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Technical SEO Audit Services in Dubai

An Insight Into Our Technical SEO Audit Service

Dom

Dominic Lill

26th May 2023

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the only way to make sure your web pages are shown on search engine results pages (SERPs) and, crucially, to achieve high rankings for your target results.

As the majority of online traffic originates from organic search results, it’s vital that companies use SEO to increase their online presence and attract targeted traffic.

However, SEO encompasses a number of important elements. In fact, it’s now routinely classified into three distinct types:

  1. On-page SEO: Optimizing elements within a website to improve its visibility in search engine rankings (e.g. optimizing meta tags and creating keyword-rich content).
  2. Off-page SEO: The activities performed outside the website to enhance its online reputation and authority (e.g. link building and guest posts).
  3. Technical SEO: Optimizing the technical aspects of a website to ensure optimal crawling and indexing by search engine (e.g. improving site speed and implementing structured data markup).

In many instances, brands focus on on-page SEO and off-page SEO but neglect technical SEO, only to wonder why their web pages aren’t ranking highly.

With a technical SEO audit service, however, you can identify potential issues and enhance performance to achieve optimal rankings on SERPs.

What Is an SEO Audit?

Our technical audit service will typically be carried out as part of a broader, general SEO audit to highlight on-page, off-page, and technical issues that may be impacting your rankings. This will include looking at… 

  • Keyword Ranking: Evaluating how well your website ranking for its target keywords and identifying opportunities for improvement. This involves looking at what keywords your website is currently ranking for, their positions in the SERPs, and potential keywords that the site could target to increase organic visibility.
  • Organic Traffic: Determining the amount of organic traffic the site receives, the sources of that traffic, and any trends or patterns in organic traffic over time. This information helps assess the effectiveness of the current SEO strategies.
  • Backlink Profile: Examining the number, quality, and relevance of external links pointing to your website. It helps identify toxic or spammy backlinks that may harm the site’s organic performance and discover opportunities for building high-quality backlinks to improve rankings.
  • Technical Aspects: Assessing the website’s technical infrastructure to uncover any issues that may hinder search engine crawling and indexing. Resolving these technical issues will positively impact organic performance.
Technical optimization of a website graphic

What Is a Technical SEO Audit?

A technical SEO audit focuses purely on the technical aspects of search engine optimization and enables website owners to resolve potential performance issues that could negatively affect their search engine rankings. 

With expert knowledge, our in-house team of technical SEO auditors will assess every aspect of your website to pinpoint optimization opportunities that will improve your rankings and increase online visibility.

While a technical SEO audit helps to improve your site’s search performance, this isn’t the only benefit on offer. As many aspects of technical SEO are concerned with enhancing user experience (UX), optimizing your site using the results of an audit will not only lead to higher rankings, but also help you increase conversion and retention rates. 

Consider page speed, for example. 

Users also expect fast-loading websites, meaning that slow speeds can also lead to high bounce rates and poor engagement. From a technical SEO perspective, search engines prioritize websites that load quickly because they enhance website UX and they want to provide their users with the best search experience.

How to Perform a Technical SEO Audit

Knowing how to perform a technical SEO audit enables you to consistently optimize your site for enhanced search performance and ensures that you can obtain and retain high rankings

Below, we cover some of the most important aspects covered by a technical SEO audit service:

1. Crawlability Analysis

Search engines crawl websites and index pages so that they can be displayed on search results pages. If a page can’t be crawled, it generally cannot be indexed, so it won’t be shown on SERPs. Furthermore, search engines ascertain what a page is about (and, therefore) when to show it in search results by crawling. This means that the ‘crawlability’ of your web pages is critical to your SEO rankings. 

As part of a technical SEO audit, we will identify and address any crawlability or indexability issues such as:

  • Broken links: Hyperlinks on a website that lead to non-existent or inaccessible pages, resulting in an error message or a “404 Not Found” status code.
  • URL redirects: The process of forwarding one URL to another, often used to redirect users and search engines from an old URL to a new one, typically with a “301 Moved Permanently” status code.
  • Blocked resources: Web page elements, such as images, CSS files, or JavaScript files, that are prevented from being crawled or accessed by search engine bots due to directives in the website’s robots.txt file or server configuration
  • Robots.txt file misconfigurations: Errors or issues in the robots.txt file, which is a text file placed in a website’s root directory to provide instructions to search engine crawlers, potentially leading to unintended blocking or allowing access to certain areas of the site.

