Screaming Frog Spider: An SEO Ace Up Your Sleeve

7:35 PM Amer Bekic 0 Comments



Screaming Frog is one of those SEO tools that even though is not really so well-known, is incredibly useful if you learn how to use it properly. Screaming Frog SEO Spider is definitely the best option to check a tremendous amount of mistakes on your website, which, by the way, are easy to commit, and very difficult to detect, taking into account all the factors that you must consider to achieve better rankings in search engines like Google.

In general, Screaming Frog allows you to evaluate a whole website in the same way as Google’s spiders do. After the complete evaluation of a website, this tool produces a report that tells you which links are broken, which images may be inappropriate, which text may be duplicated, or which are the problems regarding CSS code files, among others.



Image courtesy of Lucas Velásquez at Flickr.com

The first thing to note is that this is a desktop application, not an online tool. This means that it is necessary to download it on your computer from the SEO Spider website in order to use it. Of course, you could do an excellent checklist of everything you have to do to improve the SEO of your website. However, doing this work manually may be a grueling job (especially if your website is quite complex in terms of content, scripts and web design,) and if you allow this tool to analyze your site in depth and automatically, you could spend that time in thousands of other tasks related to the world of SEO, digital marketing, and online reputation management.

Moreover, no matter how careful and perfectionistic you are: You are a human being who makes mistakes. Just imagine reviewing every single code file on your website. Just that. If you leave this heavy work to Screaming Frog, your error rate will be reduced almost to zero.

You can use Screaming Frog for free in a limited way (you can check up to 500 URLs without paying,) but you can’t use all the functions (for example, saving projects.) The license has a cost of £149 (about US$189,) which is not much considering all this tool can do for your business.

Another pro is that Screaming Frog is really easy to use. The interface is simple, and has not even changed much since the previous versions:



Image courtesy of Bruce Clay, Inc at Flickr.com

You can scan your own website as well as others. It may be the website of your competition, of course, and the information provided by the On-Page optimization report will allow you to know what failures you could correct on your own website. This is especially useful when you are starting a project, for example, when you are in the middle of a keyword research. Analyzing the competition at this point can make the difference to know if starting such a project is a waste of time, or if it is definitely a task that cannot wait. Also, if you work as an SEO consultant, it goes without saying that this tool should be a must for your business.

In just a matter of minutes, you have access to information that is typically collected in weeks after an analysis of a website with literally millions of code lines and thousands of pages (for example, any large news portal like The New York Times, which has, by the way, articles, columns and reviews written since the first half of the previous century.)

This tool allows you to select what type of information you want to obtain and then do your metrics and web analytics. For example, you may only want to check for errors in code files, 404 errors, or if you just need to fix some metadata failures. In that case, you can only check the options for the On-Page issues you need, so that the review process gets even much faster. Screaming Frog also offers other tools like the Log File Analyzer, which helps you to load your log files, identify the crawl URL and analyze the behavior of the spider.

Screaming Frog works for either Windows, Mac or Linux. If you want to use this SEO tool for free, in case you want to try it, the download is done automatically on your computer. As it was already mentioned, you have a limit of 500 URLs in such a case, and you must be careful since if the website you are going to evaluate is so big that it exceeds even that number of URLs, then the best thing for you is to actually pay for the premium version. However, if you are just taking the first steps in the SEO world, the free version can even be a good school to learn about what aspects a Google spider studies to place in a certain ranking.

This SEO On-Page tool can be one of your professional secrets: The SEO Ace up your sleeve. Use it for free if you are still not convinced to purchase the premium version. Check out this free tutorial for further information.

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