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Top 9 SEO Audit Tools For Analysing Websites

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Top 9 SEO Audit Tools For Analysing Websites

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With the help of an SEO audit tool, you can unlock your site’s crawlability and SEO performance. This article presents nine widely popular website auditing tools, and will help you pick the right ones for you.

Conducting a website audit is a technical task that requires specific knowledge across a number of areas. A technical SEO audit includes crawling your website for duplicate content, errors and broken links, auditing backlinks, and reviewing on-page optimization.

Website audits don’t have to be hard. Just pick the tools that give you the answers you need. You can improve your website’s structure and organic reach in no time.


1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics channels

Google Analytics is the website and seo auditing tool in most people’s toolkit. If you don’t have the budget for paid tools, you should sign up for GA as it’s free. It’s also great for auditing your digital marketing performance.

Google Analytics lets you track your website visitors, showing which pages get the most visits. You’ll also see a wide variety of data across every area of your site. From the source of your website traffic, audience interests, devices and demographics, to content landing pages.

3 Key Questions Google Analytics Can Answer…

What are my top landing pages?

Google Analytics gives a great overview of the most visited web pages. View your top landing pages to see which keywords rank well in the SERPs and use it to guide future content ideas.

google-analytics-landing-pages

Do most users find my website via Social, Paid, Organic or other Channels?

Use the Channels analysis to see which channels bring the most traffic to your website. This is a quick yet efficient way to evaluate your website’s SEO performance. You can customise these GA channels if you’re an advanced user.

Google Analytics channels report - a powerful seo audit tool

Do users follow my website’s “Behaviour Flow”?

By using the Behavior Flow feature, you’re able to see how people interact with your website. After landing on one of your website’s pages, is your audience interested in visiting additional pages as well? A poor audience flow might indicate that your website is difficult to navigate or lacks effective “call-to-actions”.

google-analytics-audit-behaviour-flow

Use the Behaviour Flow report to create a natural and logical user journey flow. This will make your website more compelling to prospective buyers and help them find relevant information.

All you have to do is set up an account, install the tracking code on your site and start tracking your website traffic. It’s worth pointing out that Google Analytics data needs to be collected before it can be audited. Therefore you should have at least a few weeks of data before auditing your website.

Analytics Tool Summary: Google Analytics

Level of expertise needed: BEGINNER to EXPERT

Pricing: FREE (Paid Enterprise version available)

Google Analyitcs Verdict:

You don’t need to be an SEO-wizard to use Google Analytics’ basic website auditing tools (but it helps :)). Many of the features are fit for beginner level practitioners, but it has some very advanced parts for expert use.


2. Google Search Console

audit your website with Search Console crawl errors report

Don’t make the mistake of confusing Google Analytics and Google Search Console (formerly named Google Webmaster Tools). They’re two entirely different tools, and both are needed for conducting a successful website audit.

By using Google Search Console, you can get Organic (SEO) information from Google about your website’s crawlability including discovering broken links.

Checking for crawl errors is an integral part of a website audit. You can see whether your site has any 404 (not found) or 403 (access denied) page errors. You can see what’s caused the errors in order to fix them by replacing the page or returning an HTTP 301 redirect to a similar page

Search Console also provides information about possible HTML improvements for your website. For example, you can see whether you have any missing title tags, duplicate meta descriptions, too long meta descriptions and much more. Fixing these small issues can help improve your search engine rankings and thereby attract more organic traffic.

google search console HTML improvements

With mobile website traffic increasing all the time, you should also check for your website’s mobile usability. Make sure you don’t have any big issues as Google has recently made several Mobile Friendly algorithm updates. Failing to serve your mobile audience will result in poorer SEO performance and lower organic traffic.

google-search-console-mobile-usability report

SEO Audit Tool Summary: Google Search Console

Level of expertise needed: BEGINNER to INTERMEDIATE

Pricing: FREE

Google Search Console Verdict:

Google Search Console is a highly intuitive and powerful SEO tool. Still, some features might seem complicated to a beginner level user such as URL Parameters, Sitemaps and Robots.txt Tester. Read more about these tools here.


3. Screaming Frog

screaming-frog-web-crawler is a powerful web architecture and seo audit tool

Screaming Frog is a desktop tool that helps to conduct a thorough website crawl and discover issues. It helps to understand how other crawl spiders (i.e. Google & Bing) see your website.

To give you some examples, here’s what can be done by using Screaming Frog:

  • Looking for broken links and server errors
  • Reviewing robots and directives (e.g. nofollow, noindex, canonicals)
  • Crawling XML sitemaps
  • Analysing page titles and metadata (e.g. Description & Keywords)
  • Finding redirected pages and looking at redirect chains.

You can crawl your entire site or a single subdirectory or identify pages with lengthy page titles, meta descriptions, or URLs. There are countless options that can help to improve your website’s organic performance.

For a thorough, step-by-step guide on crawling a website with Screaming Frog, click here.

