Every SEO professional has to know their way around various software developed for the field. SEO audit tools are no different. Often it’s best to start out with a SEO audit before implementing any particular solutions.
As an SEO audit is often the starting point, it’s instrumental to do it right. So, we decided to list some of the best SEO audit tools, both free and paid ones, to get you on the right track right off the bat.
1. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is the original SEO audit tool, created and maintained by the most popular search engine in the world. All you need to get started with it is add a code snippet into the web page.
As a free SEO audit tool, Google Search Console is hard to beat. It displays most of the fundamental, albeit basic, information that’s necessary for evaluating SEO performance, such as traffic, keyword metrics, click-through rates, and many others.
Additionally, Google Search Console offers some unique features. Since it belongs to one of the largest search engines, you can request specific pages to be indexed, disavow backlinks, and do a few other Google-specific actions.
There are some drawbacks, however. Some of the data displayed in Google Search Console isn’t as useful. For example, the average keyword position includes paid results and many of the other result page features. Some of the rankings for result page features make little sense, but are still combined into the average keyword position.
In the end, using Google Search Console is inevitable as it provides some unique features that you won’t be able to find elsewhere. Most other SEO audit tools, however, will have better technical and data acquisition features.
- Pro - $119.95 per month (billed monthly) or $99.95 per month (billed annually).
- Guru - $229.95 per month (billed monthly) or $191.62 per month (billed annually).
- Business - $449.95 per month (billed monthly) or $374.95 per month (billed annually).
SEMRush is one of the best SEO audit tools out there, albeit one of the pricier ones as well. The company is well-trusted among the world’s largest organizations and businesses for all technical SEO needs.
As most paid SEO audit tools, SEMRush follows a tiered monthly subscription model with the first plan providing the least features. Pricier plans not only increase the allotted numbers for keyword tracking and projects, but add entire features. For example, Google Data Studio integration is only available with the Guru plan (and beyond).
A major benefit, however, is that SEMRush offers so many features for keyword research, rankings, technical SEO, and website audit execution that listing them all out would be nearly impossible. They essentially cover everything, from traffic and page performance to advanced technical issues.
Finally, they provide lots of great data visualization features that make analyzing keyword rankings and other SEO performance much easier. In the end, while SEMRush rests on the more expensive side of SEO audit tools, it’s definitely one of the best.
3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics (GA) is another free SEO audit tool, developed by the search engine company. Unlike Google Search Console, Analytics is more focused on the general performance of web pages.
As such, it won’t be able, at least often, to help you discover technical issues. Google Analytics, however, is a great way to evaluate the organic channel performance for an entire website or specific web pages.
Through Analytics, you can set up various tracking snippets that enable you to stratify traffic to evaluate the performance of your other marketing channels as well. While you won’t be able to see your keyword rankings or other SEO aspects, GA makes it a lot easier to see if the bulk of your traffic is coming from search engines or other sources.
Additionally, it adds some data about the devices being used to access your website. Since mobile usability is an important factor in SEO, Google Analytics can provide some hard data on how it’s going. However, it won’t show if mobile usability is configured correctly, only what the users are doing.
In the end, GA is a simple tool that’s intended as a way to supplement SEO audit tools. By itself it might not do a lot, especially for technical SEO, but Google Analytics will provide you with lots of valuable insights and context.
4. Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Pricing: Free version available. Paid version is $209 per year per license. Buying many licenses reduces the overall price.
Screaming Frog is one of the best technical SEO audit tools available. Not only does it come with a free version that’s formidable by itself, but the paid version adds a ton of features that make the software even better.
Primarily, Screaming Frog works by performing manual crawls of your web pages, scraping and analyzing each one. They then show a report of the website audit, which can range from the most basic issues (i.e. grammar and spelling mistakes in content) to advanced technical SEO issues.
As per usual, the report will also include any missing meta tags or meta descriptions, broken links, and other important information. While it won’t directly tell you how to solve all of the issues (as some are obvious, such as missing meta tags or meta descriptions), the reports provide enough details for an experienced professional to resolve many technical SEO issues.
Additionally, Screaming Frog, unlike many other tools, has proxy integration. With the usage of proxies, the crawling process can be made much quicker. If residential proxies are integrated, nearly any location can be chosen in order to retrieve content that might be localized.
Finally, Screaming Frog has a lot of handy integrations into other popular SEO audit tools such as Search Console, Page Speed Insights, and many others. While these are only available in the paid version, the integrations make the audits a lot more insightful.
In the end, Screaming Frog is a technical SEO audit tool that’s worth your time regardless of the version you choose. Both the free and paid versions are formidable tools that will help you solve lots of technical issues.
5. Ahrefs Site Audit Tool
- Lite - €89 per month (billed monthly) or €74 per month (billed yearly).
- Standard - €179 per month (billed monthly) or €149 per month (billed yearly).
- Advanced - €349 per month (billed monthly) or €308 per month (billed yearly).
- Enterprise - €899 per month (billed monthly) or €749 per month (billed yearly).
Ahrefs Site Audit is one of the better-known technical SEO audit tools on the market. The company itself focuses on a wide variety and assortment of technical SEO tools and software, allowing its users to perform keyword research and other essential optimization strategies.
Like many paid best SEO audit tools, Ahrefs have a tiered subscription model that’s highly stratified. The cheaper plans have comparatively few features, which, unfortunately, might not be enough to uncover all the technical SEO issues on websites. So, getting up to the more expensive plans might be necessary to perform a good SEO audit.
It, however, is definitely worth the money. Ahrefs’ tool runs completely in the cloud, freeing up resources on your device for other work. Additionally, the tool can automatically discover over 100 common technical issues on websites, which may include broken links, page load speed, and much more.
Each of these issues is presented in a separate category with color coding to show which ones are more important. For example, page load speed will have a yellow notification icon while broken links will be marked in red.
Finally, since Ahrefs is an all-in-one solution, if you get used to the audit tool, using their other packages becomes so much easier. Getting used to the audit tool means you’ll be able to easily perform keyword research, find potential SEO issues, etc. You’ll even get a weekly report, which will outline changes in page load speed, keyword rankings, and much more.
In the end, Ahrefs is another solution that’s a bit more on the expensive side, but is also one that provides tons of features that help users perform technical SEO.
While there are many other tools out there that will help you on your technical SEO journey, the ones outlined above rank among the best. Whether it’s evaluating page load speed or finding broken links, all of them will perform amazingly well. Finally, some of them will even help you with other tasks such as keyword research.