Screaming Frog: An Introduction of the secret weapon of a No-Code SEO Webmaster

April 6, 2021

So here’s the scenario: you have an endless list of URLs you must work through in order to inspect all the meta descriptions and title tags. Theoretically, you’d have to click through every single page, look into the HTML source code, and check if the descriptions match your Excel spreadsheet. No way, that’s just time consuming and annoying. This is where Screaming Frog comes in. Simply put, Screaming Frog can automate all your manual tasks for free. In the following article, we will take a quick look at Screaming Frog’s features and how exactly this ultimate no-code hack works.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Screaming Frog or an SEO Spider?
  2. Where can I get Screaming Frog?
  3. Things you can do with the SEO Spider
  4. Resources

It is not without reason that Screaming Frog is called the secret weapon of every SEO webmaster. The SEO Spider from Screaming Frog is a software tool that allows you to crawl websites. The Screaming Frog sends its bot to crawl your site. It follows all links, calls every URL and collects all information about it. For example, after your crawl you get information about the RobotsMeta data, the status codes, the snippets, the file sizes, Canonical links, hreflang and much more. Up to 500 URLs are crawlable in the free version.

At first, it looks very complicated, but it’s not. Even no profound technical skills or programming knowledge are required.
Screen capture during a Screamin Frog crawl

Where can I get Screaming Frog ?

Just go to a search engine of your choice and type “download screaming frog”. You should see it right away in the first results of the search ads. Click on one of the search results and you will be redirected to the website. Here you should see the download button. Simply download the program and follow the installation instructions.

In alternative you can find here a link to the website: Screaming Frog

Here is a screenshot from the screamingfrog website

Things you can do with the SEO Spider

Find broken links on the website‍‍

You can easily crawl a website and instantly find broken links (404s) and server errors. Then you can export the errors and source URL to fix them or send them to a developer. The accumulation of broken links on or to a website affects the user experience and usability. For search engines like Google or Bing, dead links in the SERPs mean a degradation of the user experience, and consequently the target page is rated negatively.

Analyze page titles and metadata

Run an analysis of page titles and meta descriptions during a crawl to identify excessively long, short, missing, or duplicate content on your site. One of my favorite features of Screaming Frog.

Detect duplicate content

Get exact and near-duplicate content, such as page titles, descriptions, or headings, or pages that are missing content. Online stores, for example, often struggle with internal duplicate content. Having duplicate content prevents Google from finding the best possible result for the user. Therefore, duplicate content should be taken seriously by webmasters.

Check redirects

Easily find temporary and permanent redirects. You can identify redirect chains and loops, or upload a list of URLs to check during a site migration.

Extract data with XPath

Wow, this is really powerful. Here you can use CSS Path or XPath to collect and selectively extract any data from the HTML of a web page. This can include social meta tags, prices or SKUs.

Create XML Sitemaps

By properly linking the pages of your website, Google’s web crawlers can usually capture most of the website. However, a sitemap can improve the crawling of your website. It helps to understand the structure of a website more clearly.

We really hope that we could give you a short insight into the function of an SEO spider tool. In the following articles we will go into more detail about the individual functions.

Resources

  1. Screaming Frog Link