5 Signs You Need an SEO Technical Audit Service [Guide + Case Studies]

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Team Slam
Helping you win online

Are you having trouble getting your website to rank well in search engines? Are your analytics telling you that traffic is down or plateaued? Or maybe numbers were good for a while, then organic traffic stats took a nosedive on the charts for reasons you can’t identify. These are all signs you may need to talk to a web design and development agency with a strong SEO expertise about an SEO technical audit service.  

In this article, we’ll talk about: 

  1. What’s the Purpose of an SEO Technical Audit Service? 
  2. Who is an SEO Technical Audit Service For? 
  3. 5 Signs Your Website Needs an SEO Technical Audit Service
  4. SEO Technical Audit Service Case Studies
  5. Slam's SEO Technical Audit Service 

We’ll also discuss some technical SEO audit tools you can use to troubleshoot your website’s SEO, or to come up with solutions and strategies for improvement. 

Here at Slam Media Lab, we routinely perform technical SEO audits on our clients’ websites–so much so that we went ahead and created a Technical SEO Audit Template to systematize our workflow. Check it out to get a sense of what’s involved in the audit process! 

Ready to crush your SEO strategy?

Schedule a free consultation to go through our SEO technical audit services

What's the Purpose of an SEO Technical Audit Service?

Let’s say you run a small business–a restaurant, for the purpose of this article. You’ve had an online presence for a few months now, but your restaurant website isn’t receiving as many visitors as you’d hoped. Worse, your minimal organic traffic rarely turns into conversions. Now, you’re trying to identify the problem and figure out how to fix it. This is where an SEO technical audit service comes into the picture. 

An SEO technical audit, usually conducted by an SEO professional or design agency, is a service that helps you address and identify any on-page technical SEO issues that may be impacting how search engines view and rank your website.  

The challenges solved by technical SEO apply to larger organizations, too. For example, during a recent audit we performed for our client Kai XR, we determined that the structure of their 100+ pages was impacting their online visibility. 

Generally speaking, agencies will conduct a technical SEO audit and provide you with an agency SEO report containing a detailed analysis of the structural, content, and technical elements impacting your website’s visibility.  

The primary goal of an SEO technical audit service is to ensure your website is structured according to best practices. In the case of our example, an SEO expert might issue a series of suggestions about how to develop a small business local SEO strategy that pushes your restaurant’s website to the first page of rankings in location-specific search results.

Who is an SEO Technical Audit Service For? 

In short, an SEO technical audit service is valuable for anyone who wants to make sure their website is technically sound and optimized for search engine rankings. 

More specifically, here are a few examples of people and organizations that stand to benefit from an SEO technical audit service: 

  • Small Businesses
  • E-Commerce Businesses
  • Startups & Entrepreneurs
  • Nonprofit Agencies
  • Consultants

Technical SEO audits are for anyone with a website–new or old. However, if your website has been around for a while, it’s an especially good idea to look into an SEO technical audit service. That’s because SEO has evolved a lot in recent years, especially with the rise of new technologies like AI and voice search. 

While the concept of optimizing content for better visibility in search results dates back to the mid-1990s, it wasn’t until the past decade or so that things like inbound links and content quality began to gain prominence. Websites that have been online for years may no longer be optimized according to current best practices. So, if that sounds like your site, consider contacting an SEO expert.

To learn more about the many benefits of SEO, check out these Slam guides: 

We also offer free consultations to organizations and individuals interested in learning more about our SEO technical audit services. Contact us today to schedule yours! 

How to Know if Your Website Needs an SEO Technical Audit Service

If you’re wondering whether your website needs an SEO technical audit service, keep an eye out for these five signs: 

  1. A sudden drop in organic traffic
  2. Fluctuations in search rankings
  3. Mobile responsiveness issues
  4. Indexing problems
  5. Page speed concerns 

In this section, we’ll take a look at these five signs and what they mean for your website’s performance in search engine algorithms. 

A Sudden Drop in Organic Traffic

When a user enters a search query into a search engine like Google or Bing, the search engine’s algorithms decide the most relevant and authoritative pages to display in search results. The websites that show up in these search results and attract visitors without using paid advertising are said to receive organic traffic. 

There are several technical SEO tools on the market for analyzing organic traffic to your website. Here are a few of our favorites: 

A sudden drop in organic traffic to your website is a sign that something is affecting your site’s performance in search engine algorithms. While it isn’t possible to pinpoint the exact cause without a technical SEO audit, here are five possible reasons for a decrease in organic traffic: 

  1. Crawl Errors: Issues that prevent search engine bots from properly crawling and indexing your site, such as broken links or 404 errors. 
  2. Robots.txt Issues: An incorrectly configured robots.txt file can prevent search engines from crawling important parts of your site. 
  3. Schema Markup Errors: Incorrect or missing schema markup can affect how search engines understand and display rich snippets for your content in search results. 
  4. XML Sitemap Issues: Problems with your XML sitemap, such as missing pages, incorrect priority settings, or outdated information, can affect how search engines index your content.
  5. HTTPS/SSL Problems: Since search engines prefer secure sites that protect user data, a lack of secure connections can negatively affect your search rankings.  

