Last Updated on October 23, 2021 by scottkandh
Effective SEO requires so many factors. In order to how to look at your SEO Effectiveness, use this SEO Audit checklist of SEO programs to look at your site’s SEO. I have written a good post that is getting a good amount of sharing in regard to ensuring that you’re using SEO for your blog – SEO Checklist items for WordPress blogs.
If you’re looking for an actual SEO Audit checklist, please visit my post Comprehensive SEO Audit Checklist. There you’ll be able to subscribe to my blog and get an SEO Audit checklist which utilizes four SEO programs that will help you optimize your blog posts, or optimize your blog.
How to look at your SEO Effectiveness
It occurred to me I hadn’t spent much time to look at the big picture and evaluate the effectiveness of adding meta descriptions, using focus keywords, keyword synonyms, etc. So I decided it was time for me to conduct my own 1st SEO Audit and you can use a variety of these same programs to run your SEO Audit.
Yoast SEO is one of the best tools to improve your SEO. But like the Yoast SEO program, “improving” your SEO doesn’t work all by itself.
Update: Since writing this post, I’ve discovered an even better program to improve your SEO called Rank Math Pro. Please check out this post 3 Reasons why Rank Math SEO is better than Yoast SEO to find out why I’m highly suggesting that you should switch from Yoast SEO to Rank Math SEO and grow your blog’s traffic by “effectively” using keywords.
By using Rank Math you’ll learn how to use keywords to improve your SEO and write your posts around the keywords instead of trying to find the keywords after you have written the post which is difficult and not the suggested way to write a post.
Keep in mind that I haven’t personally tested each of these tools. That would be too costly to try each and every one of these tools. I don’t want to take the risk of signing up for so many free trial programs and then forgetting to cancel them in a timely manner. Therefore, I’m taking a different approach:
- Provide the information for the program and its corresponding link
- Place all of the Search Engine Optimization tools in alphabetical order
- Looking for free tools that don’t require your credit card
- Personally, I’ll take a gradual approach to try the various programs
- My favorite types of programs are the ones that recommend things you can do to improve your SEO and provide the methods to fix
- I’m on the lookout for “free” programs to help build your Keyword Bank (like SEOQuake)
- Look for programs that can boost your SEO to help run your SEO Audit checklist.
Before I start listing all of the various programs it’s worthwhile at this point to let you know (and myself) what is an SEO Audit.
What is a SEO Audit?
“An SEO audit needs to be performed regularly in order for long-term success of your website’s performance. SEO audits are an important, necessary component of keeping your SEO strategy up to date. … Performing the audit will expose the errors, enabling you to redirect them and recover lost traffic.” – The Definitive Guide to Running an SEO Website Audit
“You can think of an SEO Audit as an evaluation of a website that grades the site for its ability to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs). Audits are completed by checking each step on your audit list and finding any issues that need to be repaired or improved to boost your page’s search engine performance.” – Grab Your Free Analysis – Free SEO Audit Report. Many of the programs within this post are helpful tools to perform a SEO Audit and should be added to your checklist.
How can I get an SEO Audit Checklist? Visit my post called Comprehensive SEO Audit Checklist and subscribe to my blog.
Tools for an SEO Audit checklist
SEO Tool: This is the plug-in that I was using before I made the all-important switch over to Yoast SEO. A very useful feature that it has is Autogenerate descriptions (for the Meta Description).
The Autogenerate Descriptions setting will automatically generate a Meta Description for any Post Type using the Post Excerpt, or the first 160 characters of the post content if there is no Post Excerpt.
All in One SEO Pack will use your post excerpt for the auto generated meta description. If there is no post excerpt, then it will use the first 160 characters of your post content. This can be especially useful if you have a lot of content and don’t want to input a meta description for every page/post.
Pro-Tip: An important consideration when running SEO plug-ins is that you only want to run one at a time, otherwise, you’ll run into conflicts which will prevent the blog from running properly.
