There are many free tools available for site auditing tests. These free SEO Site Auditing tools provide data that is complementary to paid site auditing tools. These SEO tools are well worth bookmarking regardless of whether you pay for a site auditing tools or not and There’s nothing quite like a sudden Google algorithm update to leave marketers feeling equal parts confused and concerned. It seems like they wait for you to get all of your ducks in a row and then unleash an update that makes your efforts instantly obsolete.
Sure, they’re pretty open about that fact that they’re doing this for everyone’s own good — each algorithm tweak brings us one step closer to more relevant search results, after all. However, there is still some secrecy behind exactly how Google evaluates a website and ultimately determines which sites to show for which search queries.
These tools are critical to your organic search strategy because they allow you to focus on the elements of your site that Google deems important. In this post, we’ll walk through 13 such tools that all help you run a site analysis like a marketer … and a Google bot.
- Google’s Webmaster Tools
- HubSpot’s Website Grader
- Check My Links
1. Google’s Webmaster Tools
Purpose: Website Analysis
Perhaps the best way to understand the way Google sees your site is to ask Google. Google’s Webmaster Tools are novice-friendly resources that explain the fundamentals of Google search.
For example, Google’s Fetch as Google tool allows you to see a particular URL as Google sees it, which is critical when troubleshooting for poor SEO performance. The information returned can help you modify the page in question for better results, and can even help you isolate problematic code when you believe your site’s been hacked.
Another great feature of Google Webmaster Tools is PageSpeed Insights. This SEO tool measures the performance of both your desktop and mobile site in terms of speed. With mobile search queries surpassing desktop searches, page speed is becoming increasingly important to businesses that want to hold on to their visitors.
“PageSpeed Insights evaluates how well a page follows common performance best practices and computes a score from 1-100 that estimates its performance headroom,” according to Google Developers. That score can be Good, as in 80 or above; Medium, as in 60 to 79; or Low, as in 0 to 59.
Cost: $99/mo for Lite Plan
Purpose: Keyword Research
Ahrefs is an advanced SEO resource that examines your website property and produces keyword, link, and ranking profiles to help you make better decisions on your content. Three of its main tools are:
- Site Explorer, which shows you the performance of specific webpages on your website.
- Content Explorer, which allows you to search high-performing webpages under specific keywords and topics.
- Keywords Explorer, which generates the monthly search volume and click-through rates of specific keywords.
When using the Keyword Explorer, Ahrefs will also produce the “parent topic” of the keyword you looked up, as you can see in the screenshot above, underneath the Keyword Difficulty meter. A keyword’s parent topic is a broader keyword with higher search volume than your intended keyword, but likely has the same audience and ranking potential — giving you more a valuable SEO opportunity when optimizing a particular blog post or webpage.
3. HubSpot’s Website Grader
Purpose: Website Analysis
Back in 2007, HubSpot released a tool called Website Grader that helped businesses uncover search engine optimization opportunities. Because a lot has changed since then, the company has released a new and improved version of the tool.Website Grader is an online tool that generates personalized reports based on the following key metrics:
- Mobile Readiness. The tool will see if your website is mobile-friendly in terms of responsiveness and viewport settings.
- SEO. The tool will determine if your website is easy to find — both by humans and bots. This determination will take factors like page titles and meta descriptions into consideration.
- Security. The tool will look for things like an SSL certificate. This serves as a way to prove to visitors that your site is both authentic and safe for contact information submissions.
All you need is your website URL and an email address to get started. Simply plug in your information and you can expect a score (1-100) as well as a detailed report in a matter of seconds.
Aside from Website Grader, HubSpot also has a handful of paid SEO tools to help you better direct your efforts.
For example, within the HubSpot Blogging App, users will find as-you-type SEO suggestions. This helpful inclusion serves as a checklist for content creators of all skill levels. HubSpot customers also have access to the Page Performance App, Sources Report, and the Keyword App. The HubSpot Marketing Platform will provide you with the tools you need to research keywords, monitor their performance, track organic search growth, and diagnose pages that may not be fully optimized.
4. Check My Links
Purpose: Link Optimization
To ensure that your links on a webpage — whether external or internal — actually work, consider Check My Links.