By rectifying crawlability issues, you can ensure that all the web pages you want to be displayed via SERPs are indexable. The volume of organic traffic, therefore, reaching your site will increase.

2. Site Architecture Review

A well-structured website plays a crucial role in user experience and search engine visibility. Our experts will review your site’s architecture, organizing content into logical categories, optimizing internal linking, and refining hierarchy to enhance both usability and SEO.

Your website’s architecture should be easy to follow and simple to navigate. Imagine your site’s architecture by picturing the homepage as the main pillar, with top-level menus leading to lower-level sub-menus. In turn, these sub-menus lead to individual pages, such as product pages or blog posts. 

However, many websites have an unnecessarily complicated structure (or no structure at all!). and this architecture means that it’s harder for search engines and users to navigate their content. This negatively impacts both the user’s ability to navigate your website (UX) and search engine crawlers’ ability to crawl your website (SEO).

Website structure graphic

3. URL Optimization

When you’re creating a new web page (or updating an existing page), it’s important to pay attention to the URL. If your URLs don’t contain your target keywords or are complex, this will lower your rankings. Furthermore, mismatched URLs can dissuade users from clicking on links and can, therefore, disrupt the customer journey. 

If you’re running a fashion eCommerce website, for example, a product category page with the following URL:

https://www.online-shop.ae/shoes/sneakers

is far more SEO-friendly and clickable than:

https://www.online-shop.ae/products/32945.htm

While this may seem a relatively simple way of boosting SEO rankings and enhancing the usability of a website, it’s something that many site owners overlook and an element that is always identified as part of a technical SEO audit.

Here are some best practices to follow when deciding on your URL:

  • Incorporate descriptive keywords.
  • Avoid excessive parameters.
  • Use hyphens for word separation.
  • Ensure a consistent URL structure throughout your website.

4. Page Speed

Since 2015, page speed has been an extremely important Google ranking factor.

Equally, even a delay of a second or two can drastically increase your bounce rate and decrease your conversion rate. This makes page speed a top priority if you want to retain users and increase your rankings.

As part of a technical SEO audit service, page speed should be analyzed, but the factors affecting page speeds should also be assessed. This will tell you not only how long it takes your web pages to load, but why. With this information, you’ll be able to increase page speeds by resolving these specific issues.

Here are a few things you can do which will typically reduce page speed:

  • Compressing images
  • Minifying HTML code
  • Enabling browser caching
  • Improving server response time

Core Web Vitals

Intricately linked to page speed and website performance, Core Web Vitals (CWV) are a set of three user experience metrics that were introduced as a Google ranking factor in 2021. Google prioritizes websites that pass the CWV “test” in the SERP.

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): LCP measures the loading performance of a web page by determining the time taken for the largest content element (such as an image or text block) to become visible within the viewport. It helps assess how quickly users can see the main content and is considered good when it occurs within the first 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load.
  • First Input Delay (FID): FID evaluates the interactivity of a web page by measuring the time between a user’s first interaction (E.G. clicking a button or selecting a dropdown) and the browser’s response. It indicates the responsiveness of the page and is considered good when it is less than 100 milliseconds, ensuring users can smoothly interact with the website.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): CLS measures the visual stability of a web page by calculating the amount of unexpected layout shifts that occur during the page load. A layout shift happens when elements on the page move unexpectedly, causing frustration for users. CLS is considered good when it is less than 0.1, ensuring a visually stable browsing experience.

A technical SEO audit will assess how your website performs in relation to the Core Web Vitals and, in turn, what you can do to improve your LCP, FID, and/or CLS.

Side note: Google recently announced that Interaction to Next Paint (INP) will replace FID as a Core Web Vitals metric in 2024. INP assesses webpage responsiveness using the Event Timing API, measuring the latency of user interactions and reporting a single value representing the threshold for most interactions.

5. Mobile Responsiveness

Now that mobile traffic accounts for over half of all online traffic, it’s more important than ever that your website is ‘mobile-friendly’. Not to mention, Google now uses “mobile-first” indexing, meaning the mobile version of a website is the primary basis for determining rankings. 

The wide variety of mobile devices means that users could be viewing your website on virtually any screen size and ‘mobile responsiveness’ refers to how effectively your site’s layout and content can be delivered across these mediums. 

