Does Your Eyecare Website Pass a Technical SEO Audit? Find Out Now.
By Practice Growth August 06, 2020
ECPs can benefit significantly from an SEO-optimized website. Having search engines favor your eyecare website means more traffic, which results in more patients.
But how do you know if your website is optimized?
That’s where a technical SEO audit comes into play. While the term itself might sound complicated, the actual practice is anything but. SEO audits are all about checking a few essential boxes to make sure that there are no costly errors.
If you want to perform a technical SEO audit, here are some of the main steps to follow:
1. Check Your XML Sitemap Status
Your XML sitemap is highly important, as search engine crawlers use it to find your pages. If they can’t do this properly, the engine won’t rank you high in search results. Because of this, your site’s XML sitemap must check a few crucial boxes.
First, you must submit it to your Google Search Console. You can use the Google Search Console Sitemaps tools to do it. Of course, before you submit it, check to see if the sitemap follows the appropriate XML format.
Also, make sure that all the pages of your site are updated in the sitemap. You can (and should) follow the XML sitemap protocol for this, so take a closer look.
2. Check Your Site’s Load Time
Ever since Google rolled out the mobile-first indexing, a website’s load time became an extremely important factor of SEO. Yet, SEMrush, a SEO tools platform, shows that over 23% of all websites have slow load times.
Of course, this is also important to your users. Slow loading times are among the most common reasons why someone leaves a website. Because of this, you need to make sure that your site loads quickly and correctly.
Figuring out your site’s loading speed is quite easy. All you have to do is go to Google’s PageSpeed Insights, enter your URL, and Google will calculate the load time for both desktop and mobile browsing.
It would be best if your load time doesn’t go over 3 seconds. If it’s longer than that, it’s a clear sign that you should make some adjustments to your website and remove the elements that take too long to load.
3. See if There are any 404s
We’ve all seen the 404 error appear on a webpage. It means that a page no longer exists, or it’s been moved to a different location.
Now, this can sometimes happen by accident. For instance, you might change your URL’s destination but forgot to change the existing hyperlinks.
No matter the cause, 404s can knock your rankings lower. They can happen quite often too, especially if your site is large and has a complex architecture.
Scraping your site to look for 404s is a necessary part of an SEO audit. To do it, you can use tools like Moz and SEO Spider. The latter is a better option if you don’t want to pay for a subscription.
For pages that register as a 404 because they no longer exist, make sure to have a unique and interesting landing page. Encourage visitors to check the rest of your website or related topics.
And for permanently moved pages, the best thing you can do is to set up 301 redirects. They will send the visitor to the correct location and transfer the original page’s ranking to it. If needed, you can set multiple redirects pointing to one page.
4. Make Sure Your Pages Are Indexed
The worst thing that you can do is to assume that Google is automatically indexing your pages. You must turn this option on. Otherwise, there’s no point in working on your SEO.
Luckily, it’s easy to check if Google is indexing your pages. Just go to Google and search for “site:yourwebsite.com.” Don’t add a space between the colon and your site address.
You should see your page as the first result. If it’s not there, you might be receiving a penalty or you’re blocking Google’s indexing. Alternatively, though this is extremely rare, there might be a specific landing page with such strong SEO that it outperforms you.
If you notice that your website ranks in the low end, it means that your SEO could use some work. Make it your mission to use all the information obtained from your SEO audit to correct all mistakes. This will make your site more SEO-friendly. You don’t have to be at 100% to get amazing results, but you need to fix as much as you can in your technical SEO audit.
5. Uncover Missing Meta Descriptions, Keywords, and Titles
While it’s not the only factor, your on-site SEO can make or break your rankings. Because of this, you need to make sure that it’s on point.
An excellent place to start is by looking at your titles and meta descriptions. Do they all include the target keyword? Does the meta description match the topic that your content is covering? Are you using long-tail keywords?
These are some of the many questions that you must answer when performing an SEO audit. Even though Google has evolved far beyond keyword matching, it’s still a hallmark for good SEO. Check your keywords, titles, and meta description, and make sure that they follow good SEO practices.
Step Up Your SEO Game
If you haven’t already, you’ll want to perform a technical SEO audit as soon as possible. Even if you work with a SEO company, run these tests yourself and see your current status. Don’t get caught up in the jargon. You can look up any definitions on Google and get a decent enough grasp to have an informed discussion. Otherwise, you might be wasting a lot of traffic without knowing why. A thorough audit can ensure that your website meets all the criteria of your favored search engine, increasing your chances of ranking high.
This is low hanging fruit in the world of SEO. Developing quality and consistent content are much more difficult. With technical SEO, you have an objective, clearly defined target with clear solutions. You can learn to do this on your own or find a SEO pro to help your practice, but don’t put it off.
We’ve listed some of the main steps your practice should be taking today to improve your technical SEO . This isn’t an exhaustive list. However, if you follow the steps above and fix any errors that you uncover, you should see significant improvements to your traffic. Keep tweaking your site and working on SEO, and the results will be more than worth the effort.