You need to run an SEO audit—which tools should you use?
There are literally 100s of tools out there, and trying to pick the few you’ll actually use can leave you in analysis paralysis.
Nobody has time for that.
You have an SEO audit to get to, dang it!
That’s why I decided to compile a list of the best SEO audit tools I use with every client I work with.
I’ve used tons of different tools over the 5+ years I’ve been in the SEO world and these 9 are the only ones that I’ve stuck with. They get the job done.
Note: this post doesn’t contain any affiliate links. These SEO audit tools are truly the ones I use with my clients (and most of them are free anyway).
6 Must-Have Tools That’ll Help You Run a Thorough SEO Audit
1. Screaming Frog Crawler
Cost: Limited free version | $194.36 per year
Purpose: Technical SEO
This is a must-have SEO audit tool. Screaming Frog crawls your site and gives you in-depth information about its URLs.
Specifically, it shows you:
- Errors (4XX, 5XX, broken links, no response)
- Redirects (and redirect loops)
- Blocked resources and URLs
- Inlinks and Outlinks (and their anchor text)
- Insecure content (pages that are http instead of https)
- Duplicate pages and content
- Post and Page info like meta descriptions, headings, and word count
- Page depth
- And so much more
It’ll give you all the information you need to:
- Fix potential crawling and indexing issues
- Analyze your site’s architecture
- Optimize your On-Page SEO
It’s my #1 tool for SEO audits.
2. Google Analytics
Purpose: UX, General Traffic
No SEO audit would be complete without knowing:
- How much traffic each page and post on your site gets
- What people do when they’re on those pages
- Which pages and posts help you achieve critical business goals
- And how people flow through your site in general
Luckily, Google Analytics shows you all of these things.
You should definitely already have this on your site, but if you just started your site, you can install it by going here.
3. Google Search Console
Purpose: Search Traffic
It’d be pretty weird to run an SEO audit without using Google’s own SEO tool, right?
Ironically, Google withholds enough information to make it less helpful than it could be, but it still gives enough valuable information to be included in your audit tool belt.
It’ll show you your site’s:
- Top organic queries
- Top organic pages
- Backlinks (that Google has found)
- Organic click-through-rate
You should also already have this set up on your site, but if you don’t, click here to get started.
Purpose: Page Speed Optimization
Lighthouse is an open-source Chrome plugin that lets you run in-browser website performance audits.
Within 60-90 seconds, it’ll give you a detailed report covering a particular URL’s performance, accessibility, and SEO.
The report not only shows you what’s wrong with a site, but what you can do to fix it.
I highly recommend installing this free Chrome plugin.
Purpose: Page Speed Optimization
Pingdom simply measures how long (in seconds) it takes for a particular URL to load.
It then generates a report showing you the breakdown of each element it had to load, how long it took to load, and how large the file sizes are.
Use this in unison with PageSpeed Insights to get a better idea of the specific areas you need to focus on to improve your load speed.
6. Structured Data Testing Tool
Purpose: Structured Data
This tool does exactly what you think it does—check your structured data.
Pop in a URL and this tool gives you a rundown of the page’s structured data, along with whether it has any errors.
While every site needs structured data of some kind, this tool will be more useful to eCommerce and local business sites than others.
2 Nice to Have SEO Audit Tools
7. Screaming Frog Log File Analyzer
Purpose: Log File Analysis (Crawling)
Log file analysis is an advanced SEO technique where you analyze your website’s log files to see when, where, and how often Google crawls your site.
It helps you get a much clearer picture of how Google interacts with your site so you can make sure your top SEO pages get crawled most often.
Screaming Frog’s Log File Analyzer makes this process much less intimidating.
All you need to do is import your log files and the Log File Analyzer filters them to only include logs from Google bot, Bing, and Yahoo.
You can then view your data in the program itself or export the filtered log files into a .csv to analyze in Excel.
Cost: $99/month or $990/year for lite version
Purpose: Backlinks, Rankings, Search Traffic
While I consider it a must-have tool for link building, it’s not absolutely essential for audits.
You can get similar information by combining data from Screaming Frog, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console.
That being said, it’s always helpful to have access to more information during a site audit, and the Ahrefs site audit tool is very thorough.
If you have Ahrefs already or have extra money for the subscription, it’s definitely worth using for audits.
Find the Combination of Tools That Work for You
At the end of the day, you need to do what works best for you.
These are the tools that work for us but there are tons more great ones out there.
Experiment to find the combination of tools that help you do the most thorough SEO audit possible.