Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool is a best desktop based website audit software, used by many seo professionals. If you are not familiar with this then you are in right place, here you can learn that how to use screaming frog easily. You know manually site audit is really a tough task but luckily we have some tools like screaming frog seo spider which made site audit task much easier. These type of tools known in the industry as a web spider. Spiders are programs that are available to download for PC and crawl your targeted websites, images and URLs.
Screaming Frog Seo Spider
Screaming frog seo spider is a java coded desktop program. It allows you to quickly crawl, analyse and audit a site for seo purpose. It’s the best audit software for analyzing small to a large website in less time. It fetches URLs, meta data, interlink URLs, schema data and much more with .xls export facility. The benefit of Screaming Frog Seo Spider is the ability to filter various SEO issues. You don’t need to have a deep knowledge of SEO to figure out what it’s done properly. It can find bad redirect url’s, duplicate page, missing meta data and much more. You can also collect urls blocked by robots.txt, external links, CSS, js, and internal links list. Screaming frog seo spider also helpful to find security issues of links, URL issues and page response time.
If you think Screaming Frog SEO Spider is hard to use so I recommended check this demo, it’s come with a very User-Friendly interface and it’s very easy to use.
The First-Time Screaming Frog SEO Spider Uses Guide
1). Download screaming frog seo spider tool
It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu and it’s completely free with crawling 500 URL’s limitation under the free license. The premium license will allow you to crawl more than 500 URL’s(buy a license if you are dealing with a large site).
2). Crawling a Website
Now you are ready to crawl your first website? For an example, I’ll use the website Hindi news and viral news but you can use your domain like Facebook, Just kidding 🙂
You need to enter your URL and hit the start button. If you have any subdomain then you can check the Crawl all subdomain box under configuration > spider.
It will take a couple of time according to your site size, wait some time and when it’s finished you can start analyzing the outcomes.
Note: – If you found that screaming frog seo spider crashes when crawling your site, you might be having a memory issue. Screaming frog uses all the memory available to it, go to configuration > Advanced > Check “pause on high memory use”. This will pause the spider when it’s eating high memory.
3)- Checking Response Code
After crawling you will have to check response code because any 4X or 5X error affects your SEO.
- 200: OK
- 301: Permanent redirect
- 302: Temporary redirect
- 404: Not found
- 500: Server error
- 503: Unavailable
Remember 301 redirect response code are permanent redirects, so this code pass authority to the new page. This isn’t cased with 302 redirects. 404 error solving are important for seo purpose because it appears “page not exist”. Solve these errors by implementing a 301 redirect to a relevant page.
With screaming frog seo spider you can also search for broken internal links, click on URL with 4xx and 5xx status code and look into the bottom window.
4)- Link Auditing
Links are always difficult to audit but with screaming frog seo spider you can do it easily but keep your eyes open. You have to check your URL’s structure and length. Check good and Bad URL’s because long or descriptive URL is good for site’s SEO health.
- Good / SEO Friendly URL: – http://www.timesofseo.com/guide-to-use-screaming-frog-seo-spider-tool
- Bad URL: – http://www.timesofseo.com/?p=14785
Use filter for Non-ASCII characters, underscores, uppercase and duplicate URL. These type of element can cause indexation problems, so it’s best to solve them as soon as possible.
5)- Page Titles
Page titles are most important for seo, a user first read your page or post title on a search engine and if your site title does not appear properly then you will lose your organic traffic so audit your domain with screaming frog seo spider and you will easily check page title with length. Every page should have a unique title and use the most important keyword in the beginning of a title. If you have a duplicate title, solve this ASAP.
Remember title shouldn’t be longer than 60 characters and if the title is shorter than 60 characters might still be too long. Google doesn’t display your title properly if the title has more than 70 characters so extra-lengthy titles aren’t doing you any favors. In the same page title tab, set filter by duplicate to find a page that has a duplicate title.
6)- Meta Description
With screaming frog seo spider tool you will find lazy meta description, lazy means short than 140 characters and 160 characters are enough for meta description. More than 160 characters description will be truncated. Every meta description should be unique and if you find any empty meta description then fill that ASAP. Screaming frog seo spider allow you to simulate a search snippet for analyse, click on SERP snippet tab and see how it looks on PC or SmartPhones.
Images mostly used for attracting readers and it helps to stay user on a page for a long time. On another side, page speed is important and google also stated that it will consider page speed for ranking web pages and high-resolution images slow down your website speed. High-resolution images can take up a lot of bandwidths so use under 100kb size image for a better result.
- By screaming frog seo spider you can check ALT text of images
- Check response time under response code tab
Use screaming frog seo spider and easily find information about meta robots tag, canonical links, and index/noindex, follow/nofollow annotations in the directive tab. Use one of the filters to quickly view all pages with a certain type of directive.
9)- Creating an XML Sitemap
You can use Screaming Frog SEO spider to generate XML Sitemap. A sitemap is used by search engine to index site and find content. It’s a roadmap which helps to crawl your website.
- For creating sitemap go to Sitemaps > Create XML Sitemap.
- This will save your sitemap as an Excel table, which you can then edit.
You can modify your site and change priority after creation, save as XML file and upload it on search engines webmaster.
Note: If you find that some URLs which are used in XML sitemap but not being indexed, you may have a robots.txt issue.
Screaming frog seo spider tools is a top free website audit software. With the screaming frog seo spider, you can analyse several on-site elements which is useful to make your site seo friendly. Screaming frog seo spider is a mandatory tool for every seo professionals, and it’s completely free.
If you have any tips, please leave a comment and I’ll update the post with any other tips.