Conducting an SEO audit is valuable – and time-consuming.
Between ongoing algorithm updates and ongoing updates to your website and content, it’s hard to stay on top of everything. Luckily, there are some great SEO audit tools out there that take on most of the heavy lifting for you.
In this post, we’ll break down audit tools into three main types:
- Content audit tools which help you to check how SEO-friendly your content is, whether or not you’ve satisfied the search intent, and whether or not users are converting
- Technical audit tools which help you with technical issues related to robots.txt, sitemaps, canonicals, hreflang, on-page optimizations and more
- Backlink audit tools which can help you understand your backlink profile, which links are good and bad, and keep track of your backlinks
But first… why bother with SEO audits in the first place?
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Why Conduct an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit helps you understand your current ranking position. The process will identify any critical issues that are holding back your website’s organic performance, as well as where there’s room for improvement.
Audits are something you might do when starting with a new client, at a new job, or simply as part of a quarterly or annual SEO routine. With a completed audit, you can start to map out a solid SEO strategy with all the necessary information to make good decisions.
Without using SEO audit tools, it’s easy to miss opportunities for growth – and to miss issues that are preventing growth.
Let’s take a look at the best SEO tools that will help you to conduct an effective audit.
Content Audit Tools
Reasons to Choose Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that is easy to install, use and understand. It also has no detrimental effects on load speed or anything else. What’s not to like?
Google Analytics has a ton of features for learning about how people are interacting with your website, where traffic is coming from, and much more. Here are just some of the things you can learn about your content performance with this tool:
- Conversion rates. With goals set up in Google Analytics, you can see whether or not your site visitors are taking the desired action (e.g. making an inquiry, signing up for a trial, becoming an email subscriber).
- Bounce rates. Are people finding what they need on your page? Or are they quickly leaving to try another search result?
- Audience. Who uses your site? What geographies are the most common? Which device types? Google Analytics can help you learn whether or not you’re hitting your target market.
- Returning visits. This tool can help you find out how many of your users are new versus returning. Are people enjoying your content and coming back for more?
Pricing: Google Analytics is a permanently free tool for the majority of users. Analytics 360 is a paid version of the tool which is available for enterprise users, with pricing on request.
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Reasons to Choose Grammarly
Grammarly has a very generous free plan that includes features like tone detection and conciseness, along with the fundamentals (like grammar and spelling). It’s an easy way to level up your writing.
The product roadmap in recent years has meant that Grammarly now offers a lot more than just spelling and grammar corrections, as the original product did. This tool can help you audit your content from the perspective of readability, grammar, tone, spelling, plagiarism, and more.
Their user interface is very clean and easy to use, and there’s also a great Chrome extension, which means you can get writing recommendations wherever you are (Gmail inbox, social media, etc.).
Pricing: Grammarly has a generous free-forever plan. Upgrading to premium costs $12 per month for one user, which gets you additional features such as plagiarism detection, formality level feedback, and more.
Technical Audit Tools
Moving away from content-based audits, here are some great tools that will help you conduct technical SEO audits.
Reasons to Choose Ahrefs
Ahrefs Site Audit tool offers a comprehensive technical auditing solution, bundled in with features for competitor analysis, keyword research, backlink monitoring, and more. It makes sense to buy Ahrefs if you need an all-in-one platform.
Ahrefs Site Audit tool helps you identify technical issues which may be holding your website back from an SEO perspective. Examples of issues could include:
- 404 pages
- Canonical tags pointing to a redirect
- Orphan pages
- Links pointing to a broken page
- Missing title or description tags
Ahrefs does a great job at helping users understand which issues are the most important and what they mean, and they also provide direction on how to fix them. For example, issues are categorized as Errors, Warnings or Notices, which helps reflect the importance of each one. When clicking on an issue, you get a helpful explanation:
You can schedule regular audits and your Site Audit dashboard will give you an overview of how things are progressing. If you’re working to fix issues, you’ll see the progress and trends in your overall health score during weekly automated crawls.
Pricing: The basic plan allows for 10,000 page crawl credits per month, and 500 keywords for rank tracking. Higher tiers unlock new features, higher limits, and longer data retention. A 7-day trial is available for $7.
