6 Essential Technical Website Assessment ChecksMar 03, 2021
What is an essential technical website audit and why would I need one? Well, for starters, site speed. In the "techie" world, we call these things audits, although really it's simply an assessment of where you are at the time.
Technical Website assessments go far beyond the standard site speed and image compression tests.
Although those two tests can be done fairly easily, the technical assessment goes so much further. You can decide how much of this is worth your time. However, some things should at least be checked and responded to.
Basic Steps of a Technical Website Assessment
Let's take a look at the things involved in a technical website assessment:
- Accessibility - This is basically the standard accessibility test for visual and hearing-impaired persons.
- Multi-device user experience - review your website from many devices, Apple, Android, phone, tablet, laptop Windows, Chromebook, Mac, and so forth.
- Site Speed - An in-depth site speed test. Below, we will show you a couple of ways to look at your own site speed, but this goes much further. This will also look at the HTTP Auth and blocked in robots.txt, network conditions, browser cache, analytics, and many other items.
- Review of Resource Status Codes - checks for 404s, 5xx, and caching as well as redirects.
- Duplicate content
- Domains and subdomains
- Similar content on a different domain
- Improperly implemented pagination pages
- Schema Configuration
- and so, so many more
You can imagine how much time and effort is done when performing these tasks.
If you want someone to do this for you, the cost is generally $300 and up. Grayson Bell of iMarkInteractive is one of the best.
If you want to learn to do it yourself, consider our very own Be Your Own Tech Support Mastermind. We will deep dive and help you perform the tasks yourself.
Perform Essential Technical Website Assessment Checks in 6 Steps
You can easily perform a few basic steps, including a quick SEO assessment, on your own. Here are just a few ways:
1. Check your Image Compression
Compressing your images is just one way to save disk space as well as help your site speed. I personally like the plug-in ShortPixel. Here's a short video of how to add the API Key and configure it for a basic setting.
This video also talks briefly about Media Cleaner, which is another plug-in I recommend. Media Cleaner helps determine if you have any unused images in your library, taking up space.
2. Use Google Search Console
Go to Google Search Console. If you have never used it before, you'll need to add your url. Your front page will look something like this:
The main area you want to be concerned with is the "Enhancements" section. Here, you can check things such as site speed, mobile usability, and many other things. Here's an image of the enhancements section:
As you can see, the Speed section tells you to go to PageSpeed Insights. Here's an image of PageSpeed Insights. You want to at a minimum score in the midrange (yellow) area.
You can drill down and see what errors you have that need to be fixed. I'm in the process of uploading all my content to Amazon CloudFront, so my speed will increase in a few days.
What's interesting is that drilling down on this site found that Google Adsense was slowing down my site the most. Hmmm. See our post about What Is Google Adsense (+4 Reasons NOT to Use It) for more details.
3. Check your Links
One of the best free tools out today is ubersuggest. You can type in ANY domain and receive details. Not only does this give you SEO information, but it also gives you errors and other health checks. See below:
I find this one of the best features of this free tool. You want to pay particular attention to any critical errors, of course. If it doesn't make sense to you, ask us about it in our Facebook Group (Your Fairy Blogmother).
4. Check your Plug-Ins
If you are using WordPress, specifically, review your plug-ins. Do you know what each one does for your site? If not, ask someone or look them up in the WordPress Plug-ins "Add New" area.
You may be using plug-ins that are conflicting, or not recommended! Also, check out our post on WordPress Plug-ins Best Practice.
Also, make sure your plug-ins are up-to-date. The various Facebook groups (and ours) usually will tell you when a plug-in is bad or should not be updated.
5. Check your Design
Ask people in other groups to review your website. Don't take it personally, tell them you want to know if you agree with the colors and style of your website.
If several people tell you that your site is too busy, you may want to adjust your theme or do something different.
I highly recommend Restored316 Themes. They are based on the Genesis system and are completely customizable. In addition, these themes are considered "Child Themes"; therefore, any changes to WordPress will not affect the custom CSS.
And What about SEO?
An SEO audit is another lengthy process. There are many factors to consider in an SEO audit. However, using a plug-in like RankMath can be very helpful.
Once you install the plug-in, you can fill in the SEO details you are asked for each post. RankMath helps you to remember to consider your keyword, your external and internal links, your Pinterest and other social media descriptions and titles, and so forth.
I try to always have my posts rank around 90+, but as long as they are "green", you're good to go. Here's an example:
6. Do Keyword Research
This is probably the one thing that most bloggers either hate to do or feel takes too much time -- Keyword Research. Yeah, it's a pain. There are tools out there, of course, that will help you, but where do you start?
Let's take ubersuggest (shown above). To use it, you have to START with a keyword. Hmmm. So how do I get a keyword?
There are two ways. The first way is what most beginner bloggers tend to do. We write the article, THEN go look for the keyword.
So you start with your general topic of the article, place that in the keyword search, and see what kind of results you get. Then, you play around with the keyword and title until you find your best competition.
The second way is to START with a keyword in mind. Say what? Yeah. GREAT bloggers start with a keyword. So they say, "What is the trend for my niche? Is there a keyword I should be using?" That's their starting keyword. Great bloggers then create their keywords, and titles, from the results.
Kelly Thoreson at Blogfiti is the best, in my opinion, for blog writing tips. She has an awesome course on Sinfully Sexy Headlines that is wonderful. In addition, she has a Blog Writer's Round Table Mastermind. Check her out. By the way, I am not an affiliate for Blogfiti, I just think their products are incredible.
Don't forget, you can also use plain ole Google for your research. Searching on Google will give you a lot of information. For example, if the entire front page (or almost all of it) is filled with ads for your keyword, it's probably not very likely that you will rank anywhere near the first few pages of Google. Try being more descriptive or rewriting the keyword phrase a little differently.
There are TONS of courses about SEO. Mike Pearson's Stupid Simple SEO is a complete guide to SEO for WordPress.
In addition, you can sign up here to get on the waitlist for Your Fairy Blogmother's Magickally Fix Your SEO Course coming early this summer.
Do you want more help?
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Until next time...
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