A site audit is one of the fastest ways to find major SEO concerns on a website. Most of the site audit tools require you to add a domain name, and it crawls your website just like Google does to give you suggestions that you can implement to improve your site’s overall SEO.
In the past, I have talked about SEMRUSH’s site audit feature. Today we will talk about Ahrefs’s site audit feature. In case if you have not used either of the two, you should definitely try it. Just by using these tools you will be able to learn more about SEO quickly.
If you already have an account with either, you should take advantage of their trial and test it out yourself. I recommend you to sign up for one of the two at a time to make most out of it.
- Sign up for SEMRUSH (14 days trial)
- Sign up for Ahrefs (7 days trial)
Ahrefs Site audit features and how to use it:
- Login to your Ahrefs account, and click on Site audit at the top to get started.
- Click on new projects and add the domain name you want to audit. You can use it for your domain as well as your competitor’s.
- It’s a good idea to check out their help video to have a better understanding of all the feature (I have marked the help video link with an arrow in the below screenshot).
If it’s your domain, you should verify ownership using any of the listed methods. This will speed up the crawling and a recommended step if you are crawling your website.
For unverified domains, Crawl speed is limited to 1 request per 2 sec.
Once you have are with all these settings, its time to run the first crawl. Click on start project and Ahrefs will start working its magic.
Depending on the size of the website and your settings, it could take a few hours or days to complete the crawling. Once it’s done, you will be able to explore your crawled data and take necessary actions.
Let’s jump right into it.
Click on projects again and click on the status column of the project that you wish to see the data for.
This will take you to the data overview page which will look something like this:
Depending upon the segment of technical SEO you would like to fix first, you can start exploring the options. I was not happy with the performance report as I felt it was not accurate. However, it may be normal because there are a lot of factors in play to get the right performance report.
If you are someone who understands technical SEO, you should explore the data explorer page and play with existing presets or create your own presets to get meaningful data.
Even when you are exploring the data, filters are going to help you the most. My suggestion for you, start experimenting with data explorer and filters from day one to make most out of it.
Here are a few things you should do first to improve your technical SEO:
- Identify pages with high loading time and fix it
- Find heavy images on your website and find a way to optimize it
- Find broken links (Internal + external) and fix it
- Find orphan pages and link to them if necessary (this could also be done with Yoast SEO plugin)
- Find pages with missing HTML tags
Ahrefs also boasts of a feature called To-do which I found to be the most usable. With this feature, you can mark any issue as a task and later export it into excel format. You can then work with your team or even freelancers to get the issue resolved.
Overall Ahrefs Site audit feature:
For any existing Ahrefs user, this site audit feature is pretty helpful if used correctly. The simplicity of the interface and helpful videos makes this tool friendly beginners and experienced users alike. As technical SEO has become more essential than ever, this is going to be one fantastic tool to have in your arsenal.
However, if you are planning to get SEMRUSH or Ahrefs just for site audit feature, I would suggest you should explore other tools which are cheaper and developed specifically for this purpose. Here are a few tools that I would recommend at this time:
Now, its your turn to let me know how often you do a site technical audit. Which online or desktop tool do you use? Looking forward to hearing your opinion in the comments.