Crawler Tool Summary: Screaming Frog

Level of expertise needed: BEGINNER to EXPERT

Pricing: Basic FREE version. Unlimited features costs £99 + VAT per year.

ScreamingFrog Verdict:

Screaming Frog can be used by beginners but in order to use the tool to its full capacity, you need specific knowledge about a website’s structure and SEO best practices. There are other free options such as Beam Us Up that offer a set of basic website crawl features. Also, be careful pointing a web crawler at your website before checking it can handle the load. You don’t want to break your website in the process.


4. Ahrefs

Ahrefs-seo-audit-tool

Ahrefs is a great seo audit tool for reviewing a website’s backlinks and conducting keyword analysis. It’s considered by many SEOs to be one of the best link analysis tools on the market.

Using Ahrefs, you’ll get a detailed backlink profile of your website. This includes the websites linking to your pages, the anchor text they use, the strength of the backlinks, and much more. Crawl reports also give insight and suggestions for possible SEO site issues.

Similar to the widely popular Moz, Ahrefs lets you track your keyword rankings and review domain health. It’s a handy tool for tracking and analysing your competitor’s keywords. Also for researching content topics and improving on page optimization.

Ahrefs-seo-audit-tool-dashboard

SEO Tool Summary: Ahrefs

Level of expertise needed: BEGINNER to EXPERT

Pricing: Starting from $99/month (5 campaigns, 300 tracked keywords) with other monthly plans costing $179 and $399/month.

Ahrefs Verdict:

Ahrefs has a well-designed interface meant to be used by marketers with different levels of knowledge about SEO. It’s a highly intuitive tool that’s easy to use and can help with either one-off or ongoing auditing and content / SEO research.


5. Deepcrawl

Deepcrawl-dahsboard-crawl

Deepcrawl is a hosted SEO audit tool designed for crawling large websites. Is is a highly comprehensive tool with features such as testing website configurations in staging environments before changing the live site.

If you need to audit a large site architecture or are interested in an in-depth website audit, Deepcrawl should be your go-to tool.

Here are some examples of what you can do with Deepcrawl:

  • Check whether your website’s meta tags are correctly applied
  • Review canonicalized pages to ensure the canonical tag has been implemented correctly
  • Check the implementation of hreflang and other directives
  • Download detailed reports
  • Track and prioritise issues and link them to reports
  • Find pages that could be considered to be of low quality by search engines
  • Get a complete overview of your site’s architecture (link structure, content and http status codes)
  • Schedule and compare crawls over time to see the progress

As you can see, Deepcrawl deserves its name – it really goes through every link in your website and sitemaps. By doing this ithelps to discover current shortcomings and new opportunities for improving your website’s SEO.

Deepcrawl trend graphs

Should I use ScreamingFrog or DeepCrawl for crawling my website?

It’s a very common question without a straightforward answer! ScreamingFrog can do a lot of what Deepcrawl does, but as DeepCrawl is web based it’s more robust. For example it doesn’t run out of memory, or get blocked by websites due to the number of requests coming from your single desktop machine. Deepcrawl’s reports are far more detailed than ScreamingFrog and it’s definitely targeted at the enterprise SEO end of the market which is reflected in the price.

At Web Method we use both tools – We use ScreamingFrog for quick crawls of small sites or crawling lists of URLs. We use DeepCrawl for larger projects crawls and seo audits.

Crawler Tool Summary: Deepcrawl

Level of expertise needed: INTERMEDIATE to EXPERT

Pricing: Starting from €60/month (5 domains, up to 100,000 URLs) with more comprehensive plans for €180/month (15 domains) and €327/month (30 domains)

DeepCrawl Verdict:

Deepcrawl’s wide feature set means that users definitely need to know about technical website SEO. To get the most out of Deepcrawl, you need to take time to examine the tool and draw recommendations from the very detailed reports.


6. Majestic

Majestic-top-links-graph

Majestic Trust Flow was titled the king of link metrics in 2015.

According to Majestic, “Trust Flow is one of the Majestic Flow Metrics, which is weighted by the number of clicks from a seed set of trusted sites to a given URL, or Domain.”

Put simply, it means that you can see your website link scores calculated by how many other sites link to your site and the authority of those linking domains.

Majestic is also praised for its ability to analyse a high amount of data. In this review of different SEO tools, BuiltVisible compared the rows of data downloaded in each export and found that Majestic’s index exceeded the other tools by far.

data-duplication-seo-audit-tool-comparison-row-count

You can use Majestic to check your backlinks, analyse anchor text, and interpret the volume of referring domains to your website. It’s also very powerful for competitor SEO research.

SEO Tool Summary: Majestic

Level of expertise needed: BEGINNER to EXPERT

Pricing: From £30/month.

Majestic Verdict:

Majestic is a powerful and popular SEO Tool. This means that if you’re not familiar with in-depth website auditing tactics, you may struggle to decide on actions when looking at Majestic reports.. Many people also consider Majestic’s user interface to be less intuitive than those of other SEO tools, but that won’t put off more experienced SEOs.


