SEO audit is a very important part of your SEO process.
This is where you should start – analyze strong and weak parts of your site and then execute on them.
SEO audit is way easier with a number of tools.
Now, SEO audit can be performed in top 4 areas:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page (Backlinks)
However, under SEO audit a lot of SEO specialists mean mostly on-page SEO and tech SEO.
Let’s go through some main tools, which I really like and which simplify the SEO audit processes a lot.
Most of the tools will perform on-page and tech SEO audit – you enter your site URL and will have a handy checklist of to-do’s.
With help of some tools, you can check your backlink profile and also analyze competitors.
Without further ado, here are best tools in each category (based on my experience, which is also supported by experts):
Best Content Audit tools
- Search Console
Content is king, that’s why it’s really important to do a proper audit and know exactly, what is your top performing content is and why.
With Content Audit tools, you can know something of the following:
- Your top ranking keywords in Google;
- Your top Searched posts and pages;
- Top shared content;
- Top linked to content;
- Content with low click-through rate – high impressions, but low clicks, etc.
Best on-page SEO audit tools
- Screaming Frog
Here is just some data, which you can get from an on-page SEO audit:
- Crawl all pages on your site;
- Identify and optimize content, meta data (titles, metas, h1);
- Look at your website structure;
- Find broken links, redirects;
- Identify pages with low CTR (high impressions, but low clicks) – which require on-page SEO, etc.
Best technical SEO audit tools
- Search Console
- Screaming Frog
- Page Speed Insights
Some of the data technical audit can give you:
- Data on HTTP status, redirects, broken links;
- Robots.txt, sitemaps.xml, .htaccess issues;
- Crawling and indexing issues;
- Rich snippets and structured data statuses;
- AMP (Amplified Mobile Pages) issues and so on.
Best tools for off-page SEO audits
Off-page SEO mostly means your backlink profile:
- Number of backlinks, referring pages and domains to your site;
- Types of links (high and low DA ratio, dofollows with nofollows, .edu, .com, and other linking domains);
- Your Domain authority (DA), Domain Ranking (DR), URL Rankings (UR), Majestic Trust Flow and their growth over time;
- Content gap analysis (your backlinks compared to competitors’) and so on.
Best tools for the competitors SEO audit
Competitors research can be a key to growing your site/blog really fast – you just follow an established path, but try to do it a bit better.
- Who are your competitors;
- Your content gap – which competitors keywords your site is missing;
- Interlink – which referring domains from your competitors are missed in your site;
- Top shared, searched, linked to content from your competitors – topic ideas;
- Backlink ideas, referral traffic ideas, how to “steal traffic” from your competitors, etc.
Let’s look into more details with these and other tools.
1. Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Screaming Frog is one of the best on-page and tech SEO audit tools.
You just enter your website url – free version allows up to 500 urls – and get a detailed analysis of your pages.
You can filter by internal and external SEO elements, Protocols, Response Codes, Meta Titles, Descriptions, H1, H2, Images, etc.
Then on the right side, you can see all the issues in related areas.
For example, I can identify, that there is 131 page with 4xx error.
I can filter pages by Status Code and see which urls return 404 code.
Or I can analyze my page titles and see main issues – Missing, Duplicate, Over 65 characters, below 30 characters, same as H1.
Similar technique applies to Meta Descriptions and H1s, H2s.
These are just a few examples of how to use Screaming Frog for SEO audit.
Ahrefs is my favorite SEO tool. 😊
It has just recently introduced Site audit feature.
In order to perform on-page and tech Audit in Ahrefs, go to “Site Audit” section.
Enter your site url.
After that, if you want to speed up the process, you will need to verify the ownership of your site.
And after some time you will have an overview of your site. It looks like this.
Take a look at Titles, Metas, 404 pages, site speed, Performance, Localization, Outgoing and Incoming links and so on.
All of these will be organized in separate reports.
You site will be given an overall Health Score – percentage of internal urls, which don’t have any errors.
You will have an overview of all issues, e.g. 4XX pages, 3XX redirects, Slow pages, Meta tags errors (too short, too long, duplicates, etc), Orphan pages (have no incoming internal links), pages with missing alt tags and so on.
Just go through this list and fix all these issues ASAP – you will essentially get more traffic.
But, the real power of Ahrefs is in Content, Backlinks and Competitors Audits.
To find your top performing content in Ahrefs, go to Top Pages menu on the left.
You will see top pages by organic traffic from Google.
To find out your most shared content, go to Top Content tab.
Here you will your posts with the biggest number of shares on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. You can sort them by combined Social Power in Ahrefs.
To analyze your backlink landscape, just enter your site in the Site explorer tab and you will get:
- your Ahrefs Rank,
- Referring Domains,
- nr of Organic Keywords,
- estimated Organic Traffic
- even est. Traffic value (if you would purchase this traffic in Google Ads).
That’s a lot of backlinks data!
And remember, backlinks are one of the top ranking factors in Google, so knowing your backlink landscape – a top priority for every SEO specialist.
