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The Best Technical SEO Tools

08.10.2019 r. Irena Zobniow

SEO Tool Guide For Every Expert!

Technical SEO is one of the most difficult aspects of SEO and most specialists are not big fans of it. Nevertheless, it is essential and for this reason, there are many tools that can help you with it. They cover a wide spectrum of purposes from identifying issues with the website’s speed to crawling and indexing. As a result, you can detect and prevent impacting the organic search performance of your website. In today’s article I will focus on the ones I used some time ago and the ones I use today. Hopefully, my subjective list of the best technical SEO tools will help some of you! Let’s take a closer look at them!

 

Google Search Console

This is still a primary tool for every SEO expert. Why? Because it is a suite of helpful tools from Google! But this is not the only reason. The Google Search Console allows you to set up a reporting process, which can be a big life hack for SEO agencies as proper reporting is crucial for their work. What is more, the tool lets you see whether you have duplicated metadata, how many pages you have indexed, security issues, and so much more. It simply allows you to monitor your website thoroughly. The Google Search Console helps you make performance-based changes in order to rank higher in the SERPs.

A great feature of the search console is that you can submit a new URL for inspection and manually invite Google bots to index the new URL. It just saves you some time waiting for results and you can detect any issues with the new URL almost immediately.

If you are still not convinced to try the Google Search Console, take a closer look at these advantages that it provides:

  • Finding which search term made your website show up in the search results;
  • Information about key phrases that bring you more traffic as compared to others you are high up in the ranking, but don’t necessarily generate a lot of traffic;
  • Checking and verifying whether all essential pages like contact, products, services, etc., are highlighted in the rich snippet;
  • Displaying the backlinks to your website;
  • Providing a mobile version performance report.

Moreover, webmasters can use Google Search Console data and connect it with the analytics data. As a result, they will get a much more precise and accurate technical analysis of the website’s performance. The website’s maintenance becomes so much easier with this technical SEO tool!

 

Google Analytics

Without the proper analysis of our activities, we cannot know if the website is performing well, whether our work is being done correctly and if we need to optimize something. This is why, among technical SEO tools, the one for web analytics is essential!

Google Analytics, as a tool provided by Google, is free of charge in the basic version. It gives you much more information than we can often digest. With it, you are able to identify issues like penalties, issues with traffic, and much more. Moreover, if you set up it correctly, you can connect it with your Google Search Console. This can be helpful for webmasters that provide deep insight and the study of traffic trends on the website. The most useful features of Google Analytics are:

  • Analyzing audience behavior;
  • Checking the average time spent on the site;
  • Checking traffic sources;
  • Conversion tracking;
  • Finding the devices used to access your site;
  • Identifying the location of the traffic source;
  • Identifying low performing and high performing pages.

With data like this, you can easily estimate the next steps for your SEO strategy to layout effective activities. Moreover, you can take a more strategic approach to every task. Clearly, Google Analytics is a must-have tool to track the performance of your website and you should include it into your technical SEO tools arsenal.

 

Google Page Speed Insights

The website’s loading time both for desktop and mobile devices is crucial from the SEO point of view. This is why every SEO expert needs a tool that helps them assess the page speed and things to improve in order to achieve faster loading. Google’s PageSpeed Insights should not be used as the be-all, end-all of page metrics testing, but it is a good starting point. Why? Because it doesn’t always use exact page speed, but approximations. In other words, while you may get one result with Google Page Speed, you may also get different results with other tools. Therefore, it is crucial to remember that Google’s Page Speed provides only a part of the picture.

 

Google’s Schema.org Structured Data Testing Tool

This technical SEO tool helps you test Schema structured data markup against the known data from Schema.org. It is a useful way to identify issues with your Schema coding before you implement it. Every page on the website has to pass on the right message to the search engine’s bots so it ranks for the particular keywords and in order to do so, you need to add the right schema markup to your website and its pages.

The Schema also helps you find the relevant markup for your website if you are not sure which one you should use. To verify it, just use this structured data testing tool!

What is more, it also allows you to check your competitors’ schema markups by simply putting the URL in the search box and running the test. There are 3 types of schema markup formats that Google understands:

  • JSON-LD
  • Microdata
  • RDFa.

Remember to ensure that you allowed your structured pages to be crawled by bots in the Robots.txt files. This is the key advice while using this technical SEO tool.

 

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is one of these tools that everyone in the SEO industry has at least heard about. It is just really helpful because it allows you to take a domain and crawl through its pages in the same way a search engine does. Screaming Frog crawls through the pages on the website and then pulls through almost everything you need to see what is relevant to its SEO performance into the software.

Moreover, when we bear the technical SEO audit in mind, you can highlight any areas of the site that can be an issue for its performance. This can be the incorrect canonicalization of a single page or domain level, meta robots errors, internal redirects, duplicated pages on different URLs, and a variety of other things. This is a go-to tool to conduct a thorough technical SEO audit! Take a look at how it can help you to identify problems like:

  • Diagnosing international SEO implementation issues;
  • Errored response codes;
  • Errors in canonicals;
  • Errors in URLs;
  • Issues with pagination;
  • Lack of page titles;
  • Large images;
  • Missing meta descriptions;
  • Missing meta keywords;
  • Taking a deep dive into a website’s architecture.

It is a lot and it definitely makes your SEO work just easier!

Although the free version of Screaming Frog is limited to 500 pages, this should be enough for small businesses. If not, the basic license is not expensive and the cost is totally worth it, in my opinion. It saves your time and more importantly, identifying and resolving websites’ issues becomes a bit more painless!

 

Web Developer Toolbar

The web developer toolbar extension is helpful in identifying issues with code, specifically JavaScript implementations with menus and the user interface. The extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. It runs on any platform that these browsers support including Windows, macOS as well as Linux. By turning off JavaScript and CSS, you can see where these issues occur in the browser. You can crawl your site like the search engine bots.

This change can help you recognize your website architecture issues really quickly, such as when the main navigation bar is displayed using JavaScript or when visitors who cannot accept cookies always get redirected to the front page.

You can use the Toolbar to turn off styles and images. The sudden appearance of previously cloaked text or seeing that the ‘main heading’ is actually an H4 item might suggest why a particular page is having issues. Moreover, you can also see alt text meta tag information, as well as response headers. The toolbar gives you access to code validation tools (like HTML, CSS and RSS validation from WC3). You are also able to highlight links without title attributes, or broken images (without alt attributes). That is why the Web Developer Toolbar is a pretty useful technical SEO tool!

 

GTmetrix Page Speed Report

GTmetrix is another page speed report card that gives a different perspective on page speed.

As I mentioned above, Google Page Speed Insights checks your website’s code while GTmetrix actually loads your website. This is why this should be your go-to tool when you want to get to know your website’s real loading speed. Moreover, GTmetrix provides you with a list of recommendations for speeding up your website. What is more, the main advantages of this tool are:

  • Analyzing your site speed using 3 major rulesets (Google Pagespeed Test, Yahoo & YSlow);
  • Creating a list of alerts affecting the website speed;
  • Displaying the size of the page;
  • Performing a speed test on desktop & mobile devices;
  • Providing an average score comparing with tested sites;
  • Showing you an actual website load time;
  • Testing the website from various locations.

GTmetrix is also a free tool that allows you to enter your URL into the search column and run a speed test. That is to say, you can always compare yourself to your competitors. Remember, make a list of improvements that need to be implemented. Page speed is an important ranking factor for search engines. If your website loading time is under 3 seconds, it is considered to be effective and good.

 

Ahrefs

We mentioned Ahrefs in the 2 part of our SEO Tools Guide For Every Expert but it really is an all-in-one SEO tool! It is considered as a crucial component of technical link analysis and technical audits. And there is a reason for that as it scans the websites every 15-20 minutes to check on the real-time links associated with the website and other issues that may impact the website’s performance.

Ahrefs Site Audit tool is very helpful if you want to analyze resources like images, JavaScript, CSS, crawl logs or indexability. The data you will get might be a good starting point to optimize your website in strict technical aspects.

Using Ahrefs, you are able to identify anchor text issues that may be impacting a site using its word cloud feature. It allows you to find SEO errors – It performs an audit of your site and provides a detailed report for the same. As a result, you can see what needs your attention and improvements. Just go to Ahref’s Site Audit (Site Audit > Project > Internal Pages > HTML Tags). Then you can see a list of all on-page issues that require your attention. You can find more in this article on Ahrefs.

on page issues site audit html tags technical seo tools

You can try filtering by importance, to focus on the most crucial issues at the beginning of your on-page work.

on-page-issues-filter-site-audit - technical seo tools

Courtesy of Ahrefs.

You can also get a quick current overview of your website’s technical condition in comparison to the previous audits you performed with Ahrefs. As a result you can check the progress you have made with the optimization work or detect new errors (in the number of “Internal URLs having errors”).

site audit

Ahrefs recommend fixing any Errors before moving on to Warnings and Notices, and I agree – these are the most important elements influencing the performance of your website. As you can see, even though I am describing the technical SEO aspects, it is not that bad with the right tools! ;)

 

Sitebulb

This is a relatively new tool but after I began using it I could no longer imagine the work that regards technical aspects without it. It is desktop software. The one drawback is that you cannot share an SEO audit report but you can partially export it to PDF which is full of charts presenting the most crucial insights of your website’s performance.

I find the crawl maps feature especially useful. They help you understand your website structure, discover the internal link flow, and spot groups of orphan pages. Moreover, Sitebulb allows you to analyze:

  • AMP validation;
  • Code coverage report (unused CSS, JS);
  • List mode (similar to the one on Screaming Frog);
  • Multi-level filtering, like in Ryte, Botify, OnCrawl, and DeepCrawl;
  • Statistics like First Meaningful Paint (helpful for website speed optimization).

What is more, Sitebulb integrates with Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Although it does a great job with data visualization and offers many interesting features, I have to point out some drawbacks of this tool:

  • It does not inform you about H2 tags;
  • If Sitebulb encounters an error while retrieving a page, it will not be recrawled;
  • You cannot set custom extraction;
  • You can do only one crawl at a time; other crawls are added to the queue to be crawled after the first crawl you order.

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However, it is still a really useful one among other technical SEO tools. It is not free but it has a smart pricing strategy that is convincing to most SEO specialists and agencies, all the more so since it is still improving and rolling out new features!

 

Technical SEO Tools – Easier Choice

Technical aspects of SEO work are essential for achieving high rankings in search engines. Although they require a lot of work, with a proper arsenal of tools, it is not that bad! ;) There are many different tools from checking your page speed through structured data testing ones to crawlers needed especially for technical SEO audits. The choice is up to you. The good one will ease your work, the bad one will make it harder. Efficiency, an intuitive interface, and the cost of the SEO tools are the main factors that helped me decide on the ones I use. Therefore, I hope my insights will be helpful for you and the technical tasks will become what you enjoy most about your everyday work!

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