Are you looking to boost your website’s rankings and get noticed in Google? Do you want to invest your time and money into learning some top-level tools to help you achieve this goal? But with so many audit tools available today, how do you know which ones would be most beneficial?
Keep reading to discover the must-have technical SEO audit tools. At Onely, we use most of them on a daily basis.
Why use SEO tools?
If you want to fix any technical SEO errors that may exist on your website, you will need a tool to analyze them…
Even if it is just a browser with its default features.
Because yes, you can test your website with just a browser, Internet access and some online tools for Technical SEO Audits.
There is a way for everyone to prepare a basic technical SEO audit with just a few tools, even free ones.
After completing the audit and resolving any issues, the path to success in search is clear. Google will be able to examine your website without any technical problems standing in the way.
Are technical SEO tools essential not only for agencies?
First of all:
You do not have to be a technical specialist to use SEO tools.
While yes, some of them are quite complex, we can also recommend beginner-friendly options. You can use them to get you started and remove any critical issues present on the website. Some tools even generate comprehensive, yet easy-to-understand audits that you can use to move forward with SEO.
However, built-in, automated SEO audits will not replace in-depth, manual analysis. If you are willing to spend a bit more time on learning SEO, feel free to explore even the most complex tools from this list.
But in all cases – be careful when drawing conclusions and implementing tasks, since not all suggestions made by the tools will be the best solution for your particular scenario. If you decide to do everything by yourself, you may risk misinterpreting or missing some issues that must be addressed.
When in doubt, always consult with a specialist. SEO experts can help you analyze results from these tools and choose priority tasks to implement for best results.
So, to answer the main question:
SEO tools are essential for agencies, and can be quite useful for you.
Just do not implement all solutions blindly, without understanding why they are needed.
13 technical SEO auditing tools that will level-up your SEO game
Now we will look at some paid and free technical SEO tools that you (or your chosen agency) might use to boost website rankings and visibility.
We included general tools by Google, tools for web performance auditing, SEO crawlers, multi-purpose SEO Tools, and some of the best tools for a specific task
There are, of course, many other excellent tools that are not mentioned in this article, but the SEO market is so huge it is almost impossible to list them all. That is why we focused on the ones used by our Team here at Onely, or in some cases – tools we do not currently have, but they piqued our interest.
1. Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC), formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, is a free tool for monitoring how your website performs in Google Search.
You can use it to:
- Verify indexing levels
- Check how many clicks each page or keyword generates
- Verify Core Web Vital results
- Check if your website suffers from manual penalties
- Check how Google crawls your website
- Verify if the website is mobile-friendly
- And much, much more.
GSC is a must-have tool when it comes to Technical SEO and we cannot imagine auditing websites without it.
✅ Easy to set up and learn
✅ Gives you all critical information about performance in Google Search
2. Chrome DevTools
DevTools is a feature of Google Chrome browser. This multi-level tool allows you to test your website’s technical areas thoroughly, and you can even perform a full web performance review with it.
Some of the most popular features of DevTools (in terms of technical SEO auditing) are:
- Inspecting the DOM (Elements tab) to see how the rendered code looks
- Debugging (Console tab) to run some JS scripts on the page
- Verification of used files and Critical Rendering Path (Sources and Network tabs) to see what resources are loaded and where
- Analysis of the unused code (Coverage tab) to verify how much of existing JS or CSS code is actually used on the website
- Web performance analysis and troubleshooting (Performance tab) to test general performance
- Lighthouse audit (Lighthouse tab) to generate full, automated audits
All this makes DevTools extremely useful for debugging and identifying technical SEO issues.
✅ Allows for an advanced analysis
✅ Your developers likely use it too, so you can reference DevTools in your audit without too much explaining
Google Lighthouse is an open-source technical audit tool for testing web performance, accessibility, general good practices, SEO and Progressive Web App features.
Reports that can be generated by Lighthouse are divided into these sections.
It is possible to test just one aspect, or all of them at once.