Keyword Research: This is one of the best tools I’ve seen to easily build up your keyword bank. Put this program at the top of your list and sit back to watch your traffic grow if you fully utilize the suggestions in this program. AWESOME!!
One feature that I really like within Bing is the Keyword Research utility. It allows you to look at Keywords and list them by:
- Related keywords
- Question Keywords and
- Newly discovered.
Toggle back and forth between the 1st two lists by categories and you can build quite the Keyword Bank.
Technical SEO, Content Optimization – Start your free trial with no installation required. By using the free trial you’ll be able to look at all of your pages/posts that the images don’t have an Alt + Text attribute. Ensuring all images have a written description is beneficial in the long run.
One other principal reason that I like this program is that I personally have run across a few SEO programs that tell me I have too many H1 headings. By going through this program, page by page, you’ll simply be able to look at your headings in a single glance.
SEO Tool for website performance – Free: Run a Website Speed Test and get your analysis report for free. Fix issues and improvements that get identified. By reading the Read More notes for each item you can tell exactly how to fix all of the issues that are slowing you down. I would recommend that you use this program at least once a month and add it to your SEO Audit checklist.
For example, I just ran this report for a third time and you need to examine your website to ensure it’s showing continuous improvement. My rating in May of 2021 was only a 70% and the number of issues has dropped from 12 to 10. Slow and steady wins the race. Especially when it comes to your SEO.
Keyword Research – Free: Tremendously build up your Keyword Bank with this program that offers lots of keyword phrases.
SEO Tool to determine if your site is mobile friendly – Free: Easily tell if your URL is or isn’t mobile friendly. Google might ding you if your site isn’t mobile friendly.
SEO Tool for website performance – Free: Extremely pleased after running this program. The score raised from a 10 to a 38. Be sure to specify if you want to see the score for your mobile device or your desktop (located at the top, not visible below). When you run some of the suggestions from other SEO programs, from time to time run this program to use as a benchmark for improvement.
SEO Tool for website performance – Free: The goal on this should be to have no pages with errors (so I now know I have two pages to fix and I’ll need to find out which two they are. With is that important? Because these pages couldn’t be indexed for some reason. The pages won’t appear in Google, and which could mean a loss of traffic to your site.
Luckily, I was easily able to reindex the two pages and I’ll check again later to ensure the errors are no longer there. The two pages were very instrumental because they were categories on my blog of Pinterest and blogging. I think you can tell that those would be instrumental if they aren’t showing up in Google.
Keyword Research – Free: Pro-Tip: Get into the habit of always checking Google Trends on your keywords. There’s a possibility that the keyword that your using is becoming less popular and, in that case, you’re actually hurting your page instead of helping it. For example, would you really want to use “Monetizing your blog” after you’ve seen this graphic that has an unusual spike? This is a program to add to your SEO Audit checklist.
SEO Plug-in – Free: This is a WordPress plug-in that’s not necessary if you’re using Yoast SEO plug-in. But if you’re not using Yoast you want this to have it automatically add a sitemap.
SEO Tool for website performance – To get an accurate and true picture of your site speed, use GTmetrix. And then read the recommendations provided to give your website a boost. Obviously, I’m concerned about the 1st three recommendations and GTMetrix provides you with the priority for those items (my three are high priority) so they need attention.
One of the best measures for how well your site’s page speed is performing. Add this program to your SEO Audit checklist. For some reason that I haven’t been able to pinpoint, I’m able to detect that my website is fluctuating between a GTMetrix grade of B and C.
Technical SEO – Not Free: This WordPress plugin will check your site to see if you have nofollow links and remove them.
Keyword Generator – Free: This is a great site to build your keyword bank. Not only are you provided with a list of keywords to use, but you’re also provided with a list of top-performing content (for the keyword you selected). I myself have a pretty good Keyword Bank, but this is worth going into to build up the bank to make SEO that much better.
Content Optimization – Free: This is WordPress Plug-in. After you have installed and activated the plug-in it’s a little hard to find out where you need to provide the API key that was initially provided to you in when you visited the download plug-in site.
Simply go to Settings (in WordPress) and select Relevancy Rank. Put in the API key and press Save. Personally, I didn’t like this program because it appears that you have to enter 25 keywords in order to see your SEO score.
I don’t have the patience to enter 25 words because I thought the program was supposed to make suggestions to “add” additional words or “recommend” more words. The purpose of this program is that it will score your post and provide you with an estimated SEO score. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Keyword Research – Free: The free version will give you a snippet of information of keywords. The Pro version costs .00 per month. To build a complete and thorough Keyword Bank (especially useful for Bloggers using Pinterest) this would be a worthwhile investment.
Technical SEO, Content Optimization. I’m not a big fan of this program. From time to time, I’ll get notified (because I’m using Yoast SEO) that Ryte says my website isn’t being searched and isn’t being indexed.
I took a second look and my free trial expired so I’m not going to spend any more time on it.
Keyword Research, Content Optimization
Squirrly is a WordPress Plug-in. I thought to myself, great they’re going to be able to make all of the necessary changes that need to be made (automatically) to make my website 100% SEO friendly.
I installed the plug-in and after the install, I could barely read the information on the screen. It did offer a lot of advice, such as missing Keywords. But like I mentioned it was so hard to read that I didn’t want to put the strain on my eyes and deleted the plug-in. You be the judge and try for yourself. If you want something to automatically analyze the contents and provide feedback (for what needs fixing), this could be your answer.
Technical SEO, Content Optimization – Free: Analyzes your website and quickly lets you know if there any issues that need to be fixed.
SEOQuake has a powerful free button that you can add to Firefox, Chrome, or Edge that lets you take a look at your competitors keywords. This is an item that you need to add to your SEO audit checklist.
SEO Tool with many different suggestions – Free: Highly recommended website to review your SEO score and look for suggestions for improvement. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Ensure that you add this program to your SEO Audit checklist.
Updated 5/23/21 – actually my SEO fell slightly from the last time. When it comes to improving your SEO you need to take it little bits at a time. So that you can see the improvement. Make notes of the changes that you make so that if your score goes down or affects the performance of your website you can make the necessary adjustments.
I’m pretty confident that once I install a program called autoptimize that the SEO score will go right back to where it was or more. So I’m heading right now to install the plug-in to see what kind of difference it makes (in the second image below). I’ve installed the plug-in but I’ll have to wait for another day to see the difference it’s made because I’ve used up my free checks too many times for today.
SEO Tool Analyzer – Free: Provides a wide array of utilities such as Content Analysis, Page Audit, Keywords (Research Tool), and Domain Strength (just to name a few). The free version won’t allow you to save your Report.
One of the features I like the most in this program is to see the domain strength and using it as a metric to see how the website grows over time. I was hoping for a higher domain strength; but I guess it’s not too bad since I’ve only been blogging for 2 ½ months. It’ll grow.
Domain authority and Page authority checker (DA/PA) – Free: Well, the thing I’m telling myself is that you got to get started somewhere. At least I don’t have a score of zero. But I was hoping for a lot more than a 1 and 3 (respectively).
In a nutshell, here’s how to increase domain authority: In SEO, authority is mainly determined by links—more specifically, links from other sites to yours. You can think of a link as a vote. When a site links to your site, search engines will view that link as an endorsement of the content on your site.
Off-page optimization, also known as link building, is the process of strategically acquiring links from third parties to your site to increase the authority of your pages. Over the course of time as you start adding blog content you’ll slightly increase your blog’s domain authority.
Generally speaking, more links = more authority.
SEO or Keyword Research – Free: The program says that it’s an all in one SEO Platform. It takes a little while to get the Audit Summary. The data provided will show you what needs to be improved.
SEO Analyzer – Free Trial period available for 14 days.
Update 5/23/21: Surprised to see that the numbers fell for this program. That’s why when it comes to SEO not to rely on solely one program since you get a variety of results from different SEO programs.
