What Are Some Good SEO Audit Tools
What are the best website and SEO audit tools
Wouldn't it be great if an automated tool could tell you exactly what to do to increase your website traffic and improve your entire digital business? And maybe even implement some of the recommendations automatically?
With these questions in mind, I've looked at some of the most popular SEO and audit tools to see how they fulfill that vision.
In my assessment, I look at three typical areas of application:
- Monitoring of website and SEO performance
- One-time website audits or general system diagnostics
- Advanced SEO auditing and management for long-term projects
If you don't want to read the entire article, you can take a look at the table here, in which I have summarized the most important information about all the tools.
SEO site checkup
SEO Site Checkup - 2019-08-11 at 08.02.23 screencapture-seositecheckup-seo-audit-what-digital-2019-08-12-06_10_53
This tool provided a solid technical SEO rating that covers some of the points I would normally check on an SEO audit. However, it does not replace the full page audit, which is difficult to do without access to Analytics or the search console.
Our website scored 90 out of 100, which I think is a fair evaluation. I also find it to be welcomed that no “critical” areas were found. Other tools tend to deliver terrifying results in order to be able to bring about further measures, such as signing up for their paid version. All in all, the tool delivers a fair rating and is certainly useful for a quick website check. I wouldn't recommend it for building your SEO strategy though.
Good for: Simple, one-time SEO audits
Sample report: https://www.woorank.com/en/www/what.digital
woorank - screencapture-woorank-en-www-what-digital-2019-08-12-06_17_21
The free version is limited but does a very good single page review in terms of SEO, social media, mobile devices, and UX in general. You can add and review internal pages, but the rating is a bit misleading at first because, although a website review is stated, it is only a single page. You have to crawl to get results for the entire website.
The paid version (which you can currently test for 14 days free of charge by specifying a card) has a lot more to offer, including tracking improvements.
The website crawling revealed duplicate content in some places, but it was still very simple overall and not all of the problems identified were relevant.
Woorank definitely wants to be more than a simple and fast auditing tool, but is more of a less developed combination of Ahrefs and Screaming Frog. All of its features can be found in other tools as well, so I would rather not use it other than the free single page review. It is also not recommended for beginners, as it uses a lot of technical jargon and there is no prioritization of the recommendations.
Good for: Not very clear, average in all categories
Sample report: https://nibbler.silktide.com/en/reports/what.digital
Nibbler - screencapture-nibbler-silktide-en-reports-what-digital-2019-08-14-05_51_58
Analyzing five pages, Nibbler provides a comprehensive overview of tools and potential issues, ranging from basic SEO questions to the age of the domain. Above all, it is positive that Nibbler not only checks the homepage.
The results can be useful for those who are not very familiar with web standards and want to find out whether any major problems arise (e.g. with regard to user-friendliness on mobile devices or accessibility)
The recommendations in the report were generally very basic (e.g., “You don't have a Facebook Page - you should set up a Facebook Page” or “Add more content”), so aren't particularly useful for more experienced marketers.
Note: Nibbler is the free version of a more professional tool from the same company that probably has more to offer.
Good for: High quality, general website audits
Sample report: https://website.grader.com/results/what.digital
This is a tool “powered by” HubSpot, i.e. it basically checks everything that HubSpot is good at and constantly recommends building the website with HubSpot.
I really liked the layout and UX of the audit. On our website, the tool stated it was discovering issues related to render blocking, which is said to be affecting our page load time. It also identified the fact that some page titles are over 70 characters long. Usually this is not a big deal and most sites can handle it without any problems.
I also had one of the HubSpot sites reviewed and got a perfect rating - so it works for them.
The criteria pick is very useful, but overall, it's more of a lead magnet for HS than something to fall back on.
Good for: HubSpot fans or when purchasing HubSpot to see if the website has any issues that HubSpot can resolve.
Sample report: sitechecker-pro-page-information-2019-08-15-06_34_22
This tool is primarily used for SEO. I signed up to be able to crawl our website and get an audit. We achieved a score of 65/100, which doesn't really mean a lot because the number is based on the internal algorithm.
The crawler crawled through 20 pages and gave me a comprehensive overview of the typical problems (e.g. too long page titles). However, I had difficulty understanding all the labels - one of the flags was called “Low code ratio” and I am not sure whether this is to be interpreted positively or negatively. What I liked is the single page report, which is pretty unique and has a good assessment of the content and technical issues.
However, the result is insufficient for an advanced SEO review. Although the tool shows internal and external links on a page, it would be much more important to provide information about those internal and external links that refer to the page from other pages.
The tool can certainly be used for sophisticated monitoring of SEO matters, but I still cannot imagine using it. Nowadays most technical problems are already listed in the search console, so it would be more important to also look at rankings and backlinks in the monitoring. There are better tools for quick and one-time audits, which are also listed in this article.
Good for: Not sure, possibly for high-quality SEO audits, but has little added value compared to the search console
SEO Web Page Analyzer
Sample report: seowebpageanalyzer-2019-08-16-05_51_21
This tool includes a single page analysis and mainly takes into account aspects of on-page optimization of SEO. It is easy to understand and also offers some explanations on each topic. Unfortunately, some of the sections seem out of date; Among other things, I received a red flag for an empty “Keywords” meta tag, and the keyword frequency rating is also less relevant these days. In addition, not all internal links were taken into account - in total only 6 internal links were found on the website. It is possible that the tool has not been updated for a while and therefore has some bugs, so I do not recommend using it.