This broken-link checker makes it easy for a publisher or editor to make corrections before a page is live. Think about a site like Wikipedia, for example. The Wikipedia page for the term “marketing” contains a whopping 711 links. Not only was Check My Links able to detect this number in a matter of seconds, but it also found (and highlighted) seven broken links.
Performance. The tool will analyze your site’s page size, requests, speed, and similar key SEO metrics.
Cost: Free 14-day trial, then paid plans from $24/mo
Purpose: Link Building
BuzzStream might be the most inexpensive way to manage your outreach to the people who can provide inbound links to your website.
Although backlinks to your website are critical to ranking well on Google, the outreach you do while link building can feel a lot like cold calling. BuzzStream makes it easy to research the appropriate people, come up with effective email messages, and track who’s accepted each link request.
Free Mobile SEO Tools
Mobile SEO is incredibly important. That’s why it’s important to be able to test what a search engine results page (SERPs) looks like in virtually any city in the world.
It’s also useful to be able to check what your web page looks like in the most popular mobile phones. Pages that look great tend to convert better.
Mobile Moxie provides a fully functional Mobile SEO Tools.
The Mobile Moxie SERPs checker shows you what the rankings looks like in a huge selection of mobile phone screens.
What makes this tool especially helpful is that it can localize to any city in the world. Thus, you can test what the mobile rankings are for someone located in any city in the world. This is great for local SEO or for client work where you’re not located in the client’s area.
There is also a Mobile Web Page Checker that can show you what your web page looks like in virtually any mobile phone. This will help you optimize your web page so that it converts the best across a wide range of mobile phones.
Free Website Security Audit Tools
Many SEOs don’t consider security as part of an SEO audit. Security only becomes an issue after a site’s been hacked and the rankings dropped.
In my opinion, website security should be a component of an SEO audit. A secure website is a major part of how well it ranks and encourages sales. That’s why I include a thorough security audit with every site audit I perform.
Free Blacklist Checker
Ultra Tools Blacklist Checker
This tool checks if your website is listed on any blacklists. Being blacklisted can be an indication that your website is or was compromised. Being blacklisted can have a negative impact on the deliverability of your emails. That in turn impacts your email marketing and link building outreach.
If your site is no longer compromised, knowing that the site is blacklisted will help you contact the blacklist to have your site removed.
Free WordPress Vulnerability Scanner
WPScans WordPress Vulnerability Scanner
This free vulnerability scanner offers a quick but comprehensive scan of potential issues. Create the report then research whether or not your site has issues that need fixing. WPScans.com is a useful tool for beginning a security audit.
Free HTTPS Validator Tool
SSL Labs Security Checker
The SSL Labs Security tool will spot misconfigurations and security holes in your HTTPS certificate implementation. Adding a server security certificate is touted as being easy. But that’s not always the case. This useful tool will help you diagnose hidden issues.
Free Drupal Security Scanner
Hacker Target Drupal Security Scanner
This comprehensive security scanner will highlight common issues with a Drupal based website.
Free Website Performance Tools
Gzip Compression Checker
Check GZip Compression Tool
The GZip Compression tool checks if your site is using GZip compression. Using compression allows your server to download your web pages quick.
YSlow Performance Audit
The free YSlow Performance Audit tool is a comprehensive performance audit scanner. It creates a report of 23 performance rules.
Free Duplicate Content Checker
Siteliner Duplicate Content Checker
The free Siteliner duplicate content tool is a scanner provided by CopyScape (an anti-plagiarism service).
Siteliner is a good tool that can catch thin pages. Because the scanner counts navigation and footer content, a thin page will be highlighted by the tool. If a thin page exists, Siteliner will find it for you.
The scanner is limited to 250 pages. Nevertheless, it is useful to alert you to a possible problem with thin pages.
Free Web Page Checker
The Worldwide Web Consortium is the organization concerned with creating HTML standards. The W3C Validator is a tool that checks whether the HTML is valid but it does so much more!
Tick the “Show Outline” option in order to see how your heading elements look to a search engine. The results can be eye opening and reveal issues with your website template.
The validator isn’t 100% reliable. It occasionally returns incomplete reports due to do perceived coding errors on the sites it is evaluating.