Want to Perform a Technical SEO Audit: Use These 3 Tools

January 11, 2019

Computer SEO Audit

While digital marketing continues to change and new digital channels continue to emerge, search engine optimization (SEO) remains a critical aspect of the digital presence of any business.

There are several techniques to optimize a website’s ranking on major search engines such as Google and Bing, and one of the most effective ways is improving the technical infrastructure and elements such as CSS and JavaScript codes of a website.

If you’re looking for ways to improve the technical structure and codes of your website, explore these three tools:

1. Chrome Web Developers Plugin

This is a Google Chrome add-on that allows you to see how your website functions with JavaScript disabled. Why is it important to see how your site functions when JavaScript is disabled? Because industry experts believe that Googlebots aren’t effective at crawling content that’s written in JavaScript. This means that if there’s important information on your website that’s written within JavaScript scripts, there’s a chance that Google can’t crawl it to rank your website based on the keywords in the content.

John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, shared such an insight in a recent webinar. In his webinar, he states that websites should be written in HTML in order for it to be indexed quickly. Why? Because when Google crawls and indexes a webpage, it does it in two passes. The first pass only crawls the HTML version of the site. Sometime later, the Googlebot crawls the remainder of the site; there’s no fixed time frame between the first and second pass. It could be days or weeks.

This means if there’s important information written in client-side JavaScript, it may not get indexed until the second pass, which could be a few weeks after the information has been published on the website. Yikes!

A simple way to determine whether important content is written in JavaScript is to download the Chrome Web Developers plugin and then use the plugin to turn off JavaScript on your browser. See if important info still appears on the home page.

 

Once the add-on is downloaded, click on the tool and select disable JavaScript.

After disabling JavaScript, refresh the page and see if there’s any content that’s missing.

Using BCAMA.com as an example, you can see that important content still renders when JavaScript is disabled and that the drop-down still works.

Good job!

2. Mobile-Friendly Test

Most digital marketing professionals know that this Google-powered tool lets marketers determine whether it is mobile-friendly (or responsive) by showing the markup codes, or how Googlebot sees the website.

What marketers may not know is that the tool also lets you see how Google crawls a webpage.

Perform a manual audit using this tool to see important information such as the heading or certain targeted keywords in the source code from Googlebot’s perspective.

3. W3C Validator

World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, is an international organization that sets standards for HTML, CSS and other web technologies. For example, W3C has set the standard that paragraphs should to be in paragraph tags: <p></p>.

W3C offers a tool called the W3C Validator that validates whether the HTML markup or CSS of a website is valid or written correctly.  By entering a website in the validator, you can see if the website has some markup errors.

Use W3C Validator to identify and fix error codes on your website so Googlebot can crawl your web page more easily. More, removing error codes on your website can improve your website page speed, since there are fewer codes on your website. As you may already know, website page speed is a crucial component of a site’s search ranking.

There you have it: three simple but effective tools that you can use to perform a technical SEO audit and improve your search ranking!

By using the tools to ensure that important content on your website isn’t written in JavaScript, that content is correctly indexed by Google, and that HTML markup errors are fixed or removed, you’ll help Google crawl and index your website more easily – which increases the chance of improving your site’s search ranking!

If you’ve enjoyed this read, take a look at other marketing tips and tricks.

Written by Ray Wang