This guide is meant to be your ultimate resource to do anything your SEO-inclined heart and mind might desire using SEO audit tools.
Each tool is designed to accomplish a specific SEO task – and they carry a range of price tags, from free to expensive.
For the purposes of this guide, we decided the best approach is to provide tools that can perform specific functions, even though some might overlap in breadth and scope.
We also divided the guide into sections that you can use to help complete our SEO Audit workbook.
It’s important to note at this juncture: This author has absolutely no financial relationship with any of these tools – other than the fact that they have been used at some point during every SEO audit I’ve done (and I’ve done many!).
Technical SEO Audit Tools
1. Google Search Console
Google Search Console also tracks featured snippets such as sitelinks, breadcrumbs, AMP, video snippets, and more.
Key Features: A critical tool for most SEO professionals, it lets you track stats and metrics through Google’s own data (not third-party data). In addition, it helps to provide insights on things like Google algorithm updates, site errors, and more.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the best tools that you can use for tracking your site’s overall performance data from a wide variety of channels (not just from Google organic channels).
Key Features: With its highly robust data-gathering mechanism and reports driven by insights, you can create a story that is easy for your clients to follow.
Google’s product pitch explains that you can “unlock customer-centric measurement,” which will help you determine how your customers interact across your sites and applications throughout the buyer journey.
Pricing: Free. At the time of this writing, it’s important to mention that Google Analytics 4 is being completely released in July 2023, so if you have your data stored in Universal Analytics, you need to make sure that you make the switch properly before then (do not rely on Google to do it for you).
3. Google Trends
Google Trends is a rare tool that provides a ton of data that can help you inform your SEO strategy. It shows you the interest in a search term over the span of months to years.
Key Features: This tool’s claim to fame allows you to search for keywords with data showing the peak popularity of these terms (not search volume).
Basically, when you search for a term on Google Trends, the interest over time graph shows the relative importance of a term and how highly important it is. The bigger the number, the more traffic it is getting at that given point in time.
But, as a data tool, Google Trends should only indicate what kind of searches you could expect from going after a specific keyword.
4. Google Rich Results Testing Tool
Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool allows you to test your structured data.
Key Features: When using code input or URL input, it’s possible to check and ensure that your structured data validates according to Google’s standards.
If you don’t, it’s possible that you could run into issues displaying your structured data.
5. Google Mobile-Friendly Test
By checking your site with this tool, you can verify that your site is ready for the mobile-friendly world.
Key Features: Google recommends that this tool be used as part of a check-and-repair process for mobile usability issues.
It’s a mistake to think this tool will tell you your site is mobile-friendly within Google’s index.
6. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is the de facto standard for comprehensive technical SEO audits.
Key Features: Aside from the basic to advanced crawls that you can perform, Screaming Frog can help you dive deep into broken links, redirects, and duplicate content.
In addition, it also helps you visualize website architectures and audit scheduling as well.
Pricing: The full version of Screaming Frog is $259 per year. You can also switch between currencies based on your country or region.
From tools that can assist with SEO audits, to link building and content marketing, Semrush has a comprehensive suite of SEO tools suite that can help you accomplish a ton while saving you a lot of time.
Key Features: When performing an SEO audit, Semrush runs through over 120 checks. It helps identify issues with things like page speed, crawlability, and backlinks, as well as security checks and on-page.
Pricing: Semrush has a variety of plans at your disposal.
Its cheapest plan runs at $119/month, the Pro plan.
Its Guru plan runs at $229.95/month and gives you a topic research tool, among other benefits – including greater numbers of keywords to track and more results per report.
The highest plan is the Business plan at $449.95/month, which is perfect for large agencies and enterprises.
Sitebulb is a crawler and site audit tool in the same vein as Screaming Frog. It is comprehensive and can provide information and diagnose things like crawlability issues, on-page SEO, backlinks, and much more.
In addition, it includes another dimension of SEO issues using its own interpretation of SEO best practices. But because of this, it’s always the job of the SEO analyst to help identify these issues and prioritize them in a way that makes sense to the client.
Key Features: Sitebulb includes several key features, including in-depth reports for on-page SEO issues, links (internal and external), indexability, and duplicate content.
Pricing: Sitebulb is most likely one of the cheapest SEO pieces of software out there, but this does not make it any less valuable.
It has a free version, a lite version with around 10,000 URLs per audit at $13.50/month, and a Pro version with 500,000 URLs per audit at $35.00/month.
As with most other SEO audit software applications, the features and benefits increase as you increase your pricing tiers.
