The Solely 2 Free search engine optimization Audit Instruments You Want

  • December 30, 2022
  • elkenz
  • 9 min read

An search engine optimization audit is the place you discover alternatives to enhance a website’s search efficiency.

To seek out all of those alternatives, you want to look in other places: content material, hyperlinks, technical points, and extra.

That is one thing Google Search Console and Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments are designed for. And for those who use each of them for what they’re finest at, you are able to do a complete search engine optimization audit with out spending a dime on instruments. Let’s do a fast overview of them.

Google Search Console (GSC) is a singular and doubtless irreplaceable instrument in any search engine optimization toolbox as a result of it affords probably the most correct information relating to Google’s search-related merchandise, e.g., natural visitors information, click-through charges, index protection, and so forth.

If you happen to don’t have already got GSC arrange, all you want to do is check in together with your Google account, confirm the possession of the positioning you wish to audit, and watch for the info to come back in. By the best way, we additionally suggest submitting a sitemap through GSC as quickly as doable (this helps Google uncover and index your pages faster).

Google Search Console welcome screen
GSC means that you can monitor your complete web site (left) or simply elements of it (proper).

The way it helps

Right here’s a listing of search engine optimization checks finest completed with GSC.

Checking natural visitors (from Google) 

Arguably the commonest use case for GSC and one of many the reason why it’s distinctive—getting natural visitors, impressions, and click-through charges straight from Google. 

Performance report in GSC

With the Efficiency instruments in GSC, you possibly can test for issues like click on tendencies over longer durations (as much as 16 months) or pages with excessive rankings however low click-through charges. 

Checking for handbook actions 

When Google thinks a web page or a complete web site is making an attempt to govern search rankings, it might problem a so-called handbook motion. This can lead to decrease rankings and even exclusion from Google’s index

Google makes use of GSC to speak an eventual handbook motion. In case your web site has one, you can find it there, together with instructions on how one can repair the issue. 

Checking for crawlability points

Crawlability is a search engine’s capacity to entry content material on a web page. If a web page can’t be accessed by Googlebot, searchers gained’t discover it on the SERPs. 

The Crawl Stats report in GSC is useful for detecting potential issues with crawling your web site by Google. As an illustration, server 5XX errors, web page timeouts, or unavailable robots.txt information.

Google recommends this report for superior customers with websites greater than 1,000 pages. Nevertheless, just about each potential error right here, together with sudden drops in crawl fee, may also have an effect on smaller websites. 

Crawl stats in GSC

Ensuring your web site is mobile-friendly 

Cellular-friendliness is a part of Google’s Web page Expertise indicators (has an impression on rankings). Google doesn’t wish to rank excessive pages which might be gradual or exhausting to navigate on cellular gadgets, as too many individuals surf the net and search for native companies utilizing their telephones (stats from Google). 

GSC robotically screens your total web site for cellular usability. If there’s any motion wanted, you’ll see what wants fixing and the place. 

Mobile experience report in GSC

Core Net Vitals 

One other a part of the Web page Expertise indicators. Core Net Vitals (CWV) is a set of metrics for a web page’s load time, interactivity, and stability of the content material because it hundreds.

Core Web Vitals report in GSC

You can even have CWV arrange in Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments. And in case the CWV report exhibits a “not sufficient information” message, you possibly can take a look at Ahrefs’ web page pace metrics to identify gradual pages. 

All of the above stories are sitewide. But when at any level you wish to audit only one web page out of your web site, you need to use the URL Inspection instrument. 

URL Inspection tool in GSC

Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments (AWT) is a instrument that screens the search engine optimization well being and search engine optimization efficiency of your web site. 

In comparison with GSC, it screens extra search engine optimization points (explains how one can repair them too) and affords extra information on backlinks and key phrases. You may consider it as a instrument that fills the gaps of GSC. 

To arrange AWT, create a free account. Then add and confirm your web sites in order that the instrument can begin to crawl them. It is possible for you to to make use of your GSC account to confirm for those who like. 

Starting a project in AWT


AWT is free for a vast variety of verified initiatives, as much as 5,000 pages in whole. If you happen to want extra, think about a premium Ahrefs subscription with entry to extra search engine optimization instruments.

The way it helps 

The instrument consists of three fundamental instruments: Dashboard, Website Explorer, and Website Audit. Most of your search engine optimization audit will probably be completed in Website Audit and a few in Website Explorer. Let’s take a look at some particulars. 

