Knowledge Base/SEO/Site Auditor

Site Auditor: Overview

Nate Baker
posted this on January 30, 2013 07:54 PM

Site Auditor is in beta. For more details, see the beta users FAQ.
 

Site Auditor

SEO > Site Auditor

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How It Works

Site Auditor is a tool designed to illuminate the performance and SEO errors found on your website. The tool crawls the pages of your website, checking for broken links, meta data, content issues, image issues, semantic structure and more, giving you actionable areas where they can improve the performance and quality of your website.

Auditor can be set to run weekly or monthly, giving you the ability to see how your efforts to clean up errors on your website change over time. Each tab is fully reportable in the tool itself and in Report Wizard, allowing you to produce PDF reports with your errors for further inspection.

In total, Site Auditor analyzes your website in seven different areas: visibility, meta data, content, links, images, semantics and page speed.

Case Study

The main benefit of using Site Auditor is the ability to discover where your website needs help to maintain top performance – whether it's from visitors to that website or how it is indexed by search engines. When you run Site Auditor for the first time, it will display a summary page breaking down all of the discovered issues.

Let's say that you're working on optimizing a website through its meta tags, but you don't know where to start. Once Site Auditor crawls your website, you can see which pages are missing meta descriptions, which pages have issues with page titles, where Google Analytics isn't being used and so on. To get specific information on this information, click the Meta tab or click the error to automatically filter your pages to show just those errors.

As you fix these issues, future crawls of your website will change the yellow warnings to green checkmarks. If you don't have access to edit the HTML of the website in question, you can create PDF reports detailing exactly what is wrong, which you can then pass along to the site's webmaster or administrator.

Set Up and Settings

Starting Your First Crawl

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Before you are able to see data from Site Auditor, you must first enable the tool. Click the Start Crawling button to activate the first crawl, which will work based on the exact URL that is set up in your Raven account. The crawler will start from the index page and work outward from there, so if your Website in Raven was set up as a subdomain or subdirectory, the crawler will start on these pages.

Site Auditor's crawls run in the background. It is not necessary to stay on this page, you will be notified via an email message when the crawl is completed.

 

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Settings

Once Site Auditor has completed its crawl at least once, you will have access to several settings which affect future crawls. To change these settings, click the Tool Options icon and select Customize Settings. This will pop up a modal with four settings: Crawl Frequency, Maximum Number of Pages to Crawl, Exclude Errors from Report and Baseline Comparison Crawl.

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  • Crawl Frequency: Users can change the crawl frequency to Weekly, Monthly or not at all. When set to Crawler Disabled, the tool will not automatically crawl again until a user changes the setting. The default setting is Monthly.
  • Maximum Number of Pages to Crawl: Site Auditor is able to crawl up to 10,000 pages per day, per account. Users are able to limit the total amount of pages crawled for an individual website from 50 to 1,000 pages. The default setting is 1,000 pages.
  • Exclude Error from Report: From the menu displayed select any errors that you would like to exclude. 
  • Baseline Comparison Crawl: To compare you crawl results to any reports that you had crected previously, simply select the date from the pre-populated drop-down menu,

Crawl Limitations

1,000 Pages/Site Limit

Site Auditor will only crawl up to 1,000 pages within a site. There's not a way to crawl more pages than this with a site and there's not a way to specific which pages are crawled.

10,000 Pages/Day Limit

Raven will only crawl 10,000 total pages across an account per day.

An Example

Let's say you are tracking 11 websites in auditor and each has 1,001 pages each. Let's also say you've changed your settings to crawl sites as frequently as possible: weekly.

On the first day, Auditor will crawl 1,000 pages for the first site (and stop after it discovers the first 1,000 pages for the site so Raven won't have data for one page in this example). Auditor will then move onto the next website and crawl as much as it can, 1,000 again. It will get through 10 sites in this way before Auditor t reaches its 10,000 pages/day account limit.

On the second day, Auditor will pick up where it left off and crawl as much as it can of the 11th website. Auditor will not crawl any undiscovered pages beyond the 1,000 limit per site. After a week Auditor will repeat the process. If your settings are set to monthly or manual, than crawls may happen based on a different frequency. Auditor's default setting is to crawl sites monthly.