Addressing these technical SEO issues is crucial for maintaining and improving search engine rankings. 

Fluctuations in Search Rankings

Fluctuations in search rankings refer to the changes in the positions of a website’s pages in search engine results pages (SERPs) over time. These fluctuations can be both positive and negative, causing pages to move up or down in the rankings for specific keywords or search queries. 

Here are five common technical SEO reasons for fluctuations in search rankings: 

  1. Canonicalization Problems: Incorrect implementation of canonical tags or issues with canonicalization can result in search engines misunderstanding the preferred version of a page, leading to ranking fluctuations. 
  2. Duplicate Content: Multiple versions of the same content across several pages or websites can confuse search engines and cause fluctuations in rankings as they determine which version to display. 
  3. Indexing Issues: If search engines have trouble indexing your content due to misconfigured robots.txt files, issues with XML sitemaps, or other indexing problems, it will likely lead to ranking fluctuations. 
  4. Backlink Changes: Changes in your backlink profile, such as the acquisition of new high-quality backlinks or the loss of existing ones, can impact how search engines perceive your site’s authority. 
  5. URL Structure Changes: Modifications to your URL structure, especially without proper redirects or canonicalization, can lead to fluctuations in rankings as search engines reevaluate the relevance and authority of your pages.

It’s important to keep an eye out for fluctuations in search rankings and regularly audit your site to identify and address any issues as quickly as possible.  

Mobile Responsiveness Issues

Mobile responsiveness refers to whether or not a website can be optimally viewed on a phone screen. These days, a mobile-responsive website is critical to providing your website visitors with a positive user experience. 

According to a 2022 report by the Pew Research Center, 85% of people surveyed across 18 major economies reported owning a mobile phone and using it to browse to access the internet. That’s a huge market! 

Search engine algorithms are designed to prioritize websites offering an optimal user experience. So, if your website isn’t optimized to look good on a mobile screen, you’ll likely see a drop in organic traffic and conversions. 

Here are five common mobile responsiveness issues: 

  • Unresponsive Design: A lack of responsive design means that the website doesn’t adapt to different screen sizes. This can lead to content being cut off or elements overlapping. 
  • Mobile Page Speed: Slow-loading pages on mobile devices can negatively impact user experience and search engine rankings. Optimizing images, leveraging browser caching, and minimizing server response times are essential for improving mobile page speed. 
  • Blocked Resources: If certain resources  such as CSS, JavaScript,or images are blocked from being crawled or loaded on mobile devices, it can hinder the proper rendering of the page. This will negatively impact SEO. 
  • Mobile-Friendly Tag Misuse: Incorrectly implementing or misusing the mobile-friendly meta tag can mislead search engines about whether or not a page is compatible with mobile screens. 
  • Mobile Redirect Issues: Inconsistent or faulty redirects based on the user’s device can lead to crawl errors and negatively impact SEO. 

If you want your website to rank for mobile searchings, you’ll need to address these (and other) mobile responsiveness issues. 

Indexing Problems

In the context of search engines, indexing refers to the process by which search engines collect, store, and organize information from web pages to make it retrievable in search results. When a search engine indexes a web page, it adds the page’s content, metadata, and other relevant information to its database. This makes it possible for users to find that page through search queries. 

Here’s a five-step overview of the indexing process: 

  1. Crawling: Search engine bots, also known as spiders or crawlers, systematically browse the internet by following links from one page to another. They start from known web pages (like the homepage) and move through the web by discovering and crawling links on each page. 
  2. Discovering Content: As search engine bots crawl pages, they find and analyze the content on those pages. This includes text, images, links, and other elements. 
  3. Storing Information: Next, the information gathered during crawling is stored in the search engine’s database. This database is essentially an index, where the search engine organizes the content and associated metadata from millions of web pages. 
  4. Ranking Algorithms: Next, the search engine uses a complex ranking algorithm to determine the relevance of each indexed page to the specific search keyword or query. 
  5. Retrieval in Search Results: When a user enters a search query, the search engine retrieves relevant pages from its index based on the ranking algorithms. The most relevant pages are then displayed in the search results. 

