A Quick Tech SEO Audit Template
If you want to work in Tech SEO a tech audit is really key. Auditing websites can be done in many different ways and often is a daunting task. There are many different templates/approaches out there, but this post outlines what underpins my methodology.
This has been stripped back/simplified a little to make it easier to work with, but this follows the following process.
Crawl Your Website
Analyse the Results
Prioritise the Fixes
Push to Implement Changes.
You can skip ahead if you like, or keep reading.
The Audit Template
If you have a copy of the site auditing software, Screaming Frog (more below), and are eager to get going, then here's the link to the template.
This template is not trying to be the most comprehensive of tech audits (more on why), it is meant to be something that can be used quickly & easily. Something you can also build on and expand as you need to.
To break it down though, my template is structured around the following columns.
Section - Which area of Screaming Frog the element has come from
SF or Expert Check - Is it something Screaming Frog can check for (something either right/wrong) or something you (the expert) will need to review yourself
Issue Name, Detail - What is the Issue in more depth.
SEO Implications - Why is it important you fix this
Likely Priority - How important the issue is likely to be. This will vary from site to site, but a guide if you are less experienced.
# of Instances or Pages - What's the size of the problem? How many times it is encountered, or how many pages it appears on.
PIE (Potential, Importance, Effort) Score - The score to prioritise the issue, you complete this last - more below.
Crawl the website using Screaming Frog and work your way through as much as you can and the more onto the scoring.
The PIE Score is a method of prioritising audit recommendations in - what I consider - to be the most 3-dimensional way. It accepts that "how broken is it" is only ONE element of the process. I picked up this method from Stephen Kenwright and loved the simplicity and how useful it is.
The components (found in the spreadsheet columns) are as follows:
Priority - What is the distance from perfect here? How broken is it?
Importance - What will the fix likely mean, and how much additional value will it provide?
Effort - How difficult is it to fix?
Score each from 1 - 10. Priority & Importance is 1 being lowest, 10 being highest. Effort is 10 to 1, it should be scored in the opposite direction.
Priority = 9 (pretty high)
Importance = 5 (medium)
Effort = 9 (low)
The score is an average of the three. So in this example 7.67.
The Priority/Importance is based on the data from the audit (how big is it, how severe it is) and Effort is based on an appraisal from whoever is going to be fixing the issue. If you edit/control your website, this could be you. If you have a team of developers or a development agency, this is them. You need to work with them to help provide an accurate Effort score.
The reason why you score all issues together (rather than in isolation) is their relative score is how you prioritise which to fix first.
There are very few absolute priorities here. Don't worry that the score itself isn't perfect, it's understanding which issues need working on first because of severity or ease of fixing that is key.
Can we Rely on an Audit Template?
Audit templates are not my favourite way of working. To be honest they are either too long to be useful or too short and miss things. Striking a balance somewhere in the middle is always challenging if the template could work for any site.
As I have mentioned, my template is geared more toward finding the most likely issues and supporting the vast majority of the audit process. By using Screaming Frog & following the template 3-4 times I hope you will learn more about the audit process and what to look out for.
To conduct the audit process in line with my template, you will need to use Screaming Frog. A free version of this (as well as the paid-for version) can be found here.
Some of the paid features/functionality may be required in order to fully complete the report. I understand that not everyone can support their SEO efforts with paid-for tools, but Screaming Frog is one of the most cost-effective & feature-rich options out there, I can 100% recommend this.
Totally unrelated, but can be found here
Learn More About SEO
If you want to learn more about the Metric Chain and are just getting started in SEO, then you should check out my Certified SEO & SEM Marketing Manager course. Link & Coupon Code Below.