What I really like – you can get a graph of growing referring domains to your site – this is basically an overview of your SEO efforts over time.
Also, go to the Referring Domains tab, and you can see an overview of new and lost referring domains to your site.
You can analyze any website in Ahrefs. That’s why it’s a great tool for competitors analysis.
First of all, to identify some of your competitors, you should go to Dashboard and click on Organic Traffic. From there, Ahrefs will give you an idea what are sites with similar ranking keywords in selected geographical areas.
And of course, to get some topic ideas, you can analyze best performing posts from your competitors.
For example, these are top shared posts from NeilPatel.com
So, if you created articles with similar topics and high quality content (of course, not plagiarized) – there is a good chance these blogs can get some shares!
A content gap in Ahrefs – another great feature for competitors analysis.
Just go to Content Gap and enter your website and some competitors and click “Show keywords”. A table will show you a list of keywords for which your competitor site ranks, but your site doesn’t.
In this case, we compared Neil Patel’s blog and Backlinko and noticed, that for example, Neil Patel is missing content on “google keywords planner”, “Youtube tags”, “youtube studio” and so on.
Bottom line: if you are serious about SEO in 2019 and beyond, you will need to learn Ahrefs.
3. Search Console
Many people underestimate a power of Search Console.
However, it’s one of my favorite tools. Moreover, it’s a tool from Google, so it provides data from a first source.
Think about it, Google by itself gives you a hint, where you should focus your SEO attention. That’s powerful!
Search Console is especially good for content and technical SEO audits.
When you are logged in to your Search Console account, go to the Performance tab.
You will see a graph with top impressions and clicks for your content.
Then you can scroll down, and you will see:
- top search queries
- top pages
- search appearance.
That’s a very valuable insight into your content, which you should use to optimize your content and to improve on-page SEO.
For example, you can filter your articles by low CTR or high impressions and low clicks.
These are your target articles to improve on-page SEO – add more high impressions keywords to related pages – and you will get more traffic!
If you go to Coverage section, you will see all indexing issues with your pages or what can prevent them from showing up in Google.
In the AMP report, you can check issues with your AMP pages.
Submit your sitemap.xml file to Google Search Console and also track all issues.
Another great thing about Search Console, is that you will receive updates, when there are some critical errors.
This is just an overview of some helpful features in Search Console – there are much more.
To perform SEO audit in Semrush, go to Site audit panel in bottom left and create New audit.
After that, I can see site audit dashboard with a total Health score.
All issues are grouped into 3 categories: errors, warnings and notices.
Also, in the bottom, you can see top issues.
Then you can go through each tab and solve issues.
Bottom line: Semrush – great tech and on-page audit tool, which is also simple to use.
5. Page Speed Insights
Page Speed Insights is one of my favorite tools for analyzing speed of your site – both on mobile and desktop.
ICYMI, Page speed – a really important Google ranking factor.
When you enter your site (in this case, let’s test backlinko.com 😊), you will your speed score. Scale – 90-100 (fast), 50-89 (average), 0-49 (slow).
When you see your score, don’t freak out, as it is really hard to get high score in Google Page Speed Insights.
You will see all kinds of in-depth data:
- First contentful paint (marks the time at which the first text or image is painted);
- First meaningful paint (measures when the primary content of a page is visible);
- Speed index (shows how quickly the contents of a page are visibly populated);
- Time to interactive (marks the time at which the page is fully interactive).
My favorite part though is Opportunities.
PSI will recommend top five opportunities and estimated time savings if you implement them.
Bottom line: if you want to have a fast website (both on mobile and desktop) – Page Speed Insights – a go-to tool.
Pulno is an on-site SEO analysis tool which detects optimization and development issues of a website (i.e. broken links, page speed, broken images, issues with sitemap and more). Those issues are listed and presented to website owners in comprehensible reports. In addition to that, Pulno offers several unique features, which set it apart from its competition. Some of those distinct features are:
1. Unique content analyzer – content uniqueness is one of the parameters analyzed and evaluated during the website analysis. Why? Because poor content kills your rankings, drives your users away, and destroys any lead generation efforts. This is where Pulno shines. Pulno will evaluate your content and tell you exactly what should be fixed, helping you create rich and unique copies that fulfill user intent, attract more viewers and are ranked higher by search engines.
2. CSS and fonts – a known fact – poorly optimized CSS files and unused fonts slow down websites, and slow websites lose conversions. We’ve created Pulno to fix that.
Any unused CSS files and fonts will be detected during a website analysis. Pulno will help you fix these issues and it will go one step further, generating a lighter, optimized CSS file that you can download and install on your website. Deleting unused fonts and optimizing CSS will increase your website’s speed. Faster websites rank and convert better so increasing page speed is so essential. Fortunately, it can be easily done with the help of Pulno.
Back to you
Hope you enjoyed this overview of site audit tools and tactics.
What are your favorite tools? What did I miss?
Leave suggestions in the comments sections below! 👇
See you on the next hike!