As you might imagine, mobile responsiveness has a significant impact on the user experience (UX). If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, users won’t remain on your site when browsing via a mobile device, but you won’t achieve high SEO rankings either, even for desktop searches. 

We analyze your website’s mobile compatibility and recommend employing responsive design principles, thus ensuring seamless user experiences across all screen sizes.

Mobile graphic

6. Schema Markup

Schema markup is a form of structured data that allows information to be displayed in a consistent format across web pages and websites. By using structured data on your site, you can ensure that data can be easily accessed by search engines. This means that search engines will be able to crawl your site more effectively and determine when its content is relevant to users. 

Your web pages will, therefore, rank higher and do so for more relevant search terms when using schema markup within your HTML code. However, any errors or inconsistencies in the schema markup will mean that you miss out on the SEO benefits it offers. 

Although schema markup can (and should) be used on a variety of different types of websites, it’s particularly beneficial on eCommerce websites. By using schema markup to format product information and descriptions, for example, you can boost the rankings of your product pages. In other words, web pages will be displayed on SERPs when users are searching for the products you’re selling. 

Unfortunately, many businesses negatively influence their SEO performance because of common schema markup errors, such as:

  • Leaving out required fields
  • Using invalid values
  • Providing inconsistent information 
  • Leaving a negative value in the ‘ratingCount’ property

A technical SEO audit will ensure that schema markup errors are identified and resolved swiftly, so that your SEO rankings benefit from using structured data on your site.

7. XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap tells search engines which web pages to crawl and index, so it should contain any pages that you want to appear on search engine results pages. With access to your XML sitemap, it’s easier for search engines to access your content, which increases the likelihood of your web pages ranking highly for target keywords. 

However, XML sitemaps can seem complex at first, particularly because of the XML language that they use. For example, every XML sitemap should tell the search engine they are reading an XML file in the following way:

?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?

Following this, your website will feature multiple entries with relevant tags, including:

  • loc
  • lastmod
  • priority
  • changefreq

If you don’t have technical knowledge and practical experience, creating and reviewing a sitemap can seem daunting. Fortunately, our technical SEO audit service includes a review of your XML sitemap, so we will identify any potential errors and provide guidance on how to fix them.

8. Canonicalization Review

There are times when it makes sense to have duplicate or similar content on your website, such as when you’re targeting different target audiences with comparable service or product information. However, having duplicate or similar content on your site can damage your SEO performance, if you don’t use canonical tags to tell search engines which is the ‘master version’.  

By using canonical tags, you can ensure that the master version or priority page is shown in search engine results when users input a related search query. 

Although canonical tags are an important way of differentiating between duplicate or similar content, this is something that many site owners overlook or apply incorrectly. As a result, your SEO rankings could be negatively impacted because you’re not telling Google which version of your content should be shown on SERPs.

Duplicate content graphic

Canonicalization Example

Suppose the e-commerce store has a product called “ABC Widget” and it is available in different variations, each with its own unique URL. For example:

  • www.examplestore.com/products/abc-widget-blue
  • www.examplestore.com/products/abc-widget-red
  • www.examplestore.com/products/abc-widget-green

While each variation of the product has its own dedicated page, the content on these pages might be very similar or even identical, except for the color mentioned in the URL. This can lead to duplicate content issues in search engine rankings.

To address this, canonicalization can be applied by specifying a canonical URL to indicate the preferred version of the page. In this case, the e-commerce store can set the canonical tag on all the product variation pages to point to the canonical URL of the main product page:

link rel=”canonical” href=”www.examplestore.com/products/abc-widget”

By doing this, search engines understand that the variations are essentially the same product and should be consolidated under the canonical URL. This helps to consolidate ranking signals, avoid duplicate content penalties, and ensure that the preferred version of the product page receives proper search engine visibility.

Book a Technical SEO Audit

Conducting a technical SEO audit as part of a larger, general SEO audit is an effective way to ensure the functionality of your website isn’t negatively impacting your organic performance.

Performed by our team of search engine specialists, Trafiki provides a comprehensive technical SEO audit service that helps to pinpoint issues with your site’s functionality and provide actionable solutions to enhance performance.

Once complete, your technical SEO audit will give you the basis for an enhanced search engine optimization strategy that increases your rankings, drives organic traffic to your site, and fixes a low conversion rate.

To find out more, book a 30-minute consultation with one of our experts today and discover how we can take your business to the next level.

2023-06-08T16:32:45+00:00May 26th, 2023|Blog|

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