Ahrefs offers 4 pricing tiers:
- Lite: $99/month
- Standard: $199/month
- Advanced: $399/month
- Enterprise: $999/month
Reasons to Choose SEO PowerSuite
SEO PowerSuite is a suite of SEO tools that includes technical auditing. Rather than being cloud-based, it is a downloadable desktop app, which has various potential advantages, including security. It also comes at a lower annual cost than most cloud-based tools, and comes in several languages besides English.
SEO PowerSuite’s WebSite Auditor feature is a cost-effective way to get a quick overview of the state of your technical SEO. By crawling your site, the tool highlights technical and on-page issues that may be holding your site back. Like Ahrefs, SEO PowerSuite offers helpful advice about what each issue means, and how to fix them:
You can audit your page speed, Core Web Vitals scores, internal linking, on-page optimizations and more with automated scheduled reports. These can be done site-wide, or on a page-by-page basis, and you can track bulk changes for the pages you’re working on.
If you don’t have them already, this tool can also generate robots.txt or sitemap files.
And, lastly, if you’re an agency or freelancer working with SEO clients, you can generate white label PDF reports to easily share your audit.
Pricing: SEO PowerSuite has a limited free version. You can get the paid version of WebSite Auditor alone for $125 per year or the full package (with other features included) for $299 per year, which enables saved projects and lifts the usage limits on features like site auditing.
- Free: $0
- Professional: $299/year
- Enterprise: $499/year
Reasons to Choose Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog has an excellent free version, usable for up to 500 URLs. The paid version is also very affordable. If you like the idea of a desktop app, but don’t need all the other features that come with SEO PowerSuite, then Screaming Frog is a great choice.
Screaming Frog is used to check a website for technical SEO errors, just like Ahrefs Site Audit and SEO PowerSuite’s WebSite Auditor.
After crawling your site, you’ll get several tabs populated with data about the current state of your technical SEO. The first one, and probably the one you’ll spend the most time in, is labeled Internal. Here, you’ll find important information about every URL crawled, such as status code, headings/subheadings, title and description, and more.
There’s also a reporting feature for various overviews, including:
- Crawl overview (URLs found, URLs blocked, status codes, etc.)
- Redirect chains
- Canonical errors
One thing you’ll find is that Screaming Frog, although cheaper, is far less helpful than a tool like Ahrefs. You don’t get the same helpful tips and instructions, so Screaming Frog is best suited to SEOs with at least an intermediate level of technical SEO experience.
Reasons to Choose ContentKing
ContentKing is not only an excellent technical auditing tool, but it’s also the market leader in SEO monitoring tools, offering 24/7 monitoring and almost instant alerts when things change or break.
Like the other technical auditing tools in this list, ContentKing can help you keep track of (and fix) all the common SEO issues.
The biggest differentiator here is that ContentKing audits your site 24/7, and proactively alerts you when things change or new issues occur.
For example, if somebody accidentally breaks your robots.txt or sitemap, you’ll be notified instantly. You can also monitor all SEO changes across the site, so you have a log of what’s happening. That means you’ll be able to easily reverse any unwanted changes and look back at what might have had a positive effect, too.
ContentKing has excellent integrations, including a reporting API, Data Studio integration, and connections to messaging apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Pricing: ContentKing’s pricing is calculated based on the number of pages you wish you monitor, plus tiered features. Prices start from $49 for 1,000 pages monitored. Higher tiers unlock new features such as Core Web Vitals monitoring, Google Data Studio integration, and reporting API access. A 14-day free trial is available.
Backlink Audit Tools
Next up, backlink audit tools. These tools can help you understand your existing backlink profile, whether there are any potentially toxic links, where there might be new opportunities, and more.
Reasons to Choose Ahrefs
Ahrefs has one of the largest backlink databases in the world, and the second-most active crawler (after Google). Backlink analysis is already a pretty good reason to buy it, but you also get an all-in-one SEO solution built around it.
Ahrefs Site Explorer has a vast range of use cases, but backlink analysis is something that it is particularly excellent for. You can use it for auditing your own backlink profile, and/or competitor backlinks, too.
After entering a URL into Site Explorer, you’ll find lots of useful information about the website’s backlinks, such as:
- Total number of backlinks and unique referring domains
- Data on all referring pages (e.g. their Domain Rating, how much traffic they have, etc.)
- Backlink anchor texts
- Broken links
- Internal backlinks
There are lots of useful filters available to help you analyze the data. With just one or two clicks, you’re able to separate links by dofollow versus nofollow, by language, by minimum or maximum Domain Rating or traffic, and more.
