Technical SEO Audits

This page outlines the approach, pricing and a list of items covered within a standard Technical SEO Audit.

What’s covered

Below is a standard technical SEO checklist used by most SEOs that I also add a few special aspects that I don’t mention here:

Site Architecture

Canonical URLs (Best Page Addresses)

– Access to pages on domain (www vs. non-www)
– Home Page linking consistency
– Capitalization/Lower Case (capitals in domain name ok, in folders and files a potential problem)
– Canonical Link Elements
– Rel Prev/Next link elements for paginated pages?
– Internal Redirects (internal 301 redirects avoided)

Robots.txt File

– Correctly formatted
– Includes all it should (including cart pages, email referral pages, login pages)
– Includes link to XML sitemap or XML Sitemap Index

Meta robots noindex/nofollow

– Used appropriately

Category/Site Structure (URLS and Information Architecture)

– Unique and User Friendly
– Use of appropriate category and sub-category link structure

Choosing File Names

– Uses hyphens as word separators
– Unique
– Avoids keyword stuffing
– If file names to be changed, links on site changed, and 301s set up for external visitors

Custom Error Page

– Sends proper 404 code status
– No soft 404s
– Helpful to visitor (navigation, directories, search)

HTML Sitemap

– Organized into user friendly and user oriented categories
– Provides links to most important pages
– Avoids using too many links
– Doesn’t include 404s or links that redirect internally

XML Sitemap

– Properly formatted (XML proper encoding)
– Uses only canonicals
– No 404s and no internally redirected pages
– Submitted to GWT and Bing Tools

Technical/Server Issues

OS/Server/CMS/Catalogue Considerations

Server Status: Messages 200, 300, 400, 500

Secure Server | HTTPS Protocol

– No error messages
– No https bleed-over to pages that aren’t supposed to be https
– No certificate authority errors

Search Friendly Links

– All links to be indexed reachable by text-based links or “href” and “src”.

Broken and Redirected Links

– Broken links identify, links removed or replaced
– All 301 redirected links replaced with direct links

External Links

– Checked for broken links and redirects and replaced where appropriate
– Pages linked to checked for repurposed content

Duplicated Content

– Internally (see canonical section above)
– Mirrors identified and disallowed/noindexed as appropriate

JavaScript

– Can pages be navigated with javascript disabled? If not, are URLs for pages accessible in HTML code with “href” and “src”?
– If Ajax is necessary, is Google’s hashbang approach used?

Dynamic Pages

– Avoid session IDs in URLs
– Avoid excessive multiple data parameters in URLs
– Avoid excessive processor calls
– Avoid calls to multiple servers as much as possible
– Avoid keyword insertion pages (pages were the content is substantially the same except for keywords that are inserted into the pages).
Page Load Times

– Images compressed for right dimensions and for file sizes?
– GZIP or Deflate used?
– Other Page Speed considerations
The Cost
Technical SEO Audit takes between 30 and 40 hours, depending on the depth of certain issues.

The audit comes with 5 hours of consultancy time for communicating the issues and reaching the most appropriate solution.

Link audits

Link audits are a necessity these days – any site in any vertical can be hit by an algorithm – whether it’s for the right or wrong reasons.

I’ve recovered a number (I can’t reveal examples due to prior NDAs signed on these projects) of sites from Penguin related penalties – manual and algorithm related.

Why do reconsideration requests get denied?

  • There was no proof provided of work carried out
  • The link database used was not sufficiently robust
  • The reconsideration request was poorly written or didn’t provid enough detail
  • Not enough time left between the requests

Pricing

From £750 for a basic audit for a very small website to £5,500+ for an advanced package.

Above that there are custom packages for websites with many thousands of linking domains.

What comes with the usual link audit?

  • A list of all your links from most popular link sources, including MajesticSEO
  • Notes on whether a link is toxic or safe
  • Suggested disavow file
  • Suggested format for carrying out link removal

Note: Removing of the links is not included. This is an audit – a research piece, not a whole project of removing your penalty.
I am happy to provide guidance and lead the campaign – but that’s an ongoing process and a separate project.

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