As previously stated, Site Auditor is able to crawl 10,000 pages of websites per day for a single account. This means that if you have two websites that both have 10,000 pages in them, and you start crawling both, only one website will be crawled on that day. The second website will pick up the next day.

If you are less interested in potential errors on deeply nested pages on your website, or would otherwise like to get a more general look at multiple websites through Site Auditor, you can use the Maximum Number of Pages to Crawl setting to lessen the pages being crawled. This setting defaults to 1,000.

Auditor Tabs

In total, Site Auditor collects data on seven different areas for your website. You can see an overview of errors on the Summary section, which includes its own corresponding tabs, as well as a graphic display of where your errors are most prominent. Those areas are as follows:

Site Auditor Tabs

Visibility Errors dealing with the ability for your website to be accessed by search engine robots.
Meta Errors dealing with the meta data that is used to inform robots and users about the content of your page.
Content Errors dealing with the actual written content on your pages, including duplicate content and low word counts.
Links Errors dealing with your links, specifically about whether or not you're using the nofollow attribute and if any links are dead on your pages.
Images Errors dealing with broken links and links missing attributes that enhance usability on your website.
Semantics Errors dealing with the heading structure of your page. You should only have one H1 heading per page, with successive headings in order from there.
Page Speed How long it takes for your individual pages to load, with metrics on actual load time and YSlow scores included.
Crawl Comparison Comparisons between the last crawl and a previous crawl.

More information on each section can be found by clicking their respective links in the table.

Filtering Data

All tabs in Site Auditor (with the exception of the Summary tab) can be filtered using two different methods: quick filters built into the tool and filter sets.

Quick Filters

Each tool in Site Auditor contains several toggles that users can click to automatically filter to the most common issues. By default, each tab shows every instance of a link, page or image that was crawled by Auditor. Clicking the bubble will cut that listing to only show the selected errors. For example, the Visibility tab has three quick filters: Blocked Pages, Page Errors and Redirects. Choosing the Page Errors option will only show pages that were flagged with an error is the Status column.

For more information on how each button works for each tab, see their individual pages. All quick filters include an All button, which can be clicked to remove the filter from your table.

Filter Sets

In addition to the quick filters offered on each page, users are able to construct more complex Filter Sets to show the exact data that they're looking for. Filter Sets in Site Auditor work exactly like they do in CRM and in Link Manager; they filter data in the tool based on the available table metrics. Each tab in Site Auditor offers different filter criteria. More information on the criteria can be found the respective sections' pages in the Knowledge Base.

Adding Filters

To create a new filter, click the filter icon located in the top right corner of the table and choose Create New Filter. This will pop up a filter box at the top of the table, with several different fields. Select filter criteria from the list and choose its modifiers to create your first filter.

To filter by additional criteria, click the plus symbol to the right of your filter. A filter in the set can be removed by clicking the X next to the filter. You can remove all of the filters or exit out of the filter set by clicking the X next to the Save button.

As you select your filter criteria, the table will automatically update with your choices. If you want to show multiple filter criteria, you can switch your matches from Match All Filters to Match Any Filter.

  • Match All Filters: All criteria must be true for keywords to be included in the filter. If you're filtering the Visibility section for URLs mentioning "blog" and URLs that are flagged as 301 redirects, only results matching both of those criteria will be shown.
  • Match Any Filters: At least one criteria must be true for keywords to be included in the filter. If you're filtering the Visibility section for URLs mentioning "blog" and URLs that are flagged as 301 redirects, results matching either criteria will be shown.

Saving and Editing Filters

After creating a filter, it can be saved for reuse by clicking on the Save button. Any time you want to edit it, click the Edit button after it's saved. Additionally click the Delete button after it's saved to delete the filter.

When you save or edit a filter, you can modify the name and change the visibility. The three visibility options have the following scope:

Global Filter: All users can use this filter across all profiles and websites.

Profile-Only Filter: All users with access to the current Profile can use the filter.

Private Filter: Only the user who created the filter has access to it.

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Click Cancel to leave without saving changes or click the Save Filter button to save your changes.

Saved filter sets can be accessed using the filter icon that is used to create them.

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