Log analysis: a major asset for technical SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is more than just creating relevant content and acquiring backlinks. THE Technical SEO, which aims to improve the structure and performance of a website, plays an equally crucial role. In this perspective, thelog analysis is a powerful tool for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a website, and thus implementing concrete actions to boost its SEO.

Designed by Freepik 

What is a log file?

A log file, or event log, is a document that traces all the interactions between a web server and users (Internet users and crawlers). It contains a wealth of valuable information, such as:

  • The user's IP address
  • The date and time of the request
  • The page consulted
  • HTTP status code
  • The type of browser and device used
  • Keywords used in the search (if applicable)

Log analysis for SEO: a wealth of information

By analyzing log files, SEO experts can obtain an accurate view of how search engines “see” their website. This analysis allows you to improve your crawl budget and check/review your SEO strategy.

Identify the most crawled pages

The crawl budget is the number of pages a crawler can visit on a website in a given time. By analyzing the logs, it is possible to determine which pages are most visited by robots, and thus ensure that the strategic pages of the website are properly prioritized. For example, if you notice that crawlers are largely visiting secondary pages on your site, it may be a good idea to block them via the robots.txt file in order to concentrate the crawl budget on the most important pages. In addition, by analyzing the crawl frequency of strategic pages, it is possible to identify possible indexing problems. A low crawl of these pages may mean that they are not sufficiently highlighted in the structure of the website or that there are technical problems which prevent robots from accessing them.


Detect crawl errors

Crawl errors, like 404 pages or incorrect 301 redirects, can harm a website's SEO. Log analysis allows them to be identified and corrected quickly. Additionally, it is important to monitor HTTP status codes to ensure that your website pages respond correctly to user requests. A status code 200 (OK) indicates that the page loaded successfully. While a 404 (Not Found) status code indicates that the requested page does not exist on the server.


Analyze user behavior

By cross-referencing log data with web analysis tools, it is possible to understand how users interact with the website. This helps identify the most popular pages, friction points, and areas for improvement. For example, if you find that users are quickly leaving a particular page, this could indicate a content or navigation problem. By analyzing the time spent on pages and the number of pages viewed per session, it is also possible to identify the most engaging pages for users.


Track the impact of changes

Log analysis makes it possible to measure the impact of modifications made to the website on its crawling and indexing by search engines. This makes it possible to validate the effectiveness of the actions implemented and adjust the SEO strategy accordingly. For example, if you notice a drop in organic traffic after making changes to your website, log analysis can help you identify the cause of the problem. By analyzing HTTP status codes and crawl frequency after changes, it is possible to check whether the changes had a negative impact on the accessibility of pages by crawlers.


Identify irrelevant content

Log analysis can also help identify irrelevant content on a website. These contents may be low-quality pages, duplicate pages, or pages that do not match user intent. By analyzing the number of page views, time spent on page and bounce rate, it is possible to determine which pages are not meeting user expectations.


Detect malicious attacks

Log files can also be used to detect malicious attacks, such as SQL injections or brute force attacks. By analyzing suspicious IP addresses and unusual request types, it is possible to identify intrusion attempts and take necessary measures to counter them.


Conclusion on log analysis

Log analysis is a powerful and essential tool for technical SEO. By exploiting the valuable information contained in log files, SEO experts can improve the structure, performance and crawling of a website, and thus boost its ranking in search engines. Log analysis is an ongoing process that must be carried out regularly in order to adapt to developments on the web and changes made to the website.




Esteban Irschfeld, SEO Consultant at UX-Republic