Website Audit (for technical and on-page search engine optimization points)

If you understand what sorts of search engine optimization points you’re on the lookout for after the crawl is finished, you possibly can head straight to the All points report in Website Explorer. You may edit the significance of the problems and use “Significance” because the filter.

All issues report in AWT

For every problem, you possibly can view particulars with recommendations on how one can repair it. 

SEO issue details with recommendations on how to fix

In any other case, chances are you’ll wish to begin auditing with the Indexability report. It’s a basic report as a result of, with out indexing, pages are invisible to engines like google and may’t herald any search visitors. If there are any canonicalization points or misplaced “noindex” tags, this report will allow you to know. 

Indexability report in AWT
Click on on the class of points to view affected pages.

Within the Inside pages report, it is possible for you to to identify any damaged pages with 4XX or 5XX response codes. As an illustration, non-existing pages with the 404 code. Then you possibly can view the variety of referring domains to these pages by including a column to the report. 

Report showing broken pages and number of referring domains pointing to them

This report permits you additionally to identify pages which might be utilizing HTTP protocol as an alternative of HTTPS. (HTTPS is a small rating sign, as a part of the Web page Expertise indicators.) 

Internal pages report in AWT
On the left, we are able to see the distribution of pages with errors. On the appropriate, we are able to see the distribution of pages with HTTPS and HTTP protocols.

Any points with hyperlinks in your web site will probably be proven within the Hyperlinks report. As an illustration, orphan pages, dead-end pages, or pages with hyperlinks to damaged exterior pages. 

Links report in AWT
Click on on the corresponding card to see all damaged inside or exterior pages. Graphs supply an at-a-glance overview of hyperlink distribution.

For low-hanging, on-page optimization alternatives, go to the Content material report. Some points could immediately hinder your capacity to rank, resembling title tag points.

Graphs showing the distribution of pages with title tag issues

The stories talked about above are examples of 13 predefined stories obtainable in AWT. It’s possible you’ll discover different stories useful too, resembling stories made for photographs, localization points, or a particular cluster report displaying units of pages with duplicate content material. What’s extra, you possibly can create your individual stories with 4 Website Audit instruments: 

  • Web page Explorer
  • Hyperlink Explorer
  • Inside Hyperlink Alternatives 
  • Construction Explorer

When you’re completed with fixing points reported in Website Audit, you possibly can schedule common website crawls. 

Setting up crawl schedule in Site Audit

AWT will e-mail you when the crawl is finished so you possibly can test for enhancements, new points, or simply the overall search engine optimization well being rating. The instrument may also preserve a historical past of website crawls for 3 months. 

Site crawl history in AWT

Website Explorer (for checking key phrases, visitors, and backlinks)

Not like GSC, AWT has no limits on the variety of reported natural key phrases and backlinks. 

With the Natural key phrases report, you possibly can see key phrases the place you already rank. And based mostly on supplied search engine optimization metrics—e.g., place, Key phrase Problem (KD), quantity—you possibly can establish content material that would want an replace or a chance to take over a featured snippet. 

Organic keywords report in AWT
To see low-hanging featured snippet alternatives, you need to use these filters within the Natural key phrases report.

With the Backlinks report, you possibly can see all backlinks pointing from particular pages (GSC exhibits simply domains) to your web site. The information comes with some useful search engine optimization metrics, resembling Area Ranking (DR) and natural visitors to the web page. (You can even type and filter by means of these metrics.) 

Backlinks report in AWT

Another issues you are able to do with AWT in your audit:

  • See how briskly you’re buying backlinks and key phrases 
  • Assess the standard of your backlinks 
  • See which pages have an opportunity of shifting from the second to the primary SERP
  • Uncover visitors drops that coincided with Google’s core updates 
  • Look previous GSC’s 16-month natural visitors restrict 
  • Spot destructive search engine optimization assaults (by means of spammy anchors or sudden spikes in referring domains)
  • Use search engine optimization information to guage your web site’s value

Remaining ideas 

search engine optimization audits will be overwhelming, so it’s good to start out with a sport plan. We suggest our search engine optimization audit guidelines, the place we’ve pinpointed 14 locations you must search for impactful search engine optimization points. It is possible for you to to do 13 of the 14 factors with simply GSC and AWT. 

Be at liberty to mess around with each instruments and provide you with your individual sport plan. You may be taught extra concerning the instruments within the following: 

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