Best SEO Audit Tool: Semrush vs Ahrefs vs Screaming Frog & More

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SEO success is difficult in the current competitive online market, so how do you get ahead? Doing regular SEO audits of your site can give you a proven edge over competing websites.

What Is SEO Audit Software?

An SEO audit is the analysis of your website based on several factors that search engines find crucial. Successful SEO audit tools dive into three main areas to identify issues and opportunities and give you suggested fixes. Please note that most of these platforms are comprehensive SEO suites, but the purpose of this article focuses only on their auditing functionality. You may also be interested in our overall review of SEO software and its offerings as a whole.

  1. Technical infrastructure – comprises how your webpage is set up as far as title, headings, paragraphs, links, images, video, type of code (HTML version) used to generate the page, etc.
  2. On-page analysis – elements that can be optimized on the webpage itself – typically relate to the technical infrastructure above, i.e. use of headings, image alt tags (an “alternative” accessibility feature to describe the image for those that are unable to visually see it), etc.
  3. Off-page elements – anything that is not within the control of the webpage itself, but influences the page from the outside. This can include social media, backlinks from other sites, mentions of your brand name, etc.

Best SEO Audit Software Winners

Industry leaders give all of our top picks high ratings for their comprehensive SEO audit tools. In other words, you can’t necessarily go wrong with any of these tools, the question is more does that tool’s skillset match your needs the closest? For this reason, we’ve based our rankings on each software’s overall audit capabilities, with a nod to Screaming Frog for its unique features.

Winner: Semrush Review

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We chose Semrush as the best SEO audit software for its all-in-one suite of auditing toolsWe are active users of the Site Audit feature in Semrush. It does an excellent job of finding on and off-page issues including broken link checking, duplicate content warnings, content length suggestions, and finding slow-loading pages. In the audit portal, Semrush highlights major errors that need to be addressed immediately and allows smaller concerns to hide in the background. Fortunately, these are easy to navigate.

Semrush keeps track of your audit history and provides a Total Score history. This way you can see how your audit efforts have improved the performance of your site over time.



  • Historical audit scores to track your performance
  • 120+ SEO checks
  • Recurring crawls can be scheduled
  • Finds AMP Implementation Issues
  • A learning curve to master its many features


Semrush offers a 7-day money-back guarantee on all plans. The following prices are monthly. You can save up to 17% if you pay annually.

Pro Guru Business Enterprise
Price Per Month $129.95 $249.95 $499.95 Contact
Number of Users* 1 1 1 Contact
Results Per Report 10,000 30,000 50,000 Contact
Projects 5 15 40 Contact
Tracked Keywords 500 1,500 5,000 Contact

*Each plan gets one power user and additional users can be added for $20-50 per month.

Semrush Site Audit Tool (Screenshot)

Semrush Site Audit: (Screenshot)

How Does Semrush’s Site Audit Tool Work?

Check out this brief video to see what Semrush brings to your site auditing capabilities.

Runner-Up: Ahrefs Review

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Ahrefs has a strong reputation for its off-page SEO auditing, but it also has one of the most potent site crawlers on the market to identify and resolve technical and on-page issues. The site audit interface is similar to Semrush. Major issues like missing headers or meta descriptions are flagged clearly and then the user can drill down to less important issues like image errors.



  • Integrates with Ahrefs backlink index, which is the largest the industry
  • 100+ pre-configured SEO issues
  • Recurring crawls can be scheduled
  • Data Explorer allows you to create custom filters based on many different parameters
  • Takes time to learn
  • Does not find AMP implementation issues


Ahrefs offers a 7-day trial for $7 for its Lite and Standard plans. You can save 20% off the following prices if you pay annually.

Lite Standard Advanced Agency
Price Per Month $99 $199 $399 $999
Number of Users 1 1 3 5
Results Per Report 2,500 30,000 75,000 150,000
Projects 5 10 25 100
Tracked Keywords 750 2,000 5,000 10,000

Ahrefs Site Audit (Screenshot)

Ahrefs Site Audit (Screenshot)

3rd Place: Screaming Frog Review

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Unlike Semrush and Ahrefs, both of which are web-based solutions, Screaming Frog is software that runs on your computer. Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider is arguably the best tool on the market for technical SEO audits. SEO Spider is a robust, flexible site crawler that gives you the ability to analyze in real-time a massive variety of technical and on-page SEO data for sites of all sizes.

Where Screaming Frog differs from the other tools mentioned is instead of a visual Site Audit portal, it simply provides all of your site data in one massive spreadsheet. So everything you can imagine – Titles, Metas, Headings, Inlinks, Outlinks, and more, are all right there at your fingertips. This spreadsheet is not for the faint of heart and is better to be analyzed by an experienced SEO advisor.



  • Free SEO Spider version
  • Configure for multiple data sets
  • Get all of your site’s data in minutes
  • Ability to collect data from the HTML of a web page using CSS Path, XPath or regex
  • Annual site license is limited to one computer
  • Cap of 500 URL crawls with the free version
  • Recurring crawls cannot be scheduled
  • Not web-based and software uses a lot of memory/hardware resources


UK-based Screaming Frog offers a free version of SEO Spider, capped at 500 URL crawls. The paid version is £149.00 (approx. $216) for 1 annual license and unlimited crawls.

Screaming Frog (Screenshot)

A screenshot of a Screaming Frog report with some sample data. This should give you an idea of how data-intensive this software is.

Screaming Frog SEO (Screenshot)

SEO Tools That Take You Far Beyond Auditing

If you are already using Semrush or Ahrefs for other SEO purposes such as Backlink Analysis, Keyword Rankings, or Keyword Research, we believe they are similar enough that you can just stick with what you currently use. If you are not using either service and are looking for the most economical Site Audit solution (since both tools start at around $100 a month), Screaming Frog is an excellent value at £149 a year.

SEO auditing software is essential to improving your site’s overall performance, but many SEO tools on the market go above and beyond auditing analysis. Be sure to read our best SEO tools article, where we review more than a dozen top-rated SEO software options. Some tools specialize in specific SEO areas, while others provide a more comprehensive suite of SEO analysis tools.

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