When a search engine has trouble crawling and indexing your website’s content, it will negatively impact its visibility in search results. Here are some common indexing problems related to technical SEO: 

  • Noindex Meta Tags
  • Slow Page Load Times
  • Uncrawlable Content
  • Meta Robots Tag Issues
  • Mobile Indexing Problems

Regularly monitoring these aspects of indexing is crucial for ensuring your website stays visible in search engine results. An SEO technical audit service can help you with this. 

Page Speed Concerns 

Page speed refers to how long it takes for a web page to completely load its content. It’s often measured in terms of how quickly the primary text, images, and other page elements are rendered for a user when they access the page. 

Several factors contribute to the overall page speed, including: 

  • Server Response Time
  • Browser Rendering and Caching
  • Image Optimization
  • Browser-Side Rendering

Search engines–especially Google–take page speed very seriously as a ranking factor. This means that faster-loading pages will have an advantage in search results. 

In the context of technical SEO, these four aspects of page speed are of particular concern: 

  1. Server Response Time: The time it takes for a server to respond to a user’s request is a critical component of page speed. If your server has a slow response time, it will negatively impact your website’s performance in search rankings. 
  2. Browser Caching: Well-configured browser caching allows frequently accessed resources to be stored in a user’s browser. This reduces the need to re-download them on subsequent visits, which significantly improves load times. 
  3. Image Optimization: Large images can slow down page loading. You can optimize images by compressing them without sacrificing quality. In fact, this is essential for achieving faster page speeds. 
  4. Reducing Server Requests: Each element on a web page, such as images, scripts, and style sheets, requires a separate server request. You can improve page speed by combining files to minimize the number of requests. 

To evaluate and optimize your page speed, you can use technical SEO tools like PageSpeed Insights or Lighthouse. Or, better yet, contact an agency (like Slam!) to inquire about their SEO technical audit services. 

SEO Technical Audit Service Case Studies

As an award-winning agency, we’ve helped countless nonprofits and businesses optimize their website searchability. Often, our clients come to us with a pre-existing website that isn’t performing as well as they’d hoped. In these cases, we offer them an SEO technical audit service to troubleshoot any issues impacting the performance and visibility of their web pages. 

Here are a few of the clients we’ve helped with technical SEO audits: 

In this section, we’ll show you two of our case studies so you can get an idea of what it’s like to hire an SEO technical audit service. 

Elemental Excelerator

A screenshot of the Elemental Excelerator homepage. The color scheme is kelly green, sky blue, pink, and orange. The page is designed with abstract circles and squares overlaying images of the ocean and architectural features. The page heading reads "Portfolio insights." The subheading reads "Stories, insights, and data to accelerate climate innovation."
Source: elementalexcelerator.com 

The climate-focused nonprofit organization Elemental Excelerator contacted us for a technical SEO audit of their website. As a major investor in sustainable technologies, they needed to significantly expand their online reach.

We conducted an extensive audit of their website and made a series of recommendations for improving elements of their homepage, program page, sector pages, and discover page. We also put together a list of suggested search-optimized articles for their blog. 

Finally, we updated Elemental Excelerator’s sitemap on Google Search Console to ensure the changes would be properly indexed for SERPs. 

Lunarsol Studios  

A screenshot of the Lunarsol homepage. The color scheme is a gradient of light purple to sunset red, with dark grey text. The page heading reads "Lunarsol. An innovative studio weaving visual art culture and social impact for transformative change."
Source: lunarsol.com

Lunarsol Studios is a creative services firm that centers equity, solidarity, and trust in everything they do. Their mission is to collaborate with social justice movements, art organizations, and nonprofit foundations, to employ compelling visual art in service of social change. 

Lunarsol Studios needed to reach a target audience that shared their specific values and goals. They contacted Slam for help with a website redesign that involved branding, art direction, and on-page technical SEO. 

Through a combination of technical SEO strategies targeting improved navigation, image compression, page structure, and heading hierarchy, we helped this great organization significantly improve its organic search traffic.  

Slam's SEO Technical Audit Service

Feeling overwhelmed by the jargon-heavy SEO terms? Or maybe you simply do not have the time to perform a complicated technical SEO audit yourself. We totally get it! 

As an award-winning B2B website design agency, we often help our clients with technical SEO audits and strategies for improvement. We offer the following SEO-focused services: 

If you’d rather take a DIY-based approach to your website optimization, you’re welcome to use Slam’s SEO-focused templates and tools: 

Of course, technical SEO isn’t the only aspect of designing and launching a great website. Here at Slam, we offer clients personalized packages that include everything they need, and nothing they don’t. 

In addition to our SEO technical audit service, we also help nonprofits and businesses of all sizes with these aspects of digital marketing: 

Want to learn more? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our SEO technical audit experts

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