The importance of performing SEO audits to prepare for a campaign as part of regular site maintenance cannot be understated. Perhaps the most important benefit to performing SEO audits is that they assess how your website is performing from a technical angle, revealing weak spots and points of improvement worthy of your immediate attention. This is important because your website’s ranking is largely dependent on how easily a search engine crawler can navigate through your website and understand what it’s about. Having killer content won’t do you much good if there are hiccups in your website code, loading speed, or other back-end issues. Below are six of the best tools, which can be used alone or in combination, to determine whether or not the technicalities and performance of your website are in good standing.
With the desktop crawler Screaming Frog, you can export all of the audit data-internal links, outbound links, anchor text, and more. This tool is flexible, offering a free version (for crawling less than 500 URLs) and a paid version. Main services include:
- Find broken links and server errors
- Analyze page titles and meta data
- Extract data with XPath
- Generate XML sitemaps
- Audit redirects
- Discover duplicate content
- Reviews robots and directives
- Integration with Google Analytics
Other features vary based on the version you purchase, but it’s worth noting that Screaming Frog software is used by big name brands such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Disney.
Google Search Console
The nice thing about Google Search Console is that it will give you information that’s specific to where and why your site ranks the way it does on Google. Google Search Console is completely free and reports valuable information such as:
- A summary of broken links, page loading speed, indexed pages, HTML correctness, etc.
- Estimates on keyword positioning
- Comparisons of the traffic caused by queries
- Mobile Performance
Through this audit tool you can also resolve spam issues and understand search performance straight from the biggest search engine. However, the information you get might not give you a big enough picture since it strictly caters to Google, so you may consider using Search Console in conjunction with another auditing tool.
As a web-based resource, there are fewer strings attached. With BROWSEO, you can enter any URL into their website, and it will return webpages without distraction cause by styles. In doing so, you can see your webpages the way a search engine would and download a spreadsheet of data with the most important information on it. BROWSEO determines SEO related information, such as:
- META Info
- External and Internal Links
- Server Response Codes
Acclaimed by Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, and Rand Fishkin of Moz, BROWSEO is SEO auditing made incredibly easily and hassle-free.
OnPage has five different tools for auditing and optimization. Though a pricier option, OnPage offers specific, high quality information that will tell you exactly what you need to know about your site’s performance. The tools available are:
- The tool crawls through your website just as a search engine does and returns a report on content, assets, indexability, URL structure, and other technical SEO factors.
- One of the best features OnPage offers is the Focus tool. It inspects a page and gathers all error sources in a list that’s organized by urgency level, so you know which issues need your immediate attention and what you can work on later.
- TF*IDF is the name of OnPage’s term weighting algorithm. It assesses the texts of your competitors in the top 15 search results, indicating what you need to do to compose better content.
- As the tool name indicates, it monitors your keyword positions in search engine rankings and reports on their performance.
- This tool will monitor your website’s performance day and night, specifically the load speed. If an error occurs that makes your site less accessible, the Monitoring tool will notify you immediately.
OnPage has five pricing options ranging from free to extensive packages for enterprises. Personal demos are also available through their website.
The best way to get to know ahrefs is to try it out for yourself using their free 14 day trial. Similar to OnPage, ahrefs offers a handful of tools that collect and analyze data regarding search engine rankings, page performance, and positioning. A few of these tools are:
- Crawl reports
- Positions tracker
- Content explorer
- Site explorer
Aherfs boasts the biggest and most accurate database of live backlinks. If you’re looking for a detailed report of brand mentions, a backlink profile, and the strength of your link profile, ahrefs is an exceptional option and offers a range of prices/plans.
Siteliner is auditing made simple. With fewer frills than the aforementioned tools, Siteliner finds the SEO related issues on your website so you know what to fix. The main site weaknesses it scans for include:
- Duplicate content
- Broken links
- Page power
If you’re not sure about investing in an SEO auditing tool just yet, Siteliner is a good starting point. You can analyze up to 250 pages for free each month, or opt for a Premium service that allows you to analyze websites up to 25,000 pages without limitations.