and the option to have everything fixed by one of our technicians. The fixes, or  implementations, as we like to call them are a separate service. If your website is a large site please expect that your audit will take longer to get completed, sometimes up to one week for larger sites.

You will find out everything that is under performing with your website. Additionally you will have a complete list of stats/metrics, keyword analysis and competitor analysis to go with it. Don’t worry, we won’t leave you with a huge list of raw data that you need to analyze, every audit comes with a detailed report of our findings and analysis organized and simply explained for you to review. the audit also comes with a free strategy call to help you understand it  better and with a option to get everything fixed if you want.

After your audit is complete you can choose  to utilize a free strategy call regarding your SEO audit within 30 days. Normally the best plan of action after an SEO audit is to order the implementations ( fixes ). This means that you hire us to fix all of the on-page and sometimes off-page factors that are preventing you from higher rankings and a better performing website. This is a separate service that varies in price depending on the complexity and magnitude of the project.

If you are operating in a very competitive industry/ location then it is wise to keep a close eye on your performance and stats. This doesn’t mean that every month you need to perform an audit. Regular auditing can help you achieve better results but is not going to be effective if everything was thoroughly audited and fixed. Instead of auditing every month, it would be more effective to utilize a monthly SEO campaign. Audits are designed to deep clean and analyze, so if you already have done that, it may not be necessary to do it again for a few months and in some cases 6 months. SEO monthly campaigns or deliverables would be  better suited for a business that has recently completed an audit and implementations, as it will allow you to build out new ground on a now well performing website. Every 6  months is a good time frame to re-audit your website. 

You will be provided with a report containing all of our findings and the data that was collected. You can also utilize a complimentary strategy call regarding your audit within 30 days. All you need to view the SEO audit report results is a PDF reader on your phone, tablet, or desktop computer. Additionally, having access to Excel is helpful if you would like to view the data in a spreadsheet format. Reports are delivered by email. 

There is a lot of websites on the internet that offer a free SEO analysis of your websites performance, returning at best, results containing a surface summary of common attributes. These websites pull data from search engine results and use automated software or algorithms to make a guess analysis of your websites performance. The problem with this type of analysis is that they do not actually audit your website. Real audits can only be performed by humans. Real audits are analyzed by a human and not a robot. Robots cannot perform technical SEO audits, and substituting a technical audit with a free analysis is like substituting going to the doctor with a tele med appointment via chat with a robot. You probably would not stake your health on the opinion of a robot, operating on a algorithm, so why stake your business on something similar? There is nothing wrong with using a free analysis to get clues to what is going on with your website. Just remember that they are very different than a real in depth technical SEO audit and can also contain skewed data that is not only incomplete but is also analyzed by an algorithm or bot script. Often times they are outdated and do not even have relevance to modern SEO practices.

Technical SEO audits can help your business by creating a ‘baseline’ or ‘benchmark’ snapshot of your websites current performance. This benchmarking data is important for understanding where you are currently at and how far away you are from your goals. Audits can also give you a clear road map on how to get started on the correct path to achieving your goals. They can offer valuable insights about ways to improve your websites performance, increase domain authority, topical relevancy, and numerous factors that directly correlate with your websites ability to rank higher in search than your competitors. Through utilizing SEO audits you can determine what needs to be done to improve and by implementing the proper factors into your campaign you can ultimately increase your Return On Investment ( ROI ).

Everything! Full in-depth audits take anything and everything into account. Some examples of things we look at are topical relevancy for all of your content, URL structures, page speed, on-page factors, and lots of on-page factors like backlink profile, competitor profiles, and even things that have to do with trends in your industry. These data points as well as hundreds more are then compiled into segments, checked against current search engine update parameters and thoroughly analyzed by an SEO technician to organize everything into a understandable report. The report is also accompanied by a list everything that needs to be fixed and implemented to optimize your website.

Normally everything can be fixed, implemented and optimized. The separate service of doing this is not included with the purchase of the audit. However, some things discovered within the audit may also warrant an SEO campaign to fix, other things such as on-page or various off-page factors could require a one-time SEO deliverable product like citations for example. 98% of the time though everything can be successfully implemented, fixed, or optimized and produces terrific results almost immediately.

Yes, and they should be. If you want to do another audit the following month to make sure everything in is order we will usually discount your audit by 50% because most of the data should still be relevant and we already have you in our system. If we have done the implementations for you then you should be seeing some new found positive results. The discount will usually be honored up to about 3 months after your 1st audit. If the audit is 4 months to six months down the road it will be full price again due to the fact that everything will need to be thoroughly checked. There will have been dramatic market shifts and search engine results shifts as well as multitude’s of factors that will need to be re-audited, such as: competitors, keywords, content performance, on-page metrics, off-page metrics, etc. Offering a 50% discount on an upkeep audit is a way of saying thank you for being a customer, we don’t aim to over charge our clients and try to make pricing affordable and based on the actual time spent to deliver the service.

Please contact your project coordinator that provided you with the audit results. He/ she will be able to give you advice about your audit results. Simply contact them by email, or utilize the free strategy call within 30 days of receiving your audit results. On the strategy call they will be able to go over the audit results with you over the phone and answer your questions in real time. If you have the capability and the desire they can also initiate a screen share with you to help you understand better through visualization.

READY TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE'S PERFORMANCE AND RANKING?

SCHEDULE A CALL TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN AUDIT YOUR WEBSITE TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS OBTAIN AN EDEGE OVER YOUR COMPETITIORS

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The Brand Sherpas specializes in professional web design and development services and helps businesses achieve higher visibility in organic search through SEO. Operating with integrity and refined technical skillsets to help local, national and international businesses grow to their full potential. Digital navigation that gets results!

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