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You’ve heard the discussion before – Google has 200-300 factors it uses to rank websites. And no one, not even the most influential Google execs and employees, knows exactly what they are.

But, everyone knows they have a target to shoot for. And SEO thought leaders like Moz, Neil Patel, KISS Metrics, Search Engine Land, and Search Engine Journal routinely perform tests and debate what’s happening in the SEO world to try to get an accurate understanding of what Google wants. Matt Cutts, Google’s official SEO spokesman, sometimes tells you exactly what to do. But even on some occasions, he’s wrong!

This is part 1 of our 4-part series on technical SEO audits.

Why do a Technical SEO Audit?

The whole purpose of doing a technical SEO audit is to make sure you’re running as close to a 100% Google-friendly website as possible. No one hits the mark perfectly, but the closer you are, the better your rankings are now and for the long-term.

Another reason to do one is you’ve been told by Google that you are being penalized, or you noticed a substantial drop in your website traffic around the time Google performed an update.

A SEO audit uncovers what you’re doing right, wrong, and steps you can take to get back on the right path if you’ve veered off.

How do You Do a Technical SEO Audit?

No two consultants or agencies will agree on this 100%. At a high level, agencies and consultants develop their own technical SEO audits based on what they’ve learned works best for Google.

That doesn’t necessarily make one agency right and another wrong, just different in their approach.

How Often Should You Do Technical SEO Audits?

Think of it like taking care of your car. You take it in for a diagnostic with the mechanic every year or so just to make sure everything’s okay. And you do this even if there’s nothing noticeably wrong with the car.

If you’ve never done one before, it’s a good idea to do a technical SEO audit now. You could catch significant mistakes you’re making before Google penalizes you. And if you’re not making any serious mistakes, you can fine-tune what you are doing right now. An annual SEO audit is a good idea, and it’s even better if you have one done every six months.

You can catch problems like competitors building bad links to your site, trying to destroy your search rankings (this happens rarely, but it does happen).

If you’re getting the sense that managing your website is like taking care of your physical business location, you’re right! Google wants to increase the quality of the web and get rid of spammy, low-value sites. So, the better you do at making your site the best place it can be for visitors, the better you’ll do in the search rankings.

 

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