SEMrush Site Audit Tool
I’ve recently been using this new Site Audit Tool that SEMrush has launched that is actually quite powerful and I would say that is very comparable to another tool called DeepCrawl. The unfortunate thing about this tool is that it is still in beta mode and this for some reason means that you will be unable to export the site audit reports into Excel or any other format.
The fact you can’t export this data is actually quite annoying as I’m having this issue with a client where Screaming Frog won’t for some reason tell me whether my clients website’s external images have alt-text defined, as they are hosted on Amazon’s content delivery network (CDN). I don’t understand why this is an issue for Screaming Frog, and perhaps there’s something I am missing.
Update: You can indeed identify alt-text on images hosted on Amazon or any other sort of content delivery network (CDN) via Screaming Frog, this option is just not where you’d expect it to be. I messaged Dan Sharp via Twitter, the founder of Screaming Frog, and he promptly sent me a response linking to the FAQ where it highlights how you can do this.
Anyways, before I derail let’s get back to the Site Audit Tool! Here you can see the overview tab:
This would be a great feature, but I’m afraid it’s just not accurate enough. If there were 223 duplicate pages then I’m pretty sure I would have already worked that out without the use of this tool (BrightEdge for example identifies duplicate content issues), but it has reported back quite a few pages that aren’t similar/duplicate at all. However to give this function a little credit it has found some pages that are duplicate, but the majority are not duplicate/similar pages.
SEMrush Site Audit Tool has found titles that have been duplicated due to parameters at the end of the URLs. With this information I can action changes to the robots.txt or via Google Webmaster Tools to block these URLs with parameters.
External Links Broken
This is quite useful, however, unfortunately has the same problem as what I’ve written in the “Internal Links Broken” section. If the URL that is externally being linked to has a space in there somewhere, SEMrush’s Site Audit Tool seems to cut this off at the space in the file name and count this as a broken link. If you take a look at the screenshot above, there are 103 listed broken links, but only one of those links are actually broken links — making this feature not very useful.
Internal Links Broken
It gives you a nice breakdown of internal links that are broken. However, I’ve noticed that there is an issue with this. Take for example an image that has a space (without any characters etc) somewhere in the file name, then this tool will cut the image off at the space and count it as a broken link. i.e. this image file name: vlexo-logo hello.jpg would be a broken link, as there is a space between logo and hello. This is obviously not right.
Too many on-page links
Unfortunately this part of the Site Audit Tool is picking up images hosted on the Amazon content delivery network (CDN) as on-page links. Of course, with the entire site that I’ve audited has all its images on every page hosted on Amazon’s CDN. This means that this tool is saying that every single page has too many on-page links.
With all that being said, and with this being far from a positive review, the tool is still in beta so they will hopefully iron out the problems that have been identified.
#1 Issue = No Export Options
But I think the major issue is the fact you cannot export any of the data making this tool unmanageable and simply not something you can use in a live environment. You’d think this would be something that they would have worked on from the very beginning, but if there is no export option in the future then I don’t see how useful this tool will be. I’ll assume that SEMrush will work out the kinks and get any of the issues that I’ve mentioned fixed before this goes into the “live” stage.
Built-in Search Feature
BrightEdge has a similar built-in system where you can search for particular pages using RegEx and so as long as the keyword you are searching for is contained in the URL you can find particular pages that you’d like to optimise with the help of this tool. But I think they still have a long way to go with making this useful.
Stay tuned. I’ll be giving a better overview of SEMRush and how good the keyword tracking is, how good the keyword research capabilities with this tool is and much more.