Technical SEO Tools

At this point, all respondents were asked to answer a series of questions related to technical SEO tools.

What tool(s) do you use for technical SEO work? Select all that apply:

We asked all of our respondents to select all SEOs tools that they used. The most popular answer with 93% was Google Search Console, followed by Screaming Frog with 86% and SEMrush at 66%.

What the experts think…

Google Search Console has a lot of insights about a site but some of the data (eg for errors) is only available for 3 months. Therefore it is important to be on top of GSC and check it regularly.

Was discussing how working on an SEO campaign without Search Console enabled is effectively like trying to do the job with one hand tied behind your back. But it is surprisingly common when onboarding a new client, for them to either be unable to delegate Search Console access, or that Search Console has never been set up.

I find it surprising that SEMRush and Ahrefs are up high, I personally always think of them as tools for content SEO, not technical SEO.

This should be really insightful for tool providers and their price points. GSC is free (and a must!) and Screaming Frog is undoubtedly one of the cheapest tools in an agency's belt. Searchmetrics might be being held back by their notoriety as being very expensive!

What you can see on your site is really important to what you are able to recommend and improve. It is not uncommon to use a few tools to review and verify a single issue.

If you could only choose ONE technical SEO tool, which one would you choose?

Next, we wanted to force the issue a little bit and from the same list, asked respondents to tell us the single technical SEO tool that they would use. Here, the top answer with 39% was Screaming Frog.

What the experts think…

Not surprised here at all. Screaming Frog is so helpful and has so many ways to help find what you need. Once you learn how to use it, there's multitudes of opportunities of what you can do/investigate.

+1 from me for Screaming Frog SEO Spider. I will forever be amazed by the wealth of functionality it offers for the given price. It should definitely be part of every (technical) SEOs toolbox.

I'm really surprised by this! I would have said GSC hands down...

When assessing the search visibility of a website, which of the following third-party tools do you use? Select all that apply:

Next, we went a little more granular and asked specifically about tools that help assess search visibility, asking respondents to choose which tools they used for this purpose. The most used tool by our respondents was SEMrush with 65%, followed by Ahrefs with 56% and Sistrix with 17%.

What the experts think…

Semrush and Ahrefs are great one-stop-shop tools and perfect for this task. They're also more widely know, have lots of demo help, and at a better cost than something like Searchmetrics.

If you could only use ONE tool to assess the search visibility of a website, which one would you use?

Again, we asked respondents to choose just one tool that they’d use for search visibility and again, SEMrush was the winner with 43%.

When carrying out log file analysis, which of the following tools do you use? Select all that apply:

When it comes to log file analysis, 76% of technical SEOs said that they used Screaming Frog for this, followed by Botify with 10%.

What the experts think…

There's a strong correlation here between the 22% of technical SEOs that work on large websites (1M+ pages) and the percentage of tech SEOs who use enterprise-level log file analysis solutions.

This is bound to be cost-related.

If you could only choose ONE tool for carrying out log file analysis, which one would you use?

Answers were very similar when it came to choosing just one log file analysis tool, with Screaming Frog leading the way again with 71% of respondents choosing it as their one tool.

What the experts think…

I expected this, SF Log File Analysis provides such good value at a very low price and is extremely easy to use.

When measuring organic search rankings, which of the following tools do you use? Select all that apply:

Our next question focused on tools to measure organic search rankings and respondents were asked to select all tools that they used for this purpose. The most popular answer with 75% was Google Search Console, followed by SEMrush (57%) and Ahrefs (42%).

What the experts think…

This makes me so happy! GSC provides us with so much accurate ranking data and it surprises me the number of people who rely on third party tools over it.

Really interesting to see that 11% are 'other' - more than Moz in total. Good to know our tech is staying diverse - we're always looking for the next advancements in rank tracking; from pixel ranking to SERP feature analysis.

If you could only choose ONE tool to measure organic search rankings, which one would you choose?

When it comes to choosing just one ranking tool, Google Search Console was the winner again with 37% of respondents choosing this as their tool of choice.

What the experts think…

Google Search Console has a wealth of information. It is important that if you are using ONE tool that everyone in your team is across it and your clients too. There can be variations in rankings with different tools and clients may like to use their own.

If you could choose just ONE non-eCommerce platform to work on, which one would you choose?

Next up, we wanted to ask technical SEOs which platforms they preferred to work on, starting with non-eCommerce ones. WordPress was by far the most popular answer with 75% of respondents choosing it as their platform of choice.

What the experts think…

I was expecting WordPress to be the first choice for the majority of respondents but the real surprise comes from Contentful.

Considering the rise in popularity for modern Javascript frameworks such as React, Vue.js, and Angular, I should have seen this coming. No wonder even WordPress has a headless option that still allows marketing teams to work with the interface they love while giving development a wider choice of tools.

100% agree!

In your opinion, which non-ecommerce platform is the most problematic to work on?

We then asked the inverse of this question and asked respondents to tell us which non-ecommerce platform they didn’t like working on. Wix was the least popular platform to work on with 29% of respondents saying it was the most problematic for them. This was followed by Drupal at 12%.

What the experts think…

I've never had the pleasure of working with Wix but Drupal 'nodes' have certainly tripped me up in the past.

Fully agree that both of these platforms can be so difficult to work with. Wix is slow, and so very limited, and Drupal can be very limited.

Also not surprised to see Squarespace and Joomla! here either - again, Squarespace is slow and limited, and Joomla! can offer so many limitations!

If you could choose your favourite eCommerce platform to work on as a technical SEO, which ONE would you choose?

We then asked respondents if they had experience working on eCommerce platforms. 72% said that they did and they were then asked which platform they preferred working on. The top three answers were relatively close here, with Shopify just about winning with 29% of the votes. Closely following were WooCommerce (26%) and Magento (26%).

What the experts think…

Given the hate piled onto Shopify from SEOs (historically), this answer feels pretty astounding.

I'd be curious how Shopify was able to turn this around - the team Shopify is building out (Kevin Indig and the like), the new features? The lack of... better tools? "New blood" - eg many more new, younger people coming into the field without historical baggage?

Is it possible to break this down by in-house vs agency answers? (I'd bet that Shopify is more loved by in-house people!)

This is really interesting. I saw on Linkedin that Shopify says they have solved their international issues now. They're clearly investing heavily in making it a really good ecommerce CMS.

This is such a close one! I wonder if we asked the same question before Shopify started helping and providing more for SEOs that people would answer the same way?

In your opinion, which eCommerce platform is the most problematic to work on?

Again, we asked the inverse of this and 33% of respondents said that Magento was the most problematic platform to work on from a technical SEO point of view.

What the experts think…

This is really interesting, I've worked on Magento and found that (with the right developer) you have a lot more flexibility to do things like facet expansion.

If you could choose just ONE project management tool to use, which one would it be?

Finally in this section, we asked about project management tools that technical SEOs prefer to work with. This was a close one again with JIRA just winning the race with 22% and closely followed by Asana at 21%.

What the experts think…

I'd love to know why. Is this just a reflection of market share and people's exposure to different platforms? Can you see the difference in answers from people in terms of seniority and decision making status?

Definitely agree. If dev teams use JIRA, then it makes sense to use JIRA too - tickets can then be fed into their queues and makes things a lot easier.

I've always been team 'Google Sheets' but I think I should definitely look into JIRA and Asana!

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