9. Raven Tools
Raven Tools is not just a site auditing tool, but it also provides the ability to help track keywords and ongoing SEO performance.
Key Features: Aside from its site auditor, this tool includes Google Data Studio integrations, comprehensive marketing reports you can white label with your agency, competitor research, keyword research, a backlink checker, and social media functions.
- Small Business – $39/month.
- Starter – $79/month.
- Grow – $139/month.
- Thrive – $249/month.
- Lead – $399/month.
Each plan includes a set number of domains/campaigns you can use, users, and position checks that increase with each specific plan.
Important note: Ahrefs currently uses a “credits” system in their pricing structure that may not be suitable for those who need to stretch their dollar. You could easily find yourself running up your limits every month if you do a lot of work.
Before moving forward, investigate and ensure that Ahrefs is the right solution for you. If you have to pinch pennies, Ahrefs may not be the tool for you.
Key Features: Ahrefs is best known as Semrush’s counterpart in the same space: a comprehensive suite of SEO tools designed to help you perform comprehensive technical SEO audits, backlink audits, content gap analyses, keyword gap analyses, and more.
Pricing: Ahrefs has the following pricing structure:
- The Lite plan starts at $99/month.
- The Standard plan starts at $199/month.
- The Advanced plan starts at $399/month.
- The Enterprise plan starts at $999/month.
All plans include site explorer, keywords explorer, site audit tool, rank tracker, and alerts. All of these go up in terms of how many rows can be run in your report, and you get additional tools if you go up in price.
11. SEO Pro Google Chrome Extension
Key Features: SEO Pro helps with page-level evaluations and can help you recognize patterns of issues within your heading tags. It has a robust scoring system that scrapes the page for heading tags, images, alt text, page speed issues, and much more.
If you need to perform page-level evaluations as part of your SEO audit work, this tool can help you manage these and see what’s happening on the page at a glance.
12. Page-O-Scope By Mobile Moxie
The Page-O-Scope by Mobile Moxie helps you identify issues with your mobile site’s design and usability by scanning the mobile versions of your pages on different devices.
Key Features: You can test your mobile landing pages on over 50 iOS and Android mobile devices.
By emulating these devices in real-time, you can find problems and other issues caused by ineffective coding practices, lack of web developer oversight, and much more.
The tool’s landing page testing is also country-aware, so you can test your landing pages in international arenas that are highly regulated.
Pricing: Plans include access to different levels of users and projects depending on what you pay.
Live testing and tracking, along with access to all six tools, are the basic features of its pricing plans.
- Solo plan costs $99/month.
- Pro plan costs $279/month.
- Agency plan costs $879/month.
13. MST SERP Counter Chrome Extension
The MST SERP Counter Chrome Extension is a very easy way to identify how your page is ranking in the SERP (if at all). All you do is install the extension, load up a SERP, and it will add numbers to the left-hand side automatically.
Key Features: There is just one function of MST SERP Counter: It displays the number next to the search results, so you can easily see the position of any website result.
14. HubSpot Website Grader
HubSpot’s Website Grader has been around for a long time and has multiple versions.
Key Features: Website Grader checks your site using four main categories for performance: site performance, search engine optimization, mobile friendliness, and security.
Pricing: It’s a free tool and can be used as often as you wish.
Oncrawl is a website crawler similar to Screaming Frog, except it runs in the cloud and has significant URL allocations, including up to and over 300 million URLs.
It also has over 500 charts and 12 data points that you can use to help inform your SEO audits.
You can also use its crawls to manage and monitor changes to the site, and it helps you keep track of these changes. By doing this, you can ensure your changes don’t have a negative SEO impact.
Key Features: Oncrawl allows you to integrate your crawl with any data type, like publishing dates, product pricing, and AMP implementations.
It’s possible to create custom reports based on these data insights instead of relying on data that might not have consequences for your report.
Pricing: Oncrawl, sadly, does not reveal any pricing for its plans: Explorer, Business, and Infinite. You have to call them.
On-Page Audit Tools
On-page SEO continues to be a significant part of any well-optimized site. By concentrating on on-page SEO, you are taking the steps necessary to keep your page competitive for months to come.
Frase.io is an extraordinarily comprehensive on-page SEO cloud-based application allowing you to dial your on-page SEO to extraordinary levels.
Its user interface includes a workflow that lets you see all the top search results you select and scroll through them all at once, without compiling them into a spreadsheet.
It also has an on-page interface similar to Surfer SEO, in which you include words on the page that are calculated as part of an overall on-page SEO score. The higher this score, the better you will be able to ensure that your page remains completely optimized compared to your competition.
