A Basic (Yet Powerful) Technical SEO Audit for Beginners

By | August 10, 2019


Technical SEO audits are very important. But for a beginner to SEO, they can be extremely
daunting. So in this video, I’m going to break down
a super basic, yet powerful SEO audit that you can use to find some seriously weird technical
SEO issues on your website. Stay tuned. [music] What’s up SEOs? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that
helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. Now, a few weeks ago, I posted a question
on our YouTube community board asking our subscribers to submit their website if they
wanted us to feature it in this video. So I dug through a bunch of your submissions
and congratulations to S Krag of centralparktutors.com and Jim Miller of xs-stock.co.uk. I found a bunch of technical SEO issues with
your websites. Don’t worry guys… you’re not alone. A lot of popular websites, even in the marketing
niche, have some seriously weird technical SEO issues. And the only tool that you need to find and fix
these errors is Google. Now, before we dive into the tutorial, I want
to give a huge shoutout to Glen Allsop from detailed.com, who shared a bunch of these tips with us. So make sure to check out his site… seriously
solid stuff. Alright, so let’s break down example site
#1 that we’re analyzing. Central Park Tutors is a group of teachers
and parents who provide private tutoring services in NYC. According to Ahrefs Site Explorer, the website
gets around 500 organic search visitors per month and Google has indexed around 400 pages. So the first thing I’m going to do is type
in their domain in the browser. And you can see that they’re using the unsecure,
non-www version of the website. And of course, we should check for the www version too. And it looks like the redirect is good. So I’ll check the HTTPs version now. And it looks like this one loads without a
redirect. And I’ll check the secure www version,
which then redirects to the secure URL without the www. So the first thing you’re going to want to
do is to create the proper redirects and choose one version. So I would recommend consolidating to the https
domain version, which will be applied to every individual page on your website in addition
to the homepage. Now let’s get to our search queries. First, we’ll enter in “site:centralparktutors.com”,
which will look for all indexed pages on this domain and then we’ll add “inurl:www”, which
will look for any indexed pages that contain www within the URL. And everything looks good here. Now, I’ll modify this query a bit and change
this last part to “-inurl:https”, which will look for unsecure versions of the pages that
are indexed. And there are around 164 results here. So I’ll click on this one and indeed, it does
not redirect to the secure version. In fact, this page looks a little bit strange,
because it has a random link to a Money Coach, some kind of Swiss website, and a Winnipeg driving
school. That doesn’t really make much sense to me, so I’m
led to believe that your site has been hacked. Alright, let’s go back to our search query,
and remove the minus sign to look for secure URLs that are in Google’s index. And testing this URL, there is no redirect
either and a bunch of interesting links here too. Now, if you find that your website is having
similar issues, then I highly recommend fixing these before continuing on with this tutorial. So I’ll switch gears here and analyze another
one of our subscribers’ websites called xs-stock.co.uk. Now, this is a family-run business based in
Scotland selling discount items. They have an e-commerce store as well as a
massive 25,000-square foot retail warehouse. And according to Ahrefs Site Explorer, the
website gets around 11,000 organic search visitors per month and Google UK has indexed
around 6,700 pages. I’ve already tested all redirect versions
and all seem good as well as the other queries we had done before. So this time, I’ll start off with just the
“site:xs-stock.co.uk” query. Now from here, I’ll just kind of skim through
the results to look for potential issues. And I actually don’t even need to scroll down
because there’s one thing that I notice immediately. Most of the pages actually have “XS-Stock.com”
in their title, when the website actually uses the .co.uk TLD. Now, while this particular issue is more for
branding, it creates incongruence between the title and domain, which may affect click-through
rates. In other times, you’ll see templates that
have just gone completely wrong. So I’ll modify our query and add “intitle:xs-stock.com”. And you’ll see hundreds of pages where the
title tags need to be updated to reflect the correct domain. Now the thing with technical SEO is that as
you discover one problem, you’ll start to discover others. So if we go to xs-stock.com, you’ll see that
they’ve redirected the homepage to their “.co.uk” domain. Great! But let’s see if any pages from their .com version are still indexed. So I’ll enter in “site:xs-stock.com”, and you’ll
see over one hundred results. Clicking through, you’ll notice that they
haven’t redirected all pages yet since this URL still loads. Let’s go back to the original Google SERP
and, as we start to scroll down, you’ll start seeing some other technical issues that are
worth investigating like empty meta descriptions, truncated title tags, some pagination issues,
and likely faceted navigation issues too. For example, we could take the “page” parameter
and change our query a bit by adding “inurl:page”. And you’ll see about one hundred pages that
are indexed here. And there’s another URL parameter called “sort,”
which they probably wouldn’t want indexed here either. And the list, I’m sure, will go on, particularly
since it’s an e-commerce website where it’s really easy to make technical SEO mistakes. Now, if you’re using WordPress, then you can
search for a whole bunch of common footprints like “site:yourdomain.com”, then add “inurl:
tag”, or “author”, or “page”, which will help find pages that you may want to noindex. Or you can look for weird ones like this: site:domain.com inurl:welcome-to-wordpress
OR inurl:hello-world which will show you if a site still has the
default pages from the initial WordPress install. You could also do something like site:domain.com
“lorem ipsum,” to find any pages that are indexed by Google that are still using dummy
text. To be sure, look at the meta description to
see if the whole dummy text is being used on the page. One last tip I want to share with you is for
the privacy of your assets, employees, and clients. And that’s to do a site search for your domain
and then to add “filetype:pdf” or whatever file extension you want to search. Now the PDFs here on Ahrefs aren’t that exciting,
but through my research, I’ve found organizations that are uploading employee salaries, home
addresses, and other personal details that are worth deleting. As you can see, you don’t need any fancy tools
to run a basic SEO audit. So I encourage you to do this not just for
your own site, but if you’re an agency, you can use these queries to find prospects for
new business. Now, the downside to using Google alone is
that they don’t always recrawl these so-called “meaningless” pages frequently and the results
can be quite messy. Now a few good things about using tools like
Ahrefs Site Audit is that: #1. You can get fresh data since you would run
the crawl on demand. And #2. Our tool automatically searches for over
100 common technical SEO issues, that you can’t quite find using Google alone like 301
redirects or 404 broken pages, unless you want to click through to each page. So from our Site Audit, you can see that we
found 276 300-series redirects and 30 404 pages. #3. You can automatically monitor the technical
SEO health of your website through scheduled weekly crawls. And #4. You can use Data Explorer to create your own
custom queries to find issues that wouldn’t apply to every site. For example, if I wanted to look for pages
that include “XS-Stock.com” in their title tag, then I could run a custom query to look
for internal HTML pages that return a 200 response code with titles that contain “XS-Stock.com”. From here, I could export all of the URLs
and have someone else update the affected pages or send it to a developer to fix the
template. So while you might want to go and build links
or create content, make sure that your website’s rankings aren’t hindered by basic technical
SEO mistakes because they’re super important and quite easy to fix for the most part. Now, if you enjoyed this video, make sure
to like, share, and subscribe. And if you want to see more technical SEO
videos, then let us know in the comments. So keep grinding away, don’t ignore your technical
SEO, and I’ll see you in the next tutorial.

