Are Free SEO Audits Worth It? (Yes and No)

Example of free SEO audit in the background with blurred content, and Free SEO Audits Are They Worth It? text overlay.

A free SEO audit can seem like a great way to get a handle on your site’s ranking potential. They’re particularly attractive for new site owners or those that just want a quick and easy way to find out anything they might be doing wrong.

But free SEO audits come in various shapes in sizes. And whether one is right for you will really depend on what you’re looking to get out of it.

Free SEO audits are worth it if:

  • You want a quick and easy way to understand how your site is optimised for search
  • You just want to know if there are any glaring issues you might have missed
  • You have a small site that isn’t making any money yet
  • You want to gauge if an agency or consultant is the right fit for your business

But not all free SEO audits are created equal. I’ll explain why below.

What Do You Typically Get with a Free SEO Audit?

The short answer: not much.

Often, it’s a quick glance at your site with 10-15 checkboxes ticked for you depending on how well your site is optimised in some basic ways.

Sometimes, it’s actually just a report downloaded from a tool like Semrush or Ahrefs. These tool reports can be super useful, but it’s likely not what you’re after here (as you could get that yourself if you signed up to the tool).

However, some do go a bit further. They might cover a checklist of items along with a more comprehensive overview of your site’s optimisation. Covering more than just a few quick tool-assisted checks, and instead detailing aspects of your site’s design, technical SEO, and other factors that can improve your business’s bottom line.

But many free audits won’t do this. They’ll just answer some basic questions, like:

  • Is your site secure?
  • Do you have broken links?
  • Are you using title and meta tags properly?
  • Does your site load fast?

These are all important questions to ask. That’s not my point.

But you can answer a lot of these kinds of questions yourself without tools and with a little bit of know-how.

However, that in itself brings up an important advantage of free SEO audits:

Someone else does all this for you.

Let’s look at this and more advantages in more detail.

The Advantages of Free SEO Audits

Make Use of Someone Else’s Expertise

Beyond the obvious fact they don’t cost anything, the main gain is that you can leverage someone else’s expertise while you do other things.

If you don’t have the time (or desire) to learn more about SEO, as perhaps you need to dedicate more resources to things like conversion rate optimisation and actually running your business, a free SEO audit can give you a quick high level overview of fixes you need to make to basic—but critical—parts of your optimisation efforts.

Even if it is just a cookie-cutter report you’re given, this can point out useful things you might not have been aware of otherwise. Sometimes it just helps to get a second pair of eyes on things to draw attention to issues you didn’t see because you’re too ‘close’ to the website itself.

What You Don’t Get with a Free SEO Audit

An Extensive List of Checks

You don’t usually get a checklist of more than 10-15 checks with many free audits. For example, my full SEO audits cover more than 200 checks, but many more that I don’t formalise in the checklist and instead just check subconsciously or cover in the accompanying report and video.

That’s how SEOs work. They have lots of knowledge and expertise about all things optimisation. It’s not that there are only 200 things you can do right or wrong. There are nearly infinite things they’re looking at as they check your website. But a checklist covering the most important things is generally one of the easiest ways for you as the client to digest it all.

They can draw attention to other things within the audit report or video (if they provide one).

Full Website Crawl

You also usually don’t get a full website crawl report with a free audit. A full audit typically involves crawling your entire website with a tool like Screaming Frog to highlight recurring issues with HTTP status codes, title and meta tag issues, and broken links.

Screaming Frog SEO spider screen with URLs blurred.
Tools like Screaming Frog are great for locating a wide range of SEO issues

A free audit doesn’t usually go into quite as much detail on these and will only highlight any glaring issues.

Highly Detailed Recommendations

You also won’t get super detailed recommendations. SEOs won’t give away all their secrets for nothing!

With a full SEO audit, you’ll get a more in-depth review of fixes and next steps you may want to take with your website to improve its SEO. You don’t need to spend thousands on an SEO audit though, as you can check out my SEO audit packages instead for a cost-effective way to find SEO and design issues with your site.