A few months ago while browsing the /r/SEO subreddit someone recommended trying out the Checkbot chrome extension. The extension promises to test your site for more than 50 SEO, speed and security best practices such as unique page titles, caching systems and the use of HTTPS. The comments about Checkbot were very positive so I was eager to give it a try.
At the time of writing, Checkbot is still in beta, whilst frequently being updated by the developer behind it. At the moment, the Pro version is free, but there will be a free plan and a paid plan which will be introduced after the beta is over.
With the help of Checkbot, you can improve your website’s SEO, testing your pages against important on-site SEO guidelines such as broken links, unique page titles, duplicate pages and thin content pages.
Some of the main features are:
Checkbot crawls your site and can show you aspects such as your most internally linked pages, non-indexable pages, pages with canonical tags and more.
The ability to export lists of URLs in a CSV file (for Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets).
Especially handy for anyone new to SEO, Checkbot explains the issues with your site in detail and confirms if your fixes worked.
After a super quick download from the Chrome store, I was ready to test it out.
The first thing that struck me was the slick, easy-to-use user interface, compared to, for instance, Screaming Frog. The user-friendly nature of Checkbot meant that there wasn’t a learning curve or any time struggling to get to grips with it. This makes it great for SEO newbies and seasoned pros alike.
After crawling one of our client’s sites with Checkbot, it gave me a percentage in terms of how well the site was optimized for SEO, speed and security. Checkbot will then tell you which particular aspects of the site need to be fixed or improved. This worked very efficiently in terms of effectively pinpointing problems.
The ability to export problem URLs is also a handy feature, especially whilst working in an agency where I can share the data with other people on my team.
A fantastic piece of software
Overall, I think Checkbot is a great bit of kit for optimizing a website, and a useful tool for introducing new SEOs with little or no experience to audit websites. The pickup and play nature of it plus the modern UI will appeal to many people in the industry and the fact that it is very easily accessible via Google Chrome is also another bonus. It will be interesting to see how it develops in the future and we’ll be sure to check back in following its official release.