SEO Tool – Also has a 7-day free Trial (credit card is required). I was very impressed with this SEO friendly program. I liked the fact that some of my pages were “automatically” optimized. This is a program I’m going to invest some time and money into trying as one of my very first SEO programs. One of the main reasons is that it suggested a 7-week program to help me build my SEO over the course of 7 weeks.
So I’m going to give it a shot and hope for the best. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! I would add this program to your list of SEO audit checklist and I’ve even added his lifetime program because I like so much what he has done in the SEO community.
My overall on-page score has slightly dropped for the 84 I used to have to now only a 73. Fortunately, I have some very easy fixes to make because 9 of my posts have duplicate Meta Descriptions (it’ practically the same post, so I got lazy).
The reason for fixing these type of issues is: “Avoiding duplicate meta descriptions is important as it ensures visitors will be accessing unique information. Having duplicate meta descriptions can make the ranking process more difficult as engine crawlers will have a hard time figuring out the differences between pages and what should rank and what shouldn’t.”
The other easy issue to fix is that I have two titles with the same description. Here again is the reason (below) to fix this type of issue and I don’t want to forget that Neil mentions that these collective errors have a high impact on your SEO.
“It’s very important that each of your pages have original and unique title tags. Duplicate title tags can make it more complicated to rank content in search results because search engine crawlers won’t know which post to rank above the other. If you want to rank your pages without confusion or without having them compete with one another, creating unique and relevant title tags is incredibly important.”
SEO Tool – Free: Grades your website in seconds to let you know what needs to be improved. Has a 14-day Trial period with no credit card required. I’m happy to know that my score has gone up from the previous one, but on the other hand I need to figure out why I’m having performance issues that I’ve isolated are in the WP Rocket settings.
Add this program to your list of SEO audit checklist. But at the same time, in May of 2021 the score was a 77. I had WP Rocket settings set to the max and was getting great speed; however, the images were being lost on some of the pages. I’m nearly there, but I don’t know exactly how to fix the issue.
Updated 5/23/21: The performance and security factors both went up.
Keyword Research Tool – Free: Right at the beginning (after typing in your keyword) your prompted with a notification that it’s going to take two – three minutes to get the results.
I wish I could tell you more about this product, but after trying to use it two or three times, the program crashed on me. But I hear it’s a very worthwhile program that I’ll be able to get into and try later.
Keyword Research – Free: This Google Chrome extension utility is very nifty! Once you’ve installed it, (you need to install it through Google Chrome) click on the “W” (within a circle) and it will start to pull all of the data. Very smart way to look at your competitors (to see their keyword content). Update: I’m hoping that this gets restored because the free link doesn’t work anymore. If you like the keyword cloud feature, you can use SEOQuake and go to the Density tab to see a Keyword cloud in the bottom right.
SEO Tool – Free version available. This is the WordPress plug-in that I use and it’s marvelous. You just have to be sure to update all of the data that needs to be input. My number one favorite plug-in and I hope you’ll add this program to your SEO audit checklist.
Check out my blog, for a complete walkthru of the various things for you to pay attention to in Yoast.
SEO Auditor Tool – Free: Provides your Domain Authority (DA), Page Authority (PA), Google Page Rank, and Google Page Speed of your website.
I’m almost afraid to look to see what kind of results it’ll show for my website. Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. But remember, that’s what an audit is for – to see how you’re doing. Note: It takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute for the audit to run.
What does the (Zadroweb) SEO Audit Tool provide?
- Both Page Authority and Domain Authority from Moz for any link.
- Provides Google Page Speed, which is a strong SEO ranking signal.
- Lists your top 10 keywords as seen by SEMRush.
- Presence of many technical aspects, such as sitemap.xml and robots.txt files.
- Check your metadata and images for missing information.
- Presence of social links on your site…and so much more!
- Best of all, this SEO Audit is completely FREE, and you can download a non-branded PDF!
How to make the most out of Pinterest?
Check out these highly-recommended Pinterest tools and resources.