In addition to quality and authority, technology is one of the fundamental building blocks of your SEO success. It is important that the performance of your website is good and the search engine robots understand your website as well as any person.
There are many paid tools that can support you in this. After a survey with different SEO specialists, there also appear to be a lot of free technical SEO tools that can come in handy. In this article I share the most important tools that you can use during your website audit.
1. Fetch & Render
There are many different programming languages that are used to build a website. Only not every programming language is understood and supported by a search engine. Take Google as an example. They still use an outdated Chrome browser (Chrome 41), while the counter of the current version is at 73.
It is important to see if Google sees your website as you see it. You get a first insight by passing the URL through the Fetch and Render tool.
During the fetch and rendering process of a search engine, the layout of your website is looked at, among other things. For example, if the layout of this tool differs from reality, then there is probably work to be done.
If you do not have technical knowledge, it is useful to consult your developer. Show him what you are up against and tell him that Google has an outdated browser. With the Can I use tool , you can easily see the differences between the programming languages supported by Chrome 41 and Chrome 73 (Google versus your web browser).
For every bone
The handy thing about Fetch & Render tool from Technicalseo.com is that you can fetch and render your website for every bot. The mobile Google bot has different guidelines than the Bingbot for example. If you operate in a country where Bing has an interesting market share, then it pays to also view your website through the eyes of Bing.
2. Diff checker
At first glance you wonder what you can use the Diffchecker tool for? It is one of the tools that I often use to, for example, view the difference between the raw HTML and the Rendered dumb.
Compare pieces of code with each other
Furthermore, I often use this tool to see if all the URLs that receive a canonical reference are also in the sitemap. It is important for Google to give the same signals from different places.
3. Regular expressions
Regular expressions are indispensable in my daily work. With regular expressions, a computer or analysis tool can recognize patterns. Consider the structure of your URL structure. I often use regular expressions when I want to create a targeted crawl or analyze certain URLs in Google Analytics.
To make sure that I analyze the correct URLs in Google analytics, I first test my regular expressions. Furthermore, the great thing about this tool is that you can save a regular expression and share it with your web developer, for example. They are also very much at home here, should I not be sure of my layout.
A number of useful regular expressions that I often use:
- Find the first or second folder in your url structure: http [s]: \ / \ /.*? \ / (. *?) \ /
- Find all parameters in your url: (\? | \ &) ([^ = \ N] +) \ = ([^ & \ n] +)
- Find all article IDs in your url: -id ([0-9] +) \. Html
I received the Scraper tool from Sean Malseed. It is a Chrome add on that you can use to scrape (extract) texts. You can easily place this text in a spreadsheet, so that you can easily create new keyword combinations.
I often use this tool if I want to use data from, for example, Wikipedia for keyword research. An example: you want to combine all city names with keyword X. For the city names I use a Wikipedia page with all city names on it. Copy a piece of text, click on the right mouse button and choose ‘scrape similar’. Export the place names to a Google spreadsheet. Now remove the irrelevant columns and use an excel formula to merge the place names with the keyword on which you want to be found.
5. Schema.org JSON-LD generator
Choose the right type and the properties that you want to classify with structured data. Enter the correct content and test your layout in Google’s structured data tool . If there are no error messages, you can have this layout implemented yourself or by a web developer on your website.
6. Search Analytics for Sheets
Even though Google has recently adjusted the policy regarding the number of months that you can see data, 16 months is still sometimes too short. The creator of the Google Spreadsheet also added this: Search Analytics for Sheets .
With this add on you can save your Google Search Console data in a spreadsheet every month. It is even possible to group your data backup by date, search query, page URL, device and search features .
Log file analyzes are indispensable for a technical SEO specialist. With the analysis of log files, you discover the behavior of different bots that visit your website. Think of the Google bot or Bing bot that detects your website for new developments. You can gain a lot of insight from the behavior of the bots. Think about:
- Whether your most important pages are crawled
- How often your pages are crawled
- The status codes of the requested URLs (redirects, 404 pages)
- Whether the pages are crawled that get a canonical reference.
- Whether spambots come by
- Or external links (referral in logs) are read
- This creates a crawl spike
If you encounter any oddities, it is up to you to anticipate this. The free SEO tool from seolyzer.io makes it easy to view and analyze your log files.
The disadvantage of this is that you do share your data with a third party. Something you should think about because of the GDPR. A good alternative is the log file analysis tool from Screamingfrog . For a small fee you can easily analyze your logs. Everything better than sitting for hours fell in excel.
8. Redirect Path
Aleyda Sollis, a familiar to many, drew my attention to Redirect Path . A Chrome add on that views the status of a page. Very useful for detecting redirect paths, for example. In addition, this tool also detects 302, 404 and 500 https status codes.
9. Hreflang Tags Generator
Aleyda Sollis also sent the Hreflang Tags Generator to me. If you get started with international SEO, the hreflang tag will not sound unknown to you. Implementing these tags seems so simple, but experience shows that this is one of the most complex processes.
This tool should make this process a lot easier. Enter the desired URL or upload a .csv file with URLs for which you want to create a hreflang tag. Once created, you can implement these tags or send them to the relevant web developer.
You may also bump into it yourself. You are optimizing a website and you do not have direct access to the code of the website. Let it just be that the web developer also has no time for your SEO tasks. If you use a CDN for the website in question, it could become your best friend.
During TechSEO Boost, Dan Taylor showed how you can use server workers (for example ‘ cloudflare workers ‘) to implement your alternate lang tags, title tags and redirect. Handy, because now you can implement your SEO advice much faster.
There are many more free technical SEO tools, according to the recent discussion on Twitter . It remains important to always use these tools in addition to a paid tool. Therefore see it as a supplement to your current tools. If I am involved in technical SEO, I often use Google Developer Console and a desktop / cloud crawler.