Getting the most out of your audit report
The Audit Report will tell you of any technical errors that exist on your site, some of these errors may be causing you SEO issues, and some may simply be things that are nice to fix as they potentially impact how easy your site is to use by visitors.
Let’s take a look at some example issues from a report and how we’d go about fixing them.
Errors are the actual known issues, that should all be resolved. This can range from broken links, to empty and duplicate page titles.
The report below shows that there are several issues that require fixing on this site:
If I click to “show pages” next to the (error code 4xx) row, I’ll be given this page:
This shows all of the pages containing those errors, and the error count alongside them. Typically 4xx errors occur when either an external site you were linking at has moved, or you’ve renamed your own internal pages without setting up a redirect. Clicking on “Details” next to a page will show you more.
You will see from this report, that these are all links to external sites that have either moved pages, unpublished things, or have completely ceased to exist:
To fix these issues you need to go to your page in question that is showing the errors. Look at each link and either:
- Remove the link if the link is no longer required, such as the bottom 2 links in the above screenshot, where the site no longer exists.
- Update any links to external pages where resources have moved, but the links are still relevant
- Update any internal links that are broken, or set up a redirect to fix that broken link across your whole site
- Remove the links if they are no longer relevant
This can be time consuming, but it is important as broken links negatively affect the user experience.
The warnings are things that *might* be errors, and an automated tool isn’t clever enough to decide whether it is an actual issue or not, because it depends on the purpose of the page.
You’ll see several warnings here:
And again clicking on “show pages” will show you the pages impacted, for example if I click on “Meta Description Empty” I get this:
These pages are all “category” pages, which I would recommend not indexing anyway. The Meta Description of these pages doesn’t matter. So I’m happy that although I’m being warned that they are empty – this is OK and there’s no need to fix anything here.
These are simply for information, and have no bearing on any technical or SEO issues. The only ones worth noting, are the report on empty Alt Tags and H1 tag missing: