5 Critical SEO Issues Discovered with Screaming Frog

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Have you ever crawled your own site? It’s a great strategy to fix some rather blatant issues with your site that you may not have noticed. Good friends at Site Strategics told us about Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider. It’s a simple crawler that’s free with a limitation of 500 internal pages… enough for most websites. If you need more, purchase the £99 annual license!

Screaming Frog

I really appreciate how quickly I can scan a site and see these 5 critical Search Engine Optimization issues:

  1. 404 Not Found Issues with internal links, external links and images. Referencing images that aren’t found can slow your site down. Referencing internal links incorrectly can frustrate your visitors.
  2. Page Titles are the most critical element of your page, have you optimized them with keywords?
  3. Meta Descriptions are displayed as the description of your pages in search engine result pages (SERPs). By improving the meta descriptions, you can drastically improve the click-through rate to your pages.
  4. Headings – H1 is a heading tag and you should have 1 central heading per page. If you have more, you’ll want to shift them to other headings. Screaming Frog will show you your H2 tags as well… and having more of those in a single page is fine. All headings should be keyword rich and relevant to the page topic.
  5. Image Alt Tags assist search engines in properly indexing your images and display the alternative text for screen readers and apps that block text (like when you embed your blog content in emails). Audit your images and fill in the alternative text tag with keyword-rich, relevant text.

Another great feature of the Screaming Frog SEO Spider is the List Mode. I can take an export of competitive pages from a tool like Semrush, put it into a text file, and import it into Screaming Frog to crawl and retrieve an analysis of all the elements of the competitors’ ranking pages!

If you want to dig a little deeper into your page’s search engine optimization, we have these articles:


  1. 1

    This is a great tool. Fast, effective and now if it just interfaced with wordpress so you could edit the links and headers, etc from this program. That would be too good to be true. My question in general is whether drop down menus in wordpress like these
    http://www.liveonpage.com, are picked up by spiders (specifically google). If they are then that changes many things. Last time I paid attention, I thought javascript dropdowns weren’t picked up.

    • 2

      Hi @twitter-860840610:disqus , because you’re publishing your submenus and using CSS and JavaScript to display the options, Google does see your menu items and internal link hierarchy. This tool would pick that up, too. If your menu was Ajax-driven where your navigation was requested from another page – then it wouldn’t be picked up.

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    Thank you for the brief overview of Screaming Frog!

    Even though I use another tool to deal with on-page optimization, it was interesting to have a look at alternatives out there. The one from my arsenal is WebSite Auditor, and I use it to find duplicates, code errors and for competitor on-page analysis. Really, an on-page tool is a must have, especially now when usability factors became so critical for SEO.

  5. 10

    Every dollar you invested in the Screamingfrog well spent. For just $ 100 you get here very many reports and data from other tools are significantly more expensive and partly as a subscription per month.

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