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Technical SEO Tools: A Guide

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Our Top Technical SEO Tools

When it comes to technical SEO there are a vast number of different tools out there you can use. There are so many in fact that it can be difficult to filter through the options and find the ones best suited to your needs. In our guide we review some of the tools we personally use for technical SEO and provide our thoughts on them.

Crawling Tools

These tools are all useful for when you just want to crawl your entire site to get an idea of its overall health, as well as the specific areas that require work and improvement.

 

Lumar (Deepcrawl)

View of graphs and data on the Lumar analyze dashboard. This is a Technical SEO Tools used by Uprise Up.

Previously called ‘Deepcrawl’, Lumar is a great option for those that want a tool that clearly highlights the issues with their site. It runs a crawl on your site, reviewing the different pages for different technical issues. At the end, you are then presented with reports, each focusing on a particular technical issue. Each report compiles a list of URLs affected by that issue, and they are presented visually in easy to understand graphs.

It’s a tool I’d deem user friendly, it’s very easy to navigate and requires minimal input from the user to get going. All you need to do is set up a crawl on your website, then Lumar takes over.

Lumar runs it’s crawls online, meaning you can set the crawl up and leave it. You can even shut the window and log off, the crawl will continue to run. This is useful as it means you can easily set up crawls to run during your down time.

It’s a great time saver, as you are able to very quickly see within the different reports what the issues are. Ideal for individuals or teams that are still getting to know the ins and outs of SEO.

 

HTTP Status

View of Httpstuatus dashboard, one of an array of free technical seo tools available online.

Httpstatus.io is a free online tool that you can use to check the status code of your pages. This means you can see where pages are live, which pages redirect and where pages no longer exist.

I like this tool because you can easily get a quick snapshot of what’s going on with different pages. Simply enter your list of URLs and press ‘check status’. You then get the results, where you see if pages are live (200), gone (404/410) or redirect (301/302/307). The results even highlight when redirect chains have formed on pages.

It does come with some restrictions. It has a limit of 100 URLs per go, so if you want to check URLs en masse a paid tool may be the way to go. The formatting of the export also isn’t the best and could be clearer. However, for a free tool it provides good value.

 

Sitebulb

Sitebulb is another crawler tool that we’ve used historically. It sits in between Screaming Frog and Lumar in terms or data output and user friendliness. Like Lumar, it highlights specific technical issues found on your site. However, it also gives you the detail of Screaming Frog. Sitebulb can identify technical issues Lumar misses, allowing you to provide even more detail when auditing your site.

It’s fairly simple to navigate, providing audit scores for different technical factors the crawl reviews. It also gives you an idea of how severe certain technical issues are, scoring them from critical to low. This is useful in the next stage, post-audit, when deciding which technical problems you should address first.

It’s a paid tool, but it’s not an expensive one; the ‘Lite’ version costs just £10 a month, with the ‘Advanced’ option coming in at £25 per month. For us this tool has always provided good value for money and is a great option.

 

Screaming Frog

For those that love information, Screaming Frog is the one. One of the most popular crawler tools around, Screaming Frog goes through a website and pulls out every possible bit of information you could need. From the indexability of a page, through to where it’s being linked to on a site (and how), Screaming Frog offers an abundance of data about your website. It’s an invaluable tool and one we use frequently within our SEO team.

However, it is not a tool for the faint hearted. Screaming Frog is a tool I’d recommend to individuals that both:

  • Regularly work with data
  • Have a good understanding of SEO

The reason being, Screaming Frog produces a lot of data, but doesn’t provide any direction on what you should be looking at. It’s a fantastic tool for data and insights, but is one that comes with a strong learning curve. It can take a while to review the data you get (regardless of your SEO level), so if you’re time-poor, or are an SEO beginner, I recommend using different technical seo tools before advancing to Screaming Frog.

 

Page Speed

Page speed is one of the top ranking factors Google considers when it comes to organic search. As such, it’s important to keep an eye on the page load time for pages across your site. These tools are great options for reviewing your pages and identifying opportunities for improvement.

PageSpeed Insights (PSI)

PageSpeed Insights is our go to tool when it comes to checking the page speed and Core Web Vital performance of a page. A free Google tool, it uses data from Lighthouse to provide optimisation scores for the mobile and desktop versions of a page. It tests pages in real time, so you can see how your page performs currently, which is great for measuring the impact of any changes you make to your site.

It’s an easy tool to use; you just enter your URL at the top and let it run. It scores your page out of 100, with 80 or above being a good score. It then follows up with recommendations for you to action in order to improve your score. As this tool is Google’s, the recommendations will in essence just be what Google wants and are often the same across different websites.

Unfortunately, you can only use PSI on a page by page basis, you are unable to check the performance of multiple pages. Additionally, the information on this page can initially be quite intimidating, as it’s quite dependent on you understanding coding. If you have web developers, you will very likely be working with them on these recommendations.

This is a tool I highly recommend people interested in SEO, or even in just working on a website in general, make sure they are familiar with.

 

GTMetrix

GTMetrix dashboard

GTMetrix is another free tool that you can use to measure the load time of different webpages. Start by entering the URL and the tool runs a performance analysis, creating a report for you to view at the end. This tool also provides the option to download the report as a PDF; which creates a nice document for you to share with your web developers.

You can either access the website and use the tool straight away, or set up a free account first. The benefit of setting up an account is it stores any reports of crawled pages for you to re-access. You can also update the settings on the tool before it runs to change the location it measures the webpage’s performance for. This can be useful if you have a specific country you’re targeting (United States, Australia or India for example), or you’re a globally-targeted website; see how your site performs in each area to get an understanding of the overall picture.

The recommendations are very similar to PSI. In my opinion GTMetrix is a friendlier tool visually. On the summary page you get a nice ‘Speed Visualisation’. This is a nice graphic that breaks it down and shows the timings where different actions occur during the page load process, including the final time when the whole page is fully loaded.

You get a similar amount of information around the different recommendations as you would in PSI. Both tools provide additional documentation which contains in-depth information around the flagged issue, allowing you to learn and get a better understanding of what’s each issue entails.

This is a good tool if you want to check the results you get through PSI, however those new to SEO will still have some learning to do in order to get the most out of this tool.

 

Keyword Research

We’ve previously discussed tools we recommend for keyword research, but our favourite is:

Ahrefs

Screenshot of Ahrefs broken backlink analysis data for Amazon.

Ahrefs is a detailed keyword research tool. It does more than provide you a list of keywords and accompanying metrics, it provides good insights into competitors. It also provides a lot of information around links. This is useful for technical SEO as you use it to:

  • Find broken backlinks (links that point to 404 pages on your site)
  • Support your internal linking work.

Ahrefs also provides details on your site’s organic rankings for different keywords. This can be beneficial as it helps you identify when rankings are dropping off; you then run some analysis to understand what the cause is, including checks for technical SEO!

 

Ready to do a tech audit?

There are plenty of other tools out there still, but these ones that get a certified Uprise Up thumbs up. Technical SEO covers a diverse range of factors and can be challenging to understand if you are new to the area. If you ever want some help with your technical SEO, then do give our SEO team a shout! We are always happy to help.

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