A site audit is a very first thing to carry out optimizing your site. There are two ways to do it: hire an agency or do it yourself. I’m convinced that hiring the professionals is the best way if you want to save your time.
But if you want to save your money, there is the second way which implies using your brain, hands and some SEO tool. Here we’re dealing with another task: how to choose the perfect tool to do everything right.
In this article, I’ll try to describe few main differences between Desktop and SaaS tools and show the examples.
Let’s clear it up
Desktop apps are software you download on your computer. SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) — cloud based software which is located on a website.
Saas apps became popular these days, but it didn’t replace desktop tools. I want to find pros and cons of each method, so you’ll be able to choose the perfect one depending on your needs.
- Work with you projects from any device, browser, country — wherever you want. You just need to log in, and all your information is available for you;
- Get all your notifications and reports on your email;
- Share your account and reports with colleagues and collaborate easily;
- Avoid installing it and its updates.
- Turn off your computer and drink some coffee during the process. It will continue to analyze your site, and you’ll find the report on your email when you get back to the computer.
- A lot of SEO tools have not in-depth site audit compared to desktop programs.
- You can’t see the process of audit.
- It’s limited in server capabilities. Thus SaaS always have limits on a number of pages you can analyze and queue. The server can’t handle too many processes at the same time.
The last statement is quite controversial because:
- First of all, good SaaS apps have few servers so they can work fast;
- In fact, it’s not necessary to analyze all your pages. The errors are always repeated so you can analyze, for instance, first 1000 pages, and fix these errors on all the rest ones.
Let’s see how such tools look like by example of Serpstat. It’s an all-in-one SEO tool with 5 modules: competitor analysis, rank tracking, backlink analysis, keyword research and site audit.
Despite the multi-functionality, it has quite a deep audit.
Serpstat Site Audit checks sites for the following errors:
- HTTP status code (URL issues);
- Meta tags (duplicates, length);
- Accessibility & Indexation;
- Links (if it’s too many outgoing links);
- Server Parameters (certificates, redirects between the www and non-www URLs, redirect from HTTP to https).
You’ll see this:
SDO score shows how good is your website technical optimization on a scale from 1 to 100. It’s a ratio of the site’s number of errors and their importance to the total number of possible errors. You should strive for this number to be as high as possible.
All errors are sorted by priority. The Information category shows data that is not necessarily errors, just some points to pay attention to.
If you scroll down the page a bit, you’ll see all errors you have sorted by types (I’ve listed it earlier):
You can click on each of them to see the details:
As you can see, it’s quite easy to handle: you have a list of errors, and you know its location. Moreover, Serpstat gives the recommendations on how to fix these errors.
Add to all these summands your brain and Google search, and you’ll be able to carry out the audit of your site by yourself.
Desktop apps pros
- First of all, unlike the situation with SaaS platforms, there is no limits or queue because of service capacity. It all depends on your computer. So it’s again controversial factor: if you have good gadget, it will be a great advantage; if it’s not, then the process can be a bit slow.
- You don’t have any limits on a number of pages you can analyze. If you want, you can check for errors every single page on your site.
- In most cases, desktop tools are better for in-depth analysis. Especially, it this tool is specialized only on site audit.
- You can follow the whole process.
Desktop apps cons
- As I said earlier, they limited by the hardware on which they are run.
- If the computer hangs up, you can lose all your results, all processes can be slower and so on.
- Usually, need to be manually updated.
- You can’t work together with your colleagues in one account.
I’ll try Netpeak Spider — It is a tool for complex SEO-audit of all site. It’s focused on site audit entirely so this tool can find 64 errors in 53 parameters:
- General (URL, Status code, Response time, Content-type, etc);
- Meta tags and headings;
- And more.
Let’s see how it looks like. After downloading and installing the tool, you can type link to your website into the search line. Wait few minute, and you’ll see:
All errors are sorted by type and priority too. And you can click on each to see certain pages which have these issues:
This tool performs the comprehensive report on your site optimization. Now you see all things that harm your ranking, and it’s up to you to change the situation.
Ass we see, the methods are almost the same, but they have a lot of differences. Both desktop and SaaS tools have advantages and disadvantages, and the final choice depends on your resources and needs.
I suggest you try both to make a reasonable decision.