Feb 21, 2024

Technical audit: how-to & template

A healthy website is absolutely essential for success in content marketing.

We assess that health with technical audits. Now you can too.

Why we created this template

We begin every client engagement with a technical audit.

Replicating that audit was one of the first big tasks we had to figure out when Ercule started out, oh so many years ago.

This is the template we use now, refined over many iterations.

What you need to get started

  • Google analytics account
  • Google search console account
  • Screaming frog SEO Spider

How this template works

  1. Import data from various sources
  2. Fill out the checklist to determine site health

Step-by-step: using the technical audit template

To start, open up the template and make a copy.

Pick the domain you want to audit

Setting up the technical audit template.

On the Audit tab, fill in the domain and date for the site you want to audit.

The first thing we want to do is pull in page performance data, to help us understand where our priorities are when it comes to fixing various technical issues.

To do this, we use a plugin called SyncWith to call data from various tools. For this audit, you want to pull in page performance data from Google Analytics.

Using SyncWith in the technical audit template.

Pull in data from Google Analytics 4 if possible, since Universal Analytics (aka GA3) was deprecated in July of 2023.

After configuring the report, click Update to call the data.

Next, you’ll pull in the sitemap. in the sitemapData tab – fill in cell A2 with the url of the sitemap. A formula will auto-populate the results after a few seconds.

Next up, we pull in data for the coverageData tab. For this report, you need to go to Google Search Console for the website, and find the Page Indexing report. Export relevant list of pages and copy to the sheet.

technical audit template gsc png

Crawl the site with SEO Spider

Now that all of the external data has been imported, we have to crawl the site. To do this, you need to download Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider, a web crawling tool. After installation, load our custom configuration file and get started.

Screaming Frog Config File (click ‘download raw file’ in GitHub)

Now, choose the domain you want to crawl, and input it into SEO Spider’s url box.

Next, go to configuration>API>Pagespeed Insights, and connect it to the crawler using your API key. Once this is done you can start the crawl.

After the crawl is complete, you’ll export 4 reports:

  1. On the internal tab, filter the crawl to just show HTML pages, export, and paste the data into the internalData tab
  2. In the menu bar, go to Bulk Export > Links > External Links and export, and paste the data into the externalData tab
  3. In the menu bar, go to Bulk Export > Response codes > Internal > Internal Client Error (4xx) Inlinks, and paste the data into the 404data tab
  4. In the menu bar, go to Reports > Redirects > All Redirects, and paste the data into the redirectData tab

Run through the Audit checklist

Running through the technical audit template checklist.

Now that all of the data is in place, walk through the items in the Checklist tab one-by-one.

Some of the items will be answered automatically by data in the Analysis column, others will require you to follow the link in the Report column to determine the correct status.

If you get stuck, Use the guide column as a reference to figure out what the purpose of the audit item is and what you’re trying to answer.

We’re *actually* here to help

We’re marketers who love spreadsheets, algorithms, code, and data. And we love helping other marketers with interesting challenges. Tackling the hard stuff together is what we like to do.

We don’t just show you the way—we’re in this with you too.

Background image of a red ball in a hole.