Automation and optimization tools are a must-have for anyone who is doing technical SEO. You can do a few things manually on a site with little content, but it is incredibly helpful to use optimization tools instead of parsing through web server logs or trying to find errors in your rich snippets.
Keep reading to see which tools that I keep in my technical SEO toolbox.
1. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a standalone product available for all major operating systems. Thousands of SEOs rely on the software in their day-to-day operations, and I am one of them.
Free and paid versions exist, and this one single tool can do a lot.
You can also integrate with Google Analytics, Search Console, and PageSpeed Insights. When running a technical SEO audit, I cannot recommend Screaming Frog enough.
2. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a tool offered by Google and it provides wonderful insight into your site. You’ll need to add your site to the platform and verify it before you gain access to the information Google offers.
It’s worth the effort because you’ll gain access to a treasure trove of data, including:
- Indexation Insights
- Core Web Vitals
- Mobile Usability
- Page Experience
The indexing feature is powerful at identifying indexing issues and is also extremely adept at running validations on any issues you’re experiencing.
If your site has any security issues or manual actions are taken against your site, you can view them in the console. While Google rarely allows us to peek behind the curtain and find how we can strengthen sites, this is one area where they do.
3. Rich Snippet Testing Tool
Google’s Rich Results Test is another tool by the search giant, but this one’s a little more simple. The goal of this tool is to determine one of two things:
- if an URL supports rich snippets
- if code supports rich snippets
You can test a live URL to monitor rich results and then correct any issues that the tool identifies. Since rich snippets are a powerful tool in the search results, this tool is invaluable.
4. Schema Validator
Schema.org’s Validator is another tool that can help you break through the confusion of structured data. You can run the tool on structured data that you code, or fetch an URL to validate the schema on your site.
The validator will return errors and earnings so that you can correct them.
WebPageTest is one of the most powerful tools for website performance and optimization. While there are other site speed tools, this one allows you to run tests on:
- Site performance
- Visual comparison
- Core Web Vitals
You can choose to run tests on 4G, 3G and Cable. You can also adjust the server location. Repeat view options are available, which will run tests on the site after the first visit to learn how the site loads on the second visit.
In-depth metrics, real experience and even video capture allow you to find bottlenecks in a page’s loading speed and gain insights on key issues hindering site performance.
Web.dev is a great resource of information with a lot of courses that are worth exploring. However, the focus today will be on PageSpeed Insights. The tool is simple to use and allows you to make sure your pages run fast on all devices.
Analyzing your URL, you can see site speed on desktop and mobile.
You’ll be able to view information on:
- Desktop site speed and performance
- Mobile site speed and performance
- First contentful paint
- Speed index
- Largest contentful paint
- Time to interact
If you want to speed up a site, the information provided will set you on your way.
7. Google Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool
Mobile-Friendly Test is another great tool for anyone who wants to check whether a site is mobile friendly or not. You can test either an URL or code and gain insights into:
- Tested page
- Mobile usability
If there are any issues, the tool will show you and allow you to make changes to improve your site’s mobile-friendliness.
8. GTmetrix Page Speed Report
GTmetrix is another great option for site speed and performance. The tool is free and allows you to learn the following:
- Top issues impacting performance
- Learn the impact of each issue and audits
- View FCP, LCP, TBT and CLS
If you’re working on a site that is struggling to perform well on speed and performance tests, be sure to run it through GTmetrix.
9. W3C Validator
W3C Validator is a faster and easier way to analyze a site’s HTML and XHTML to ensure that it’s valid. You can validate through:
- File upload
- Direct input
Makeup validity will allow you to quickly view any markup issues and correct them.
10. Web Server Log Analyzer
Log Analyzers are necessary when trying to parse through web logs. Screaming Frog’s log file analyzer is one of the best in the industry, allowing you to upload a file and view:
- Search engine bots on the site
- Crawled URLs
- Crawl frequency
- Uncrawled pages
If you want to gain fresh insights into what crawl bots are doing on your site and the issues that they come across, running your log file through the analyzer can help dramatically.
Finally, one last tool that I’ve come to rely on heavily in recent years is Cloudflare. The platform is far more than just a CDN or a caching system, as many are led to believe. Instead, the suite of tools has grown to include the following:
- Website performance features, such as CDN, DNS, Load Balancing and website and application acceleration.
- Website and app security, such as DDoS Protection, Bot Management and WAF.
- Network security solutions
If you want to speed up a site and boost its security in the most effortless way possible, Cloudflare is one of the tools that can be very powerful. Workers can help with managing redirects, while body filters can do things like inject Hreflang.
Technical optimization requires a lot of analysis and due diligence. If you’re not using tools, you’re slowing the process up and risking missing key issues that may be impacting the site you’re working on.
The tools above offer you a lot of technical SEO power if you learn to use them properly.