Comprehensive Technical SEO Checklist

Comprehensive Technical SEO Checklist

During my time with California SEO Agency, I have audited many websites. While it seems like every website presents a new problem, most sites have the same problems.

It is difficult enough to develop and manage a website. But you must also consider search engine optimization. SEO best practices can be confusing for anyone involved in designing or developing a site. Although a few mistakes here and there won’t necessarily ruin your SEO strategy, even small errors can quickly add up. Here’s a Comprehensive Technical SEO Checklist

Sitemap and Robots.txt Errors

The most common problem I encounter when auditing sites, is a sitemap that’s missing from the robots.txt or not being generated.

Sitemap.xml and robots.txt are files that Google uses to better understand and index your website. While it isn’t much you can do to force Google to index your website, ensuring that your robots.txt and sitemap.xml are correctly generated and submitted will help you get one step closer to being ranked for the terms you desire.


Why not have a sitemap instead?

Sitemaps are not required, but they help Google navigate and index your most important content. It’s like giving search engines a map that clearly shows what they should index. After you have created your sitemap, it can be submitted directly to Google Search Console for indexing.


Your robots.txt tells crawlers how you want your site crawled. This file acts like a directory and indicates which pages you wish to have crawled. Your sitemap should be added to robots.txt for search engine bots to easily crawl it.

How to fix Sitemap and Robots.txt errors

A plugin such as Yoast SEO or All-In-One SEO is the best way to create a sitemap and robots.txt if you don’t have one.

You will need to add your sitemap to robots.txt if it isn’t already.

After you have created or modified your sitemap, submit it to Google Search Console.


Missing or multiple H1s

Pages and posts often lack H1 tags. Some pieces of content may have more than one. Both can be problematic.

Every page and every post should have one H1 heading. Google can better understand your site’s structure and content by using H1 tags. To highlight the main topic, it is important to include your keywords in these headings. Your H1 can be thought of as a newspaper headline. It clearly defines the objective and topic of your content.

It is a matter of debate whether multiple H1s are a problem for your site’s SEO. Google is smart enough to crawl your site and understand it with multiple H1s. However, it is best to make things as clear as possible. You’re not just optimizing for Google; you are optimizing also for your users!


How to fix multiple H1s missing or duplicate

The problem will determine how time-consuming the project will be. You might have H1s on all pages if you leave a comment or if something in your menu contains H1 classes. It’s easy to fix if this happens if you have global templates.


Broken Links

Broken links are a common problem on almost every website I audit. These broken links happen quite often and accumulate over time. It could be that you have deleted a page without adding a redirect. You may have added an external link and the page to which it links is now broken.

It is best to keep an eye on broken links. They can be extremely frustrating for users and are a major problem. It’s frustrating for users to click on links only to have them broken. Users may abandon your website due to such incidents and might not want to return.

SEO is also affected by what’s not good for users. A website that has a lot of visitors can indicate a poor user experience. Google wants sites with the best user experience to be displayed to users. Broken links can impact your link equity which is an important ranking factor.


How to fix broken links

You’ll first need to locate broken links. SEMrush and Ahrefs are good options. You may also consider getting a free broken link checking tool if you don’t have an account.

Once you have found them, you will need to find another similar page and add the 301 redirects.


Pages load too slowly

Another problem that I frequently encounter is slow loading speed. A site that loads slowly is not something anyone wants to do. Poor site performance can result in a higher bounce rate. Google is aware of this and has made page speed a key ranking factor for Google since 2010.

Slow loading times are often caused by unminified JavaScript or CSS files. Also, large images can be detrimental. These are not only important for design and development but they can also hurt your SEO performance. To provide the best experience and rank for the correct keywords, it’s crucial to strike a balance among these elements.


How to fix pages with the poor load speed

Optimize your images and reduce your code. Browser caching and lazy loading might be an option to ensure that your site loads only what is necessary.

You can find page speed issues by running your site through Pingdom or GTmetrix. You will also be given suggestions on how to speed up your site.


Images are not available with alt text

Alt text on images serves two functions: it improves accessibility and gives you the opportunity to show the relevance of your images. You are not taking advantage of these opportunities if you don’t have alt texts on images.

Alt text’s primary purpose is to provide a better user experience, particularly for visually impaired individuals. For those who cannot see the image clearly, the text describes it.

Alt text can be used to increase accessibility and improve Google’s view of your site. Google will be able to identify the alt tag and make it easier to find it. Google can understand the meaning of an image and will offer it to users in image search results.

Image SEO may not be a priority for your business. Jumpshot data for 2018 shows that Google Image Search was responsible for over 22% of all internet search results.


How to add alt text to images

Although this is simple, you may find it time-consuming to add alt text to each image on your website. WordPress’ image library allows you to easily scroll through images and add alt tags if necessary.


Meta Descriptions that are missing or duplicate

Non-SEOs can overlook meta descriptions. Many people copy and paste meta descriptions from other sites to ensure that all pages and posts contain the same. Some people may not include them at all.

However, meta descriptions are well worth the time spent. These descriptions are the first thing a user will see when they scroll through search results. Google might pull one paragraph from your content if you don’t have one. It’s possible that search engines may not see the content you want. Duplicate meta descriptions may not be relevant to your content if they are. This could mean that users may not click on your pages.


How to add or replace duplicate meta descriptions

A plugin like Yoast SEO or All-In-One SEO is the best way to accomplish this. You can create your meta descriptions by installing this plugin. Yoast’s plugin allows you to view (and modify) your meta descriptions in bulk. This makes it faster than scrolling from one page to the next.


Duplicate Content

Some pages or posts may have duplicate content. This could be because you accidentally published the same post twice or that you created an updated post but didn’t delete the previous one.

Duplicate content can be a problem for several reasons. Duplicate content can lead to Google penalization. Keyword cannibalization is another potential problem. This happens when two pieces of content are optimized for the same keywords and rank lower than each other.


How to fix duplicate content

You can trust 301 redirects. You can redirect the content you don’t want to keep to your main site, and then you can delete the pages or posts that you have redirected.


Make technical SEO a priority

Are there any of these issues on your website? These issues are critical if you want your SEO to be successful and improve the user experience. You can’t offer a positive user experience if you have errors like slow loading speeds, broken links, missing text, and many more.

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