Search engines like Google crawl the web and index the information that they gather. When users perform a search, these search engines check the indexes or database of information collected and determine which is most relevant to include in the search results. They consider various factors to decide which to show on the pages. Screaming Frog is a tool you can use to audit your site and see which areas need improvement for your search engine optimization (SEO). Having this information will help you increase your site’s ranking in search results.
As of this writing, the tool comes with a free and paid version. The free version has limited features, such as a crawl limit of up to 500 URLs, finding broken links, generating XML sitemaps, and analyzing page titles and metadata. The paid version comes with an annual fee but gives you access to all its features, including unlimited URLs to crawl. Screaming Frog can help you with many SEO tasks, and the first step to use its features is to let the tool crawl your domain. Enter the URL of your site on the appropriate field and click the start button. Once done with the process, you can start using its different features for SEO, including the following.
Search for broken links with Screaming Frog
Broken links on your site can hurt your SERP or search engine result page ranking. It also slows down the site’s loading speed since it takes time for the search engine to find the information. Plus, it affects users’ experience since they may be directed to a page that no longer exists or has an error. You can quickly determine which pages of your site have broken links with Screaming Frog. Click “client error (4xx)” on the right side of the window, under the overview pane. Another way to do this is to click on the “response codes” tab on top of the window and click “client error (4xx)”. Next, click a URL on the results, then “inlinks” to see the specific information on the broken links.
Check page titles and meta description
The page title is vital because it tells search engines immediately what that page is for. It makes it easier to understand and index. The meta description is the summary shown on the search result, which invites users to click on the link to be directed to the site. Clicking on the “page titles” tab will give information for the URL crawled, page title length, indexability, and why a page is non-indexable. You can also use the filter to see the following:
- pages with multiple titles
- titles with the same h1
- page titles with under 30 or above 60 characters
- duplicate titles
- missing titles
Clicking on the “meta description” tab will show you information similar to those you will find at the page titles tab, but the details are for the former. For instance, it will show pages under 70 or over 155 characters. You can then make necessary edits or updates based on the information you find.
Look for the site content
Duplicate content does not affect the score that Google gives to your site. However, it still affects your SEO because the search engine needs to select which content to include in the ranking. Duplicate content can be 100% similar or almost the same with only a few differences. You can check that on the “content” tab of the tool and choose “exact duplicates” or “near duplicates” for the filter. This tab will also show spelling and grammar errors based on the language that you prefer.
These are just some of the SEO tasks that you can do using Screaming Frog which the best SEO agencies utilize. This tool is feature-rich, so be sure to explore it to make the most out of it and improve your SERPs ranking.