If you can correctly interpret an SEO crawl, you can address and fix issues that may be preventing your website from ranking on Google and other search engines.
In this GrowTraffic blog, we outline what an SEO crawl is, which platforms to use and how you can interpret the SEO crawl to improve your website.
What Is An SEO Crawl?
An SEO crawl is carried out as part of an SEO audit. For those of you that are still getting to grips with SEO, an SEO audit is the process of analysing and evaluating your website to see how well it is performing on search engines.
An SEO audit highlights issues that could be preventing your website from ranking on Google and other search engines.
A crawl is the most important part of an SEO audit. It gives you an insight into how the Googlebot views your website before deciding where to rank it.
FYI – Googlebot is the generic name for Google’s web crawler, which regularly crawls websites and uses a wide range of factors to determine where each website should rank on the SERPs.
An SEO audit platform “crawls” each page of your website and then provides you with a report identifying problems that need resolving.
Some of the better platforms highlight which problems are most urgent and provide information and advice on how to tackle the problem. The problems identified can range from duplicate content to compressed code.
Best Platforms For SEO Crawl
There are plenty of platforms that perform SEO crawls, some better than others. SE Ranking, Screaming Frog, DeepCrawl, Moz and SEMrush are just a handful of popular platforms website owners and SEO experts use to crawl and audit their websites.
The platform you opt for depends entirely on your personal preference, budget and SEO knowledge. Here at GrowTraffic, we like SE Ranking.
Once it has crawled a website, SE Ranking provides a detailed issue report that highlights the problems and categorises them into Errors, Warnings and Notices.
Errors are urgent and significant issues that must be fixed ASAP if you want your website to rank on the SERPs. Warnings are less urgent but still need fixing to give your website the very best chance of ranking. And Notices are less significant problems that are not urgent but should be fixed to help your website rank.
What To Look Out For On An SEO Crawl Or Audit
If you are an SEO novice, interpreting an SEO crawl can be tricky, even with informative platforms. But we would always recommend starting with the most pressing issues, as some of these issues are likely the reasons why your website isn’t performing well on search engines.
Some of the urgent issues can be fixed easily, even if you don’t have a ton of SEO knowledge, others may require help from an SEO expert.
Popular “Errors” (Urgent Issues) To Address Immediately:
- Duplicate/missing/multiple H1 tags
- Duplicate content
- No site map
- Pages blocked by no index
- 404 not found
- Duplicated descriptions/titles
- Redirect chains
- Redirect loops
- No inbound links (dead end pages)
- No HTTPS encryption
Popular “Warnings” To Address Once Errors Have Been Fixed:
- Meta titles missing or duplicated
- Meta tags missing or duplicated
- Images missing alt text
- Un-compressed images
- Empty/duplicate H2/H3 tags
- Too few inbound links (2 or fewer inbound links on a page)
Popular “Notices” That Are Not Urgent But Should Still Be Fixed:
- Titles too long
- H1/H2 tags too long
- Meta descriptions too long or too short
- Low content on pages
- Multiples versions of the same page need de-indexing (i.e. blog page 1, blog page 2)
Other issues you may encounter should be passed on to your web developer unless you’re super tech-savvy and know how to fix them. These issues often relate to the loading speed of your website and the user experience. Examples of these issues include:
- Text to HTML ratio (too much code, not enough text, for example too many pop-ups, buttons etc. slowing down the page)
- Compressed code
- CSS caching (if the server caches the code, it doesn’t have to load it every time, therefore speeding up the webpage loading time)
Need Help Interpreting An SEO Crawl?
Even with SEO experience, addressing all of the issues that an SEO crawl throws up can be tricky. But we are here to help.
GrowTraffic is an award-winning digital marketing agency that specialises in SEO. Our friendly team is here to help. We can tackle your SEO problems for you, or we can give you the training needed to tackle them yourself!
We even offer FREE SEO crawls! GrowTraffic’s free SEO web crawl will give you a clear, impartial overview of the technical health of your website.