7. SEMRush

SEMrush

SEMrush is a great tool for search engine optimization as well as auditing a website. It helps to find and monitor keywords, comparing your top keywords to those of your competitors.

Compared to other SEO audit tools – for example, Moz – SEMrush’s strengths lie in keyword research and monitoring pay-per-click campaigns. SEMRush was one of the first tools to offer Google AdWords competitive reporting on Google Shopping (PLAs).

But we wouldn’t be mentioning SEMrush here if it hadn’t some great site auditing functions as well. You can conduct a basic website audit with SEMrush which is beneficial in many ways. It will highlight any penalties by web crawlers, helps to estimate the potential traffic to your site, and shows performance compared to competitors.

SEMrush domain vs domain

Using SEMrush is also a great way of noticing changes in your keyword performance. This might be due to algorithm updates by Google, a manual penalty or more backlinks.

You should also check out SEMrush’s “Domain vs Domain” feature that shows how multiple sites target overlapping both Paid and organic keywords. It’s one of the easiest means of comparing your website’s SEO performance to your competitors’.

SEO Tool Summary: SEMRush

Level of expertise needed: BEGINNER to EXPERT

Pricing: Starting from $69.95/month and going up to $549.95 for more results per report.

SEMRush Verdict:

While SEMrush has a comprehensive feature-set, it has still maintained a user-friendly interface. Like any other tool, it takes some time to get used to all the features, but you don’t need to an SEO guru to grasp the functions of SEMrush.


8. Searchmetrics

Searchmetrics

Searchmetrics focuses on Content Marketing as part of its USP more than any of the other tools in this review. Searchmetrics is a great tool for keyword research and competitive analysis.

If you’re looking for a light tool to audit your website’s SEO performance, Searchmetrics might be the answer. The tool also provides backlink analysis, rankings and visibility which help to benchmark your website’s performance.

When auditing your website, Searchmetrics has the ability to crawl over 2 million URLs. You’ll be able to analyze load times, file sizes and on-page errors, and get suggestions for increasing your visibility in the search engine results.

SEO Tool Summary: Searchmetrics

Level of expertise needed: INTERMEDIATE to EXPERT

Pricing: Essentials package for $69/month, extended features on request.

SearchMetrics Verdict:

If you’re familiar with keyword research, competitive analysis and have intermediate SEO skills, conducting a site audit with Searchmetrics is a simple and intuitive process.


9. Moz

Moz

If you’re even slightly familiar with search engine optimization, you’ve probably heard of Moz. It is considered to be the most mainstream keyword planning and SEO audit tool on the market. For this reason, many entry-level SEOs get up to speed by using Moz and learning from the weekly whiteboard sessions with Rand Fishkin.

Another benefit of using Moz is its engaged community. Moz maintains forums for SEOs to discuss tactics and updates in the field of search engine optimization. You have to have a paid plan to post in the forums.

Here are some of the functions you’ll get with Moz:

  • Evaluating your domain authority and discovering page link metrics
  • Optimising on page content for specific keywords
  • Tools for improving local SEO performance of a website
  • Tracking keyword ranking data and improving your visibility in SERPs
  • Finding unlinked mentions, reclaiming broken links, and discovering competitive link opportunities
  • Auditing your site for potentially harmful or toxic links
  • Discovering site crawlability issues, including crawl errors, duplicate content, broken links, and missing page elements

Moz site crawl

Moz is an all-in-one SEO suite with strong features. It’s a great entry level product for SEOs just starting out, or for someone who’s primary job isn’t SEO but they have found themselves responsible for it. The other tools in this review surpass Moz’s capacity to conduct a large-scale technical website audit.

SEO Audit Tool Summary: Moz

Level of expertise needed: BEGINNER to INTERMEDIATE

Pricing: Starting from $99/month (5 tracked campaigns) and going up depending on the number of campaigns, keyword reports, etc.

Moz Verdict:

Moz has a great user experience, meaning that even beginner-level users will be able to navigate the tool. Use it as a go-to tool for search engine optimization and keyword research to improve your page rankings on SERPs.


Take Control Of Your SEO Audit Tool Kit

By now, you should have a good understanding of the top website auditing tools on the market. Each of these tools has its own strengths and weaknesses, so best practice is to use several of them, each serving in a particular part of your website audit.

But you’ll only know how useful they are when you give them a try! Free, basic or demo versions are available for almost all of the products we’ve reviewed. Therefore getting your hands dirty to learn more about SEO and web auditing has never been easier.

To read more about pre-launch website optimization, see the following article: The Technical SEO Audit Guide For Launching A Website

Have you got a question about website audits? Just post a comment below or drop us a line.

 

2 Comments

  1. Joilson Lima Reply

    Thank you for this information.

  2. Devin Schumacher Reply

    Loving screaming frog!

    Thanks for this post – would love to guest post on the next tools post. I have a bunch I could share.

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