Good for: Individual SEO analyzes on one page, but with caution, as it is out of date.
1 & 1 website checker
Sample report: ionos-website-checker-result-2019-08-16-05_58_57
I liked this tool very much at first sight. It has an attractive layout and I like the way the results are presented and broken down into four sections: 1) be present 2) be found 3) be sure 4) be quick. There is a certain logic behind this. Unfortunately, 1 & 1 built some insidious sales recommendations into the audit that have nothing to do with SEO. For example, I was advised to buy additional domains to increase my brand exposure! Unfortunately, this destroys the credibility of this tool and makes it unusable for any meaningful website or SEO evaluation.
Good for: nothing.
Sample report: ubersuggest-2019-08-17-06_49_18
Let's start with the SEO audit: the tool crawled a sample of 150 pages and provided ratings based on that sample. Our website achieved a total of 83 points, but it is not entirely clear how these were calculated. The monthly traffic estimate is rather imprecise as the tool estimates 18 visits per month while our
Search console 240 displays. This is not an insignificant mistake, but rather like saying the distance between Paris and New York is 430 kilometers. This disqualifies Ubersuggest as a performance monitoring tool.
Even as an SEO auditing tool, it delivered disappointing results and showed problems in only 3 categories: 1) low number of words on some pages 2) a few duplicate meta descriptions 3) a few duplicate page titles - not exactly groundbreaking discoveries.
Good for: Free and fast link analysis, possibly SEO monitoring, but only with caution, because the data set is much smaller than with other tools on the market. Overall, the tool appears to be underdeveloped, and it looks like Neil still has some work to do here.
SEMrush - Site Audit
Sample report: semrush-siteaudit-campaign-2793056-review-2019-08-17-07_12_25
SEMrush provides its crawler and delivers a report based on 100 crawled pages. Our website received a 73% rating based on the sample crawl, which showed some technical flaws. These were mainly small things that we can pick up and see in the search console, such as broken links, incorrect sitemap links, etc. Overall, the numbers seem to be pretty thorough. I can imagine that monitoring the website over a period of time can be useful for the SEO or website manager.
The SEMrush-Suite is subject to a logic based on modules. The site audit module is quite simple, which makes it necessary to activate additional functions such as on-page checker, position tracker, link building, etc., and which results in a loss of user-friendliness. I tested the on-page checker and while the on-page recommendations weren't particularly accurate, the top 10 benchmarking came in handy. It gives you really good advice on what to do to get in the top 10 for that particular search term.
Based on my 30 minute analysis, I have to say that SEMrush's free auditing tool wasn't very impressive. I can imagine, however, that once you activate other modules and get used to the UI, it can be a pretty powerful and useful SEO tool. Overall, the tool is well developed and also relatively fast and solid - you can tell that it has been on the market for a while. I will definitely try the GA / SC integration to see what else I can get out of the data.
Good for: Advanced SEO on larger websites and more important projects, not just for SEO
While Ahrefs doesn't provide a free trial, it's by far my favorite tool at the moment, so I'm probably a little biased when I rate it. This could be because the tool relies on proven SEO processes like the ones I learned back then. Ahrefs also provides fairly accurate results that are very close to the traffic estimates and numbers from the search console and Google Ads. Both the backlinking tools and the ranking trackers have proven very useful. The auditing tools are primarily used for monitoring - the crawler searches for errors and other defects, but is relatively superfluous, since almost everything can also be found in the search console.
All in all, Ahrefs is less suitable as a website auditing tool than SEO software for campaign management, link building, monitoring, and the assessment of the competition, but it is highly recommended.
Good for: SEO monitoring, competition assessment, advanced link building and larger SEO projects
Sample report: what-digital-screaming-frog-crawl_overview
With Screaming Frog, you can enter any URL and have your custom crawler crawl through all available URLs while getting a real-time view of the process and feedback on any issues. The configuration can be individually adjusted and I was even able to successfully crawl a PWA (Progressive Web Application). Screaming Frog is therefore probably the best website crawler available and a must-have for all technical audits, especially when it comes to larger database-driven sites such as large e-commerce or content sites.
Good for: website crawlers and advanced SEO audits
I have used Raven a lot so far and I like the simple user interface and its attention to data (including query volumes from Google and links from Majestic). Overall, it is a very useful toolkit for SEO managers and it includes a number of advanced tools. Whether you use SEMrush, Moz or Raven is above all a question of personal taste. Personally, I prefer a combination of Ahrefs and Raven.
Good for: advanced SEO work and very good for audits
Moz is one of the most powerful tools for SEO, but it doesn't offer a free website review tool either. While there is a free online visibility checker and keyword explorer, they are not very useful. In the past I used the SEO tools for more advanced SEO projects, but I didn't like the way SEO projects are structured as campaigns. It didn't fit my workflow, but I imagine it can work just fine for others.
Good for: advanced, long-term SEO work
After I have rated all of the tools I have tested here, I would be interested to know which auditing software you use.
My current SEO / auditing stack consists of Ahrefs for monitoring, Screaming Frog for larger page crawls, Search Console for search query analysis and further indexing and, last but not least, Google Analytics for adding data context. However, I still lack a fast auditing tool that can do short health checks on websites and provide some useful growth tips instead of reporting too short page titles. There actually appears to be a niche in the market in this area.
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