You can access Google Lighthouse:
✅ Flexible, there are multiple ways to use it
✅ Measures not only SEO and performance, but also Acessibility or compliance with Best Practices
4. PageSpeed Insights
Page Speed Insights (PSI) uses the Lighthouse engine to audit your website’s performance.
In this case, you do not need to use browser features or the command line, just visit the PSI homepage and paste the URL to test.
In a few seconds, you should get a full, comprehensive analysis of your website’s performance.
You can run tests for both mobile and desktop versions – and while mobile-first index may be alive and working, do not forget about your desktop users.
The audit begins with a real user data section, which shows you data from the CrUX (Chrome User Experience report) database.
You can check that for just one particular page, or the entire origin (to simplify: usually domain).
The test starts with technical web performance areas, but you also get accessibility, best practices, and SEO reports.
When it comes to performance, a handy feature allows you to filter recommendations based on the metric you want to improve.
There is one significant difference between PageSpeed and Lighthouse – Lighthouse uses your local setting, and PSI has a predefined device, network and user agent:
✅ Has Lighthouse features and real user data from CrUX
✅ Simple to set up – you can run tests online
WebPageTest is one of the best tools for testing speed and web performance of any website.
It is free (with some limits) and easy to use, but if you want to squeeze the most of it – you will likely need to dive a bit deeper into how it works.
WPT allows you to measure the web performance of any page by simulating different users – major fields to customize include location, device and connection speed.
After completing the test you will get a lot of data, among the most useful are:
- Information about popular performance metrics and their results
- Waterfall view showing all resources that load on the page
- Detailed information about Core Web Vitals
- Recommendations of tasks that could improve your performance
- And even the possibility to perform some experimental testing, where WebPageTest will apply some of the changes in the code for you, and run a comparison test to see how much you can gain with them. Excited! Unfortunately, this is a feature available only for paying users.
Paid plans also offer API access and integrations plus priority, private, and bulk tests.
✅ All basic features are free, if you want more advanced modules you need to sign up/buy a paid plan
✅ Results of the audit are easy to share – you only need a link
✅ One of the best tools to analyze Critical Rendering Path
6. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is a crawler, a tool that visits all encountered pages and gathers information about them. It is a desktop application that you need to download, as opposed to some other crawlers that function as web apps.
A good crawl (the result of the crawler’s work) is crucial for performing a technical SEO audit – and SF is one of the best tools you can start with.
In a crawler like Screaming Frog, you can verify all SEO things, from titles and H1s, through structured data and hreflangs, to even connecting APIs of external tools and gathering more specific data fields.
Some of the best Screaming Frog features are:
- Advanced reports about inlinks (incoming links) for a group of pages. You can get information how the crawler found the problematic URLs, and where exactly links to them were placed.
- Option to generate a graph of website structure. It is quite handy if you want to visualize how many clicks it takes for bots to visit certain pages.
- Option to generate an XML sitemap. If you want a quick XML sitemap that does not need to be generated automatically, SF is a great tool to prepare it.
- Comparison of crawls. For example, crawl with enabled JS vs non-JS crawl, to find some links that disappear without JS.
The free version offers basic technical analysis of up to 500 URLs, while the paid version allows for larger and deeper crawls, with no limits when it comes to exporting data.
✅ Simplified demo version is free
✅ You do not have to wait for the crawl to end, you can see data in real-time
✅ Simple, spreadsheet-like interface that is easy to use
Image source: https://www.botify.com/platform/botify-analytics
Botify is a cloud crawler you can use for a detailed technical audit. It is most suited for large, enterprise level websites. If you work for a growing startup, you probably do not need it yet. But if you are responsible for SEO for huge ecommerce, marketplace or global service, Botify will be a valid choice.
What makes Botify interesting is a complex set of features, detailed filters that can use regular expressions, and a dedicated module for server log analysis.
✅ Complex, with a wide range of modules
✅ Paid, but excellent choice for enterprise websites
Ryte is another cloud SEO crawler that you can use for all types of websites. It has a vast set of different reports, and a very detailed overview that will help you spot the most critical issues.
