If you are a current or aspiring business owner, you are likely aware of the benefit that investing in social media and digital marketing have on the overall success of your company. To sell a product or increase exposure for a brand, it is vital to be seen. To be seen, you are going to need to rank highly in search engines for specific keywords.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is essential to get your website and social media properties visited by users searching in places such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The higher your ranks in search indexes, the more traffic your website will accrue. The first step to achieve high ranks should be a comprehensive SEO audit.
There are many SEO audit tools on the market. It can become difficult selecting which is best for your website. The three best tools that we have found for website audits are Moz, Screaming Frog, and SEMRush. Let’s dive into each one in detail and tease out what sets them apart from the rest.
Moz is one of the earliest and most prominent SEO tool providers on the market. Many website owners use the Moz site crawler to identify critical issues on their sites. You can determine duplicate content issues, discover errors in title tags, view status codes of HTTP requests, and run tests on numerous other important factors that affect the indexability of your website.
Moz is ideal for those business owners and internet marketers just getting started in the SEO realm. You’ll be able to discover and learn how to fix some of the most common SEO issues that can impede search engine indexing and traffic to your site. It explains everything you need to know in an easy-to-read format. Their site even offers a popular and comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
There are two SEO products offered by Moz, Moz Pro and Moz Local. Moz Pro has a 30-day free trial. After your first month, there are four ways to pay:
- The Standard plan, $99/month, is good for those who are just starting out and only need the basics.
- The Medium plan, $179/month, is the most popular and offers full access to keyword research tools.
- The Large plan, $349/month, is for business who are serious about the technical aspects of SEO.
- The Premium plan is $999/month and is the most popular for large SEO-focused agencies and in-house marketing teams.
Moz Local offers three different pricing plans: Essential, Professional, and Premium.
- The Essential plan, for small to medium-sized businesses, is $99/year and offers active location-data management, review monitoring, complete duplication closure, listing accuracy verification, and real-time listing distribution.
- The Professional plan, the most popular, is $179/year. It offers all the Essential plan features, plus local SEO analytics, listing alerts, a success manager, and onboarding support.
- Then there’s the Premium plan for $249/year, which offers all the features of the Essential and Professional plans, plus all the tools included in Moz Pro!
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a popular desktop program and website crawler from the UK-based search marketing agency of the same name. Great for both technical and on-site auditing, this is considered by many auditors to be one of the best SEO choices out there.
If you’re looking to analyze your entire site at once from your desktop, this tool is for you. Screaming Frog crawls through every inch of your site, presenting you with any potential SEO problems that it finds. It’s a complete website auditing tool, focusing on over 30 specific parameters such as meta descriptions, response time, security, anchor text, broken links, and more.
The free version is limited to 500 pages, which should be just fine for small sites. The paid version is currently priced at £149/year, which is about $195 USD. It’ll pay for itself in no time with the issues it resolves and the time it saves its users.
SEMRush is consistently ranked as the top tool for competitor analysis by many SEO auditing experts. “Benefit from your competitors!” is displayed in large print on their site. This tool allows its users to monitor visibility and keyword ranking changes across multiple domains and devices, as well as identify pages driving the most traffic to competitor sites. You’ll be able to analyze your competitors’ performance across major search engines by viewing factors such as competitor ad strategies, ad copies, and budgets.
SEMRush gained some ground in the SEO audit tool rankings with the release of its On-Page SEO Checker. The tool crawls your site and provides an online report with a wide range of practical suggestions for improving its on-page elements, such as meta tags, body copy, relevancy, duplicate content and so much more.
One of the most useful things about the SEMRush site auditing tool is the historical and comparative analysis aspect. It allows you to easily see whether changes you’ve made to the site have had a positive or negative effect on its SEO potential. This is quite useful for times when negative SEO consequences occur from a necessary change to a site. You’ll be able to view the audit report changes and develop a resolution without undoing the change itself.
Currently, there are three different payment plans offered by SEMRush: Pro, Guru, and Business. There are a couple of ways to pay for each plan. As you probably expect, annual plans will save you a lot of money compared to the monthly payments.
- Per their site, the Pro plan is good for freelancers, startups, and in-house marketers working on a budget. It will cost you $99.95 per month, or you can pay $999.40 to use the tool for a year.
- Their Guru plan, one step up, is for SMB and growing marketing agencies. That one goes for $199.95 per month, or $1999.40 per year.
- The Business plan, their most comprehensive offer, is listed as being for agencies, E-commerce projects and businesses with extensive web presence. This one is a hefty $399.95 per month, or $3999.40 annually.
They also offer a custom plan to fit the marketing needs of your business, with custom keyword databases, custom limits, unlimited crawling of large websites, on-site training, and other add-on features upon request.
Tools of the Search Trade
There you have it, the three best audit software tools for Search Engine Optimization. Used correctly, these tools will allow you to know exactly what problems to solve to shoot your site to the top of the major search engines. Good luck, and we at SEO Enterprises will see you on page one of Google.