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How to use Screaming Frog for SEO?

Posted by Surgeon’s Advisor

How to use Screaming Frog for SEO?

Screaming Frog is a web crawler that provides a detailed analysis of a website through their URL’s analysis. With this SEO Spider Tool you can analyze different elements that make up a web page to take decisions and optimize SEO.

This tool has a free version (with limitations) and a paid version (without limitation) and it can be installed on various operating systems.

What information can be obtained with Screaming Frog?

The collected information by this SEO tool is extensive and this helps us to analyze and audit a website from different points of view. The most common uses we can get are the following:

  • Find broken links (errors 404, 403, broken images)
  • Audit redirects (redirects 301 and 302)
  • Analyze Page Titles & Meta Data
  • Find duplicate content (titles, descriptions, headings)
  • Review Robots & Directives
  • Generate XML Sitemaps
  • Integrate with Google Analytics

How to analyze page titles, meta descriptions and headings

The most important elements to analyze and improve the SEO on our pages, are the titles, descriptions and headers. There are some criteria that must fulfill and which are variable according the major search engines.

We know that many pages should have a title without exceeding 55 characters, a meta description that should not exceed 156 characters, and only one H1 heading per page. We will use “Screaming Frog”, to find pages that do not meet these settings.

Step 1. Set “Screaming Frog”, to our criteria.

  • Go to the “Settings” tab and open the “Spider” option
    Spider options of the Screaming Frog
  • In the “Spider Configuration”, go to the “Basic” tab, and make sure you select the following options: “Follow internal nofollow” and “Crawl all subdomains”.
     Basic options of the spider
  • Go to “Preferences” tab to set the maximum characters for titles and descriptions, 55 and 156 respectively.
    Preferences of crawl for titles and descriptions
  • Save your settings, put the domain of your website and press the “Start” button.

In the preferences of the “Spider configuration”, you can also set other parameters such as the maximum length they should have the URL’s, H1 tag, H2 tag, and the size in kilobytes of the images. You can also set the titles and descriptions by pixel density.

Step 2. View and analyze results.

To view the results you only need go to the tab of each element (page titles, meta descriptions and H1), and you can filter the results by missing, duplicates or the characters length.

The results are shown in columns, such as: address, occurrences, length and content of each item. This allows you to analyze the situation of your pages to start the necessary corrections.