Step 4 – Technical Assessment
An introductory tutorial video covering Step 4 of the Analytics SEO Welcome Programme:
Welcome to Step 4 of our Welcome Programme. This video covers analysing Technical Assessment of a website.
We’ll be taking a look here at the modules in the Technical tab.
A lot of this section involves fundamental checks you need to do to assess whether your website has been setup in the most optimal way.
If you want a summary of issues we’ve uncovered, then you can use the Priority Action Grid on the dashboard which will highlight any modules you need to look at. You can also use the indicators directly in the menu to identify which modules you need to look at first.
In the Site Audit module, we perform some basic checks to see if we can find both types of sitemap. HTML sitemaps are useful for users and XML sitemaps can be useful in helping search engines to index your content correctly.
We will also look for evidence that you have configured a Custom 404 page which has some custom CSS and generates the right server response.
We will also see if we can find a robots.txt file on your site. This is very useful for ensuring that only the pages you want indexed are actually indexed by the search engines.
We check for a domain redirect. What we mean by this is that we will check to see if your www sub domain will redirect a user to the root domain or vice versa. You should ideally only have a user going to one version of your site.
We also perform a check for use of the HTTPS protocol as Google has recently indicated that they look favourably at sites that implement this.
We will check your domain age too, as this can be a good indicator of a well-established and possibly reputable domain.
We also perform a deep crawl of your site each week to check whether you have Search Engine Friendly URLs, to see if the site contains 4XX error (deadlinks) and we also report where we find 301s, 302s and any 5XX Server Errors. Clicking on any of these links will take you to the Crawl Health module which provides the detail behind these numbers.
Please note that, if you haven’t already done so, you might want to configure access to Google Webmaster Tools using the option in the Settings menu so we can also import site audit data from your Google Webmaster Tools account using their API.
The Indexation section will report on the number of pages indexed in Google. Please note that we no longer report on Bing indexation as their numbers are completely inconsistent and unreliable
We also check to see if we can find local listings for your site and report on the number of pages which are showing as not being indexed by Google, Bing and Yahoo. Clicking on this link will take you to the Unindexed Pages module in the Pages section.
In the Crawled Health module, we give you a breakdown of the HTTP status response codes for each page. You might want to examine this to assess whether you’re accidentally blocking pages you didn’t mean to block. You can filter this table to give a breakdown of pages being blocked by rules in your robots.txt file or by use of meta tags
The Speed column will simply report on the time it has taken to download the HTML content for each URL.
We also have four columns which show the number of links both pointing in and out of each URL.
Internal Links In will display the number of links pointing to this URL from other URLs on the same domain.Clicking on this number will give you a list of those internal referring URLs. You can download this list to a CSV file.
Internal Links Out will give the number of links pointing to other URLs on the same domain. Again, you can click on this number and get a list of those URLs and download a CSV file.
External Links In will show you the number of links pointing to this URL from URLs on other (referring) domains. Clicking on these numbers will take you to the Link Analysis module in the Links tab which will be automatically filtered to reflect the URL in question.
This module has a chart which will show the progress of these issues over time. This simple chart can therefore help to show if your site is consistent or whether any particular issues are suddenly occurring.
So that’s the Technical tab covered. For the next step we will talk about On-Site issues in the tutorial video on the Pages section.