37 thoughts on “A Basic (Yet Powerful) Technical SEO Audit for Beginners

  1. Renish TW Post author

    Very good video Sam.
    Btw how to remove the http versions of pages that are indexed in the search.

    Reply
  2. Alexandr Belkot Post author

    Hello Sam
    .
    This is amazing

    I just wanted to write and ask you about creating a technical SEO audit,

    and then "Boom!" it is already there!

    I am your fan!

    Thank you Sam, I am waiting for further episodes. "A Basic (Yet Powerful) Technical SEO Audit for – Professionals"

    Reply
  3. Luke HIckman Post author

    Great video! I wanted to ask if you had any videos on JavaScript & SEO? Couldn't find any whilst looking through the channel. I have read quite a few articles about it recently and would like to know your stance on how to test/audit for JavaScript.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Alejandro S Post author

    Great idea! I will practice this hack. Thanks for sharing such a valuable information

    Reply
  5. Memes Of Mirzapur Post author

    Hey Sam OH sir please analyse my site which is https://www.armanism.com
    Please suggest me any error with my side i have analyse all things as i possible so please sir

    Reply
  6. Yogesh Gautam Post author

    This video was helpful. Please make a video covering technical issues in Google search console.

    Reply
  7. Bostjan Tanko Post author

    How do you set up to noindex this pagination "/page/30/?cat=-1" Thanks.

    Reply
  8. Neo Post author

    I've mentioned this before but this channel has such great content. I've been a user of SEMrush for a while now and I only wish they had good content like this. Which is so surprising because they are so big. They have a weird youtube channel, which I hardly ever watch. But this channel, I'm always watching and always wondering if I should or how I could move my clients over to Ahrefs. Excellent content as always!

    Reply
  9. Lalit Soni Post author

    bro, how to remove that brand name in every title of all wordpress posts?

    Reply
  10. Parampreet Chanana Post author

    Hi , i check your videos regularly, you doing great work! Have a problem with something in my website but dont know what

    These pages are 3-4 months old and they not ranked in even top 100 of long tail keywords…

    best packers and movers in delhi

    In long term i want to rank for packers and movers in delhi

    Here is the page..

    https://www.reviewsxp.com/packers-and-movers/in/delhi

    I think, there is some
    on page issue but don't know what i tried a lot but couldn't find.. please help

    Reply
  11. Paromita Das Post author

    Hi I have done everything but my site not ranking . my website is https://www.paromitadas.com

    Reply
  12. GAYAN SAGAR Post author

    nice video
    i am indian. i want to get traffick from us , u.k etc . how can i get this .

    Reply
  13. Ultimohub Post author

    Hello Sam, thanks for such a great explanation. I have a query, please can you help me?
    Based on your video, when I tried doing the same audit to me site with "site:ultimohub.com", I get 177 google pages in search result. When I do the same with "site:ultimohub.com inurl:www", I get 189 in google pages in search result. Is this okay? or something wrong? Is there any duplicates happening?

    Reply
  14. Protechlists starmerx Post author

    Hi Sam

    So when you find URLs which shouldn't be indexed (e.g. www versions and http versions) what do you do with them? 301 redirect?

    Reply
  15. MD Toufik Ahmed Post author

    Wow! really very nice this tutorials for SEO…
    Thanks Sam!

    Reply
  16. Stanimir Mihov Post author

    Very good video, greatly appreciated. I have question: I wrote site:stanimirmihov.com inurl:tag (I knew I'm ranking tags) – some of them are just 1-2 articles in single tag and others are single page, created from single image from WordPress.

    I think such results increase my bounce rate a lot and make people that visit my site overall unhappy. What is the best way to deal with this situation?

    P.S. Youtube SEO Advice from me: Have 1 pinned comment with top keyword and call to action in each video

    Reply
  17. Cue View Post author

    Hi again!

    Why dont you want index tag, author, or page pages?

    BTW look what I found 🙂

    https://www.google.com/search?q=site:backlinko.com+inurl:page&client=firefox-b-ab&filter=0&biw=1440&bih=798

    Reply
  18. Arian Bagheri Post author

    Mate , you are the end, thanks for this great video (i don't get it i see 6 dislikes |: )

    Reply
  19. Sortlist Post author

    like it! thanks!😁 We also publish videos about SEO! Could you give me some feedback? Thank you! 😀

    Xavier‍🚀

    Reply
  20. Beauty Slogan Post author

    Thanks Sam
    Can you make a 2nd video for Technical SEO like (status code – 301, 200) or how to move all backlink old to new site. I will wait for your response
    Thanks

    Reply
  21. Paul Argueta Post author

    Thanks for sharing. Digital marketing & SEO work. Most people don't have the patience or take the time to learn it, let alone wait for the results. It's like planting seeds and farming.

    Reply
  22. myjobs webmaster Post author

    hi sam , i like your video , can u make a video on how to email backlink of the competatiors step by step, as not technical guru. thanks much helpful for backlinks

    Reply
  23. myjobs webmaster Post author

    u speak bit faster , hard to catch up as we are still learning, hope u understand other listeners not technical savy as you

    Reply
  24. UK visa Post author

    in this video what beginners tip you have given totally bullshit

    Reply

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