Key Features: Frase’s tagline is “Smart AI for Smarter SEO.” Its claim to fame is automated AI-generated content briefs that you can customize and create for all of your clients.
This also includes using AI to construct and write content based on that content brief at will. You can also optimize your content based on your top search competitors using a custom workflow.
Pricing: Frase’s pricing plan includes Solo, Basic, and Team plans.
- Solo – $14.99/month, limited to around 1 article per week, 4 articles per month, and 4,000 AI-generated words per month.
- Basic – $44.99/month, 30 articles, and 4,000 AI-generated words per month.
- Team plan – $114.99/month, three-user seats, and can write and optimize unlimited articles. But you still only get 4,000 AI-generated words per month.
- The Pro Add-On – $35/month. Include the Pro Add-on in your subscription for unlimited AI-generated words and other premium features.
2. Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is the industry counterpart to Frase, although it does things a bit differently. It includes content optimization along with content audit functions.
Key Features: A full on-page optimization suite of tools, along with full content audit capabilities.
In addition, Surfer SEO also includes keyword research abilities, its Grow Flow AI growth management platform, an AI Outline generator, and its own Google Chrome extension.
Pricing: At the time of this writing, Surfer SEO has four plans:
- Basic – $59/month, 10 articles/month.
- Business – $239/month, 70 articles/month.
- Pro – $119/month, 30 articles/month.
- Enterprise (in which you have to call for a customized price).
Inlinks is an entity-based internal linking tool that uses AI to help you generate links on your site from one internal page to the next.
In addition, the tool includes automated content briefs that help you optimize your on-page SEO, similar to Frase and Surfer SEO.
But with Inlinks, its customized AI platform provides specific opportunities that are directly tied to entities, so this is a tool that’s on the cutting edge.
Key Features: Inlinks includes features such as Schema optimization, which has automated Schema markup. (Be careful; make sure this doesn’t duplicate Schema or interfere with other Schema you might already have on your site.)
This tool includes a world-class knowledge graph that Inlinks use to read a website and understand the main entities used. Using one line of code, this is all automated in such a way that Google will understand.
Automatic internal linking is the name of the game for Inlinks, and it does it well, provided that you don’t go overboard using “entity stuffing.”
Pricing: As of this writing, they have several plans:
- Freelancer – $39/month.
- Agency – $156/month.
- Custom Enterprise plan.
4. Page Optimizer Pro
Page Optimizer Pro is a comprehensive on-page optimization cloud-based application developed by SEO professional Kyle Roof.
The application uses edge analysis based on your top 10 competitors (rather than just direct competitor analysis like other tools).
Through edge analysis, this tool promises to help you optimize your page thoroughly with the assistance of ongoing watchdog page monitors.
After configuration, these page monitors will alert you when any of your competitors show changes, so you can keep up with their pages in the search results rather than falling behind.
Key Features: This tool allows you to edit in WordPress and Google Docs, E-E-A-T, and Google NLP Analysis (on Agency plans only).
Other features include page structure suggestions, a content editor, white-label PDF reports on Agency plans (coming soon), exact keyword recommendations, word variation recommendations, keyword focus recommendations (with maximum keyword use recommendations), and more.
- Basic – $27/month.
- Premium – $38/month.
- Unlimited – $49/month.
5. SEO Minion: Google Chrome Extension
SEO Minion is one of the best tools you could possibly hope for, for your on-page SEO. With its Analyze On-Page SEO function, you can optimize any page’s on-page SEO.
Key Features: Aside from analyzing your on-page SEO comprehensively, it also highlights an all-links feature that lets you see any internal and external links on the page and check for broken links. It also has an HREFLANG validity checker.
With any SEO audit, the right SEO tools provide an immensely powerful resource.
Tools are not all created equal, and it’s important to level the playing field between tools to ensure that recommendations make sense in the context of the website you are auditing.
Each tool has its own quirks and issues you may need to familiarize yourself with.
If one tool contradicts another, you may have to do a deep dive to determine why you are presented with conflicting information.
Lastly, some issues flagged by a tool may not truly be issues at all. A deep-dive analysis should also uncover this.
The technical SEO audit itself is not a tool-based thing; it’s an analysis-based endeavor.
Tools certainly help, but your skills and knowledge as an SEO help you analyze and act on the information the tools provide. The audit is only as good as the auditor.
Download The Complete Technical SEO Audit Workbook now and get the tools you need to supercharge your SEO audit process.
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal