Auditing your website for search is one of the most important things for your online presence. It helps you identify core problem areas and provides solutions to rectify any errors. It also enables you to create an action plan for the overall search engine optimization of your site. A good SEO audit ensures that the website is in good shape at all times and keeps Google from penalizing your hard work.

However, when it comes to choosing a tool to audit your site for search, website owners often feel spoilt for choice. With so many options around, it is hard to land a decision on one tool. We have, therefore, compiled a list of features you should observe before deciding on an SEO tool for your website. Let’s take a look:

Technical features

When you are optimizing your site for search, you need to ensure that the site is easily crawlable by most search engines. The tool of your choice should be able to spot a robot.txt file in the sitemap. Also, pick a tool which can show you the number of pages indexed by search engines.

You need to know the current performance of your search engine optimization efforts. When this number is lower, you will get a warning about the SEO on your site.

When this number is good, you can rest assured that the optimization is going well. Owners of medium to big-sized websites need to assure that this technical feature is present in the tool of their choice.

Other technical features include the ability to find out if there is duplicate content on your page. Duplicate content does not look good to the search engines, and a best SEO tool can easily detect duplicate content without any manual effort.

Mobile optimization

Website owners must consider mobile optimization since it is the best way to get more traffic to the site. The number of mobile users has increased, and Google also considers mobile responsiveness as a feature when crawling site pages. Thus, if you want to be in the top rankings, craft a site which is optimized for mobile.

Some things to consider when auditing your site for mobile optimization include:

  • Touch sensitivity: If you have tapping targets on the site, this tool will be able to check their responsiveness
  • Compatibility: Is the tool able to detect embedded objects like Flash or Java?
  • Visibility: Is the website visible on all mobile devices and different browsers of those mobile devices?
  • Site speed: The tool should check the loading speed on your mobile site. It is very necessary. Otherwise, Google will push your site lower in search engine results. An auditing tool can check site speed and audit the difference in speed.

Other things that an ideal tool is capable of detecting include image optimization, render-blocking Java, caching and CSS.

Keyword analysis

Since the ranking of keywords directly affects the overall search optimization of your site, one of the best things an ideal tool does is track the keywords and search terms for your website. In fact, it is a must-have feature when choosing an SEO auditing tool for your site.

There are tools out there that can only detect a few keywords on your site. Those are inefficient and present a false picture. You need a tool which can track progress over time, compare your keyword efforts with other websites and present a daily report of your keyword performance. Ideally, a good tool should be able to track at least 250 keywords.

It should also be able to provide you with a monthly volume. Google used to provide this list to its users before, but it has stopped now. You need a tool you can trust in these circumstances. Other things include keyword position, positioning over time, ranking list, competitor analysis, movement of keyword and suggestions of other keywords based on your website.

Site crawling

As mentioned earlier, issues with website speed, keywords and mobile optimization can affect the ranking of your site. Therefore, it is necessary that you choose a tool which can detect the following features which may hinder site crawling by Google and other search engines:

  • Duplicate content: There are many reasons why you might have duplicate content on your site. A good tool with crawling feature should be able to detect and report duplicate content on your website. Other examples include canonical URLs or broken links which are no longer responsive.
  • HTTPS: If your website is using HTTPS, a good tool can detect faulty elements on your site. Secure pages under HTTPS which contain any HTTP element are a big threat to the security of the whole website.
  • Indexing: Pages that are non-indexable are not going to impress the search engines at all. It will also result in you missing out the opportunity to rank higher with the content on those pages.

Usability

It is the personal preference and the device customization, but usability matters for every website. You need to make sure that your site works on the most popular devices and browsers of the world. There are tools which can’t handle the audit of websites of all sizes.

For this reason, choose a tool that can audit any website, be it a few pages or a hundred pages. There must be a clean and minimalistic interface which is clutter-free. A good tool will help you improve the user experience of the website.

Refrain from using a tool which is bent on asking you to chat with a customer service representative. Imagine sitting in one corner of the world and trying to talk to a representative in the other corner of the world. Annoying, without a doubt!

On-site titles

Titles and descriptions are an important element of your website. Titles are unique for every page, and their uniqueness is dependent on the quality of the keywords. Take help from a good SEO tool for your optimization needs.

Can your users tell from the title what your website is about? Your content quality can seriously improve under the guidance of a good SEO tool. Other things include the URL structure. Format the URL structure and check them according to your most prominent keywords.

Last word

You don’t have an option whether to choose a tool for SEO audit or not. It is the dire need for the efficiency of your website. While finding an auditing tool which matches the dynamics of your website is difficult, you can consider the points mentioned in this article to decide on the one which can be most reliable. Take advantage of these tips and choose the best tool for your website.

Evie Harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs.

Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison

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