Ryte has a very good integration with Google Search Console. This allows you to measure more data, and for longer than GSC allows. Another related feature is the ability to perform AB testing, using GSC data as reference – so you can verify how some changes on your website affected clicks, impressions, CTR or positions.
✅ Paid, but with multiple useful reports making it great primary crawler
✅ Very good integration with Google Search Console
✅ Great summary of critical problems
Image source: https://ahrefs.com/site-audit
Ahrefs is a true all-rounder when it comes to popular SEO tools. Most likely it is best known due to its visibility charts, keyword research capabilities, keyword gap feature and link reports, but it has many other features.
For example, Ahrefs allows you to run an automated Technical SEO Audit, track positions for selected keywords, or research content ideas for your niche.
While quite complex, Ahrefs has an excellent blog and detailed knowledge base to help you get started with the tool.
✅ Paid, but a lot of value and clear pricing
✅ Extensive features, you can use Ahrefs for most daily SEO tasks and you will probably not need another tool like this
✅ Has the most active crawler out of all SEO tools, over 20.4B keywords in the database, and 35.0T backlinks
Semrush is one of the most popular SEO tools on the market. They offer the ability to generate automated audits, a huge keyword database for research, keyword gap analysis, position monitoring, backlink related modules, and much more. Their features are quite similar to Ahrefs, but with a slightly larger database. One interesting option is filtering keywords based on search intent – if that is something you need done in bulk, you will find it here.
If you are looking for a friendly, but comprehensive SEO tool, Semrush might be the one for you.
✅ Paid, with a 7 day free trial
✅ Has a feature that allows you to filter large sets of keywords by search intent
✅ With 25B keywords and 43T backlinks, it has great support in content and link building tasks
11. Robots.txt Validator and Testing Tool
We were quite fond of the old version, so we found a good third-party replacement.
The robots.txt Validator and Testing Tool by Merkle makes the process of validating your robots.txt fast and easy. Besides checking the live version of the file, you can experiment with different rules and see if a given URL is accessible to bots.
✅ Easy to use
✅ If you make any changes in robots.txt – trust me, you need to use it
12. Structured Data Validator by Schema.org
Markup Validator by Schema is our go-to tool for structured data verification.
There is nothing complex about it – you just paste the URL of a page, or fragment of the code, and Validator gives you all the information about the implemented schema.
Data is shown as an easy-to-understand table and as a source code – so you can choose which one is better for you.
✅ Free and easy to use
✅ Created by schema.org – official structured data vocabulary used across the globe
✅ You can change the code in the tool and re-validate it, before implementing it on your actual page
Ziptie.dev is our sister company, which perhaps makes us a bit biased.
Still, it is one of the most unique tools out there – focusing primarily on indexing verification.
✅ Paid, but with a 14-day Free Trial, the basic plan starts from $9… and if you work with us, you get ZipTie reports as part of the package
✅ Unique tool that is more customizable than GSC indexing reports
✅ Flexible approach – feel free to share your account with the rest of your Team, no strings attached
Our list of technical SEO audit tools has covered some of the best solutions for comprehensive SEO audits.
Our focus was on technical audit tools, but we did not shy away from mentioning keywords or links.
In the end, you will likely cover all of these areas in your work, especially if you are creating a custom report for your company or client.
You may have noticed that a lot of these advanced SEO tools are paid. Unfortunately, access to these huge, private databases, or the abilities of an advanced crawler can be quite pricey.
If you are not sure that you will be able to get the best of these tools just by working with them yourself – cooperation with an SEO agency might be the best choice.
At Onely, we have access to the majority of tools mentioned in this article, along with the knowledge and time to prepare a Technical Audit for you.
But if you are determined to perform a Technical SEO Audit by yourself, rest assured. With enough time and knowledge, you can do quite well with just free tools, such as GSC, DevTools and Lighthouse. Luckily, Google provides these for everyone and they are great for getting started with the world of Tech SEO.