If your company ranks high on search engine results pages (SERPs), you’re well-positioned for growth. That’s because nearly a quarter of all ecommerce purchases start with an organic search result.
One key factor for SEO ranking is your site’s technical performance. Search engines favor websites that load quickly on all devices and provide a good user experience.
Not your site? There are various technical SEO tools you can use to help enhance your site’s technical search engine optimization. We’ll explore the tools available, what they do, and their benefits.
What are technical SEO tools?
A technical SEO tool is a type of software that helps you optimize the structure of your website for search engine visibility. A high-performing site loads consistently and quickly across all browsers and devices. It presents content in a way that’s accessible to readers and easily indexed by search engine crawlers. Technical SEO tools can help improve site performance in various ways, from auditing SEO issues to implementing fixes. For this reason, it’s a central part of a holistic SEO strategy along with on-page SEO techniques like keyword research.
“Limit yourself to a maximum of five tools to maintain efficiency and avoid confusion, given that each tool operates on different standards and metrics,” says Arthur Camberlein, senior SEO specialist at Shopify. “Prioritize having a well-organized website. Remember the Pareto principle: Focus on rectifying the crucial 20% to achieve 80% of the desired results. If you feel something is lacking, don’t hesitate to switch tools or even create your own. Stay adaptable and innovative.”
What can you do with technical SEO tools?
- Site speed audits
- Crawlability and indexability audits
- Device audits
- Ranking and backlink trackers
- Automated site optimization
Although most technical SEO tools have multiple features, they tend to fall into one of four categories based on their primary benefit:
1. Site speed audits
To rank on search engines, your website must load quickly. There are many reasons your page speed could be slow: large media files, cumbersome code, or the configuration of your Domain Name System (DNS) settings. Site speed audit tools help you understand how fast your website loads, how it compares to SEO benchmarks, and what might be causing slowdowns. The most effective tools provide suggestions for how to improve your site speed.
Popular site speed audit tools include:
- PageSpeed Insights (free)
- Google Analytics (free)
- Shopify’s online store speed report (free)
- Shopify Analyzer by SpeedBoostr (free with paid plans)
2. Crawlability and indexability audits
You want search engines to crawl your entire website and index each page so it appears in search results. SEO tools can mimic search engine crawling and indexing behavior and provide reports on errors, such as duplicate pages, pages that appear blank, and broken links.
Popular crawlability and indexability audit tools include:
- Google Search Console (free)
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider (free for up to 500 URLs)
- Semrush (paid)
- Moz Pro (paid)
3. Device audits
Search engines expect your website to load properly on all devices—from smartphones to tablets to large computer monitors. Device audit tools mimic various devices and provide reports on how your website loads. They look for faulty breakpoints: layouts where visual elements overlap, shift unnaturally, or otherwise break.
Popular device audit tools include:
4. Ranking and backlink trackers
Rankings and backlink trackers help you see the impact of your technical SEO efforts. They don’t improve your technical SEO performance, but they are an important part of monitoring key indicators. Improved technical SEO should lead to better search engine rankings, more backlinks, and improved organic traffic, which these tools track.
These tools can provide insight into how your web pages are ranking on SERPs and how they’re receiving backlinks:
5. Automated site optimization
Most tools listed so far focus on auditing your site and reporting on findings. Some technical SEO tools go further and allow you to implement SEO fixes. You can use automated optimization tools for virtually every technical SEO challenge, from updating meta descriptions to resizing images.
When reviewing automated technical SEO tools, make sure you understand the scope of what they can change and their compatibility with your site’s code. Consult an SEO expert before implementing an automated tool.
Automated SEO tools include:
- Shopify’s image resizer (free)
- Booster SEO & Image Optimizer for Shopify (free with paid plans)
- RankMath for WordPress (free with optional paid plans)
- Cloudflare (paid)
Free tools vs. paid tools
If you are a small merchant, you likely don’t need to pay for technical SEO tools. Google’s multi-purpose Search Console is a useful free tool, and Shopify’s built-in SEO features can help you understand and improve your technical SEO performance.
If you run a large, multinational store, your needs are likely more complicated, and you may require the extra support and features of paid SEO tools.
Technical SEO tools FAQ
Are technical SEO tools only for experts or developers?
No. While some more robust technical SEO tools require in-depth SEO knowledge, many technical SEO tools, such as Google Search Console, are made for non-SEO professionals.
Are technical SEO tools necessary for every website?
Technical SEO tools are not necessary for your website to rank on SERPs. Basic technical SEO tools like Google Search Console and PageSpeed Insights can help you improve your site’s SEO performance.
Can technical SEO tools fix issues automatically?
Most technical SEO tools are diagnostic, meaning they only audit your site and provide recommendations for improvement. Some technical SEO tools can fix issues automatically. There are over 200 Shopify-compatible SEO apps, many with automated functionality.
Can technical SEO tools help with local SEO?
No, technical SEO tools typically do not help with local SEO (optimizing local business sites to rank when users search for nearby locations). Technical SEO tools focus on website performance, whereas local SEO is primarily about listings, such as on Google Maps. Local SEO tools like Yext can help you improve local SEO.