You can also get an overview of trends over time to understand how many links are being built and lost each month, and how that trend is changing.
Pricing: The basic plan allows for 175 domains to be analyzed per week, and up to 100,000 export rows per report for backlink analysis Higher tiers unlock new features, higher usage limits, and longer data retention. A 7-day trial is available for $7.
Ahrefs offers 4 pricing tiers:
- Lite: $99/month
- Standard: $199/month
- Advanced: $399/month
- Enterprise: $999/month
Reasons to Choose Nightwatch
Nightwatch offers a backlink monitoring and analysis tool at a much lower price than Ahrefs, but with fewer features overall. This tool also has an excellent rank tracker. If you need backlink auditing combined with rank tracking at a lower price than Ahrefs, Nightwatch is a good choice.
Nightwatch’s biggest strength is rank tracking, but it also includes a worthwhile backlink auditing tool. You can track and analyze the backlink profile of any sites you’ve added and enabled this feature for. At a glance, you can find out how many referring domains you have, and filter by pages and tags if you wish.
Their summary dashboard also provides a helpful breakdown of how many High, Medium and Low quality links you have, as determined by their URL rating metric. It also flags up any ‘Suspicious’ links, defined as URL rating of <2.
Other than that, you can monitor for when links are lost and export your link profile to use the data in spreadsheets and other tools.
Pricing: Nightwatch pricing is based on usage. Plans start from $39 per month, which gets you 5,000 backlinks tracked, 500 keywords, and 5,000 site audit pages. There’s a 14-day free trial available.
Reasons to Choose Mangools
Like Nightwatch, Mangools offers a cheaper backlink auditing solution with fewer features overall. One of Mangools’ best features is KWFinder, a keyword research tool. If you need backlink auditing combined with keyword research at a cheaper price than Ahrefs, Mangools is a good choice.
LinkMiner uses Majestic’s API to pull in high quality backlink data. For any page or domain, you can get a high level summary of their links and referring domains. For each link, you get extra metrics, including Citation Flow and Trust Flow (from Majestic), and Alexa rank.
Additionally, LinkMiner displays an LS (Link Strength) score, which gives you a quick and easy way to understand how powerful the backlink profile of that page is, based on all the other metrics together.
When analyzing a page or domain, you can quickly separate dofollow and nofollow links, and apply various filters to find what you’re looking for:
Pricing: Mangools’ pricing is based on various types of usage, including backlink rows, SERPs lookups, keyword lookups and more. Starting at $49 per month, you get 100,000 backlink rows. There’s a 10-day free trial available.
Reasons to Choose Linkody
Linkody is the only tool in this list that fully specializes in backlinks (auditing, monitoring, and building links). That means that if all you need is backlink monitoring, their standalone tool comes cheaper than others. It also has excellent monitoring features for when links are lost or nofollowed.
The Linkody dashboard gives you an overview of your website’s backlinks, filterable by landing pages, anchor texts, and various metrics. Metrics used include Moz Domain Authority, Majestic’s Trust Flow & Citation Flow, spam score, Alexa rank and more.
As well as auditing your own backlinks, Linkody can check competitor backlinks. That helps you see how you’re doing in relation to other sites in your niche, plus it leads to discovering new backlink opportunities.
Linkody also includes a disavow file generator, and has white label reporting features for agencies and freelancers reporting to clients.
It’s worth commenting that, although Linkody has a useful UI and a lower cost, it doesn’t crawl quite as quickly as bigger tools like Ahrefs and Semrush. That means it can take longer for new links to be discovered.
Pricing: Linkody’s pricing is based on how many websites and how many backlinks you wish to monitor. Plans start from around $15 per month, and there’s a 30-day free trial available.
Now that you understand the importance of doing SEO audits on your website so you can better understand how it’s performing, hopefully this list of the best SEO audit tools will get you started on improving your current ranking position.
Here’s a quick summary of the tools in this list:
Content audit tools to help you to check how SEO-friendly your content is:
- Google Analytics
Technical audit tools to help you with technical issues:
- Ahrefs Site Audit
- SEO Powersuite’s Website Audit Tool
- Screaming Frog
Backlink audit tools to help you understand your backlink profile:
- Ahrefs Site Explorer
- Mangools LinkMiner
Don’t miss out on opportunities for growth – and don’t miss issues that are preventing your growth.
If you’re looking for a full-service SEO agency to help audit your website content, Single Grain can help you! Click the orange button below 👇