Technical SEO Checklist for Beginners

28. Nov 2018

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Technical SEO Checklist for Beginners

  1. Bristol SEO Meetup Technical SEO Audit for Beginners
  2. About Me • Digital Marketing Executive at Edico Media • 4 years experience in SEO & PPC • Started Bristol SEO Meetup Follow Me • @FayeWatt • @BristolSEOMeet •
  3. About Edico Media • Bristol-based Digital Agency • Specialises in: • Digital marketing management (SEO, PPC, CRO, Social) • Web application development and infrastructure • Digital/development strategy and consulting Follow Us • @edicomedia •
  4. Technical SEO Audit • Tools • Robots.txt • Index • Sitemap • HTTP Status Codes • 404 Page • HTTPS • Redirect Errors • Page Speed • Structured data • Mobile-Friendly
  5. SEO Tools • Screaming Frog – Web Crawler • Ahrefs – Inbound Links • SEMrush – Site Audit • Redirect Path – HTTP Header & Redirect Checker • GTMetrix – Site Speed • TinyPNG • CSS Minifier
  6. Robots.txt Robots.txt file indicates whether web robots, usually search engine robots, can or cannot crawl specific parts of a website. By using the disallow directive, you can block search engines from crawling specific pages on your website, such as your staging site. • Accidently blocking important URLs • Blocking the entire website Common mistakes:
  7. Examples of Robots.txt Blocking all web robots from crawling your entire website: User-agent: * Disallow: / Blocking Google’s search engine robot from crawling a specific URL: User-agent: Googlebot Disallow: /example-subfolder/
  8. Index Review how your website is indexed by search engines and identify: • How many pages are being indexed • Any missing pages • Important pages are correctly indexed • Any pages that are incorrectly indexed • Any pages incorrectly excluded by noindex meta tag Common mistakes: • Forgetting to remove the noindex meta tag on new pages
  9. Index Perform a site:search Check noindex meta tags – Screaming Frog
  10. Index Coverage Report – Google Search Console Index
  11. Index If your webpage’s have been excluded from the index: • Make sure you have removed the noindex meta tag • Inspect the URL using Google Search Console’s URL Inspection tool • Select Request Indexing • If no issues with the page are found, the page will be queued for indexing
  12. Sitemap • Ensure it is kept up-to-date and includes any new pages • Remove URLs that 404 • Remove URLs that redirect • Remove non-canonical URLs • Identify any missing URLs Use Screaming Frog to crawl the URLs in your sitemap and:
  13. URL Status Codes HTTP Status Code 3xx — Redirection • HTTP 301 Moved Permanently • HTTP 302 Temporary Redirect HTTP Status Code 4xx — Client Error • HTTP 404 Not Found Identify any internal, external, or inbound URLs that do not return a 200 status code. Common HTTP Status Codes:
  14. Internal & External Links Perform a site crawl to identify any internal or external links that results in 4xx or 3xx status • Perform a site crawl – Screaming Frog • Identify any internal or external links that result in a 4xx error • Update these links to a relevant, valid URL • Identify any internal links that result in a 3xx redirect • Update these links to avoid unnecessary redirects
  15. Inbound Links • Export your historical backlink profile from Ahrefs or Google Search Console • Upload the list of URLs to Screaming Frog • Identify URLs that return a 404 status code • Redirect these URLs to a live URL or contact site owner to update the link Export and crawl your backlink profile to identity any inbound links to URLs that return a 4xx status code:
  16. 404 Page Not Found • URLs redirect to a /page-not-found URL which returns a 200 Common mistakes: Design your 404 page so users are able to easily navigate your website: • Link back to the homepage • Provide useful links to most commonly visited pages • Consider adding a search bar • Offer contact options
  17. HTTPS • Since 2014, Google has been using HTTPS as a ranking signal. • Over 70% of Google’s page one search results are HTTPS • Google Chrome now marks all non-HTTPS as non-secure when collecting sensitive data e.g. passwords & credit card details July 2018 September 2018 October 2018
  18. Redirect Errors • HTTP to HTTPS • Non-www and www • Trailing slash and non-trailing slash • Upper and lowercase URLs If the following versions of a URL are not correctly redirected, you will create duplicate content! Example:
  19. Page Speed Page speed tools: • PageSpeed Insights • Pingdom • GTMetrix Common fixes: • Optimise images • Minify and combine your JavaScript & CSS files • Minimise use of unnecessary images • JavaScript placement • Leverage browser caching
  20. Optimise Images Compress your images to reduce their file size. Tool: TinyPNG
  21. Minify JavaScript & CSS Files Unminified CSS Minified CSS Tool: CSS Minifier
  22. Minimise use of unnecessary images Don’t use images for small icons, such as: • Magnifying glass • Arrows • Mobile menu icon • Social media logos Use a custom font instead! Font Awesome is a great resource for these.
  23. Structured Data Structured data helps search engines better understand the content on a webpage, and can enhance how your appears in the search results. Structured data can be added to several elements of a website, such as: • Logo • Social profile • Breadcrumbs • Articles • Events • Job postings • Reviews
  24. Review: Event: Job Posting:
  25. Job Posting Markup:
  26. Mobile-Friendly In April 2015, the Mobile-Friendly update was released and designed to give mobile-friendly pages a boost in the mobile SERPs. You can test how mobile-friendly your website is using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
  27. Mobile-First Index 26th March - Google announced they’ve started to migrate websites. 30th April – Webmasters receive notifications in Search Console More info:
  28. Mobile-First Index What is it? Google will crawl, index and rank your website based on the mobile- friendly version of your site, even for search results shown to desktop users.
  29. Mobile-First Best practices: • Meta data • Structured data • Hreflang • Content • Robots.txt • Page Speed • Internal Links & Navigation • Intrusive interstitials Manually review your site!
  30. Any questions? @FayeWatt
  31. Thanks for Listening! @FayeWatt @BristolSEOMeet